D300: ISO and NR


TPF Noob!
Dec 16, 2007
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Hey guys. I searched around for comparisons of different NR settings and what effect they have on the image at different ISOs on Nikon D300, but didnt find anything. So i did a quick one myself.

Lens Nikkor 50/1.8 @ /4
JPG normal quality optimised, vivid +3 sat, d-lightning normal
A mode, -2/3 compensation

All images are exactly as shot, cropped and reduced in PS using bicubic sharper. Saved as JPGs at 10/12 compression.

Test picture:

Below is the images showing all possible NR and ISO combinations. ISOs go from top to bottom in full stops: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 and 6400. NRs go from left to right: OFF, LOW, NORMAL and HIGH.

This image is a 50% reduced version for easy viewing. Follow this link for 100% crops (1.1 meg file):


My conclusion from these is that ISO 1600 with NORMAL NR is the sweetspot for general photography. However id like to point your attention to something else.

If we analyse background slightly higher then those crops, we will see gradient separation at NORMAL NR even at ISO 800. Here is a comparison:


Hence my choice is using ISO 1600 with LOW NR. Image is not distractingly noisy, preserves excellent detail and can still be processed rather well should i need it for something.

Hope you guys find this helpful! :thumbup:
Hey, this is EXCELLENT. Thanks for posting it!

1600 ISO the sweet spot?

Holy Cow.

I am going to go do some testing on my own at 1600 now... 1600 ISO with fast glass, think of the possibilities!

I likes my D300.
bout' time someone did this!

good job!
A few things should be painfully obvious here. one is that the examples of ISO100-400 were purely academic. No NR is taking place even when it is turned on.

And secondly MED and HIGH NR simply sucks. Shoot raw and do the NR in post if you're going to ISO up beyond 800.
Glad you guys find it useful :thumbup:
I'd like to see a full sized pic at for no and low on 1600 and 800.

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