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Thread: Project 1600 - Image #1.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Project 1600.

    This is a special 1-day project of mine. My goal is to understand my camera further and to find out how it behaves at ISO 1600. This is the ISO limit of Nikon D70. It would mean that it might not probably be acceptable depending on the light and other variables. The Nikon D70 starts to show grain even at ISO 400 so shooting at ISO 1600 is really pushing the camera too far. My experiment was both entertaining and disappointing. Entertaining because I never thought that in some cases, the shot is really cool at ISO 1600. Disappointing, because I know that my lenses are also not the best one to make a valid conclusion regarding my goal. I took about 120 shots yesterday but decided to process only 17 images of which I think are good enough to post.


    This is the first of the series:


    The Whisper.


    Project 1600 - Image #1.


    Nikon D70, Nikon 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6D lens, ISO 1600, f/4.5 at 1/400 second.


    All adjustments was done in LR with special emphasis on Luminance Noise Reduction set at 30. Exported to Photoshop for resizing and watermark. Thank you very much for viewing.
    Last edited by jiro; 20th August 2012 at 01:39 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #1.

    Nice catch and beautifully processed as usual.

    If you had not said so would not have guessed this was taken at iso 1600.

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #1.

    Great stuff Willie. No sign of any noise, which at ISO 1600 is brilliant. I look forward to seeing more of your interesting project.

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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #1.

    I'm amazed Willie. I've always considered ISO400 the limit on my D70 and D2Xs.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Nice catch and beautifully processed as usual.

    If you had not said so would not have guessed this was taken at iso 1600.
    Thanks, Bobo.

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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #1.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
    Great stuff Willie. No sign of any noise, which at ISO 1600 is brilliant. I look forward to seeing more of your interesting project.
    Thanks, Chris. The Noise Reduction algorithm of LR 4.1 is really OK. You lose some sharpness but in return you gain good reduction on Luminance Noise. There are 16 more images to post.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    I'm amazed Willie. I've always considered ISO400 the limit on my D70 and D2Xs.
    Thanks, Mike. I perfectly agree with you. What is interesting about this experiment of mine is that the Nikon D70's sensor response at ISO 1600 is not that predictable, meaning, with the right kind of light and intensity of light, the image is really good. However, with a very challenging situation, it is quite disappointing. I'm glad the new changes in LR when they introduced the 4.1 version was able to recover a lot from the shadow areas and let me tone down the highlights to make the shot workable. I'd say you can push the Nikon D70 at ISO 1600 but don't expect too much from it. Also, kindly be reminded mike that the lenses I have are not really up to the task of making a technical or valid analytical conclusion. This is purely subjective based on the lenses I own. Why don't you post some shots of your D70 and D2Xs at this ISO level? It would be nice to compare how the Nikon Thailand factory maintains their work standard from camera to camera. Thanks.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #1.

    Hi Willie,

    I like the way you even manage to make even a test shot a valid photograph (more than I achieve usually)

    Perhaps it is because (I think) I understand the technicalities at play, but;
    If downsized for web viewing, and without a significant crop, I don't see why noise reduction * (NR) should be all that necessary, but I admit I am completely inexperienced with D70 RAW images and they may be worse than I am assuming.**
    You mentioned lens limitations twice, but I think the loss of resolution due to noise reduction (both in-camera and in LR) is going to hide any lens issues, these should be more prominent at base iso in good light in my view - unless I have overlooked something.

    * If noise reduction (NR) is needed, I would recommend Neat Image, it won't affect sharpnes anything like as much as ACR (read "LR") NR used to (when I last used it) What I like about Neat Image is being able to choose where it samples for noise, so you can pick a surface/shade that shows it most (as long as it's not textured too).

    ** I find with the D5000 at 6400, its maximum; if cropping and correcting underexposure (and especially if shooting jpg), I can get a kind of noise clumping, which once sharpened is only removable by individually cloning them out you can see a couple of such spots I missed on the left on the biege ceiling on this shot - I won't spoil your Project 1600 thread with my pics - gotta leave room for 16 more

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #1.

    Thanks, Dave.

    All my test shots (including the ones to be posted) are straight from the camera except for some extra straightening so no heavy crop on my part. You're right, if an image is to be only presented for web applications then noise reduction is not that much necessary. If I going to submit images purely with B&W as my preferred output then I can live with the digital grain noise. Anything outside the B&W rendering would be horrible.

    I mentioned the lens limitation because I only have one prime lens, the 50mm f/1.8D. I had to use the cheap 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6D lens most of the time so my test subjects would not notice me taking pictures of them. If I am using the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens then that is a valid test lens for this experiment.

    I am quite aware of Neat Image. I also have Nik Define 2.0 and Imagenomic Noiseware Professional. I've been using different noise reduction programs since I know my camera's noise limitation. What I am saying is that if you only have lightroom v4.1 with you, that is enough to work with the given noise reduction plugin it have without resorting to another external noise reduction software. That I find really encouraging. From a not so good image to a workable one, LR 4.1 can do the job well.

    My Nikon D70, shooting at ISO 1600, coupled with LR 4.1, seems to be a good combination when faced with some difficult situations just to have the shot rather than missing it all because you only want to shoot at the base ISO or at a workable ISO 400 limit. Thanks again, Dave.

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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #2.

    Here is the 2nd image on this ISO 1600 experiment of mine. For web posting and for an 8x10 print I would say it's not that bad at all. By the way, I chose the interior of a church during early afternoon time to do the test for a more challenging lighting situation. It also gave me some actual experience in case somebody would ask me to shoot a wedding. Of course I would not use my D70 for that but would rent a Nikon D700 and shoot at ISO 3200 all day long.

    Project 1600 - Image #1.

    Nikon D70, Nikon 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6D lens, ISO 1600, f/4.5 at 1/250 second.
    Last edited by jiro; 18th August 2012 at 12:08 PM.

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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #2.

    I like the way you see (and project) the correlation between your human subject and (so far), the angel statue, by pose (#1) or shape of the pew ends (#2).

    Inspiring,

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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #2.

    Thanks, Dave.

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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #2.

    Great posting idea, Willie! Hopefully, your posting will be an encouragement to others to do some ISO testing of their own.

    I have seen recommendations for serious photographers to do exactly this, run a series of tests at specific high ISO settings under different lighting conditions and without doing any post processing, compare the results.

    The goal is to get comfortable with how far you can push the ISO under various conditions and still retain an acceptable level of noise. Although the results will be camera specific, it can open up a world of shooting opportunities when you can confidently push the ISO to get the shot you need and not worry about compromising the image to noise issues.

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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #2.

    Thanks, Frank. That's exactly one of my goals - to really be comfortable using my camera most of the time and if given an specific scenario, I can tell myself in a snap... "80-200mm lens at 80mm, ISO 1600, f/5.6 on Aperture Priority. I wish I have the legendary 70-200mm f/2.8 so I can still go wider at f/2.8 without losing any sharpness at all.

  15. #15

    Re: Project 1600 - Image #2.

    Hey Willie,
    Those are some really nice shots! Like stated earlier I would not have known they were at ISO 1600. I have not yet pushed my 70-300mm lens in such poor lighting conditions but this project of yours has convinced me to give it a good try.

    I have been shooting inside a building with fluorescent lighting at ISO 3200, no flash, with 17-55mm 2.8 lens and I am very pleased with the images after using Define 2.0 and LR4.1 on them.

    I can't wait to see the rest. Thanks for sharing.

  16. #16
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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #2.

    Thanks, Carl. Pushing your camera to the highest acceptable ISO with a little bit of post noise reduction would come in handy in the future. What camera do you have if I may ask?

  17. #17

    Re: Project 1600 - Image #2.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Thanks, Carl. Pushing your camera to the highest acceptable ISO with a little bit of post noise reduction would come in handy in the future. What camera do you have if I may ask?
    Your Welcome Willie,

    I am using a Canon 60D and I am still trying to learn more about it. It will go all the way up to 6400 but after trying just a couple of shots and probably in the wrong locations for that high of ISO I was very disappointed with the results so have not gone that high any more. I will work my way up from 3200 just to see what will/will not be acceptable.

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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #2.

    I will surely follow this thread, really I always follow your threads. I've been following a simliar thought with my 90 mm macro, I'm kinda beginning to view it as a 90mm prime that just happens to focus really close.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl in Louisiana View Post
    Your Welcome Willie,

    I am using a Canon 60D and I am still trying to learn more about it. It will go all the way up to 6400 but after trying just a couple of shots and probably in the wrong locations for that high of ISO I was very disappointed with the results so have not gone that high any more. I will work my way up from 3200 just to see what will/will not be acceptable.
    I have read lots of good info about your Canon 60D. I think it has the same sensor as Canon 7D so that would probably mean you can really shoot at high ISO's with ease. You could probably start your own "project 3200 or 6400" and let's see what you can come up with with your 60D and lenses. Thanks, Carl.
    Last edited by jiro; 18th August 2012 at 09:26 PM.

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    Re: Project 1600 - Image #3.

    Thanks, Randy. I did not know that somebody's following my threads.

    This is my 3rd image for this project. This is more like a simple play of lights and shadows. As you can see, the digital noise is now evident but not that intrusive on the gray shadow areas.

    Project 1600 - Image #1.

    Nikon D70, Nikon 80-200mm lens at 200mm, ISO 1600, f/5.6 at 1/400 second.

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