Does ISO affect Dynamic Range?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ismael, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. ismael

    ismael TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    Isolating the topic of Dynamic Range: is it affected by ISO sensitivity?
    In other words: If a sensor has a DR of say 8 stops, would that be across the entire ISO range?
    How about in film? Let say Kodak Gold 100 and 400: Would the DR be totally unrelated to speed?

    Thanks,
     
  2. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    I'm pretty sure that you lose DR ans the ISO gets higher. I'm not sure about this, but I'm pretty sure, nor do I know to what degree you lose DR.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Interesting question.
    As far as I know, ISO does not affect the dynamic range with digital.

    What ISO does affect is noise levels...and another thing that affects noise is exposure, so I'm thinking that the two could be related. For example, you might get a nice dynamic range and a clean shot at ISO 100, but at ISO 3200, you might have the same exposure range, but now the shadow areas are too noisy.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yes, an interesting question.

    Have to add that to my list of things to research but off the top of my head I'd say no, it's a function of the image sensor.

    Trouble is, performance at high ISO has a lot to do with the quality and performance of the amplifiers.
     
  5. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

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  6. Moglex

    Moglex TPF Noob!

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    I would say definitely yes.

    As you increase the ISO the noise level increases.

    This must swamp the most subtle differences in level particulary in the deep shadows.

    Thus the dynamic range is reduced.
     
  7. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Yes, according to DXO Labs :D700
     
  8. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    I believe I read somewhere recently that ISO does indeed affect dynamic range. If I can locate the source, I will post it here.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Definitely.... At really high ISOs (1600+) it can be as little as 2 stops (depending on the camera).
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Raising ISO *does* make you loose dynamic range. Thom Hogan in his book discussed this in detail.

    Going from ISO 200 to 1600 gives you a loss of 1.5-2 stops of dynamic range on the D700. It is closer to 3.5 stops on a D200. Other cameras will give you the same or greater range losses.

    This is one of those questions where if you take 5 minutes and try it out yourself, it becomes evident. Take a low light shot at ISO 100 and a longer shutter speed. take the same shot at higher ISO and faster shutter speed. Note the obvious differences in the shadow details.

    This is using a RAW file, becuase it has the most dynamic range of any digital format.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  11. ismael

    ismael TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses!
    Jerry, I DID try it. That's why I was asking. :er:

    Thanks,
     
  12. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    *cough* Except for Adobe's Radiance format *coughcough* ;)
     

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