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Just how much dynamic range does the venerable Olympus E-1 have? Zone-10 gives you, the reader, the ability to see for yourself with these worse-case sRGB, Olympus converted files.
Zone-10's Color checker exposed at flash-meter calculated exposure
All pictures shown here in this test were shot ISO 100 in RAW mode, but converted in Olympus Studio Version 2 using sRGB, Contrast 0, Sharpness 0, Saturation CS2 using the in-camera exposure with absolutely no color or brightness correction--identical to an in-camera JPEG. Finally, the two most extreme exposure shots are have also been converted using Picture Window Pro with highlight recovery and brightness adjustments to show what is missing in the straight conversion. No noise-reduction was used in any of the images illustrating this article.
The test composite board is lit by a single camera-mounted Olympus T-45 flash in manual mode with the flash pointed straight up at the ceiling. The board is leaned back against the wall and is evenly lit by this bounced flash. Exposure was adjusted by altering the aperture in full stops from F2.8 to F22. At F22, the flash power was reduced in full-stop increments. Sufficient recycle time was given for the flash to be fully recharged between shots.
Over-exposed by three stops - no adjustments, (F2.8 with flash at full power)
Overexposed by two stops - no adjustments (F4.0 with flash at full power)
Overexposed by one stop - no adjustments (F5.6 with flash at full power)
The F5.6 exposure could possibly be considered to be properly exposed and with a RAW conversion this may be the better choise, but highlights, such as the white satin bow are blown out.
Exposed as metered - no adjustments (F8 with flash at full power)
Underexposed by one stop - no adjustments (F11 with flash at full power)
Underexposed by two stops - no adjustments (F16 with flash at full power)
Underexposed by three stops - no adjustments (F22 with flash at full-power)
At this point I had to adjust exposure with the flash. I've confirmed with a flash-meter that the accuracy of the flash exposure control is within 1/5 a stop repeatably
Underexposed by four stops - no adjustments (F22 with flash at half-power)
Underexposed by five stops - no adjustments (F22 with flash at quarter-power)
Underexposed by six stops - no adjustments (F22 with flash at eighth-power)
Underexposed by seven stops - no adjustments (F22 with flash at sixteenth-power)
Now the question on everybody's mind is what is lurking in the extremes? Go to the next page to find out.