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D3 ISO range

gjames52

Well-Known Member
The new D3 offer "Other new technologies include a 51-point AF system, an ISO range of 200 to 6400 (expandable down to 100 and up to 25,600),"

How does this work? I guess you could shoot in a closed closet with the lights out and the door sealed!

Regards:

Gilbert
 

f8lee

Active Member
Well, perhaps one would ifnd themsleves in a poorly lit gymnaseum trying to take shots at a basketball game, where even at f2.8 a maximum shutter speed of 1/100th is possible which doesn't help much to freeze motion. No?
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
While many D3s will sold to a broad range of photographers, the real target market is news and sports shooters. It will make a great deal of difference in the lives many of us lead. Whether cheaply lit gyms or dimly lit rural high-school football fields, the added sensitivity will make a huge difference in quality of content and quality of images.

ISO6400 in the shots I have seen with pre-release cameras are as close to noise free as ISO200 on my D200. Noise is visible at ISO12,800, but the images are very usable. ISO25,600 is pretty much for emergencies, where overwhelmingly significant content renders the image quality unimportant.

In actual terms, the best I could do years back, was 1/125th of a second, pushing Tri-X to ISO800. A lot of good shots were lost to blur. At ISO6400 I would have been able to use 1/1000th of a second which would have been more than adequate. Using an f-4.0 200m lens, I could have stopped down to f-5.6 and gone with 1/500th which would have been ideal.

It has a mode where one can set the shutter speed and aperture and let the ISO float. Covering sports in the daytime, often part of the field is in the shadow of the stadium, making a four to five stop difference compared to the sunlit parts of the field. One would set the shutter and aperture to the ideal setting for ISO200. When the athletes run from sun to shade, the ideal setting is not changed, but the ISO rises to provide perfect exposure in the shade as well. With such a broad range of usable ISO settings, this will truly revolutionize sports shooting.

A 12MP resolution is adequate for any publication. No problem whatever to print a two page spread in a standard size newspaper or magazine. I expect that this is the optimum size for a 36x24mm sensor. Instead of continuing in the megapixel race, Nikon wisely chose to go for ultimate image quality.

There are rumors that the about to be released Canon 1Ds MkIII requires either full time or nearly full time noise reduction with its 21MP, causing detail to be smeared, giving a somewhat "plastic" look to the shots. The D3 has NO noise reduction at all on the sensor. The D3 has caused a great deal of excitement and discussion world-wide, while there seems to be little interest in the MKIII in the Canon c&. I am trying to convince myself that it would not be foolish to spend $6,000 Cdn for a camera body!
 

gjames52

Well-Known Member
BTW the D300 offers the same ISO range.

Per the following from B & H "Some of the niftier features found in the Nikon D300 include Live View with 10x zoom capability, a 51-point AF system, an ISO range of 200 to 6400 (expandable down to 100 and up to 25,600),"

Regards:

Gilbert
 

mikey264

New Member
[How would you know the ideal setting for ISO 200? Are you talking about using shutter priority and letting the camera pick the aperture or are you using manual mode and letting the ISO float? Thanks]
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
By the subject matter and shooting conditions. This would be most useful when covering any field sports in day time where angle and lighting conditions vary greatly over the view of the field you will be covering. Realize that lighting conditions may change considerably over the course of the game as the sun produces an ever-changing shadow, so you may have to change shooting position from time to time to compensate. It is a good idea in most cases to avoid backlighting. If the game begins at 4:00pm, avoid shooting from the east side of the field.

Assuming the lens is at its sharpest at f-8.0, with the camera set to ISO200, try a shot pointed at the brightest subject you will be shooting - on aperture priority - and note the shutter speed. Do another couple of test shots to make sure you are not over-exposing or that the shutter speed is too slow.

Covering most field sports, a shutter speed between 1/500th and 1/1000 is adequate, but more is fine too. If you can not get 1/500th then open the aperture until you achieve it.

Go to full manual, and set this combination of settings, along with auto ISO. Do a few more test shots to check results around the stadium to confirm and preview. What is most important is the quality you get in shadowed or backlit areas. With a range of ISO200-6400, there should be no problem staying within that range on even the most most high contrast day. However check what ISO is set by the camera in the deepest shadow area into which you will be shooting, and make adjustments to shutter speed or aperture accordingly.

Adjust your shooting position if needed, test again and when satisfied, reformat your cards ready to go. After covering a few games, you will learn approximate settings, so little testing will be needed, and just using the read-out in the viewfinder may be adequate.
 

eamceamc

New Member
> Ansel Adams' "zone system" for "the perfecrt negative" goes back to the 1930's, and few realize how easy it is to apply in digital photography where in Photoshop we dispose of adjustments of brightness, contrast, of a photoelectric exposure measurement in the info panel, of lightness/shadow, etc. Adams divides light and shade into ten zones, zone 0 is black (R G B = 0 0 0), zone IX is white (R G B = 255 255 255), zone V being the middle (R G B = 127 127 127), zone VI being skin, etc. Making the perfect negative and getting the best exposure setting is as easy as falling off a log. Even though darkroom and film exposure methods are dead, people should think of using them in digital. Edwin M.
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
And if only Ansel had lived to experience the histogram. A light-meter beyond our wildest imaginations back then. In one glance, a photographer gets more information than minutes of waving our Weston Master IVs at the scene.
 

wd8cdh

Active Member
> I wonder what the quality would be like if the D3 or D300 was shot at > 25,600 ISO, under exposed by two stops and brought back up in PS? I do > the same with my D60 at it's highest ISO but I bring the brightness up > with a custom curve. It's usefull but I am also used to pushing Tri-X to > over 1600 ISO.

Ron
 

wd8cdh

Active Member
> "Even though darkroom and film exposure methods are dead, people should think of using them in digital. Edwin M."

Absolutly, my digital photography improved when I started considering it film without scratches.

Ron
 

lens_kat

Member
"Even though darkroom and film exposure methods are dead, people should think of using them in digital. Edwin M."

oh, really? i shoot plenty of digital, and i shoot plenty of film..50/50 actually. Both are great for different subjects. Film technology is neither dead nor buried. Long live analogue methods and technology! Oh yeah, and don't tell my 19 year old daughter that darkroom and film exposure methods are dead. She's a sophomore in college and after spending her teen years on a succession of digital cameras chose to take Photography 1, using a manual Olympus OM2-n and a 50mm f1.4 lens, painstakingly learning darkroom technology, turning out gorgeous silver gelatin prints and loving it. Oh yeah, and she has several college friends who love it too..and these are kids who played Nintendo in their diapers and have been hi-tech ever since. So don't be too quick to write film's epitaph, your preferences might be digital but don't pretend to speak for everyone with such a generalized statement.
 

lnbolch

Well-Known Member
I agree with you totally - if the world had stopped at 1998.

Film still has a slight edge with large format black and white, providing you are truly an expert printer. Medium format colour also has an edge as long as you scan and print inkjet. Even a flatbed Epson 7x0 series scanner will produce results way beyond the best enlarger and enlarging lens. Sheet film is simply not in the same league as view camera scanning backs. Both require a whole bunch of contraption to work in the field.

In the fume-room, film is simplistic compared to digital. A determined person can pretty much get a job after a couple of years of hard work at printing film. Double or triple that for the digital darkroom. Printing colour film with a wet process, all you have control over is lighter-or-darker and colour balance. Dodging and burning complete the picture. If you have a pin-register enlarger and enormous skills, you can use contrast control masks and unsharp masks to improve sharpness. With the digital darkroom, this is only the first month. Add curves and levels for red, green and blue channels. Layers and masking for precise dodging and burning, Saturation, hue and lightness. Lab colour mode for grain control, separate processing for lightness and colour, accutance control that can only be done with B&W and and choosing the right developer for the right film - but done digitally in the same way for colour. If you can gain the skills, the snapshot you quickly run off to hand to a friend will be of equal quality or better than any print in a professional photographer's portfolio. It is in the interpretation, where great photographs are created from the raw materials gathered on location during the exposure. Ansel Adams said "The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance."

Up to now, we are only talking about the tech end. From the viewpoint of a Photographer, I have my choice of using my legacy medium format cameras that still give me a slight edge over exposures with my Nikon D200. The edge was great when I bought my first digital camera. It is on the borderline now. The D3 that is just beginning to ship, probably has erased that difference. But we are back on image quality again.

Content is everything. I have been trying to capture a passage of time - almost like a movie - but represent it in a single photograph. This is the flight path of a crop crossing the lawn on the other side of the street from me. Try this with film.
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Film is dreadfully limited to the contrast range it can hold. Chromes require an accuracy as low as half a stop. Worse, an ideal chrome for reproduction is significantly denser than a slide for projection so there is no such thing as a perfect exposure. HDR can handle a 70+ EV range, and can be reduced to an 8 or 16-bit per channel range, retaining incredible highlight and shadow detail for reproduction. It can also be used as is, in image-based lighting for totally realistic light in CGFX. It is a 32-bit with floating point file for 96-bit colour. We have been exploring it for the past couple of years, but it will still be a few more before its potential is even close to being understood. Try that with film.

I have only begun to tame it, since getting the Nikon D200 - state of the art in HDR for now, though I expect the D300 and D3 will move it a quantum step forward. This image was shot just before midnight with a 35mm manual focus f-2.0 Nikkor. It was dark other than the strings of lights. Yet using HDR, I was able to get rich shadow detail without a single blown out highlight. The contrast range measured just under three million to one. Try to do this with film.

44015.jpg


RAW format allows one to use layers and masks to colour balance each area of a mixed light photograph to optimum. I did an all nighter in the fume-room creating an 8x10 chrome of a shot with an area primarily lit by very green fluorescents, with an overall evening light from the sun, mixed with tungsten and neon area lights shot on film. It was to be the cover shot on an annual report of a very big corporation, in very bit financial trouble. Had I been able to shoot RAW - this was over 20 years back - I could have done the job in an hour or less and got a good night's sleep. RAW is much like a negative in ways. It has far more capability to capture a great dynamic range than chromes or JPEGs. It also takes a much higher level of skill. Here is a shot in a much more difficult venue. There was a low level of incandescent and a bit of fluorescent, but most of the light was from dim neon tubes. Try to get skin tones this accurate and a colour balance this pleasant, and an image this sharp at 1/4 second, f-3.5 at ISO 800 with film.

44016.jpg


Shooting digital, I shoot fewer shots than film - many fewer. I have an instant red, green, blue and luminance histogram screen that is both the greatest light-meter since the Weston Master IV Zone System meter, I used all my working life, but also gives me rich information on the colour content of the scene. From this I can fine tune to highly accurate or highly expressive colour - my choice. Try that with film.

In the 21st century, there is no teaching device as eloquent as a digital camera. Remember how hard it was to comprehend the reciprocal relationship between shutter speed, lens speed and film speed? Remember how difficult it was to learn depth of field as controlled by aperture, focal length and distance? Remember how hard it was to remember what you were trying to do when it took days to get the results back from the drug store? Remember the lectures from parents about the cost of film and processing and the time it took to get the film to the processor and pick it up again - assuming that your and your parents time was worth something?

Now the student can try it and get instant, meaningful feedback, while the idea is still fresh. YOU CAN SEE what effect a change of aperture has on depth of field moments after you shoot. You can see how depth of field varies with distance and focal length. You can see what difference a stop of over exposure or underexposure makes. You can see the difference between f-16 at 1/15th of a second and 1/1000th at f2.0. You can see how much more difficult it is to get a sharp image at 300mm than at 30mm and learn what is necessary to get the image without spending your parents retirement savings. Yes, this was available during the film era using a Polaroid back on a medium format camera, but the cost was horrendous.

Digital cameras pay for themselves in days over film cameras, if you are a working photographer. For an enthusiast it may take a few months, but soon you will be shooting for free. It is all about the total cost of ownership. A film camera may be reasonably priced compared to its equivalent film camera, but when you buy a digital, that is the cost of ownership. When you buy a film camera, that is only the beginning. Consider the cost of a roll of film, the processing and the time it takes to get it to the lab and return to pick it up, paying yourself for what your time is worth. In fact I shoot many fewer shots on any digital shoot. I know when I have the image I want and there is no point in shooting ten or twenty rolls, "just to be sure". However, I pick up the camera whenever an idea strikes, because it will not cost me more than a fraction of a coin for storage space - or I can delete them.

I still have a Nikon F3 system, and the lenses are in use every day on my D200. I doubt that the body will ever have another roll run through it - and my Leica M3 as well.. I have a GraphicXL, Bronica ETR and Linhof medium format system, along with a few specialized medium format cameras, which may get used again - I don't know. I also have a WideLuxe 140° panoramic camera that probably will get used, since panoramic photos are very easy to digitize and print. I must have loved film - I probably have shot over a million exposures on it. I have some of the finest lenses every made on high precision bodies, but in most cases, digital just does it better.

In 1998 you were absolutely correct. However, time has not stopped while perceptions have. With digital, the outer edge is constantly receding, while film slowed down and stopped. The Nikon D200 is my fourth digital camera, and with each generation, the barriers to my imagination have moved farther and farther away. I am not only able to see things I would have dismissed when shooting film, but now I can actually capture them, knowing that I will get precisely what I am after, without luck being involved.

larry!
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jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Thanks Larry,

That's very convincing. I always finds your posts helpful.

I shall be converting to digital soon for new pictures but will also continue scanning my collection of slides and negatives and I will probably still use medium format a bit.

John
 

lens_kat

Member
Hi Larry, lovely, long, informative post. I shoot ballet and dance and so you're preaching to the choir when you tout the advantages of digital over film with respect to certain subjects. I also await the arrival of the D3 like it's the second coming as it promises to break the high ISO digital noise barrier that's plagued me for so long.

However, my other subject of choice is street shooting and digital technology has yet to produce the camera that can woo me away from film in this genre. Digital point and shoots are small enough but like their film P&S cousins can't cope with the demanding requirements of street shooting. With their hulking size, weight and bulk digital SLR's can't do the job either. The D200 is exactly and precisely what the perfectly attired street shooter would never be caught dead carrying. The Leica M8 is pure camera jewelry. Maybe you can carry it on 5th Avenue or in your own backyard, but there's no way in hell i would carry that much camera investment on the downtown streets of most urban cities, particularly in Central America where i live.

So, as much as you tout your D200 as the perfect camera (for now, because I also recall you saying the same about the Nikon CoolPix, which one? the 8400? that it finally relieved you of the burden of having to lug around all your lenses--my how times change!), it just very well may be for your chosen field of work, subject matter, etc. But even you must agree that there still are some genres where digital technology has completely dropped the ball. Thank goodness for the inexpensive, lightweight thoroughly enjoyable Cosina made Voigtlander Bessa series of cameras and lenses that fits a very important niche completely disregarded by digital camera manufacturers. I can shoot with a 21mm lens, using hyperfocal distance setting for DOF...guesswork? There isn't any! With 400ASA film on an average day everything from less then 1M to infinity is in focus. And as far as a learning tool, when i picked up my first manual film camera, after 5 digital cameras, that's when I can say I actually started learning about photography.

I don't want to get into a film vs. digital discussion. My complaint has to do with Mr. Matzner's statement that darkroom and film exposure methods are dead. This is flat-out an untrue statement. There are still many people using film for their chosen subject matter including important photojournalists who achieve elegant results with old "folders" and other 'obsolete' medium format cameras that are refreshingly free of that slick digital look that you see everywhere else. You see their photos in major media sources and you stop and you look and you hear yourself saying 'wow' again. You can continue shooting your hulking, expensive, digi-cams that are ticking away into planned obsolesence just so you can buy the next one and that's fine, i do it too! But you can also look around and see that yes, Virginia, people are still shooting film and analogue technology is actually quite far from dead.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Dear Kathleen,

Interesting stuff but you still haven't let us know what a somophore is.

You have to remember that you are broadcasting to the whole world, not just the US of A and that we mere Europeans might not know what you mean.

Best wishes,

John

P.S. Who is Virginia?
 

lens_kat

Member
Hi John!

Sorry! A sophomore in college in the US is in his/her second year of university study. I live in Costa Rica but my daughter is fortunate to be attending college in California. ¨Virginia¨ is just an expression taken from an old movie, ¨yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus¨, so with a little artistic license you have, ¨yes, Virginia, people still use film¨. Forgive me if i was confusing
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kathie
 

gjames52

Well-Known Member
Kathleen:

I agree with you about film not being dead, and last year Kodak made 6.4 billion dollars selling it. Also, a recent survey of professional photographers, I many professionals stated that they prefer film for personal usage. I wish I could recall the numbers now, but I do remember I welcomed the information. I don't want to spend anymore time in front of a computer, and certainly do not want to learn a new software program every 6 months.

I shoot slides, so the magic is over when I release the shutter... until I project it like magic. (I hope) However, I am seldom disappointed, but always looking to improve!

BTW- This morning I loaded my old reliable OM2n with some film and attached a 50mm 1.2 lens for this weekends dog show.

Larry, is most knowledgeable about digital computerography. When I meet someone interested in learning more about digital photography I provide them with Larry's website.

Larry:

I like the ANSEL, but not as much as your photograph!

John:

High school and 4 year college students are referred 1st year is a Freshman, 2nd Sophomore, 3rd Junior, 4th Senior!

Good Shooting:

Gilbert
 

lens_kat

Member
Gilbert..

Thanks for elaborating on the freshman, sophomore, junior, senior thing. I wasn't very clear.

A friend of mine was on the Clinton White House Press team and he sent me a group photo taken with President Clinton during his last night in office. The photographers predictably had their pro digi-cams in hand but here was the surprise, most of them had their trusty Leicas around their necks. Why? My friend explained that they wanted to preserve the evening in the classic photojournalist way: with their Leica and film.

My daughter loves her OM2-n. When her first one developed some vague unspecified light leak, she called from school in a panic, as if the world was coming to an end. A friend in Oregon found her another one dirt cheap and shipped it in overnight mail. Phew! That was close! I wonder what she would have done in a REAL emergency?!
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I agree that there's not much Larry doesn't know about digital and I have learned a lot from him myself. But i think the baby needn't be thrown out with the bath just because somebody finds digital religion. Digital is ONE look, ONE technology. Just one. There's a world of analogue technology and formats out there that beg exploration and enjoyment. There's 35mm, medium format, large format, polaroid, slides, black and white, cross process, panorama, true fisheye (a fisheye on most DSLR's becomes just a super wide-angle lens but on a film camera it's a huge glorious 360 circular image) and the camera equipment is excellent and CHEAP! If you want to digitalize then a scanner will cost you-ONCE, and film continues to cost you but your camera/lens aren't going to be phased out by next year's model. You buy 'em once and forget it. Unless the camera breaks and so what? you buy another one, probably even cheaper.

Have a great time at the dog show and hope you get some great shots with your OM2-n!

Kathie
 

keviodal

New Member
>Larry you are absolutely right and I love your obvious expertise on the >subject as >well as your rational thinking.

Kathie there are emotional people all over the world you seem to be one of them, ahh film!!!.... I hear them say.... get green....I say. Lets leave the trees alone and the silver in the ground and dont kill any more cows for that Gelatin. Ugh ! film how dirty !!

And Larry I love the description of the Darkroom the "Fume room" It sure is, there are some horrible chemicals in there. Potassium Ferricyanide, Hydroquinone, metol,potassium sulphite, the list goes on and on, and for those of you who love to use "Selenium" toner wow what a poison that is. How about Formaldehyde how long do you want to be preserved anyway.

This debate is a lot like the RC paper v's fibre based, or the General motors V's Ford or the Epson V's Canon or the Nikon V's Canon, Olympus Minolta Konica etc etc.

Get a life.........Lets talk Pictures...Photography........ Nowhere in the definition is there any mention of "Film" or "Analogue" or "Digital"

No....Photography is about Drawing with lines of light. From the Greek word Phos meaning Light and Graphis Meaning Lines..Literally Lines of light....So photography IS all about light and composition

When you build a house you dont ask the builder if he is using Makita, Ryobi or GMC... no its about form and function and build quality and design.

So too with photography.... a picture is worth a thousand words... not whether the picture was shot on Silver or Silicon....Who Cares !!! just get the story right...we are visual communicators Kathie, it is just as relevant if you want to use a pinhole camera, check out "Anthony Browell" and his pin hole camera Nudes... (google you'll get him) they are mind blowing. Taken with a cardboard box with a compass hole as the lens. I defy anybody to declare that "Analogue"

A few years ago a colleague of mine went into the "Dark" room for a week working on his fibre based prints with his hot water,cotton wool, and cotton buds for burning, wire and black card for dodging and at the end of the week he emerged from the darkroom all smiling and content. He had produced an "exhibition"of twenty prints. They looked good too, he was very happy until I challenged him with "I bet I could print your negatives on RC paper, run them through my Ilford processor AND you wont be able to tell the difference when you view them side by side.

I was wrong, my prints (he and all who looked at them agreed) were better. Better tonal range better contrast better visually and they took all of six hours to complete rather than 40 hours.

So what you say maybe he was a lousy printer...no he wasnt and isnt, he actually continues to print in the "Dark" room and on Fibre paper too.... he loves it...and here is the point I guess....We are all different and thank goodness for that.......... whatever makes you feel good.....is good but lets not get caught up in crazy arguments about what is better....there is plenty of proof........after all its Silicon V's Silver.....no contest..........Dinosaurs V's Modern day !!!
 
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