Are there any "rules" for using ISO?

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP GreenMountainGirl Contributing Member • Posts: 684
Re: I have a couple

Leonard Migliore wrote:

My first rule:

A sharp noisy picture is better than a blurred clean picture.

My second rule:

Go to ISO 800 whenever there's a chance of blur. My personal choice of ISO 800 is because my D300 is not bad up to there; other photographers and cameras will have differing limits. "Chance of blur" depends on the situation. If I'm using 300mm handheld, I want my shutter speed 1/500 or faster. If I'm using a tripod, I'll probably want 1/250 for most critters unless they're quite torpid.

I try to get sharp pictures, but it doesn't always work.  That is why I have been trying shutter-priority.  Especially when I try to hand-hold - so use my tripod whenever possible.  But it is limiting when photographing the deer because they keep moving around, which is often rapidly.  Used 1/250 for my last shoot, at 5.6 and ISO 640, and the photos were underexposed.  They could be fixed in LR4, but want to be able to do it "right"!  Guess I should try to raise the ISO...

My third rule:

See the first rule. If ISO 800 doesn't work, raise it until the shutter speed is fast enough. Deal with the noise in Lightroom.

I don't remember what camera you have, but it's probably much better for high ISO than a D300. You just have to decide what your tolerance is for noise. And "making exposure adjustments" in Lightroom is the same as changing ISO. So if you're limiting the ISO to 1600, and then have to bump the image 2 stops in LR, you've actually taken the picture at ISO 6400.

Sorry, I didn't mention it - Nikon D7000 - so it's well-rated for high ISO.  Probably I just a little afraid of going too high!  OP suggested going to auto-ISO, but not sure it ought to be necessary, plus using it wouldn't necessarily help me to learn!

Thanks Leonard!


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Leonard Migliore

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