Two days ago I partook in a thread about the D300’s usable ISO range in the Nikon camera forum on Photo.net. Josh Eudowe asked
Has anyone played around with the true ISO range of the D300 in an indoor setting? Just curious to know at what point you’ll start to see the image quality affected. I’m using, for the most part, f/2.8 lenses on my D300.
Like always it was interesting to read about what people consider acceptable image quality. Most people seemed to agree that ISO 1600 is very usable, many found ISO 3200 acceptable when shooting RAW and under special circumstances, and nobody but me found ISO 6400 usable at all.
Today’s image was shot in the morning, in the workshop of my father. I was there because I needed him and his big car for another transport.
My father has several walnut trees and thousands of walnuts laid out for drying. I saw the pattern, took some shots at f1.4 and found that in the dim light even that put me above the base ISO of 200. You know that I love shallow DOF, but in this case I didn’t want to display an abstract image of a slice of a nut, I wanted to show the multitude, in other words I needed more DOF.
Normally I have my tripod always in the back of the car, but since I had needed it last night, I had left it in the apartment. Thus, in order to get the shot at all, I had to increase ISO. I did it by switching to shooting bank B, that I have set up for a fixed ISO 6400 and JPEG output in slightly toned B&W. This is a JPEG right out of the camera. Not so bad, is it? In fact, I consider this extremely usable. Sigma 50/1.4, f8, 1/30s, ISO 6400.
The Song of the Day is “Nutty” from the 1957 album “Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane”. See a video on YouTube.