2-GBH pics shot @Hi-1 setting (ISO1600)

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR' started by Steve S, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Used the MLU & cable release for these. Turned NR off in NC4. Increased Saturatioin by 10% in PS. 1st shot HSC was used. Very slow shutter even at Hi-1, since it was so cloudy. What are your opinions?
    original.
    Date/Time 14-Aug-2005 08:09:02
    Make Nikon
    Model NIKON D2X
    Flash Used No
    Focal Length 700 mm
    Exposure Time 1/160 sec
    Aperture f/8
    ISO Equivalent
    Exposure Bias +2/3
    White Balance (10)
    Metering Mode center weighted (2)
    JPEG Quality (6)
    Exposure Program aperture priority
    original.
    Date/Time 14-Aug-2005 08:04:28
    Make Nikon
    Model NIKON D2X
    Flash Used No
    Focal Length 700 mm
    Exposure Time 1/250 sec
    Aperture f/8
    ISO Equivalent
    Exposure Bias +2/3
    White Balance (10)
    Metering Mode center weighted (2)
    JPEG Quality (6)
    Exposure Program aperture priority
     
  2. Steve, given that this is right along the lines of one of my D2X questions, ISO 1600, thanks for posting these. To my eye these look pretty darn good, and these are with 0 noise reduction, correct? Nothing in post either, right? To your eye, how correct is the color of the bird? In particular, the "brownish" bits on the wing and body in shot #2. Have you tried to print one of these?

    In short, to me, this is very encouraging for ISO 1600. I'm curious to see what others think, and if some find the noise objectionable, would you please point out where in the image you see it?

    Thanks,
     
  3. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    HI BIll, that's right no NR of any kind (pic)

    No NR in-cam, in NC4, or in PS was used on these, and the brown bits on my Indiana Heron are totally normal. I've got 100's of shots of these guys with the exact same coloring to them.
    Here's one more. Obviously, more shutter speed, and possibly improved technique would help even more.
    original.
    Date/Time 14-Aug-2005 08:12:30
    Make Nikon
    Model NIKON D2X
    Flash Used No
    Focal Length 700 mm
    Exposure Time 1/250 sec
    Aperture f/8
    ISO Equivalent
    Exposure Bias +2/3
    White Balance (10)
    Metering Mode center weighted (2)
    JPEG Quality (6)
    Exposure Program aperture priority
     
  4. These images look good to me.

    I've been walking around with mine in HI-1 today. Just to see what I come up with.

    I tend to think of it in terms of "usable megapixels." Or, at what image size am I happy with the look of the grain that is there. And how large can I print them.

    The indoor shots I am taking today seem to be running about the size of a D2H image in quality. Granted, they are not very well lit and the shutter speeds are down to 1/40 or 1/60.

    Printing wise, I am printing on Epson Enhanced Matte at 8.5 x 11" and they look good to me (printed on an R1800).

    Hand held, low light stuff is important to me. I have bought a 20D and lenses and recently a KMinolta 7D just to try and give myself more options.

    I used the 20D for about six months, along side a D70. I got rid of the 20D because I just didn't see enough of a low light advantage over the D70 to give up my subjective preference for the Nikon's colors, etc. That and the 20D produced banding in darker areas at ISO 800 and greater. I can live with grain/noise, but not that.

    I only had the 7D for several days. It had a few defects and that spooked me enough to return it rather than getting a replacement. I may try them again, though. I thought it was a quirky camera, but the results were very nice.

    What I am learning to do, though, is to not say to myself "are these images perfect enough," but rather to just explore the nature of the beast. To learn what it is capable of and how to get the best out of it.

    The D2X offers much more than any camera I have ever used in that regard. Including low light.
     
  5. This is great news, and thanks for the info on the print. Well over 85% of the High-ISO stuff I need to do is 8x10 and smaller, and even though the expection may be on the low side, I still want to deliver quality. What is nice for me is to see that you and Steve are seeing the same type of result that I was, and as long as these are "fixable" without a ton of added work, this resolves that part of the issue.

    Thanks, folks, for all the work you are putting into this, it really helps me out. I owe you all at least 2 cups of coffee now :wink:
     
  6. Steve, that was my guess on the coloration, I just wanted to be sure it wasn't some sort of strange artifact thingy happening with High-ISO. We have a couple of spots here in Washington where the Herons are more blue than in others, my guess is it is diet.

    Again, thanks for all of this, I really appreciate the help and information.
     
  7. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    These do not look good.
    Re-sizing froim 6-12MP down to 600X600 screen resolution will probably hide noise problems more than illustrate them.

    If you want to shoot at ISO 1600 get a d2hs for those purposes.
    No offense here, but lets be honest about the noise of the d2x, pics look bad at and above ISO 800, just like (if not worse than) the d2h.

    The reason you can get away with it in some instances is that you are photographing light colored subjects, like white skinned people, or light colroed birds. A picture of a dark skinned football player, in the shadow of his helmet, or a black dog's fur would look awful at this ISO setting. This is simply not what the camera is geared for. If you HAVE to go there to get a shot you otherwise would not have, wel lyou can, but please don;t fool yourself into thinking the performance of the d2x is even bearable at ISO 1600, except with the lightest of subjects and the absolute best exposure and technique.
     
  8. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Oh, c'mon Twig, don't hold back on our acct ;c)

    Ya, they're pretty sh@tty as they are now. You did notice where I said no NR of any kind was used, either in-cam, or in post. They are naked, as-shot pics. Point taken about the noise levels above ISO 800, esp on dark objects, but I'll bet they would clean up to be usable shots if needed.
     
  9. jfenton

    jfenton

    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Steve

    I wouldn't turn the in-camera NR off in NC for Hi-1 shots. I've used it a fair bit lately and find that it works pretty well set to narmal...just don't set it to HIGH.

    It takes an extra bit of sharpening in post, but I've gotten some Hi-1 shots that are perfectly usable, especially for print (they look much better printed than on screen) and I'd have no reservations using them to sell.

    I have to admit...the posted ones are pretty rough.
     
  10. OK, folks, so how about something a bit more definitive here? Yes, noise is noise, but again the bottom line for what I do is "manageable". Can anyone be more definitive that a simple "pcs look bad or worse than the D2H"? Not trying to pick on anyone here, but I am trying to be realistic about what can and cannot be done, and work in the real world. Once again, here is the URL to a bunch of test shots I did in conjunction with Jim Thiel, and there is one ISO 1600 sample that has been run through Noise Ninja, as close a comparison as I could get between the 2 cameras. I would really appreciate it if folks would look at this, and if this is "unacceptable" explain to me in simple terms what is so bad and why, keeping in mind that this type of shooting is not meant as "fine art" but in the main for high school memories in crummy light :lol: .

    http://www.deweydrive.com/D2XTest

    I may just be blind, not know what to look for, have absolutely no clue how to judge "decent", but I sure as heck am trying to learn. Now, would I use ISO-1600/3200 for fine portraiture work? Certainly not on purpose, but when the conditions require it you don't have much choice.

    Jim makes an excellent point regarding print as well, often the "on-screen" view, especially at 100%, over empazises the issue, in my opinion.

    Jim, you say the posted images are pretty "rough". Which parts of the image are you seeing this in and what specifically are you seeing?

    Thanks for the help and info.
     
  11. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    obviously you can shoot at High-1, your pictures are clear evidence of that, they say ISO 1600 on the bottom.

    I am not sure what you want here-
    is it humanly possible to shoot at ISO 1600 with the d2x - yes
    If you have no other option than to either shoot at ISO 1600 or not at all, well take it at ISO 1600.

    Do you expect to show noisey pictures here and say "wow the d2x is fantastic at high ISOs" and have us agree, sorry can;t do that. I am looking at your NEF files and the d2x at Hi-1 is awful, unless you are looking for a Monet effect.

    If you msut shoot regularly at these ISOs, buy a d2hs, if you infrequently use them, then continue as you have, but don't think that the d2x is good at high ISOs, it is not, perhaps a very skilled photographer can overcome some of that hindrance, but that doesnt make it good at high ISOs

    Again, your work is nice, I am not trying to rain on your parade, but somebody should tell the Emperor when he has no pants on, right?
     
  12. Hey, I'm a software guy, it is easy to make that say whatever I want :wink:

    What I am looking for, being a visual learner, is to have someone show me what bits are so bad. Best case would be standing next to you with a big print on the wall that you can mark-up so I can't miss it. Next best would be to point me to a spot in an image, feathers on the bird or something, which exhibits the worst bits. As to Monet, you sure can create a lot of "painterly" looks with the combination of noise and NR, problem is to get paid as well :lol: . What I am trying to figure out with the D2X, remember I am a D2H shooter who is trying to figure out if I can replace my D2H with an X, is not if the D2X is "fantastic at High-ISO" but if the images can be "good enough" compared to what the D2H is giving. Hence the added testing I am doing as well as the opinions from others here at the Cafe. If you can point me to some of the specifics, that helps me to make a more objective decision.

    As noted above, I shoot a D2H, so can't see any point in moving to the D2Hs. I have had others comment that my D2H seems "less noisy" than others, I can't tell the difference, but I haven't seen enough difference with the Hs to make the switch worhwhile.

    Thanks very much for this comment, and remember, I live North of Seattle, WA so having my parade rained on is a very normal occurence :lol: . As to the Emperor's pants, we are probably all quite happy that I am NOT the Emperor, and I'm sure that those who know me would agree.....

    Thanks for the reply, as well as for any further info you can pass on. I have certainly found over the past couple of years that this can be one of the most subjective and contentious issues we face. In re-reading my last reply it sounds rather more obnoxious than it was meant. I'll blame that on rotten traffic, obnoxious PC's and a general lack of sleep this AM. It was certainly not meant to be, and I will now go stand in the corner flogging myself, but not very hard.

    Thanks....
     
  13. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Alright you guys, Twig esp, pick out a posted file,

    and I'll see if I can clean it up to everyone's satisfaction. Granted, I hate using NR software, ie, N.I. but I'll start in NC, then take it into PS and go from there. I see it as a personal challenge more than anything.
     
  14. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    I am sorry to not be specific, you don't sound obnoxious, I just didn;t specifically answer your question.

    First we have to establis ha baseline for acceptable performance, ok, I can only speak to my baseline, but once you know where I am at, you can adjust your view accordingly.

    OK, I used a d2h for some time for night time Single A baseball. In my opinion the D2H sucks at high-ISOs. I define "sucks" by the d2h performance which I would characterise as "awful but useable" at ISO 800 and "awful and don;t use it unless under duress from editor" at ISO 1600. This was for the purpose of newspaper printing, and after noise reduction in post.

    I also have a D2Hs which I would call "good" at ISO 800-1250 , ok and useable at 1600, and useable under extreme situations at Hi-1 (which is ISO 3200). Note that extreme sitaution are less pressing than duress form editor, indicating that Hi-1 on the Hs is preferable to ISO 1600 from the d2h for me. Before post processing Hi-1 on the Hs is worse looking, but the nosie seems to clean up with less loss of detail in post IMO on the Hs. Add into this the slight advantage in WB and color from the Hs, it produces much better exposures IMO.

    Now with sports I have weird field lighting, I have changing situations and little time to bracket shots, I am shooting at 8fps on a monopod. These are very different situation that those under which I have seen some wildlife photographers coax good high ISO shots out of their equipment. Also, I am shooting figures usually against a black background, so perhaps this exacerbates noise in shadows to my eye.

    If you are a professional who shoots in the dark, and you have not already switched to canon, you should be buying a D2Hs in my opinion.

    I have seen and used a D2x at the park, and I have seen your pictures and Steves here. While it is always a fun experiemnt to jack up the ISO on light colored subjects and say "boy this camera looks great" a better test of your high ISO performance would be to find a dimly lit restaurant and photograph the darkest skinned person there, prefereably wearing a hat with a brim. Or go to a high school game and photograph dark skinned players wearing their helmets.

    What will happen is that instead of only the minor, non-attention drawing parts of your image (like the end of the log in the duck picture, or the reeds way in back) jumping out at you, EVERYTHING will be full of noise

    Noise performance in general amongst the cameras you mention.

    The Hs is at least one if not a bit more than one stop more effective with high ISO noise than the H.

    The X is at best as good as, and IMO poorer than the H. IT also does not have the 1000 or 1250 ISo settings you probably use a lot on the H if you shoot in low light.

    If you want to buy an X, go ahead and buy it, but don;t think it will be any better, or even as good as the D2H, which is objectively sucky to double sucky with a scoop of vanilla on noise anyway.
     
  15. jfenton

    jfenton

    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Twig

    With all due respect (did I use the correct due / do / doo~doo?), I must disagree with your position of the X being the same or less capable than the H.

    I owned 2 H's and I hated shooting them even at ISO 400.

    With the X, the majority of my bird shots are at ISO 500 and I have shot hundreds of images at ISO 640 and 800 and aside from a handful that I blew the EV compensation on, I was thrilled to death with them and in fact, have printed and sold them as they look dynamite in print.

    Two of the shots which Audubon will be using in a planned spring spread were shot on a rainy, drizzly day at ISO 800 and they are stunning.

    Once you get to Hi-1 it gets a bit more dicey, but with proper exposure, a little NR and correct sharpening on the post processing leg, they are perfectly usable and look excellent in print.
     
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