Increased minimum ISO

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by darich, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I've recently returned from a trip to NY for a family wedding and took around 900 shots in 8days.

    I'm a bit disappointed in some of them though. It's not the camera - it's me!!
    Check the image on the front of my website to see an image when the camera is set on a marble handrail in Grand Central Station. It's sharp from front to back an looks amazing when printed at poster size.

    I know that low ISO gives lower noise so i generally have my 5D set at "L", in other words "50" unless i go indoors. But i noticed when i got home that many of my shots have a touch of camera shake in them. Easily remedied by increasing the ISO and therefore reducing the exposure. Easy with hindsight.

    But i want to avoid this in future and wondered what you guys thought of this idea.
    I'm thinking that from now on i'll keep my ISO to minimum of around 200 for my handheld shots. that way i can reduce the exposure and hopefully sharpen my images. For tripod work i can then drop it down to "L" again.
    I've decided that a sharp noisy image is far better to a blurred "quiet" image and think that this idea is quite good.

    Bearing in mind the camera i have (Canon 5D) am i likely to see any noise or quality drop by using an ISO of 200 in comparison to "L"?
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    ISO 200 is pretty much completely noiseless on my 6mp dSLR, and I imagine there would be even less of a problem with the 5D with its full-frame CMOS. Personally I would be entirely happy to shoot at ISO 200 from a noise/quality point of view, but obviously I'd suggest you compare a few shots yourself to decide if you feel the same.
     
  3. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    It all depends on the light. A good rule of thumb is to have the shutter at least 1/focal length. So if you are shooting with a 50mm lens, shoot at least at 1/60 sec. That's for 35mm film, but the 5D is full-frame, so it still applies.

    If it's bright, you can shoot low ISO. If it's dim, shoot higher. I try to remember to check my ISO every time the lighting changes to make sure it's appropriate for the light I'm shooting in.
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    with the 5D, if you have a good exposure, ISO 200 means almost no noise.

    I usually use ISO 100 or 200 outdoors

    to my knowledge ISO 50 (L) does not really help, there are reports that it even increases the noise slightly.
    As far as I understand, on the 5 D ISO 50 is meant to be used when you want to get longer exposure, or shorter DOF in very bright light. As a sort of first aid when you don't have your ND filters with you ...

    oh, and keep in mind, that raised temperatures can increase sensor noise too.
     
  5. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For these kinds of images, here's a good technique.

    1) If possible, break out your pocket tripod.

    2) If not, go to shutter priority mode on your camera and set the reciprocal shutter speed.

    3) Raise your ISO manually until you can get away with this shutter speed at wide open aperture.
     
  6. ISO 200 on 5D, for the exact reason you mention.
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've never met a pocket tripod that would hold a 5d with a decent lens.
     
  8. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys.

    i know about focal length reciprocals and about keeping the ISO low to minimise noise.

    I didn't know that the L setting can occasionally increase noise depending on conditions. I do have an ND filter and a tripod but they only get used together and as for a pocket tripod......
    have you ever felt the weight of a 5D and 24-70 f2.8 L lens on the front?
    My full size tripod can handle it easily in landscape mode but in portrait the camera always rotates down because of the wieght of the lens on the front. It's not an expensive tripod and i generally don't shoot portrait on it so i don't mind.

    i think the common consensus is that at ISO 200 i'll be fine and could even push that a bit if needed and have very low or no noise in my images.
    The good thing is that there are several increments before 400 so i don't always have to double the ISO for the next step up :thumbup:
     
  9. kevin_c

    kevin_c TPF Noob!

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    I tend to leave my Canon 20D on ISO400 for most things, the low noise capabilities of this camera (and all current Canons) are really good and have no hesitation using it at this ISO.
    If the light is quite bright, or if I am shooting Macro's etc. I will obviously turn it down to 200 or even 100.
    As long as you don't underexpose noise should not be an issue at this (or any other) ISO - The worst thing you can do is to underexpose a dimly lit scene and try to 'pull-out' the shadows.

    As someone else said earlier - It's better to have a slightly noisy shot than a blurred one, although as I say, at ISO 400 you really cannot see the noise unless you start 'pixel-peeping' at ridiculous magnifications!
    I've ruined more shots over the years with camera shake than anything else.
     
  10. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In case you do mind one day, get a tripod collar :)

    luckily it was included with my lens, and i love it as you can quickly rotate from landscape to portrait without changing your optical axis at all.
     

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