5D Stage shoot - ISO3200 - IMG's

Started Mar 11, 2008 | Discussions
Evan Effa Veteran Member • Posts: 3,343
5D Stage shoot - ISO3200 - IMG's

(This is a gear report with samples to back up my assertions. )

I have been shooting High School Theatre for many years now. I have used a Nikon 5700, Fuji S2, Nikon D200 & this year for the first time the Canon 5D. With my previous cameras pushing to ISO 1600 was usually quite damaging to the IQ with much less DR & lots of noise to have to control. Any adjustments in post production would only accentuate the noise.

This year's production of "Grand Hotel" at my son's high school had a rather dark lighting scheme making any photography quite challenging & ISO 3200 a virtual necessity to capture any action.

After shooting several rehearsals & several evening productions, I have learned a few things and have come to appreciate just how wonderful the 5D really is at this sort of work. Yes, maybe the D3 is better at high ISO but the venerable 5D can still deliver the goods quite well and certainly exceeds anything I could ever get from the D200 or the Fuji S2.

It would be interesting to compare the 5D to the 1D3 or the D3 under these sorts of conditions but I found the 5D did a pretty good job with the AF under these dark conditions. (I was shooting AI-Servo using the back AF button & with expansion AF points "on" with pretty good success & very few AF misses.)

Most images were shot with the 70-200/ 2.8 IS on monopod or handheld. All images were shot RAW with processing in LightRoom with default noise handling. I was quite impressed at how much I could manipulate the exposure to recover highlights or push the EV to bring up the shadows without noise rearing its ugly head.

Here are a few samples:

1/250s f/2.8 at 150.0mm iso3200

1/320s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

1/60s f/3.2 at 200.0mm iso3200

1/40s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

1/60s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

1/200s f/3.2 at 120.0mm iso3200

1/100s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

1/160s f/2.0 at 50.0mm iso3200

1/200s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

Of course, there are many more samples than what you can probably stand to look at, but for a few more see here:

http://www.pbase.com/eheffa/smus_grand_hotel

All in all, I was very happy with the camera's performance. This year if I missed shots, it was usually my own fault in composition or positioning myself or whatever rather than because the camera let me down or was unable to cope with the lighting.

If the 1D3 gives IQ like this (or better) with that little extra reach due to its crop factor, one could argue that it would make the ideal camera for low light theatre and would make a great combination with the 5D.

I can hardly wait for next year.

Any comments or criticisms welcome.

-evan

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5D, ex-D200, S2

I do know how to spell. I'm just a lousy Tipyst!

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bullet1 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,325
Excellent images

The 5D is an amazing high ISO machine. I cannot imagine getting the shots of the local youth symphony performances without it. The 1D3 would be better but it is much heavier and costs nearly twice as much.

I am also not all that convinced about the ergonomics of the 1D3. For example, it does not have the C position equivalent as found on the 5D. I have used that feature numerous times for strobed and non-strobes lighting situations. I am waiting to see what Canon does with the 5D's follow-on. It should be exciting.
--
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Gediminas 8 Senior Member • Posts: 1,133
Well done! (nt)
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Andre Arruda Regular Member • Posts: 130
Re: 5D Stage shoot - ISO3200 - IMG's

Very good, Evan.

I'd change the focus on the gun pic: the main character (shooter) should be on focus, he shows the face.

You pictures show it's person behind the camera, not equipment that does the work.

And 5D is a hell of a tool!

ATB

OP Evan Effa Veteran Member • Posts: 3,343
For Nelson

Thanks for your comments.

I use the grip on the 5D most of the time so suspect the 1D would not be all that different in weight & probably more comfortable in the hand.

I have never used the C function. I should probably explore that further.

-evan

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5D, ex-D200, S2

I do know how to spell. I'm just a lousy Tipyst!

http://www.pbase.com/eheffa

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OP Evan Effa Veteran Member • Posts: 3,343
Thank you Gediminas 8 (NT)

-evan

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5D, ex-D200, S2

I do know how to spell. I'm just a lousy Tipyst!

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OP Evan Effa Veteran Member • Posts: 3,343
Focus point? (IMG)

Thanks for your comments Andre...

Yes in the heat of the moment, I deliberately focussed on the gun & probably even missed that a little bit in that the necktie is probably in sharpest focus. But having said that, I thought that having the focus on the gun & not the "shooter" made for an image that makes one do a little double take when looking at it ( ? ) I don't know if it works to do that or not.

I tried a few other shots that way, where the natural subject is OOF & the unlikely focal point makes you consider a different part of the image to be the subject.

Here's another example:

I don't know if this works or not but sometimes it's fun to experiment.

What do you think?

Thanks for your feedback.

-evan

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5D, ex-D200, S2

I do know how to spell. I'm just a lousy Tipyst!

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 Evan Effa's gear list:Evan Effa's gear list
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steve_n Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: Focus point? (IMG)

Great shots!
What exposure mode & settings did you use (ie shutter Aperture)?

Frank C. Veteran Member • Posts: 6,667
Re: 5D Stage shoot - ISO3200 - IMG's

most of these look like D3 iso 6400 shots ( barely )

bullet1 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,325
Wait until the 2.5 years old 5D is replaced

Then the 6400 ISO D3 pictures would looks like the ISO 12800 5DII images (barely).
--
Nelson Chen
http://pbase.com/nelsonc
http://NelsonChenPhotography.com/
100% RAW shooter with Capture One Pro

2007 Colorado Renaissance Festival photo gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/nelsonc/2007_colorado_renaissance_festival&page=all

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OP Evan Effa Veteran Member • Posts: 3,343
D3 6400? nope...

You're right, these don't look like D3 images, the highlights aren't blown the highlight transitions are smooth.

Frank C. wrote:

most of these look like D3 iso 6400 shots ( barely )

That's good to know Frank. Could you show me your D3 theatre shots so that I can be overwhelmed with buyers remorse & throw this POC 5D in the bin?

Cheers.

-evan

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5D, ex-D200, S2

I do know how to spell. I'm just a lousy Tipyst!

http://www.pbase.com/eheffa

 Evan Effa's gear list:Evan Effa's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM
richt1 Regular Member • Posts: 275
Re: 5D Stage shoot - ISO3200 - IMG's

Great shots, photographically - and truly useful as an example of a very specific lighting challenge that many of us face, executed beautifully. Oh...... hell. To 5d or not to 5d? Ug. With this kind of performance, the fall seems an awfully long time away!

Thanks

Jim_R Senior Member • Posts: 1,892
Re: 5D Stage shoot - ISO3200 - IMG's
-- hide signature --

Very good photography Evan, as well as good examples of high ISO shots. Most of them are excellent. In #2, we do see some signs of high ISO. Any chance you increased levels in PP in that one? It is still looking good, so don't take offence.

Jim Rickards

olderbob Senior Member • Posts: 1,051
or maybe not,

of course the D3 is not 21/2 years old and the D3 costs $4,000 more...What I really hate is my 5D has better IQ than my D60,it's just not fair..Bob

OP Evan Effa Veteran Member • Posts: 3,343
You're right Jim

You're right about number 2. I did a little lightening (Was that burning or dodging? - I can never keep them straight) of the face of the one girl looking round & this accentuates the noise a bit. I did push the exposure on a many of these as well but without looking at the Lightroom RAW's can't remember how much on this image. In general, a push of up to + 1 EV was usually still quite acceptable.

Thanks for your comments.

-evan

-- hide signature --

5D, ex-D200, S2

I do know how to spell. I'm just a lousy Tipyst!

http://www.pbase.com/eheffa

 Evan Effa's gear list:Evan Effa's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM
steve_n Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: You're right Jim

Evan, what exposure mode & settings (ie shutter / Aperture) did you mainly use?

OP Evan Effa Veteran Member • Posts: 3,343
for steve_n: Mode?

Hi steve_n,

I almost always shoot in A mode with an eye on the shutter speed. I will occasionally shoot in M mode if the metering is getting fooled too much but I found the metering this last week to be pretty good. Dark scenes require more -ve EV compensation to preserve the highlights etc. but the 5D seemed pretty predictable ( & much better than the D200 was last year for me.)

I shot this event mostly wide open as it was quite dark on stage but occasionally with larger groups & with brighter scenes stopped it down to f3.5 or even 4.0 to try & get a little more DOF. When shooting at wide apertures, one has to be a little more careful to try and decide what the subject is supposed to be because you won't have the whole scene in focus. This is probably a good discipline anyways.

Thanks for your interest.

-evan

steve_n wrote:

Evan, what exposure mode & settings (ie shutter / Aperture) did you
mainly use?

-- hide signature --

5D, ex-D200, S2

I do know how to spell. I'm just a lousy Tipyst!

http://www.pbase.com/eheffa

 Evan Effa's gear list:Evan Effa's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM
OP Evan Effa Veteran Member • Posts: 3,343
Apology for Frank C

I see in reviewing my initial post that I really invited this sort of comparison.

Sorry for my acidic reply to your post. I apologize.

-evan
--
5D, ex-D200, S2

I do know how to spell. I'm just a lousy Tipyst!

http://www.pbase.com/eheffa

 Evan Effa's gear list:Evan Effa's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM
D3 pusher Regular Member • Posts: 250
Re: 5D Stage shoot - ISO3200 - IMG's

camera in the end is just a tool, Evan you did an wonderfull job here certainly much better then I could of regardless of what I have. Its funny I been going over specs that some one posted of 5DII! while I havent the time as is to take more pictures I have this urge to buy another camera... go figure!

Stan

Evan Effa wrote:

(This is a gear report with samples to back up my assertions. )

I have been shooting High School Theatre for many years now. I have
used a Nikon 5700, Fuji S2, Nikon D200 & this year for the first time
the Canon 5D. With my previous cameras pushing to ISO 1600 was
usually quite damaging to the IQ with much less DR & lots of noise to
have to control. Any adjustments in post production would only
accentuate the noise.

This year's production of "Grand Hotel" at my son's high school had a
rather dark lighting scheme making any photography quite challenging
& ISO 3200 a virtual necessity to capture any action.

After shooting several rehearsals & several evening productions, I
have learned a few things and have come to appreciate just how
wonderful the 5D really is at this sort of work. Yes, maybe the D3
is better at high ISO but the venerable 5D can still deliver the
goods quite well and certainly exceeds anything I could ever get from
the D200 or the Fuji S2.

It would be interesting to compare the 5D to the 1D3 or the D3 under
these sorts of conditions but I found the 5D did a pretty good job
with the AF under these dark conditions. (I was shooting AI-Servo
using the back AF button & with expansion AF points "on" with pretty
good success & very few AF misses.)

Most images were shot with the 70-200/ 2.8 IS on monopod or handheld.
All images were shot RAW with processing in LightRoom with default
noise handling. I was quite impressed at how much I could manipulate
the exposure to recover highlights or push the EV to bring up the
shadows without noise rearing its ugly head.

Here are a few samples:

1/250s f/2.8 at 150.0mm iso3200

1/320s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

1/60s f/3.2 at 200.0mm iso3200

1/40s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

1/60s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

1/200s f/3.2 at 120.0mm iso3200

1/100s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

1/160s f/2.0 at 50.0mm iso3200

1/200s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200

Of course, there are many more samples than what you can probably
stand to look at, but for a few more see here:

http://www.pbase.com/eheffa/smus_grand_hotel

All in all, I was very happy with the camera's performance. This
year if I missed shots, it was usually my own fault in composition or
positioning myself or whatever rather than because the camera let me
down or was unable to cope with the lighting.

If the 1D3 gives IQ like this (or better) with that little extra
reach due to its crop factor, one could argue that it would make the
ideal camera for low light theatre and would make a great combination
with the 5D.

I can hardly wait for next year.

Any comments or criticisms welcome.

-evan

steve_n Regular Member • Posts: 129
Re: 5D Stage shoot - ISO3200 - IMG's

Thank you Evan for the reply, It was good to get an idea of your settings.

I too shoot with a D200 and have recently purchased a 5D. It is great!... for low light environments (ie weddings in my case), and 'we' now have the advantage of increasing the ISO above 400 and not have to worry about noise as much.

Kind Regards.... sTeVe

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