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10-17-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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Get rid of noise?

How you can get rid of noise?
I'm taking pictures of volleyball match.
Inside there aren't light enought. I can't use flash, because it's interfaces players.
Pictures are noisy when I have to use ISO value 3200 and more, so I can get not so dark pictures.
My camera is Pentax Kx with Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/koponmi-albums-volleyball-picture32823.jpg]



Last edited by koponmi; 10-22-2011 at 03:32 AM. Reason: picture added
10-18-2011, 12:23 AM   #2
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You can do several things, many of which cost money. Indoor sports is really hard to shoot well on an budget.
1. (purchase) Buy a large-aperture lens, such as a 70-200 f/2.8. That will give you 2 stops more light and consequently let you lower your iso from say 3200 to 800. The K-x is great up to 800.
2. (purchase) Or buy the K-5, which has less high-ISO noise. The K-x is not bad though.

3. (technique) make sure you get ample exposure to begin with. Noise is less visible on bright pictures without large dark patches. I usually dial in +1 exposure compensation in low light shooting.
4. (technique) Try to stay in the 70mm end of your lens. It lets in more light at the 70mm end. You'll miss some shots of the far action on that account though. Maybe you can move around the court more to compensate.
5. (technique) Accept a lowish shutter speed like 1/250 and try to make the best of it by capturing players in the apex of their jumps. You'll get considerable hand and ball blur though, but you'll also capture a few sharp faces and torsos. Shoot and delete lots.
6. (technique) Turn up the noise reduction camera setting. You might like it better that way, especially for small pictures published on websites. It might not work so well for prints, I don't know.

Sincerely,
--Anders.
10-18-2011, 12:33 AM   #3
hcc
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I shoot also volleyball, often in poorly lighted sport halls. I have a K-7 with is less performant than the K-x at high ISO, and I have a few tricks to shoot VB without flash.

First technique: i shoot with ISO up to 3200 and I PP the photographs on computer in terms of using PDCU or Noiseware. Both give good results, but I prefer the feeling of Noiseware.

Second technique: use a fast prime. I shot VB with a VL58mm f1.4, a FA31mm f1.8, Tmaron SP90mm f2.8 and a CZ85mm f1.4. Using the largest aperture (f1.8 ot 1.4), I get my best results. I typically work in MF mode + Hi continous shooting. I set the focal fistance manually and I shoot a burst at a time. This works nicely when I sit along the lines. Knowing that the court is 9 m by 9m, it is easy to set the right focal distances.

Another technique with fast MF lenses (f1.4) is to use Catch in focus (CIF) with Hi continuous shooting.

Altogether I got my best keepers using MF + Hi continuous shooting wide open with a fast prime (f1.4). I enclose two examples below. (All taken without flash off course!)

Hope that the comments will help.

10-18-2011, 12:56 AM   #4
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If you'd like to get rid of noise in PP I'd look into Topaz Denoise, an excellent noise-reduction plugin:
Topaz DeNoise - Remove Noise, Recover Detail


Adam
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10-18-2011, 01:10 AM   #5
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I am a novice in DSLR field and photography. So I cannot give sophisticated recommendations. However, I think there is no simple solution to your problem. From my experience with K-x, I can say that ISO 1600 is the maximum level. Upper this level the noise becomes quite visible, although it can still be tolerable for night photo and similar photo. I presume that ISO 1600 could be the maximum for sport photo. Unfortunately, it means that you should compensate the lower ISO either by slower shutter speed or wider aperture. As you are shooting sport events (fast moving objects) and using large focal length (up to 300 mm or 450 mm in 35 mm film equivalent), you are very limited in the lower limit for shutter speed. I think that slowest acceptable shutter speed can be 1/000 or even faster. So actually the only parameter to alter remains aperture. I do not know lightning conditions in in-door volley ball matches. I guess that necessary exposure might be 8-9 EV (Wikipedia info) or even lower. To reach such an exposure value at ISO 1600 and shutter speed 1/1000 you should use aperture F2 ... F2.8. Unfortunately, your lens do not provide so wide aperture. Moreover, at F2 … F2.8 and focal length 300 mm the DOF will be very shallow. If the distance to object is about 50 m, the length of DOF will be only about 2.24 m. It might be to shallow if you want that not only the ball or sportsman is sharp.
Therefore there is no simple solution. Actually, the only solution is to seek some trade-off between quality of image and available combination of parameters of exposure. You can:
1) use higher ISO and accept some noise, for example, ISO 3200 allows using aperture F2.8-F4 (still unavailable for your lens at 300 mm), IS0 6400 allows using aperture F4-F5.6 (F5.6 is available for your lens at 300 mm but the image might not be sharp);
2) use smaller focal length that allows you to use slower shutter speed as well as improves DOF. For example focal length 70 mm (105 mm in 35 mm film equivalent) might reduce the limit for shutter speed to 1/250 or even 1/200. At shutter speed 1/250 and ISO 1600 the necessary aperture to reach exposure value 8-9 EV will be F4-F5.6. Such apertures your lens provide at focal length 70 mm. The drawback is that such wide apertures might cause not sharp image. However, at F4 and focal length 70 mm the length of DOF is about 243 m if the distance to object is about 50 m. So, theoretically, the image should be quite sharp. However, the theoretical DOF can differ from practical. The second problem is that focal length 70 mm does not allows you to take close-ups.

May be, experienced users can suggest more professional solutions.
10-18-2011, 01:50 AM   #6
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One of the easiest ways to get rid of noise is to just accept that under some conditions noise is part of the package and accept that there is nothing you can do about it. It's not like as if a little noise will ruin a good picture, though it might detract from a bad one.
10-18-2011, 05:16 AM   #7
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Topaz Denoise does work wonders, but Lightroom and even the Pentax Utility have pretty good noise reduction. You just need to play with the settings.
10-18-2011, 11:20 AM   #8
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I see no photos from the OP to illustrate what is BAD therefore it is very hard to comment. For me coming from film I accepted the *istD performance because I got shots that were impossible on film I personally don't understand the noise issue. While chips are better today than the *istD and all but the K10D have had improved high ISO performance I think the expectation of same as daylight performance when you can't see your hand in front of your face is unrealistic.

Dial back your expectations a bit and concentrate on exposure and accept that you can do things today that were not possible 10 years ago

END of RANT

10-18-2011, 05:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
If you'd like to get rid of noise in PP I'd look into Topaz Denoise, an excellent noise-reduction plugin:
Topaz DeNoise - Remove Noise, Recover Detail
Topaz DeNoise is excellent. So is Nik Dfine. Just about all the plugins from both companies are quality products, but for noise I'm leaning towards Nik these days.
10-18-2011, 07:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by koponmi Quote
How you can get rid of noise?
I'm taking pictures of volleyball match.
Inside there aren't light enought. I can't use flash, because it's interfaces players.
Pictures are noisy when I have to use ISO value 3200 and more, so I can get not so dark pictures.
My camera is Pentax Kx with Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 LD Di macro
You might want to post some pictures so everyone can know what you consider excessive noise. It may be that you just have unrealistic expectations. Your camera has very low noise compared to most older models, but there are still limits to what it's capable of.

Paul
10-18-2011, 11:41 PM   #11
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Shoot RAW. You can get at least one stop of exposure in RAW that is not available because of the limited tones in JPEG - 256 vs 4096 is a lot of wiggle room. I recently shot a whole hockey game at two stops underexposed with my K10. I got decent JPEGS out of the raw images after adding two stops in Lightroom 3.5. I consider the K10 to be in extremis at any ISO over 280, personally.
10-19-2011, 10:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I shoot also volleyball, often in poorly lighted sport halls. I have a K-7 with is less performant than the K-x at high ISO, and I have a few tricks to shoot VB without flash...
I bet you have considered buying the team some white uniforms.

I noticed if I use a sharp lens, I can avoid sharpening steps in processing. Sometimes the sharpening steps sharpen the noise more than anything else, so skipping that helps. That tip might mean buying an expensive lens or just using a prime instead of a zoom.
10-19-2011, 12:53 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I bet you have considered buying the team some white uniforms.
Dave,
As you saw in the above shots, the main team had black jerseys . I would tend to suggest that some colourful jerseys which constrast well with the wall tones and colours can be helpful to some extent.

And you are right: a sharp lens gives better results (thank you VL).

Last edited by hcc; 10-19-2011 at 05:25 PM.
10-20-2011, 04:18 AM   #14
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I use lightroom to process my files and I find the noise reduction possible in that software package to be more than adequate (this is shooting RAW of course).

You would be surprised how much noise goes away with printing. Even fairly noisy photos printed at 8 by 10 size will have most of the noise vanish in the printing process.
10-20-2011, 04:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
Topaz DeNoise is excellent. So is Nik Dfine. Just about all the plugins from both companies are quality products, but for noise I'm leaning towards Nik these days.
I second the vote for Nik Dfine. I really like the fact that you can select where you want to apply noise reduction. I also like their preview system. I was so impressed with Nik Dfine I purchased the complete package. I also have topaz which I use for fast fixes, but when I have a real tough photo you can't beat the flexibility of Nik software.
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