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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Fri 09-Mar-12 02:58 AM
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"I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
Fri 09-Mar-12 08:08 PM by Vlad_IT

US
          

Good evening all,

This is something that I wanted to discuss for some time as, I think, Iím wrong in my understanding of the process or Iím wrong with execution of the process ( I mean my taking picture techniques). There are some nice threads about how marvelous D7000 is at low light, etc. But Iím not getting there! With my camera and my photo techniques I do not fell comfortable of using ISO 1600 and higher on D7000.

All my images with higher ISO, besides having a lot of noise have low sharpness (crispness? Not sure on proper terminology here).

I was reading another post about noise comparison of D300 and D7000. And I decided to do this test for discussion. All linked images are handheld Ė that might be part of my problem, but with increasing ISO, the shutter speed is faster, and the images supposed to become more crisp looking, right? But in reality, higher ISO increases noise and that is reducing the sharpness/crispiness to the point where I think the images are just not usable. On top of that out of camera ďsoftnessĒ on higher ISO, removing noise in PP introduces additional softness. So itís like catch 22, at least for me.

Edit: ***********

I agree with all replies and i think the exsamples used have a lot of motion blur and not sutable for this kind of test.

I will stage a new test tomorrow.

Thanks in advance,
Vlad

  

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DeanAZ Moderator Expert nature photographer Nikonian since 28th Apr 2007Fri 09-Mar-12 04:30 AM
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#1. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 0


Phoenix, US
          

I have several comments,

More light will show less noise.

Your shutter speeds are too slow even with VR to correctly diagnose where the ISO settings are causing soft images. I think blur is your biggest enemy in this series of your very patient model who was cheerful until the end.

You have chosen an aperture/focal length combination for your lens that is quite soft under the best conditions over much of the frame. F8 would be a better choice for the tests if you were on a tripod. See slrgear for an interactive test chart for your lens. http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1281/cat/13

I think high ISO is a tool to allow for faster shutter speeds so you can get a shot that would not be possible otherwise and your expectations may be too high.

I have found that I am not pleased with images from ISO 1600 and up in general. I determined this shooting volleyball in a gym by trial and error. I needed the faster shutter speeds to stop the action.

Noise is more apparent when you zoom in at 100% but does not reflect real world uses of images for the most part. I'll include a 100% crop and a resized image that I think is quite useable from 1250 ISO (1/1250s F/2 35mm)





Dean
Phoenix, Arizona USA
Nikonians Team Member
Website: The Splendid Silence of Light

Recent Trips: Grand Canyon 2012 Glen Canyon 2012 West Clear Creek

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

  

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Elrique64a Gold Member Nikonian since 19th Feb 2012Fri 09-Mar-12 05:37 AM
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#2. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 09-Mar-12 05:41 AM by Elrique64a

Lake Stevens, US
          

I'm going to build on a few things Dean was working on. The first shot you took was in manual mode with 1/125s, f5.6 @400 ISO. The flash was set to ttl metering. This means the flash put out enough light to give a correct exposure for the settings you had in the camera. (Not an altogether SHARP image, but not really blurry, either.)Try the same setup only use f8-f11 and see if you can get the nice highlights in her eyes in focus. (They appear rather soft to me.)

Your second image was taken in AP mode at 1/3s, f5.6, @400 ISO. Again, not a really SHARP image, IMO. The thing that has me concerned with this one the most is you're using VR and even though your handholding technique in landscape is probably better than in portrait, even with VR when you get to that slow of a shutter speed, you're inviting camera shake, subject motion and maybe more variables to enter into the sharpness equations. Try this again at with your flash in ttl and th camera in Aperture Priority with f8-f11, @400 ISO and I'll bet the camera defaults to 1/30s or 1/60s, depending on the menu e2 settings on your camera.

I'm going to make the same recommendations for the third and subsequent shots as well.

VR doesn't ADD light to the exposure triangle. All of your shots except the first and last are taken at shutter speeds that many can't hold steady enough for sharp photos. (I know I wouldn't TRY to hand hold any slower than 1/30s and most at that speed are worthless when I try.) Knowing where the "sweet spot" for your lens is the start of shooting sharp photos in great light. F5.6 with this lens is still out of the sweet spot at that focal length. F8 is where mine starts to tghten up and start to become usable for sharpness and clarity, and I actually get better results at f11 in many instances, assuming I have the light for it.

You have a ttl flash so setting the flash up and using it at a higher ISO will increase the effective light to your sensor without blinding your subjects in a darkened bar or dance hall. Get a flash diffuser like the Gary Fong Lightsphere and you'll get less of the "deer-in-the-headlights" look or the flatish looking lighting that a direct flash so often gives.

If you want to get more of the lighting of the bar or dance hall, use slow sync flash, still on ttl, still Aperture Priority, still f8-f11. Then the shutter stays open for the light in the scene, but the flash fires to freeze the action. Try combining that with rear curtain and see how people dancing changes from one frame to the next. Be aware, though, really dark venues are going to still lead to LONG shutter speeds. In some cases in the 2-3 second range or longer. The effect is kinda neat, but not something you want to do every day.

Btw, the 800 ISO image above looks like it is camera shake affecting image quality or sharpness. The 1600 ISO image looks sharper in her eyes, hair, lips and the mole on her neck, but you are starting to get noise in the shadows. 3200 and 6400 ISO images are too noisy IMO to even mess with.

Hth

Mike G.

  

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Fabien65 Registered since 19th Jan 2012Fri 09-Mar-12 12:40 PM
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#3. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 2


FR
          

Hi Vlad,
Thank you for sharing your test.
Iím not enough qualified to give you any advice, but If I had to do the same test, I would try to decrease the number of parameters and remove one which can lure the outcome: the motion.
Maybe you can use a tripod, keep the same aperture, without speed light, and just play with shutter speed and iso?
I see in your equipmentís list that youíve got the 35mm 1.8: this lens is very sharp, so I think itís a very good tool to make such a test.
Hope it can help you
Cheers, Fabien.

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Fri 09-Mar-12 02:41 PM
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#4. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 09-Mar-12 08:14 PM by Vlad_IT

US
          

Dean, Mike, Fabien:

Thank you very much for your feedback.

Just to clarify: ALL my images are taken in RAW and I use LightSphere 100% with external flash. Conversion in jpeg is done via export comand in LR3.6.

As I mentioned in OP Iím not sure about the reasons, but I definitely donít like the results. It seems like all of you suggesting that lack of sharpness is due to motion blur in a first place, after that is limitation of the lens and ISO settings is very last link in the chain.
As I mentioned I wasnít sure and I accept that you might be 100% right.

This morning I went through all my images I took with D7000 since I bought it in September of 2011. I used LR metadata sorting capability and picked the best samples I think will reflect all your suggestions. And I think you are right in general.

Image below is Manual mode, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/100, TTL with LightSphere, 18-200 VR. I had to reduce noise in PP. As I mentioned before, this is the highest ISO setting as I feel comfortable to go up.




Surprise, Surprise!

The image below is after PP (reducing noise in LR) and itís quite a crop (I would say itís 50 % of original image). I like it for ISO6400 !!!! Maybe with a better lens it would be sharper. I will try to recreate such conditions with my Tamron 90 and with my Nikon 35 f/1.8 and see what will happen. As of now, this particular example is rather an exception than a rule in my collection.

Manual mode, Auto ISO which was bumped by camera to ISO 6400, f/8, 1/250, 18-200 VR, buin-in flash in TTL-BL and Center-Weighted Metering. BTW, I never use auto ISO with flash, this one was done by accident.




This one is in Manual mode, Auto ISO @ ISO 4000, f/8, 1/250, 18-200 VR, no flash. It is soft. Usable? Yes, but only as a family memories.



And the last one is what I typically have to use when flash is not allowed. ISO 2000, 35mm f/1.8 lens @ f/2.8 , 1/640, +1 EC. No PP. Again, itís only good as family memories. Pretty close to what I get from ISO 1600.



So the last image is pretty much summarizes why I do not like using anything over ISO 800.
Any feedback on my second set of images is appreciated. I saw good pictures from D7000 at ISO 1600, but those are not mine


Best regards,
Vlad

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Fri 09-Mar-12 04:12 PM
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#5. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 0


St Petersburg, RU
          

The images are not as bad as you might think considering the lens, under exposure, exposure bias of -1 and probably using matrix metering. When the frame is dominated by white or bright tone, to get white as white you need to bump up exposure or else mid tone which is also high tone for these portraits will be assumed to be middle grey.

Underexposure will make noise more of a problem.
Regardless of VR, 1/3 second or even 1/30 second is too slow for non-tripod, live subjects. Even with flash unless really stopped down do ambient does not contribute to exposure.
Try you 35mm or macro lens, spot meter on her face and move the shutter up to 1/80 or faster. For Dx the rule of thumb is 1/(1.5*FL) but for the D7000, I try to maintain 1/(2*FL)
For JPG's you can set a PC for portraits or action in the scenes you normally encounter to boost acceptable sharpening and contrast.
Low light generally requires post processing and for any leeway, it really needs to be in RAW format.
I downloaded one of the photos, increased exposure, boosted local contrast, selectively applied edge contrast reduction and boosted sharpening to eyes and lips on the 3200 ISO JPG and it was quite acceptable. It would have been even better if exposed higher, and at a higher shutter speed which could have been done with the 35 1.8. At that FL, the 35 even wide open has more resolving power than the 18-200 stopped down. I would have tried to use f/2-2.8 for that shot to get the shutter speed higher.

Since the image responded well to sharpening I suspect your PC you used did not have the internal sharpening very high. Try setting a customer PC based on Portrait or Neutral with Sharpening set to +6 or maybe even +7
After that, you will probably start liking your 35mm a lot more than the 18-200. The 18-200 is actually decent at 90-100mm for portraits, but not so good wide or long. Over 130 or so it can be disappointing for portraits. If you like head shots or head and shoulder, the new 85 1.8G is going to be a really good portrait lenses at a moderate price.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Fri 09-Mar-12 04:27 PM
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#6. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 5
Fri 09-Mar-12 04:28 PM by Vlad_IT

US
          

At that FL, the 35 even wide open
>has more resolving power than the 18-200 stopped down. I would
>have tried to use f/2-2.8 for that shot to get the shutter
>speed higher.
>
>Since the image responded well to sharpening I suspect your PC
>you used did not have the internal sharpening very high. Try
>setting a customer PC based on Portrait or Neutral with
>Sharpening set to +6 or maybe even +7
>After that, you will probably start liking your 35mm a lot
>more than the 18-200.


Stan,

thank you very much. I will try all suggested this weekend. as per your suggestion with Picture controls - i do shoot in RAW only, so in-camera PC settings have no effect. I will try to play with LR and see where it will bring me to...

Thanks again.
Vlad

  

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mjhach Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Dec 2010Sat 19-May-12 04:02 PM
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#48. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 5


Simcoe, CA
          

Hey, Stan.

You commented once before on te 18-200mm VRI as well as the Terminator and both of you suggested another lens choice would give better resolution (contrary to what Ken R.'s opinion is). I'm really thinking of the 24-70mm f2.8, but since my budget doesn't allow the Nikkor versionn, I'm seriously thinking of the Tamron with VC that is new on the market now with the Nikon mount for my D7000. WHat's your opinions? It's listing at $1200 and I can still trade my 18-200 for $350-$400. I have a Sigma 10-20mm DX f/3.5-5.6 so I will miss a bit of FL between the 20mm and the 35mm equivalent of the 24-70mm at 35mm but I notice that most of my shots with the 18-200 are in the same range as the 24-70mm, namely 35-105mm, plus the f2.8 gives me more than 2 stops more light at the upper end whereas the 18-200mm is only 5.6. I guess the AF will perform more accurately/faster with this advantage too??

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Sun 20-May-12 05:01 AM
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#49. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 48
Sun 20-May-12 05:35 AM by Vlad_IT

US
          

It's listing
>at $1200 and I can still trade my 18-200 for $350-$400. I
>have a Sigma 10-20mm DX f/3.5-5.6 so I will miss a bit of FL
>between the 20mm and the 35mm equivalent of the 24-70mm at
>35mm but I notice that most of my shots with the 18-200 are in
>the same range as the 24-70mm, namely 35-105mm, plus the f2.8


Michael,

Iím sure someone more experienced will answer better, but I see no one is available to answer at the moment, so Iíll try.

1). I know it's very confusing with 1.5x magnification on DX, and from the beginning, I could not understand what is going on myself, but here it goes as I understand it:
Any lens (DX or FX) mounted on FX body will cover the same angle of view. So 24mm DX lens will cover the same angle of view as 24mm FX lens. Both lenses mounted on DX body will cover different angle of view, but it will be the same for both DX and FX lenses. 24mm lens on DX body will cover approximately the same angle of view as 35mm lens mounted on FX body. And this is where confusing 1.5x magnification parameter came into play. So it make no difference if you use DX or FX lens on DX body Ė it lens shows letís say 50mm FL Ė you get the same angle of view/magnification from wither lens. FX lens has bigger diameter glass for the same FL as its DX equivalent, as DX equivalent designed only to be used on DX body and needs to cover sensor of smaller size. DX lenses can be used on FX body as well but it will vignette on all sides of the image, as they not designed to cover bigger FX sensor. Newer TX bodies can detect DX lens is connected, and use only center part of the whole sensor to record images.
Long story short - if you'll use 24-70 lens on DX body it will, you will have gap in coverage only 4 mm (between 20 and 24) and not from 20 till 35 as you thought.

2). Nikon 24-70 is the best lens in its class, but it's heavy and expencive and no VR. Here are my 2 cents on 24-70 "class"
It depends on what is more important for me (you). For me Nikon 24-70mm means ďweddingĒ (even on DX body, as no ďclassicĒ portraits should be taken at wider than 24mm FL ), it means ďevent photographyĒ, it means ďtheater performancesĒ, ďMusic concertsĒ etc., there zoom is required and some sort of minimum shutter speed is required becose of non-static object. If those things are not important, than maybe look into 24-120 f/4 VR. As far as I understand, itís the second best zoom in range that covers 24-70 and it has VR . If you can compensate one stop loss by using VR, that you are losing nothing but gaining VR that is very helpful for stationary object or when camera is not sturdy, you getting very useful ďall-aroundĒ 24-120 mm range, that still be Normal zoom if you will switch to FX body and another big plus itís less weight to carry around and itís still be an awesome lens. Lens investment should be for quite a long time. Iím just speculating, but taking into consideration how much progress electronic photo equipment made in the last 8-10 years I would say in 5 year, when high ISO images become even better Ė having VR will be more desirable that one stop faster glass.

3). Not to much statistics available for Tamron 24-70 VC. I was looking into it myself, but decides to get another lens (plz see below) as soon as I'll "upgrade" to Gitzo. I did not even see 24-70, but I read it has the same Vc system as Tamronís other three lenses, so basically itís first generation for Tamron. Many people saying that itís very good system and sometimes much better that Nikonís VRII. But until you try how it works you wonít know it youíll get used to it or not. I do not like how VC implemented on my 17-50VC. Image jumps like crazy for a second before stabilizes. Nikon VR is much smoother and quicker to stabilize the image. But the worst part image is jumping like crazy before shutter is released and right after as well. Itís documented in Userís Manual as ďnormalĒ behavior!!! For a single frame itís acceptable, It affects continues shooting: subsequent images in a burst are not as sharp as first one.
So I keep VC off most of the time and turn it on only when I must it to have and only for single shot at the time. It is possible that such VC ďbehaviorĒ occurs only on newer cameras (or on some cameras). It is possible that on 24-70 VC improved VC is implemented. But as I mentioned before there are not much statistics collected yet for that new lens.
Iím on a budget myself, but Iím more and more leaning toward the road when Iíll save longer to get Nikon gear which will be longer compatible with future Nikon bodies.

Iím actually extremely happy with my 18-200, even though 5 months ago it was for sale due to my frustration with low quality images. The more I know about photography Ė the more I able to analyze cause of my problems/mistakes. 18-200 is sharp at f/11 and f/16. I need to plan around this knowledge. I recently got 70-300 and thatís only reason I might sell 18-200 in favor of 24-120mm

Best regards,
Vlad

  

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jiano Registered since 13th Aug 2009Sat 10-Mar-12 01:37 AM
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#7. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Agree that the original images suffered from motion blur. But anyway, from your comments, maybe your expectations are a bit unrealistic? Especially with portraits and skin tones, the best results come with low iso. Or with higher iso, expect heavy post processing to overcome the noise.

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Sat 10-Mar-12 03:40 AM
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#8. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 7
Sat 10-Mar-12 05:10 AM by Vlad_IT

US
          

I read tones of posts on high ISO subject in past 24 hours. Here are few more images:

This image was taken the way Stan suggested:
35mm 1.8g @ f/2.5 and 1/125 in Manual mode. ISO 5000. I had to do a lot of PP in LR to make it "decent". And it's a crop about 70% of original. So I can agree that for a family collection ISO 3200 and a bit higher can be used. But I cannot imagine Pros using ISO 6400 though...




and this one is on extreme side: ISO 10,000, F/9, 1/320. It required a lot of PP and you'll be the judges about IQÖ



Best regards,
Vlad

  

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Fabien65 Registered since 19th Jan 2012Sat 10-Mar-12 06:26 AM
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#9. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 8


FR
          

>I read tones of posts on high ISO subject in past 24 hours.
>Here are few more images:
>
>This image was taken the way Stan suggested:
>35mm 1.8g @ f/2.5 and 1/125 in Manual mode. ISO 5000. I had to
>do a lot of PP in LR to make it "decent". And it's a
>crop about 70% of original. So I can agree that for a family
>collection ISO 3200 and a bit higher can be used. But I cannot
>imagine Pros using ISO 6400 though...
>

Vlad,
Even using the good settings, I don't find the picture as sharp as it should be..Are the light conditions so dark? Because I canít imagine a judo competition in so bad conditions..
to make a comparison, did you try one of the scene automatic mode? ( you may have a bad parameter recorded somewhere..)

Last question: are you satisfied with the results outside, with the sun light?
Fabien.

  

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Elrique64a Gold Member Nikonian since 19th Feb 2012Sat 10-Mar-12 02:22 PM
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#10. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 9
Sat 10-Mar-12 02:25 PM by Elrique64a

Lake Stevens, US
          

I guess my expectations and requirements are very different than yours.

For starters, I try to always shoot at the lowest ISO possible. I almost never use the auto ISO function of the camera, because I like having the control I lose otherwise. I try to shoot the fastest I can within the sharpest aperture of the lens I'm using.

I KNOW my technique is such I won't be successfully handholding 1/30s so I seldom try it. If I'm shooting action I get permission to use a flash, either on or off camera and plan accordingly. Also shooting action (like stock car races.) I usually shoot with a tripod or monopod, even when I have GOOD light.

Shooting stock car races is about the only time I've ever used auto ISO and while it seemed to work OK, I still didn't have the control I am used to. Of course the lighting was changing so fast I would have been hard pressed to make the changes the camera was making for me.

If the situation is such you need to raise the ISO to higher levels (>800) you should also try shooting with a monopod as a bare minimum of support. A speedlight fired at higher ISO has less of an impact on competitions than one fired at a lower ISO. The judo and karate competitions I've shot haven't restricted flashes, and many parents use their point and shoots with flashes as well. I would speak to the event coordinator and see if you could run a test of your flash during the warmups to see if it would distract the competitors.

So, fast shutter, flash, keep the ISO as low as you can and use a monopod. Shoot within the lens's sweet spot. (Generally f8-f11 for that lens.) Try Fabien's idea of shooting some things during higher lighting situations and lower ISO. Do you have the same issues with IQ? (Image quality.) Grab the young lady you used for a model for the first set and head to the park, zoo or farm in your area and take some test shots of her. Remember to use your flash for fill, too. And bring your monopod.

Hth

Mike G.

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Sat 10-Mar-12 03:51 PM
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#12. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 10
Sun 11-Mar-12 11:54 AM by Vlad_IT

US
          

Mike,
I was working on reply to Fabien, and I did not see youhere is some points relayted to our discussion with you.r post. I think I pretty much describe everything in my summary, btu
>I guess my expectations and requirements are very different
>than yours.
--- I just donít know what to expect. Itís all the rage about how awesome D7000 in low light Ė and Iím not getting there

I almost never use the auto ISO function of the
>camera, because I like having the control I lose otherwise. I
>try to shoot the fastest I can within the sharpest aperture of
>the lens I'm using.
--- I agree with you. Most of the competition images in this post were taken on 10/22/2011 Ė exactly one month into my ownership of my first dSLR (D7000). I did take some large number of images that day (300-400) to test the camera in all possible modes. I kept only 158 family keepers out of whole bunch Ė the rest is gone forever. Auto ISO was chosen for some number of my images because I was trying to accommodate very difficult lighting conditions on three tatami: one is next to me and I used flash, one is in the middle of the gym and Masterís tatami next to the wall without any lighting. I was trying to keep minimal acceptable aperture and minimum shutter speed of 1/500 to freeze the motion. Thatís why I tried auto ISO that day. And I learned a lot from analyzing images from that day.
BTW, I remember I used a new trick that day Ė I assigned ďFnĒ button to turn flash off (I did not owned SB700 then, so I used built-in flash). I used Continues High drive mode for taking high action pictures by keeping Fn pressed with speedlight raised and by releasing Fn I instantly had single frame with flash for close ups. But thatís the only time I remember I was using auto ISO with manual settings for aperture and shutter.

>I KNOW my technique is such I won't be successfully
>handholding 1/30s so I seldom try it. If I'm shooting action
>I get permission to use a flash, either on or off camera and
>plan accordingly. Also shooting action (like stock car
>races.) I usually shoot with a tripod or monopod, even when I
>have GOOD light.
--- I agree with you. I still have tendency to use slower shatter speed, than I should of. I think it comes from my 35mm days, when I was able to use 1/30 on 50mm prime with great success. But now Iím in digital days with 100% magnification on monitor and FOLSE sense of safety of using VR all the time. I need to work on choosing correct higher shutter speed for my shots.

>Shooting stock car races is about the only time I've ever used
>auto ISO and while it seemed to work OK, I still didn't have
>the control I am used to. Of course the lighting was changing
>so fast I would have been hard pressed to make the changes the
>camera was making for me.
---- This I addressed above and I understand it the same way as you describe.

>
The judo and karate competitions I've shot haven't
>restricted flashes, and many parents use their point and
>shoots with flashes as well. I would speak to the event
>coordinator and see if you could run a test of your flash
>during the warmups to see if it would distract the
>competitors.
--- at the competition there were no restriction. On the regular, everyday training sessions, they not allow to use flash, so from time to time I bring D7000 with 35mm just to take pictures of my daughterís progress.
>
>So, fast shutter, flash, keep the ISO as low as you can and
>use a monopod. Shoot within the lens's sweet spot.
>(Generally f8-f11 for that lens.) Try Fabien's idea of
>shooting some things during higher lighting situations and
>lower ISO. Do you have the same issues with IQ? (Image
>quality.) Grab the young lady you used for a model for the
>first set and head to the park, zoo or farm in your area and
>take some test shots of her. Remember to use your flash for
>fill, too. And bring your monopod.
---- Will try all above. I know as soon as Iíll manage to grab a concept with decent results Ė Iíll be OK.

Guys, all of you, thanks a lot for the time and input. I really appreciate this.

Vlad

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sat 10-Mar-12 03:59 PM
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#13. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 12


Paignton, GB
          

>I was trying to keep minimal acceptable aperture and minimum
>shutter speed of 1/500 to freeze the motion. Thatís why I tried
>auto ISO that day. And I learned a lot from analyzing images
>from that day.

Using Auto ISO was not (and is not) the problem

If you're in a situation such as that you describe, where you need a certain shutter speed or faster AND a certain minimum aperture, then you have to accept whatever ISO setting gives you correct exposure. Whether you set that ISO manually or set the other variables yourself and let the camera select ISO makes no difference.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Sat 10-Mar-12 03:04 PM
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#11. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 9


US
          

Fabien,

I never tried pre-programmed modes. When I started with D7000 back in September 2011 (and this is my first DSLR camera and first SLR from 2003, when my Nikon N90s got stolen). Nevertheless I was using jpg for few months and then switched to RAW with LR as a processing application. Iím pretty satisfied with my progress as a photographer in the past three months or so. I know that Iím not paying due attention to PP, as I cannot cover everything at once. Iím trying to concentrate for now on my taking pictures techniques. I figure out that as long as I have RAW images I can always come back and revisit Post Processing.

This thread is actually helped me a lot to analyze that Iím doing wrong. What was bothering me (and this is very true in my case - I cannot find a peace of mind until Iíll find a resolution), is that IQ (mine) is dramatically decreases as soon as put in ISO 1600. And hear me out Ė I think Iím comparing apples to apples: Iím comparing RAW, unprocessed files between themselves. My photography techniques are the same (wrong or right Ė thatís another story). Iím totally satisfied with my images ISO 100-thru 400, ISO 800 is quite pleasant and sharp but require noise reduction in PP.

ISO 1600 is nothing to be happy about Ė noisy and no crisp/sharpness in the RAW image. And I see some beautiful examples here and there at ISO 3200 or even ISO 6400. That was bothering me Ė what am I doing wrong? That the reason I started this thread and the reason I wanted to get help from other photographers.

What I knew even before this thread, that noise is really bad in darker or underexposed parts of the image. As a former engineer, I even understand the less light image get the less signal/noise ratio is. And both signal and noise get amplified to the same level and why itís happening on ďelectronicísĒ level of the process. So for higher ISO I always tried to expose to the right (is doesnít mean that all my images exposed correctly this way, but I do try and adjust exposure compensation if I have time and using one of the automatic modes. I also realize because of underexposure creates much more noise, the dynamic range of usable high ISO image should be narrowed and metering should be done on the main object Ė which I not always do yet, I often matrix metering.

I can see from some images that I posted above and I never properly analyzed until this thread, that D7000 indeed a very capable low-light camera. Also I realize that my PP techniques insufficient for processing high ISO images, but thatís totally another story Ė as I mentioned I was comparing RAW images to each other on MY MONITOR and not what I posted, BTW, samples are being converted to jpeg and reconverted by Nikonians in my gallery one more time for smaller size. I think you would see a slightly better pictures if I would convert images in LR directly from RAW to 1800x1192 size and not to original 16mpix size.

One more thing that I realized from this post that with ISO higher that 800 I should avoid using flash in TTL mode for close by objects, as flash makes dynamic range of darker environment much wider.

This post is a good starting point for me to try improving on High ISO images. I also feel better because Dean is mentioned that in general he doesnít like images from ISO 1600 and up, and this is what is I feel as well. This makes me to ďchillaxĒ a bit and start concentrating on how to make iso 1600 images more usable in generalÖ Iíll post on my progress in few weeks.

Best regards,
Vlad

  

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Fabien65 Registered since 19th Jan 2012Sat 10-Mar-12 08:46 PM
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#14. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 11
Sat 10-Mar-12 08:54 PM by Fabien65

FR
          

Vlad,
I shoot this picture today inside my home for you to have an example to make a comparison if you want:
handheld, low light, same gear, same lens, same aperture, nearly same speed, 1/125 s and iso 2500, JPEG fine, no PP, straight from the D7000.
On my pcís screen, this picture of the blue pottery looks pretty sharp without any pp.In this example, I think that high iso isnít an issue but the risk of motion blur was limited.
Hope it can help you.


  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Sat 10-Mar-12 11:43 PM
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#15. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 14
Sun 11-Mar-12 11:55 AM by Vlad_IT

US
          

>Vlad,
>I shoot this picture today inside my home for you to have an
>example to make a comparison if you want:
> handheld, low light, same gear, same lens, same aperture,
>nearly same speed, 1/125 s and iso 2500, JPEG fine, no PP,
>straight from the D7000.
>On my pcís screen, this picture of the blue pottery looks
>pretty sharp without any pp.In this example

Fabien,

thanks for posting your image. it indeed looks good. in camera processing gave me idea to view my images in NX2 instead of LR. i see huge diference on visiable noise. LR just renders RAW differenly. here is an image at ISO 6400 with more agressive PP. Still not crisp, but quite pleasant for ISO 6400.



I think i'll give a try to LR4 with its selective local noise removal brush.
Best regards,
Vlad

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Sun 11-Mar-12 01:26 AM
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#16. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 15


US
          

>thanks for posting this image. it indeed looks good. in camera
>processing gave me idea to view my images in NX2 instead of
>LR. i see huge diference on visiable noise. LR just renders
>RAW differenly.

Vlad, one thing not mentioned so far is that LR does indeed handle NEF files differently then Nikon software.

Specifically as stated on page 205 of the manual for high ISO noise reduction. In camera processing as well as Nikon software will perform noise reduction on any image taken with ISO 1600 or higher even if it is set to off. So if I am interputing this correctly, NEF's rendered with LR will appear to have more noise than when rendered with either ViewNX2 or Capture NX2.

Pete

Pete

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Sun 11-Mar-12 01:59 AM
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#17. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 16


US
          

>>thanks for posting this image. it indeed looks good. in
>camera
>>processing gave me idea to view my images in NX2 instead
>of
>>LR. i see huge diference on visiable noise. LR just
>renders
>>RAW differenly.
>
>Vlad, one thing not mentioned so far is that LR does indeed
>handle NEF files differently then Nikon software.
>
>Specifically as stated on page 205 of the manual for high ISO
>noise reduction. In camera processing as well as Nikon
>software will perform noise reduction on any image taken with
>ISO 1600 or higher even if it is set to off. So if I am
>interputing this correctly, NEF's rendered with LR will appear
>to have more noise than when rendered with either ViewNX2 or
>Capture NX2.
>
>Pete

Pete,

Thanks. I knew D7000 makes noise reduction at ISO 1600 and higher even if it's turned off in the menu. But I did not pay attention to it as I shoot in RAW exclusively. What I did not put 2 and 2 together that NX2 will read ISO reading and perform noise reduction automatically. Downloading LR4 trial as I type.

Thanks again,
Vlad

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Sun 11-Mar-12 02:49 AM
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#18. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 16
Sun 11-Mar-12 03:26 AM by Vlad_IT

US
          

>Specifically as stated on page 205 of the manual for high ISO
>noise reduction. In camera processing as well as Nikon
>software will perform noise reduction on any image taken with
>ISO 1600 or higher even if it is set to off. So if I am
>interputing this correctly, NEF's rendered with LR will appear
>to have more noise than when rendered with either ViewNX2 or
>Capture NX2.
>
>Pete

Pete,

I GOT IT!!!!!!!! We should team up
I Just discover a set of 30 pictures I did back in January. I was just playing with the different camera settings and was taking snapshots of my daughter watching TV.

I mentioned many times that I donít like anything over ISO 800 Ė they just not crisp/sharp. It was incorrect statement. I should of set I do not like anything at ISO 1600 and higher. Thatís it! Automatic Noise reduction on RAW at ISO 1600 kicks in whatever you want it or not and this is dramatically reduces overall sharpness of the image if there is a lot of noise!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From my series of snapshots, I see several of them are taken at ISO 800 and they all are very sharp. All images are taken with 35mm lens @f/2.8 and 1/90 with TTL-BL matrix metering, the ones at ISO 1600 with the same f/2.8 and 1/90 are not sharp anymore, but in between those shots I found two taken at ISO 1400 Ė those are very sharp as well, but with quite a noise though, but they are still sharp!!!!

So here it is folks, ISO 1600 does not allow the same sharpness as any ISO below due to automatic noise reductionÖ. the only way to overcome it is to reduce noise (and severity of noise reduction) by properly expose the image. Anything that is even slightly underexposed will go through more severe automatic in-camera noise reduction process and will be less sharp!!!!!!!

I will test it tomorrow. I got my D7000 user's manual and page 205 does not say anything that noise reduction is not performed on RAW images!!!!! I was wrong in my understanding that RAW image is not affected by Noise Reduction! I think this is it!


P.S. And please don't ask me how i got ISO 1400 I think it was one of the cameras quirks when Auto ISO mode with flash in TTL-BL (matrix metering) but Shooting mode was Manual with f/2.8 and 1/90sec

Best regards,
Vlad

edit.

Just checked it - ISO 1250 is the highest ISO setting i like for sharpness!!!. So it's time to adopt Expose to the right rule - it should help a lot with higher ISo IQ.
good night all

  

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bclaff Silver Member Awarded for multiple contributions for the Resources Nikonian since 26th Oct 2004Sun 11-Mar-12 04:51 AM
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#19. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 0


Vancouver (WA USA not Canada), US
          

Vlad,

I admit that I haven't read your whole thread carefully, but a few random thoughts.

According to my PDR study a typical D7000 user would be happy with the camera up to ISO 1389 (ISO 1250). So this seems to fit with your experience. (That always makes me smile )

ISO Auto is a great feature when it is understood and properly applied.

ISO Auto will choose ISO in increments of 1/6 EV. So you can definitely get strange looking ISO values.

Whether you Expose To The Right (ETTR) or not, you need a strategy that collects as much light as possible, that means keeping ISO as low as light will permit.

Continue to have fun learning to use your camera!


Bill

Visit me at My site

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Sun 11-Mar-12 12:04 PM
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#20. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 19


US
          


>a typical D7000 user would be happy with the camera up to ISO
>1389 (ISO 1250). So this seems to fit with your experience.
>(That always makes me smile )
>>Bill

Thanks Bill

I still would like to find out if my guess on automatic noise reduction is the real truth behind ďsoftnessĒ of my images on high ISO.

..and thanks for categorizing me (just kidding, Iím in a good mood this morning).


Vlad

  

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bclaff Silver Member Awarded for multiple contributions for the Resources Nikonian since 26th Oct 2004Sun 11-Mar-12 02:41 PM
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#21. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 20


Vancouver (WA USA not Canada), US
          

Vlad,

I still would like to find out if my guess on automatic noise reduction is the real truth behind ďsoftnessĒ of my images on high ISO.

Noise reduction does tend to soften images.
So the question is whether you have control over it in the firmware as well as whether not performing noise reduction makes those higher ISO unacceptable anyway.
But I suspect this isn't really the issue.
Probably, under the low light conditions requiring a high ISO, you simply aren't taking as sharp an image; just a guess.

Regards,
Bill

Visit me at My site

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Mon 12-Mar-12 02:21 AM
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#22. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 21
Mon 12-Mar-12 08:30 PM by Vlad_IT

US
          

,>Noise reduction does tend to soften images.
>So the question is whether you have control over it in the
>firmware as well as whether not performing noise reduction
>makes those higher ISO unacceptable anyway.
>But I suspect this isn't really the issue.
>Probably, under the low light conditions requiring a high ISO,
>you simply aren't taking as sharp an image; just a guess.
>
>Regards,
>Bill
>

Bill, it WAS a good guess

As mentioned before, and to my surprise i found some good shots at ISO 3200 and 6400. but those are very rare for me and i settled on "bad camera, bad!" sort of excuse

Here are some samples from my test today, all images were taken in manual mode 1/60, f/8, with Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro. Manual focus on lower part of the kimono in order to be able to see the fabric's texture. Off camera SB700 in TTL mode.

ISO 200. Some tweaking in LR4, NO noise reduction.



ISO 400. Some tweaking in LR4, NO noise reduction.



ISO 800. Some tweaking in LR4, very little noise reduction.



ISO 1000. Some tweaking in LR4, very little noise reduction.



ISO 1250. Some tweaking in LR4, SOME noise reduction.



ISO 1600. Some tweaking in LR4, SOME noise reduction.



ISO 3200. Some tweaking in LR4, SOME noise reduction.



ISO 6400. Some tweaking in LR4, heavy noise reduction.



And last but not least and just for fun: ISO 25600. Some tweaking in LR4, HEAVY noise reduction I coud not remove all noise without loosing details in fabric's texture. So i settled on this balance.



I guess it's time summarize all I said in this thread by a famous quote by Arthur Rubinstein: A How do I get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Practice. Practice.

Best regards,
Vlad

  

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bclaff Silver Member Awarded for multiple contributions for the Resources Nikonian since 26th Oct 2004Mon 12-Mar-12 03:35 AM
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#23. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 22


Vancouver (WA USA not Canada), US
          

Vlad,

Is they were all 1/60s f/8 then how did you vary the ISO ???

Regards,
Bill

Visit me at My site

  

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Fabien65 Registered since 19th Jan 2012Mon 12-Mar-12 05:38 AM
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#24. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 23


FR
          

The outcome at 25600 iso is outstanding: I didnít even imagine that we could have such a quality with so high iso!

That means we can increase iso in order to save a shot if we are in very low light condition..

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Mon 12-Mar-12 10:12 AM
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#25. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 23
Mon 12-Mar-12 02:24 PM by Vlad_IT

US
          

>Vlad,
>
>Is they were all 1/60s f/8 then how did you vary the ISO ???
>
>Regards,
>Bill

Bill,

I got some nice images in Aperture Priority Mode just with available poor ambient light and long shutter speeds. It worked well up to ISO 1600, but then I realized that by going higher ISO I would get into tripodís dangerous zone - with shutter speeds 1/15 thru 1 sec. And purpose of my test was to find out how much high(er) ISO and increased noise and automatic in-camera Noise Reduction affect overall sharpness of the image. Thus I picked the series I took with just flash, as it required no WB adjustment work and would freeze the motion/vibrations, if any Ė just sort of set it and forget it I very pleased with Hi-Res images.

I tethered D7000 with my notebook, off camera flash on a second tripod, reflector on a left side of the statue. The statue itself is exsactly 12 inches tall. Working distance was about 4 to 5 ft. (Cannot take a look at exif at the moment). Camera in Manual mode 1/60 and F/8, spot metering to force SB700 to TTL mode. So I varied the ISO and flash took care of the proper light. Equally good results with f/4, but I picked f/8 series for greater DOF to show here.

Best regards,
Vlad

  

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bclaff Silver Member Awarded for multiple contributions for the Resources Nikonian since 26th Oct 2004Mon 12-Mar-12 12:27 PM
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#26. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 25


Vancouver (WA USA not Canada), US
          

Vlad,

Very methodical!

Regards,
Bill

Visit me at My site

  

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Mon 12-Mar-12 11:01 PM
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#27. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 25


US
          

One variable I've not seen mentioned, and IME an important one: the subject matter makes a world of difference in how noise reduction will work. For example, shooting dogs, if I go above ISO 800, when I post-process I lose the detailed texture of the fur, and the resultant image looks to my eye to be "soft" and "artificial". Other objects in the picture - for example, dog tags, collars - might clean up just fine.

I would think that the same applies to humans: the irregular, non-predictable of hair is going to be difficult for any noise reduction to accurately capture while removing some of the pixels. That's a lot of math. I'd think the same applies with skin, maybe to a lesser degree.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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icslowmo Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Jan 2012Mon 12-Mar-12 11:50 PM
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#28. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 27


Phoenix, US
          

Subject matter will change effect of high iso performance/detail... But find iso3200 to still be usable for normal prints... Here is an example of true low light higher iso performance I got this past weekend at my friends wedding, I wasn't the photo guy just took some shots..



ISO 3200 1/25th 50mm F1.4G @ F1.4 Hand held... PP to get rid of most noise.... what is left is to help hold some detail, and may not be bad in print.... Still ok with this result...

Chris

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Tue 13-Mar-12 02:04 AM
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#29. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 27
Tue 13-Mar-12 11:18 AM by Vlad_IT

US
          

Bob,

I agree with you and your example. As I mentioned before I just do not like the images at is 1600 and above in general. Iíve got only few keepers from high iso images and they are listed in this post.
My test was to prove that D7000 does not perform "suddenly" bad at iso 1600. The series has proven to me that IQ decreases by small increments and is decreased even more in PP by a photographer.
I think, Iím in tougher position than you Ė I have nothing to compare images from D7000 to. Itís my first nice camera and I thought itís going to be a fun, like in old days with 35mm, when my fridge was stocked up with Superia 100and with some NPH400 & Press 400 (I only had chance to shoot above 400 with Russian B&W films). So I took D7000 for grated, especially considering such a remarkable IQ at base ISO and slightly above.

ISO 800 and above have noise. Period. Try to reduce it and you will lose some final details. I'm planning to take pictures for whole month in two settings actually duplicating images at ISO 400 and ISO 1600 and see if I will be able to improve IQ by improving my techniques.

Best regards,
Vlad

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Tue 13-Mar-12 12:35 PM
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#30. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 29


US
          

>
>ISO 800 and above have noise. Period. Try to reduce it and you
>will lose some final details.

Itís amusing to see discussions of people complaining about noise from digital captures of ISO 800 and above. Those of us coming from film could never imagine capturing images like that above ISO 400.

Noise is presently (and most likely always will be due to the physics) an issue with digital imaging; and ones tolerance to it will vary from person to person. In general the most problematic noise source in most images is photon noise. And according to Thom Hoganís review Nikon tweaked the blue filter (in low light situations the blue spectrum is usually lacking making it the major source of noise) in its Bayer Filter array making the response of the low light performance better than prior DSLRís, but the red response was a bit worse. In fact if you got to Compar-o-meter at imaging-resource and compare say a D700 (which many consider a light magnet) and the D7000 you will note there really is small difference between the two. And thatís at 100% view; equalize the D7000 file size for equivalent print size on screen the difference is even smaller.

The usual method to minimize noise with higher ISO images was to make sure you nail the exposure. In fact there are a number of people whom believe that one can improve image quality even with low ISOís, by continually implementing ETTR even if it meant overexposing the shot. Some even went so far as to develop and use a UNI-WB; but doing so means the images captured are not directly usable without extensive PP.

But an interesting point and discussion was raised by Bill Claff in his New Interactive Chart- PDR Shadow Improvement thread. It appears that Bill determined and states that ďthe D7000 is a very good low light performer but that performance comes pretty much from great low ISO performance.Ē

My take away from that is that some people feel better results are obtained by shooting NEF's at a lower ISO, but set the shutter and aperture as if they were shooting a higher ISO (basically under-exposing), then use digital gain later in an editor (contrary to the traditional thought on this as stated prior with ETTR).

Perhaps that is a technique you may wish to explore.

Pete


Pete

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Tue 13-Mar-12 09:26 PM
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#33. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 30


US
          

>>
My take away from that is that some people feel better results are obtained by shooting NEF's at a lower ISO, but set the shutter and aperture as if they were shooting a higher ISO (basically under-exposing), then use digital gain later in an editor
<<

That's actually what I do most of the time.

I know this is by no means a fair comparison, but it's all I got: the noise from my D5000 was very less "pleasing" to the eye, and PP work did not deal with it nearly as well, when compared to the noise from the 7000. While I wish for better high ISO performance, the 7000 is a great camera, in this and other regards.

BTW, great looking dog - and that's a superb illustration of why pixel peeping can drive us mad. I recently took action shots indoors, and had no choice but to push the ISO to 3200 - to me, the shots are unusable. To 14 paying customers, they're delightful images of their dogs in action that they've never had, and they're happy.

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Wed 14-Mar-12 01:21 AM
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#36. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 30


US
          


>My take away from that is that some people feel better results
>are obtained by shooting NEF's at a lower ISO, but set the
>shutter and aperture as if they were shooting a higher ISO
>(basically under-exposing), then use digital gain later in an
>editor (contrary to the traditional thought on this as stated
>prior with ETTR).

as from what i learned and analyzed in the past few days (very good article here: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/optimizing_exposure.shtml) the method, mention above by Pete, will reduce reduce visiable noise at the expence of tonal values. this is well described in the same article. One stop underexposure looses half tonal values from it would be normal value:

"If we assume a 10 stop dynamic range this is how this data is distributed...
■The brightest stop = 2048 tonal values
■The next brightest stop = 1024 tonal values
■The next brightest stop = 512 tonal values
■The next brightest stop = 256 tonal values

■The next brightest stop = 128 tonal values

■The next brightest stop = 64 tonal values
■The darkest stop = 32 tonal values"

So i think ETTR method should be used most of the times if possible.


Best regards,
Vlad

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Tue 13-Mar-12 12:57 PM
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#31. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 29


Dyserth, GB
          

As both a wildlife (D7000) and landscape shooter (D700) I have the cameras for my use the wrong way around! With the D700 and landscape and portraits there is really no noise problems with higher ISO's as I don't need high ISO's for that work. As wildlife involves cropping I have had to be strict with the amount of image size reduction and now go for getting in close, this because of all the things the D7000 will do so well, high ISO's with tight crops ain't one of them.

I know that with the D7000 getting closer to my target lowers the number of image opportunities even with the longest lens, but not getting closer just leads to frustration with noise at High ISO's in crops. So, my route is that for wildlife and the D7000, if I have to go above ISO800 to enable a suitable shutter speed and then crop e.g. above 75% I just don't bother with the shot. However, with the D700 I would happily go up to 1600 or even more, but there's less reach so I have to get in yet closer again so this kind of cancels the D700 low noise/high ISO advantages out.

I was therefore disappointed with the D800 spec initially as the D7000 offers me better fps. However, if cropped test images when posted on the forums in DX mode when the D800 arrives are equal to that of the D700 in FX at High ISO values, I shall consider buying one. I doubt it will work out that way as the pixel density is going to be higher in DX. Anyway, this thread's about the D7000, I just wanted to mention my thoughts and hope that the replacement D300s (whenever that is) will offer near D700 high ISO low noise attributes.

The practical and sensible part of my brain says I will never achieve DX high ISO low noise images to the standard of the FX cameras, but I can dream

Richard



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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Tue 13-Mar-12 02:11 PM
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#32. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 31
Tue 13-Mar-12 02:13 PM by elec164

US
          

>The practical and sensible part of my brain says I will never
>achieve DX high ISO low noise images to the standard of the FX
>cameras, but I can dream
>

While Richard, it would be nice, but I personally believe itís unlikely to happen.

Again the noise source being discussed here is photon shot noise I believe. As such it is governed by Poisson distribution. The sensor based solution to this is to collect more signal to improve the SNR. I canít find the exact quote, but I recall in a discussion over this with Dr. Clark that lower ISO higher light level scenes actually have more noise than higher ISO lower light scenes, but the former has a greater SNR than the later making noise more apparent in the low light high ISO shot. If Iím wrong with remembering that Iím sure Bill Claff will correct me. In that respect the D800 should have a similar sensor performance to the D7000 being that the senselís square area is about the same. But when filling the frame (equivalent FOV) the D800 might have an edge due to the lower magnification needed to make equivalent print sizes.

Iím probably going to take some heat from this statement, but I donít feel the D7000ís high ISO performance is that much greater than say a D90 or D300/D300s. Where the D7000 does have an edge is in sheer numbers. The greater pixel density makes the noisy pixels much smaller in an equivalent viewing size making the D7000 image look better. But as you state, the D7000 will lose that advantage if you make severe crops.

I, like you, discovered that when attempting BIFís with my 70-300 VR, the results were less than spectacular. I just assumed it was due to the need for severe crops and my poor technique. But since that time I now have obtained the Bigma, and find that my success with BIFís has improved. Most likely because I now need to crop less and having more pixels on the subject provides more detail, and the lower enlargement factor improves the appearance of noise.

But this I believe is straying from Vladís original point in that I believe he is using the full capture, but still not satisfied with the overall noise performance at higher ISOís. I personally am elated with the higher ISO performance, but thatís a personal preference.

For example, some time ago Ann (waxart) started a thread that she was unhappy with noise even in low ISO shots. It turned out it was a camera setting issue, but in response I posted an image of my dog taken at ISO 1600 that I never would have even attempted to shoot with my D80.

Taken hand held with a Nikkor 70-300 VR, VR on, ISO1600, f/4.8, 1/100 @ 155mm



Now pixel peep that image and you will see noise. But as shown in this down-sampled web version (which is about the size print I would make) and the noise is not quite as apparent. My wife proudly displays this image of her baby on her desk at work and not one person complained about it being noisy; nor is noise really apparent in the print. Would a lower ISO have provided more fur detail, yeah it most likely would have, but the print as is still looks great.

Pete

Pete

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Wed 14-Mar-12 01:11 AM
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#35. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 32
Wed 14-Mar-12 01:22 AM by Vlad_IT

US
          

The sensor based solution to this is to collect
>more signal to improve the SNR. I canít find the exact quote,
>but I recall in a discussion over this with Dr. Clark that
>lower ISO higher light level scenes actually have more noise
>than higher ISO lower light scenes, but the former has a
>greater SNR than the later making noise more apparent in the
>low light high ISO shot.


here is the referenced quote:

"My 5D Mark II has a noise level of ~70 units at its maximum highlight level of 16,383 (on a 14-bit scale), and a noise level of ~30 units at a much darker signal level of 16 (i.e., 10 stops darker). The highlights appear clean because the SNR is good (16,383 vs 70). The shadows appear gross because the SNR is dismal (16 vs 30) Ė in fact, the signal is buried in the noise."


it's taken from here: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/optimizing_exposure.shtml

Vlad

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Wed 14-Mar-12 02:20 AM
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#37. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 35


US
          

>here is the referenced quote:
>

Actually no, thatís not what I was referring to. I participate with Roger on a Yahoo Photography forum.

What that is referring to is read noise, which I believe is for the most part a constant.

What I was discussing is shot noise, or more specifically photon noise, which varies with the signal collected.

I donít believe this is what I was referring to, but this quote from one of our other exchanges is a similar explanation of this. It was spurred by a discussion of someone who wanted to know what all the spots were in an ice hockey image he took (that was underexposed due to the predominance of the ice without using EC.)

ďPete, I agree with your assessment, but a small technical correction (with no affect on the conclusions). The noise due to the noise floor will only be noticed in the deepest shadows.

The hockey player image shows noise all over the image. That is photon noise: noise from the random arrival times of photons during the exposure. Photon noise is Poisson counting statistics and is the square root of the number of photons counted. So the only way to reduce the apparent noise is to collect more signal (more photons). Noise increases as the square root of the exposure but signal goes up linearly, so the signal-to-noise ratio goes up by the square root. Changing ISO does not increase actual exposure, only post sensor gain, so does not change signal-to-noise ratio. Of course underexposing and then doing a levels adjustment to increase signal, also increases noise as you say.Ē

Pete

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bclaff Silver Member Awarded for multiple contributions for the Resources Nikonian since 26th Oct 2004Wed 14-Mar-12 04:15 AM
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#38. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 32


Vancouver (WA USA not Canada), US
          

Pete,

If Iím wrong with remembering that Iím sure Bill Claff will correct me.

It's no secret that the more light you collect, the better the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR).
As you mention, Noise is quickly dominated by Photon Noise which goes up with the square root of Signal.
So, for example, when you double Signal, Noise goes up 21/2; so SNR goes up 21/2.
All of this is for the Signal and Noise before amplification in the camera.

I donít feel the D7000ís high ISO performance is that much greater than say a D90 or D300/D300s.

The D7000 and D90 (and D5000, and D5100!) are quite close.
But the D300 and D300S are clearly behind those 4.

Regards,
Bill

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Wed 14-Mar-12 04:00 PM
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#39. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 38


US
          

Thanks for the confirmation Bill, itís nice to know Iím not totally loosing it yet!!

Pete

Pete

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Fabien65 Registered since 19th Jan 2012Wed 14-Mar-12 05:55 PM
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#40. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 32


FR
          


>Taken hand held with a Nikkor 70-300 VR, VR on, ISO1600,
>f/4.8, 1/100 @ 155mm
>

>Now pixel peep that image and you will see noise. But as shown
>in this down-sampled web version (which is about the size
>print I would make) and the noise is not quite as apparent. My
>wife proudly displays this image of her baby on her desk at
>work and not one person complained about it being noisy; nor
>is noise really apparent in the print. Would a lower ISO have
>provided more fur detail, yeah it most likely would have, but
>the print as is still looks great.
>
>Pete
>
Hi Pete,
very nice picture,
you have chosen the good parameters because lower iso means you should have decrease the shutter speed..with the risk to get blur because of motion.
Thatís what i like with the d7000, even if you get some noise in low light, you get the good picture!
i have purchased the 70-300 vr two weeks ago and i like it: vr is very effective
Fabien.

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Wed 14-Mar-12 06:59 PM
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#41. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 32


Dyserth, GB
          

Great image Pete.

In fairness and with BIF particularly, it is so easy to stretch the limits of both camera and lenses. This is often done by over expectation of good results at high ISO's. I've done this for years and played the percentage game, that being occasionally it comes good so naturally one thinks if I can do it once, then why were the other images on the same day at about the same distance, poor? Sadly, I've learned it's called "luck". After much very helpful advice on the forums I took the hard advice given. Basically, get closer, use the highest shutter speed at the lowest ISO to achieve the shot and lastly forget high crops in post processing.

Of course this means I don't now have as many opportunities as I had with perhaps a scatter gun, hit and miss approach. What I have learned is that with a lot of patience and following the afore mentioned rules, I can achieve good images. It would just be so much more satisfying if high ISO settings + low noise could be achieved in a DX sensor, but until it does I'll stop getting frustrated and try to continue achieving the recent images posted below. I have posted these elsewhere, but use them here to demonstrate that within limits what the D7000 can achieve.

Both are at ISO320, this was the lowest ISO where I could achieve 1/1000s @ f7.1. Now I have achieved a reasonable level of sharpness I shall stop using higher ISO's (above 800) on my D7000 or until I can replace it with a camera in which noise can be better controlled.

Richard




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

  

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Fabien65 Registered since 19th Jan 2012Wed 14-Mar-12 07:27 PM
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#42. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 41


FR
          

What I have learned is that with a lot of patience and following the afore mentioned rules, I can achieve good images.

Hi Richard,


Your pictures are amazing!
Regardless of the passion we can have, the more important is to learn and improve oneself. The challenge is to understand and find tips and tricks in order to get what we want.
I think there would have less pleasure to buy the most expensive camera and just point and shoot..

Fabien.

  

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Wed 14-Mar-12 08:19 PM
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#43. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 42


Dyserth, GB
          

Thanks Fabien

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Thu 15-Mar-12 09:38 AM
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#44. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 41


US
          

Superb photography, Richard.

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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009Thu 15-Mar-12 10:03 AM
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#45. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 44


Dyserth, GB
          

Thank you.

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Thu 15-Mar-12 10:54 AM
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#46. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 41


US
          

Richard, very nice shots.

I actually admier your gallery. Some shots are classic, which i do not mind to have on my wall, some are innovative, but all of them a great!

Best regards,
Vlad

  

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JustiNikon Registered since 01st Feb 2012Thu 15-Mar-12 12:33 PM
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#47. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 46


BR
          

When I first started out, I wanted no noise in any image with very perfect sharpness.

As I've grown, I have begun to appreciate a certain amount of grain in an image can really add a special emotion to the image. Again, I still like keeping the grain low, but I don't freak out if there is some noise in the background.

JustiNikon
Just a Nikon.

  

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bigfoot13 Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Aug 2004Mon 21-May-12 09:21 PM
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#50. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 0


Wellsburg, US
          

Hi Vlad,
Hope you are enjoying the sb600.
I shoot stage shows for a living, and shoot at 3200, (and even 12800), and get very sharp images.
Noise from a high iso, from current cameras, really shouldn't really limit your sharpness, that much.
The most important thing is to not underexpose! Second, make sure your technique is solid check out Joe McNally'd Da Grip on you tube.
This is a shot i did the other night of Patty larkin at 3200, hand held. < Just noticed that this was with my D3, but the D7000 is very close}[br />

(Downsizing it hurt it a bit-it is blindingly sharp)
Roddy

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Vlad_IT Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2011Tue 22-May-12 01:13 AM
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#51. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 50


US
          

Rod,

SB-600 is working great, thank you! It's a very nice image and a great example for this thread. Since I started this thread 2 months ago I came to the conclusion that my biggest problem is motion blur. I was under the wrong impression that overall sharpness of the image dramatically declines on high ISO settings. Thanks for the youtube hint. I watched the video Ė will try to practice. I did improved my handholding techniques a bit, but I have long way to go.

Best regards,
Vlad

  

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mjhach Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Dec 2010Tue 22-May-12 01:42 AM
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#52. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 51


Simcoe, CA
          

I got three SB-600 very early on when I owned the D80. Now, with the D7000 and Auto FP Sync, the SB-600's do have difficulty keeping up at over 1/250th so I was thinking of upgrading to SB-900's but then I thought, "...how often do I need more than 1/250th?, probably not very...". I think I'm going to go for the Tamron f2.8 24-70mm instead. I did some test auditorium shots with graduation ceremonies at about 50' from the camera centre aisle, and two Sb-600's at about 55-60' at 45 degrees from the axis of the camera to subject. Zoomed to 85mm, they cover the stage pretty good. Using the Nikkor on that day will allow me to capture 2 stops more light and maybe up the speed to stop movement of the subjects better since I'll be at at least 100-200mm DX telephoto setup.

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singlerosa Silver Member Charter MemberWed 23-May-12 01:57 AM
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#53. "RE: I Do Not Like High ISO Images."
In response to Reply # 52


St. Louis, US
          

Back to the 24-70 lens sub thread, you might consider the 17-55 2.8 which is the DX equivilant to the FX 24-70. Refurbs are out there for around a grand.

Jim Singler D600/D7K with a bunch of lenses and other assorted stuff

  

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