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11-25-2016, 07:40 PM - 1 Like   #1
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What's your Auto ISO limit?

Just kind of curious. Shot some test shots, and I've done some real-world shooting. I think I've settled on an upper-end of ISO 20,000. Interestingly, I don't think I'd ever be happy with results beyond that ISO. With my K-30, I'd frequently vary my ISO, turning shots at 6400 into Black and White photos to deal with the colour noise, but ISO was something I kept a tight leash on because it heavily affected my impression of an image.

With the K-1 however, there's simply a much slower degradation of quality. I think a big part of this is the lower rate of colour noise, and the much higher relative rate of luminance noise, which feels more filmic to me. If I jump to ISO 25,600 though, my steps to combat luminance and colour noise compromise the image sharpness for me, and the image never 'feels sharp enough' to begin with.

Thoughts?

11-25-2016, 07:54 PM   #2
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I only use auto iso in TAv at airshows so I'm the wrong man to ask
11-25-2016, 08:17 PM   #3
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6400. Even that's pushing it for my tolerances on the K1. On my K3 it was 1600.

I'm mainly shooting wildlife in TAv mode, and you lose fur and feathers pretty quick.
11-25-2016, 09:03 PM   #4
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I set mine at 3200...

11-25-2016, 09:24 PM   #5
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3200 for the K1, and 1600 for the K3 and K-01 for normal use. Sometimes I will go to 6400 on the K1.
11-25-2016, 09:39 PM - 1 Like   #6
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6400 for the K3. I can cope with digital noise after the event where necessary. The more flexibility I have the better. It's almost impossible for me to have less when hand holding with a 300mm lens in less than optimal conditions.
11-25-2016, 09:40 PM   #7
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800 on the K-3. If I can't get the shot hand-held at 800 with SR on, I need to rethink my strategy.
11-25-2016, 09:52 PM   #8
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Depending on what I'm shooting and how I expect the image to be used. 3200 is a safe ISO. At ISO 800 is pretty much matches anything Canon has at base ISO. I have no issue with 100-800 and don't really get concerned unit I hit 3200. Obviously I shoot at 100 with strobes and don't use auto-ISO often. If I was shooting for B&W I wouldn't worry about 6400.

11-25-2016, 10:22 PM - 4 Likes   #9
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6400. 12800 or even 25600 if I'm at a concert type event with garbage lighting and quick movement - I'd rather get the shot without motion blur and have some grain than have a smooth useless shot.
11-26-2016, 01:29 AM   #10
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I let the camera take the decision up to 1600 with Auto ISO parameters set to "slow". Anything above that I set manually when necessary.
11-26-2016, 01:58 AM - 1 Like   #11
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To some extent, I think we've been spoiled by high ISO performance of our digital cameras. When you look back at the work of some of the great photographers of the film era, a lot of their photos are quite grainy because of the film used, and in many cases there is nothing like the detail we routinely expect from even entry-level DSLRs and lenses. What mattered back then was the captured image, and for me that's still what really matters. I'd suggest that's also what the majority of the viewing public find most important too. It's usually only us digital photographers that get hung up on noise / grain, tiny processing artefacts, loss of the finest details and lack of critical sharpness, and it often leads to rather sterile-looking output, in my opinion (I've been as bad as anyone else in this regard, admittedly!).

On that basis, I tend to leave my Auto ISO limit at 51,200 on my K-3 and K-3II on the basis that any captured shot has a better chance of being useable than no shot at all. I do have a few keepers that were shot above ISO 25,600. If I were using the K-1, I guess I would still stick at 51,200 but expect to get some useable shots all the way up to that limit...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 11-26-2016 at 02:44 AM.
11-26-2016, 01:59 AM   #12
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Iso 3200 with K5 if I want to make prints (20x30 cm) . They comes out without visible noise. But that's my ultimate resource when I shoot handheld, Because I much prefer low Iso+ tripod.
11-26-2016, 02:36 AM   #13
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FWIW, according to DxOMark, ISO 3280 will still give you a high quality image with the K-1 - ie better high ISO performance than ANY Nikon or Canon in their database.

Personally, I am comfortable with auto ISO up to ISO 6400, but have been known to let it roam higher too.
11-26-2016, 03:35 AM   #14
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Mr Pentax sets the auto ISO to 3200 in the green mode. I have usable shots of a flag at 25,600 just to try it, but I don't think I would be happy with an 11x14. 8x10 is fine.
11-26-2016, 06:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
To some extent, I think we've been spoiled by high ISO performance of our digital cameras. When you look back at the work of some of the great photographers of the film era, a lot of their photos are quite grainy because of the film used, and in many cases there is nothing like the detail we routinely expect from even entry-level DSLRs and lenses. What mattered back then was the captured image, and for me that's still what really matters. I'd suggest that's also what the majority of the viewing public find most important too. It's usually only us digital photographers that get hung up on noise / grain, tiny processing artefacts, loss of the finest details and lack of critical sharpness, and it often leads to rather sterile-looking output, in my opinion (I've been as bad as anyone else in this regard, admittedly!)
Interesting that - I totally agree with you - for most types of photography IQis secondary to interestingness or emotional impact - but the legacy of a couple of decades spent (seriously) shooting film has left me very conservative with ISOs - also, the fact is that grain is more attractive than noise - so I keep ISOs as low as possible, topping out at 3200 usually, and even that only for the freedom of handholding at night - maybe I should be a bit more adventurous - I don't know - but I don't much like the look of noise, which tend to be worse in the circumstances where you need high ISOs that in lab tests.
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