1 stop instead of standard 1/3rd.

Started Mar 9, 2011 | Discussions thread
David Burren
Regular MemberPosts: 222Gear list
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Re: 1 stop instead of standard 1/3rd.
In reply to fpix, Mar 10, 2011

A long time ago I got used to the fact that I had 3 "clicks" of shutter or aperture for each "click" of ISO. I work in manual all the time and it simply doesn't worry me.

On my first African safari I was shooting with a 30D which was the first body with 1/3rd ISO steps. I had those enabled for those weeks, but afterwards I did notice more noise (e.g. at ISO 640) than I would have liked. I did more reading and testing, and established that I could notice a difference, and switched the camera to 1-stop ISOs. Ever since I've done the same.

Maybe I should re-test with my current gear (7D & 5DmkII) but I know that the underlying technology is the same and the only difference would be that the base noise level might be lower today. But sometimes now I'm still stretching the abilities of the cameras, and noise is always around (ever tried 5 weeks of mainly-ambient-light photography in winter north of the Arctic Circle?) and haven't felt that the extra flexibility of the smaller ISO stops is worth the trade-off (or even the concern in the back of my mind).

By the way, it's not just the noise issue that concerns me: I'm often needing as much dynamic range as I can get.

Also, ever since LR3/ACR6 I've been more confident about using some of the extended ISO settings on these cameras. If I had 1/3rd-stop ISOs then the camera's behaviour would change as it entered the extended range (where only 1-stop jumps are available). That would be another complication to deal with.

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