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05-04-2021, 12:25 PM   #1
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high ISO number and making prints question

way back when my dad taught me that a high ASA ( (IS0 ) number film meant problems when attempting to make large prints

now we use cameras with ISO numbers off the top

what is the effect of using such numbers when attempting to print the image

can any one help out a confused member who has tried to keep the ISO number low in the past but now wonders what happens when he lets the K 3 III go wild with the ISO numbers

ps I am used to make large canvas prints of photos from Tanzania and Yellowstone

05-04-2021, 02:03 PM   #2
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Depends on the camera, depends on the processing...

I would say that you might get the same quality from the K-3III at ISO 3200, as what you used to get from your K-3 at ISO 800... but it all depends on whether you compensate for exposure, etc. If you print frequently, you start to knowing by looking at the amount of details and the noise, and make a good guess at how large you could print.
05-04-2021, 02:09 PM   #3
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Still keeping the ISO number low is the best practice, however in some cases ISO 200 may be a better choice than 100- depends on the "highlights".

Many of the forum camera reviews show comparisons of the same photo taken using different ISO settings; high ISO on a digital shows "noise"- what you would have called in film "grain".
05-04-2021, 02:25 PM   #4
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I would think that with the texture of canvas you could probably get away with using a higher ISO but then I am just guessing. I would almost be tempted to get some test prints made for cheap from a place like shutterfly or other inexpensive internet printer. Shoot at a bunch of different ISOs crop to 100% for a 5x7 or 4x6 (pick the cheapest and sometimes a 5x7 is the cheaper option) and in the bottom right put some text in the crop that specifies the ISO. Now you have some test shots with actual real data/results to look at.

05-04-2021, 02:29 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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I'll take a first stab at this. [Well, when I started writing it, it would have been the first stab. I'm a slow typist.] Others will no doubt expand on it. There are some similarities between high ISO problems with film and with digital. With film, the higher the ASA (ISO) rating, the bigger the silver grains in the film emulsion. The bigger the grains, the less resolution you get. Images can look 'grainy'. This is more noticeable the bigger a print is. A lot has to do with film brand and how it's processed. For me, I could shoot Ilford HP5 (ASA 400) and push process it to ASA 800, and still get finer grain than Kodak Tri-X (ASA 400) processed at 400. That was a consistent result, not a one off. Of course, processed at 400 the HP5 looked even better.

With digital sensors it's not grain size but electronic noise. Crank up a cheap audio amplifier and you'll hear hiss in the background. Even expensive amplifiers may have some at extreme volumes. It's the nature of the beast. Cranking up the ISO on a digital camera has the same effect. It creates image 'hiss' (noise) that shows up in pictures. How much of this you deem acceptable is based on individual tastes. It does affect resolution (sharpness) and can affect colors as well. This is referred to as luminance noise and chroma noise.

In my case, I found that if I turned up ISO beyond 400 on my K10D, the amount of image noise was unacceptable to me. On my K-5IIs, I'm good up to ISO 1600. I have my KP set to max out at ISO 6400 right now. So as sensors and camera image processors improve, the 'useable' range of ISOs gets larger for a lot of people. Some cameras have built-in, adjustable noise reduction capabilities. There is also computer software for fixing (or at least improving) image noise. Topaz De-Noise is just one example.

Besides image noise, a general rule of thumb is that as ISO goes up, dynamic range goes down. This is the camera's ability to capture detail in the lightest and darkest areas of an image. Decreasing dynamic range can be considered to be decreasing image quality, depending on the subject. Some cameras have settings for highlight and shadow correction which may help to some extent.

The bottom line - shoot at as low an ISO as the scene will allow to get the best image quality. What is an 'acceptable' ISO limit for the K-3 III? Hundreds of opinions to follow.
05-04-2021, 02:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
The bottom line - shoot at as low an ISO as the scene will allow to get the best image quality.
Nice summary! I would offer only the following: when you can, shoot at the camera's base ISO, which isn't alway a camera's lowest ISO. Here's a

Last edited by EssJayEff; 05-04-2021 at 03:11 PM.
05-04-2021, 03:15 PM   #7
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The prints usually appear as what the image looks like on computer when I view/review it, including zooming.
05-04-2021, 03:15 PM   #8
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Original Poster
thanks for the responses

QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
. . . What is an 'acceptable' ISO limit for the K-3 III? Hundreds of opinions to follow.

in my experience, every one has opinions

well formed opinions can be a different matter however

most of my photos will never be seen ( lucky for me ) some will be here at the forums or at my flickr.com account

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pre69cubfan/albums

a very few will be at my house, we don't get a lot of visitors

and some may make it to my wife's office

in the past, I have acted like my DSLR are film and kept the ISO numbers down as much as possible

so i am just trying to gain knowledge

and figure out what the maximum ISO that I can get with the K 3 III actually gets me

QuoteQuote:
Minimum ISO 100
Maximum ISO 1600000
ISO Range 100 - 1,600,000
Read more at: Pentax K-3 III - Pentax K-mount DSLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

05-04-2021, 03:24 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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Tri-x is an excellent example of how film grain is not like digital noise. I loved tri-x because of the grain, not despite it.
05-04-2021, 05:40 PM   #10
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To me photos that show some noise on a computer screen never seem to print that way unless they're printed glossy. Another thing to consider is a new camera today, shooting at ISO 6400 may actually produce less noise than an older camera at ISO 100. I still shoot at the lowest ISO I can, rarely exceeding ISO 3200.
05-04-2021, 09:13 PM - 3 Likes   #11
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An awful lot depends on what effect you want. This shot was made with the basic K-3 at ISO 25600. It was intentional pushed into high contrast and made b&w. I have printed copies at 13x19 hanging a couple of places.

Your tolerance for iso will vary with intent.

IMGP58932_DxO by -vanya_42nd-

Last edited by UncleVanya; 6 Days Ago at 07:42 AM.
6 Days Ago   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
This shot
?????
6 Days Ago   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
?????
Lol. I thought I posted it. I have fixed it.
6 Days Ago   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
An awful lot depends on what effect you want. This shot was made with the basic K-3 at ISO 25600. It was intentional pushed into high contrast and made b&w.
I've done the same with some shots I've taken and they've turned out nice as well. However I was going for that effect and also did the high contrast B&W conversion.
6 Days Ago   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
I've done the same with some shots I've taken and they've turned out nice as well. However I was going for that effect and also did the high contrast B&W conversion.
Exactly. But my overall point is that you can use iso as a tool itís not a simple cutoff of - here ends quality output. Thereís nuance to the way it interacts with your intent.
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