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D300 usable ISO and 17-55 ramblings

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Terri French, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Just how high can you realistically go with the ISO on a D300? I would love to be able to get better low light shots indoors of my grandkids. I'm assuming that with the new D700 announcement there will be used D300's being put up for sale and I might consider it.

    If you have any original high ISO shots online that I could look at, I would love it.

    I'm not ready to go to the D700 because I have DX lenses and I'm not willing to spend $3,000 on a camera for my non-paying hobby. I'm sure FX will trickle it's way down in a couple of years. I may sell my 17-55 and get the 24-70 eventually. I've been thinking about it for a while now, even before the D700 furor as I am more often than not going to the 55mm end of the zoom on my 17-55. Then at some point I might go to FX, but it isn't something I need right now. (I'm not even educated enough to know if I WANT it.)

  2. Terri,

    I took a large number of photos at my dog breed club's national specialty show in early April using my D300, as well as another specialty show and Westminster Kennel Club in February. Most of the interior shots at the national specialty were at ISO 3200. I think the results were more than satisfactory. They are in slide shows on the club's web site and have just appeared in print in the club's quarterly.

    I never got results this good with my D200 (much less my D70).

    Go to


    And click on one of the sets of photos in the slide shows.

    All of the 2008 slide shows were taken with my D300. My 2007 and 2006 photos were taken with my D200.

    (Disclaimer: I did not do the final selection, cropping or any color correction in these slide shows, that was done by the webmaster.)

  3. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    It's Kinda of Variable terri

    When shooting people, especially indoors, I find that some things look "accptably fine" up to 3200 and some look better if I don't go above 1000..I think much depends on the background and just how much detail you're trying to nitpick in the image.

    If you're looking for family scrapbook quality images, I think you'll be fine all the way up to 3200.

    Just don't use ADL because yous shadow noise jumps big time.
  4. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    ADL? What is that?
  5. jafo


    Jun 11, 2008
    Chatsworth, CA
    Active D-Lighting

    It's known to increase noise. Use it sparingly in situations you know you need it. Don't keep it turned on all the time.
  6. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    DUH! I knew that lol. Just had a brain fart. :biggrin:
  7. Terri,

    Here are two from the D300 at ISO 1600. Shot with a 70-200VR and not a 17-55DX but you can see how clean these are. A little bit of NR goes a long way!
  8. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA

    If you look at almost all of my photos from europe, they were taken with the D300 and 17-55 DX (90% of shots were with this lens on the D300). I mostly used auto-ISO as I was in and out a lot...with Aperture priority. the ISO should be on the watermark on the picture.

  9. yoose


    May 17, 2008
    Hong Kong

    This is a great site that searchs flikr pictures, http://www.pixel-peeper.com/ if you can search for all shot with D300 or even a specific lens. If you do advanced search you can specify ISO ranges you want to look at. additionally you can specify focal length, aperture and exposure time ranges. This search is all D300 phots from ISO800-ISO3200
  10. Terri,
    Since I bought the D300, I adjusted the auto ISO feature to on, limited to 1600, and live confortable with that. I tried to do some shooting at ISO 3200but honestly, I didn't like the results and actually, using the 17-55 I never needed to.
    The only thing that you'll absolutely need, would be to watch for the correct exposure, compensating whenever needed, therefore avoiding underexposure.
    In the "lens lust" forum, I opened a thread on the use of the 50 1.4, posting several images all shot at ISO 1600.
    Still owning the D200, I can assure you that the D300 is way a better perfomer regarding the noise issue. There are other differencies, sometimes favouring the D200... but no doubt, if your main concern is the shooting under available light, using ISO ISO's, you'll not be disappointed with it.

    D300, D200, MB-D10 and MB-200
    Primes: 10,5 2.8 fisheye, 50D 1.4, Tokina 100 AT-X
    Zoom : 12-24 (Nikkor),17-55 2.8, 18-200VR and 70-200VR
    SB-800, TC Kenko Pro300 1.4, Manfrotto 190MF4+804RC Head

  11. Terri,
    You asked for some images. Here are some taken with the D300+17-55 at ISO 1600, all handheld:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View attachment 219626

    View attachment 219627


    D300, D200, MB-D10 and MB-200
    Primes: 10,5 2.8 fisheye, 50D 1.4, Tokina 100 AT-X
    Zoom : 12-24 (Nikkor),17-55 2.8, 18-200VR and 70-200VR
    SB-800, TC Kenko Pro300 1.4, Manfrotto 190MF4+804RC Head

  12. TonyBeach

    TonyBeach Guest

    Define "usable"? While it means different things to different people, and sometimes that changes based on subject and circumstances, what I can say for sure is that the D300 is one stop better than the D200 above base ISO -- I even see an improvement at ISO 250 with the D300 over the the D200.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2008
  13. Thanks, Bob. They look great!
  14. Thanks, Jim. I try not to go over ISO 400 with my D200. It would be nice in the winter when it is so dark and gloomy to have more ISO capability.
  15. Looks great. I bet you loved your high ISO options when you were shooting the interiors of those buildings.
  16. Thanks so much. What a great resource.
  17. Rui,
    Your samples below are wonderful. I hope some bargain D300s come along.
  18. Since I am wanting it for photos of the grandkids I would want them to be good for whatever use might come along in the future not just for small print or web size. These are pretty good for extra low light shots.
  19. I don't but I'll be happy to send the RAW file to you when I get home tonight.
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