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best way to reduce noise?

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by zack baldwin, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. zack baldwin

    zack baldwin

    Apr 30, 2007
    I was wondering what everyones technique is for reducing noice?? thanks in advance!
  2. yoyo


    Nov 9, 2006
    The Netherlands

    ... and not underexposing. Expose to the right of your histogram when using NEF.
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Proper exposure.

    If you need to remove noise, there are just so many ways and software.

    What editing software are you using
    Shooting raw or jpg
  4. zack baldwin

    zack baldwin

    Apr 30, 2007
    I know there are a lot of options...I was just wondering what everyones personal favorite or most effective is. thanks!
  5. 1) I would first try to use/add as much illumination and expose properly.

    2) If 1 not possible, choose a fast lens and shoot wide open with ISO level kept as near to the sensor's native ISO.

    3) If 2 is not possible and I need to shoot at higher ISO, I would use Capture NX's noise reduction on the raw (I use Jason P. Odell's eBook and he has some great tips).

    one 1600 iso sample

    [I do chimping a lot]
  6. zack baldwin

    zack baldwin

    Apr 30, 2007
  7. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    I have a real smarty answer to this question, but in an effort to keep Rich out of my PM box I'll keep it to myself. :) 

    After a couple of years of Nikon efforts in ISO 1600 noise control, I can offer the following:

    1. Get fast glass. f2.8 may seem fast, but if you shot indoor sports, it most likely will be right on the edge of fast enough. f1.8, f1.4 are where you need to land if you can.

    2. Make sure your exposure is properly set. An under exposed, high ISO image will not be recoverable. In fact I quite often overexpose by 1/3 stop on anything at ISO 1250 on up. Unless I was blowing highlights all over the place, this gave me a little more PP latitude.

    3. For NEF's Bibble Pro has proven to be my best option for indoor sports noise. I have used Noise Ninja stand alone, ACR, PS2, Neat image, etc....none worked as quickly and cleanly as the integrated Bibble options....

    You will see numerous examples of well lit 1600 ISO shots of cats, dogs, watches and other stationary objects. Things change in a gym, pool, court or arena where facial detail become difficult while controlling shadow noise....

    In simple explanation terms, noise reduction is nothing but burring image data to reduce the "dots". If done too much you get a "plastic" effect I have grown to detest....I can live with a little pixelation in the shadows to preserve real world image details as noted below.

    I am looking for details like this where I can see her eyes....
    ISO 1600 f2.8 @ 115mm 70-200 zoom

    Or details in facial expressions, eyes and features.
    ISO 3200 f2.8 @ 200mm 70 - 200 zoom

    Make sense?

  8. Great "long" response to Zack's question. Of course, most of us know what your "short" answer was as well! :biggrin: Excellent self-control Randy. Any new photos to show us your growth with the new gear?
  9. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    The short answer on how to better control indoor sports noise gets me in trouble around here...

    Check out the Photojournalism forum.....two posts on some fires I went to in there...No sports shots lately as gymnastics is over and work has been insane. Softball starts this week up here now that the snow has melted :) 

  10. Hey Randy - I saw the fire shots, great stuff by the way. Love the "swing" pic. But, the problem is that it doesn't give me a good reference for your new stuff like gymnastics would. By the way, what's the connection with the fire department that has you out there taking pictures of these practice exercises?
  11. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
  12. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    Check sports...posted just for you :) 

    I was asked by a friend to shoot a practice fire about a month ago....they have recently asked me back...I'll take that as a compliment as they enlarged one shot and had it framed for the fire house :) 
  13. I really like Noise Ninja, but I really can't attest for it's indoor use. Most of my shots are of the outdoor sports variety.
  14. I think the original intent of the post was what noise reduction programs do we use.

    I use and love Noiseware. I have the plugin version for Photoshop CS2.

  15. I personally haven't found anything that compares to neat image. It's free and works wonderfully... I've used it on 2000 or so theatre shots in the last two or three years and it does a bang up job. I tried noise ninja somewhere along the way and did side by side comparisons and stayed with neat image.

  16. ptchan5


    Apr 21, 2007
    California, USA
    Randy, i'm a new D80 owner and I still can't figure out how to get great iso1600 shots like your gymnastics shots without a lot of heavy grain..almost reminiscent of the point and shoot cameras. Is it the glass I'm using, the camera, or the settings? Shooting indoors, even with fast glass wide open gets me lots of grain and no where near as nice as your imagery. Your pictures almost look like you took them outdoors and with lower iso's. What am I missing?
  17. Can you post a shot of what you have done?
    As mentioned, it's always best to be a bit to the right on histogram when shooting in poor lighting conditions. I too have found that it allows a bit more leeway with PP.
    What lens specifically are you using? If it's the 18-135, it's a great outdoor lens stopped down but I haven't had great luck with it indoors as well. That's when fast glass will make the difference clear.
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