Guillermo, interesting point focusing on shadows that need some heavy processing. I must say though that I have problems to perceive the differences in the crops you show.
Another experiment, I am not sure what point will support, it demonstrates that there's difference but I am not sure if that difference is perceivable. Anyway this case it is a single
, very ordinary
From this image:
Loaded two copies of that same image one in 8 and the other at 16 bit mode. I applied Unsharp mask 300 / 0.3 / 4 to both.
Overlapped one on top of the other as a layer and put the layer mode to difference. Everything black.
But on top I've placed a Levels layer and moved the white point to the left, almost to the location of black. The result:
This shows that there's significant information different between both images, you can recognize an image there!.
As I said I am not sure if it's perceivable at least consciously but I wonder if it might affect perhaps the outcome of a print?