How 2 shoot high ISO with the D80-Opinion

Started Sep 7, 2006 | Discussions
Walter S Matthews Veteran Member • Posts: 3,311
How 2 shoot high ISO with the D80-Opinion

I purchased the D80 primarily for high ISO shooting at weddings where flash is not allowed.

My primary camera for these situations has been the Canon 5D and althought it is clearly the high ISO champ for low noise, I have never been happy with the color saturation and tone rendering because red always seems exagerated and yellow seems to creep in all too often. Perhaps and probably it is because I have never really learned to use the Canon and I won't claim it can't do the job but almost all my lenses are Nikon and I want a high ISO nikon mount camera. I also shoot the Fuji S3. The S3 is a great camera and gives very good low noise shots at iso 1600 but when the light level falls to where I need iso 1600 the S3 just won't focus properly and I am left with my camera searching for focus while the action passes me by.

Anyway, so far in my hands the D80 is a very good performar at iso 1600. I found yesterday, while trying out my options that if I shoot at the medium image size, i.e. at 5.6 MB, at iso 1600, custom white balance with a Kodak 18% grey card in tungsten lighting, 50mm-F1.4 lens set at F2 using 1/30 of a second exposure, I get astonishing images. The noise is there but well in control. Using normal NR the images are nicely saturated and the colors are what I would expect from much lower ISO settings. Moreover, I believe that there is significant and obviously more DR in the shots because of the reduced image size and in the last 3 years of exclusive digital shooting at weddings I have not had a request to make a single image from the low light level areas at greater than 11x14 and 11x14's are beautiful under these conditions.

I am a happy camper with the D80 , and by the way, I believe the low light shots from the D80 at medium image size at iso 1600 are visibly better than the images I get from the D200 under the same conditions. Color is better and noise is lower.

instamatic Veteran Member • Posts: 3,563
Re: How 2 shoot high ISO with the D80-Opinion

Walter,

That's good to hear. I guess Nikon's new image processing engine does it's job well.

Kind Regards,
Przemek

Walter S Matthews wrote:

I purchased the D80 primarily for high ISO shooting at weddings
where flash is not allowed.

My primary camera for these situations has been the Canon 5D and
althought it is clearly the high ISO champ for low noise, I have
never been happy with the color saturation and tone rendering
because red always seems exagerated and yellow seems to creep in
all too often. Perhaps and probably it is because I have never
really learned to use the Canon and I won't claim it can't do the
job but almost all my lenses are Nikon and I want a high ISO nikon
mount camera. I also shoot the Fuji S3. The S3 is a great camera
and gives very good low noise shots at iso 1600 but when the light
level falls to where I need iso 1600 the S3 just won't focus
properly and I am left with my camera searching for focus while the
action passes me by.

Anyway, so far in my hands the D80 is a very good performar at iso
1600. I found yesterday, while trying out my options that if I
shoot at the medium image size, i.e. at 5.6 MB, at iso 1600, custom
white balance with a Kodak 18% grey card in tungsten lighting,
50mm-F1.4 lens set at F2 using 1/30 of a second exposure, I get
astonishing images. The noise is there but well in control. Using
normal NR the images are nicely saturated and the colors are what I
would expect from much lower ISO settings. Moreover, I believe that
there is significant and obviously more DR in the shots because of
the reduced image size and in the last 3 years of exclusive digital
shooting at weddings I have not had a request to make a single
image from the low light level areas at greater than 11x14 and
11x14's are beautiful under these conditions.

I am a happy camper with the D80 , and by the way, I believe the
low light shots from the D80 at medium image size at iso 1600 are
visibly better than the images I get from the D200 under the same
conditions. Color is better and noise is lower.

jcv Regular Member • Posts: 232
Re: How 2 shoot high ISO with the D80-Opinion

Thanks, Walter for the info. I'm happy that you're finding the D80 usable for professional work at higher iso's. Reducing the file size does seem to "hide" the noise as well as blurriness. That makes sense to me. It would be better though if you set WB not from the kodak Gray card. These are calibrated to give you a reflectance value that is = to 18% gray but they are not color neutral. It gets you close to it but not really right on. Shooting a GretagMcbeth chart would be ideal or other color neutral WB cards in the market. It's good to hear that you are able to handhold at 1/30 of a sec. with a 50 mm. lens. I do not have the confidence to shoot people at this slow a speed as I find I cannot get CONSISTENTLY sharp captures. I do not believe DR has anything to do with file size but I'm glad to hear that you find DR good with the D80 at hi-iso. DR usually goes down as the iso goes up.

If I may ask, how would you quantify the difference in noise at iso 1600 between the D80 and the 5D? A sample would be appreciated.
Many Thanks.
--
jcv

OP Walter S Matthews Veteran Member • Posts: 3,311
Re: How 2 shoot high ISO with the D80-Opinion

I'll put out samples after I have a few weddings done with the D80.

bobmax Veteran Member • Posts: 6,380
Walter... Good information... Thanks!
-- hide signature --

BobNIK

bobmax Veteran Member • Posts: 6,380
Walter... How Are the Jpegs?

I know you shoot and rely on Jpegs (from the Fuji forum) and am wondering how you find the D80 Jpegs in quality compared to the D200 and S3 (both of which I believe you have).

Thanks much,

Bob

-- hide signature --

BobNIK

OP Walter S Matthews Veteran Member • Posts: 3,311
Re: Walter... How Are the Jpegs?

It's too early to be difinitive but I plan to use it tomorrow in the largerst cathedral in Sacramento where Flash will not be allowed. We will see as the 5D will b3e shot at the same time. Later I will probably take the d80 to the reception and use it in place of the D200 for the reception shots, food fight with the cake, tossing flowers and garters etc.

It's good enough that I like it as well as the D200.

I will still use the S3 for outdoor shots because of dynamic range.

ClassicMan Senior Member • Posts: 1,273
Keep us posted Walter....

I'm very curious as to how it fared vis-a-vis the S3, in the IQ dept.
(I know handling, speed, write times will be faster)
--
Photos speak louder than words.....let's all post more photos.

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