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Old 7th of July 2012 (Sat)   #1
kpritts
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Default ISO vs. Fast Lens

I have been reading quite a bit on the forum about high ISO performance. I guess I have not run into an issue with that as I tend to use a fast lens in low light situations. As a result, low light situations have not been an issue for me. Using the right lens (granted if you have it/them available) seems to be a better issue than bumping the ISO very high.

Am I missing something here? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 7th of July 2012 (Sat)   #2
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

Yes, wide apertures reduce DoF..sometimes to the point of being useless, high ISO doesn't.
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Old 7th of July 2012 (Sat)   #3
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

I find in my low light situations I need fast lenses AND high ISO
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Old 7th of July 2012 (Sat)   #4
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

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Originally Posted by kpritts View Post
Am I missing something here? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
As mentioned by the posters above, a wide aperture may not be suitable for the shot in every case, you may need a small aperture for DoF, or you may need both a wide aperture and high ISO if the light is really low.

I think what you are missing is that ISO and wide aperture are two very different things, that will affect the image in very different ways. You could just as easily say to use a slow shutter speed instead of high ISO in your opening post. Of course, you would say there comes a point where the shutter speed gets too slow and camera shake or subject motion would be come a problem. However, the same holds true with aperture as there usually comes a point when you are too wide to get sufficient DoF.

The general rule of thumb isn't to particularly use one of the three to adjust for low light, but to find the best combination of all three for the results you want to achieve. So, you choose a shutter speed that is fast enough to avoid any motion blur (or slow enough to show it, if that is your intent) and an aperture that will deliver the DoF that you want, which may well be a wide aperture for shallow DoF, but could equally be a small aperture for deep DoF. Having set your shutter and aperture to where you need them, you can then adjust ISO to ensure a correct exposure.

ISO is the only one of the three that won't alter the look of the image (other than with noise), so it is the one where you have most latitude for changing exposure in low light.
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Old 7th of July 2012 (Sat)   #5
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

Kpritts, I don't see anything on your website that would illustrate the need for both, but suffice it to say that sometimes you need the DOF, sometimes the light is just too low. When iso 6400, 1/50th, f/1.2 isn't enough, you really can't go any faster (aperture), and likely can't go any slower (SS), which leaves iso. . . . .
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Old 7th of July 2012 (Sat)   #6
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts. As mentioned, I guess I have not yet hit the need for the combination of both issues. This forum is great for helping everyone grow.
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Old 7th of July 2012 (Sat)   #7
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

most of us needed fast glass (F/2.8 or F/2.0 ) because we needed a much light as possible to keep the ISO under 1600. The 1Ds3 ,5DC, 1DMKIII changed the game and allowed us to get to 3200 ISO and keep it reasonable clean. Fast glass was still a great option because we could get faster shutter speeds and sharper images.

The 5D3, MKIV and 1Dx have changed the game. 8000 ISO is now usable and the 1Dx looks like 12800 is clean and 25K may be usable---This changes the game because F/4 glass which is cheaper is probably a better option and our primes could be delegated to shallow depth work or for Wide open work in extremely dark conditions

With ISO being as clean as it is on the new generation cameras..you might not have to invest in as much F/2.8 glass to get the jobs done

Hope thats what you were after.
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Old 7th of July 2012 (Sat)   #8
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

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Originally Posted by umphotography View Post
most of us needed fast glass (F/2.8 or F/2.0 ) because we needed a much light as possible to keep the ISO under 1600. The 1Ds3 ,5DC, 1DMKIII changed the game and allowed us to get to 3200 ISO and keep it reasonable clean. Fast glass was still a great option because we could get faster shutter speeds and sharper images.

The 5D3, MKIV and 1Dx have changed the game. 8000 ISO is now usable and the 1Dx looks like 12800 is clean and 25K may be usable---This changes the game because F/4 glass which is cheaper is probably a better option and our primes could be delegated to shallow depth work or for Wide open work in extremely dark conditions

With ISO being as clean as it is on the new generation cameras..you might not have to invest in as much F/2.8 glass to get the jobs done

Hope thats what you were after.
Have recently moved to 1D Mark III series bodies (1D and 1Ds). So far the fast glass has been fulfilling the majority of my needs with some bump in ISO.

Thanks for the feedback. I will continue working with these bodies before I look at a move to the Mark IV or higher. So far I am really enjoying the shots with the 1D series. The compliments and purchases on my shots with the 1D Mark III have already exceeded every purchase done prior to using those bodies. The colors jump out at people that much.

Again, I appreciate your thoughts and all others who have jumped in on this.
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Old 7th of July 2012 (Sat)   #9
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpritts View Post
I have been reading quite a bit on the forum about high ISO performance. I guess I have not run into an issue with that as I tend to use a fast lens in low light situations. As a result, low light situations have not been an issue for me. Using the right lens (granted if you have it/them available) seems to be a better issue than bumping the ISO very high.

Am I missing something here? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Yeh, fast lens means a large aperture which means shallow depth of field. What if you want more than the tip of ones nose in focus?
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Old 7th of July 2012 (Sat)   #10
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by umphotography View Post
most of us needed fast glass (F/2.8 or F/2.0 ) because we needed a much light as possible to keep the ISO under 1600. The 1Ds3 ,5DC, 1DMKIII changed the game and allowed us to get to 3200 ISO and keep it reasonable clean. Fast glass was still a great option because we could get faster shutter speeds and sharper images.

The 5D3, MKIV and 1Dx have changed the game. 8000 ISO is now usable and the 1Dx looks like 12800 is clean and 25K may be usable---This changes the game because F/4 glass which is cheaper is probably a better option and our primes could be delegated to shallow depth work or for Wide open work in extremely dark conditions

With ISO being as clean as it is on the new generation cameras..you might not have to invest in as much F/2.8 glass to get the jobs done

Hope thats what you were after.

I have the 5D, 5D2 and 5D3

My max ISO is still ISO 3200 on all 3 cameras.

Recent technology has improved JPG noise reduction, not RAW noise
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Old 8th of July 2012 (Sun)   #11
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

^You must be ultraconservative
Try some shoots used my 5D3 ISO @ 25600 with my 200mm f/2.8L II, f/2.8 during my kid's award ceremony, which were more than happy just after some quick editing.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/x_tan/7...in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/x_tan/7...in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/x_tan/7...in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/x_tan/7...in/photostream

5D3 is totally new generation camera in high ISO preferment; very very handy.

Last edited by x_tan : 8th of July 2012 (Sun) at 04:06.
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Old 8th of July 2012 (Sun)   #12
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

My 5D2 was fine for ISO 12800 for small output etc, I concede the 5D3 is a bit more usable at ISO 12800-25600, but under ISO 6400 they are practically identical

How does your 5Dv perform?
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Old 8th of July 2012 (Sun)   #13
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

No doubt cleaner high ISOs put slower f/4 lenses in play until you need what f/3.5 or faster actually looks like...
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Old 8th of July 2012 (Sun)   #14
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Talking Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

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...
How does your 5Dv perform?
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Old 8th of July 2012 (Sun)   #15
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Default Re: ISO vs. Fast Lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpritts View Post
I have been reading quite a bit on the forum about high ISO performance. I guess I have not run into an issue with that as I tend to use a fast lens in low light situations. As a result, low light situations have not been an issue for me. Using the right lens (granted if you have it/them available) seems to be a better issue than bumping the ISO very high.

Am I missing something here? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Yes. Shutter speed and the need to stop action. In indoor situations, a correct exposure can be achieved with a slow shutter speed and slow lens, and the result is useful as long as the subject is not moving.



Focal Length: 18.0mm
Aperture: f/3.5
Exposure Time: 0.025 s (1/40)
ISO equiv: 320
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: program (Auto)
White Balance: Auto
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Orientation: Normal
Color Space: sRGB

But, when the subjects are moving and motion blur would not create a useful image, it's time to set the exposure for a fast shutter speed.



Focal Length: 97.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure Time: 0.0016 s (1/640)
ISO equiv: 6400
Exposure Bias: none
Metering Mode: Matrix
Exposure: Manual
Exposure Mode: Manual
White Balance: Manual
Flash Fired: No (enforced)
Color Space: sRGB
Focal Length: 110.0mm

Also, now that noise reduction software has been invented, high ISO performance is no longer a major factor. Imagenomic Noiseware was used for this basketball image.
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