How far do you go?

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The point is that by increasing your exposure by +0.6 EV, you are very unlikely to have lost your highlights because the Histogram in the camera is referring only to a hidden camera-processed JPG which is contained inside the NEF.

The Nikon Histogram does not give accurate information about the RAW file itself.

You can test this in RawDigger.

I find that increasing exposure (so that I have more data in the shadows) to work with while processing improves my results considerably.
 
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This youtube movie explains the science behind RawDigger:

It does start with a mathematical explanation but if you want to skip that (although the info is important!), just go to the 2 minute marker on the video.

There is a fully-featured 30-day free trial download on the RawDigger web site.
I suggest that you download it and examine some of your own RAWs because you may be fairly horrified by what RawDigger reveals!

This video is another very good explanation of the difference between exposing for a RAW as opposed to a JPG.
 
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I was thinking "tripod" when I said iso 100, but I certainly understand why you didn't have one in this case. Nevertheless, I see no noise in your posted image. A busy scene helps :D.
My suggestion still holds. I still think blown highlights is a much more serious problem than noise in shadow areas, but that's just my approach.
Except in the most exceptional circumstances, I nearly always err on the side of not blowing out the highlights. Of course, I shoot bracketed exposures quite often, so that increases the dynamic range of my D850 by quite a bit.

Glenn
 
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For me, it all depends on what the subject of highlights is/are. I do not mind losing hot spots of sun light if I can have clean shadows.

--Ken
 
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I usually try for the most exposure I can get before blowing highlights. I try to expose to the right as much as possible. I agree with Ken, if its small metalic bits or the sun, I don't mind having some blown highlights.

Plus, the lcd on the camera is showing you the jpg. So if you have only a small blown highlight on the lcd, you most likely will not have any when you open the raw file on your computer. Or it'll very easily come back with the highlights slider.
 
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The point is that by increasing your exposure by +0.6 EV, you are very unlikely to have lost your highlights because the Histogram in the camera is referring only to a hidden camera-processed JPG which is contained inside the NEF.

The Nikon Histogram does not give accurate information about the RAW file itself.

You can test this in RawDigger.

I find that increasing exposure (so that I have more data in the shadows) to work with while processing improves my results considerably.
This youtube movie explains the science behind RawDigger:

It does start with a mathematical explanation but if you want to skip that (although the info is important!), just go to the 2 minute marker on the video.

There is a fully-featured 30-day free trial download on the RawDigger web site.
I suggest that you download it and examine some of your own RAWs because you may be fairly horrified by what RawDigger reveals!

This video is another very good explanation of the difference between exposing for a RAW as opposed to a JPG.
I am familiar with the mathematics and I understand it. I have had a copy of RawDigger since April, 2006, and I have examined many of my photos using it. The argument is convincing until you find an image that has less than 5% overexposed highlights but those highlights are in important places that you want to preserve. I see no way of being sure that they are preserved except either (1) taking the picture, bringing the raw file into RawDigger and examining it, or (2) underexposing slightly when I take the picture. Since option (1) is impractical 95% of the time, I choose to use (2).

All of the images used in the video are from an Olympus OM-D EM-10, a µ-4/3 camera. It has 2.5-stops less dynamic range than a Nikon D750, and 2 stops less than a D7200. Thus it will show much more shadow noise than the cameras I use, which is one reason my µ-4/3 camera trial was short-lived.

Nevertheless, the video is informative and I recommend that anyone interested in this subject with 15 minutes to invest should watch it.
 
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The ways in which you both set your internal exposure meter (and the way in which you use it!) governs the exposure which your camera actually delivers when you use AE.

RawDigger simply shows you the data which the camera actually captured. When your data is bunched up against the left-end of the Histogram, you have very little data available to you when you are processing.

The fact that an Olympus was used in the demo is of zero importance: you need to run RawDigger on your own existing files to check whether your exposure meter settings are actually delivering the best possible data.

Jim mentioned the importance of retaining HLs when they occur in only a small area of the viewfinder.

That is best handled by using a Spot meter reading — not an averaging-to-grey Matrix Meter.

Read from a white object and ADD 3 stops of extra exposure;
or
Read from a Caucasian face and ADD +2.0 EV.

That is necessary because, by default, Nikon sets their exposure meters to deliver a rather dark 12% Grey.

Other manufacturers probably do the same thing which is why every photographer needs to determine their meter settings for themselves.

In-camera Exposure Meters are reading reflected light off the subject and then averaging the reading to a dark grey!

The more precise method is to use an external Incident Meter to measure the brightness of the light source.

I do have an incident meter (especaially useful for balancing multiple Flash heads) but I regularly use the internal metering too. It can work very well but you need to drive those meters with some understanding of the ways in which they actually work as well as instinctively hitting the Manual ±EV button to compensate for non-average conditions — like the proverbial black-cat-in-a-coal cellar and white-dog-in-the snow.

Another frequent misconception concerns "Recovering HLs".

You cannot recover data that was never recorded but you can make captured data less bright by moving by moving the Brightness Slider (wrongly labelled the "Exposure Slider"!) further to the left of the Histogram.

Again, RawDigger will quickly reveal whether your existing methods of using exposure metering regularly writes the best possible data to your RAW files.
 
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Oct 18, 2005
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Terri....for me...I LOVE IT...

I love that saturated look where you can almost feel the dampness.....

Love it

Ray
 
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