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08-08-2010, 09:24 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
"I just think it's BS that certain people think f1.2 lenses are off limits to amateur photographers. I would in no way consider myself a professional yet I find f1.2 lenses an absolute joy to use."

I never said that f/1.2 lenses were off limits to amateurs. Though, I will say requires skill to use such fast glass and get the most out of it. Landing a newbie with a 50mm f/1.2 and a K7 makes the learning curve a tad steeper.
I can agree with that. It's certainly more difficult to use than a 50mm f2 lens. I Just don't think it's so hard to use that anyone should avoid the lens.

08-08-2010, 10:41 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Derridale Quote
I really think that you're limiting your options by leaving the ISO at 100. Most modern DSLRs are extremely capable of taking good shots at much higher ISOs than that, including yours.

I've just returned from a course which included portrait work using available light only, and most of the shots were taken at f/2.8, occasionally f/4, and the ISO was adjusted as necessary, with some being at 800 and a couple at 1600. And this was using K20D bodies, not the newer models. The shots were excellent, and although there were one or two with a bit of "graininess" to them (no more than you used to get with fast film), this can be removed very easily using plugins such as Topaz, Nik, or in my case, Noise Ninja. I have all three of those, but for me, Noise Ninja does it best - but, your mileage may vary.

I'm not sure why you'd want to be keeping the ISO at 100 for some theoretical purist reason - it's like driving a Ferrari with the handbrake on...!
As a SLR user you get used to shooting slower ISO films. Almost all the film I shoot today is in the 50 to 100 ISO range, with the odd 400 ISO film for special conditions. (Night & indoors) In the 35 years that I’ve owned a SLR I have never used or pushed a film past 400 ISO. The Pentax film cameras I own do have an ISO range of 8 to 6400, I’ve just never had a reason to go higher. (Fast lenses or a tripod, compensate for less than ideal lighting conditions.)

If I owned a DSLR I’d probably want to continue shooting mostly in the same 50 to 100 ISO range, shooting at those higher ISO settings would freak me out!

Phil.
08-08-2010, 11:51 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
"I just think it's BS that certain people think f1.2 lenses are off limits to amateur photographers. I would in no way consider myself a professional yet I find f1.2 lenses an absolute joy to use."

I never said that f/1.2 lenses were off limits to amateurs. Though, I will say requires skill to use such fast glass and get the most out of it. Landing a newbie with a 50mm f/1.2 and a K7 makes the learning curve a tad steeper.


that's right. I think you got what I meant with regards to using an f1.2 lens. it's not about it being off-limits to non-professional photographers, but rather having the skills necessary to effectively use it enough to take advantage of what it can do. it is easy to own one but to use one effectively is rather a question.

I believe this is the reason why some people don't like shooting or using f1.2. the false pretense that at wide open would be dismissed as impractical or unusable is due to the fact that shooting at such fast aperture is not a walk in the park. that does not make the lens unusable but makes the lens unusable due to the photographer's own shortcomings.
08-08-2010, 02:10 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Yeah, when you're trying to capture the way-under-exposed-sensation of a photograph, I guess a flash could ruin that. This is just like the high ISO discussion. In no way am I saying flash is better than natural available light, it certainly doesn't look as good most of the time. But you're not going to always get bountiful amount of natural available light. What then? You refuse to go above ISO 100 and you refuse to use flash. I'm curious as to what kind of photography you do as you've basically limited yourself to scenes of the bright outdoors. Have you ever shot an indoor scene? Have you shot anything on a cloudy day? Do you just turn off your camera at 5PM? I'm extremely curious to see some of your photos.
As mentioned earlier in this thread I usually use two cameras on low light events. One with a fast lens and often on a tripod/gorillapod using only the available natural light. The other camera uses flash, ISO or whatever as needed.

08-08-2010, 03:21 PM   #35
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QuoteQuote:
If I owned a DSLR I’d probably want to continue shooting mostly in the same 50 to 100 ISO range, shooting at those higher ISO settings would freak me out!
Errr - why, exactly?

That is precisely one of the advantages of the new breed of DSLR - they allow you to do stuff that you couldn't do before. The low light capability of cameras like the Nikon D3s and the Canon 1Ds Mk 4 are amazing.

To extend my previous analogy - NOT using those capabilities is like buying the aforesaid Ferrari, and not only driving with the handbrake on, but keeping the little man walking in front with the red flag, as you creep along at 5 mph...

So - just WHY would shooting at higher ISO freak you out? One of the teachers on the course I just did was David Oliver, who is a world-renowned portrait photographer (as well as landscapes). He does weddings and portraits using a Nikon D3s with ISO settings up to 1600 or even 3200 using available light. One of his favourite lenses is the 70-200mm f/2.8. He was a dead-set film shooter until about 3 years ago, then switched to digital. His comments were that he hadn't realized how much his world of possibilities had expanded until he switched.

Not all change is for the better, for sure, but the ability to use high ISO on good DSLRs is a fantastic advantage.
08-08-2010, 04:50 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Derridale Quote
Errr - why, exactly?

That is precisely one of the advantages of the new breed of DSLR - they allow you to do stuff that you couldn't do before. The low light capability of cameras like the Nikon D3s and the Canon 1Ds Mk 4 are amazing.

To extend my previous analogy - NOT using those capabilities is like buying the aforesaid Ferrari, and not only driving with the handbrake on, but keeping the little man walking in front with the red flag, as you creep along at 5 mph...

So - just WHY would shooting at higher ISO freak you out? One of the teachers on the course I just did was David Oliver, who is a world-renowned portrait photographer (as well as landscapes). He does weddings and portraits using a Nikon D3s with ISO settings up to 1600 or even 3200 using available light. One of his favourite lenses is the 70-200mm f/2.8. He was a dead-set film shooter until about 3 years ago, then switched to digital. His comments were that he hadn't realized how much his world of possibilities had expanded until he switched.

Not all change is for the better, for sure, but the ability to use high ISO on good DSLRs is a fantastic advantage.
There’s too much noise on higher ISO settings on a DLSR or grain on film for my taste. Just because you have the ability to easily use higher ISO settings doesn’t mean you need to, it just seems like crutch to me. I could use Kodak T-Max at 3200 ISO, but I choose not to. I prefer the slow finer grained b&w films. I can’t imagine getting a large print done of a photo I took using film shot at 1600 or 3200 ISO, digital won’t be any better.

I’m with “tiltman” shoot at the lowest ISO that you can and go for quality, rather than just cause it’s easier.

So I guess it’s a matter of taste, you can drive your Ferrari on a bumpy gravel road at 200k and I’ll drive mine at 75k on a smooth paved highway. I bet I get more performance out of the car in the long run!!

Phil.
08-08-2010, 06:36 PM   #37
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Many seem to be missing my point - which probably means I'm not explaining it well enough.

My point is that the ability to use higher ISO is AS WELL AS everything else. It's not "instead of" - if you see what I mean...

It's another tool in the armoury, another technique, another variable we can use. I'm not for one moment suggesting that higher ISO shots are preferable. What I'm trying to say is that by limiting oneself to NOT using higher ISO, you would be foregoing one of the advantages of a DSLR.

Of course lower ISO shots will have less noise and perhaps a touch more definition. But if it's a case of either a higher ISO or no shot, I know which I'd rather do...

And have you actually seen some of the photos that can be shot using high ISOs on cameras like the Nikon D3S? I would find it hard to pick a difference in many of those shots, unless you're blowing it up to an A2 print or thereabouts.

Yes - it's a matter of taste, but higher ISO is an EXTRA tool we have at our disposal. Not a replacement for good light and a lower ISO.
08-08-2010, 08:19 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
There’s too much noise on higher ISO settings on a DLSR or grain on film for my taste. Just because you have the ability to easily use higher ISO settings doesn’t mean you need to, it just seems like crutch to me. I could use Kodak T-Max at 3200 ISO, but I choose not to. I prefer the slow finer grained b&w films. I can’t imagine getting a large print done of a photo I took using film shot at 1600 or 3200 ISO, digital won’t be any better.

I’m with “tiltman” shoot at the lowest ISO that you can and go for quality, rather than just cause it’s easier.

So I guess it’s a matter of taste, you can drive your Ferrari on a bumpy gravel road at 200k and I’ll drive mine at 75k on a smooth paved highway. I bet I get more performance out of the car in the long run!!

Phil.
Phil, you're definitely one of the few members here who I have the utmost respect for. However, I'm pretty worn out on this topic. Some people will get it, some won't ever. But I figure I owe you another round before I retire.

In no way do I consider ISO 1600+ ideal, there are definite drawbacks but it is the only choice in many situations. A few days ago I took photos of friends playing a small concert in a dimly lit bar. It was very crowded and a tripod would have been awkward to use. Flash would probably have got me thrown out. I switched to ISO 1600 and got a few shots. One of them turned out to be this photo which I was very satisfied with:

Robin's Egg Blue | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

This is not a rare situation for me. I'd say a quarter to a third of my favorite photographs were shot in situations where high ISO was required. It was either that or no shot at all. That shot at ISO 100 would have required a shutter speed of roughly 1 second. Or it would have required an extremely expensive 135mm f1.4 lens. I'm curious as to what you would have done in a situation where a 135mm f3.5 lens at ISO 1600 and 1/45 shutter speed was required to grab proper exposure.

This second photo was shot in Fuerza Bruta. I was standing in a mass of people who were constantly moving. Flash photography and tripod use were prohibited:

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The man was running at full speed and there were scraps of paper being shot at him. I needed a shutter speed of 1/2000 to grab this shot. Perhaps 1/2000 was a bit excessive but it definitely required at least 1/1000 in that situation. Either way, ISO 100 was not feasible.

This is another shot I got in a restaurant with poor ambient light:
Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I can pull out tons more examples of my favorite photos that were taken at ISO 1600. I think you'd be hard pressed to make the case that any of them could have been possible on low ISO. Furthermore, is the noise so bad that it ruins the photo? I think these "noisy" ISO 1600 photos were the best possible outcome of the situations. To me, it was either that, blurry photos, extremely underexposed photos, or no photo at all.

Do you seriously think high ISO capability is a crutch? It's a natural progression of digital photography. Just like the capabilities of being able to review/delete photos instantly or faster lenses with faster/more accurate auto focusing. Would you consider AF a crutch? What about fast f1.2/1.0 lenses? You do own a digital body, right?

Edit: Just checked for certain to see that 17 of my 33 favorite photos were shot at ISO 1600. Of the 16 shots that weren't shot in ISO 1600, 4 were shot on the Canon XSI, a camera with very poor high ISO performance. Seven of the 16 photos that weren't shot at ISO 1600 were shot in ISO 800, which you would consider high ISO as well. That leaves only 9 photos out of 33 of my best photos that were shot on ISO 400 or lower.


Last edited by hangu; 08-08-2010 at 08:34 PM.
08-08-2010, 09:21 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
It's a natural progression of digital photography.
Just thought I'd mention I agree 100%. A camera is a tool, and one of the exciting things about digital cameras is that as tools, they are still evolving and gaining new capabilities. I expect in a few years all the major camera makers will have totally usable 10,000 ISO just like the flagship Nikon D3S. Certainly people are free to ignore whatever capabilities are in the tools they use, but I sure would think it would be silly for someone to ignore shooting at 10,000 ISO if they could for just dogmatic or emotional reasons.
08-08-2010, 10:06 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
Phil, you're definitely one of the few members here who I have the utmost respect for. However, I'm pretty worn out on this topic. Some people will get it, some won't ever. But I figure I owe you another round before I retire.

In no way do I consider ISO 1600+ ideal, there are definite drawbacks but it is the only choice in many situations. A few days ago I took photos of friends playing a small concert in a dimly lit bar. It was very crowded and a tripod would have been awkward to use. Flash would probably have got me thrown out. I switched to ISO 1600 and got a few shots. One of them turned out to be this photo which I was very satisfied with:

Robin's Egg Blue | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

This is not a rare situation for me. I'd say a quarter to a third of my favorite photographs were shot in situations where high ISO was required. It was either that or no shot at all. That shot at ISO 100 would have required a shutter speed of roughly 1 second. Or it would have required an extremely expensive 135mm f1.4 lens. I'm curious as to what you would have done in a situation where a 135mm f3.5 lens at ISO 1600 and 1/45 shutter speed was required to grab proper exposure.

This second photo was shot in Fuerza Bruta. I was standing in a mass of people who were constantly moving. Flash photography and tripod use were prohibited:

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The man was running at full speed and there were scraps of paper being shot at him. I needed a shutter speed of 1/2000 to grab this shot. Perhaps 1/2000 was a bit excessive but it definitely required at least 1/1000 in that situation. Either way, ISO 100 was not feasible.

This is another shot I got in a restaurant with poor ambient light:
Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I can pull out tons more examples of my favorite photos that were taken at ISO 1600. I think you'd be hard pressed to make the case that any of them could have been possible on low ISO. Furthermore, is the noise so bad that it ruins the photo? I think these "noisy" ISO 1600 photos were the best possible outcome of the situations. To me, it was either that, blurry photos, extremely underexposed photos, or no photo at all.

Do you seriously think high ISO capability is a crutch? It's a natural progression of digital photography. Just like the capabilities of being able to review/delete photos instantly or faster lenses with faster/more accurate auto focusing. Would you consider AF a crutch? What about fast f1.2/1.0 lenses? You do own a digital body, right?

Edit: Just checked for certain to see that 17 of my 33 favorite photos were shot at ISO 1600. Of the 16 shots that weren't shot in ISO 1600, 4 were shot on the Canon XSI, a camera with very poor high ISO performance. Seven of the 16 photos that weren't shot at ISO 1600 were shot in ISO 800, which you would consider high ISO as well. That leaves only 9 photos out of 33 of my best photos that were shot on ISO 400 or lower.
I understand your and “derridales’ reasons for using high ISO, it’s just not something that I would choose to do. (And no I don’t have a DLSR and never will)

The point I want to make is that there are always alternatives; people have taken photos in dark clubs and other places for decades, way before high IOS digital. So yes high ISO in my opinion can be a crutch, as too many DLRS users over do it when it’s not needed.

In your case your indoor shoots are very good, so yes high ISO was viable for you. As a film user I would have to use my K50/1.2, K85/1.8 or K135/2.5, 400 ISO film, shoot close to wide open and rest my camera on a ledge or against a wall if I can’t use a tripod. I’ve done it and yes it may seem archaic, but it can work. That’s what I love about film, is the challenges that certain lighting conditions can bring. Cranking up the ISO makes it too easy and would be less fun, that’s just my opinion!

Otherwise as a film user you accept lighting conditions are not great and try again later. Because you’re just going to end up with ‘average’ shots at best.

Phil.
08-08-2010, 10:23 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I understand your and ďderridalesí reasons for using high ISO, itís just not something that I would choose to do. (And no I donít have a DLSR and never will)

The point I want to make is that there are always alternatives; people have taken photos in dark clubs and other places for decades, way before high IOS digital. So yes high ISO in my opinion can be a crutch, as too many DLRS users over do it when itís not needed.

In your case your indoor shoots are very good, so yes high ISO was viable for you. As a film user I would have to use my K50/1.2, K85/1.8 or K135/2.5, 400 ISO film, shoot close to wide open and rest my camera on a ledge or against a wall if I canít use a tripod. Iíve done it and yes it may seem archaic, but it can work. Thatís what I love about film, is the challenges that certain lighting conditions can bring. Cranking up the ISO makes it too easy and would be less fun, thatís just my opinion!

Otherwise as a film user you accept lighting conditions are not great and try again later. Because youíre just going to end up with Ďaverageí shots at best.

Phil.

this is probably the biggest difference between film and dlsr and I can understand why some people still choose to shoot film instead of going digital. until the time that digital results would be able to replicate what a film camera does, I believe there would be a lot of people that would be more than happy to do the transition. I'm not dismissing or saying that there are no great images shot with digital but rather saying that the new technology has not yet reached that point of being as good as the film ones.
08-08-2010, 11:35 PM   #42
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QuoteQuote:
I'm not dismissing or saying that there are no great images shot with digital but rather saying that the new technology has not yet reached that point of being as good as the film ones.
Heheh Boy oh boy - that one is REALLY opening a Pandora's Box for argument...! But I'm biting my tongue and refusing to bite (ouch)

(facetious sarcasm mode on)

One could make arguments that candle light is more pleasant to the eye than incandescent bulbs, and so refuse to move into the era of the electric light bulb. And countless other reasons not to move with the times. But as I said - I'm trying hard not to bite, so I'll just pop off and listen to some wax cylinders and relax, light a couple of candles as it is approaching dark here, and load up a few flash-powder trays for my plate-backed camera in case I need them tonight....

(wry sarcasm mode off - sorry)...
08-08-2010, 11:56 PM   #43
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OK I give up. That was my last shot.
08-09-2010, 12:21 AM   #44
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and some people don't get it as well. sarcasm what?
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