D7100 - Face close-ups test images, harsh lighting, ISO 1600-6400

Started Apr 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 9,026
Re: D7100 - Face close-ups test images, harsh lighting, ISO 1600-6400

RudyPohl wrote:

Hi folks:

Thanks for your forthright remarks above..., please say whatever is on your mind, I want real feedback not baby food.

The reason I used this lens - the Nikon 70-300 VR - is because this is the only I own right now, and will be for a while yet, I suspect. I chose to buy ithis particular one because it's many glowing reviews say it is the best consumer-grade lens available.

I wouldn't for a moment think that this lens could even begin to compare with any quality pro lens, however, it is marketed as a good quality lens that can give reasonably good results under most circumstances so I'm try to determine whether that is actually the case.

So, despite the weakness of the lens, can anyone recommend an approach to post processing that would help mitigate the IQ issues seen in the RAW file?

Thanks again,


Let me reset the discussion a bit.  We are talking about ISO1600-6400 in a DX sensor. And the images are still pretty dang good.  You are attempting to take pictures in a dimly lit environment with a lens that is too slow for the task and as a consequence are not operating it at its peak sharpness point nor at the correct shutterspeed to stop subject motion.  That the 70-300 gets soft beyond 220 is also a factor here.

So overall, the pictures look dim, dingy, and with poor contrast.  A lot of that is just the lighting. Here's a shot I took with this camera in not much better conditions with similar shutterspeed restrictions because I wouldn't go beyond ISO 800 in my D90.  You can see similar qualities in the capture:

On the other hand, zoom in to the water droplets on the flowers and you'll see about as much detail as one can expect from a D90 with an 18-105 lens.  The shutterspeed and ISO all worked really well here.  Yes, I was at low ISO, but there wasn't any room for subject motion, and the light was just bright enough to pop the details.

Your 1st and 4th shots show clear subject or camera motion.  In the eyes of the 3rd shot's subject and in the details of the 2nd shot subject's glasses, a surprising amount of detail and quality.  That they're taken at ISO 1600 and 3200 wide open with not the best lens is pretty amazing.

The main problem with these images that I can see is white balance and lack of spot metering on the subject's face, coupled with too slow of a shutterspeed.  I would not use anything less than 1/(2*FL) for any critical shot.  For your 300mm shots, this means 1/600 second. Only in the 4th shot are you coming close to that.  And only in that shot would I say that the IQ and actutance is becoming substantially worse.  I'm dang impressed with the ISO 3200 performance.  That also happens to be the best lit shot of the series.

 mosswings's gear list:mosswings's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Olympus Stylus 1 Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR +5 more
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