lowest ISO possible?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by BLD_007, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. BLD_007

    BLD_007 TPF Noob!

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    If light allows should the ISO be as low as possible? My 50d can go down to 100. If I can, should I try for a low ISO? Higher ISO adds noise and noise makes pictures look crappy.

    Am I right on this or is there a ISO that you should shoot for?
     
  2. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    It is best to shoot at the lowest ISO the situation allows. Newer cameras can safely go up to at least 400/800 (XS(i)/XT(i)) level. The more expensive cameras can go up even higher like 1600 without added noise*

    *this is with otherwise proper exposure. a photo whose exposure is otherwise wrong may have noise even at ISOs 100,200, etc. There are plenty of posts in this part of the forum where people have noisy photos shot @ISO 200.

    Basically it depends on how well your overall exposure is as well as the level of camera and its respective sensor/built in noise reduction.
     
  3. BLD_007

    BLD_007 TPF Noob!

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    canon 50d +)
     
  4. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, for example with my 50D I've taken pictures at ISO 1600 with minimal visible noise and then I've taken pictures at ISO 800 with more than the one at 1600, so everything matters not just the ISO. When possible its good to keep it down, though.
     
  5. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    I agree, good to kep it down. Soetimes though, even when I don't aboslutley need it, I kick the ISO up a little bit when shooting with flash.

    For time when I'm dragging the sutter or want the flash to recycle a bit qucker or get a bit more ambient light in the scene. (Search for Planet Neil for more information).

    With that said, I do usually try and keep it set low.
     
  6. Sam6644

    Sam6644 TPF Noob!

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    my professors say, "shoot on the edge of exposure"
    meaning you get your best quality from lower ISOs and lower shutterspeeds.

    The more time you give your film/sensor to absorb light, the better it can absorb the light typically.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Use whatever ISO level is needed to get the shot. On modern cameras, the higher ISO settings are pretty good, as long as you do not grossly under-expose in the camera.

    A tack-sharp shot done at ISO 640 is far preferrable to a low-noise shot done at ISO 100, with everything all motion blurred.
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's just your opinion, but look around at some high ISO digital and film shots. Grain and noise don't equal crap. Excessive and uncontrolled grain and noise may ruin and image, but it's all personal opinion.

    There's times when I've done shoots outdoors where I have to use ISO 100 and then I'll go in and add noise to the photo if that's the look I'm going for. I regularly shoot at high ISO levels and don't use noise reduction unless it's absolutely necessary. Plus in B&W images, noise can add a certain texture to an other wise flat photo.

    Not the most interesting photo in the worl, but at a very high ISO, it doesn't make the photo look crappy in my opinion. You have to view it at it's highest resolution just to get an idea.

    [​IMG]

    Also, noise at higher ISO levels can be controlled. Try shooting a scene at -2/3 exposure, correct exposure, and +2/3 exposure where 1600 ISO fits the correct exposure. The under exposed image will appear to have more noise, especially if you bump the exposure up in post. The correct will have less and the +2/3 will have even less, making even more apparent noise disappear if you drop the exposure down to the correct level.

    Noise shows more readily in darker areas as well. You won't really be able to see as much noise in a white area of a photo vs. the shadows or a dark area.
     

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