NOISE!

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by hackelite, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. hackelite

    hackelite TPF Noob!

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    I am having trouble with noise big time. I was using a flash at the last wedding I went to still more noise. Here is a picture shot it RAW on a canon 30d
    Shot with 580ex flash F/4.0 1/250 spot metering
    iso 800 adobe rbg color, and with a EF35-80mm f/4-5.6
    is it the flash, the iso, the lens? me?
    HELP most of all my shots in low light are looking like this!

    http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g82/beyondmysight/Noise.jpg
     
  2. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    Could very well possibly be the ISO.

    In low light situations, the ISO (if you are using auto mode) is generally set higher, causing significantly more grain.
     
  3. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Noise is going to appear in any image when it is not properly exposed and then 'dragged' one way or the other.
    With an image such as this, I think you would have had better luck dragging the shutter (as in 1/15 or 1/10th) of a second and then delaying the flash until the end of the exposure and then popping it. That would have allowed any ambient light to show up and lessened the 'harshness' of the flash.
    Personally, I think in a situation that is so dark, you were correct in going either ISO 400 or 800 - as I said, if you nail the exposure, it isn't going to look too noisy.
    Have you looked into investing in a faster lens? A great lens is either a 50mm, 35mm etc. etc. prime lens depending on your system or preference of lens manufacturers. They are generally not pricey (in comparison to zooms) and fast.

    You can always download programs, free like Neat Image or one with a price tag like Kodak Gem (or at least I think that is what it is called), which will give you better results, to help 'recover' your current noisy images.

    Hopefully that helps some.
     
  4. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    Get a better lens. There is no sense in using a 30D, and a great flash if you're using a cheap plastic lens. Your flash shouldn't cost 3 times more than your lens. Get a new lens in the f/2.8 region. Or if you like primes, they are faster and cheaper.

    Even with a 20D at iso 800 noise isn't that bad. So in the 30D it's probably better. A lot of your problem is underexposure, that shot is a least a good stop under exposed.

    Now you could increase flash power to get good exposure, but you would lose the ambient background. The shutter would've been better at 1/125th. You could slow that down to 1/60th and put the iso on 400. That would mean less noise. Or like peanuts said, you a second shutter sync and drag it.

    You don't really need 1/125th. If you're focusing on a subject, the effective exposure is as long as the length of the flash. Even if you have a 1/4th shutter, the flash is going to freeze the action.

    And I'm not sure spot metering is the best here. It's great for studio or very precise and slow work, but for moving subjects like wedding photography the normal center-weighted metering works fine.
     
  5. hackelite

    hackelite TPF Noob!

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    So what you're saying is that I need to shoot at least 400 iso with a slower shutter speed. I also am wondering if i shoot at lets say, 1/40 sec shutter speed. won't that be a chance of a blurry shot since I am not using a tripod.

    How do you delay the flash like you talked about until the end of the exposure?
    Also how do you use second shutter sync and drag it I am not familiar with this. Like Peanut and DARIN 3200 suggested. are you saying the go into custom functions and change the flash sync to 1/125 and if I do should I put it on AUTO or just 1/125 fixed this is custom function #3

    The lens used was a friends lens, and it is not a really great lens, but the only other lens I own is a 70-200f/4L lens. So shooting a long lens in the wedding was not really going to work for me.

    What are some good lens recommendations

    either prime, or some mid range zoom? I do really want to get at least a f/2.8 lens not like that other one I used.

    I now have noise ninja PSCS2 software but I don't want to rely on that, I want to get better not use more photoshop!
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    That shot is severely underexposed. What caused that...I don't know...but when you try to rescue a shot like that...you will really bring out the noise. Shooting at ISO 800 on that camera, is usually OK (not great, but OK)...if you get the exposure right. If your exposure is off...then that's when problems start.

    What camera mode were you using? and what metering mode?

    For wedding work, you really should have a lens with a maximum aperture of F2.8...or faster, which will be a prime. Have a look at Sigma and Tamron, they both make a good lens in the 17-50 range with a constant max aperture of F2.8.
     
  7. castrol

    castrol TPF Noob!

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    Camera Make: Canon
    Camera Model: Canon EOS 30D
    Image Date: 2006:12:30 20:21:17
    Flash Used: Yes (Manual, red eye reduction mode)
    Focal Length: 35.0mm
    CCD Width: 9.85mm
    Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250)
    Aperture: f/4.0
    ISO equiv: 800
    White Balance: Auto
    Metering Mode: Spot
    Exposure: Manual
    Exposure Mode: Manual

    Spot metered. It probably metered off of her flowers or her white dress and threw the exposure way up.
     
  8. hackelite

    hackelite TPF Noob!

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    Yes castrol you were right I was shooting in manual at those setting. I am beginning to rethink this whole spot metering, what would you recommend evaluative, center weighted?

    also how do you shoot better overall in low light?
    F/2.8 or less and under 800 iso? this keeps being brought up. but my worry is the a 400 iso or lower that the shutter will be to slow for shooting without a tripod.

    any suggestions?

    also no one answer my flash question earlier in the post about adjusting shutter sync and what it is.

    how can i be sure to shoot at the right exposure in low light other than using AV or P modes. Manual seems to want to either meter way over or under, and I don't have enough light.

    Here in another shot that night same low quality sharpness maybe even out of focus and lots of noise

    http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g82/beyondmysight/Noise2.jpg

    Canon EOS 30D
    1/90Sec.
    F4.5
    Spot Metering
    Exposure Compensation 0
    ISO Speed 800
    Lens EF35-80mm f/4-5.6
    Focal Length42.0 mm
    Flash On
    White BalanceAuto
    AF mode Manual (MF)
     
  9. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    You need to start looking at the back of your camera.
    When you see a histogram like the one below, the image you've just taken is severely underexposed. You can do some levelling to make it better but the darkest areas will always have a lot of noise.

    You're shooting in manual; either your in-camera exposure meter is way off or you're metering the wrong areas. Stop using the spot meter. Use a wider area and refer to the histogram after you shoot.
     
  10. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Okay, to set it to teh end of the exposure, you need to change a setting on your camera called (crumbit, I can't remember at this moment but I will find a manual and edit this). It is the button with the three arrows. What happens, is the background will be properly (or darn right close) exposed, and the flash will 'freeze' the action. This also means, that you can pan, twist, turn, flip the camera (at least somewhat) to get some really neat effects, but the flash will 'freeze' up close subjects. I will post two examples of my own - and then I will try to find a link to a wedding photographer's site who uses a similar method.

    Edit: Okay, I use a 580EX which has a second curtain synch button. It appears that the 550EX doesn't, so if you go into your camera's custom functions (Under Menu) and then Shutter Curtain Sync (#15 on the 20D - not certain about 30D) and then go to 2nd-curtain sync. That may work. I haven't tried it myself.

    Panning and zooming to wide- could work for dancing couples, running out of the church etc.
    [​IMG]

    Twisting the camera around the vertex - in this case practically the middle
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    One more thing - bounce the flash. Do you use any type of diffuser? There is a rather popular one called 'Gary Fong's ..." something of a rather.

    Edit: Okay, ont he wedding shot. Go to www.wpja.com (A member of our site is actually part of this. If you ever need inspiration for weddings - go here) Anyways, go to the 'Latest Contest Winners' and Action and look at 6th place. That is one example in probably identical lighting situation as to what you were facing. As well as 15th.

    Oh heck I will list off a whole bunch.
    Dancing - 1st, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 20th
     
  12. hackelite

    hackelite TPF Noob!

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    When you find the button you were talking about peanut post a reply to the tread so I can fix this on my camera. Also should I shoot this way all the time?

    And what metering should I use?

    I was using the diffuser that came with the lens that goes on the very end of the flash. Like a cap.
     

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