Does cranking up the ISO, give you too much noise?

sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
edited June 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
A few quotes from other threads

Even at ISO 100, I often end up applying fairly aggressive noise reduction (nr) when I intend to zoomin -

I don't like to go higher than 640 at worst with my D7K if the light is poor (like cities at night). Brighter light is better though.


Features of the D400...... "Native" ISO of 12,800 would be nice

So,

On the one hand, some are getting noise at ISO 100 ( on a D800)

others are hoping for 12,800 on a dx camera

I have D800 and are happy shooting most things up ISO 3200
most of the time I shoot with AUTO ISO with no ISO limit
for landscapes, were I need dynamic range and color fidelity, I prefer ISO 100
I always shoot RAW and I nearly always do bit of Fiddling with LR in post

So what are preferences? and why do think people are getting noise at ISO 100





Post edited by sevencrossing on
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Comments

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited June 2013
    answering my own question

    I suspect people setting the ISO too low, underexpose then try to correct the exposure in post


    my experience is more shot are "lost" because of camera shake, subject movement, underexposure , lack of dof than are lost by setting the ISO too high
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 615Member
    answering my own question
    I suspect people setting the ISO too low, underexpose then try to correct the exposure in post
    my experience is more shot are "lost" because of camera shake, subject movement, underexposure , lack of dof than are lost by setting the ISO too high
    I have had a big personal event in last week where I had to hand my camera off to my brother to take pictures where I was part of the scene. They were pretty much unusable due to camera shake. I'll dial up P mode next time the camera goes to someone else.

    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 880Member
    Long ago I did a series of 11x17 prints from a D200 camera at one of the nation's biggest and best photo labs. The quest was to see what ISOs were required to eliminate various problems. I was regarded as being Mr. Kodachrome and also California photo pros nicknamed me Velvia for my use of that wonderful chrome film. Our findings were that in bright daylight a setting around ISO 640 was very acceptable and if you were after action shots using slower speed settings was going to hurt far more than help. In low light I have found with say the D7100 and D7000 that ISO settings lower than 1250 were problematic.

    SInce we still do a lot of action work I lean much towards a setting of about 640 as routine. Trying to shot action low light with less than 640 or 800 is simply not going to work. For scenic work with little movement I might adjust slower but I do so with caution. Here is a classic example. You are at a stream, maybe with a waterfall. I shoot to see the final image as close to what the human eye sees. Your eyes do not see the typical fine art shot of water turned to look like taffy.

    Another extremely critical element of our work is depth of field. Lose it and the shot to us is worthless. Again higher ISO will preserve more of those details. In my experience working closely with several photo pros many are indeed saving their shots with post processing form RAW. This is not the way we work. However when I pick up a camera used by my oldest grandson (already with a current reputation as a excellent editor and photographer, and I NOW always check to see what ISO is on the camera. WHY? Because ISOs in the 3200 and 6400 range in my opinion are the province of highly specialized photography and I for one do not like the results.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 880Member
    Add to the above post: I do not care much for any ISO setting above say 1600. I know many pros that shoot almost everything at ISO 100. That in my opinion is going to far. But as soon as I set a camera above 1250 ISO I feel the results are compromised but if you need the speed then what else can you do? But given the clarity of todays digital imaging I see steadfast use of low ISOs as old school. I'll take depth of field and absence of camera shake over post process sweat.
  • DJBee49DJBee49 Posts: 133Member
    I really don't think that there is a blanket rule for this. You use the appropriate ISO setting for the circumstance in which you find yourself. Two extremes might be a theatre shoot where you have to use ISO 6,400 or you do not get any images at all, to a landscape, using a tripod where you would obviously (well I would) use a low ISO such as 100. If there is a rule of thumb, I would say that it is to use the lowest ISO you can get away with in the particular circumstance. All this with the proviso, of course, that part of the 'circumstance' prevailing is whether there is a special effect you are after that would influence the decision.

    One of the joys of digital over film, of course, is that you could not change your ISO in the middle of shooting a roll of film! With digital, you can ring the changes between neighbouring shots with as many ISO variations as you wish.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Oh, my, I love this....with the D4, I have ISO set at 100, the Auto ISO setting at 12,800. I then set up the shutter speed, f/stop on manual. Most cases. Check the scene, adjust as necessary. I like to shoot at the lowest ISO possible. But, the noise up to 12,800 is so minimal I find the shutter speed, f/stop are more important.

    But, there are many times I have no light when I will move it up to Hi-0.3 or more to cover what I am shooting.

    Or, I want a lower setting and often I will set the ISO as wanted, Auto ISO off, and shoot images, manual settings of course.

    I come from film days when we shot ASA 80, or maybe 400 for action shots. Occasionally up to 1200 in B & W. We called it "grain" and now it is called "noise" both of which are IMO a part of the imaging process. In many shots a bit of noise is simply not an issue as the viewing distance eliminates this in almost all cases I am familiar with.

    One must remember, if I am in the studio, ISO 100.....period. But most of my images are in "available" light, where the idea of sacrificing shutter speed or aperture is not to be done if the ISO can support the settings I desire.
    Msmoto, mod
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    No - my answer to the question.

    Either way I raise the ISO or I go home without a picture. I don't hesitate to go as high as I need to get a picture without motion blurr (unless I don't want to have it) and see what I can get in post. But I'm not sobbing if there's "too much" noise in the picture - I'm sobbing if I missed the focus or the picture I saw. Noise is the least of my concerns. I'm grateful this modern bodies do what they can in lowest light.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    answering my own question
    I suspect people setting the ISO too low, underexpose then try to correct the exposure in post
    Setting the ISO too ow doesn't mean you are going to only either underexpose or get shake seven - the shutter speeds may get long, but on some shots that is fine or even better when a tripod is used. I think most competition shooters and better know to ETTR in low light then darken in post as it is preferable to ETTL and lighten too.
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited June 2013
    spray The question I am trying to ask is, why are some people, typically using a D7000

    Producing rubbish results ( blurry, dark photos with loads a grain and awful color)

    then when asked why don't they crank up the ISO ?

    reply

    "O I don't like going above ISO 400" ?
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited June 2013
    @sevencrossing: Please correct me if I have miss understood your question but here is how I took it:

    Ali, does cranking up your ISO, add to much noise to your shots?
    Response: On my D7000 it does. Yet, on my D4, the noise is very much acceptable...to me.

    There is no question that by raising ISO will result in additional noise to any given shot. Weather it is acceptable to the end user is a personal preference. I agree with JJ_SO on this point: I would much rather have a shot than none at all. What one does in post is a whole different conversation.

    The one thing that I always keep in mind is: what is my intent in using this shot. That is to say: where will the public see this image. Will it be in print; in an email, on a web page? What size will this image be looked at? The only time for me that noise become a real factor is when it goes to large prints. Thus, the less noise the better. Note, we are talking about nose and nothing else...ie image sharpness, compositions, etc..etc.

    I have seen many images that at a given resolution, I have found the level of noise, in relation to the ISO used, to be very acceptable. It is only when the image size is increased that I find the final shot not as appealing.

    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 340Member
    Quick answer is it depends...

    Was shooting an nighttime outdoor rodeo under really bad lighting and ran ISO 12800 on my D4 and H1 on my D800E and yes it was noisy but the Plan B was blurry images or no shots at all. And the noise added a very nice grittiness to the pictures..

    Denver Shooter
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I usually try to shoot at low ISO's, but on modern cameras that is usually 400 as a good compromise for shutter speed etc.

    I can work around noise, motion is a lost cause. Neither VR nor tripods do anything for subject motion. Landscapes are more stable except sometimes in SoCal.

    I regularly do stage light theater shoots and the D800e at ISO 6400, downsampled to 12mp in post works very well.

    Regards .... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I tend to shoot as low of ISO as possible. With my VR lenses that I have done away with it never hurt me much. I could still hand hold ridiculously slow shutter speeds and be fine. Now with my non-VR 300 F4 I feel the pain. I just edited a group of pictures in which I lost about half of them because of camera shake and too low of shutter speeds. I have to get used to it...another reason I want a newer camera so I can quickly switch it instead of using the menus...I get lazy then.

    But more to the question...it really depends. Sometimes you have no choice if your lens is wide open and you need faster shutter speeds....so there isn't another option. Raise the ISO and have some noise or get nothing or an unusable picture with motion blur and camera shake.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 410Member
    Oddly I sometimes get noise at ISO100 even though that is what I usually shoot at. I find ISO400 on any body (except a D40) completely noiseless. I am fine at ISO 3200 on my D700 and D7000 and ISO1250 on my D90, that is just me. 20% luminance and 20% sharpening and the results are nice and snappy. I do shoot 2.8's wide open mostly(unless I need to increase my DOF). I find ISO 6400 to be very acceptable on my D700 but at that point it IS noticeable... The most noise free camera without post is still my n80 and a roll of ilford PanF


    image

    Is there noise? Absolutely, but at ISO 4000 on a D7000 this is acceptable.
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I have also experienced noise in low ISO photos on my D5000. I don't have examples off the top of my head, but lighting situations seems to be what I am experiencing. Maybe highly contrasting scenes. Could be due to the dynamic range of the sensor.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    Try turning off your ADL tcole - that has surfaced in the other thread on noise.
    Always learning.
  • starralaznstarralazn Posts: 201Member
    some people i feel, i don't really print. the most i print up to is 8.5 x 11 inches ( all this 13x19 paper i bought on sale is going to waste...) my d800 looks great at iso 1600, at 100% ( with proper exposure). the max i normally go up to is also iso 3200. but as msmoto says, sometimes i also push it 1 stop upwards from there.

  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    why do think people are getting noise at ISO 100

    answering my own question

    I suspect people setting the ISO too low, underexpose then try to correct the exposure in post
    What that discussion in the other thread was about was that even at ISO 100, you can see "noise" in very even-colored large-surface areas of the image, such as the sky. It's nothing that would be specific to digital sensors, be it DX or FX, you also have it on film if you enlarge it. One of the reasons why medium format became the medium of professional photography – 35mm would just expose those weaknesses to early when you enlarged it.

    With film, this grain effect was present also at very low-iso films (i.e. Fuji Velvia, which had an ISO of 50), and you could get ISO 400 film that would not have worse grain than the 50.

    So, it's a misunderstanding that this noise is something that you wouldn't be seeing on film. You'd need to shoot medium or large format to not see it, or less, with bigger enlargements.

    Concerning your suspicion that it's only there in underexposed images: Shoot a blue sky in a typical landscape-style shot (wide angle, not zoomed in on just one cloud) and check it out yourself! There definitely is visible noise – at least technically. I wouldn't neccessarily consider it worth treating it with any NR, because especially with a camera like the D800, it is *very* subtle. The dynamic range of the D800 is really incredible.
  • Can only speak about the D200, bad and ugly noise, the D300 much better till ISO 1600, now the D600 ISO 3200 no problem in LR and 6 stops more to use is great and enough for me most of the time with my f/1.8 and f/2.8 lenses. Some grain, so what :)
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,973Member

    What that discussion in the other thread was about was that even at ISO 100, you can see "noise" in very even-colored large-surface areas of the image, such as the sky. It's nothing that would be specific to digital sensors, be it DX or FX, you also have it on film if you enlarge it. One of the reasons why medium format became the medium of professional photography – 35mm would just expose those weaknesses to early when you enlarged it.
    CMOS sensors are notorious for having noise in the sky at low ISO. The newer sensors are a lot better though. CCD sensors are better, even the D200 had less noise at ISO100 in the sky than some modern cameras.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 468Member
    Have to disagree - used D80 with CCD ( should be similar to D200 ) long time. I had noise at lowest ISOs in the sky.
  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    CMOS sensors are notorious for having noise in the sky at low ISO. The newer sensors are a lot better though.
    As I said, with the D800 I don't see any reason why one would need "aggressive" NR – or any NR at all, that is. When I look at old images from the Canon 5D Mark II, I can clearly see noise, though.

    Quality-wise from what I remember (haven't enlarged color film in a looong time anymore), the D800 color rendition tops my experiences with 35mm film in this respect.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited June 2013
    .......Quality-wise from what I remember (haven't enlarged color film in a looong time anymore), the D800 color rendition tops my experiences with 35mm film in this respect.
    To be honest. I suspect the results I am currently getting from my D800 are probably better than when I was working with a 5x4 but like you, a looong time ago (in the 60s)

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • PierrePierre Posts: 360Member
    Just to straighten the record for those that might have missed it, the "Even at ISO 100, I often end up applying fairly aggressive noise reduction (nr)" statement was for the 100% crop very rare occasions. At that level of zooming, the D800 will display noise at any ISO, especially on the shade side and mid-tones. Despite the fancy name some have given to that "noise", nr does clean-it. No need to blow this out-of-proportion and make it sound something else.
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 410Member
    some people i feel, i don't really print. the most i print up to is 8.5 x 11 inches ( all this 13x19 paper i bought on sale is going to waste...) my d800 looks great at iso 1600, at 100% ( with proper exposure). the max i normally go up to is also iso 3200. but as msmoto says, sometimes i also push it 1 stop upwards from there.


    Generally Noise on larger prints isnt as bad unless it is high art or to be viewed very closely. Iuse large format printers frequently and I typically print at 150 dpi. Glicee printers spray instead of dot so things like noise and grin show up less...

    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
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