Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

Started Jul 25, 2013 | Discussions
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Cytokine Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

We all know that CCD is for good light and CMOS is for poor lighting conditions, where we can amplify the light by turning up the ISO. Well this is not entirely true, and it highlights the fundamental differences in the two technologies.

The key here is amplification CMOS needs a certain amount of light to work, otherwise the amplified signal can't be differentiated from its rather noisy dark state. In other words 10 X 1 = 1, but give the sensor 2 and 2 x 10 = 20 in which case the background noise of 1 is a fraction of the amplified signal. by comparison the CCD has say a dark noise of 0.2 so up to the CMOS threshold, it is better.

When the ambient light is good enough, the CCD's don't require so much amplification and their quiet noise levels come back in to the game.

So for tripod work in low light situations give your D200 a try!  You might be surprised.

This photograph made me realise that if the camera is bolted down you can shoot at base ISO at some surprisingly low shutter speeds. John

Nikon D200
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photoeng Senior Member • Posts: 1,130
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

We all know that CCD is for good light and CMOS is for poor lighting conditions, where we can amplify the light by turning up the ISO. Well this is not entirely true, and it highlights the fundamental differences in the two technologies.

The key here is amplification CMOS needs a certain amount of light to work, otherwise the amplified signal can't be differentiated from its rather noisy dark state. In other words 10 X 1 = 1, but give the sensor 2 and 2 x 10 = 20 in which case the background noise of 1 is a fraction of the amplified signal. by comparison the CCD has say a dark noise of 0.2 so up to the CMOS threshold, it is better.

When the ambient light is good enough, the CCD's don't require so much amplification and their quiet noise levels come back in to the game.

So for tripod work in low light situations give your D200 a try!  You might be surprised.

This photograph made me realise that if the camera is bolted down you can shoot at base ISO at some surprisingly low shutter speeds. John

Absolutely excellent point and excellent demonstration.

I was thinking of trying the same thing, but haven't gotten around to it.

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David

http://photo.blogrlabs.com/

My gear list: D40 / D70s / D200
A bunch of lenses

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yray
yray Senior Member • Posts: 1,508
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

This is not where D200 shines. In this type of environment I would pick D7000 (or even D300) over D200 any time. D200 leans too much toward yellow under artificial lighting, and I don't think it is a WB issue. Also, the acuity is not that great either. Under abundant natural light it is a very different story, and D200 holds its own there very well with its beautiful vibrant colors.

jimoyer
jimoyer Senior Member • Posts: 1,863
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

I don't think they're arguing that there aren't better tools for the job, just that under certain conditions the D200 is still a more viable tool than it's given credit for.

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Cytokine OP Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

photoeng wrote:

Absolutely excellent point and excellent demonstration.

I was thinking of trying the same thing, but haven't gotten around to it.

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David

Thanks David,

On this occasion I was stubborn and refused to compromise IQ, and not expecting a great result, so was pleasantly surprised!

John

Cytokine OP Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

jimoyer wrote:

I don't think they're arguing that there aren't better tools for the job, just that under certain conditions the D200 is still a more viable tool than it's given credit for.

That sums it up nicely! Jim.

John

n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,021
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

Cytokine wrote:

We all know that CCD is for good light and CMOS is for poor lighting conditions, where we can amplify the light by turning up the ISO. Well this is not entirely true, and it highlights the fundamental differences in the two technologies.

The key here is amplification CMOS needs a certain amount of light to work, otherwise the amplified signal can't be differentiated from its rather noisy dark state. In other words 10 X 1 = 1, but give the sensor 2 and 2 x 10 = 20 in which case the background noise of 1 is a fraction of the amplified signal. by comparison the CCD has say a dark noise of 0.2 so up to the CMOS threshold, it is better.

When the ambient light is good enough, the CCD's don't require so much amplification and their quiet noise levels come back in to the game.

So for tripod work in low light situations give your D200 a try! You might be surprised.

This photograph made me realise that if the camera is bolted down you can shoot at base ISO at some surprisingly low shutter speeds. John

I found that out also, although I usually shoot at high ISO handheld.

But here is a low ISO tripod long exposure.

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

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Cytokine OP Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

n057 wrote:

I found that out also, although I usually shoot at high ISO handheld.

But here is a low ISO tripod long exposure.

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

What a gorgeous shot!

John

StillLearning
StillLearning Veteran Member • Posts: 3,377
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

I had on more then one occasion pushed the D200 in ISO.  If properly exposed could yield good results.  Though I will confess I welcomed the extra headroom with the D300 and even more with the D700.  My daughter now enjoys the D200.

1/90s f/4.0 at 45.0mm iso800

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Cytokine OP Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

yray wrote:

This is not where D200 shines. In this type of environment I would pick D7000 (or even D300) over D200 any time. D200 leans too much toward yellow under artificial lighting, and I don't think it is a WB issue. Also, the acuity is not that great either. Under abundant natural light it is a very different story, and D200 holds its own there very well with its beautiful vibrant colors.

Many of the street lamps are Low-pressure sodium which have no colours, and are only one narrow band, averaging at 589.3nm wave length (Monochromatic).

Thankfully this is changing to LED lighting etc.

John

Cytokine OP Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

StillLearning wrote:

I had on more then one occasion pushed the D200 in ISO. If properly exposed could yield good results. Though I will confess I welcomed the extra headroom with the D300 and even more with the D700. My daughter now enjoys the D200.

1/90s f/4.0 at 45.0mm iso800

Not bad for ISO 800! Yes in this situation the D700 would be my choice too, Though if I only had a D200 and a tripod (and not working). I would be tempted to drop the ISO to 200 or less!! As the subjects are not jumping around too much.  John

n057 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,021
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

Cytokine wrote:

n057 wrote:

I found that out also, although I usually shoot at high ISO handheld.

But here is a low ISO tripod long exposure.

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

What a gorgeous shot!

John

Thanks!

I just noticed I was posting at too low a resolution. Here is another from the same series, larger.

(D200, ISO 100, 1.8s at f/8, 17-55 at 32mm )

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

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JeanLeGrand Senior Member • Posts: 1,255
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

What I like about the picture is that the low shutter speed causes the Cello player's righthand to show motion blur. At a higher shutterspeed this action would have been frozen.

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Cytokine OP Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

n057 wrote:Thanks!

I just noticed I was posting at too low a resolution. Here is another from the same series, larger.

(D200, ISO 100, 1.8s at f/8, 17-55 at 32mm )

JC

Lovely colours and sharp!

John

Cytokine OP Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

Thanks Jean,

In the same series I got the conductor with only his baton and arm blurred, which added a sense of movement.

John

Stacey_K
Stacey_K Veteran Member • Posts: 7,966
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

yray wrote:

This is not where D200 shines. In this type of environment I would pick D7000 (or even D300) over D200 any time. D200 leans too much toward yellow under artificial lighting, and I don't think it is a WB issue. Also, the acuity is not that great either. Under abundant natural light it is a very different story, and D200 holds its own there very well with its beautiful vibrant colors.

This is exactly what I have found. The D7000 is simply amazing in this type of lighting, in bright outdoors like the D200 makes a much nicer image. I do agree with the OP the d200 can be used in low light just keep the ISO low and use fast glass and/or low shutter speeds if that's an option.

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Stacey

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Trevor G Veteran Member • Posts: 6,541
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

Cytokine wrote:

So for tripod work in low light situations give your D200 a try!  You might be surprised.

Good demonstration!

Is this OOC levels and white balance?  Skin tines are good.

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Cheers
Trevor G
Silkypix tutorials at: http://photo.computerwyse.com

Cytokine OP Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Nikon D200 and low-light low-ISO photography??

Trevor G wrote:

Cytokine wrote:

So for tripod work in low light situations give your D200 a try! You might be surprised.

Good demonstration!

Is this OOC levels and white balance? Skin tines are good.

Thanks Trevor,

This theatre is almost entirely covered in wood, so although the spot lights have good CRI (colour rendering index) the reflected-light was this lovely warm colour, faces were lit mainly by the spot lights.

Usually I Convert from raw, add little un-sharp mask, that's it! Sometimes I tweak exposure a little but not often, I did try tweaking the colours but the OOC was probably the best.

I find the D200 skin tones OOC Raw pretty perfect generally, if I try to make them better they end up worse! D200 = little post-processing is required = little skill gained. Its all the camera's fault for being too good in this area.

Such colour precision can be a pain sometimes! especially if shooting say yellow flowers in an enclosed garden with an abundance of green leaves, the light is tinted green, and the flowers reflect yellow and green exactly, however It is easy to correct in P-shop.

This is the problem shooting in mixed lighting at night, street lamps can have only one colour (Mono-chromatic), and energy saving lamps can have Very poor and differing colour rendering index's.

Shops are usually quite good as they want the clothes to look as they would in day-light.

John

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