Why?? (Grainy images)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by HomeingPigeon, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. HomeingPigeon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #1
    Why did these pictures come out all grainy? I took them with my new nikon d40. I switch lenses for the first time to my 55-200 mm lens. It doesnt look like dust to me though. It seems like it must be something to do with the light?
    thanks for all of your help.
     

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  2. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #3
    A couple things:

    I looked at the first picture in Photoshop - you shot it at f/32? You're looking at serious diffraction issues at that small an aperture. You probably should never go below about f/13 if you're worried about sharpness.

    Did you use "save for web"? The ISO value is not stored on the photo. If I had to guess, you've got your camera in "auto-ISO" mode and it shot the photo at a higher ISO setting. This sort of photo should really be shot at low ISO and using a tripod. Low light + hand-held = blurry pictures (or very grainy/noisy pictures).
     
  3. HomeingPigeon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #4
    I had my iso at HI 1. It was dark out and i thought that the higher the iso the brighter the image would be. Please tell me if that is wrong. The camera says that HI1 is about 3200 iso.
     
  4. HomeingPigeon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #5
    what is f/? How do i change it? unless save for web is an auto setting i havent changed it on purpose. I dont have a tripod. Should i turn on "noise reduction"?
     
  5. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, California
    #6
    OH YEAH... Definitely ISO. Your right but the problem is at an ISO of 3200 your image is going to be super grainy. The problem is that the grain is noise produced by your sensor chip.

    You're making the image brighter but you're sacrificing with more grain. The best thing to do is back off of F 32. On a digital camera around F 11 - F 22 is fine for sharpness. Another rule of thumb (for me as a "professional" in photography anyways) is to never go about ISO 400ish. Above that and noise becomes a problem.

    So your best bet would have been (and guessing on scene, etc.) F 11 @ 1/2 sec to 2 seconds. That's with a tripod, lol. Without... Hmm... Have any VR lenses?? :D

    The only other option would have been (and what some call HDR). I prefer to do it on my own verses Photoshop or Photomatrix and that is to take an exposure for the sky, an exposure for the trees, etc. and a final one for the water and blend those in together in photoshop manually so I could get the exposure right for the sky, enough for the trees to see detail in the shadows, and a nice, glass-like look in the water.

    ~Crawn
     
  6. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #7
    I am going to echo what has been said above!

    High ISO does allow you to compensate for low light, but the higher ISO you use, the more grain or noise you introduce into the photograph. It is a trade off (sacrificing quality for the ability to shoot the photo).

    When shooting scenes like this, here's some tips to get you started:

    1) Use a tripod. Can't stress that enough. The shutter speed for a correct exposure is going to be too long for hand holding (even with VR you won't be able to decently handhold below 1/15 or so usually).

    2) Set your camera to Aperture Priority (A) mode.

    3) Set your ISO to 100 for the cleanest image. You don't need to worry about the amount of light because you aren't hand holding.

    4) Now that the camera is up on a tripod, you're in A mode, and your ISO is 100, set your aperture to a decent one for detail throughout your scene. Somewhere between f/8 and f/22 is fine. The camera will pick an appropriate shutter speed.

    5) Use the timer to trip the shutter, rather than you pushing the button down yourself (this shakes the camera).

    Enjoy!
     
  7. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    Read up a bit more on photography. Specially Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO.
     
  8. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #9
    The "f number" is the aperture - how wide an opening the blades inside your lens make. The larger the aperture, the more light that is allowed into the camera. The aperture is expressed as a fraction of the focal length; so larger numbers (f/13, f/16, f/22) actually mean progressively smaller openings.

    You might want to read the Cambridge in Colour tutorial, although it can be rather technical. Scroll down to the section titled "INFLUENCE OF LENS APERTURE OR F-NUMBER".

    Your camera's manual will tell you how to change the aperture.
     
  9. HomeingPigeon thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #10
    Thanks for the help. I turned my iso down to 400. I turned on noise reduction and i should be getting a tripod at some point for christmas. Thanks for all the help. The first thought i had was that my camera had gone crazy but now i just found out it was my own not knowing what do with settings. Thanks for all the help again. I hope you can help me again another time. Thanks so much.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #11
    Um, f/22 is going to be diffraction limited on most digital bodies. At just over 12MP, an APS-C sensor is going to be diffraction limited starting at around f/11.
     
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #12
    HomeingPigeon, you really need to go to the library or bookstore and get a couple of books on basic photography so that you can learn about the tools you have and how to best utilize them....
     
  12. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #13
    Woah... 3200.. Yar. That would give ya the grain.

    For most practical purposes, I try not to shoot with 1600 (the highest on my D70s) unless I really need to in order to get a shot. It's good to try and take a better photograph by changing other setting (f stop and shutter speed, as others have said) before ISO, least in my opinion.

    Like others suggested, get yourself a good basic guide - just because you have an excellent camera doesn't mean it will do all the work in capturing the image you want - that skill still lies in the person clicking the shutter. ;)
     
  13. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #14
    yeah :(
    have to agree.
     
  14. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 8, 2005
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, California
    #15
    Umm... that's why I said around F11 and I didn't really feel like looking up the specs on a D40.

    Oh well... Not the only time I've ever been wrong. :D

    ~Crawn
     
  15. the Helix macrumors regular

    the Helix

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    #16
    Fyi...

    Other than the new Nikon D3 and D300, the D40 arguably has the best low light (high ISO) performance of all the Nikon digital SLRs (including the D200). In fact, many Nikon pros have a D40 as a sidekick body in their photographic arsenal.

    If you get a chance, go to the "Flickr" photo website and do a search for D40 photographs. You'll be blown away when you see what the D40 is capable of when you master it.

    Have fun with it!
     
  16. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #17
    I'm going to recommend the manual first based on a series of questions about how to use the settings of the new camera.

    Regardless, the body can be great but it also has to do with that lens he is using. If he is using a great body and a **** lens then he's bound to get photographs that he's not happy with.

    And it's noise. ;)

    OP: Read the manual. Seriously. I know it's not nearly as fun as it is to rip the camera from the box, start shooting, register for a flickr account, and start sharing...but you'll be happier with the results in the end.
     
  17. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    TX
    #18
    If you're sticking at ~400 (LO1 and 200 would be better...) you can turn that off. Noise reduction reduces noise at the expense of sharpness/clarity.
     
  18. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #19
    A tripod is the photographer's best friend. You can pay £££ for a good one, or next to nothing at a second-hand shop or rummage sale. Anything to avoid ISO 3200 and f32 :eek:
     
  19. Martin C macrumors 6502a

    Martin C

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    Nov 5, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #20
    Once you get your tripod try some long exposures of sunsets using bulb in manual mode.
     
  20. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #21
    Honestly, even ISO 800 is borderline okay for some images, provided everything else is there. I've sold images shot at ISO 1000; sometimes you can get away with having some noise.

    The Nikon line handles noise very well, better than Canon IMO (of course at 3200 and that f stop... Well, good luck with ANY make).
     

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