What ISO to keep on A mode?

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Sandy70
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What ISO to keep on A mode?
3 months ago

I figured out that I would like to stick to A mode when i require to shoot non-moving objects. I would switch to S mode when i want to change speed frequently. Would that be a right approach for a beginner like me?

For rotineday time still images, eg landscape,street views,portraits, What should be the starting ISO-200/400 range?.

Thanks

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Sandy70
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to Sandy70, 3 months ago

sorry,routine day time still images..

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Limburger
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to Sandy70, 3 months ago

I would forget iso and set your camera's shutter and aperture as desired and then set iso for brightness you need.

Imho iso is the least to worry about.

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darklamp
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to Sandy70, 3 months ago

I figured out that I would like to stick to A mode when i require to shoot non-moving objects. I would switch to S mode when i want to change speed frequently. Would that be a right approach for a beginner like me?

It is essentially the right approach for anyone.

For rotineday time still images, eg landscape,street views,portraits, What should be the starting ISO-200/400 range?.

Raise ISO to whatever is required to get a shutter speed that is needed for your shot.

There are two reasons you might need a given shutter speed :

  • Freeze motion.You are shooting something that moves ( and that includes so-called stationary people ). You'd typically need a reasonably fast shutter speed ( like 1/150 or more ) to avoid blur from their movement. You can get away with less sometimes and on other occasions you'd need more.
  • Avoiding shake blur. This is when the camera ( and you ) move during the exposure and can cause a blur. You avoid this you need a shutter speed of above 1/(focal length) for full frame systems and 1/(1.5 x focal length) for crop frame systems. Now image stabilization has meant that this is less of an issue, but I'd suggest you ere more towards those values than away from them. Neither that rule of thumb nor image stabilization will guarantee a shake free shot, so I tend to be cautious rather than optimistic.
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BobSC
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to Sandy70, 3 months ago

I set ISO to the lowest setting and only move it if I need to for faster shutter speeds.

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Tom Axford
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Low ISO gives best image quality
In reply to Sandy70, 3 months ago

Sandy70 wrote:

For rotineday time still images, eg landscape,street views,portraits, What should be the starting ISO-200/400 range?.

In general you will get the best image quality at the lowest ISO setting.

If the light is very good, I typically set the ISO to the lowest setting and leave it there.

If I am shooting in widely varying light conditions and don't want to spend time thinking about the exposure for every shot, then I set ISO on Auto. In A mode, this means that the camera will choose a low ISO value if possible, but otherwise automatically increase the ISO if the light gets weaker. It depends on the particular camera, but usually the camera tries to maintain a shutter speed of 1/60 or faster (it may depend on the focal length of the lens).

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Ferguson
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to BobSC, 3 months ago

BobSC wrote:

I set ISO to the lowest setting and only move it if I need to for faster shutter speeds.

Depending on the type of camera, you might have an "auto-ISO" setting.  It is often not obvious, but you can set the camera on manual, and still use auto-ISO.

What I often do shooting in daylight where there's shadows and frequently changing conditions is set the ISO to 100 (lowest), set auto-ISO on, and set manual.  Then I set the shutter for what I need to stop action (caveat below), the aperture for what I need for depth of field, and the camera sets the ISO as needed.

The caveat is that you need to make sure you have enough shutter speed (or aperture) so that the light is not too bright for the lowest ISO.  In my camera I can see the ISO actually being used in the viewfinder, and just make sure it is above 100 (i.e. if it is 100 it may be too bright and can't go lower).

The advantage of this is that you do not need to chose shutter or aperture as your controllable feature. You can control both, and still get good exposure.

Incidentally in this setting the auto-iso minimum shutter speed is ignored, since you are setting the explicit shutter speed.

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WryCuda
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to Sandy70, 3 months ago

Sandy70 wrote:

I figured out that I would like to stick to A mode when i require to shoot non-moving objects. I would switch to S mode when i want to change speed frequently. Would that be a right approach for a beginner like me?

For rotineday time still images, eg landscape,street views,portraits, What should be the starting ISO-200/400 range?.

Nikon cameras have very good quality at ISO settings higher than the base setting of 100. I set mine to start at 200 and turn on Auto-ISO, which intelligently controls the ISO, depending on the light. Auto-ISO will also reduce the ISO if the other settings demand it.

Very low light conditions. Auto ISO saved the day.

Testing at f/2.8. Too much light for fastest SS. ISO was automatically reduced from 200 to 140.

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iljitsch
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to WryCuda, 3 months ago

You are obviously a busy person so use auto ISO so your shooting doesn't have to slow down to change the ISO setting.

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MarshallG
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to Sandy70, 3 months ago

Apparently, you're using the Fuji FinePix X100, and you can see that its performance at ISO 100-400 is great . At higher ISO's, it still performs well, but quality deteriorates a little bit. However, the reviewer said that deterioration was imperceptible even at ISO 3200.

So under bright, well-lit conditions like you describe, you can let ISO get pretty high with that camera if you want to. The review also points out that the lens has peak sharpness at f/4.0 - f/11, and at f/8 - f/11 in Macro mode. You should read through the review again, now that you own the camera, and you might pick up a few more pointers like that.

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dougeryb
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to iljitsch, 3 months ago

You are obviously a busy person so use auto ISO so your shooting doesn't have to slow down to change the ISO setting.

+1

If you plan in staying in A mode, it would probably be best to stick with auto ISO.
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Mark B.
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Lowest possible...
In reply to Sandy70, 3 months ago

Sandy70 wrote:

I figured out that I would like to stick to A mode when i require to shoot non-moving objects. I would switch to S mode when i want to change speed frequently. Would that be a right approach for a beginner like me?

For rotineday time still images, eg landscape,street views,portraits, What should be the starting ISO-200/400 range?.

Thanks

Keep the ISO as low as possible; i.e. so that you still have enough shutter speed to avoid blur due to camera shake or to freeze moving subjects.  Only you can know that based on what you're shooting, which will come with experience.  Lower ISO, as a good general rule, will result in a better quality image.

Mark

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WryCuda
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to MarshallG, 3 months ago

MarshallG wrote:

So under bright, well-lit conditions like you describe, you can let ISO get pretty high with that camera if you want to. The review also points out that the lens has peak sharpness at f/4.0 - f/11, and at f/8 - f/11 in Macro mode. You should read through the review again, now that you own the camera, and you might pick up a few more pointers like that.

Low light is when ISO control comes into its own, particularly if you use Auto-ISO.

With wide angle lenses indoors (e.g. Churches etc.), there's no possibility of using flash, so you need to push everything to the limit to get the shot. I have some hand-held shots at 1/15s and high ISO that maybe wouldn't make it into the pages of National geographic, but are fine to show the relatives.

It takes about as long to post a question on DPR as it does to give your camera an ISO workout.

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Limburger
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to WryCuda, 3 months ago

Just expose and let the iso be what it needs to be.

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BobSC
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to Ferguson, 3 months ago

Ferguson wrote:

BobSC wrote:

I set ISO to the lowest setting and only move it if I need to for faster shutter speeds.

Depending on the type of camera, you might have an "auto-ISO" setting. It is often not obvious, but you can set the camera on manual, and still use auto-ISO.

Since I make a lot of large prints I prefer to minimize noise. Or at least introduce it knowing when and how much.

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BobSC
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to WryCuda, 3 months ago

WryCuda wrote:

MarshallG wrote:

So under bright, well-lit conditions like you describe, you can let ISO get pretty high with that camera if you want to. The review also points out that the lens has peak sharpness at f/4.0 - f/11, and at f/8 - f/11 in Macro mode. You should read through the review again, now that you own the camera, and you might pick up a few more pointers like that.

Low light is when ISO control comes into its own, particularly if you use Auto-ISO.

Even with my most cumbersome camera, it only takes three seconds to change ISO. I guess it just comes down to experience. In any given situation I usually know what ISO I need before I pick up the camera.

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WryCuda
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to Ferguson, 3 months ago

Ferguson wrote:

BobSC wrote:

I set ISO to the lowest setting and only move it if I need to for faster shutter speeds.

What I often do shooting in daylight where there's shadows and frequently changing conditions is set the ISO to 100 (lowest), set auto-ISO on, and set manual.

The caveat is that you need to make sure you have enough shutter speed (or aperture) so that the light is not too bright for the lowest ISO. (i.e. if it is 100 it may be too bright and can't go lower).

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That's one reason I set my starting ISO at 200; Auto-ISO can then reduce ISO if necessary.

I can't see any difference between images taken at ISO 100 vs. 200, and since many of my lenses have maximum apertures of f/4, the extra ISO gives me an extra "stop".

Your gallery photos are very impressive. Must be the ISO!

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D Cox
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to Limburger, 3 months ago

Limburger wrote:

I would forget iso and set your camera's shutter and aperture as desired and then set iso for brightness you need.

Imho iso is the least to worry about.

I think it depends on sensor size and how bad the noise is at various ISO settings on the particular camera.

I generally shoot in A mode with manual lenses. For hand held work on APS-C, I set the ISO to 800 and adjust the aperture to give a good fast shutter speed. I find that 800 gives as much noise as I can tolerate. With a FF sensor, ISO 1600 would be fine.

But ISO 800 may be too high for smaller sensors.

For tripod or copy stand work, I set ISO 100 for all shots and adjust aperture for depth of field.

You really have to find your own preferred way of working.

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jrtrent
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to Sandy70, 3 months ago

Sandy70 wrote:

I figured out that I would like to stick to A mode when i require to shoot non-moving objects. I would switch to S mode when i want to change speed frequently. Would that be a right approach for a beginner like me?

It could be.  I tend to work in an aperture-preferred manner all the time.  If my camera's display shows shutter speeds slower than I'd like at the aperture currently set, I just open the aperture up til the display shows the shutter speeds I want.  An exception for me is scenic shots with moving water (e.g., a river or stream).  Motion effects are dependent on things like speed, distance, and angle, but I generally find that I want a shutter speed around 1/60 second to make moving water look natural to me.  Under open skies, with my camera and lens at their usual settings for daylight pictures (best ISO is 400, f/8 is the aperture that gives both my desired depth of field and minimized lens aberrations), shutter speeds range from 1/1600 second in bright sunlight to 1/200 second on a heavily overcast day, so I need to attach neutral density filters to get the slower shutter speed that I want.

For rotineday time still images, eg landscape,street views,portraits, What should be the starting ISO-200/400 range?

Depends on your camera and output needs.  I believe you bought a Sony A58.  Imaging resource says it gives very clean images to ISO 400, with slightly increased smudging at ISO 800.  Their print size/ISO setting information shows very nice looking prints at 30 X 40 inches at ISO's 100 and 200, 24 X 36 at ISO 400, and 16 X 20 at ISO 800.  Noise becomes apparent to varying degrees above that point, but might still be acceptable for smaller print sizes.  Noise is often more apparent when viewing images on a monitor compared with what you see in a print; since I don't print, I tend to be rather cautious about the ISO settings I'll go to (e.g., ISO 400 looks enough better to me than ISO 800 that I don't often go to the higher ISO value; converting to monochrome works okay for ISO 800 on my camera). The best thing would be to take test shots with your camera at various ISO settings to see where you find the decrease in image quality to no longer meet your expectations, then keep ISO below that point.

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BobSC
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Re: What ISO to keep on A mode?
In reply to WryCuda, 3 months ago

WryCuda wrote:

I can't see any difference between images taken at ISO 100 vs. 200, and since many of my lenses have maximum apertures of f/4, the extra ISO gives me an extra "stop".

I haven't investigated that myself, but people who test for stuff like that can measure a difference. According to the graphs, there is more difference on my d200 between 100 and 200 than there is between 200 and 400. Based on that I might as well keep it at 100 and then change it to 400 and skip 200 all together.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D200/D200IMATEST.HTM

With the Nex3n I just got, there is no 100 setting, but it's linear from 200 to 3200:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/NEX3/NEX3IMATEST.HTM

Curious thing in the graph on the last link -- they show the EP2 having less noise at 800 than 400, and in fact almost as little noise at 800 as 200. That's wild!

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