413 – When Lights Are Low

Yesterday I have applied noise reduction to an ISO 1600 image, today I have deliberately chosen to do not so – on an ISO 3200 image. Can you see the noise?

For me, the most important reason to buy the D300 and to replace my trusty D200 now and not in weeks or months, was the supposed low-light performance. You see, I work all day and, at this time of the year, regardless of how the weather is, when I leave work and begin to have time for photography, it is dark. OK, when you browse through the images of last winter, you will see that I was not exactly unproductive, but having some options more, is never a bad thing.

Click on the image. I guess you still can’t see any noise, and I can’t, even when I look at the image on the whole height of my screen, at 1200 pixels. Ain’t there any noise?

There is, and it is quite prominent in a 100% crop. Click the image to the right for full size, and see for yourself.

I really like this noise. It is nice noise. No color blotches, only grain. I have yet to print one of these images (my printer is in Vienna and I am in Carinthia now), but I guess it will come out quite fine.

At the moment I have “ISO Sensitivity Automatic Control” (the good old Auto ISO) set to go up to 6400, but I think I’ll change that. 6400 is OK for documentary purposes and for certain situations when you want to use noise creatively, as a general purpose setting it is too high. I would need a D3 for that, but maybe in 18 months the D400 will do as well.

This was it for today. Stay tuned, the story goes on.

The Song of the Day is “When Lights Are Low” from Roberta Gambarini’s last album “You Are There“. The Germans have the sound sample.

3 thoughts on “413 – When Lights Are Low”

  1. This image has an Escher quality. My eyes keep refocusing to make it first a a down set of stairs, then an upward one. It is crazy making. I love it. How’d you get that effect?

  2. Funny! I didn’t recognize it, but you’re right. I guess it is something about the tilt taking away the “natural” feeling for gravity, and the diffuse lighting. It was definitely not my intention, but I like it 🙂


  3. Catching up on some web surfing – delighted to see the test images for your new camera! That may be the first time I have heard noise referred to as good noise…I suppose there is good fat why not good noise!

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