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02-23-2016, 07:09 PM - 1 Like   #1
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noise when there shouldn't be noise

Greetings,
I have been shooting with a K3 for about 1.5 years now...almost all of my work is done in a tv studio shooting jazz musicians recording a show 3-4 times a month. I am accustomed to working with varying light situations (mostly dim and I am required to be anywhere from 15-25 feet away from the players) and for some time I have been able to figure out what my limits are as far as noise in photos and my ability to process.

In the last two sessions it seems that I am getting an inordinate amount of noise in all of my shots. this week when viewing at 100% I had high noise levels in several shots taken in good light, allowing me to shoot at ISO 200, 1/160, f5. these particular shots were taken using a pentax 77mm on the K3, but the presence of more-than-usual noise came with all of my lenses(sigma 24mm, pentax 16-50mm, tamron 90mm, pentax 14mm). It wasn't anything I couldn't process especially as the pictures are generally used by the players for social media etc. but it surprised me and I felt the quality of my work was considerably lower than I shoot for.
I am shooting RAW and always without flash.

can a damaged sensor increase noise levels like this across the board?

02-23-2016, 07:30 PM   #2
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Can you post some samples?

ISO 200 will have a little bit of noise by default, and if you're underexposing and then lifting shadows, that would generate additional noise.

Adam
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02-23-2016, 07:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tandrew Quote
...I am getting an inordinate amount of noise in all of my shots... ... I am shooting RAW and always without flash.
One common reason for this with RAW is where the images are underexposed the developer compensates for it.

That said, one way to rule out hardware would be to setup a few shots in a controlled setting and give the images a good going over. ie, leaving all of the sliders at 0 and looking at the histograms and pixel quality then moving forward from there.
02-23-2016, 08:55 PM   #4
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Long shot might be worth a try.

Check White Balance Adjustable Range Menu item C2 10 on K-5 IIs, not sure what on K-3. I have found with this setting on, I got a lot of colour noise at low EV when photographing grey cards, to the point where a grey card actually looked blue even in RAW and using manual white balance. Set to off (Option 2) and presto Grey cards came out grey/black at all exposures. This is a setting that overrides even manual White Balance. I really don't know what is useful for. I have not seen any noticeable effects in normal scenes

02-24-2016, 01:31 AM   #5
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FYI, low iso noise reduction is effective with shutter speeds slower than 1 seconds. Having it activated at faster shutter speeds actually worsen the noise up to double the level without noise reduction. I don't know if this is the problem, but it could be. Other thing comes to my mind, I already experienced jumps in noise level at iso200 in decent day light and the reason was the effect of the pixel interpolation algorithm when the image is being displayed, if I cropped the same image by 1 pixel, and interpolation again, the noise was completely gone!
02-24-2016, 05:21 AM   #6
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Look at this thread for another plausible reason:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/38-photographic-technique/313736-image-no...s-cameras.html
02-24-2016, 12:50 PM   #7
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thanks for everyone's feedback...I don't have samples to send because I usually delete them after processing and sending out, however, almost all of the information everyone shared has a piece of the puzzle. the question of sensor temperature is interesting also I do underexpose and then lift shadows. also, somehow, don't remember doing it, i had selected shadow correction in the menu..normally I keep it off. I don't use in-camera noise-reduction just because I figure it is giving the camera one more task to do that I can do later....any opinions on whether or not the in-camera NR is worth using? have another session in a few weeks and I will try to pay special attention to setting up some shots that may reveal more possibilities. very grateful for all help.
02-24-2016, 08:16 PM   #8
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I am somewhat surprised and also have some questions. You say you are shooting in a TV studio and mostly in low lights. My experience is that most TV studio shots have much more light than normal club scenes. And you also state you are shooting at about 200 ISO which suggests either under exposure in poor lights,mor you have enough light, again a contradiction. Is it possible you have stopped down excessively where you need to pull detail out of the muck?

As for noise in general, how are you shooting, viewfinder or live view. Live view can heat up the sensor and add noise

02-24-2016, 09:19 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I am somewhat surprised and also have some questions. You say you are shooting in a TV studio and mostly in low lights. My experience is that most TV studio shots have much more light than normal club scenes. And you also state you are shooting at about 200 ISO which suggests either under exposure in poor lights,mor you have enough light, again a contradiction. Is it possible you have stopped down excessively where you need to pull detail out of the muck?

As for noise in general, how are you shooting, viewfinder or live view. Live view can heat up the sensor and add noise
Hi Lowell,
well the studio is bright of course, but the lights are high and quite a distance away from the stage...we just moved to a new studio which is more like a performance hall from our original tv studio so I am having to adjust but normal settings range from iso 400-1600, f1.7-f4, and 1/100 -1/160. I am working at a distance from the players most of the time. My mention of shooting at iso 200 was for a series of shots with higher than normal lighting...I am not normally able to shoot with iso that low. also, I expect noise at iso 800 and up and have learned to work with it but my recent shoots have seen increased noise at iso 400 as well as the 200 experience. I use view finder, never live view. I know that my personal tendency is to underexpose because I find it more suitable to my work. on the stage there will be performers with widely varying skin tones, widely varying colorful or contrasting clothing...some young and some older with white hair and balding heads....all of which are easier for me to work with in processing when I start out with a lightly underexposed image. trying to attach image of current work environment.IMGP9440.jpg
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02-24-2016, 09:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I am somewhat surprised and also have some questions. You say you are shooting in a TV studio and mostly in low lights. My experience is that most TV studio shots have much more light than normal club scenes. And you also state you are shooting at about 200 ISO which suggests either under exposure in poor lights,mor you have enough light, again a contradiction. Is it possible you have stopped down excessively where you need to pull detail out of the muck?

As for noise in general, how are you shooting, viewfinder or live view. Live view can heat up the sensor and add noise
it is not ruining my work, just presenting me with some editing problems that are new to me. even when working with the worst elements I can generally salvage a decent picture if it has good bones. I'm attaching what I consider to be an example of that statement.IMGP9576.jpg
thanks for your interest, after yours and others' notes, I'm beginning to think the problem is that the exposure I used in the tv studio is not going to work in this situation and I need to work on changing those levels at the site. In the real tv studio there were a lot more lights and I was a lot closer.
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02-26-2016, 12:07 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tandrew Quote
it is not ruining my work, just presenting me with some editing problems that are new to me. even when working with the worst elements I can generally salvage a decent picture if it has good bones. I'm attaching what I consider to be an example of that statement.IMGP9576.jpg
thanks for your interest, after yours and others' notes, I'm beginning to think the problem is that the exposure I used in the tv studio is not going to work in this situation and I need to work on changing those levels at the site. In the real tv studio there were a lot more lights and I was a lot closer.
A tough cookie indeed.
Did you intend to focus on the keyboard player in this particular shot?
Whatever the case, and without seeing the original RAW, I'd say the effects NR on this image is nothing short of substantial imo.
02-26-2016, 07:31 AM   #12
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Here is an unedited jpg. iso 400, f2.8 1/160 16-50 pentax at 36mm. edited in lightroom which I think does a reasonably good job with NR but I am going to invest in Noise Ninja and get a little more serious about dealing with that issue. I could send a dropbox link for RAW if you are interested. as far as my focus I don't remember exactly, though I would have been giving consideration to some area that would increase the chances of both being in focus as clearly as possible. I frequently line up two players and take several pictures with focus on front player, then back player, then trying to get a dof that will make them both clear. that being said I may have had to focus on the music on his stand just to get my lens to auto focusIMGP9576.jpg
please keep in mind that I am not trying to get tack-sharp photos, or even close in most instances (though I like it when it happens) I am mostly trying to get photos that have some dynamic emotional content that they can use for promotional purposes on their professional FB pages and I can hopefully put on my own gallery.
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02-26-2016, 10:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tandrew Quote
Here is an unedited jpg. iso 400, f2.8 1/160 16-50 pentax at 36mm. edited in lightroom which I think does a reasonably good job with NR but I am going to invest in Noise Ninja and get a little more serious about dealing with that issue.
that shot is seriously underexposed, it's going to be tough to get it really clean.

i can see the point to it tho, if you don't want to blow out the reflections, but you need to be working with files that have much better latitude capability than what you'll get with a crop camera.

645z would dominate there, and the k-1 would also be much better(based on my a7r experience), sony a7s/a7sii would rock, i think that nikon also has a good low-light camera... some of the sony cameras also have a silent shutter option that's great for a live sound situation.

try evaluating dxo prime, along with nn, you'll be amazed at the difference between that and lightroom, but it's going to take some computer cpu cycles.
02-26-2016, 10:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
that shot is seriously underexposed, it's going to be tough to get it really clean.

i can see the point to it tho, if you don't want to blow out the reflections, but you need to be working with files that have much better latitude capability than what you'll get with a crop camera.

645z would dominate there, and the k-1 would also be much better(based on my a7r experience), sony a7s/a7sii would rock, i think that nikon also has a good low-light camera... some of the sony cameras also have a silent shutter option that's great for a live sound situation.

try evaluating dxo prime, along with nn, you'll be amazed at the difference between that and lightroom, but it's going to take some computer cpu cycles.
I almost just threw it away but pulled it up and just messed around with and got a reasonably useful and expressive photo...most of the time, when it is this underexposed, it won't work out. I tried to explain to my wife that a 645z would solve a lot of my problems and even make me a better husband (I even said there were studies that husbands who have a 645z are more loving, sensitive and do better plumbing)...she hasn't gotten back to me yet on that idea I will look into dxo prime...thanks for your note
02-26-2016, 10:30 AM   #15
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My experience is that as long as the exposure is within -3EV, there is little noise penalty but beyond that there is going to be some noise. IMHO, the example you have shown here is more than 3EV underexposed. I use Silkypix for RAW development, and when I see the "auto-expo" slider moves to +3EV, the image in JPG will have some noise. But when it is within -3EV, the noise is hardly noticeable in JPG (from RAW).
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