Do you always shoot at ISO 100?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Blackberryroid, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. Blackberryroid macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #1
    I wonder what Photographers' favorite ISO is. It's probably ISO 100, the clearest ISO of all (I'm right, right?).

    In dark areas, I would normally extend the shutter time, except if I'm doing handheld photography.
     
  2. Mito macrumors regular

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    #2
    Yes, I always shoot at ISO 100 even when it´s dark...

    How can you ask such a stupid question?
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    On the cameras I have owned, ISO 100 has poorer dynamic range than ISO 200, so ISO 200 should technically be the best ISO for my cameras.


    I've never had a DSLR that had a native ISO of 100. My DSLRs always had a native ISO starting from 200. Nearly all Nikon DSLRs ever released have a minimum ISO of 200. My Fuji X100 and X-Pro 1 also have a native ISO starting from 200. However, nearly all my cameras have been capable of ISO 100, but this is only possible because Nikon and Fuji are using their sensors beyond the recommended limits as stated by the manufacturer on the sensor's spec-sheet.

    In other words, they can only get ISO 100 because they're not listening to the user's manual for the sensors they purchased. Extended ISO is the same thing. It's just highly amplified beyond the recommended limits.
     
  4. Doylem, Sep 29, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012

    Doylem macrumors 68040

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    #4
    I shoot with a tripod (well, 95% of the time) with my Nikon D200 and 18-70 kit lens... mostly to get the best out of this lens. I generally stick to ISO100 and f/11 for landscapes, and change the shutter speeds as the light changes. These are my default settings... though I'm happy to up the ISO to, say, 160 or 200 if required.
     
  5. Blackberryroid thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #5
    Can you please further explain why extended ISO is a bad thing?
     
  6. someoldguy macrumors 65816

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    #6
    I'll use whatever ISO I feel I need to get the job done . If I've got my camera on a tripod , with a remote release , shooting a stationary scene , I might go with 100 . Hand held , outside , usually 400 , maybe lower if its bright . My 5D2 is good to around 2500 without picking up too much noise( at least to my aging eyes ) , so I've got no problem going that high . Knowing your gear and how it performs with different settings is probably more important than slavishly shooting at one setting . ISO's just a tool .

    (ISO 100 was arguably the all around gold standard with film though)
     
  7. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Always shoot with the lowest real ISO (i.e. not a pulled ISO like ISO 50) that provides you with the shutter speed and f/stop you need to achieve the shot you want.

    ----------

    "Extended ISO" comes in two flavours: pull or push.

    A 'pulled' ISO is like ISO 50 on a Canon DSLR or ISO 100 on an older Nikon DSLR. The camera sets a one stop overexposure at ISO100, and then drops the exposure in software by one stop, making an effective ISO 50. While this allows you to gain a stop of shutter speed (from 1/500 to 1/1000, for instance), you also lose one stop of dynamic range (since you're now one stop closer to clipping the highlights). ISO 50 isn't actually any lower sensitivity than ISO 100.

    A 'pushed' ISO is the exact opposite. The camera underexposes by one stop and then pushes the exposure up by one stop in camera. For example, my 5D Mark II has a maximum real ISO of 3200, but can push one or two stops (to 6400 and 12,500) by underexposing an ISO3200 shot by one or two stops, and then jacking up the exposure by that much in camera. This preserves your highlights, but increases the noise floor, thereby lowering dynamic range.

    In both cases, you can achieve the same thing by over- or under-exposing your shot at the real ISO, and then altering exposure in Raw processing software like Lightroom. In fact, I would advise this route, because Lightroom (and the like) offer far greater control over the final image than does your camera's built-in software. So if my meter says that the scene is 1/25, f/1.4, ISO3200, and I need 1/100 to eliminate camera shake, I can either bump the ISO to the 'extended' ISO12,500 or take an underexposed ISO3200 shot and deal with it later in Lightroom. I always opt for the latter.
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #8
    I would try but for me it doesn't seem feasible unless I'm always using a tripod.
     
  9. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #9
    its also far more work
     
  10. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #10
    ...and produces FAR better results, since the image can be selectively edited in the shadows, midtones, and highlights, rather than with just a broad +1EV exposure bump.

    A modern DSLR is a very capable photographic instrument, but if you want to pull maximum image quality from it, you have to put in the time and effort to edit your images appropriately. Perhaps a non-native ISO speed gives you acceptable results; fine, no problem. But just because you can't be arsed to put the work in to get better results, don't assume better results don't exist.
     
  11. TheGenerous, Sep 29, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012

    TheGenerous macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    AFAIK you adjust the ISO in most situation as as to have a shutter speed around 1/60. That way when you press the shutter button you won't accidentally move the camera and get blurry or unfocused photos.
     
  12. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    Sounds great. Except if you're shooting at 200mm, 1/60 is going to be WAAAAAY too slow.

    See my points above.
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #13
    That is more a partial and generalized rule that really only applies to lenses with a focal length of ~50mm or less.

    The full 'rule of thumb' should be that, when hand-holding a camera, use a shutter speed that not smaller than the focal length of the lense. If using a zoom lense, then the focal length actually being used. So, for a 50mm lense the slowest shutter speed to use would be 1/60th. Though, faster is better.

    However, this 'rule of thumb' does not take into account image stabilization, the photographer's personal situation, how much coffee or chocolate they've consumed, whether they know how to hold the camera or not, the weight of the camera, and assumes the image is not being blown up very big - maybe an 8x10.

    I've known photographers who could take a photo 2 or 3 stops slower than 'the rule'. (... and when I'm properly caffeinated my personal 'rule' is about 2 stops faster than the general rule :) ).

    Hope this helps....
     
  14. Policar macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    On film the "rule" is 1/shutter speed.

    dSLRs are different. The conventional wisdom is that your shutter speed varies somewhere between 1/(shutter speed) and 1/4(shutter speed) depending on the pixel density. IS also factors in of course. And rangefinders, which lack mirror thunk, allow for longer shutter speeds. And steady hands play a big factor, as does how well-weighted the camera is.

    On point and shoots, it's another story, too.
     
  15. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #15
    This is sort of a dumb question....What if your at a football game at night? YEAH lets shoot ISO 100 its just SO clean so clean that NOTHING is there! Haha well lets do a 30 second shutter speed! Yeahhhhhh look at that blur....

    Get real seriously Shutter speed, ISO and f/stop are all their so we can adjust to are environment. And if you do motion picture your DEFINITELY going to need to adjust some settings as your shutter speed is somewhat pre-defined.

    BTW 1/60th is slow as hell for my shaky hands....I like to be at 1/100th minimum if I can....ever try shooting 1/60th on a 135mm non-IS lens? Yeah...
     
  16. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

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    #16
    Good god, stop the arguing. There is no rule here. If OP wants to shoot at ISO 100, then that's fantastic. If he gets good shots then who cares.

    I shoot film, and I usually buy 400 speed because I like a little grain, and it's a pretty good middle ground for indoor and outdoor shots.
     
  17. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    My T2i (getting old by today's standards) shoots virtually noise free up to ISO 1600 so why should I limit myself to ISO 100 all the time? I just have the camera set to automatically set the ISO with an upward limit of 1600. I use aperture priority 95% of the time so this works great. The only time I manually set the ISO is low light. For slow shutter speeds on a tripod I set it to ISO 100 and if I am handheld or shooting moving subjects I will maybe bump it up to 3200 or even 6400 if the photo is worth the noise.
     
  18. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Because ISO 100 is cleaner than ISO 1600; you might not see it if all you ever output are 720px web images or 4x6" prints, but the noise is there. If you try to make a decent sized print of the ISO 100 and 1600 images, I guarantee you'll see the noise. Again, just because the quality is good enough for your purposes, don't assume the quality is as good as it can be.

    No one is saying you have to be at 100 all the time, but you should always be at the lowest ISO that allows you the shutter speed and f/stop you need/want. I feel like I wrote that somewhere before...
     
  19. nateo200 macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Your point is valid but I will say ISO 1600 is VERY clean on the T2i...anything over it and yeah your limited to web prints and 4x6's. Depends on the glass too...with the kit lens yeah 1600 can look nasty but I used a nice 85mm f/1.2 and for whatever reason it wasn't as noisy (stopped down too). I'd say 1600 for the T2i is the limit...its what makes the pricier cameras stand out...the 5D Mk.III and the 1D X make 3200 look like 400 iso on my T2i/550D.
     
  20. Edge100, Sep 29, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012

    Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #20
    1600 is fine on the T2i, especially for small prints. Heck, even 3200 is fine on my 1D2, when viewed at web size or 4x6. At 16x24", it's a whole other story.

    Glass shouldn't make a difference. If you have a larger maximum f/stop, then it would allow a lower ISO, but at equivalent f/stops, all glass should be equivalent (unless transmission is lower for cheaper glass).

    My rule of thumb re: noise is this: you can always remove noise. You might lose some fine detail in the process, but it can be removed. On the other hand, you cannot remove motion blur or camera shake. Therefore, raise the ISO speed as high as you need, and don't worry about noise, if it makes the difference between getting the shot or not.
     
  21. Blackberryroid thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #21
    The point of the post is to find out what you sacrifice next if you can't shoot at ISO 100.

    Thank you for saying it's dumb. I'm open for suggestions.
     
  22. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

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    #22
    Yes, I like to shoot sports at 9 PM with ISO 100 at 3 second exposures.


    IS.
    Your point is moot.
     
  23. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #23
    IS doesn't stop subject motion.
    Your point is wrong.

    Lots of experts here. Not much expertise.
     
  24. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #24
    I leave my ISO around 320 - 640 normally, because I want to be prepared to get any shoot regardless of lighting conditions. The extra "IQ" of the files from the 100ISO is not worth potentially missing a shot because I had to shoot at 1/25th and its a blurry mess.

    Not a stupid question by any means, but lots of stupid responses. ;)

    I change ISO first, and if that doesnt cut it I open up a bit more. I always keep my shutter speed around 1/160th minimum.
     
  25. Blackberryroid thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Blackberryroid

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    #25
    Muhahahhahahhahahhaahahahahaha. :p I love this guy.
     

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