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01-27-2012, 06:55 PM   #1111
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
You know, I really enjoy this thread, but not necessarily for the reasons one might expect. Or maybe just a different way of looking at it. I've expressed thoughts along these lines before, but I have been pondering this more lately and figure I might as well post again.

I get the sense there is a competitive element to a lot of the posts here - "look how good *my* camera is*, or perhaps sometimes "look how good my PP software is", or perhaps even "look how good my skills at operating this equipment are". That actually doesn't bother me as such - I'm as much as a show off as much as the next guy. My reservation would be if people who own camera X were getting the idea that because a shot from camera Y looks better than their own shots, that they must upgrade just to keep up with Joneses. There's an obsession with high ISO shooting ability, and as someone who shoots high ISO a lot, I do understand this. But my own obsession has a fortunate outcome - I've long ago come to realize that virtually *all* DSLR's do *well enough* at high ISO that I just don't care about the differences that much. I care ("obsessively" so) that the results are "good enough", but luckily, they are virtually *always* good enough these days.

I see this thread as a celebration of this. We, as 21st century photographers, can relish in the fact that we now all have access to equipment that can make acceptable images in situations our forebears could have only dreamed of. Or at least, would have shot in but obtained results that pale in comparison to what the least of our DSLR's can do. At posted sizes, pretty much every image here looks great - better than any image every taken at the same ISO or even 1 or 2 stops slower a decade ago. Some look better than others if compared at 100%, but I just don't care. As far as I am concerned, the ISO wars are over, and we photographers won.

With that in mind, here's a random illustration. This happens to be the highest ISO picture I've taken lately - the push-processed equivalent of around ISO 4000. Aside from being the highest ISO image I've shot lately, it's not special or unusual in any way, really, but maybe that's remarkable in itself - these days, you can take an image at ISO 4000 with any DSLR and not worry too much about it. This is taken with with the K200D, which is known to be not among the top performers at high ISO, but I can't complain about the results. And as this thread so aptly demonstrates, pretty much anyone can expect results at least as good with any DSLR:
So well said, Marc. I haven't contributed to this thread (until now) but have followed it for some time with awe. Just last night I posted the following thought and photo (just a quick snapshot that blew me away) on Facebook.

QuoteQuote:
1/15 second, F4 and ISO 6400. SIXTY FOUR HUNDRED. We may not yet have our Jetsonmobiles but, DAMN, what an age we live in photography-wise. I wonder how long it will be before I start taking this for granted?


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01-28-2012, 07:55 AM   #1112
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I posted in this particular thread because I'm simply amazed at the low light/higher ISO abilities of the K-5, which I've owned for about a month now. I started off in digital photography with a K-m/K2000. A decent camera, to be sure, but not a low light performer. Lots of noise above about 500 ISO. I like taking photos at night, especially of the starry sky. Whenever the monsoons end here on Vancouver Island, I suspect that I'll be losing a lot of sleep with my K-5.
01-28-2012, 09:12 AM   #1113
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I was able to get these photos because of high ISO. The lighting was very low throughout this show.

K-5, ISO 6400, Rokinon 85 f/1.4 at f/1.4



The first band (The Grand Nationals) actually asked the house to dim the lights, so it was about the equivalent of having a couple table lamps on in your living room at night:

K-5, ISO 5000, Rokinon 85 f/1.4 at f/1.4



K-5, ISO 4000 +1/3 stop in PP, Rokinon 85 f/1.4 at f/1.4

01-28-2012, 09:37 AM   #1114
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Kx + Pentax A 35-105/3.5 @ ISO 4000

I'm happy with this one, some degree of sharpness is retained and color balance is pleasing...



01-28-2012, 09:40 AM   #1115
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
With that in mind, here's a random illustration. This happens to be the highest ISO picture I've taken lately - the push-processed equivalent of around ISO 4000. Aside from being the highest ISO image I've shot lately, it's not special or unusual in any way, really, but maybe that's remarkable in itself - these days, you can take an image at ISO 4000 with any DSLR and not worry too much about it. This is taken with with the K200D, which is known to be not among the top performers at high ISO, but I can't complain about the results. And as this thread so aptly demonstrates, pretty much anyone can expect results at least as good with any DSLR:
As the proud owner of a K200d, I'd like to know how you got the iso above 1600!
Since finding these forums I've found out more information about my Pentax equipment than I ever know existed!

Tuggie76
01-28-2012, 10:20 AM - 1 Like   #1116
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
And as this thread so aptly demonstrates, pretty much anyone can expect results at least as good with any DSLR:
Agreed - but the really HighISO may need RAW and more skillful processing - whereas most current dSLRs have made some leaps where even humble JPGs are more than adequate at above ISO3200.

I think the Nikon D90 followed by the budget K-x started that trend.

Using merely the K-x and the two humblest "Kit" zooms (that kit sold for as low as $500 new at one time) I can shoot in places below both the AF and metering limits of the camera (with those modest max apertures). I have a whole thread of over 2 years' experiences at a very dark jazz venue Kx in Use ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page)

All at ISO5000, JPGs -




Some areas are really dark -

below both AF and metering limits of K-x with 18-55 zoom @ 18mm f/3.5

even the stage which has direct lighting is awkward for the distribution of lighting -


stage center may seem well lit - but still can be challenging because hat peaks put the face in the shadows

but can actually give very attractive lighting at the right moment.

and it's not always just about sharpness -

blurring emphasizes dynamic motion -
but note the stationary objects in the pic are nice and sharp




Last edited by UnknownVT; 02-06-2012 at 10:26 AM.
01-28-2012, 11:40 AM   #1117
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
I was able to get these photos because of high ISO. The lighting was very low throughout this show.

K-5, ISO 6400, Rokinon 85 f/1.4 at f/1.4



The first band (The Grand Nationals) actually asked the house to dim the lights, so it was about the equivalent of having a couple table lamps on in your living room at night:

K-5, ISO 5000, Rokinon 85 f/1.4 at f/1.4



K-5, ISO 4000 +1/3 stop in PP, Rokinon 85 f/1.4 at f/1.4

Mike, great stuff with the Rok!

JT
01-28-2012, 11:41 AM   #1118
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Agreed - but the really HighISO may need RAW and more skillful processing - whereas most current dSLRs have made some leaps where even humble JPGs are more than adequate at above ISO3200.

I think the Nikon D90 followed by the budget K-x started that trend.

Using merely the K-x and the two humblest "Kit" zooms (that kit sold for as low as $500 new at one time) I can shoot in places below both the AF and metering limits of the camera (with those modest max apertures). I have a whole thread of over 2 years' experiences at a very dark jazz venue Kx in Use ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page)

All at ISO5000, JPGs -




Some areas are really dark -

below both AF and metering limits of K-x with 18-55 zoom @ 18mm f/3.5

even the stage which has direct lighting is awkward for the distribution of lighting -


stage center may seem well lit - but still can be challenging because hat peaks put the face in the shadows

but can actually give very attractive lighting at the right moment.

and it's not always just about sharpness -

blurring emphasizes dynamic motion -
but note the stationary objects in the pic are nice and sharp


Excelllent!

01-28-2012, 02:40 PM   #1119
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuggie76 Quote
As the proud owner of a K200d, I'd like to know how you got the iso above 1600!
Since finding these forums I've found out more information about my Pentax equipment than I ever know existed!
The key phrase in my post was "push processed equivalent". The concept is simple: you simply choose the same shutter you would have been shooting had you had higher ISO available, the resulting in a dark image, then brighten the results in PP.

This really is the same thing as turning up the ISO higher. All digital sensors actually only capture images at one ISO, called the "base ISO" (usually somewhere around 100-200). When you turn up the ISO in the camera, all that happens is that the image recorded by the camera is artificially brightened by the hardware and/or software in the camera. The camera will stop offering to artificially brighten the image after some point - 1600 on the K200D - but you can do the same by brightening it in PP. It's *exactly* the same thing either way. So if you shoot a picture at 1/60" and f/2.8 at ISO 1600 on the K200D, what that really means is that the sensor recorded a very dark image at ISO 100 and then the in-camera processing brightened it four stops from there. That's as far as the camera was willing to brighten the image for you, but any PP program will happily brighten it another stop or two or more from there. Works much better if shooting RAW; otherwise the camera has already thrown away too much of the data that would have been used in the brightening.

So, when shooting concerts, I set my ISO to 1600, set my aperture wide open, and set whatever shutter speed I want (within reason). The faster I set the shutter, the better my chance of a blur-free picture, but the more brightening it will need in PP - meaning it's the equivalent of higher ISO. I like to try to keep the shutter slow enough so that I need no more than a stop to a stop and a half of brightening possible - the equivalent of ISO 3200-4500. Usually that ends up being good enough for me to get a decent keeper rate if I'm careful in my shooting.
01-28-2012, 02:54 PM   #1120
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The key phrase in my post was "push processed equivalent". The concept is simple: you simply choose the same shutter you would have been shooting had you had higher ISO available, the resulting in a dark image, then brighten the results in PP.

This really is the same thing as turning up the ISO higher. All digital sensors actually only capture images at one ISO, called the "base ISO" (usually somewhere around 100-200). When you turn up the ISO in the camera, all that happens is that the image recorded by the camera is artificially brightened by the hardware and/or software in the camera. The camera will stop offering to artificially brighten the image after some point - 1600 on the K200D - but you can do the same by brightening it in PP. It's *exactly* the same thing either way. So if you shoot a picture at 1/60" and f/2.8 at ISO 1600 on the K200D, what that really means is that the sensor recorded a very dark image at ISO 100 and then the in-camera processing brightened it four stops from there. That's as far as the camera was willing to brighten the image for you, but any PP program will happily brighten it another stop or two or more from there. Works much better if shooting RAW; otherwise the camera has already thrown away too much of the data that would have been used in the brightening.

So, when shooting concerts, I set my ISO to 1600, set my aperture wide open, and set whatever shutter speed I want (within reason). The faster I set the shutter, the better my chance of a blur-free picture, but the more brightening it will need in PP - meaning it's the equivalent of higher ISO. I like to try to keep the shutter slow enough so that I need no more than a stop to a stop and a half of brightening possible - the equivalent of ISO 3200-4500. Usually that ends up being good enough for me to get a decent keeper rate if I'm careful in my shooting.
Thanks Marc, pretty simple really, instead of striving for the perfect exposure in camera, get the best you can and let Lightroom sort it out!

Tuggie 76
01-28-2012, 03:45 PM   #1121
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The key phrase in my post was "push processed equivalent". The concept is simple: you simply choose the same shutter you would have been shooting had you had higher ISO available, the resulting in a dark image, then brighten the results in PP.

This really is the same thing as turning up the ISO higher. All digital sensors actually only capture images at one ISO, called the "base ISO" (usually somewhere around 100-200). When you turn up the ISO in the camera, all that happens is that the image recorded by the camera is artificially brightened by the hardware and/or software in the camera. The camera will stop offering to artificially brighten the image after some point - 1600 on the K200D - but you can do the same by brightening it in PP. It's *exactly* the same thing either way. So if you shoot a picture at 1/60" and f/2.8 at ISO 1600 on the K200D, what that really means is that the sensor recorded a very dark image at ISO 100 and then the in-camera processing brightened it four stops from there. That's as far as the camera was willing to brighten the image for you, but any PP program will happily brighten it another stop or two or more from there. Works much better if shooting RAW; otherwise the camera has already thrown away too much of the data that would have been used in the brightening.

So, when shooting concerts, I set my ISO to 1600, set my aperture wide open, and set whatever shutter speed I want (within reason). The faster I set the shutter, the better my chance of a blur-free picture, but the more brightening it will need in PP - meaning it's the equivalent of higher ISO. I like to try to keep the shutter slow enough so that I need no more than a stop to a stop and a half of brightening possible - the equivalent of ISO 3200-4500. Usually that ends up being good enough for me to get a decent keeper rate if I'm careful in my shooting.
Forgive me for questioning, but I'm no sure this is entirely true. If memory serves, it is true that increasing the ISO is the same as increasing the exposure in post, but only when you get past a certain threshold. I think it's ISO 1600 in the K-5. But I remember a discussion in which someone on this forum (I think it was Falconeye?) explained two different types of gain that go on in camera sensors these days, one of which is the kind you're talking about. I can't remember what the other is. If I am wrong, I apologize. Does anyone else have a similar understanding, or am I out in left field.

Anyway, ISO 25600. I didn't like this one as much as the other bartender photo before I processed it, but it came out pretty nice, IMO. Better colors than the other, but not as nice composition.


01-28-2012, 05:16 PM   #1122
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Exif data

Camera Pentax K-x
Exposure 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture f/4.5
Focal Length 35 mm
ISO Speed 3200
Exposure Bias 0 EV
01-28-2012, 06:09 PM   #1123
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QuoteOriginally posted by Designosophy Quote
I was able to get these photos because of high ISO. The lighting was very low throughout this show.

K-5, ISO 6400, Rokinon 85 f/1.4 at f/1.4



The first band (The Grand Nationals) actually asked the house to dim the lights, so it was about the equivalent of having a couple table lamps on in your living room at night:

K-5, ISO 5000, Rokinon 85 f/1.4 at f/1.4



K-5, ISO 4000 +1/3 stop in PP, Rokinon 85 f/1.4 at f/1.4

These are wonderful.
01-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #1124
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Marc,

You mentioned that there is competition on this thread and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Seeing what other people have done (you included) pushes me to do better. Seeing your photos, has brought my K200D out of retirement from concert photography. When I bought my KX, my K200D was relegated to outdoor photography. Not anymore, I just used it with my DA 35mm f2.4 along with my KX when I shot WAR in a dimly lit jazz club.

We hear from marketing departments that our camera equipment is obsolete at 6 months old. This thread has proven that wrong. I really enjoy the contributions on this thread and others.

I said in another thread that my KX competes with my colleagues D700's and I got flamed hard. In reality, my $500 camera does compete fairly well with the $3000 cameras. This thread has helped me push my little Pentax's to levels that I never thought possible.

Mike - your bar shots are great. I'm really looking at that Rok 85mm lens.

K200D & DA 35mm F2.4

WAR


WAR

KX & DA* 50-135mm F2.8

WAR


WAR

Last edited by john5100; 01-30-2012 at 01:05 AM.
01-30-2012, 09:11 AM   #1125
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Agreed - but the really HighISO may need RAW and more skillful processing - whereas most current dSLRs have made some leaps where even humble JPGs are more than adequate at above ISO3200.

I think the Nikon D90 followed by the budget K-x started that trend.

Using merely the K-x and the two humblest "Kit" zooms (that kit sold for as low as $500 new at one time) I can shoot in places below both the AF and metering limits of the camera (with those modest max apertures). I have a whole thread of over 2 years' experiences at a very dark jazz venue Kx in Use ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page)

All at ISO5000, JPGs -




Some areas are really dark -

below both AF and metering limits of K-x with 18-55 zoom @ 18mm f/3.5

even the stage which has direct lighting is awkward for the distribution of lighting -


stage center may seem well lit - but still can be challenging because hat peaks put the face in the shadows

but can actually give very attractive lighting at the right moment.

and it's not always just about sharpness -

blurring emphasizes dynamic motion -
but note the stationary objects in the pic are nice and sharp


Nicely done, and I agree that the K-x was a great value when it came out, and it's a great value now at used prices. It was my first dSLR - and why I went with Pentax instead of the big brands - less than two years ago, and it spoiled me with its high-ISO capabilities. Do you shoot RAW or JPEG? With the K-x, if you shoot RAW, you can push the shadows more than JPEG in post, even at high ISO. What I would do is expose (mostly) for the highlights, then push the shadows in pp. I find the kit 18-55 to be a good lens, deserving more credit than it gets. It's not the sharpest in fine detail, but it's got really nice color and contrast (as you have illustrated). That said, when I got my first prime, an M50 f/1.4, I was blown away. You'll be amazed at what you can do with a fast prime in low light.


QuoteOriginally posted by iocchelli Quote
These are wonderful.
QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Mike, great stuff with the Rok! JT
QuoteOriginally posted by john5100 Quote
Mike - your bar shots are great. I'm really looking at that Rok 85mm lens.

Thanks! Next time I need to be a bit more adventurous in where I stand. I don't like to be too conspicuous or intrusive, but I should be more so for the shot. The Rokinon and its other-branded counterparts is a fantastic value. Under $300 for an 85mm f/1.4 with A setting? Outrageous, especially when you consider that an FA 85 f/1.4 goes for over $1000, and the A version isn't much less. Mine is plenty sharp wide open (though you have to nail the focus to get the shot). If I had any complaint, it would be the purple and green fringing in oof areas sometimes. And the hood is a bit of a pain to put on. But really, I'm not complaining.
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