Exposure on digital (with LUTs)


New member
Hi, this might be a little overexplained but I am a little bit confused about exposure in digital media where Log curves o raw formats are used. In fact I would say that my question would also be applied to analog cinematography in the way the latitud is increased regarding the output media.
Let's say our device can handle 12 stops of latitude, and our final output media is going to have 7 stops. In digital, as the slog curves offer a low contrast image we are used to work wuth luts that approach the image to the final look we want... My question would be if it would be intelligent to expose the image according to the LUT (the white levels and medium tones) and then check the log or raw image to see if we stay in the range the camera can handle, or if it's better to expose using the raw view, or the log uncompressed image.
I know it can seem evident to use whatever the biggest image quality we have to have an accurate exposure, but, if we have a grey point at 35 IRE and a white point at 70 IRE using slog, and after the must be conversion those levels are going to be adjusted to 45 and 100 IRE, it seems reasonable to start with this data for the overall exposure and then checking the sensitive areas (highlights and shadows) in our true signal raw or whatever... What do you think about it?
As a general rule, working fast on a film shoot, I'd rather work from a more contrasty monitor image and balance the lighting to that... knowing that I am recording even more dynamic range in RAW or Log. I can occasionally double-check the RAW or Log image on the monitor when I see clipping going on, just to make sure I am recording enough detail in the highlights.

Some people are good at looking at a Log or RAW image all day long and lighting to that, but I tend to feel that you get a mistaken idea of how much shadow detail you have because it's generally lifted compared to the final color-correction when you make the blacks look really black.

In some ways, the ideal monitor LUT for me crushes the shadows a bit but leaves all the detail from RAW in the highlights because then I can expose for my highlights and then light for the shadow detail I need to get good blacks and low noise. I also think that's more like how film looks, which is higher contrast in the shadows and lower contrast in the highlights, whereas digital to me is lower contrast in the shadows and higher contrast in the highlights, to oversimplify things a bit.