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How far to push the ISO on the D800

Started Nov 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: How far to push the ISO on the D800
In reply to brobinson, Nov 28, 2012

As others have stated, it sort of depends on how you plan on using the final product, and it sounds like you will be OK. I recently did some indoor volleyball shots where I needed a fast shutter speed, and had to crank up the ISO to 3200. Pretty noisy IMHO, but then again, that is looking at 100%. Downsized, it is not bad, even without NR, but if you plan on cropping, you might see some noise depending how tightly you crop.

I see lots of great examples posted around here of high ISO images, and I always wonder how much NR reduction or downsizing is going on.

Here are a few images STRAIGHT FROM THE CAMERA with no PP or NR.

I really wanted to get the shutter speed up to 1/1000 or higher to capture the motion, but I am not fond of noise, so it became a balance between speed and noise. I ended up playing with several different shutter speeds (1/640, 1/800, 1/1000) and ISOs (1600, 2000, 2500, 3200), got differing levels of success. Most of these shots are underexposed unfortunately, and the white balance is on Auto, which would need adjusting.

The point in posting these is not for critique (at least without some attempts at PP), but to show some options with higher ISO settings with D800.

All of these are shot with a D800 using a 70-200 f/2.8 VRII. All of these were taken wide open at f/2.8.

As mentioned, all are underexposed since I was very worried about raising the ISO higher than I needed to.

First attachment for each image set is downsized to 25% of the original, the second is a 100% crop from the file. I have no idea what the DPREVIEW forum software does to the image after I upload it, but I can clearly see the noise in the 100% view, but no so much in the 25% file.

1/640, ISO 2000, 25% of original 

1/640, ISO2000 - 100% crop

1/640, ISO 1600, 25% of original

1/640, ISO 1600, 100% crop

1/640, ISO 3200, 25% of original

1/640, ISO 3200, 100% crop

1/1000, ISO 3200, 25% of original (Way underexposed)

1/1000, ISO 3200, 100% crop

1/1000, ISO 3200, 25% of original

1/1000, ISO 3200, 100% crop

1/800, ISO3200, 25% of original

1/800, ISO3200, 100% crop

1/1000, ISO2500, 25% of original

1/1000, ISO2500, 100% crop

1/1000, ISO2500, 25% of original

1/1000, ISO2500, 100% crop

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 Doublehelix's gear list:Doublehelix's gear list
Nikon D90 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +2 more
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