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04-07-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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noise in shadows

Hello, I have a K20D (my first reflex)
Sometimes I obtain photos with a lot of noise in the shadows at isos not much high (320-800). By example if I take a photo of a friend with a black coat, the coat donīt look homogeneous black It looks fully of gray noise. The same happen in the sunset photos, if there are anything black, like a mountain not iluminated by the sun.

Anybody has suffer this problem with the shadows?
Anybody can tell me any trick to avoid this noise (tricks to take the photo or post process tricks) ?

04-07-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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I try to expose to the right (on the histogram) to minimize noise.

I also find my K20D to be quite clean up to ISO 1600 when I do.
04-07-2009, 06:43 PM   #3
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Could we see some sample images to know exactly what you're talking about?
04-07-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fonnyboy Quote
Hello, I have a K20D (my first reflex)
Sometimes I obtain photos with a lot of noise in the shadows at isos not much high (320-800). By example if I take a photo of a friend with a black coat, the coat donīt look homogeneous black It looks fully of gray noise. The same happen in the sunset photos, if there are anything black, like a mountain not iluminated by the sun.

Anybody has suffer this problem with the shadows?
Anybody can tell me any trick to avoid this noise (tricks to take the photo or post process tricks) ?
If you use RAW files (and jpg work as well but always not so good) adjust your backpoint down. you can balance black and bury some of the noise...
It's a lot easier to do then explain...
Using the Photoshop Levels Tool
http://www.sphoto.com/techinfo/histograms/histograms3.htm


Last edited by jeffkrol; 04-07-2009 at 07:36 PM.
04-08-2009, 10:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fonnyboy Quote
Hello, I have a K20D (my first reflex)
Sometimes I obtain photos with a lot of noise in the shadows at isos not much high (320-800). By example if I take a photo of a friend with a black coat, the coat donīt look homogeneous black It looks fully of gray noise. The same happen in the sunset photos, if there are anything black, like a mountain not iluminated by the sun.

Anybody has suffer this problem with the shadows?
Anybody can tell me any trick to avoid this noise (tricks to take the photo or post process tricks) ?
Use the histogram to make sure that you are not cut off at the left side of the diagram. Anything that is off the grid to the left will be noisy. Generous exposure reduces noise significantly. "Expose to the Right" or ETTR is the mantra for this, but make sure you don't overdo it and clip the highlights.

In sunset photos underexposure is quite common because of the bright sky filling most of the meter's viewing area.

You could experiment with adding 1 stop of exposure to your sunset shots and vary the exposure from there.
04-09-2009, 12:56 AM   #6
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you could make HDR images

or you could use multiple exposure mode from the main menu with ev compentation to get 1/4 of the noise (with 9 shots) as long as nothing moves.
04-12-2009, 06:13 PM   #7
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Hello again and thanks to everybody for the answers.
I post a couple of examples of shadow noise with a 100% crop of each one.

The first has been shot at iso 400 and the second at iso 250.


I use to fix it raising the blacks with lightroom, but sometimes itīs too much to do this.

Here by example I could fix the second but not the first raising the blacks.
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04-12-2009, 06:31 PM   #8
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Well, those are very difficult back-light shots! Get between the sun and your subject and you'll get much better results.

04-12-2009, 07:41 PM   #9
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Or just be sure to meter from the subject rather than the very bright background. the background will be overexposed, of course, but your subjects will look far better than they do when you underexpose by this much and try to fix it in PP.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 04-12-2009 at 09:11 PM.
04-12-2009, 07:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Or just be sure to meter from the subject rather than the very birght background. the background will be overexposed, of course, but your subjects will look far better than they do when you underexpose by this much and try to fix it in PP.
Excellent advice from Marc. You could try spot metering the face, pressing AE-L and recomposing, or add +2.0 stops of exposure compensation.
04-12-2009, 08:35 PM   #11
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Wow. I'm not sure what kind of miracles you expect from the camera, but no DSLR I know of would do what you want... :-)
04-12-2009, 09:59 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fonnyboy Quote
Hello again and thanks to everybody for the answers.
I post a couple of examples of shadow noise with a 100% crop of each one.

The first has been shot at iso 400 and the second at iso 250.


I use to fix it raising the blacks with lightroom, but sometimes itīs too much to do this.

Here by example I could fix the second but not the first raising the blacks.
One big error is leaving the DR function on, this will dramatical increase noise in shadows and dark areas. Is DR on on your K20?

Last edited by jamesm007; 04-12-2009 at 10:04 PM.
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