I see constantly people referring to how low the DR is what ends up to appear on paper or on screen. I don't doubt that. But the conclusion, each camera with more than 6-8 f-stops DR is unnecessary luxury - sorry, this is nearly painful to read, such a misleading conclusion.
Apparently tonemapping is something you know only by rumors? I will add some pictures lateron, as normal and as tonemapped just by using highlight and shadow-recovery. Compressing 12 f-stops to 6 makes absolutely sense - HDR photographers using 3 or 4 shots for the same result very often end up with plasticky looking weird pictures whereas a well exposed frame with enough DR still appears natural. Therefore I welcome each sensor with at least 12 f-stops, better more. I don't need this regularly, but if I do, it's very often better than multi-exposure HDR.
I think there is a slight misunderstanding here.
The Zone System IS about tone mapping, both the entire negative and print, in combination with burning and dodging. Just a different approach and/or technology.
What I was trying to say here is that we could do that back in the analog days with a DR of at most 10 stops, and what I see is people fighting over 12.8 vs 13.5 etc. In the mean time the viewing media don't have a similar DR.
Personally I hate HDR which is overdone, like the stuff that was in vogue a few years ago. If necessary, even in the analog days I occasionally combined multiple exposures for a correct tonescale, but normally I would do that by exposing film with a specific result in mind, and developing the negative accordingly.
For my own images, i.e., the stuff I do not do for snapshots only, I still treat the same way, and if anything, digital makes it easier because of the already much larger DR.
However, for optimal prints, and even images to be viewed on screen, you need to limit the DR for optimal results, whether it is called the Zone System or tone mapping - there is no way around it.
This does however mean that one way or another, you compress, in most cases anyway, the tonal scale. In most cases, because sometimes you need to do the opposite.
BTW, no need to pick the tone you just did with me, that is totally unwarranted, and offensive.
You have absolutely no idea what I do or don't do, and neither do you have any idea of what I know or not. And no, I will not get into an argument about it either.