Leica SL Sensor Measurements Published at PhotonsToPhotos

Started Mar 2, 2017 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,498
Re: Source of noise in long exposures

Robgo2 wrote:

Joe Pineapples II wrote:

vbd70 wrote:

Jared, thank you for this. Unfortunately for me, I don't do night landscapes necessarily, in fact I mostly do very long exposures during the day; and as you said I do them for expressive reasons, so for me - taking your example as an example - if I need, say, 8 minutes at ISO 100 for the clouds to be blurred just so, going for 1 minute at ISO 800 is not an option.

So in short - you are saying that exposure time being equal I am better off using ISO 200 rather than ISO 50 or keeping noise down? Thanks!

The tricky thing is that Bill's measurements are highly relevant to people doing "normal" exposures who want to extract the best performance from their cameras, while your images are being affected by thermal noise issues due to the very extended exposure times that are more like those encountered in astrophotography. Because you are blurring movement in your scenes, then the technique of stacking multiple images would be a possible approach. However, the aesthetic effect of say an 8-minute exposure vs a stack of 8 1-minute exposures would be a matter of personal taste.

In general, techniques by themselves are neither good nor bad - only photographs are good or bad!


It would be much appreciated if someone would summarize what is the best setting for DR and noise for those of us who do "normal" photography. I am not technically savvy enough to figure out whether it is ISO 50 or 200.



There is no recipe AFAIK that applies to all cameras and all scenes.

The manufacturer hires a lot of technically savvy engineers to program different auto-exposure and "scene" modes in the camera that apply the best general setting for different broad categories of photograph. These are based on a lot of modelling and measurement. A "recipe" someone tells you on the internet is unlikely to be better.

AFAIK the only way to do better is the old-fashioned one: learn more about how the process works yourself. It isn't rocket science. You can get to a pretty sophisticated level of understanding of digital photography with no more mathematics than the square root of a number. The internet is a great resource for learning, and digital cameras make it easy to do experiments.


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