Help with noise. Shooting in low light

Discussion in 'Nikon Cameras' started by sk8ting, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. sk8ting

    sk8ting TPF Noob!

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    I am just starting out with this whole photography thing. I was taking some pictures of my friends band in his studio/basement, the lighting was weird, darker but they had LED lights on the ceiling as well as very dim incandescent lighting. I had the ISO set to different levels to experiment with getting rid of the noise, without using a flash. I was using the flash because I could not figure how to get a sharp, clear image without it. What should I do to get those images sharp and clear without the flash??
    1. $Basement.jpg I

    2. $Basement2.jpg

    3. $Jake face.jpg


     
  2. Aloicious

    Aloicious No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    what camera and lenses are you using?

    its rough to determine noise and stuff on downsized images, try posting some 100% crop area so we can better see what kind of noise you're dealing with.
     
  3. sk8ting

    sk8ting TPF Noob!

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    As of now I have a D5100 with the 18-55. But I have ordered a sigma 10-20 and a Nikon 55-300.
     
  4. LuckySe7en

    LuckySe7en TPF Noob!

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    It's going to be tough to get sharp images in that light environment w/out flash. Unless you can crank the hell out of your iso and keep a useable image.
     
  5. Aloicious

    Aloicious No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    all those lenses are pretty slow, the 5100 is a decent body but, like luckyse7en mentioned it'll be hard to get sharp shots in that lighting at all, especially with slow lenses. but there are some things you can do that will help

    in order to keep noise down, you'll want to shoot at the lowest ISO possible, which also means that shutter speed will need to go up, and/or use larger apatures. and with longer shutter speeds, you'll get much more camera shake, and motion blur...

    for the 5100, personally I'd probably try to stay at or under 800ISO if the noise bothers you. the 10-20 will give you less camera shake in the pics, but it's still slow. If you can, try using a tripod and remote release, but slow shutter speeds even with a tripod can have motion blur from the performers playing their instruments. you can go a little higher in ISO and try to remove the noise in post processing too, but I'd rather not have to use noise reduction software if I don't have to.

    If you have some money available, you may want to look into getting some faster lenses which will allow you to open the apature larger and let in more light, that will let you get the same amount of exposure with faster shutter speeds, and lower ISO.

    depending on what focal lengths you like to shoot at, some "less-expensive" options for faster glass would be: nikon 50mm f1.8D (or G), 35mm f1.8G, or the 85mm f1.8...or you can look at various other manufacturers like sigma I think makes a 24mm 1.8 and 28 1.8 though I don't know what those cost....you want to get the smallest f stop value (small f-stop numbers mean larger apatures, just FYI incase you were unaware, since you said you were just starting in photography)...I've shot some small performances in spaces similar to what your pictures show, and I found I liked wide angle lenses more than longer ones. I'd say look at the 35mm 1.8, or possibly the wider sigmas or something...

    there are also camera bodies that can handle higher ISO while still producing low noise, however depending on your budget, those can cost a good amount. and the 5100 is a fine body. its best to hone your skills and upgrade down the line if thats something you require IMO....
     
  6. sk8ting

    sk8ting TPF Noob!

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    Awesome, thank you. I will look into those lenses later today. So "faster" lenses have a wider aperture, correct? Trying to get my facts straight lol. I do like the 5100 very much as a first camera, it was in my budget and until I get more proficient with the camera it will last me a while.
     
  7. Aloicious

    Aloicious No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yeah, the 5100 is a good body. I wouldn't worry about upgrading for a while...

    yes, when someone refers to a speed of a lens (faster/slower), they're refering to the maximum fstop value (lowest number)....low numbers mean the lens can give a large wide apature, higher numbers mean the apature is smaller...it also gets a little more complicated with different fstop values because you'll also have depth of field changes and such, especially at shooting closer to the subject, and lens performance at extremes and such...but for your low light stuff they'll be much more useful....

    here is a diagram of different fstop values and apature sizes...it'll kindof show you how the different Fstop numbers affect the apature.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Aperture_diagram.svg

    you can see how the larger opening will let in alot more light...but they will also require more skill to keep the subject in the smaller depth of field (or DOF, which is the depth of the plane where the focus is at, if that makes any sense)
     
  8. sk8ting

    sk8ting TPF Noob!

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    Sweet, I am looking at a Nikon 50mm 1.4d and a Nikon 35mm 1.8g. Maybe the 85mm 1.8g. Does any lens manufacturer make a zoom lens with a low fstop?
     
  9. LuckySe7en

    LuckySe7en TPF Noob!

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    fast lens with wide apertures = tons of cashola! lol
     
  10. sk8ting

    sk8ting TPF Noob!

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    Ya. I think I am gonna get the 35mm Nikon. Perhaps the 50mm...tough choice since I can't zoom.
     
  11. Aloicious

    Aloicious No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    good quality fast zoom lenses = MONEY...and typically the fastest zoom lenses will be around f2.8 like the nikon trinity ones...

    with primes (prime lenses = fixed focal length/non-zoom), it'll help you get your skills better since you'll need to move around a bit to compose the shots. and primes can typically be made faster...

    usually faster lenses will cost much more. but for ones like the 50mm f1.8D it's a great lens and only usually costs $100....the 35mm 1.8g is a little more but still under $200...others like the 1.4 and 1.2 lenses will be exponentially more expensive though...

    also don't be afraid to look at used stuff....lenses that are properly taken care of will last forever...
     
  12. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No zoom lenses are available with f stop faster than f/2.8. In these kinds of situations a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4 is your best friend.
     

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