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Subject: ""Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?" Previous topic | Next topic
Erika Jordaan Registered since 19th Dec 2009Fri 12-Mar-10 08:12 AM
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""Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?"


Montagu, ZA
          

I was asked to take photo's of an Easter production by our church. I expect rather low light. How low can I safely take the ISO before the images become grainy?

I would appreciate your advice.

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?
aolander Silver Member
12th Mar 2010
1
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bigfeet
02nd Apr 2010
7
Reply message RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?
MEMcD Moderator
12th Mar 2010
2
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snapsh0t
13th Mar 2010
3
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blw Moderator
13th Mar 2010
4
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Erika Jordaan
14th Mar 2010
5
     Reply message RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?
blw Moderator
14th Mar 2010
6
Reply message "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000? Feedback
Erika Jordaan
04th Apr 2010
8
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micaelak
23rd Apr 2010
9
Reply message RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000? Feedback
MEMcD Moderator
23rd Apr 2010
10

aolander Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006Fri 12-Mar-10 12:49 PM
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#1. "RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?"
In response to Reply # 0


Nevis, US
          

"How low can I safely take the ISO before the images become grainy?"

Do you mean how "high" of an ISO can you use before noise is a problem?

I can't be specific, but the D5000 has the same sensor as the D90 which has very good high ISO noise performance. The D5000 should, too. Shooting RAW and using noise reduction in post processing would give you the best results.

Alan

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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bigfeet Registered since 02nd Apr 2010Fri 02-Apr-10 10:23 PM
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#7. "RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

I shoot productions such as that with a D5000 and 18-105 MM zoom. I have found 1600 to be the sweet spot with about 1/60 sec and 5.6 on the zoom. (sometimes 1/30 but almost always 1/20 is too slow.)

That makes the zoom wide open but its still sharp and contrasty enough to make pro looking shots.

That lets me hand hold and forget about the nutty tripod.

3200 is attractive and I have shot it, but to me noise is not so much an issue as just the look it gives. I like the creamy look at 1600 and 3200 seems a little harsh. Playing with the default contrast settings might help that but I just haven't. If I could get the wonderful creamy look of 1600 at 3200 i would sure use it but the highlights always seem to blow and you have highlights out the wazoo in a play.

I would suggest you switch over to point focus and point exposure. Its called spotlight mode in the video world and makes for more reliable exposures. The dark background in most productions will throw off matrix.

I also bracket, but thats tricky cause sometimes 2/3 works better and sometimes 1/2 is better. but its a pain to switch between those two different sets so I stick to 2/3 most of the time.

Have fun and shoot a ton. practice in this area is the only way you are gonna get it right.

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Fri 12-Mar-10 04:52 PM
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#2. "RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Erika,

Everyone has their own threashold for allowable noise before it becomes objectionable. A big part of the criteria depends on what and how you will be using the images.
A few things to consider when choosing the ISO:
1. Keep the ISO as low as possible for the given ambient conditions.
2. If the ambient light level is very low and you are shooting static subjects you can use a tripod and a long exposure and shoot at ISO 200 and capture an image with minimal noise.
3. If the ambient light level is low and you are shooting sports, you must use a fast shutter speed in order to freeze the movement of your subject(s). In order to achieve a fast shutter speed, you will have to shoot with the Aperture wide open and turn up the ISO as high as required to get a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the action. The higher the ISO the more noise you will have. Then deal with the noise in PP the best you can.
4. The best way to keep noise at the lowest level possible is to nail the exposure.
5. In very low ambient lighting conditions your choice may be turn up the ISO and deal with the noise or keep the camera in the bag and not shoot. In most cases it is better to have a noisy image than none at all.
That said the D5000 should be able to provide very good IQ at ISO 1600 and be decent at ISO 2500 to 3200 or so.

The alternative is to use flash.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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snapsh0t Registered since 30th Aug 2009Sat 13-Mar-10 06:33 AM
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#3. "RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?"
In response to Reply # 0


GB
          

The photo below was taken on board the SS Great Britain last weeek - ISO1600, f5.6, 1/13" using a D5000 and Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4. It's a quick hack from the JPG and I've just fiddled with shadows & highlights a little, resized then added a bit of unsharp mask. I probably should have adjusted the exposure a little too....
I've left the resolution and file size a bit larger than usual. I think ISO1600 looks safe to use.

Jonathan

http://www.hurwitt.co.uk/misc/SS%20GB%20mirror.jpg

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 13-Mar-10 08:43 AM
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#4. "RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

Noise depends on more than just the ISO. Exposure quality plays a pretty big role too - underexposure makes noise a lot more visible, even at relatively low ISOs, and it becomes much more problematic at high ISOs.

Additionally, noise reduction, whether done in-camera or especially in post processing, can make an enormous difference. Again, skill makes a considerable difference here. It is entirely possible to have a good to excellent result in situations where the typical result would be very noisy.

Finally, noise tolerance is also a matter of usage and output size. If you're shrinking your images to put on the web, noise is a lot less of a problem than if you're making 24x36" prints.

Because of the variables, I'd encourage you to do some experimentation and practice in the time between now and Easter. That way you can get a better understanding of what your camera is capable of producing, along with some idea of what it takes to deal with whatever noise you do get.

In general the D5000 is pretty good up to ISO 1600 unassisted, and higher than that depends on your taste, your exposure skills and your post processing skills. And if it works, I'd definitely advise considering flash.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Erika Jordaan Registered since 19th Dec 2009Sun 14-Mar-10 11:45 AM
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#5. "RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?"
In response to Reply # 4


Montagu, ZA
          

Thank you all for your valued input.

Alan, thank you for correcting me - English is my second language. You are right in assuming I meant high ISO for low light...

I appreciate your thoughts and what you all say makes very much sense to me.

Would in camera or PP using Capture NX2 be more effective for noise reduction?
I will try to experiment before the time - I have had very little experience with low light shooting. The dress rehearsal is on Tuesday which should give me freedom to experiment in terms of positioning myself, as well as with regards to camera settings. After that there will be 3 performances.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 14-Mar-10 02:19 PM
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#6. "RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000?"
In response to Reply # 5


Richmond, US
          

> Would in camera or PP using Capture NX2 be more effective for noise reduction?

As usual, the answer is "it depends." If you're not running into too much noise, doing it in-camera is easy and effective. If you end up having to push the envelope, you'll find that shooting raw and then doing it carefully in post processing will be significantly more effective.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Erika Jordaan Registered since 19th Dec 2009Sun 04-Apr-10 09:00 AM
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#8. ""Safe" low ISO advice on D5000? Feedback"
In response to Reply # 0


Montagu, ZA
          

I had so much fun taking the photo's! I learned so much. Thank you all for helping me prepare for the occasion.

I really liked the lighting that was used which actually made my task so much easier, as the unimportant details were mostly hid by darkness with the actors properly lit, making the use of a flash unnecessary.

Most of my favourites were taken with the 70-300mm lens singling out details and facial expressions, but I also used the 18-55mm lens for larger scenes which tell a story.

I have always been hesitant of raising the ISO but learned that in this situation I could safely use ISO 1250 most of the time. I found that ISO 3200 and higher produced less than satisfactory results, although I used it for one scene which was very dimly lit.

I attach some photo's

Focal length 300mm; ISO 1250; F5.6; 1/125s


Focal length 210mm; ISO 1250; F5.3; 1/125s


Focal length 22mm; ISO 1250; F5.6; 1/15s


http://www.fotos.montagu.za.net/documents/by_petrus_se_huis_en_ontmoet_jesus.html

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)

  

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micaelak Registered since 08th Aug 2009Fri 23-Apr-10 04:27 AM
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#9. "RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000? Feedback"
In response to Reply # 8


Ravenna, US
          

These photos turned out very nice GREAT job

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Fri 23-Apr-10 06:04 AM
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#10. "RE: "Safe" low ISO advice on D5000? Feedback"
In response to Reply # 8


US
          

Hi Erika,

Nice work!
Thanks for sharing.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D5300/D5200/D5100/D5000/D3300/D3200/D3100/D3000 (Public) topic #1436 Previous topic | Next topic


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