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05-15-2011, 07:53 AM   #1
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What ASA do you use?

What is your "default" ASA?
I realize that you will change your ASA dependent on what you're shooting, but do you always leave it at 100 and change as needed? Shoot at 400 and then use noise reducing software?
Thanks

05-15-2011, 07:58 AM   #2
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For outdoors, I leave it at 200. Sometimes I may boost it up to 400 so that i can get F/8 to maximize sharpness.
For indoors, I change it so that my shutter speed is around 1/50 to reduce blur. However, it does create a lot of noise, but it can be dealt with in PP.
05-15-2011, 08:03 AM   #3
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I'm guessing you're a film guy from use of the term "ASA" (it's ISO now), and from the expectation that 400 would be noisy enough to benefit from NR. But for me it's simple - shoot at the lowest ISO that gives fast enough shutter speeds. Generally, that's 100 outdoors in good light, sometimes 200-400 with telephotos if it's not bright and sunny, and 1600 indoors.
05-15-2011, 08:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I'm guessing you're a film guy from use of the term "ASA" (it's ISO now), and from the expectation that 400 would be noisy enough to benefit from NR. But for me it's simple - shoot at the lowest ISO that gives fast enough shutter speeds. Generally, that's 100 outdoors in good light, sometimes 200-400 with telephotos if it's not bright and sunny, and 1600 indoors.
I'm going to chime in with the old "yeah, what he said". I go with whatever the conditions are when I'm shooting...

05-15-2011, 10:50 AM   #5
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I usually leave it at 400 most of the time since I will post process anyway.
05-15-2011, 11:06 AM   #6
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I usually use the lowest I can get away with to suit the shooting conditions, with that in mind many Pentax cameras have an TAv mode which automatically sets the sensitivity (ISO) for a given aperture / shutter speed combination.

Give it a try and see if it works for you.
05-15-2011, 11:38 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice

I appreciate all of the advice, I don't want to miss a shot because I'm too proud to ask for help.

I've been leaving it on 100 as a default at all times and that is not working out for me.

Thanks again
05-15-2011, 12:03 PM   #8
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As others have already said: It surely depends....

For me, the ISO setting depends much on the lens that I carry. I often walk around in nature, looking for "shots of opportunity", with my old, rather slow 300 mm f/5.6 lens. For such occasions, where light and shadow will be ever changing, I have, as a kind of "survival strategy", the camera in P-mode and ISO at 320. (At this time of the year).

05-15-2011, 01:23 PM   #9
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Unless I'm using a flash, I usually let the camera decide which ISO to use between a set range.

On the K-5, ISO 80 has the best chance of getting you the largest dynamic range in your photo. In general a lower ISO would be better if the conditions allow for it.

ASA is no longer used. While it might be a more technically correct acronym, ISO is used by everyone including the camera manufacturers now. The K-5 and K-7 for example have dedicated "ISO" buttons.
05-15-2011, 01:36 PM   #10
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I'm usually more concerned about aperture and shutter speed so I let the camera select iso for me by leaving it in auto.
Not sure what camera you are using but with the k-x and k-5 that I have I set the top limit to about 3200 in the auto range and don't usually have a problem with too much noise.
Previously with my k10 and k7 that was not an option and had to be more concerned about iso setting.
I don't do much pp at this point and have never done after shot noise reduction (still learning.)
05-15-2011, 02:54 PM   #11
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My cameras are normally on the lowest possible number. I'll try handholding at 1/8 sec. before raising ISO. It's a habit from using an older DSLR and ineffective NR software.

When I do start raising ISO, I start paying more attention to exposure, because brightening the image in processing is a lot like raising ISO - it increases noise. Better exposure when shooting means less processing work.

With newer cameras, noise can be really obvious when you see the image on a computer screen, especially at 100%. Remember that you are rarely going to print something as large as that, or look at it that closely, so prints won't show so much noise.
05-15-2011, 03:42 PM   #12
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If I'm outside on a bright sunny day with no clouds, I'll usually leave it at 100. If it's a day when the sun is in and out, I set it on auto. Inside, I use 100 if I'm using flash, otherwise I let the camera decide.
05-15-2011, 04:44 PM   #13
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Marc's advice is right on and just about every modern photo book also recommends using the lowest ISO needed to get the shot. My ideal would be 100 for everything but in the real world we all know that won't work. High ISO shooting improves with every new camera and sensor but the lower the better rule still holds true.
05-15-2011, 10:58 PM   #14
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Yes, it depends. Each shot has its own needs.

Yes, slower is often better. (Oh how I miss ASA-12!)

Yes, drama can trump noise. For movement, raise the ISO.

But IMHO, noise looks worse in color and more dramatic in B&W.

In fact, only colors look better in color; everything else is better in B&W.
05-16-2011, 09:08 AM   #15
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With my *ist most photos looked fine at anything under 800 pretty much. I'm a 100-400 ISO person mostly. I don't like any noise in my photos to begin with if I can help it, but there are times when the situation dictates using a higher one and I do have noise reducing post processing software that I can use if need be. But I'm not going to deliberately use a very high ISO if I can help it.
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