Highest recommended ISO using the D800

Started Jun 10, 2013 | Discussions
mmmmmmmm
Senior MemberPosts: 2,652
Like?
Highest recommended ISO using the D800
Jun 10, 2013

Last weekend I shot a wedding with the D800 and 70-200VRII lens.  I notice a lot of noise in the files using ISO3200.  I was shooting at f2.8.  Any suggestions?

respectfully,

David Miller

Nikon D800
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Dave Courtenay
Contributing MemberPosts: 700Gear list
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 10, 2013

I do not shoot over ISO 1600 and try to keep 800 as max, That said if you nail the exposure ISO 1600 is clean, Did you have to adjust the exposure in PP, ISO 3200 is pretty high and noise should be expected, Try some noise reduction software

Dave

-- hide signature --

www.wildlifeinfocus.com

 Dave Courtenay's gear list:Dave Courtenay's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +9 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
ormdig
Contributing MemberPosts: 743Gear list
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 10, 2013

ISO3200 on raw files cleans up very nicely in PP on the D800. The "fine grain" noise from the small pixels are amenable to being corrected. I have found DxO Optics Pro8 has extremely clean default noise reduction. It will analyze each image and apply as needed, no artifacts or plastic looking skin plus all defaults are adjustable and can be disabled if not wanted. If you don't have it you can download free trial.

-- hide signature --

Pete

 ormdig's gear list:ormdig's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
CraigBennett
Contributing MemberPosts: 688Gear list
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 10, 2013

mmmmmmmm wrote:

Last weekend I shot a wedding with the D800 and 70-200VRII lens. I notice a lot of noise in the files using ISO3200. I was shooting at f2.8. Any suggestions?

respectfully,

David Miller

David,

For weddings, I typically do not go above 2500, preferring 1600 ISO, but have gone to 3200.  The key is to get your exposure correct.

I use Lightroom, and the files (RAW) clean-up real good with Lightroom's noise reduction set between 18 to 21 on Luminance.

I apply the following Noise Reduction values in the Develop Module:

1600 ISO = 18, 50, 0

2500 ISO = 21, 50, 0

3200 ISO = 21, 50, 0

6400 ISO = 21, 50, 0  (I apply 40 on Sharpening)

I shot an engagement session awhile back at sunset.  Took a shot in almost total darkness at 6400, but used TTL off camera flash.  The image looked great and was clean with the above settings.

I did some test shots a while back shooting an object from 400 ISO to HI 1.0.  The prints looked good up to 6400.  (No noise reduction applied in LR).

The D800 is a very good high ISO, low noise camera.  I can only imagine how good the D4 is.

Regards,

-- hide signature --
 CraigBennett's gear list:CraigBennett's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D90 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
lanefAU
Senior MemberPosts: 4,676Gear list
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 11, 2013

ISO 6400, shot in Raw and processed with CS6

http://www.pbase.com/bingard/image/149699332

100% Crop

 lanefAU's gear list:lanefAU's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X II Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JeffHallPhoto
Regular MemberPosts: 316
Like?
Depends how much you want to freeze the action...
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 11, 2013

Here's one at 6400. A bit of NR and sharpening and it works for its purpose. Definitely not for portrait work:

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
olakiril2
Contributing MemberPosts: 556
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 11, 2013

mmmmmmmm wrote:

Last weekend I shot a wedding with the D800 and 70-200VRII lens. I notice a lot of noise in the files using ISO3200. I was shooting at f2.8. Any suggestions?

respectfully,

David Miller

Hey David,

My opinion is that a bit of noise is better than any bit of camera-shake blur.

Also look at the pictures at the magnification that they are going to be printed. In most of the cases that is smaller than 1:1.

One last thing: we tend to have very high standards for acceptable noise levels. Many times some luminance noise can be aesthetically pleasant. I find chroma noise on the other hand kind of distracting.

I can't tell you what I find acceptable. If I need the speed/aperture then the ISO has to go up. Many times I have set a low speed limit and that has resulted in missed shots, which for me is worse than a little bit of noise.

Cheers,

M.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Robin Casady
Forum ProPosts: 12,088
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 11, 2013

You are asking for a point on a slope. You need to get to know your camera and understand the losses you take so you can judge whether they are worth it for what it gains. What is acceptable will depend on the subject, conditions, final output, and aesthetics of the client. This is what you are being paid to do. Your skill at this is one of the markers that sets you above the bride uncle with a DSLR.

This DR chart is a good indication of what is happening with raised ISO. As soon as you up to 200 ISO you are losing something. At 400 you have lost almost two stops of DR. Whether that is or is not significant is a judgement call you need to be able to make in the field. There is no point on this slope where it is all good one side and all bad the other.

-- hide signature --

Robin Casady
http://www.robincasady.com/Photo/index.html
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."
— Bertrand Russell

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Glen78
Contributing MemberPosts: 649Gear list
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to olakiril2, Jun 11, 2013

I completely agree, while my wife will immediately notice a blurry shot, she would never notice the extra noise in a sharp high ISO shot vs a clean ISO 100 shot. I have a D600 (which is very similar ISO characteristics to the D800) and I personally don't mind going to 3200 for most things and even 6400 is quite acceptable if needed to maintain adequate shutter speeds. And only in the darkest of lighting situations would a ISO 6400 with the 24-120 f/4 VR need to be supplemented with flash.

 Glen78's gear list:Glen78's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
stany buyle
Senior MemberPosts: 1,957Gear list
Like?
re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 11, 2013

Hi David.

Iso 3200 is perfectly useable(nearly noise free) with D800. D800 is at least a half stop better than my D700 did. Correct exposure is the key.
An occasional portrait with D800 and 70-200VRII at iso 3200: ( Related topic on my forum with exif info )

While exposing correctly I get nice results with low noise even at iso 6400.

Some snapshot-portraits at iso 6400, shot in RAW and in PP only WB has been adjusted:

-- hide signature --

Kindest regards.
Stany Buyle
http://www.nikonuser.info/fotoforum
I like better one good picture in a day than 10 bad ones in a second..

 stany buyle's gear list:stany buyle's gear list
Nikon D1
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
moving_comfort
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,941Gear list
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to olakiril2, Jun 11, 2013

olakiril2 wrote:

mmmmmmmm wrote:

Last weekend I shot a wedding with the D800 and 70-200VRII lens. I notice a lot of noise in the files using ISO3200. I was shooting at f2.8. Any suggestions?

respectfully,

David Miller

Hey David,

My opinion is that a bit of noise is better than any bit of camera-shake blur.

+1.  Trying to bring shutter speeds too low to get another stop or half stop is going to bite you occasionally and is just not worth it when the ISO performance is so good and modern NR works so well.

FWIW I use ISO 6400 on the D800 all the time without any reservations.

-- hide signature --

Here are a few of my favorite things...
---> http://www.flickr.com/photos/95095968@N00/sets/72157626171532197/

 moving_comfort's gear list:moving_comfort's gear list
Nikon D800 Pentax K20D Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
The Davinator
Forum ProPosts: 13,372Gear list
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 11, 2013

mmmmmmmm wrote:

Last weekend I shot a wedding with the D800 and 70-200VRII lens. I notice a lot of noise in the files using ISO3200. I was shooting at f2.8. Any suggestions?

respectfully,

David Miller

At 100% screen view I'm guessing.

really.  Can we please stop all this garbage about noise.  I still use Fuji Pro 400H in 35mm format in my F5.  I have never, ever had anyone comment on grain in weddings or portraits.  This film is noisier than my D800 at 6400....so who cares?

 The Davinator's gear list:The Davinator's gear list
Canon PowerShot G3 Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Canon EOS 10D Canon EOS D30 Nikon D2X +18 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Ernie Misner
Senior MemberPosts: 1,831
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to The Davinator, Jun 11, 2013

Okay, so we want to nail the exposure, especially at high ISO's.   Question though is what should the histogram look like?   I do mostly landscapes and ETTR but NOT showing anything blown out.   If we are shooting a wedding reception and need a solid, noise free exposure on a person's face, many times other specular highlights will be blown out and might look bad on the histogram, right?  So the problem I have is I see that, freak out, and lower the exposure too much.   Guess I need to shoot less landscapes and more weddings.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John Motts
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,020
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 11, 2013

I regularly use 3200 on my D700s for weddings and it's fine (Lightroom noise reduction is very good). The D800 is significantly better than the D700.

I wonder if your problem is simply that you're viewing it at 100%?  In which case the reason that it looks noisy is that you are looking at it at a massive size.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Simon Garrett
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,109Gear list
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to Ernie Misner, Jun 11, 2013

Ernie Misner wrote:

Okay, so we want to nail the exposure, especially at high ISO's. Question though is what should the histogram look like? I do mostly landscapes and ETTR but NOT showing anything blown out. If we are shooting a wedding reception and need a solid, noise free exposure on a person's face, many times other specular highlights will be blown out and might look bad on the histogram, right? So the problem I have is I see that, freak out, and lower the exposure too much. Guess I need to shoot less landscapes and more weddings.

Or look at the blinkies?  Remembering that the blinkies (clipped highlights indicators) show at around the 250 level (out of 255) on the jpeg preview, so if the faces don't show blinkies (preferably checking the red channel) then they're not likely to be burned out.

Indoors one can often get specular highlights from lights and reflections of lights, and no point worrying if they get burned out.

-- hide signature --

Simon

 Simon Garrett's gear list:Simon Garrett's gear list
Nikon D800
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
stany buyle
Senior MemberPosts: 1,957Gear list
Like?
Re: Highest recommended ISO using the D800
In reply to John Motts, Jun 11, 2013

John Motts wrote:The D800 is significantly better than the D700.

+1

I wonder if your problem is simply that you're viewing it at 100%? In which case the reason that it looks noisy is that you are looking at it at a massive size.

+1
That noise is not visible in A3+ prints

-- hide signature --

Kindest regards.
Stany Buyle
http://www.nikonuser.info/fotoforum
I like better one good picture in a day than 10 bad ones in a second..

 stany buyle's gear list:stany buyle's gear list
Nikon D1
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
maljo@inreach.com
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,694
Like?
6400 for me
In reply to mmmmmmmm, Jun 11, 2013

A little noise but not bad.  Under exposure makes the noise more noticeable.

maljo

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Shotcents
Senior MemberPosts: 4,077Gear list
Like?
Yes, 6400 for me
In reply to maljo@inreach.com, Jun 11, 2013

6400 if I must and I can get reasonable results after PP

3200 is less PP work and can make a nice shot.

1600 looks very good!

Anything above 800 requires a fairly correct exposure or you will pay a noise penalty. I actually find the ISO range about the same as the D700/D3, which is amazing at 36 mp.

Robert

 Shotcents's gear list:Shotcents's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D800 Nikon D5200 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Shotcents
Senior MemberPosts: 4,077Gear list
Like?
Re: Yes, 6400 for me
In reply to Shotcents, Jun 11, 2013

And a quick & dirty grab at 6400 with almost no light, right out of camera.

With a steadier hand and some PP....quite reasonable in such poor light at 6400. Obviously the scene is MUCH darker than it appears here.

Robert

 Shotcents's gear list:Shotcents's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D800 Nikon D5200 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
frank-in-toronto
Senior MemberPosts: 1,010
Like?
Re: Yes, 6400 for me
In reply to Shotcents, Jun 11, 2013

presuming no flash, i use iso-auto and for me i set the minimum shutter speed to 2 stops above 1/focal length.  as many others have said, far better to have noise than shake or subject movement.  i chimp for blinkies and use easy compensation to quickly adjust up or down. then i take another shot or two. in pp, i amp up colour noise reduction and use hardly any regular noise reduction.  i'm with jared polin on that. sharp counts more than noise.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads