Sunday, August 27, 2023

Happy 10th Anniversary to Magic Lantern Dual-ISO

Although I don't have my Canon 5D3 anymore, having converted to an R, I still have lots of 'old' 5D3 captures.

Since A1ex at Magic Lantern introduced Dual-ISO ten years ago, the basic idea hasn't changed. That is, ML samples half of the sensor at ISO 100 and the other half at, say, ISO 1600. If you mix these two, with the Dual-ISO processing App, you can get almost the entire dynamic range the sensor is capable of (around 14 stops).

Of course what has changed in those 10 years are all the other post processing tools.

As a Lightroom and Photoshop user my 2023 post processing workflow goes like this:

  • Process the captured Dual-ISO, from within LR, with the ML Dual-ISO Converter, thus creating a base DNG RAW
  • Apply a linear profile to this DNG, ie to take back control from Adobe ;-)
  • Using the LR masking feature, and curves, carry out base processing on the DNG, ie so far I haven't touched a LR slider
  • From here go whatever way you wish, ie finish things off in Lightroom, pop in and out of Photoshop, use other apps from within LR, eg Radiant Photo, Luminar Neo, etc

So what does the above achieve?

Well here is a screen grab of what the RAW looks like in Lightroom:

The image, captured in Iceland in Feburary 2017, was shot on my 5D3 at a base ISO of 100, at f/13, with a shutter of 0.8s. Plus it was ETTRed using ML.

The Lightroom histogram of the base image looks like this:

After using the above workflow, the image, although not an award winning one, looked like this:

Finally, another example from Iceland, including dust spots ;-)


So Happy Birthday Dual-ISO and thank you A1ex: wherever you are.

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