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Old Mar 9, 2006, 12:11 AM   #1
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well, ive taken my first pictures today, however by the time i got out of b and h with my 1 gig card and 12 buck case (that perfectly fits my camera with lens) it was night. so i had a tough time with shots. i like the shot below, did some editing in photoshop with diffuse glow (and changed the color around a bit too) but i read in some posts and cant find it again thats theres a specific procedure to reducing noise? (this shot is at ISO 1600).
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 10:09 AM   #2
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That was a 2 1/2 second shot (far too slow to hand hold for good results). I hope you were using a tripod. ;-)

You were also shooting with a lens at f/5.6 (probably the max aperture available at that focal length).

A lens with f/2.8 available would have been 4 times as bright (which would still put your shutter speeds at over 1/2 second (still too slow).

I'd go with something like a 50mm f/1.7 if you can't use a tripod. If you can use a tripod, then you may be able to use longer exposure times than you used, shooting at lower ISO speeds for less noise. Shooting at f/2 with a 50mm f/1.7 would have given you shutter speeds 8 times as fast as with a lens with a maximum available aperture of f/5.6 (f/2 is exactly 8 times as bright as f/5.6)

Or, if you want a wider angle of view (that shot was at a 35mm actual focal length), go with a wider prime (for example: Minolta 28mm f/2, 35mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4; or the new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC lens that should be shipping soon). f/1.4 is 16 times as bright as f/5.6. But, you'd get sharper photos down 1 stop to f/2 with that type of lens.

As far as reducing noise, check out Noiseware and Neat Image

You'll see free community edition for Noiseware (but, it will strip out the EXIF information). You'll also see a free/demo version of Neat Image (it also strips out the EXIF). You'll see commercial versions of these programs that can be used as Photoshop plugins, too (and these retain the EXIF).

I'd also try different WB settings for these types of shots. I'd start out with Incandescent (Tungston) and go from there. If you shoot raw versus jpeg, you'll have the ability to tune white balance after the fact.

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Old Mar 9, 2006, 2:44 PM   #3
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Well, just to be different you could go the other way from Jim's sugestion also and use your current lens at f8, iso100, put it on a tripod with a 20 second exposure (or however long is needed).

Anyway, you need a noise reduction program and it needs to be the first step you do in post processing. If you try to reduce the noise on the picture that you've modified it will not be as effective. I use noiseninja, which costs $30-40.
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 2:49 PM   #4
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tmoreau wrote:
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Well, just to be different you could go the other way from Jim's sugestion also and use your current lens at f8, iso100, put it on a tripod with a 20 second exposure (or however long is needed).
Yep, I alluded to doing that by saying "If you can use a tripod, then you may be able to use longer exposure times than you used, shooting at lower ISO speeds for less noise. ".

But, I should have expanded on it more.

Your suggestion is a better way to go (smaller apertures, lower ISO speed, longer exposure, using a tripod).

But, the OP does have one problem that most of us don't (I know about it from previous threads). He's trying to take these photos from a ship. ;-)

So, the rocking of the ship may make it difficult to use longer exposures, depending on how calm the seas are.



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Old Mar 9, 2006, 5:51 PM   #5
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gmitchel has a free noise reduction action set you might try: http://www.thelightsrightstudio.com/...eReduction.htm

I've read Photoshop CS2 has a noise reduction filter. Earlier versions don't have it. I'm still using CS, so someone else will have to evaluate the CS2 filter in comparison to noise reduction programs and Dr Mitchel's action set.

You can't go wrong with Neat Image or Noise Ninja if you get the plug-in version.


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