D610 long-exposure noise

Started Dec 31, 2013 | Questions
Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,705
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

Long-exposure noise reduction is mandatory with this camera.  The bluish-magenta cast with local hot-spots is thermal noise, and that will cancel out pretty well during the LENR processing.  The more you use live view, the more thermal noise you'll get.

fotolopithecus Senior Member • Posts: 1,699
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

juliancd38 wrote:

Hi all,
I've been shooting with a D5000 for several years now, and consider myself relatively competent in terms of photography. I recently upgraded to the D610 and brought it on vacation with me—the dynamic range, resolution, and high-ISO clarity are obviously not even in competition with my old D5000.
However, I often do super long-exposure nightscapes, and my first few such images with the D610 seem extremely noisy. Here's an example:

A couple closer looks:

D610 + Nikkor 28 mm f/1.8 at f/8 and ISO 250 for 170 seconds. Shot RAW+jpeg, no editing done whatsoever. I understand that after 30 seconds, noise will increase incrementally, and much of it can be removed digitally. However, I've never seen such widespread large purple, red, green, etc. plus-sign-shaped artifacts on exposures just a few minutes long.
I've done many 15-minute+ exposures with my D5000 that seem appreciably cleaner than my first few D610 exposures between 2 and 5 minutes long. I don't know what to think, other than that I'm somewhat disappointed. I suppose my questions can be summed up as follows:

1) Is this a normal amount of noise for the D610 sensor?

2) I know there are endless subtle differences in characteristics between full frame and crop sensor cameras. Is increased LE noise (as a trade-off for reduced high ISO noise) one of them?

3) What can be done to reduce this?

4) I love my Nikon lenses, but it may be feasible for me to switch brands if the Canon 6D is truly better at handling high-ISO/long-exposures, as I've been told. Should I consider this option?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help. You probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference if I were just posting these online, but I'm not sure I would be comfortable printing these to any significant size.

Julian

Go for the Canon 6D, but I doubt you'll see any significant difference. I was told by one of our very technically sophisticated members that D610 is better at low iso's, and 6D is slightly better at high iso's.

 fotolopithecus's gear list:fotolopithecus's gear list
Nikon D610 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,705
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

juliancd38 wrote:

Dave Sanders wrote:

Interesting...i'm guessing that you have the Long Exposure Noise Reduction set to off? [...] Was this after several other long expsoures in quick succession?

-- hide signature --

Dave Sanders

Dave,

I do have LENR disabled to save time on reading to the card (I kept it disabled with my D5000 as well). It was only my third or fourth exposure over 30 seconds over the course of a half hour. Just casual artistic shooting, nothing extreme. Even the first several had the same issue.

I'm going to do some more testing tonight. I'd like to be able to come to a conclusion over the next couple days, in case I need to take some kind of action.

That's the problem.  LENR is all but mandatory on this camera.  Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

Dave Sanders Senior Member • Posts: 2,456
Unfortunate...

Luke Kaven wrote:

juliancd38 wrote:

Dave Sanders wrote:

Interesting...i'm guessing that you have the Long Exposure Noise Reduction set to off? [...] Was this after several other long expsoures in quick succession?

-- hide signature --

Dave Sanders

Dave,

I do have LENR disabled to save time on reading to the card (I kept it disabled with my D5000 as well). It was only my third or fourth exposure over 30 seconds over the course of a half hour. Just casual artistic shooting, nothing extreme. Even the first several had the same issue.

I'm going to do some more testing tonight. I'd like to be able to come to a conclusion over the next couple days, in case I need to take some kind of action.

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

...because my D600 required no LENR. Has there been a change?

-- hide signature --

Dave Sanders

chkproductions
chkproductions Senior Member • Posts: 1,104
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

Luke Kaven wrote:

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

Would that be the same if you use an external monitor while shooting?  I suppose it would be as you have to have LV engaged to use the external monitor.

Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,705
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

chkproductions wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

Would that be the same if you use an external monitor while shooting? I suppose it would be as you have to have LV engaged to use the external monitor.

Mainly the sensor itself runs hot, even for still frames, but especially when operated continuously.

Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,705
Re: Unfortunate...
1

Dave Sanders wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

juliancd38 wrote:

Dave Sanders wrote:

Interesting...i'm guessing that you have the Long Exposure Noise Reduction set to off? [...] Was this after several other long expsoures in quick succession?

-- hide signature --

Dave Sanders

Dave,

I do have LENR disabled to save time on reading to the card (I kept it disabled with my D5000 as well). It was only my third or fourth exposure over 30 seconds over the course of a half hour. Just casual artistic shooting, nothing extreme. Even the first several had the same issue.

I'm going to do some more testing tonight. I'd like to be able to come to a conclusion over the next couple days, in case I need to take some kind of action.

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

...because my D600 required no LENR. Has there been a change?

Remember, the OP posted a picture with a 170 second exposure, almost 3 minutes.

The effects of thermal noise can be more or less subtle, depending upon the subject and settings, how much live view is used, etc.  I couldn't say anything about your camera without seeing images made with it in comparable circumstances.  But the Exmor sensors run very hot.

fotolopithecus Senior Member • Posts: 1,699
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

Luke Kaven wrote:

chkproductions wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

Would that be the same if you use an external monitor while shooting? I suppose it would be as you have to have LV engaged to use the external monitor.

Mainly the sensor itself runs hot, even for still frames, but especially when operated continuously.

Interesting, the Exmors run hot compared with what other sensors for example? Also, was that why the D7000 originally at least had quite a few hot pixels, or is that a different issue.

 fotolopithecus's gear list:fotolopithecus's gear list
Nikon D610 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,705
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

fotolopithecus wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

chkproductions wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

Would that be the same if you use an external monitor while shooting? I suppose it would be as you have to have LV engaged to use the external monitor.

Mainly the sensor itself runs hot, even for still frames, but especially when operated continuously.

Interesting, the Exmors run hot compared with what other sensors for example?

Some sensors that are less susceptible -- D3/D700, D3s, D4/Df

fotolopithecus Senior Member • Posts: 1,699
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

Luke Kaven wrote:

fotolopithecus wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

chkproductions wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

Would that be the same if you use an external monitor while shooting? I suppose it would be as you have to have LV engaged to use the external monitor.

Mainly the sensor itself runs hot, even for still frames, but especially when operated continuously.

Interesting, the Exmors run hot compared with what other sensors for example?

Some sensors that are less susceptible -- D3/D700, D3s, D4/Df

So fewer pixels less heat, or is that just coincidence?

 fotolopithecus's gear list:fotolopithecus's gear list
Nikon D610 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Ruud Wilschut Regular Member • Posts: 321
Re: Unfortunate...

Dave Sanders wrote:

...because my D600 required no LENR. Has there been a change?

Wrong.

You need to enable LNER allways when performing long exposures.

Ruud Wilschut Regular Member • Posts: 321
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

Luke Kaven wrote:

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

It's better NOT using LV when performing long exposures to let the sensor as cool as possible. When LV is on, the sensor is on..

Ruud

Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,705
Re: D610 long-exposure noise
1

fotolopithecus wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

fotolopithecus wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

chkproductions wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

Would that be the same if you use an external monitor while shooting? I suppose it would be as you have to have LV engaged to use the external monitor.

Mainly the sensor itself runs hot, even for still frames, but especially when operated continuously.

Interesting, the Exmors run hot compared with what other sensors for example?

Some sensors that are less susceptible -- D3/D700, D3s, D4/Df

So fewer pixels less heat, or is that just coincidence?

The D3/D700 and D3s architecture places amplification and A-D off the sensor on a set of AD9974 chips (6 chips * 2 channels per chip).  So the sources of heat are placed away from the sensor.  In trade, very low level signals need to get moved between the sensor and the amp/A-D very fast.

In the D4/Df, amplification and A-D are done on the sensor, but limited to 24 channels, which must be multiplexed in fast readout.  Column readout circuits are mutiplexed with adjacent columns sharing a single readout circuit.  This yields some increase in DR at base ISO.  And there is enough room for deep wells that record 120k e- at ISO 100.

The D3/D700, D3s, D4/Df all require a fast readout, which favors a smaller number of pixels.

The D3x, D7000, D800, D600 use Exmor sensors, which perform column-parallel readout, with amplification and A-D on each column.  Readout is slow, but massively parallel.  But there is a lot of active circuitry requiring a lot of power, all of it on the sensor.  This architecture keeps low-level signals on the chip with slow readout for excellent levels of read noise and high DR.  But it generates a lot of heat.  It is best suited for operation at lower gain levels, mostly due to thermal noise.  Thermal noise can be mitigated though through black-frame subtraction.

fotolopithecus Senior Member • Posts: 1,699
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

Luke Kaven wrote:

fotolopithecus wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

fotolopithecus wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

chkproductions wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

Would that be the same if you use an external monitor while shooting? I suppose it would be as you have to have LV engaged to use the external monitor.

Mainly the sensor itself runs hot, even for still frames, but especially when operated continuously.

Interesting, the Exmors run hot compared with what other sensors for example?

Some sensors that are less susceptible -- D3/D700, D3s, D4/Df

So fewer pixels less heat, or is that just coincidence?

The D3/D700 and D3s architecture places amplification and A-D off the sensor on a set of AD9974 chips (6 chips * 2 channels per chip). So the sources of heat are placed away from the sensor. In trade, very low level signals need to get moved between the sensor and the amp/A-D very fast.

In the D4/Df, amplification and A-D are done on the sensor, but limited to 24 channels, which must be multiplexed in fast readout. Column readout circuits are mutiplexed with adjacent columns sharing a single readout circuit. This yields some increase in DR at base ISO. And there is enough room for deep wells that record 120k e- at ISO 100.

The D3/D700, D3s, D4/Df all require a fast readout, which favors a smaller number of pixels.

The D3x, D7000, D800, D600 use Exmor sensors, which perform column-parallel readout, with amplification and A-D on each column. Readout is slow, but massively parallel. But there is a lot of active circuitry requiring a lot of power, all of it on the sensor. This architecture keeps low-level signals on the chip with slow readout for excellent levels of read noise and high DR. But it generates a lot of heat. It is best suited for operation at lower gain levels, mostly due to thermal noise. Thermal noise can be mitigated though through black-frame subtraction.

Sounds like it's kind of analogous to class A amplification in high hifi where the amp runs hotter than the A/B amplification used in most amps. So basically it sounds like if you want the best results at lower iso's and normal exposure times you're better off with an Exmor sensor, and if you want best results at high iso's, or longer exposures you're better of with whatever's in a Df, or D3. Is that true? Thanks

 fotolopithecus's gear list:fotolopithecus's gear list
Nikon D610 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G
Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,705
Re: D610 long-exposure noise
1

fotolopithecus wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

fotolopithecus wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

fotolopithecus wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

chkproductions wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

That's the problem. LENR is all but mandatory on this camera. Suggest also letting the camera cool down after use of live view, before taking the exposure.

Would that be the same if you use an external monitor while shooting? I suppose it would be as you have to have LV engaged to use the external monitor.

Mainly the sensor itself runs hot, even for still frames, but especially when operated continuously.

Interesting, the Exmors run hot compared with what other sensors for example?

Some sensors that are less susceptible -- D3/D700, D3s, D4/Df

So fewer pixels less heat, or is that just coincidence?

The D3/D700 and D3s architecture places amplification and A-D off the sensor on a set of AD9974 chips (6 chips * 2 channels per chip). So the sources of heat are placed away from the sensor. In trade, very low level signals need to get moved between the sensor and the amp/A-D very fast.

In the D4/Df, amplification and A-D are done on the sensor, but limited to 24 channels, which must be multiplexed in fast readout. Column readout circuits are mutiplexed with adjacent columns sharing a single readout circuit. This yields some increase in DR at base ISO. And there is enough room for deep wells that record 120k e- at ISO 100.

The D3/D700, D3s, D4/Df all require a fast readout, which favors a smaller number of pixels.

The D3x, D7000, D800, D600 use Exmor sensors, which perform column-parallel readout, with amplification and A-D on each column. Readout is slow, but massively parallel. But there is a lot of active circuitry requiring a lot of power, all of it on the sensor. This architecture keeps low-level signals on the chip with slow readout for excellent levels of read noise and high DR. But it generates a lot of heat. It is best suited for operation at lower gain levels, mostly due to thermal noise. Thermal noise can be mitigated though through black-frame subtraction.

Sounds like it's kind of analogous to class A amplification in high hifi where the amp runs hotter than the A/B amplification used in most amps. So basically it sounds like if you want the best results at lower iso's and normal exposure times you're better off with an Exmor sensor, and if you want best results at high iso's, or longer exposures you're better of with whatever's in a Df, or D3. Is that true? Thanks

As far as Class A versus Class A/B (or Class D) circuitry, I think it's a different situation.  Putting more active electronics on the sensor itself tends to make the sensor hot.  Nothing to do with efficiency.

With LENR, the D600/800 does a wonderful job.  Even on the D3s/D4/Df, I'd recommend using LENR on long exposures.

At base ISO, the D3/D3s suffer somewhat.  The D4/Df less so.

At high ISO, the D3s, D4/Df work well with no extra considerations.  [The D3/D700 have problems with pattern noise and blooming.]  But the D600/800, /if you do your own black frame subtraction/, produce wonderful results at very high ISO.  There are occasions where I would pick A D800 in these situations.  In the better lighted parts of a dark scene, the D800 will deliver some dividend in rendered detail and color.  But it requires some extra labor to get there.

Dave Sanders Senior Member • Posts: 2,456
Re: Unfortunate...

Ruud Wilschut wrote:

Dave Sanders wrote:

...because my D600 required no LENR. Has there been a change?

Wrong.

You need to enable LNER allways when performing long exposures.

Wrong.

No you don't and I didn't. I've run up to 10 minutes on my D600 and RX1 and not used LENR. I have done, literally, hundreds of exposures over 2 minutes without LENR and I have never seen much of the dreaded 'white spots' issue that plagues the D800.

Someone with a similar experience:

D600 vs. D800 Long Exposure

-- hide signature --

Dave Sanders

Ruud Wilschut Regular Member • Posts: 321
Re: Unfortunate...

Dave Sanders wrote:

Ruud Wilschut wrote:

Dave Sanders wrote:

...because my D600 required no LENR. Has there been a change?

Wrong.

You need to enable LNER allways when performing long exposures.

Wrong.

No you don't and I didn't. I've run up to 10 minutes on my D600 and RX1 and not used LENR. I have done, literally, hundreds of exposures over 3 minutes without LENR. I suggest you have a bit more experience before you comment.

Well, it is there, so why not using it? It makes no sense not using it when doing LE. The only thing you gain are cleaner images.

But if you dont have the time to wait for the DFS, I can understand. Otherwise it's a waste not to use it.

Dave Sanders Senior Member • Posts: 2,456
Re: Unfortunate...

Ruud Wilschut wrote:

Well, it is there, so why not using it? It makes no sense not using it when doing LE. The only thing you gain are cleaner images.

But if you dont have the time to wait for the DFS, I can understand. Otherwise it's a waste not to use it.

Light is fleeting. Waiting 10 minutes for a five minute exposure or, worse, 30 for a 15 minute exposure turns dawn/dusk into a two or three exposure affair. Most people I know do everything they can to avoid LENR. It's a major consideration for a rig that will spend a lot of time with the shutter open. I can shoot 100 long exposures a week...that's a lot of my life waiting that could be used for composing

Here's an example from the RX1, which has the same sensor as the D600. This was a 'quick' exposure to test a new lightweight tripod and I was curious about diffraction at f/16, so the photo is nothing special. I didn't do much to it...no real colour correction and perhaps some light noise reduction. But it's almost 4 minutes without LENR...very little noise.

230 seconds at ISO 100 and f/16 Edit: Used Lee Big Stopper 10 stop ND

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Dave Sanders

Ruud Wilschut Regular Member • Posts: 321
Re: Unfortunate...

Dave Sanders wrote:

Ruud Wilschut wrote:

Well, it is there, so why not using it? It makes no sense not using it when doing LE. The only thing you gain are cleaner images.

But if you dont have the time to wait for the DFS, I can understand. Otherwise it's a waste not to use it.

Light is fleeting. Waiting 10 minutes for a five minute exposure or, worse, 30 for a 15 minute exposure turns dawn/dusk into a two or three exposure affair. Most people I know do everything they can to avoid LENR. It's a major consideration for a rig that will spend a lot of time with the shutter open. I can shoot 100 long exposures a week...that's a lot of my life waiting that could be used for composing

Here's an example from the RX1, which has the same sensor as the D600. This was a 'quick' exposure to test a new lightweight tripod and I was curious about diffraction at f/16, so the photo is nothing special. I didn't do much to it...no real colour correction and perhaps some light noise reduction. But it's almost 4 minutes without LENR...very little noise.

230 seconds at ISO 100 and f/16 Edit: Used Lee Big Stopper 10 stop ND

-- hide signature --

Dave Sanders

Nice shot!

You are right that the main disadvantage of NLER that it costs time. Double the time, so a really long exposure means unfortunately a really long extra waiting time..
I can imagine that it is not allways practical to use LENR for that very reason.

But if you have the time I would use it if you can. Without you have allways the change of bright hot pixels. Cool weather and not using LV lowering that chance.

But the D600/610 has indeed a wonderful sensor for long exposures!

VBS New Member • Posts: 2
Re: D610 long-exposure noise

Folks lets stay calm and start to understand current state of the art sensor technology.

There are number of issues that affect sensors when you allow photons (light) to reach them for such a long time (over 30 seconds and more it becomes more obvious). Besides dead pixels, hot pixels, etc, which can occur during the manufacturing process, there is also degradation of sensors over time due to cosmic rays (this is not as new agey as it sounds), not only that but the temperature of the sensor (in part due to long exposure time and in part due to outside temperature) also affect artifacts that you see on your camera, not only that but photons can accumulate and create noise during long exposure, which can lead to this snow effect you are seeing. This is not anything to do with your particular camera or brand of camera, this affects pretty much all sensors. Here is a more coherent and clearer explanation from someone that has a similar issue with the Canon 6d http://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/40188/longer-exposure-lower-iso-or-shorter-exposure-higher-iso-what-gives-better

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