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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:21 PM   #1
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Default Open Aperture and high ISO

Humor me for a bit here as I did a little experiment with my new lens. I just wanted to see how the noise would look if I tried to take some shots in bad light while keeping the shutter speed up. I took some shots at last week's Light-up parade in town. These aren't the usual types of shots I would take, but I left the aperture at 1.7 (never had that to play around with before) and let the auto-ISO go higher than I normally would (I'm normally pretty conservative with that), which ended up around 1000-1600 for all of these shots. I intentionally left noise reduction in lightroom all the way off just to see how it looked.

Not sure about the wide circles around the traffic lights on this one. Perhaps someone can illuminate me (pun intended):



Town clock, and more lights doing weird things to the image:


These people don't seem as happy about my new lens as I am. I put the camera away for a while:


Guardians of the Toy Store:




Hot food on a cold night:




Now on this one I broke my own rules and changed it to B&W. I think it looks OK

Last edited by SammyKhalifa; Nov 27, 2012 at 10:26 PM.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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Now with any other camera and any other lens I've ever had most of these shots would have just turned into a blurry mess and any improvement over that would have made me happy--so I was curious about what other people thought. Obviously the noise would be more noticeable at larger sizes and frankly I could have taken better photographs, but in all at least in these shots I don't think it is that objectionable. If there was a lot of noisy sky or different subjects I might think differently.

link to full size in image 1 (at least as full as flickr is giving me):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/6615422...n/photostream/

Last edited by SammyKhalifa; Nov 27, 2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 7:11 AM   #3
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It's a mixed bag for me. From a noise standpoint, there's no big issues - with good noise reduction it wouldn't be a problem at all. The exif has been stripped, but it appears your biggest issue was motion blur. Those are the shots that suffer the most. I would tend to err on the side of more noise just to get rid of more motion blur. From an overall standpoint the last shot is the most effective and interesting to me. Some of the others have good composition but the motion blur is a bit too much. Given these noise characteristics I would say bump up the ISO a bit more to inch that shutter speed up.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 7:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
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It's a mixed bag for me. From a noise standpoint, there's no big issues - with good noise reduction it wouldn't be a problem at all. The exif has been stripped, but it appears your biggest issue was motion blur. Those are the shots that suffer the most. I would tend to err on the side of more noise just to get rid of more motion blur. From an overall standpoint the last shot is the most effective and interesting to me. Some of the others have good composition but the motion blur is a bit too much. Given these noise characteristics I would say bump up the ISO a bit more to inch that shutter speed up.

Thanks. Yeah, I like the last one (and the first) the best. I don't think any of them are championship-type shots composition wise though, to be honest. These crowd-type shots aren't normally my thing, so that was new too.

I'd agree about the motion blur, but I also think I might have just missed focus on a few. I was using aperture priority, but SP might have been the better bet.

Last edited by SammyKhalifa; Nov 28, 2012 at 7:57 AM.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 8:35 AM   #5
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shutter priority would only produce better results if you have auto ISO and the ceiling is set higher than you have it now. If you kept ISO the same and used shutter priority with a higher shutter speed your shots would be under-exposed (since you indicated you were already at the widest aperture).
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:43 AM   #6
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shutter priority would only produce better results if you have auto ISO and the ceiling is set higher than you have it now. If you kept ISO the same and used shutter priority with a higher shutter speed your shots would be under-exposed (since you indicated you were already at the widest aperture).
Yeah, I could have been more free with letting the ISO go and less with the shutter speed. Which is cool--that's exactly the kind of thing I was trying to figure out.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 1:32 PM   #7
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G'day mate

Sammy - I note that these are in the 4/3rd thread rather than the p&s thread - so I would go from there to suggest that iso 1600 'should' have been a very-possible choice too

Overall I like the images - yes there are a few issues but so what the heck - you were doing what comes naturally to us photographers :-)

At to "being illuminated" ...
the blooming that you see in images #1 & #2 is very similar to that commented about from some of the Fuji "X" series sensors - where the light overload upon a small area of the sensor causes it to become a 100% washed-out blob

I have had similar but not so obvious things with the Pentac kx on some occasions too
I have no answers for how to avoid it
Regards, Phil
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 7:13 AM   #8
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Sammy - I think you have clearly demonstrated why this focal length is ideal for street photography. As others have said; being at the wide end of the aperture range already means you can only get faster shutter via higher ISO. I personally try to avoid ISO 1600 on the E-PL2, as it is grainy which leaves you only the choice of aggressive NR to get rid of it, at the expense of lost detail Where I find this problematic is when I shoot wildlife, for example this wood pecker is ISO 1600 on the E-PL2. At (1024 x 683) resolution that is shown here via the flickr link it is not so bad but at the full size (3598 x 2399) resolution the grain is noticeable.


P7254299_1 by ramcewan, on Flickr

full size (3598 x 2399)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7598817...7630269603294/


However, when I shoot people preserving the fine detail that can be lost in NR is much less of an issue. In fact I find that often times a little NR can go a long why for portraiture, after all nobody wants to see every detail of their skin. Yes there are those gritty portrait shots where you want the fine detail of the lines and skin, but those snapshots and street shots often times it isn't needed. So I say for this street photography at night let it go as high as the ISO wants to go and apply NR afterwards.


The only thing I could suggest for the lights is to try to keep them out of the frame, or if they're going to be in there you could try different exposure biases via exposure bracketing. You might be able to avoid them being blown out with the exposure -1/7 a step and then compensate for it using the shadow detail/fill light slider. If you held it steady enough you also could go for an HDR composite of a few images with varying exposure.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 7:35 AM   #9
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My personal thoughts on your photos are that they are good examples of the shortcomings of the m43 Pen cameras prior to the release of the EM-5.
The sensor just can't deal with low light/high ISO situations. Despite the use of high quality fast lenses, the detail in the shadows is murky at best. AND, that's not a criticism of your photographic capabilities. It's just reality.

I have the E-P2 which employs the same sensor as the Pen camera you use and
the IQ is the same. Great in good light, lousy in low light.

The Sony sensor employed in the EM-5, and now the EPL-5 finally is a major step in the right direction to offering 'dslr' quality output in all but a few special situations.

The Oly system always had good lenses, it was the AF system and sensor that
limited the system.

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Old Nov 29, 2012, 2:21 PM   #10
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Yep, last night I used my E-M5 and the three primes (12-50-60) to shoot the Chihuly glass exhibit all lit up after dark at the Arboretum. A combination of staying out there late and then going to my favorite cajun restaurant for drink(s) and refreshments kept me from doing much any processing last night, but the ones I did do before it got too late look pretty darn good, other than the contrast was really tough.

Friday night I'll be trying my hand at a chinese lantern festival going on at Fair Park..

http://www.chineselanternfestival.com/

Still thinking about what lenses I want to take there...
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