grainy photographs


TPF Noob!
Jun 27, 2003
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most times when i crank the iso up to about 300 and the subject is moving, i get lots of grain :? ... i despise grain ... its my worst enemy :pissed: ... my hubby says some grain looks nice and add character to a b&w photograph .. :puke:

what do you think about acceptable limits of grain?
article said:
Our perception of sharpness depends to a large extent on how much detail an image contains. Frequently an image with moderately coarse but sharp grain (or crisp digital noise) can appear as sharp or even sharper than a fine-grained image. This is why high-acutance film developers such as Rodinal have historically been preferred by some. They made grain somewhat bigger, but gave it higher acutance and therefore aided in creating the appearance of a sharper image.

Conversely an image with fine but soft grain (for whatever reason) will drag down the general appearance of sharpness that a given image might otherwise have.

Interestingly, completely grain-free images can appear to be less sharp than the resolution numbers might lead one to believe. This is the case with the old Panatomic-X and Tech-Pan films. They are so grain-free than they can appear less than critically sharp if the image doesn't contain a lot of fine detail.

Along the same lines, in the digital realm it's my experience that the Canon D30 at 100 ISO is so free of digital noise (the equivalent of grain) that in some images it can almost appear to be less sharp than a 400 ISO frame from the same camera.
from this article
oriecat said:
I love grain!

Why do digital cameras have film speed when they have no film? :?

I love grain too which is why I love developing with rodinal.

Like film, a digital sensor can be more sensative to light.
I'm on your side dew, I don't like grain either, I think its becuase I dont see it in real life so why should i see it in my photographs
I am not big fan of grain, but it has it place, I do not like it on portraits or action sports, the grain that I seen and liked is mostly been B&W landscapes or architecture

Why do digital cameras have film speed when they have no film?

People are accustomed to film speed that why.
Yes all you really need to know is the EV level (exposure value)
How many people do you know understate EV or even what it is
i did a shoot yesterday and my subject decides he wants to play his guitar, sing and move around while im shooting him :? ... so i had to crank up the iso (not to mention im not too fabulous at taking "action" shots) :roll: ... so i had a lot of grain on those shots AArrrrrGGGHhh!!! .. here are my unassuming results :lol:


he wasn't playing here, but he kept moving around .. someone needs a tranquilizer :crazy:

Dew, are those ones that you thought are ok, or is the "grain" on them beyond what you like? I am just trying to understand and see where you are coming from. To me, those don't look grainy at all, but pixelated (it might also just be a product of uploading and monitor settings, etc.), which I guess is the digital equivalent of grain, but it really isn't the same thing. Pixelation is always bad, grain is often good. To me anyway.
I don't care for grain either, nor am I a fan of B&W. I think grain in color is even worse.

Dew.... Were these photos taken with your new E20? Would like to see some with the new cam if you have it.
yeh, those were with the new cam .. i got some pics in the photo gallery :p
I think it's important to distinguish between grain on film and noise in digital captures. They don't really look alike to me. I have seen people use a grain filter (Adobe) to add the look of film grain to their digital shots.

When I first got into photography I quickly began striving for as grain-free images as possible. I am still stunned by the fine look of prints made from slow ISO 4x5 negs. I definately go for grainless in my landscapes.

But I have learned to like grain. In my own work I usually go pretty grainy for BW rock-n-roll shots, and sometimes in portraits. I've seen other people's stuff, even commercial product work, that is grainy as can be, and looks great.

I haven't learned to appreciate the value of noise yet. But if I ever do I can use the noise filter to add some to my film scans.
i like all my photos crystal clear, no noise, no grain, no blur :D
I feel that grain and blur can add to the shot and if used right can make a picture so much better. I like the first one, you can see he loves his music and the blur helps bring that out in the shot.
I'm new to photography, so take this with a 'grain' of salt. This doesn't appear to be grain in these photos, rather blur from motion. If that is the case couldn't this have been avoided with a faster shutters speed(if possible)?

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