Tone mapping operators (TMOs), employed to fit the dynamic range of High Dynamic Range (HDR) visual signals to that of the display, are generally non-transparent and modify the visual appearance of the scene. Despite this, tone mapped content generally tends to have more visual details as compared to a single exposure scene. It is however not clear if the extra details in tone mapped HDR affect user preferences over a single exposure content in terms of scene appearance and to what extent. This paper aims to shed light on this issue via a comprehensive subjective study. Our results reveal that there is no statistical evidence to establish if the users preferred tone mapped content over the single exposure version as closer representation of the corresponding HDR scene. We present those results as well as outline the possible factors contributing to this somewhat unexpected finding. © 2014 EURASIP.