Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO

Started Mar 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
Rick Knepper
Rick Knepper Forum Pro • Posts: 15,449
I don't see a need for ISO 1600 in any of these images

The first image is under-exposed and should have noise as punishment, the 2nd is over-exposed, the third appears to be well-exposed and I don't see any noise issues preventing you from using the image.

I have a couple of recommendations. They may or may not pertain to your noise issue but may help you get better and/or more exposures that are keepers.

Use the spot meter or center weighting or something. Get off Matrix because it doesn't work. The Canon version doesn't work. It's one of those features, like sensor self-cleaning, a feel good feature that in practice does not work.

Learn, and by learn, I mean practice practice pratice, what types of light you want to put your meter on to produce good exposures. For example I may look for an area in the landscape with middle grey to meter off but not always especially when there is a high dynamic range to capture.

In your setup, remove metering from the shutter button to AE-L, so that you can meter the scene  like you might with an external light meter. Additionally, I move focusing to the AF-ON button (the D7100 may not have this button, so use a user definable button) so that the only thing the shutter release button does is release the shutter. Therefore, you will push one button to meter, another button to focus, and a third to release the shutter because not every point of focus is the best place to meter and the final composition should be obtained without the tension of the half press (if you are hand-holding the camera). Of course, this works best for static targets. Ideally, for landscapes, you should be using a tripod base ISO and LV and the suggestion above can be waived.

Bracket your shots, not for HDR, for exposure insurance. I set my brackets for 7 with 1/3 increments. That gives me an in-camera exposure range of +/- 1 stop from which to choose the perfect exposure. This is digital, the images are free. Back at the hacienda, find the best exposure and throw away the rest. And, this can be done hand-held with some practice on your technique.

Finally, at 100%, I see the same splotchy sky in yours as I do in an image from another thread. That image was shot at ISO 100. One could argue from these examples if one just likes to argue that the sky in your ISO 1600 image is as good as one from base ISO. What I am going to suggest instead is that you use your best lens to shoot a series of photos at all ISOs to determine the "best bang for the buck" ISO for your tastes. Then shoot with that ISO in a variety of conditions using shutter speed/VR to best effect. If it is still too restrictive for you personally, then I would send the camera back (if that's allowed in Italy).

edo21 wrote:

Just had my d7100 on friday and tried it in various situations landscape, portrait with the wide tokina 11-16, 16-50 and the nikon tele 300/4 AF-S. I tried various combo at iso 400/800 and 1600 with most default settings or my usual settings near to default.
I've to say that, as you can see in the following samples, i find a lot of noise at 1600 iso (not good for me) while images look acceptable at 800 and 400 iso (even if i expected a lot more).
I've been shooting for the last 4 years also with a D90, that i consider for the price a great camera, for professional and business purposes.

I don't like the post processing of any photo, i consider the post processing something different from photography.
D7100 seems to be slightly better than the D90 at base iso (100/200) but not as expected.
I've read a lot of post in this forum with real world samples of the D7100 at 3200 iso that seem perfect or very very good and this was main reason for my D7100 purchase (one of the first in Italy). Honestly my results do not show all that perfection.
Maybe there's something I'm missing but, at the moment i can't say to be really satisfied.

Waiting for your comments and suggestions. Thank you

D7100 + Tokina 16-50 F8 1/250 - Iso 1600 - Matrix

D7100 + Tokina 16-50 F8 1/250 - Iso 1600 - Matrix 100% crop

D7100 + Nikon AF-S 300/4 F8 1/1600 - Iso 1600 Matrix

D7100 + Nikon AF-S 300/4 1/1600 - Iso 1600 Matrix 100% crop

D7100 + Nikon AF-S 300/4 F13 1/4000 Matrix - Iso 1600

D7100 + Nikon AF-S 300/4 F13 1/4000 Matrix - Iso 1600 100% crop

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Rick Knepper, photographer, non-professional, shooting for pleasure, check my profile for gear list and philosophy.

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