D700 help needed. High ISO concern.

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
aldridgec
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D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
9 months ago

Back in the fall I noticed some wide bands of noise in dark areas, or any high iso image that I tweaked in LR. The noise bands are consistent across differently composed images, so it's not anything in the image that is causing it.

I'm revisiting the topic bc I picked up a new D7000 and the high ISO noise pattern is much more acceptable.

A flickr group member seemed to think it had something to do with the way the D700 processes images. If this is the case, I should see it in other D700's. I stopped by my local camera shop to try a D700, which suggested I check the RAW converter bit depth or buy a new camera. I get the same results in bridge, viewNX or LR, so I don't think it's the conversion.

Can someone take a long, high ISO (6400) black exposure RAW file and send it to me somehow? With just the body cap on should be suitable. I would like to compare the noise patterns.

Thanks!

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aldridgec
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

No body can help???

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Brad Morris
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

aldridgec wrote:

Back in the fall I noticed some wide bands of noise in dark areas, or any high iso image that I tweaked in LR. The noise bands are consistent across differently composed images, so it's not anything in the image that is causing it.

I'm revisiting the topic bc I picked up a new D7000 and the high ISO noise pattern is much more acceptable.

A flickr group member seemed to think it had something to do with the way the D700 processes images. If this is the case, I should see it in other D700's. I stopped by my local camera shop to try a D700, which suggested I check the RAW converter bit depth or buy a new camera. I get the same results in bridge, viewNX or LR, so I don't think it's the conversion.

Can someone take a long, high ISO (6400) black exposure RAW file and send it to me somehow? With just the body cap on should be suitable. I would like to compare the noise patterns.

Thanks!

My D700 will exhibit banding if you underexpose an image by 4 or 5 stops and try to recover it in photoshop.

I am sure you will be able to find it if you get a totally black exposure and try to lift the expoure as well

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Stuart001
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

Where can I send the file to?  I can't upload raw images to DPR galleries.

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Robin Casady
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

aldridgec wrote:

Back in the fall I noticed some wide bands of noise in dark areas, or any high iso image that I tweaked in LR. The noise bands are consistent across differently composed images, so it's not anything in the image that is causing it.

I'm revisiting the topic bc I picked up a new D7000 and the high ISO noise pattern is much more acceptable.

A flickr group member seemed to think it had something to do with the way the D700 processes images. If this is the case, I should see it in other D700's. I stopped by my local camera shop to try a D700, which suggested I check the RAW converter bit depth or buy a new camera. I get the same results in bridge, viewNX or LR, so I don't think it's the conversion.

Can someone take a long, high ISO (6400) black exposure RAW file and send it to me somehow? With just the body cap on should be suitable. I would like to compare the noise patterns.

Thanks!

At ISO 6400 you have to be very careful with exposure. The Dynamic Range (see chart) of the D700 is down to less than five stops at that setting. At ISO 200 the D700 has about nine stops DR.

The D7000 only has about 4.3 stops DR at 6400 so I would be surprised if it showed less banding when pulling up shadows.

I sold my D700 sometime ago, so can't supply you with a dark frame. However, the exposure length would be important if you want to make a comparison. The longer the exposure, the warmer the sensor gets and the more noise you will see. Dark frames can be subtracted from a long exposure image to remove hot pixels and amp glow. This is what the Long Exposure Noise Reduction setting does automatically. That is why it takes two times the exposure length before you can shoot again.

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Robin Casady
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aldridgec
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to Stuart001, 8 months ago

I'm working on that now. Do you think you can email it to caveboychris@gmail.com? I should be able to receive a file that large. Thanks a bunch!

It's noticeable in regular exposures, mostly in darker areas as lighter colored areas. If I take almost any exposure @ 6400 with the cap on I can see it.

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aldridgec
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to Brad Morris, 8 months ago

I paid special attention to my exposure on my last theatre shoot. I can see it in shadow areas without pushing the exposure easily now, I hadn't noticed on previous shoots. If it's the nature of the beast, fine, but if it's getting worse, or the sensor is failing I'd like to know before I need to count on it. I've started noticing it at lower ISO too, probably from about 2500 on up.

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aldridgec
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to Robin Casady, 8 months ago

It's not narrow banding like we see when a bright light source is in a dark frame. These are wide alternating bands of lighter and darker discoloration. The are horizontal across the frame, approx 12 of them counting vertically.

I just checked my last shoot, where I had the D7k slaved to the D700, so the scene was identical between the two cameras. The D7k had no banding, and the noise was very even across the frame, even when pushed 4 stops. I don't have to push the D700 far at all to make the banding obvious.

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aldridgec
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to Stuart001, 8 months ago

If email doesn't work, this should upload right to my drop box. Thanks again!

http://form.jotform.us/form/40346524965156

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Luke Kaven
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

Can you post a sample?  We could probably help you out with a little more to go on.

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aldridgec
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern. *Samples*
In reply to Luke Kaven, 8 months ago

A sample close to proper exposure, a black exposure, and a pushed example with a D7K pushed for comparison of the same scene from different angles.

I'm not interested in discussions of proper exposure, don't shoot at 6400, not pushing files etc. I am finding this phenomenon to be limiting in some situations and need to determine if this is characteristic of the D700 or just my camera in particular. I stopped by my local camera shop, and he snapped a grab of the back of the display case, which was black, and you could see the discoloration strips/bands once on the computer screen. Thanks for any input!

You can see the striping or banding on the left in the shadows.

This is a pushed example of the banding/striping. It is difficult to see if you don't know it's there because of jpg compression. Point being, it's not due to lighting in the scene.

This scene has been pushed in post to show the same scene on the D700 to compare to the D7k below

D7k capture of same scene as above. Noise is very even across frame and no bands/strips noticeable.

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Stuart001
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

Wouldn't upload via email so I've posted it to your drop-box.  Hope it helps.

Stuart

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aldridgec
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to Stuart001, 8 months ago

Thanks. Looks like the form doesn't accept all file extensions. I tried it a couple of times with .NEF on my end and it didn't work, but with a similar size .JPG was fine. (I had only tested it initially with a small gif, not thinking it would be picky!) Oh well, guess it's not meant to be. Just didn't want you looking for an update. Thanks again for offering the help.

If your so inclined, I tested this service here and it worked. Password is "upload" http://www.dropitto.me/aldridgec

Who would of thought this wouldn't be simpler!

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Stuart001
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

Uploading now ... I am sure that all this will be worth it.

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aldridgec
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to Stuart001, 8 months ago

Definitely very helpful in understanding what I'm seeing! Thanks for trying again! Your file was much cleaner than mine, and yours was at a longer exposure, hence the sensor should be warmer. The comparison image should say all. Even pushed two stops your file is still very dark, pushed 4 stops you can see the bands from the outputs, but its still rather even. Mine at 2 stops is much lighter and the banding is visible. When I have light and dark in the frame, it probably overloads the dark more and causes the banding to be more visible.

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Stuart001
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

I’m certainly not a technical expert (far, far from it), but glad the image helped. It was just taken with the lens cap on, hence the longer exposure. Not sure why there should be a difference between D700 sensors, but if it makes any difference, I have just had mine repaired and ‘tuned’.  I had an ongoing but intermittent problem with a line through the image (see below). It was always horizontal but in different places—sometimes 1:100 images, sometimes 1:500. The Nikon agent replaced the DG PCB and harness but the fault returned. This time the camera was fully tested and ‘all DG PCB data was re-written’. So far so good.  I know that the two issues are quite different, but was wondering if the re-writing of the PCB data could make any difference to the high ISO noise?

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Luke Kaven
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern. *Samples*
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

I can say that I had the D3 and used it heavily in low light and in the theater and performance situations a lot. I've seen this blue pattern noise before, but I'm not sure I saw it this severe.

The D3/D700 sensor has issues with blooming, as you noted before. This is not a case of blooming as you say. But it also has serious issues with pattern noise. ISO6400 was marginal for me. I could excuse the amount of pattern noise that I saw at ISO6400 just so long as I did not try to boost the gain any further. There's no margin with this camera. Above ISO6400, it's all over.

The issues of pattern noise (and blooming) were entirely fixed with the D3s, a wonderful and compliant camera. I could shoot in the theater at least to ISO12800, and I could boost a bit beyond that. No pattern noise. A little speckling, but that was easy to fix. The D4 is just a bit better, especially in retaining color at those gain levels.

It might be helpful to ask what the exposure-equivalent was used for the first performance image, just to know at what point the (otherwise) expected pattern noise is emerging for you. If this is all at ISO6400 straight through, then you are seeing too much. To my eye, it looks like you are a little closer to ISO12800, due to the small dynamic range. [In a practical sense, if you are only experiencing this at levels over ISO6400 equiv, then Nikon will tell you that this is normal. They do not certify the behavior of the camera over ISO6400.]

If I knew a little more about your settings and raw workflow, I could tell you how to avoid it or suppress it. There are ways I've found. The best solution though was a D3s. The D7k (along with the D600/800) uses a later generation Sony Exmor sensor that does not have problems with pattern noise. (It has problems with thermal noise, but that's another story.)

As much as pattern noise plagued this sensor, it was much better than any other sensor of the day, including the Canon sensor. The D3s was a real breakthrough that set a new standard.

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aldridgec
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern. *Samples*
In reply to Luke Kaven, 8 months ago

My sense is that the problem has gotten worse as I've owned the camera. I didn't purchase it new, but am pretty picky about image anomalies, and remember pushing the camera pretty hard. I compared some older theatre images and was unable to excite the pattern hardly at all.

The image of the single actor by the dark column was shot at 6400 and I believe I brightened it a little bit as I've had problems with people even "seeing" what I'm talking about in the past. I coughed it up to display differences and didn't want to go down that debate again, but the pattern is certainly there. '

My gut is telling me that he sensor is getting worse, and I should look into having it repaired/replaced. I'm not even sure how to go about explaining the issue to Nikon.

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Luke Kaven
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern. *Samples*
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

aldridgec wrote:

My sense is that the problem has gotten worse as I've owned the camera. I didn't purchase it new, but am pretty picky about image anomalies, and remember pushing the camera pretty hard. I compared some older theatre images and was unable to excite the pattern hardly at all.

The image of the single actor by the dark column was shot at 6400 and I believe I brightened it a little bit as I've had problems with people even "seeing" what I'm talking about in the past. I coughed it up to display differences and didn't want to go down that debate again, but the pattern is certainly there. '

My gut is telling me that he sensor is getting worse, and I should look into having it repaired/replaced. I'm not even sure how to go about explaining the issue to Nikon.

I agree the pattern is definitely there, and I can see it.  It took me a moment, but I saw it.  I know the look from my own experience.  It is also possible that it has gotten worse.

I went down a long road with Nikon on issues with the D3, so I know where they draw the line in service terms.  If it happens at a certified ISO setting (ISO 6400 or lower) -- with no additional brightening -- then they will take a look at it, otherwise not.  Of course we know that the additional brightening helps to /reveal/ the problem.  They do not understand this.  They need to see a straight shot with an obvious problem.  [Don't count on them to do a good critical inspection.  They use stock office PC monitors set arbitrarily.]  If you can get them this telling shot, then they might be able to fix it.

The D3s and D4 are really excellent theater cameras, with no questions asked.

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Brad Morris
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Re: D700 help needed. High ISO concern.
In reply to aldridgec, 8 months ago

aldridgec wrote:

I paid special attention to my exposure on my last theatre shoot. I can see it in shadow areas without pushing the exposure easily now, I hadn't noticed on previous shoots. If it's the nature of the beast, fine, but if it's getting worse, or the sensor is failing I'd like to know before I need to count on it. I've started noticing it at lower ISO too, probably from about 2500 on up.

I have never noticed banding in properly exposed shots before, Even at high ISOs, only when trying to recover dark shadows

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