Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

Started Apr 8, 2012 | Discussions
toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 13,478
Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

I'm prepared for you to tell me "heck no, dummy, what a stupid question". I'm talking bright outdoor light. I'm just so used to having ISO 200 as the lowest I can set my Nikon DSLRs that having the option to go ISO 100 is, well, new.

And I think I read somewhere there was a reason that maybe ISO 100 wasn't the best choice, even if the light is bright enough. Am I dreaming?

Nikon D5100
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InTheMist
InTheMist Veteran Member • Posts: 3,078
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

I find ISO 100 as the best quality on both my D5100 and D7000 which use an identical sensor. That is...if you have the light.

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David Grabowski Veteran Member • Posts: 7,291
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

You probably read that in relation to some camera where true base ISO was 200 and 100 was an extended option. Much like high ISO is extended with Hi1 or Hi2
in some cameras.
David

toomanycanons wrote:

I'm prepared for you to tell me "heck no, dummy, what a stupid question". I'm talking bright outdoor light. I'm just so used to having ISO 200 as the lowest I can set my Nikon DSLRs that having the option to go ISO 100 is, well, new.

And I think I read somewhere there was a reason that maybe ISO 100 wasn't the best choice, even if the light is bright enough. Am I dreaming?

herbymel Veteran Member • Posts: 6,153
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

I wouldn't mind if ISO went to 50
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Werner Gansz Contributing Member • Posts: 746
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

On my D90, ISO 100 (Lo3) loses 1 stop in dynamic range because there really is no ISO 100 so the camera is playing an exposure trick that I forgot the details of. If the scene is very bright and contrasty, then you are probably not going to be happy with the loss of 1 stop in dynamic range.

The only times I've used Lo3 is to shoot flowing water in the shade to get longer shutter speeds but these were low contrast, not high contrast scenes. One visible result of this is that the contrast in the highlights is a bit better than when shooting at base ISO.
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Cagey75
Cagey75 Senior Member • Posts: 1,324
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

I have a D90 and look to ISO 200 as the lowest for me personally. I don't like the alternate lowered options. If it is true ISO 100, then hell yeah, use it when possible.

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photographerseye Regular Member • Posts: 275
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

Yes use ISO 100. It will have the most dynamic range and the highest image quality. The D90 and D5000 have Lo-1 or whatever it's called that would overexpose the scene by one stop and then in camera it would darken the image causing you to lose dynamic range. In the new cameras the ISO 100 actually reduces the sensitivity of the sensor.

GlennW Senior Member • Posts: 2,337
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

The D3100, D5100, D4 & D800 let you shoot at ISO 100. It appears only the Kodaks let you get down to 64. Used to be the best setting for outdoors & bright sunny days. May be the best setting to get bright colors?
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foodsci Regular Member • Posts: 151
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

Try it at ISO 100 and 200 while shooting a night scene of a lit building, you will see the difference.

OP toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 13,478
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

I'd never try ISO this low at night unless I was on a tripod. So, yeah, I will set up a tripod and give it a go at night somewhere. I usually shoot at ISO 200 indoors on a tripod for real estate stuff. If I add a flashed exposure I'll bump up to ISO 800, still on a tripod.

I just checked out my pics from today. Bright light, blue skies, ISO 100. My D5100 is a low noise camera anyway but at ISO 100---clean clean clean. I didn't do any side by side comparos at 100/200 but I don't see any downsides to ISO 100. The comments above about the D90 et al "faking it" with under ISO 200 was probably what I'd read.

foodsci wrote:

Try it at ISO 100 and 200 while shooting a night scene of a lit building, you will see the difference.

stuntmonkey
stuntmonkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,766
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

toomanycanons wrote:

. The comments above about the D90 et al "faking it" with under ISO 200 was probably what I'd read.

Two different cameras, two different sensor profiles. The D90's base ISO is 200, meaning that it can't be any less sensitive than that without electronically altering the output after the fact. Hence, ISO 100 on a D90 is Lo.1, meaning that it is interpolated... the dynamic range suffers a bit. Not much, but a bit. On a D7000 the base ISO is 100. Different camera, different sensor.

Every time you go up in ISO, you lose a bit of dynamic range, meaning that the risk of blowing out highlights and strong colour channels goes up. The good news is that the D7000 is fairly robust, so you won't really notice that much different difference.

If you are shooting on a tripod, there is no good reason not be at the lowest ISO you can get, unless you are toodling with your flash exposure.

fotolopithecus Senior Member • Posts: 1,699
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

You were dreaming. ISO 100 is best on your 5100.

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Hulamike
Hulamike Senior Member • Posts: 2,810
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

Yeah, I remember shooting ASA 25 Kodachrome. I think digital is too sensitive to need going lower than ISO 100.

TFergus
TFergus Veteran Member • Posts: 6,188
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

As others have said, the lower native resolution you are able to use in the light you have available..... the better the IQ.

But what I don't get is this...

toomanycanons wrote:

I usually shoot at ISO 200 indoors on a tripod for real estate stuff. If I add a flashed exposure I'll bump up to ISO 800, still on a tripod.

Are you saying you usually use 200 ISO indoors, but when you add flash you bump it up to 800 ?!?

If true... the whole point of using flash (unless for fill) is to be able to use a lower ISO.

Low ISO is the goal... as much as people compare noise at high ISOs and want them to go higher and higher... the whole goal, when wanting good images, is to shoot at the lowest ISO allowable.

That's different when talking about extended ISO's like "Lo" and "Hi".... but within it's native available speeds... of course 100 is preferable to 200.
The higher you raise your ISO, the more your colors become washed out, etc.

(They don't talk about that when comparing ISO 12k to ISO 25K on the latest model... they look right past the colors and clarity and overall image... and zoom in on the noise).

I just checked out my pics from today. Bright light, blue skies, ISO 100. My D5100 is a low noise camera anyway but at ISO 100---clean clean clean. I didn't do any side by side comparos at 100/200 but I don't see any downsides to ISO 100. The comments above about the D90 et al "faking it" with under ISO 200 was probably what I'd read.

That is probably true. The D80 went down to 100, then it's replacement lost that and started at 200. It's just the best they could do with that sensor. Upping it a stop on the high end and forcing them to up it a stop at the bottom.
When people dismiss ISO 100 it's only when the camera's slowest ISO is 200.

baloo_buc Forum Pro • Posts: 10,481
Re: Any reason NOT to shoot at ISO 100 on my D5100?

ISO 100 on D5100 is the base ISO for this sensor. So this will be the optimum ISO if you have enough light.

You remember that using LO1 ISO setting on cameras that have a sensor with base ISO of ISO200 will give you lower IQ. It is not the case now.
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