Photoshop 19.1: Histogram behaviors are different from prior versions

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I am experiencing problems with the histogram in 19.1.0. I am a mid-career fine art photographer by profession, and have been a PS user since Version 2. I am also a member of the Authors Guild, and write on photography for various publications. I have been purposely hanging back at PS 2015.5.1, as it has served me well. Yesterday, I decided enough, is enough, and installed 19.1.0.

This first histogram is at Cache Level 1 for the file values of a 36Kx24K pixel 16-bit grayscale file.

 

Please notice how there are "tails" (lines) out each side of the main body of data, indicating that there are small levels of data almost to the limits of range. For me, it is important to know about these tails exist so that I do not end up creating a clipped condition when applying a curve function. We use S-curve limiters to compact the tails without clipping.

Here is the exact same file at Cache Level 1 for the same 36Kx24K pixel 16-bit grayscale file, but this time in 19.1.0.

 

Please notice how there is no tail indicating data extending to the left, and rather a botched one going to the right. This is not helpful! You will also notice that the Mean and Standard Deviation values differ.

Further, it use to be nice to be able to take the cursor and scan across the histogram with a display of level and count showing up for whatever was under he cursor. This seems to have gone away in 2015.5, and is even worse in 19.1.0.

Thanks for your help.

Pete
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Hi Pete

I myself am rather confused about histograms in Photoshop, since they often don't seem to display the actual histogram, and often it seems that the histogram under a curves layer is different than the histogram displayed in the histogram panel. Perhaps someone who has looked into this more can comment.

But, in case this helps, you are aware of that you can use the option key (at least it's option on Macintosh) when you move the terminal point of a curve adjustment, and Photoshop will show you exactly which pixels (and, even better, which color channels) are bumping into 0 or 255? I find this to be tremendously useful, and I now just use the histogram to make a general assessment of a photo, and not to analyze which pixels are near or at clipping.
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Pete-
Something looks a little weird. The 2 histograms have different Means and Standard Deviations, which would imply that they aren't quite the same image. Any chance the color profile is different in the second screen shot?

-Tom Attix
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Pete Myers

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Hi Tom:

NO, that is the exact same image opened up in 2015.1, then again in the current version. Gray Gamma 2.2. I very carefully have checked the color management and calibrations are exactly the same for each. Try it yourself.I think you will be able to confirm it too.
That is why there is a bug. There should also be an OR function that show any value greater then Zero at a level has a minimum display of at least 1 on the scale so that the data tails can be seen. This is a HUGE issue. We need to be able to see the data tails at a level of 1 for anything other then zero.
Also, before 2015, the cursor would should what ever level it was over, and the statistics for that level. That was the most useful. I am not sure what is going on now, but it doesnt help the tool At least there should be a menu that allows the user to configure statistics as per all the previous versions. Pete
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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Why is the Curves function and Histogram Function still not fixed??!!.

I have been using PhotoShop since Version 2.

For a while I froze at 2015.5 because that was the last version of PhotoShop in which the Histogram function displayed the data "tails" properly, as it had since the beginning of PhotoShop. Basically, it is a logical OR function that shows just above the baseline that there is greater then one pixel of data at a particular level. To demonstrate, the histogram in the Curves function does show like this, even in the current version.

But I finally rolled forward to PhotoShop 2020 only to find that the Histogram function is still not fixed! At least there should be a user option button that enables "show tails".

Then in 2020, if you have the Histogram function up and open the Curves function, the moment you do something on Curves, the histogram DISAPPEARS from the desktop. Boom! Gone. So you can't use the precision of the Histogram function in supporting Curves without constantly re-opening it.

And as per my post the other day, the Intersection Line in the Curves function does not show even when user select ON. It just doesn't work. This has been confirmed by another user.

This is basic stuff! These functions have worked properly since the beginning of time, and for the advanced PhotoShop user are extremely vital in use. How is it that these problems are still not fixed?????????!!!!!!! The Histogram and Curves functions are as basic as breathing in PS.

Pete
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Mac and Win Side by Side:

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Using Jeff's Upload_20200505-195720.tif file I see the tails and no issue using the Curves Adjustment Layer. Jeff's screenshots look different because it's using cached data ('!').




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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Mac CS6 side by side with Mac 2020

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Let me do Cache Level 1 next
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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CS6 next to 2020 with Cache level 1

Looks nearly identical to me.
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Intersection Lines not visible in the Curves panel has been reported here:

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/intersection-line-in-curves-not-working

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I just pulled up a monochrome negative of size 15,254 X 10169 pixels, 16-bit monochrome.

The histogram below at Cache 1 is showing data between level 49 and 206. At those endpoints, the statistical probe is showing 0.10% at 49 and 99.98% at 206. The actual data using the same probe is going from level 19 (2 pixels) to 217 (10 pixels) and should be showing using a logical OR function so that you see the complete tail.

The Curves Function of the same image is showing the data tails doing to Level 23 and 212, so that is not exactly right either, but certainly better then showing 49 to 206.

OS 10.15.4
MacPro 2019 8-Core 96GB memory
PS 21.1.2

So what is missing, and has been since 2015.5, is the Logical OR function of showing ANY pixel count at a level, so that you can see the full extent of the tails. That way you can set the end points just outside of the tails, then use the Curves function to pull the tails in to the photo without making a hole by just clipping data.

This is a 155mp monochrome file. 0.01% of that is a 15KB hole. It does matter. And what you can't see, you can't fix. As it is, I have to run the dang probe along the histogram to find the invisible end points, the 0.01% point, and the 99.99% point.

And I just confirmed again that with my version and setup, the histogram disappears from the desktop the moment the Curves function is activated. If I pull up the histogram again, the moment I touch the curves function, it poooooooofs. So as is, I have to set up my Curves function, then pull up the Histogram function to check how the curve will work, but any revision to the curve will pooooooof the histogram function, and I have to pull it back up for any further checks.

I am sure the histogram stayed up in PS 2018, as did the interception line.

Catalina nightmares?

The last version with the Histogram working correctly was 2015.5 Mac OS.


(Edited)
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Here's a 512 x 512 image with 32 x 32 lower density square. It looks normal and as expected except the Curves Adjustment layer histogram lines appear darker, but still visible.
I can't duplicate the issue with this image.



I suggest resetting your PS Preferences file as the next trouble shooting step. Close PS and rename the Prefs.psp as shown below and then restart PS. This will allow easily restoring it if of no help.

Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings/Prefs.psp.OLD

If the issue persists I suggest downloading Jeff's image file and see if it also exhibits the issue.
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Ronald Chambers

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I think that you understand the problem.  Look at the image below.  This has a 128 x 128 darker are and shows on the histogram.  It shows in two ways.  It is so tall because of the increased count for that amplitude.  It is also the same "color" as the full height one representing the rest of the images amplitude.  Now look at my previous image and you can barely see this short one as it is shorter and weaker on that histogram.  Looking at your image, the short one is even shorter or non-existent and darker too.  I contend for the histogram to be of value we must be able to see what on the bottom row of the histogram.   The bottom row is where the tails should be.  They must show even if their count is just 1 on the whole image.  How can the user see the lowest amplitude and highest amplitude points?   The problem is that the histogram is 100 px in height and any bin that has a count less that 1/100 of the maximum count is ignored.  This 128 x 128 square is shown, the 64 x 64 from my original is barely shown, and the 32 x 32 of yours almost doesn't show the low level bins.   The tall peak is 100 px tall no matter what but the lower ones should have at least one or two px height if they are not zero in count.

 This version of the histogram was coded without knowledge of its use.



The display in levels and curves is 200 px tall so the tails show unless they are 1/200 of the maximum bin count then they disappear.  

at some time in the past, the histogram display worked as I say it should but I can't tell you when it changed.  If Chris Cox is still around let explain what I'm saying as he probably did the first version.

Changing my preferences will not change this problem.

Let me know how I can help.

RONC  PS user since v3.
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"This 128 x 128 square is shown, the 64 x 64 from my original is barely shown, and the 32 x 32 of yours almost doesn't show the low level bins."

Ronald clearly your system is behaving differently than mine or Jeffrey Tranberry's. Your 512x512 image file Histogram does not show the darker area when smaller than 64x64 px. Mine shows the darker area in the histogram with height proportional down to 32x32 px. Below 32x32px the histogram line height remains the same and visible including a 1x1px darker area. A 32x32 px area in a 512x512 image is very small (.4%) and I imagine that's the histogram display lower level limit to remain visible. So it appears to be working correctly on my system.
In addition you have the disappearing Histogram issue when trying to use a Curves Adjustment layer. The cause of that remains to be determined since neither I or Jeff can duplicate it. So we have two possibly related issues.

Jeff can correct me here, but further trouble shooting needs to be performed before this can be turned over to Adobe Engineer for review. That's why I suggested resetting the PS Preferences file as a simple next step to rule that out as a possible cause of your issues. A corrupted Preferences file can cause some very strange issues!
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I changed preferences and see no difference.  I forgot to mention that I'm on a Win 10 laptop with latest Win and PS.

It looks like the values are interpolated which could reduce the strength of the bin in the display.  Interpolation at an edge can also decrease the strength unless proper padding is used.

I do not have the disappearing Histogram issue when trying to use a Curves Adjustment layer.  My problem is only what has been referred to as tails in the histogram display.  The difference between curves and histogram seems to be that the tails show more in the curves which is probably do to the fact there are more px in the vertical direction.  It might have been at one time that the display was nearest position.  I truly expect all bins with live data should have the same strength but different height.

RONC
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For the disappearing Histogram see this parameter:



Open Histogram and right click on the >> on its title bar.  Bet if turned off the panel won't go away.  Might want to ask for another option.

RONC
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"Also, are you able to confirm that the histogram window disappears the moment the Curves function is opened or touched?"

I've also not been able to reproduce the histogram disappear either. A screen recording might help us try and repro. There may be some setup differences that are causing this problem. I've tried panels docked, panels floating, app frame on/off, etc.
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OK, how do I do that for you? I have never done a screen recording before, so need pointed to some instructions for Mac OS. I would be happy to do so.

I am curious if you are on OS 10.15.4 with PS 21.1.2? I think I am rolled as far forward as is possible, and I wonder if there is a Catalina bug that is driving the disappearing histogram window---that would not surprise me.

I have a WACOM connected, and will make sure to disconnect it on next test to make sure that is not the issue. That too could be buggy from Catalina.

And have I illustrated my point about the tails function on the Histogram enough to understand? Let me know if I can be of further help. It really is critical to image-making to be able to see how far out those tails go, even if they are only showing at a few hundred pixels or less per level. 
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Launch QuickTime, Select File > New Screen Recording... then export the movie after you're done recording. You can record audio if you want to talk through the process. Post to drop box or some other file sharing platform and post the URL.
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Update: I do not have the WACOM tablet connected or the driver software installed on this computer yet, so that eliminates a side-show variable.

I reproduced the disappearing histogram problem once again. Touch the Curves function, and the histogram goes pooooooooooof!
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Pete, download Jeff's image file and see if it also exhibits the same issues. This will help determine if something in your files is causing the issue.
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Sorry for the delay---out of the office today. Will get to the screen recording done tomorrow.

I knew someone was going to say "this will help determine if something in your files is causing the issue." I told my wife that was going to come up. NOT the issue.

The irritation is that I have been using PhotoShop since Version 2. I have 26-years in as a fine art photographer and all of my work has undergone digital post production in PS from the get-go. I pioneered digital monochrome photography in 2002 with the Kodak DCS 760m. I have written for most of the major photo magazines over the years. There isnt anything wrong with my image files, and I would never suggest an issue without testing across a vast array of image file types. What I have posted are typical examples of those failures.

The histogram issue has been a mess since 2015.5.

I sincerely doubt I have anything oddly configured in PS 2020 or the OS given that the computer is new, Apple installed the OS, and PS is installed fresh. My wife is a Director of Information Technology, use to work for Apple (among others), and watched in amusement as the histogram completely disappeared from the desktop each time I made an adjustment with the Curves function yesterday.

Just saying....

Pete
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Pete, we are trying to help you, but can only do so if we can duplicate the issues you are seeing on our systems.

First step towards doing that is to share an image file and compare screenshots of the Histogram displays. I'm asking again for you to please download Jeffrey Tranberry's image file (see below link) and post screenshots of the Histograms as seen on your system. If you prefer to use one of your own files please do so and post the share link and histogram screenshots as viewed on your system. This is the minimum of what's need to assist with your observations and request.

https://shared-assets.adobe.com/link/0b69dc6d-9649-4c70-4bef-58523b1dd1c7
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I have an update on the disappearing histogram function. It only does so when the screen is rotated 90 degrees and is in portrait mode. It does NOT disappear in normal horizontal orientation.

OK, lets see if that helps. I do a lot of vertical work, so most often have the screen rotated into portrait mode---hence why the bug is bugging me and not most users. :)

Pete
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Pete, I can not duplicate this issue on my Windows 10 system. The histogram does not disappear with the display rotated to portrait mode when adjusting the Curves palette or the Curves Adjustment layer. Perhaps it is a Mac issue, which Jeffrey Tranberry can check.
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Hi Jeff:
Trying again this morning, darn if the histogram function goes away once again in both horizontal and vertical modes! I can't believe it. I clearly saw the histogram function stay in place when I oriented in landscape mode and adjusted the Curves function last night. And frankly, I was so excited at the discovery that I forgot to look and see if the intersection line was work or not.

So this morning, I powered up in landscape mode, and the same disappearing Histogram function occurred as soon as I touched the Curves function.

I switched back to Portrait orientation, and the same thing happened. Then back to landscape, and the same thing happened.

But I DID see the Histogram function stay up while the Curves function was in use last night, and it was only in landscape mode. Why the heck it isnt working this morning is part of the grand mystery.

Pete
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Hi Jeff:

It could be "my bad" on the disappearing histogram function, but I don't know the intent of the designers. I did figure out what is going on and the work around.

I have a single column tool bar on the right side of the display where I dock commonly used functions, such as the histogram.

If I press on the histogram icon in the tool bar, the histogram pops up on the edge of the tool bar as planned.

If I use the Curves function, Levels function, filtering, etc, the moment I have those functions up and touch them, the histogram pooooooooooofs and goes away.

If I take the same histogram function, and drag it anywhere else on the desktop, it stays up and there are no issues (other then the intercept line not working on the Curves function, and the tails not showing properly on the histogram).

So is this "as designed" with the tools column? Are those functions suppose to disappear the moment some other function is used? If so, then totally my bad for not understanding that.

This is working in both portrait and landscape mode, so it is a solid diagnosis. Whether a bug, I don't know. In my little pea-sized brain, if you click on a tool column icon and the function comes up, it should stay up until dismissed. But perhaps it is design to minimize "clutter" on the desktop?

Pete

So we are down to the issue of the intercept line in Curves not working, and the trail not properly showing in the histograms (main histogram, Curves, Levels). As a minimum, we need a "show tails" option for the histograms, and obviously the intercept line needs to work in Curves. Need more info or are we good to go on those issues?
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That's a good clue. It sounds like bug - but I can't repro offhand even having the histogram on that side. There might be other ingredients to make it happen. Can you make a screenshot of your entire screen with the curves dialog and histogram open before you touch it to make it disappear and one after? That might give me more clues.
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Will do!

Pete
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Did you look for this?   I posted it above.

For the disappearing Histogram see this parameter:



Open Histogram and right click on the >> on its title bar.  Bet if turned off the panel won't go away.  Might want to ask for another option.

RONC
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Thanks Ronald---that looks solid. I will give it a go, and I bet it will work.
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Pete,
Please peruse my comments above relating to tails in the histograms.  I also think there has been a change in the display of the histograms and it subdues the tails (low count bins).

RONC
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Per Jeff's request:

Steady state before selecting Curves (Cache 1)
Curves function selected, histogram Cache 1
Just after curves point moved---poooooof, gone
I will go and try Ron's suggestion.






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Thank you Ron! Yes, that did solve the problem of the disappearing histogram function when touching curves.
PS Prefs--->Workspace---> uncheck "Auto-Collapse Iconic Panels"

Grateful to you Ron! Gold star. Much cheering! Thought I was loosing what little is left of my pea-sized brain. Happy Happy Happy

OK, so it was a "feature."

Jeff, I guess we are down to the intersect line  in Curves and the histogram tails (Curves, Levels, et al). Have everything you need from me?

And I would add cheer towards the suggestion of a much larger version of the Curves Function and the Histogram windows for greater accuracy and ease of use.

Pete
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"Jeff, I guess we are down to the intersect line  in Curves and the histogram tails (Curves, Levels, et al). Have everything you need from me?"

Pete & Ronald you need to provide histogram screenshots using a shared test file that demonstrates the issue so Jeff and I can check it on our systems. I'm seeing tails in the histogram in Jeff's file as I posted earlier here. You can use his file or provide your own with screenshots. But either way we need a "reference" test file that we can all use for evaluation purposes.


https://shared-assets.adobe.com/link/0b69dc6d-9649-4c70-4bef-58523b1dd1c7
(Edited)
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I successfully downloaded the file and opened it up on my system. PS was reporting that the original file was using a "Dot Grain 20%" setting for the saved photo, and I opened it "as-is" (no changes) on a Gamma 2.2 curve.

With the probe, I could sense data down to Level 1 (Count 10), and Level 246 (Count 01). I had a count of 762 pixels and 0.01% below what was visible in the Cache 1 histogram, and 4881 Count and 0.04% above what was visible. So a lot was missing---the tails.

Here is the Cache 1 histogram:

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I don't believe testing with real data is appropriate as we don't know what should be showing in any part of the histogram.  Here is a file to test:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/3h02hzeyw2xsara/grayFlat512gray16.tif?dl=0 and the display of the histogram from my system.    This file has four squares of data.  each is colored so it is separate from the others.  The large square does contain the other three.  The histogram is scaled by the area in the large square minus that of the three smaller ones.



All of the live bins should be different height but the same intensity.  Viewing in levels or curves has the same problem.  This is not the same type of display as an image where edge effects etc are accepted.  This is a diagnostic and it should display the ground truth.  Photoshop is used to do cosmetic changes to photos but it still should be maintained on a scientific level.   

RONC
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I agree Ron. We need to be able to use tools in PS that give us scientific precision, not just approximations for cosmetic betterment of our photos. LightRoom can take on that other voice. Further, PS should not be a "design" platform either---it should be about precision imaging. Just like LightRoom, I think the "design" elements need to be taken out of PS proper, and have their own platform. PS needs to be about imaging, imaging, and imaging.

And if floating point is too complicated to maintain views in histograms, then 32-bit fixed point would be logical. I think jumping forward to floating point backfired horribly.

I can understand LightRoom on an iPad. I can understand a design version of PS on an iPad, but I sure can't understand why PS proper needs to be on an iPad. It does not lend itself to precision imaging.

The Curves function and the Histogram function in PS are archaic. The concepts are correct, but the tools are so small and limited that one cannot get the precision they need in a 16-bit world. These simply look like the same concepts that were produced before PS Version 7. Competitors are showing vastly improved histogram and curves functions, but they are not complete because of the lack of precision and save curve functions---a saving opportunity for Adobe to get it done right before they are leapfrogged.

Also, just to understand, I am doing math processes that are as wide a 200,000 pixels on my photos. More testing needs to be done before release to make sure that PS is operating correctly with these large file sizes. Every time I run into a 30K pixel limitation, I wonder why we are in the dark ages.

Similarly, there shouldn't be anything in PS that can't be run at 16-bit, and sadly this is not the case. That should have been resolved post Version 7.

I was working on making complex split tones of my monochrome works using color gradients, and it finally dawned on me that the color graduations were throwing 8-bit data against my 16-bit monochrome images---not 16-bit X 16-bit. The concept was great, but thwarted by internal limitations in PS.
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Ronald Chambers

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I believe that diagnostics should be at a scientific standard in all Adobe programs and operating systems.  I also believe that the backbone of all Adobe programs should be 32 bit floating point or higher.  Most of the problems occur because the coder is not familiar with what the tool is used for.  If you work on histograms your should find out how Adobe's clients use histograms.   I'm afraid Adobe management doesn't see what needs to be maintained and not. 
I don't think there are 30k pixel limits in PS if from Adobe but most third  party older plugins are always suspect.  Floating point was a very poor kludge thinking it was for HD type work only and not the whole image business.  
I would say the top management at Adobe is so consumed with how much they make that it is a moot point.
 Enough philosophy.
RONC
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Gentlemen, this post is quickly going down the rabbit hole! One of the requisites of this forum is to keep requests to one specific issue or new feature. Since the disappearing curves issue has been solved that leaves us with the Histogram accuracy. Please use a separate post to discuss these other issues.

Using Ronald Chambers file the histogram looks identical to his screenshot on my system. Pete Myers what are you seeing? Jeffrey Tranberry what are you seeing?

"All of the live bins should be different height but the same intensity."

If you calculate the height as a percentage of the 512x512 area that is mid-gray (117) the 64x64 area is 1.6%. On my system the Histogram is 123 px in height. .016 x 123 px = 1.968 or about 2 px, which is what I see displayed. The 32x32 area is .40% or .004 x 123 px = .49 px (less than 1 px). On my display it shows as one pixel because that as low as it can go and still be visible correct? The 16x16 area is .10% or .001 x 123 px = .123 px. So how do you show these differences using 1 px? Adobe has done this by by lowering the brightness. It makes sense to me and appears to be working properly on my system.


Having said that Pete Myers histogram using Jeffrey Tranberry file shows NO tails, but both my and Jeff's system show the tails. Please scroll up to see for yourself. No need to copy & paste them here! Clearly something is different with Pete's systems when using a non-scientific image file. That is in fact what Pete Myer complained about...poofing histograms aside! Ronald Chambers do you see the tails using Jeff's image file?
(Edited)
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I see some "tails" to either side but I don't know whether I'm seeing what I should. I see different from what Pete is seeing. Again you have to use some image where you know what is supposed to be there.
RONC
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"I see some "tails" to either side but I don't know whether I'm seeing what I should. I see different from what Pete is seeing."

That's the issue. On Pete's system the tails are not visible at all, which obviously isn't correct! Pete can you please download Ronald's test file and show us the histogram?

 https://www.dropbox.com/s/3h02hzeyw2xsara/grayFlat512gray16.tif?dl=0

As per my analysis using your scientific test image file it appears to be correctly showing the relative levels within the constraint of the small histogram palette. If I were to request a change it would be to offer an option to allow the user to resize the histogram palette to make it larger.
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First off, I apologize for going off tangent.  I need an attitude adjustment and hope it is coming soon..

Attached is a display of histograms from Jeff's image the left is from full size and the right from a about 1/3 size version.  Notice the difference in the tails and I can't guarantee there aren't ones still missing.  I think allowing the histogram to be physically larger should help but there needs to be special treatment so that a bin of count 1 is fully visible. 

I'm going to try a couple things with a plugin I have.  Usually the bottom level is only half the interval so rounding up needs to be done.  Artificially add one to non-zero bin could help.  Problem is the maximum bin is setting the criteria.  Non-linear (log) display is often used to show a different view but it will have the same problem with very large images.

 

Width of input to histogram is 3014 vs 1024 and height scaled likewise.  

RONC
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Ron, the tail extension in the resized 1024 width image file is most likely due to Bicubic interpolation ringing artifacts. Lacking any other evidence the histogram is most likely correctly displaying these artifacts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicubic_interpolation#Use_in_computer_graphics
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Pete Myers

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Correction: there were three issues interrelated, and my other post got merged to this one, so I would assume that we will be addressing all three in this thread. One is resolved:

1) The Histogram tails not showing, which for me has been an issue with every version of PS past 2015.5. Note: two different computer systems and OS to go with that, so I doubt it is as simple as an OS problem. However, as Ron has demonstrated, there seem to be hidden setup items in PS that I may have missed post 2015.5. The histogram tails issue is not a new problem for me, but an ongoing conundrum.

Also, you are showing me tails, but those tails need to match the data. I cannot tell from the histograms posted alone if you are showing data from Level 1 at a Count of 10, to Level 246 at a Count of 01 on Jeff's photo. You asked to match data on a known photo, but the histogram is not the whole story---so please include the data.

And is that Windows or Mac OS? Which version and which PS version are you using Todd?

2) The intercept line is missing from the curves function.

3) RESOLVED: the histogram function disappearing on touching the curves function (or any other function).

So let us not forget the intercept line as it too is an important part of the Curves function.

Pete

PS Sorry for the breakout into other issues related, but darn if there isnt a lot left hanging! How many posts do we have to make to have some forward focus on the broad issue of improving the histogram and curves function for use in the 21st Century? And in my thinking, having these other issues come up is directly linked to Adobe not keeping their eyes on the fries. I think that is exactly what Ron was trying to say as well---am I correct Ron? It IS related.
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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1) What's causing the "missing" histogram tails on your systems remains to be determined and what I was trying to focus on. Unfortunately this post ths become very fragmented with numerous posts concerning other issues, suggestions and observations on how to "improve" the histogram.

2) The intercept line issue has been entered in a separate post and acknowledged by Adobe with status of 'In Progress.' 

3) Disappearing histogram SOLVED. Now let's focus on the "missing tails" issue.

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/intersection-line-in-curves-not-working
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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2. Yep. I was able to reproduce the issue with the intersection line not showing, so that's in engineering's hands.

We're down to trying having a file/setup to reproduce the tails issue #1.
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Ronald Chambers

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I'd ask how many Adobe executives can really use Photoshop or other programs.  Most companies are weighted toward sales types and bean counters at the top.   Enough.

RONC
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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You'd be surprised. A lot of executives are hardcore users of our products.
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Pete Myers

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Hi Todd:

I don't participate in the Adobe forums very often. Are you the moderator of this forum or a participant? I am not sure what "champion" is, so forgive my asking.

Pete
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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The Champion title just means Adobe has recognized the individual's contributions and product knowledge and offered ability to communicate directly with Adobe Product Management. We also have the ability to moderate posts and report issues.

I am also an Adobe Community Professional (ACP), which is a separate program that provides the ability to work more closely with Adobe Forum and Engineering staff including prerelease testing.

https://community.adobe.com/t5/user/viewprofilepage/user-id/9983072
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Yep. Todd is a kind helper/moderator and he meets with Rikk and I on a regular basis to discuss issues and the products.
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eartho, Champion

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I'm jealous!
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Pete Myers

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Hi Jeff:

Thanks for your interest there at Adobe. I hope I have provided enough information to understand the two remaining issues---the intercept line and the histogram tails. If I can be of further help, please search for me via Google, and be in touch direct.

Else, signing clear.

Pete Myers
Santa Fe
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Ronald Chambers

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Jeff/Todd,
I would like to share my recommendations on how to make histograms more usable.  If yes, let me know. 
RONC 
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Ronald Chambers

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The next question "is the problem in the conversion or in histogram".  If you take the conversion RGB and take the blend/difference with the desaturated RGB image and then view the output of that with Levels with the right arrow moved left to "2" you will see the difference of the images magnified in amplitude.  If the images are different then the problem is with the conversion from grayscale to ProPhoto.  If they are the exactly the same, the problem is with Histogram and ProPhoto input.  You might have uncovered a bug in the conversion too.

Life isn't easy trying to find what causes what happens.

RONC
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Comparing the difference of the ProPhoto RGB conversion to it after Desaturate there appears to be numerous pixels at  level 1 that are different. So it appears the Convert to Profile operation is adding artifacts.
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Ronald Chambers

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If the desaturated version into the histogram looks OK then you and Jeff need to pass the conversion problem on to the coders to fix and you eliminated one problem for the histogram coders.
I'm not going to think about the ProPhoto stuff anymore.
I'll try to to get a post up on recommendations for the histogram soon. Have a health problem first though.
RONC
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Ronald Chambers

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Jeff,
How did you make that image have such a nice shaped histogram? I know of no way to modify the distribution of the amplitudes in PS other than Curves and Levels. I have a histogram shaper that I use sometimes but I'm surprised by the quality of the end tapering.
Regards,
RONC
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Ronald Chambers

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Todd,
I did the same test on my grayscale to sRGB image and it has small differences between the output and the desaturated version.  The conversion tool is buggy.  The errors are mostly in the green channel.
RONC
(Edited)
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Pete, in order to investigate the remaining open issue concerning missing histogram tails can you please provide information for the two system models you are using including OS version, GPU model, and display model, including actual resolution settings if different than the display's native resolution, and OS scaling setting if other than 100%. Since the missing histogram tails are only 1 pixel in size I suspect display path interpolation may be the cause for their disappearance.
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Ronald Chambers

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Jeff/Todd,

Another oddity as I looked at the very first displays that Pete presented.  The computation of the Histogram is different as the Std Dev is not the same.  I'm assuming the same file was used as input.  Then in the display, the number of pixels in a bin scaling of the Histogram is different not only on the tails but across the entire function.  This is why the tails fall off the bottom.  Seems that the computation of the display was also changed and not handled correctly.

This is the PS2015vs2019 image compare:


The peak to trough distance is very significantly different.  I don't have either version installed to run a synthetic file test so someone in Adobe must do that for making corrections to PS2020.

RONC
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Ron, Pete did mention this in the original post above. "You will also notice that the Mean and Standard Deviation values differ."


He also states, "Further, it use to be nice to be able to take the cursor and scan across the histogram with a display of level and count showing up for whatever was under he cursor. This seems to have gone away in 2015.5, and is even worse in 19.1.0.


It's clear something was changed that's causing it.
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Ronald Chambers

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I meant to add more on how the tools should be tested.  There should be a suite of images that are tested for before/after of a modified tool.  These should include a number of synthetic images where the answer is known much like the one I supplied but probably with more blobs.  I have since modified it to include zero and maximum values. Then the decision whether the tool is good is up to a group of "Devil's Advocates" who are not coders but very experienced users and they have final say if the tool becomes part of Photoshop.  They would not only validate the tool but its interaction with other tools in PS.  They might have more and different synthetics to use to evaluate the tool.  They can not be overridden by the coder admins.  They answer to a GM or higher.
They are an additional cost but they would have caught what we are seeing when it happened.  It also would have found so many of the problems that have occured in PS, LR, and ACR of the last while.  The coders have to have deadlines not for release of the product but for the evaluation process.
A major point it these tools must e tested against knowns not just whatever the coder has on hand for fixing a problem.  Many of the knowns would be developed by the Advocates and shared with the coding staff.  They must be documented for either coder or Advocate to use to evaluate tools and other things.  Tools should have a history of maintenance including what evaluations were performed, by who, and when.

With push to release code, the coder can't win unless they have their tools and advice from the advocates.

The money lost by Adobe clients because PS, LR..... is never mentioned but it really hurts many of your smaller ones.

Sorry for the lecture but I don't perceive Adobe as a standard in quality that it once was.  You might pass this further up and I'm willing to discuss as there many companies that do things as I stated.  They probably have a different name for the Advocates.  I think "Client Advocates" is a good title and should appear in all stages of the development, sales, and use of a product.

"Deadlines are the biggest enemy of quality."

RONC
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Ronald Chambers

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I'm not blaming everything on the coder.  Often the task is ill defined in the first place.  That part of the whole process needs to have it's methods reviewed to see that they don't cause problems.  That has to be on going just as the Advocates.
There is one thing I have found that some coders do is that they rewrite from scratch rather than debug of even understand previous code.  This makes it very possible to introduce differences especially if the functionality is not well documented.  Something like the histogram could well have suffered from this.
In the end it is up to management at all levels to realize that there need to be checks at all levels to ensure this type of problem doesn't get into production.  How many things like this are lurking where they are not directly visible?

RONC