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Thread: Would u sacrifice noise for stopped down sharpness ?

  1. #1

    Default Would u sacrifice noise for stopped down sharpness ?

    I'm sure many of you have encountered this issue in low light conditions; to stop down and bump the ISO, or to shoot wide open to keep noise down.
    I give you a scenario; In a dimly lit room where the camera meters 1/30s f2.8 ISO800. The lens on the camera in a 30mm lens with a maximum aperture of f2.8. Would you shoot at ISO800 f2.8 and sacrifice some sharpness (most lens poor wide open), or would u stop down one stop to f4 and use ISO1600 ?

    Assumptions:
    - you can handhold at 1/30 with sharp pictures, any slower will suffer camera shake
    - no tripod around
    - ISO800 is fairly clean, ISO1600 picture useable but noise visible (say D100)
    - no... dont come out with funny ideas like bringing in studio lights, opening the windows, switching on the light, etc

    (typo corrected)
    Last edited by marcwang; 6th July 2005 at 05:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Yes i would, post processing could remove some of the noise effects (although it is to a certain extend)

    getting a sharper image is more important... IMHO

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwang
    I give you a scenario; In a dimly lit room where the camera meters 1/30s f2.8 ISO800. The lens on the camera in a 30mm lens with a maximum aperture of f3.5. Would you shoot at ISO800 f2.8 and sacrifice some sharpness (most lens poor wide open), or would u stop down one stop to f4 and use ISO1600 ?
    What camera are you using? Some cameras have cleaner images than others at ISO1600/3200. Having said that, I would shoot with the lens wide open rather than deal with a lot more noise in post-processing later. For most prints say up to 8R, the lens sharpness factor or softness from a good lens (not motion blur) would not be easily noticed

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwang
    I'm sure many of you have encountered this issue in low light conditions; to stop down and bump the ISO, or to shoot wide open to keep noise down.
    I give you a scenario; In a dimly lit room where the camera meters 1/30s f2.8 ISO800. The lens on the camera in a 30mm lens with a maximum aperture of f3.5. Would you shoot at ISO800 f2.8 and sacrifice some sharpness (most lens poor wide open), or would u stop down one stop to f4 and use ISO1600 ?

    Assumptions:
    - you can handhold at 1/30 with sharp pictures, any slower will suffer camera shake
    - no tripod around
    - ISO800 is fairly clean, ISO1600 picture useable but noise visible (say D100)
    - no... dont come out with funny ideas like bringing in studio lights, opening the windows, switching on the light, etc
    err... if your lens can only do f3.5, how to do f2.8???

    btw wat u mean by sharpness? overall sharpness? sometimes during dark environment... when you use f3.5 also quite sharp overall..
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwang
    I'm sure many of you have encountered this issue in low light conditions; to stop down and bump the ISO, or to shoot wide open to keep noise down.
    I give you a scenario; In a dimly lit room where the camera meters 1/30s f2.8 ISO800. The lens on the camera in a 30mm lens with a maximum aperture of f3.5. Would you shoot at ISO800 f2.8 and sacrifice some sharpness (most lens poor wide open), or would u stop down one stop to f4 and use ISO1600 ?

    Assumptions:
    - you can handhold at 1/30 with sharp pictures, any slower will suffer camera shake
    - no tripod around
    - ISO800 is fairly clean, ISO1600 picture useable but noise visible (say D100)
    - no... dont come out with funny ideas like bringing in studio lights, opening the windows, switching on the light, etc
    Shoot multiple shots and choose the best of the lot when you start PP..

    Once at ISO 800, f2.8, 1/30 and once at ISO 1600, f4.0, 1/30s.

    If it's possible to find a table or chair to prop your hands or lean your body against the wall, you should be able to hand hold 1/15s at f4.0, ISO 800.

  6. #6

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    I would shoot twice if I am unsure. First shot at ISO800 but wide open, then second shot at ISO1600 but stopped down.

    However, after you do this a couple of times, you will learn which is better for you based on your camera's capabilities. For myself and the equipment I use, I would pick ISO800 wide open rather than stopping down and shooting at a higher ISO. In general, most noise reduction I do tends to soften the image anyway, that after noise reduction on the ISO1600 image, the ISO800 and wide open softness is still sharper and cleaner.

  7. #7
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    I would prefer less noise. If you have noise and use some noise remove software it will also make the pics looks soft. Sharpness is not too bad even if wide open.

  8. #8
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    I would probably step down to f4, use ISO 800 and burst for 5-6 shots

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