ISO-settings - how do you do it?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by carlt, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. carlt

    carlt TPF Noob!

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    How you set your ISO?

    I'm leaning towards keeping ISO as low as possible through manual mode and just accepting that if pictures turn out dark I have to turn on lights or use flashes.

    I just hate the noise that occurs otherwise.

    In my case I'm using a Sony A200 and I'm sure noise on high ISO levels is less of a problem with more expensive sensors.

    By the way, for the A200, what is the highest acceptable ISO level before noise and noise-reduction takes over?
     
  2. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    It's a balancing act between ISO, shutter and f/stop.

    It really depends on what you are trying to achieve. It's a pretty good bet with the A200 you can go up to about ISO 1000 without any detrimental noise issues.
     
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I do the same. Start at 100 and I usually don't have to go up much from there either by using fast glass (f/1.4) and/or using flash. When you do have to go up, Noise Ninja and Neat Image works well to reduce the noise.
     
  4. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Like farmerj said, its a balancing act. Some days ill walk around outside at iso 100, and others ill walk around at sunset at iso 800. Normall, i dont go above 1000 because it gets noisy. I did alot of guess and check with my camera to figure out when it got really noisy. I mean, its fine to walk around at iso 400.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Generally I tend to do one of two things - if I'm doing macro and thus my work is dominated by flash light I tend to sit on ISO 100; however if I am doing wildlife unless it is a very very sunny day I tend to be starting at around ISO 200.

    Generally you want to start at the lowest and then only increase the ISO as and when needed; I only start on ISO 200 for action because whilst a good exposure, noise reduction and printing can all help to reduce noise there is nothing I can do for blured subject motion.
    What limits you place on your camera will vary greatly depending upon your camera body itself and upon your own demends from your photography. Myself on a 400D I tend to have ISO 400 as my ideal max whilst I will reach to ISO 800 but not expect a fantastic shot - ISO 1600 is pretty much not worth using unless the sight is truly awinspiring.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Also, it will help to prevent noise if you nail your exposure...or even slightly overexpose. But if you underexpose and try to brighten you images in post, the noise will start to jump out.

    There are also several options for reducing noise in post. Although, that can also cause some details to become blurry.
     
  7. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    ^^bigmike makes a great point. When you underexpose it and try to brighten it later, the noise will be very apparent.
     
  8. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Mike
    I have read that it is easier to work on a photo that is a little overexposed as opposed to a little underexposed.
    Do you know how true this is?
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    I believe that to be true, if only because you bring out more noise adjusting to get brighter than adjusting to get darker. To dig a little deeper, there is more information in the brighter areas than the darker areas...but the caveat to that, is that you still want to avoid blowing out your highlight detail.

    In short, expose to the right...to maximize your signal to noise ratio.
    Read this...Expose Right
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you underexpose like say you are doing you will get more noise than if you up the ISO and get the exposure right . What you are doing is not good practise
     
  11. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

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    I find ISO the magic variable that allows me to get the shutter speed and aperture i want.

    The first two things i care about are f-stop and shutter speed, depending on what i want. If i want a large DOF though but am hand holding and cant keep a steady enough hand for the longer shutter speed that will result from the highert f-stop, i crank up the ISO until it lowers my shutter speed to something i can handle.

    Same goes for if i want a longer shutter speed and a shallow DOF, i'll lower the ISO to give me the right exposure.
     
  12. carlt

    carlt TPF Noob!

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    The Expose right article was a great read!

    I immediately realized that I'm doing almost the exact opposite of what the article suggested. I keep the peaks of my histograms on the left side all the time...

    Time to rethink everything. :mrgreen:
     

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