What, When, Were…Discussion of the Use of Auto ISO Settings

MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
edited April 2014 in General Discussions
As the old threads on Auto ISO are from 2010, I think sharing the experiences of others regarding the use of Auto ISO would be helpful. So, maybe this is the place.

How? When? When not? Advantages/Disadvantages in your opinion…. Let the dissss...cuuu…..ssss…ion begin…. =D>
Msmoto, mod
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Comments

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2014
    Since the latest versions takes into account focal length and can be pre set, up and down; I love it

    My personal setting on a D800 (shooting RAW). is Auto ISO plus 2 clicks, no max ISO

    I normally shoot Aperture priority (default setting f 4) Auto ISO

    If shooting Action, I will often shoot Manual, wide open, with a high shutter speed and Auto ISO

    I don't use it for Flash or landscapes . I tend to use ISO 800 For flash and ISO 100 for Landscapes

    Disadvantages _ with FX (shooting RAW) and noise reduction with LR ; none really

    most "amateur failures" I see are cause by camera shake, that could be eliminated by using AUTO ISO


    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I love M mode combined with Auto-ISO. Lets me be creative without missing shots. I check the histogram and the ISO chosen by the camera, and then adjust accordingly to keep from hitting either end (over/under exposure). Works like a champ.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,191Member
    edited April 2014
    Does the D7000 factor in focal length with ISO? I think there's minimum shutter speed I can ask it to look out for, but not focal length.

    I'm pretty happy with performance up till ISO 1600, but with the D40's pretty terrible ISO performance, I've gotten used to switching ISO manually depending on the situation. Sometimes it's annoying to set it high and for me to forget that I moved to a much brighter area.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Just a note to some - Auto ISO has changed in the D4/D800 (I think also in the D600/D610) with an added setting. For questions/responses you may want to say what body you are referring too.

    Given certain situations I always use it, or never use it. All depends what I'm doing and really, how sharp of an image I want/need.

    For an update to auto iso, I Just want auto ISO to: Know what zoomed focal length I'm at & if the lens is VR or not.
    Bassically I want an option (that can be turned on or off) to set the shutter at 1 or 2 stops above the focal length for Non-Vr lenses and allow the shutter to drop to 1 or 2 stops below the focal length for VR lenses.

    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    From the DF manual
    . If Auto is selected, the camera will choose the minimum shutter speed based on the focal length of the lens.
    Thats nice to have.
    I dont always use auto iso its nice to have the option but im usually shooting at 200 or 800-1600 indoors.
    I do select min shutter to 1/60 to eliminate blur or camera shake


  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited April 2014
    From the DF manual
    . If Auto is selected, the camera will choose the minimum shutter speed based on the focal length of the lens.
    Thats nice to have.
    I dont always use auto iso its nice to have the option but im usually shooting at 200 or 800-1600 indoors.
    I do select min shutter to 1/60 to eliminate blur or camera shake


    Further, if it is like the D800 (is it?) you can set the shutter speed to bias up or down two stops. For example, I usually have it set +2 which means it will not go below 1/200sec on a 50mm lens. Of course, the shutter speed starts going down when you reach the maximum ISO setting that you select.

    As a result, camera shake is never an issue. If it gets too dark, I may have to wing it, but I try to use a tripod, which meanss I select ISO 100 in aperture priority.
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2014
    TaoTeJared ........ & if the lens is VR or not.

    The D800 "knows" what focal length is set ( at least with all the lenses listed below )
    but does not seem to "know" if the lens is VR (it sets the same shutter speed with the 50mm f 1.4 as the 24 -120 f4 vr set @50mm )
    sadly it does not know how fast the subject is moving , which is why I set it to 2 clicks fast
    nor does it know if a wedding photographer has had a few too many glass of champagne:)

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • BowsiderBowsider Posts: 10Member
    The higher end Nikons have a really handy bias that you can add to the Auto ISO, min shutter speed setting (found in SHOOTING MENU>ISO sensitivity settings>Minimum shutter speed>Auto>): Slower, Slow, Normal, Fast & Faster. "Normal" is on, or on the slightly quicker side of 1/focal-length which is manageable with good, steady technique. For example, for a focal length of 28mm the camera will give you a minimum shutter speed of 1/30. If you shoot with a zoom, this makes AUTO ISO much more usable than simply setting a minimum shutter speed. As you zoom in, this setting will speed up your shutter speed to help prevent camera shake.

    For each step you move away from Normal, you double or half that figure. So for that 28mm, from "Slower" to "Faster" respectively, you get 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125. A handy toggle if you know what you will be shooting, how and with what... or if you know you have a very steady/shaky hand.

    All well and good - but selecting this option is deep down in a menu, so I put it high up in My Menu to speed switching if I ever need to.

    Now, it would be fantastic if future software updates knew if their Nikkor lenses had VR, how many effective stops it helps you with and whether it is on or off. A flick of a switch could save a bit of menu diving and seems like a necessity if Nikon are including this feature at all.

    However, IF I know, for example, I will be shooting still subjects using my 16-35mm VR in low light all night, I'll whack the VR on and change that setting to "Slower" before I go out. Whereas if I know I'll be shooting moving people with the same lens, then I could bias the toggle to "Faster" to cap 1/125 to freeze slow moving subjects.

    So to stay on topic: Auto ISO, when, how, where I use it:

    My Aperture Priority setup for general photography (on a D4):

    Aperture priority with the rear command dial set to Easy exposure compensation (B4 option in the metering/exposure menu). I set the video record button on top to ISO adjust (Custom settings>Controls>f16), which means I can flick an Auto ISO on/off toggle WITH ONE HAND: a video button press and a roll of the trigger wheel is all it takes. I can also adjust the minimum ISO that the camera will go to in Auto with a press of the same button and a scroll of the thumb wheel. Normally I set that to 100 for quality, but I can roll it to 400, 800, whatever, as a way of effectively moving that bias (from above) towards the "Faster" end. I hope that makes sense because I find it very useful. It means you can set "Slower", if you know you have VRII and a still subject, and you can ISO button+thumb scroll to your desired shutter speed if needed.

    I deliberately told you about the Easy exposure compensation (I set mine to On [Auto rest], to differentiate it from the EV comp button, which always holds whether you turn the camera off or not)... because in Aperture priority you set, say f3.5 on your zoom in low light, Auto100, you have hit that 1/30 cap and the camera picks say ISO1600 for a balanced exposure. You can now flick your thumb left or right to change the ISO for that shot as A and S are currently fixed by your own specification. I find that's really neat and works well because there are no buttons to press. Win!

    Manual option:

    I sometimes ditch that setup in favour of taking the manual mode plunge. Don't be scared of it; you get a feeling for S and A requirements and balance in any situation very quickly and you can set what you need to get the look you want. The viewfinder EV indicator gets you in the right area if you happen to be way off, and the massive range of the modern Auto ISO does the rest. With modern Nikons that is a lot of exposure padding from your faithful machine. Manual means, no more digging in the Slower>Faster menu. I just set the desired shutter speed with the thumb! This does mean that if you are zooming in, it doesn't automatically take you to 1/300+ but that can be a big advantage when you want control and you have VR.

    I love both of these setups for Auto ISO use. "M" mode has faster control but a fraction more exposure risk (especially if you go from dark to light - over exposing is a real possibility if you don't stay frosty), "A" option is maybe safer, but you have to think about that shutter speed cap, although I have given you my favourite get arounds. Of course, in the M option, you are a video+trigger-wheel-roll normal ISO and full manual control. If you shoot in raw, that is everything covered. My two pennies.

    Finally as a personal choice in the Auto ISO option menu, I set my max ISO cap to 12800, but that's up to your taste, your camera and your end requirements.







    D810, 16-35mm f4, 70-200mm f2.8; (24, 35, 85) f1.4G; 105mm f2.8 macro. 135mm f2 DC, 28-300mm. SB700x2 and SB400. All Nikon. Sigma 50mm ART. Also have a Fuji X-T1 with 23mm f1.4 & 56mm f1.2.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,200Member
    Anyone using Auto ISO on a D7100 and what are your thoughts? I have not turned mine on so have enjoyed reading all the D800 and D4 comments. Don't think the D7100 has all those features so I am pulling out the manual to reread that section.

    Thanks Msmoto for starting this thread. Great idea.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    I think Msnoto started this thread (while I was asleep) as it was raised in the "50mm debate"...Photo bug I have the D7100 so put away the manual.
    Now shooting auto is a whole concept designed to always get the shot by just framing and hitting the shutter. The camera is an extension of your arm and like an M16 you dont fiddle with it you just pull the trigger.
    Now my wife is a great wedding photographer but she could not change a battery ..so how do you set it to work for a photographer not a technician?
    First Two things first are to do with flash ( I use SB400..one on/off button)...You must be on 1/320 FP . If you are not you go outside forget the flash is on and the camera is locked at F8 1/60 and your picture is pure white out. Now with 1/320/FP the shutter does not lock to 1/60 and will follow the light and sync up to 1/4000 + so you still get your shot. Well I hear you say I always chimp and can do it gain ..no you cannot at a wedding.
    Second thing with flash and not in the handbook is that when you turn on the external flash the iso goes from your mimimum setting iso 100 to 4x that value ie 400 . This is ideal for inside shots ..not noisy ,more range for your flash,longer battery life and faster re cycle. ( if set at 200 will go to 800 etc) To test go in a dark room look at the iso ,,say 1000 and turn on the flash ..drops to 400. will not work on some models or with built in flash.Bright outside stays at 100..perfect.
    Now to the Auto Iso bit ...select A mode set to ~F8 min 1/60 100-6400 and thats it all your PSAM will be auto iso BUT if its bright the speed will go up.... bright day iso 100 @ 1/2000 or whatever. go in a church 1/60 at F8 iso 1250 or whatever. So if you have a D800 or similar with those crappy Pro controls ..(I hate that D800 worst camera I ever bought) then thats it BUT for a D7100 /D610 you can do more.
    If you save your F8 settings to U1 then its fixed and nothing changes . use U2 for a F5.6 version which I use for winter weddings. That leaves me with P for discos...In dark conditions thats the lens wide open.
    I tape up the control wheels so they dont get knocked BUT the wheels on the grip are active if the grip switch is ON so you could adjust if you wanted to ..tape up the button on the grip and leave it off .
    As for focus AF-S only But you must select 5 focus points or it has terrible problems getting a focus ..
    On the lens I tape up the VR and Focus both to ON . I use the 18-140 .as a grey import ($350) throw it away if it goes wrong and over 150mm most long zooms have bad IQ so best just to crop.If you dont use a Nikon lens you are looking for problems. You must have your Picture control set to +9 or you will get junk images. Large basic JPEG on duplicate cards.CL at 2 per sec to beat the blinkers.
    So your sequence would be ..arrive at church U1 photo outside go inside turn on flash photo inside .come out photo arrivals etc ..car inside flash on ...In church maybe go to U2 (f5.6) Then U1 for the rest of the day until the Disco P ...go home about 1500 shots later .So like the M16 you can adjust a bit ..Saftey.auto or full auto.... To add a FX camera is no good for weddings ..too noisy in church.
    EPLS . Let the friendly fire begin !!!!
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited April 2014

    First Two things first are to do with flash ( I use SB400..one on/off button)...You must be on 1/320 FP . If you are not you go outside forget the flash is on and the camera is locked at F8 1/60 and your picture is pure white out. Now with 1/320/FP the shutter does not lock to 1/60 and will follow the light and sync up to 1/4000 + so you still get your shot.
    You don't have to be in 1/320 FP mode to have the camera exceed 1/60. FP mode is required if you want the camera to go above the sync speed (e.g., 1/250 on the D800), but you can use 1/250 FP as well as 1/320 FP.

    Second thing with flash and not in the handbook is that when you turn on the external flash the iso goes from your mimimum setting iso 100 to 4x that value ie 400 . This is ideal for inside shots ..not noisy ,more range for your flash,longer battery life and faster re cycle. ( if set at 200 will go to 800 etc) To test go in a dark room look at the iso ,,say 1000 and turn on the flash ..drops to 400. will not work on some models or with built in flash.Bright outside stays at 100..perfect.
    This is actually a common misunderstanding that's often repeated on forums. But the camera doesn't actually work like that.

    Remember on half-press the camera's meter can only measure ambient light. The camera doesn't know how much light the flash will contribute to the scene until the iTTL preflash.

    On newer Nikon cameras, Auto ISO will let the ISO setting float between the base setting (e.g., ISO 100) and two-stops above it (e.g., ISO 400) depending on the ambient light conditions. But the actual ISO used to take the image can be any ISO from the base ISO to the max ISO.

    E.g., suppose you set your camera to base ISO 100 and Auto ISO up to max 6400.

    1. If there's enough ambient light for ISO 100, the camera will take the picture at ISO 100.

    2. If the scene is dim, the ISO will be raised up to two-stops above base (400), and then based on pre-flash:
    2a. If the flash has enough power, the camera will take a picture at ISO 400.
    2b. If the flash doesn't have enough power, the camera will raise ISO further up to max ISO (6400).

    The end result is the camera will still use any ISO from 100 to 6400. It just prefers to limit Auto ISO to two-stops above base if there's enough flash power, to minimize noise.

    Note when in dim conditions, in the camera's viewfinder will show ISO 400, but if you examine the EXIF data you will see that the actual ISO used can exceed this value as described in point 2b) above.

    (I hate that D800 worst camera I ever bought)
    Best camera I've ever bought, so far. :)

    On P-mode... there's a lot of misconceptions about that mode as well, we've had a whole thread about it. And FX cameras are too noisy for weddings? No comment on that. :D
    Post edited by Ade on
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    edited April 2014
    Well I dont want any restriction on the flash sync speed so I dont wreck any photos so 1/320FP it is
    Never seen a flash photo EXIF with over 400 iso on it ..but will test ....no sorry cannot make it do it but I did discover that my YN 565 ex is not compatible with the D7100...locks it at 400 iso ON or OFF ...Never use it ..too big and too many buttons so thats for the e bay chop. Worked fine on the D7000 ... Like I keep saying if you dont buy nikon you could get bitten in the ass ..just tested the YN 565 on the D800 locks that up too ..its gone...YN 465 ok that can stay.
    If you are standing 10 ft from a church of england vicar in a small stone hard reflective surface church you will not be back or anyone else if you let off the thump of a D800 FX about 50 times !!!! I tested it in Q mode and its 6x noisier on my db meter than a D7100 in Q.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited April 2014
    Very easy to test... set Auto ISO, put on flash, leave the lens cap on... viewfinder shows ISO 400 but EXIF shows ISO 6400. :)
    Post edited by Ade on
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    edited April 2014
    lens cap whats that ..thing an amateur keeps putting on and off ...mine is .in the box in the roof ready for the re sale ..ha ha yes will try it but the point is its never happened in practice and so what if it did you did not loose a shot which is what its all about...will go try it now.......well put my hand over the end of the lens hood and yes it did go to 1250 iso so yes you are right .BUT if it was that dark you would not be able to focus ..I am talking room light sufficient to read a book and a flash gun that will work to 20 ft ..so for practical purposes its 400 iso.
    Note if you use a lens cap you encourge fungus cus that fungus loves the dark ..leave it off let the UV in that fungus hates UV ,,,,oh dear started another riot....
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    I don't shoot weddings but I've shot a lot of events -- sometimes in dark clubs, restaurants etc. -- where exceeding ISO 400 would not be unusual especially for wide shots. I guess wedding receptions never get that dark!
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    .BUT if it was that dark you would not be able to focus ...
    How about AF-assist illumination? I use it on my SB900 ( will work with flash turned off )



  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    SB900 no no too big and too far from the centre of the lens ..big shadows in the background ..stick to the SB400 on a flash flipper ..very close to lens centre/always on top / minimal shadows (= minimal Photoshop) KISS this has to work 100% of the time..
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    edited April 2014
    Pistnbroke: thanks for the substantive comments. I will try your method. Seems to hold some promise to me. Sharing ideas, experience, knowledge (not swapping insults) should be what this forum is all about.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @Pistnbroke - It would seem that a larger flash such as a SB910 with a light modifier such as a Gary Fong Light Sphere - I don't know the name of the similar one available in the UK - would serve to ameliorate background shadows and red-eye effect that would seem to be a problem with the SB400 (I should think). It (the SB910) would also provide IR focusing for the D7100,too, as 7C pointed out. This adds value to your method, as the SB910 would, with the adapter, would swivel for both vertical and horizontal photos, quickly and easily.

    @Ade - The Auto ISO stills slaps me. Auto Noise Reduction, too. I've tried both and can't get my head around either.

    I generally get the idea that NR can ruin your day. Of course that is a separate thread.

    My best.

    Mike
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited April 2014
    stick to the SB400
    I was talking about focusing in low light levels and IR AF assist I don't think the SB400 has this

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    There are some substantive comments here. I certainly don't shoot in Pistnbroke's style, but it is obvious that he has developed a refined logic that works for him, and probably produces pleasing results. I would still like to see some images, but I do owe an apology for an earlier comment that I made.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,246Member
    edited April 2014
    Done the garry fong thing ..any light modifier saps the power and its so big ..I have the D800 on one shoulder and the D7100 on the other . there is no problem if you hit it head on with the SB 400 on a flash flipper ..slight shadows under the ears on men easily removed ...much easier than a whole black line down one side.Bouncing the flash all junk when surrounded by 20 camera phones !!!!
    Red eye about 10 in 1400 have it click its gone in lightroom.
    I give you another tip 3 cameras lock all the clocks with GPS ..No need to buy 3 a "Genesis" GPS has a cable for D7100 and D800 plug in for 5 min to each and they are all locked. $50 Lightroom puts them into shooting order to the second.....

    As for noise reductioin ..set for max and the active D lighting at H....never any problem but remember I dont do RAW ....1400 to process and get onto the web withing 12 hours no no .

    thanks for the nice comments ..it works for me and if I can see an improvement anywhere I will try it .
    What does not work is 1/ sigma lenses 2/some 3rd party grips3/ some flash guns 4/ some third party batteries but I have had all my battery failures with nikon batteries ..30% failed within 2 years.Never upgrade your firmware if all is working good for you.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,378Member
    The SB400 is great for fill flash outside and the head tilts so you can use it for bounce flash inside (when I am doing so I put a small card in the slot where the head tilts to create eye highlights) but it is not very powerful. The wonderful thing about the SB400 is that it balances so nicely on top of a DSLR body and does not stick up so far like the SB0600/700/900/910. It is much more comfortable and convenient to shoot with as long as you can get along with less power. Using f5.6 and high ISO expands the usable range for the SB-400. Pistenbroke is also correct that some of the more "entry level" DX bodies do have a quieter shutter and that can be appreciated at a wedding. He has a system worked out which I have not heard before and bears consideration. I especially like the fact that you can spend less time thinking about camera settings in a fast moving environment and spend more times trying to catch "the moment" which makes a great image.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited April 2014
    One to keep in mind when using the SB400, specially with lens that have a larger lens hood (ie. 24-70/70-200), if you do not bounce the light coming of vs. firing it directly at your subject, you will have some shadow the will fall on your subject. Hence, the flash itself does not sit that height off the body to prevent this from happening. Getting the flash off the body will yield much better results.

    The SB400 has many positive things going for it...price, general output and weight, but it also has limits. I own one and have found it quite rewarding when used for 50-60% of the time I need a flash; however, 98% of the time I never use a flash.

    Lastly, I find bouncing the light on a subject more appealing, than having the light hit the subject directly on.
    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 |
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    @Pistnbroke - I'm having a hard time understanding your post.

    You get only 10 red eye photos in 1400 (good on you), and one click in Lightroom?

    Cell phones?

    You don't synchronize the clocks with a GPS? Or you do?

    What works for you, works for you... Nor do I want you to change. I doubt very much you'd want to.

    There are other automated processed in both Lightroom and Photoshop that might do some of the processes more easily than you might think, but it might require retooling your thought process and workflow, apparently neither is necessary for what you're successfully doing.

    As I said earlier, you're still a youngster. Some of us have been doing this over 50 years; like me, and I am still learning.

    My best.

    Mike


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