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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 31 Dec 2010 (Friday) 15:01
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Very low ISO settings - why not?

 
Blackdeath
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Dec 31, 2010 15:01 |  #1

This is just a thought, and I may be missing something here... Why do the newest cameras have ever higher ISO figures? What I think would be better is to have a selection ofvery very low ones available to us. We could throw away our neutral density filters and have user-selectable long exposures, just by dropping the sensitivity of the sensor lower and lower. Digital imaging has no reciprocity failure issues to complicate matters with exposure, so why not?

Feel free to call me stupid! There must be a good reason that hasn't occurred to me!


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suecassidy
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Dec 31, 2010 15:10 |  #2

Low light is a much bigger problem, and more common a shooting reality, than bright light. I'd rather have the ability to shoot in lower light with less noise, than the other way around. I would guess that the camera engineers are catering to the most likely problem and more people will buy a camera to get high ISO's that work well in low light, as opposed to low iso's for bright light.


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Dec 31, 2010 15:11 |  #3
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ND filter manufactures must have a stong lobby - lol.

People want fast cars - not much market for slow and even slower cars or cameras or lenes.


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MT ­ Stringer
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Dec 31, 2010 15:12 |  #4

Kodachrome 64 was the defacto slide film. ISO 50 is as low as I have seen it on digital cameras. Both of my cameras have that option. I haven't used it because most of my stuff is higher ISO shooting.


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Dec 31, 2010 15:54 |  #5

If you want a digital camera with a low ISO, buy a Nikon Coolpix 900, (external link) with an ISO of 64. It was the state-of-the-art digicam -- of 1998. :)




  
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Dec 31, 2010 17:31 |  #6

My 1D has ISO 50, but it's not a true stop, so most people (including me) rarely resort to using it...

With low light, you often don't have much of a choice but to bump the ISO (your lens is wide open, and you're already shooting as slow as your hand/subject will allow)...still too dark, so you have to bump the ISO...with too much light, however, it's not usually the problem, as the only time it's an issue is if you're trying to smooth flowing water or have crazy shallow DOF in the middle of the day...they're both very specialized instances only used by very few people...for the rest, ISO 100, f32 and 1/8000th sec shutter speeds do the trick.


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LowriderS10
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Dec 31, 2010 17:33 |  #7

plus...almost all modern lenses stop down to at least f22, but often f32...very few lenses (as in number of units sold) stop down to f1.2-f2.8...so you have to make the bodies cope with lenses that are "too slow"...lenses that are "too fast" are never a problem...


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Blackdeath
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Dec 31, 2010 17:44 as a reply to  @ LowriderS10's post |  #8

It was the flowing water/shallow DOF in bright light/getting rid of people in landscape shots sort of situations I had in mind with this thread.

It's true that very high ISO speeds can be really helpful (last week, I photographed Jupiter and some star constallations hand held- amazing stuff), but to get creative with slow shutter speeds I need to carry ha handful of ND filters along with my tripod.

It would be great to have both ends of the ISO spectrum.


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Wallpap3r
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Jan 01, 2011 04:12 |  #9

ISO 25 would be very useful for outdoor portraits too. We can dream


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Jan 01, 2011 07:30 |  #10

I also would like to have it available, easier then a ND filter :)


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RaZe42
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Jan 01, 2011 08:32 |  #11

http://www.fredmiranda​.com/A20/ (external link)

The SLR/n now uses ISO 6 to 1600. The base setting is ISO 160.

Low enough? :)


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Blackdeath
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Jan 01, 2011 15:58 as a reply to  @ RaZe42's post |  #12

Getting there!


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mtnbkr1
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Jan 01, 2011 16:16 |  #13

The technical answer is that noise is somewhat controlled by how many times the "base" iso is bumped up. For most cameras the base is 100. Using an ISO of say 1600 would give you "16 noise units". So If your base was ISO 10, you would have the same noise using ISO 160 as with ISO 1600 in a normal camera. Its all a tradeoff and manufacturers have decided that 100 is the best starting point. If im not mistaken some nikons even start at 200 in order to give better high ISO performance


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macroimage
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Jan 01, 2011 16:25 |  #14

The main problem with lower ISOs is that the sensor wells will overflow before the analog to digital converter runs out of data numbers leading to highlight clipping without reaching full white.


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Jan 01, 2011 18:41 |  #15

Thinking about this yesterday.
Do camera makers build in 'an optimal' ISO setting that the image sensor works best at?



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Very low ISO settings - why not?
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