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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 23 Sep 2013 (Monday) 02:35
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High ISO indoors

 
matttoofif
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Sep 23, 2013 02:35 |  #1

So I did my first wedding reception at the weekend having recently upgraded from a 450d to a 5D mkiii. The outside shots were fine but indoors, using the 24-105 lens I shot in Av priority and found that the ISO I needed to shoot at around 1/100 was 6400. I thought this would be fine with the 5D but getting the pictures home and zooming in, they are pretty noisey and not particularly sharp. I know I can clear a lot of the noise up in Lightroom but I am a little bit disappointed at how soft some of them are. Is this simply because I’m limited with the speed of my lens or are there any techniques I can use to improve the quality in future?


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danb708
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Sep 23, 2013 07:36 |  #2

We're you using only ambient light? Bouncing some flash to bring up the ambient will allow you to lower the ISO, can you post some examples?




  
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pstyle1
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Sep 23, 2013 07:44 |  #3

I find my 5D3 files very usable at 6400 for indoor shots as long as they are exposed correctly. You are probably pixel peeping a bit too much.


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sapearl
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Sep 23, 2013 07:51 |  #4

pstyle1 wrote in post #16318064 (external link)
I find my 5D3 files very usable at 6400 for indoor shots as long as they are exposed correctly. You are probably pixel peeping a bit too much.

I would tend to agree with this Matt. You will still see a little bit of noise at 6400 but if your exposures are close to the mark that should be minimal.

More important, what were your shutter and aperture settings? At f/4 it is very likely that your images were still about a stop or so underexposed. I speak from my own experience where both the quantity and quality of light is poor at dim venues. Once you start boosting exposure in post that will really emphasize any noise.

Also, sharness is a relative concept that is affected by many things: quality of light, contrast, saturation, ambient light, DOF. At f/4 your DOF will be minimal on a lot of those shots. The lighting was also probably flat so that would tend to make your shots look unsharp.

Post a few samples and I'll be able to provide more constructive input Matt.


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matttoofif
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Sep 23, 2013 08:03 |  #5

danb708 wrote in post #16318045 (external link)
We're you using only ambient light? Bouncing some flash to bring up the ambient will allow you to lower the ISO, can you post some examples?

Hi, yes I was determined to only use ambient light. I have used flash by bouncing it before and wish I had done it this time too!


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sapearl
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Sep 23, 2013 08:07 |  #6

matttoofif wrote in post #16318100 (external link)
Hi, yes I was determined to only use ambient light. I have used flash by bouncing it before and wish I had done it this time too!

Matt, I'm going to guess that there were a lot of areas of heavy shadow and that's where you saw much of the noise. Typically those portions of the image will easly be 1-2 stops underexposed and that will really cause the noise to jump out.


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matttoofif
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Sep 23, 2013 08:08 |  #7

sapearl wrote in post #16318079 (external link)
I would tend to agree with this Matt. You will still see a little bit of noise at 6400 but if your exposures are close to the mark that should be minimal.

More important, what were your shutter and aperture settings? At f/4 it is very likely that your images were still about a stop or so underexposed. I speak from my own experience where both the quantity and quality of light is poor at dim venues. Once you start boosting exposure in post that will really emphasize any noise.

Also, sharness is a relative concept that is affected by many things: quality of light, contrast, saturation, ambient light, DOF. At f/4 your DOF will be minimal on a lot of those shots. The lighting was also probably flat so that would tend to make your shots look unsharp.

Post a few samples and I'll be able to provide more constructive input Matt.

Hi, I'm still working my way through editing the shots- I will post some up when I have some and some feedback would be great, thank you. The venue was mainly lit by ceiling lights which were very yellow. This was fine as I adjusted the white balance to cope with that- I guess I just had a pre-conceived idea of how the shots were going to look and I was disappointed they wernt as sharp as I hoped.

Im not sure the 24-105 is what I need for what Im trying to achieve too!


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nicksan
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Sep 23, 2013 08:08 |  #8

matttoofif wrote in post #16317727 (external link)
So I did my first wedding reception at the weekend having recently upgraded from a 450d to a 5D mkiii. The outside shots were fine but indoors, using the 24-105 lens I shot in Av priority and found that the ISO I needed to shoot at around 1/100 was 6400. I thought this would be fine with the 5D but getting the pictures home and zooming in, they are pretty noisey and not particularly sharp. I know I can clear a lot of the noise up in Lightroom but I am a little bit disappointed at how soft some of them are. Is this simply because I’m limited with the speed of my lens or are there any techniques I can use to improve the quality in future?

Shooting the reception indoors at 1/100 sounds like it's too slow. When you say the images weren't particularly sharp, do you mean they were suffering from subject motion blur? Having excessive noise will also make your images appear not so sharp. I wouldn't expect miracles just b/c you were shooting with the 5D3. At ISO6400, images will still be pretty noisy especially if you don't nail the exposure.

Recommendation would be to use supplemental light in the future. I did a writeup here: http://www.nicknphoto.​com/wedding-reception-lighting/ (external link)




  
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matttoofif
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Sep 23, 2013 08:09 |  #9

sapearl wrote in post #16318107 (external link)
Matt, I'm going to guess that there were a lot of areas of heavy shadow and that's where you saw much of the noise. Typically those portions of the image will easly be 1-2 stops underexposed and that will really cause the noise to jump out.

Yeah, I mean the ceiling was quite low and had small lights throughout the venue. It looked really pretty but made getting a balanced exposure incredibly difficult


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sapearl
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Sep 23, 2013 08:14 |  #10

matttoofif wrote in post #16318108 (external link)
Hi, I'm still working my way through editing the shots- I will post some up when I have some and some feedback would be great, thank you. The venue was mainly lit by ceiling lights which were very yellow. This was fine as I adjusted the white balance to cope with that- I guess I just had a pre-conceived idea of how the shots were going to look and I was disappointed they wernt as sharp as I hoped.

Im not sure the 24-105 is what I need for what Im trying to achieve too!

I understand your feelings Matt ;).

A faster lens would have enabled you to use lower ISO or a small aperture, but it still would not have changed the "quality" of light in the room. Those high ceiling spots can be murder on the quality of the images; bright overexposed areas, glare on tops of heads, deep shadows between the beams.... very challenging for good photography. It is also terrible on portrati photography. That's how those ugly racoon eyes are created.

This is why I almost always use bounced flash in some fashion with the camera on manual in these situations. It takes a little bit of experimentation to get the right look you are seeking - dragging the shutter at various speeds will achieve that - but that's what's great about that LCD :D.

Btw - on a totally unrelated note, my wife and I have become hooked on the Midsomer Murders series here in the U.S. We are amazed that anybody is left alive in those beautiful English villages :lol:.


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armis
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Sep 23, 2013 08:51 |  #11

Isn't the AF going to struggle with the (f/4) 24-105 if you're in the kind of conditions that require 6400 ISO? Might be another source of softness? (I don't have a 5D3 or a 24-105 so I'm just tossing this out there)


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Trent ­ Gillespie
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Sep 23, 2013 09:58 as a reply to  @ armis's post |  #12

Adding just a touch of light to get your subjects properly exposed will do wonders for noise. My biggest beef with Canon sensors is that when you boost the exposure 1/2 or 1 stop on a high ISO photo, is that it quickly goes to crud. Doing the same on my friends Nikon D800, he definitely has more room to adjust. However, if exposure is spot on at high ISO, you won't notice a difference between the cameras.


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Sep 23, 2013 10:20 |  #13

armis wrote in post #16318201 (external link)
Isn't the AF going to struggle with the (f/4) 24-105 if you're in the kind of conditions that require 6400 ISO? Might be another source of softness? (I don't have a 5D3 or a 24-105 so I'm just tossing this out there)

I don't have the 24-105L, but on my 5D3, the 70-200 f/4L will focus extremely reliably, even in dim situations requiring ISO6400-25600. It's more reliable than my 24-70L (first version), even with the extra stop of aperture.

My 24-70L is on my "naughty" list right now though; it's just not performing as well as I would like.


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Sep 23, 2013 13:54 |  #14

armis wrote in post #16318201 (external link)
Isn't the AF going to struggle with the (f/4) 24-105 if you're in the kind of conditions that require 6400 ISO? Might be another source of softness? (I don't have a 5D3 or a 24-105 so I'm just tossing this out there)

You raise a valid point armis and depending upon the lack of contrast in a scene that can be an issue.

For this reason I use a 580ex with the focus-assist beams turned on. They "paint" the target and improve the ability of the 24-105 to lock on at just about any aperture. I also use center point AF which helps out a GREAT deal.


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MFG
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Sep 23, 2013 20:55 |  #15

sapearl wrote in post #16318952 (external link)
For this reason I use a 580ex with the focus-assist beams turned on. They "paint" the target and improve the ability of the 24-105 to lock on at just about any aperture. I also use center point AF which helps out a GREAT deal.

+1 on the AF-assist beam. you can set the firing of flash to disable while enjoying the power of the AF beam.


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High ISO indoors
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