Grainy photos- due to 200ISO??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Turnerea, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Turnerea

    Turnerea TPF Noob!

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    I'm new to photography- just learning the basics and controls of an SLR via an old film Minolta.

    Recently I've noticed that some of my pictures have been coming out with a fair amount of grain in them.

    Not sure if this will be obvious once these pictures are posted here, but the first one is relatively crisp, or at least for my standards.

    The second two, however, are much grainier. They were shot with different film than the first, but all three were shot with ISO200. I didn't think to write down the settings, but as you can imagine, the shutter speeds for the second two are considerably longer. I think I even hand held the first one.

    My question is why are the second two grainer? I've purchased some ISO100, and will try that soon. Is it simply that at longer exposures, the higher ISO film will become grainy like this? I find the night, or at least low light photography, to be the most appealing so far, so does this mean I should be looking at getting ISO100 all the time, or even 50??

    Thanks for your comments- much appreciated.
    Erik

    1. [​IMG]

    2. [​IMG]

    3. [​IMG]
     
  2. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are under exposing. Film grain becomes more prevalent when underexposed and then amplified during scanning process.
     
  3. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    I'm kind of a sucker for film grain. I love it. Sorry, not that that's especially useful to you. Besides, Battou's got your answer.
     
  4. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, I shoot film almost exclusivly, I have experienced this on multiple occations and actually have a great example of this effect.


    Shot at the same time on the same roll of film, frames 12 and 13 to be precice. Due to inexperience with the lens I screwed up and drastically underexposed one of the images, after realizing what happened I corrected and shot the other considerably better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Despite everything I knew about post processing as far as increasing exposure during scanning and what not post scan at the time that was the best results I could get. The final image was was grain ridden to the point I actually sent a request to another user to run it through serious noise reduction to get it Presentable, something I don't do. The second shot there was scanned and normally processed by me at home, with out any sort of noise reduction to deaden grain. Though still not perfect the second shot is anything but grain ridden and I was happy with it.

    Both images are scanned negitive done via dedicated film scanner. Scanning prints has even less ability to make corrections than a negitive scanning system resulting in even less control over the end result. This is an extreme case and makes for good example IMHO.
     
  5. Turnerea

    Turnerea TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses everyone- I must say that I sort of do like the grain as well, though I don't want all my pictures to have it, and I'd like to have control over it

    So now that I know I'm underexposing- I need to figure out why. I think that I had metered off the sky, which was a tip in a few books I've been reading. Looking at my pictures, I guess I'm underexposing whenever the light is low (all my daytime shots look much better).

    Any suggestions as to how you would meter the photos in my original post?

    Thanks
    Erik
     
  6. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, I'm not going to be on for a couple of days but before I leave I want to point out that in some older cameras the meter looses accuracy. My TLb and one of my AE-1s have a massive problem with this. Resulting in much the same underexposure even when the camera tells you it is proper.

    Also knowing how to make it happen in camera will give you the ability to use it as you wish as I did here.


    Suggestions as to how to meter with a TTL camera are tough with out knowing the camera intamately, as I only have one Minolta that I do not use with any real regularity I am not sure I can help there beyond the same general statement you where working with.
     
  7. Turnerea

    Turnerea TPF Noob!

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    Could the meter be to blame if my daytime photos are coming out ok? I figured because they were ok, that ruled out my meter being bad... but maybe there is a larger margin of error with all that light around somehow?

    My amateur guess is that because the sunset and nighttime cityscape pictures present a lot of contrast, I just metered off something that was a bit too bright??
     
  8. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Judging by the spekel patern of the grain I am assuming you have scanned the prints, Correct?

    Yes, there is a larger margin for error with color negitive film, however most modern processing kinda negates that.

    With the exposure latitude of film there is some give and take but modern printing practice is commonly digital, restricting it to a digital sensor in both exposure latitude and tonal range. The exposure latitude of some of the cheapest and readily avaliable films is sufficient to capture those scenes and print satisfactory results with up to a couple stops under/over exposed, however the scanner used to scan the negitive for printing is programed to start at proper exposure. This means it puts a preset amount of light threw the negitive for a preset set amount of time and then it can be compensated from there. Scanners are (as far as I am concerned) no different than a sensor in a digital camera and susceptable to the tonal range shortcomings in the same way. The better the scanner the the better the available tone range to compensate exposure latitude with. Sadly in this day and age most amature film shooters are at the whim of the machines and the people running them of labs that may not be able to afford the best. That is why I invested in my dedicated scanner putting control in my hand.

    Now that I have had some time to really work out a reply, If it's the meter to blame, judging from the first two pictures I would have to say it's not bad, but I do have to assume that possibly you have a camera ment to take a mercury cell. That said, What is the camera you are using specifically? Other than that, it's a case of inexperienced metering practice.


    When faced with this it's best to find a happy middle ground or meter for ambient light. I read somewhere metering the palm of your hand (tho not perfect) will work for getting a good exposure in most situations. Shots one and two this would have prolly been the best way meter.
     

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