Zoom Lens Question on DSLR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by harleymhs, May 8, 2014.

  1. harleymhs macrumors 6502

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    Jul 19, 2009
    #1
    Hey Guys, I bought a Nikon D5300 because of its small body and nice features..In the kit contained a 18-55 Lens! The kit lens takes REALLY sharp photos I was surprised ( but with no zoom ) We love the camera and we bought this set up to travel with knowing Nikon was releasing a smaller compact version of their 18-300 zoom lens! I received the new lens this weekend and I've been playing around with it and I'm seeing very grainy photos when zoomed in! Is this normal for a 900.00 lens? I know I will loose something on a zoom lens like this but GRAINY is not good for almost a 1000.00 Lens! The reason we bought this D5300 was knowing Nikon was coming out with this lens! Swapping lens is NOT what we wanted to do when we travel... Now my situation is, I can return the lens with no issue but I'm stuck with the camera its out of the return period! I guess EBAY lol... Maybe I'm doing something wrong! Any advise ?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I think I see why.. Found this on Dpreview

    The maximum aperture at its telephoto end has risen from F5.6 to F6.3, compared to the other 18-300 Lens Nikon Makes! ( the larger one ) Im sure this is why its getting grainy at 300 ! THe photos were taken on a overcast day with NO SUN light..
     
  3. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

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    #3
    The EXIF data of the photo shows that the ISO was set to 6400. This will produce grainy pictures on almost every camera. Look at a comparison at cameralabs for example.

    The aperture has nothing to do with the graininess of the image.

    Nikon has some reading material too
     
  4. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I had it set to AUTO..If I set it to Program mode where should it be set at to get sharper pics?
     
  5. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    You are correct!
     

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  6. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Why would the auto setting choose iso 6400 ???
     
  7. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #7
    For iso 6400 on a d5300 there is actually not much grain.
     
  8. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

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    #8
    Higher ISO means more grain in your images.
    More reading material. I hope you don't think I'm too lazy to type, but others can explain it much better.
     
  9. VI™ macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    The lower the ISO, the less noise in the photo. Digital noise translates to grain.

    Lower ISO means the sensor is less sensitive to light, so the camera has to compensate with a slower shutter speed. When you use a longer lens, you have to use a faster minimum shutter speed or else you get blur. Since your camera is using a faster shutter speed to combat blur, it's compensating by making the sensor more sensitive with a higher ISO which will cause more noise.

    Learn about the exposure triangle between shutter speed, ISO, and aperture and it will explain everything.

    If you adjust one of those settings, you have to alter the other two to expose a photo properly. Sometimes this will produce a properly exposed photo, but the results won't be ideal.

    For $900 you should be able to get a third party 70-200 with a non variable aperture, maybe even a f/2.8 depending on what brand.

    ----------

    You could actually use a 1/400 shutter speed and ISO of 1600 for a less noisey photo.
     
  10. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

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    #10
    Because of the low-light you mentioned. And because you're using a telephoto lens. Since long lenses 'multiply' ever shaking movement you make, the shutterspeed has to be high to eliminate that. To have a high shutterspeed in low light condition means you have to use high ISO.

    And I agree, I wish my camera had such clean shots at high ISO.


    I reread your startpost. The 18-55mm IS a zoom lens. Zoom means variable focus length. Zoom doesn't mean telephoto.
     
  11. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #11
    First of all you should get out of auto.
    If this lens has VR, then 1/1600 shutter is completely unnecessary.
    You can eliminate grain in post with different apps and plugins.

    ----------

    Choose a shutter / iso like this:
    The hi iso performance of the d5300 is amazing.
    My d610 cant do it that well.
     
  12. js81 macrumors 65816

    js81

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    KY
    #12
    Me, too! Mine is worse than that at 1600... that said, it is pretty low-end (Sony a290). I love it otherwise, though, so I just deal with a max of ISO 800. Reminds me a little of shooting film, where 800-speed was about the fastest you could get (reasonably priced for a kid in high school, that is).
     
  13. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Thanks guys.. I appreciate your help! I just figured that when on AUTO mode the camera would of picked the PERFECT settings.. Ill try playing around with the iso a bit... If it was bright and sunny would the AUTO setting be a bit better when the camera chooses ISO 6400 ?
     
  14. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #14
    Shooting menu > ISO sensitivity settings > Auto ISO sensitivity control = ON > Maximum sensitivity = [number <6400]
     
  15. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Is this what it supposed to be set at? Should I drop the Max number ISO down?
     
  16. Unami, May 8, 2014
    Last edited: May 8, 2014

    Unami macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    yup, this sets the maximum iso in auto modus. set it to anything lower (try 1600 or 800) that produces less grain. but be aware that you might get into trouble when using this in a real low-light situation - as the camera now won't go higher than, say iso 800, it has to compensate by opening up the aperture and setting the shutter to longer exposure - which could lead to unsharp photos because of motion blur or shallow focus.

    i'd avoid auto-modes whenever possible.

    the auto mode will rarely produce a "perfect" setting, because the camera can not know, what and how you want to photograph something. you can give it a clue by selecting some presets (e.g. a "sports" setting will default to higher shutter speeds to avoid motion blur), but in the end it will just analyse the overall brightness of the whole (or parts, depending on the setting) of your picture, and set iso, iris & shutter accordingly. same goes with autofocus.

    unless you get a camera with about human-level intelligence.

    having said that - under normal circumstances, the auto mode should be more right than wrong - just shoot in raw and make adjustments in post.
     
  17. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

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    #17
    Sorry, I just grabbed that from here.

    I would imagine that the limit is OFF by default. If you drop the value down to 1600 your photos should be noiseless (unless you really want to go looking for noise). The downside is that you might find the shutter speed a little slow for 'action shots' in poor light but this is also dependent upon aperture, which itself is influenced by degree of zoom (ie the maximum aperture size decreases as you zoom in).

    I also don't know if changing this setting is persistent across all camera shooting modes, meaning would the maximum ISO remain at 1600 (or whatever) if you were flicking between auto / aperture priority / shutter priority / manual.

    EDIT: unami's post suggests the ISO value is specific to each shooting mode?
     
  18. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Got it ! Ill play around with the settings and see what happens accross the board! THANK YOU!
     
  19. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #19
    I'll be brief - while I am not an exact fan of the site, it does offer some good info in your case. Go to DPreview and look up your camera. There are often test shots and some explanation. Cameras often have a 'sweet spot' of ISO's where the camera performs well and up to its best. What was not really mentioned is that some cameras also have very low ISO output challenges too. So as example a camera that supposedly does ISO 100-6400 might perform well at 200-1600 with maybe ISO 400 being the "best."

    As someone else here was right to do - use the term noise not grainy.

    If you practice, you can go to a location and figure out what would be the best range of ISO and if you are shooting sports, you know that in order to stop the motion you will need a fast shutter speed which implies more often than not leaning upwards in the ISO facet of the equation.

    Simple exercise -
    Find a similar site to where you shot your pix with similar weather conditions.
    Do a set of test shots on ISO starting with 6400, 3200 and so on. Also consider the lens and that not all lenses are at their best when shot wide open. The point of the exercise is to find which ISO is acceptable under those shooting conditions. You may find that 3200 or 1600 does better for you and may or may not provide adequate shutter speed. For sports, often photographers want "faster" lenses.
     
  20. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #20
    Lots of people have given you some good advice. Here is a video about getting out of auto
    http://froknowsphoto.com/how-to-get-out-of-auto-and-into-manual/
    If you like his style he does a d5300 user guide video as well on YouTube.

    As for your lens choice. I have the 18-55 lens and for a kit lens its pretty good. However if you are able to take the 18-300 back I would consider it.
    IMO the 70-300 complements your current lens well. Going for a an 18-300 mm is going to distort quite badly. Alternatively look into second hand 70-200 2.8 if you can.
     
  21. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #22
    I agree with apple fanboy.
    You should learn about the exposure triangle and the most entertaining way is youtube.
    Look at:
    - Jared Polin
    - Matt Granger

    And with a BIG grain of salt:
    -Ken Rockwell
     
  22. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

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  23. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #24
    Skip ken Rockwell! Such sage advice as shoot JPEG as they take up less room!
     
  24. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #25
    Rockwells page is not all bad, just because he has a jpeg fetish.
    His page is entertaining and even informative to a large degree.
    Just do not use it as your only source of information.
     

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