D300 High ISO Pics...

Started Jun 10, 2008 | Discussions
OP Jan Anne Offereins Regular Member • Posts: 253
Re: I can send you the NEFs if you wish

OleThorsen wrote:

By the way - was this taken outdoors under a dark grey sky? Your
exposure were 1/500s F9 ISO6400, and I get similar exposures for
birds under a dark grey sky or in shadows at 1/125s F8 ISO1600, which
is my current limit for high ISO.

It was at the end of a sunny day (20:30) with some rain clouds moving in taking away the last sunrays of the day, I started at ISO1600 and moved up the ISO scale for testing purposes only to see what the new D300 could do.

I'm heading out again today and hope to take some low light high ISO pics to see how the Nikon would perform under more severe conditions then these...

I've send you an email btw with the request for the full res jpg....

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OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,111
Pbase is up again, download link to NEFs

You can also download the two NEFs and a full size JPEG packed in a zip file (66MB) from the following link:

https://download.yousendit.com/7F609A0F683CD09F

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

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Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
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OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,111
Download links

Jan Anne Offereins wrote:

OleThorsen wrote:

By the way - was this taken outdoors under a dark grey sky? Your
exposure were 1/500s F9 ISO6400, and I get similar exposures for
birds under a dark grey sky or in shadows at 1/125s F8 ISO1600, which
is my current limit for high ISO.

It was at the end of a sunny day (20:30) with some rain clouds moving
in taking away the last sunrays of the day, I started at ISO1600 and
moved up the ISO scale for testing purposes only to see what the new
D300 could do.

I'm heading out again today and hope to take some low light high ISO
pics to see how the Nikon would perform under more severe conditions
then these...

I've send you an email btw with the request for the full res jpg....

Download link to two NEFs and a full size JPEG packed in a zip file (66MB):
https://download.yousendit.com/7F609A0F683CD09F

You can also choose to download full size JPEG from Pbase:
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen/image/98585793/original

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

  • OMNISCIENCE

Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

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OP Jan Anne Offereins Regular Member • Posts: 253
Re: ok, but what about low light?!

Yes, noise is what happens when a sensor goes wild, the longer the exposure the more chance of a sensor going crazy:-)

Try shooting an exposure of 30 seconds without the Long Exposure NR, you'll see what I mean...

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Jim Kaye Senior Member • Posts: 2,794
Bibble conversion

Beautiful shots, Jan Anne. Thanks for making the NEF available for people to play with. As I have a D300 on order, I am quite interested in this.

Someone mentioned using Bibble and the Noise Ninja plugin but I didn't see a posting, so I tried my hand at it. (I am using NX2 more and more now, but I use Bibble for high-volume work where ultimate IQ isn't needed, like high school sports shooting -- it is just so much faster!)

Details, for those interested:

NN settings were default for Luma channel. For Chroma, strength 20, contrast 10, smooth 20, coarse noise turned on, turbo off, USM amount 0. Other settings: Highlight recovery 50, Color saturation +30. (I find a saturation boost helps when I apply aggressive chroma noise reduction. In this example, I like the greener/browner tones this produces, but that's a matter of taste and I don't know if it is faithful to the way the scene appeared at the time.) I saved the converted file as a TIFF.

In PS CS2, I cropped the original to match yours, resized, converted to sRGB, changed mode to 8-bits, and saved as JPEG max (12). For the 100% crop, I applied USM (80/0.8/5) before conversion to sRGB, 8-bit mode, and saving as JPEG max (12).

My take on this is that you have an image with wonderful details, but the details are very large on the sensor (compared to the the size of the pixels) because you were close to the animals and used a long FL lens (with TC). Not to detract anything from what you've done, this is an ideal situation for being able to preserve details with noise reduction. The problems always come in when the details are the same size as the pixels -- then it's much harder for any NR procedure to distinguish between details and noise, and the results get less satisfactory (especially areas of the image like hair, for example, where there are patterns to the detail which can easily be mistaken for noise and gen inappropriately smoothed out). At least that's my experience. In those situations, I often prefer to leave more "grain" (i.e., turn the luma NR setting down) and concentrate on chroma NR almost entirely. That wasn't necessary with this image -- I was able to leave the luma NR setting at default with no significant loss of detail.

Thanks again for posting and for sharing the file!
--
Jim Kaye

'I believe that the electronic image will be the next major advance. Such systems will have their own inherent and inescapable structural characteristics, and the artist and functional practitioner will again strive to comprehend and control them.' -- Ansel Adams, 1981

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Dave Santora Senior Member • Posts: 2,552
True this is not low light at all, but...

This same exposure would be 1/500 shutter @ f2.8 with iso640. So this hardly qualifies for true low light. Jan is showing that when she need the DOF she could still bump the ISO to maintain a decent shutter speed to get a sharp shot (handheld I presume). I personally would have stayed at iso3200 and dropped the shutter to 1/250 and taken a bunch of shots to 'guarantee' a sharp one.

I shoot some wedding shots @ iso3200 @ f2.8 at 1/30 sec. Now that is low light and the shadows are dirty for sure. But the mood is captured and with some PP or B&W conversion, they look great.

Thanks again for a great thread, and taking the time to post up the NEF file for all to play with. I think we have learned a lot and had a bunch of fun. It also appears NX may have a slight edge in high ISO NEF conversion, but the other methods (I use ACR) are quite comparable. It looks like it really comes down to what you like and what fits into your workflow - hence I use Lightroom exclusively, and Photoshop for the real tough ones.
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nikond2000 Senior Member • Posts: 2,010
Re: Here is my NX2+Dfine attempt

All this for one pic??????????? Very nice but if thats the case WOW...I take tons and tons of pics...Seems like I would be at the computer all day

OleThorsen wrote:

These are very impressive high ISO pictures Jan.

I downloaded your original NEF using my usual workflow with high ISO
NEFs. Here is my attempt:

Resized

Link to full size JPEG: http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen/image/98585793

100% crop

My usual Capture NX2 (CNX2) workflow for high ISO NEFs (taken from an
earlier description, but added relevant info for this picture):

0. For wildlife/nature photos I prefer to use D2XMODE3 as basis for
the conversion, and since you used Standard, I changed the Picture
Control to D2XMODE3.

1. Reduce the sharpening to 1 (D200: -2 Low) in the Develop/Camera
Settings as a form of capture sharpening. If high ISO is used like in
this case, I reduce the sharpening to 0 (None) to avoid unnecessary
noise.

2. Adjust White Balance and Exposure Compensation if necessary. This
is very seldom with the D300, which have an improved metering system
compared to the D200. Automatic CA removal is enabled as standard. I
changed EV compensation to -0.3EV in this case.

(3.) If ISO800 or above is used I sometimes break the CNX2 workflow
here and save as both a original NEF and temporary TIF 16bit file. I
use the fantastic Nik Dfine noise reduction plugin for Photoshop,
which is much better than the rest of the NR tools at keeping details
and remove noise at the same time - even with the global NR applied.
I used NoiseNinja as my preferred NR tool before I got Dfine 2.0. I
save the NR back to the temporary TIF file and reopen this file in
CNX. I really hope they make Dfine as a CNX plugin. If in seldom
cases I want to remove certain objects from the picture with
Photoshops clone tool, I also break the CNX workflow here. Though
with the new CNX2 with the improved selective tools and the Auto
Retouch brush this step 3 will probably mostly be done in CNX. In
this case I used selective NR with much more NR on the background
(amount 125/125) and only little luminance NR on the subject (amount
30/100).

4. Apply a cropping step if necessary. With the D300 and bird
pictures I never crop below 6MP and mostly crop to 70-90% of the
original size depending on the focus distance. I use this order of
cropping because local adjustments get screwed and placed in wrong
places if I apply the cropping as the last step.

5. Apply a previous saved settings file, with three editing steps:
Level & Curves (weak S-curve), Colour Control Point, and a linked
Unsharp Mask and High Pass Sharpening. In my experience High pass
sharpening is very effective for objects with fur or feathers.

6. Adjust the weak S-curve if necessary in rare cases.

7. Add a few Colour Control Points to the same editing step (the
editing step created in step 5) as a form of local dodge and burn if
necessary. I often use a technique where the background is darkened
to emphasize the main subject. I also use Colour Control Points to
soften or increase local contrast if necessary or to get a better sky
colour. A fantastic tool which automatically creates very advanced
masking, and I really hope version 2 of CNX will utilize this
technique for all adjustments, including sharpening and NR. (Update:
CNX v2 has selection points utilizing the advanced u-point technology
for masking, which can be used for all adjustments).

8. Adjust the linked USM and High Pass sharpening to avoid visible
halos and too much sharpening. I normally use a USM setting of around
25-4-1, and a High Pass radius of 1-2 and opacity of around 40%
(luminance) and 10% (chrominance). I then paint the selective
sharpening with the +brush with a size of around 50-70 pixels, brush
hardness 0% and opacity 100%. I begin painting the edges of the
objects I want to sharpen, and then increase the brush size to paint
the remaining objects inside the edges.

9. I save the editing back to the original NEF. In the case of
external NR in step 3, I save the editing of the temporary TIF to a
new NEF file for eventual full future reversibility.

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

  • OMNISCIENCE

Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

OP Jan Anne Offereins Regular Member • Posts: 253
The she is a he;-)

This is me backpacking in Norway:

A little too much hair for a misses;-)

No hard feelings btw, "Jan" is mostly female outside The Netherlands and "Anne" is 99.9999% female on the entire planet (even here in the NL). In my family both are male names, I'm one of the few to have them both...

I'm off to the zoo now, it's cloudy now so there's plenty of time to continue testing the high ISO performance. I'm expecting some rain as well to make it all a bit more interesting:-)

See you on the flipside....

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Ray Soares Veteran Member • Posts: 3,121
Just a computer LCD screen light...

ISO 3200, 85 mm f1.4, RAW 14 bits + NX 1.3:

ISO 1250:

ISO 2200:

Regards
--
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See my pictures at http://www.pbase.com/raysoares

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Dave Santora Senior Member • Posts: 2,552
and ... OOPS!

Sorry about that. I have an aunt named Jan so I just kind of assumed - my bad. Sincere apologies. If you were a female, yikes you would need a facial wax, and like really bad
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Dave Santora Senior Member • Posts: 2,552
Wow that is a lot of editing, but it looks great

Mine took all of 3 minutes to import into LR, crop, curve adjust, adjust a level or two and then NR & USM in Photoshop. Take that back, two minutes

Yours is better and the PP time is well used when one looks at the result.

If you really wanted to print this pic, you would have to do this much PP or even more. I would have tried to shoot lower ISO 1600 or less with monopod, that would save a lot of PP and the image would eventually look better
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OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,111
Extend of PP

nikond2000 wrote:

All this for one pic??????????? Very nice but if thats the case
WOW...I take tons and tons of pics...Seems like I would be at the
computer all day

Don't tell me that your tons and tons of pictures are equally good and worth keeping and do some special PP for.

The wiórkflow I described is for bird and landscape pictures and for selected keepers only. My normal workflow for bird pictures and landscape pictures begins this way:

For birds and landscapes I use 12bit NEF lossless compressed. I almost always use selective sharpening on bird pictures, so I don't sharpen any out of focus areas unnecessary. A side benefit is also I avoid any noise due to sharpening. If high ISO is used I also use selective NR to avoid removing details on the main objects.

I have the in-camera sharpening set to 3 (D200: +1 Medium High) to better be able to judge sharpness on keepers on the camera LCD. I almost always use the D2XMODE3 as a starting point (D200: Colour mode III), because I really like the colours and saturation out of the box for nature pictures.

  • I use Nikon transfer to copy the NEFs from the ExpressCard CF-card reader and includes automatically some standard Copyright information in the IPTC Contact section.

  • I use ViewNX to cull the pictures and selects only the absolute best pictures for further postprocessing using the star rating system. If I have several similar pictures of the same bird/situation I only select one for further PP.

I use Nikon CaptureNX for my further postprocessing as described. The steps described takes between 5-15 minutes per picture depending on complexity.

Notice step 5 is applying a settings file with 3 editing steps with my standards included, while step 6-8 is adjustments of the presets if necessary. Step 3 is NR only performed on photos with high ISO.

OleThorsen wrote:

1. Reduce the sharpening to 1 (D200: -2 Low) in the Develop/Camera
Settings as a form of capture sharpening. If high ISO is used like in
this case, I reduce the sharpening to 0 (None) to avoid unnecessary
noise.

2. Adjust White Balance and Exposure Compensation if necessary. This
is very seldom with the D300, which have an improved metering system
compared to the D200. Automatic CA removal is enabled as standard. I
changed EV compensation to -0.3EV in this case.

(3.) If ISO800 or above is used I sometimes break the CNX2 workflow
here and save as both a original NEF and temporary TIF 16bit file. I
use the fantastic Nik Dfine noise reduction plugin for Photoshop,
which is much better than the rest of the NR tools at keeping details
and remove noise at the same time - even with the global NR applied.
I used NoiseNinja as my preferred NR tool before I got Dfine 2.0. I
save the NR back to the temporary TIF file and reopen this file in
CNX. I really hope they make Dfine as a CNX plugin. If in seldom
cases I want to remove certain objects from the picture with
Photoshops clone tool, I also break the CNX workflow here. Though
with the new CNX2 with the improved selective tools and the Auto
Retouch brush this step 3 will probably mostly be done in CNX. In
this case I used selective NR with much more NR on the background
(amount 125/125) and only little luminance NR on the subject (amount
30/100).

4. Apply a cropping step if necessary. With the D300 and bird
pictures I never crop below 6MP and mostly crop to 70-90% of the
original size depending on the focus distance. I use this order of
cropping because local adjustments get screwed and placed in wrong
places if I apply the cropping as the last step.

5. Apply a previous saved settings file, with three editing steps:
Level & Curves (weak S-curve), Colour Control Point, and a linked
Unsharp Mask and High Pass Sharpening. In my experience High pass
sharpening is very effective for objects with fur or feathers.

6. Adjust the weak S-curve if necessary in rare cases.

7. Add a few Colour Control Points to the same editing step (the
editing step created in step 5) as a form of local dodge and burn if
necessary. I often use a technique where the background is darkened
to emphasize the main subject. I also use Colour Control Points to
soften or increase local contrast if necessary or to get a better sky
colour. A fantastic tool which automatically creates very advanced
masking, and I really hope version 2 of CNX will utilize this
technique for all adjustments, including sharpening and NR. (Update:
CNX v2 has selection points utilizing the advanced u-point technology
for masking, which can be used for all adjustments).

8. Adjust the linked USM and High Pass sharpening to avoid visible
halos and too much sharpening. I normally use a USM setting of around
25-4-1, and a High Pass radius of 1-2 and opacity of around 40%
(luminance) and 10% (chrominance). I then paint the selective
sharpening with the +brush with a size of around 50-70 pixels, brush
hardness 0% and opacity 100%. I begin painting the edges of the
objects I want to sharpen, and then increase the brush size to paint
the remaining objects inside the edges.

9. I save the editing back to the original NEF. In the case of
external NR in step 3, I save the editing of the temporary TIF to a
new NEF file for eventual full future reversibility.

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

  • OMNISCIENCE

Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

Regards
Ole Thorsen
http://www.pbase.com/ole_thorsen

  • OMNISCIENCE

Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience.
(Grook by Piet Hein)

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ronb856 Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: The she is a he;-)

Jan

I love this image. What camera/lens and what settings???

Thanks for sharing your high ISO results in this forum!

Best reagrds

Ron
--
If you don't like the effect, don't produce the cause

Oliver reid Regular Member • Posts: 453
Nikon annoy me

NX clearly does better job with High ISO noise: I can get close with Adobe products but can't balance the tradeoffs the way NX does.

If ONLY NX could render NEFs and save theme as some thing other than Massive TIFFS

  • say as NEFs with the adjustments written into the data, so they are preserved when converted to DNG.

Brian_Downunda Regular Member • Posts: 457
Re: Bibble conversion

Jim Kaye wrote:

Someone mentioned using Bibble and the Noise Ninja plugin but I
didn't see a posting, so I tried my hand at it. (I am using NX2 more
and more now, but I use Bibble for high-volume work where ultimate IQ
isn't needed, like high school sports shooting -- it is just so much
faster!)

I was going to post a Bibble conversion. Mine was pretty well identical to yours. I'm surprised that the other conversions were so dark, contrasty and lacking in colour. I guess these things are a matter of taste, but I do find Bibble easier to work with and that it provides more detail and better colours. It's not perfect, but there are very few images that I have the need to revert to NX for quality reasons.

The problems always come in when the details are
the same size as the pixels -- then it's much harder for any NR
procedure to distinguish between details and noise, and the results
get less satisfactory (especially areas of the image like hair, for
example, where there are patterns to the detail which can easily be
mistaken for noise and gen inappropriately smoothed out). At least
that's my experience. In those situations, I often prefer to leave
more "grain" (i.e., turn the luma NR setting down) and concentrate on
chroma NR almost entirely.

Agreed. You also need to be careful of sharpening in these situations. Bibble can provide sharper images in my experience (if that's what you want), but you have to be very careful with sharpening if you're doing NR with NN.

Brian D

Dave Santora Senior Member • Posts: 2,552
Colors & Bibble...

I was going to post a Bibble conversion. Mine was pretty well
identical to yours. I'm surprised that the other conversions were so
dark, contrasty and lacking in colour. I guess these things are a
matter of taste, but I do find Bibble easier to work with and that it
provides more detail and better colours. It's not perfect, but there
are very few images that I have the need to revert to NX for quality
reasons.

I think the Bibble conversion shown here has more color but at the expense of accuracy. The black around the eye looks grey/brown and not correct. And the hair is too brown/tan. I have shot a bunch of meerkats, and they show much greater contrast than we see in the Bibble conversion, and definitely darker black around the eye skin.

Not picking on the conversion at all, and only Jan can tell us the true accuracy. It is agreed a matter of taste, but accuracy is important for sure. Since Jan's version was dark, that was the look I went with for my LR conversion, in an attempt to replicate the results.
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monte12345 Senior Member • Posts: 2,672
It is flat out amazing, isn't it?

With my D70, my basic limit for ISO was 640. Now, with the D300, I can use whatever ISO is suitable for the lighting and not have any concern about noise.

cayzi Contributing Member • Posts: 559
Re: My Workflow with NX2...

Jan Anne Offereins wrote:
No, the were and still are:
Intensity: 21%
Sharpness: 7

But this settings are different if you are using ISO 800 or ISO 3200 right?

How about then? How do you set parameters?

Suntan Veteran Member • Posts: 5,997
Thanks, I really needed that

As I sit here with a D70 and a wife that thinks it is more than enough for “us” to get the photos we want.

-Suntan

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OP Jan Anne Offereins Regular Member • Posts: 253
Re: My Workflow with NX2...

cayzi wrote:

Jan Anne Offereins wrote:
No, the were and still are:
Intensity: 21%
Sharpness: 7

But this settings are different if you are using ISO 800 or ISO 3200
right?

Yes, the values go up when the ISO goes up or you set a higher Noise Reduction setting in camera.

How about then? How do you set parameters?

This is something that the camera does and NX2 takes these settings as the default, you can change them if you like, I didn't....

Just shoot some different ISO and NR settings and find out what settings are default for the choosen combo.

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