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Thread: Canon EOS 1Dx II at 51.200 Iso

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Default Canon EOS 1Dx II at 51.200 Iso

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    Hi folks just as an example for those who are interested how far we can push our kit those days ..... a Bennet Wallaby taken at Zoo Wuppertal / Germany
    Had a conversation with Steve Kaluski regarding pushing the 1Dx further in terms of high iso .....than my " normal " limit of 25.600 Iso under certain circumstances .... i.e. rather get the shot and take the noise than keeping the SS low and have less noise in the file to deal with .
    As we both think with todays software , i use Neat image, it is relatively easy to deal with the noise .
    So i tried to take images under controlled circumstances ... in a Zoo , i do have the advantage that i can enter the enclosures and do not have to deal with glass / fences in most cases , as far as the animals do allow that , meaning i would not enter any predator enclosures .

    Here are the techs

    Canon EOS 1Dx II
    Ef 200-400 with TC engaged ( 560 mm )
    HH

    F 8 ; ISO 51.200 ; 1/4000 ; could have gone lower with the SS

    Processed with DPP 4.6 ( fine detail picture style ) ; PS CC 2017 to make some additional tonal adjustments / noise reduction and downsizing for output

    Thanks for watching

    Cheers Andreas

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Here is the file that i downsized straight from DPP 4.6 with no additional work in PS ....

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Hi Andreas, glad you posted this, perhaps it might make some folk reassess pushing their ISO and stepping out of their comfort zone?????

    You know I have, for quite a while, ask folk to go for higher SS because I know their images are soft, and with the new modern camera bodies currently out and launching, there isn't an issue, providing you get the exposure right. Often images are under exposed, you then 'lift' the RAW and so the detail then disappears and so folk get disillusioned. I'm certainly not suggesting everyone goes out and shoots at this very high range as per your posting, but it illustrates that it might be getting to an acceptable point (proof is at print stage), but occasionally circumstances dictate that WE push the ISO to get the capture. It's better to have a slightly 'noisy', yet sharp image, than one that is a soft IMHO as you can't sharpen a soft one, but you can deal with noise.

    I shoot, like you, with 1DXMK2's and the only reason is that light is of a premium and it delivers, if I shot where light is full on then I might think again - perhaps .

    So your call, but perhaps folks should try shooting and post their experiences in the thread to get 'traction' on this subject and get people talking and not to be afraid when they need to push the ISO, WDYT????

    Not the best shot, or set up, but this is a fairly fast moving subject in very contrasty light, not a static one.

    1DXMK2 : 70-200f/2.8 MK2 with 1.4x MKIII : f/9 : ISO20k

    Cheers
    Steve

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hi Steve i thank you very much, that you jump in this thread .
    Your reply is basically what i do think ....for sure it is not the target to get out and shoot at that High Iso .
    And yes this thread is dedicated to those who are interested in crossing the " limits " of the kit , i am no more afraid to go up to 51.200 if i have to because i.e. light is not on my side , or i do need very fast SS to freeze the action .
    All saying this with having the EOS 1Dx Mk2 .... as i do still have the MK1 , i will try how far i can push that camera .

    I like to ask all owners or operators of high end cams to go out and try it .... and share your thoughts about your experiences with this , just do it !!!!!!
    I am willing to help if any questions arise when it comes to PP work and how i deal with this .

    By far the most important factor for me is during capture , shot ETTR ...push the histogram as far as possible ( without clipping ) to the right . A few blinkies do not hurt .

    BTW i was able to get more than acceptable prints with this , for sure it is not as good as 6400 to 12800 but i think good enough to have it on your own walls , specially if the non photographic lady of the house is looking at them . And she says it does look nice .

    Regarding your Seal , nothing wrong with it ....love the facial expression and the curve in the water he produced . Overall it does look as good as always when you post something from the color/tonal POV .


    Here is another example of the Wallaby
    This time i went even further by trying to crop .....the frame is about 65 % of FF ; slightly underexposed so not ideal from my POV
    Even the fine fur is showing up quite well i think !!!???

    1Dx MK2 ; 200 - 400/ f4 at 560 mm
    F 10 ; Iso 40000 ; 1/4000 sec
    HH

    Cheers Andreas
    Last edited by Andreas Liedmann; 04-20-2017 at 12:51 PM.

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Hi Andreas, it's a long over due discussion, so like you, I do hope others will chime in, as I push it because of time spent with some of the Canon 'Geeks', exchanges with one of the Ambassadors and training days/Workshops, something people should do if they have the opportunity.

    Jonathan Ashton & Mike Poole have taken the plunge as we both know, so hopefully others will, I think Haseeb will, but it would be good to get something from the Avian bods.

    All saying this with having the EOS 1Dx Mk2 .... as i do still have the MK1 , i will try how far i can push that camera .
    The MK2 will outstrip the MK1, so IMHO no contest.

    By far the most important factor for me is during capture , shot ETTR ...push the histogram as far as possible ( without clipping ) to the right . A few blinkies do not hurt .
    Definitely.

    I posted the Stella because it was moving rather than a 'static' shot, just more to bolster the thread. Regarding the Wallaby perhaps the IQ would be better with a straight fixed lens rather than a zoom with the 1.4 as IQ will be lost slightly I feel.

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hey Steve for sure no contest between the MK2 and the MK1 ....but not all folks do have the MK2 or D5 ( Nikon) , and i think it is possible to push i.e. the MK1 further than most folks do ?!
    It might be good to show examples ....for sure not the final thing to post this here , as you said the print will give the answer !!!
    You might be right .....regarding those who took the plunge already .... still think they could go more often on that route , the more you do this the more you become comfortable with the noise issues . People are just afraid to deal with this IMHO .
    Meanwhile i personally do not even think about it ,when i am around 12800 Iso .....easy to deal with .

    For sure you are right regarding the zoom lens , but i think a good example to get good quality even with that lens , for sure always better to do this with a fixed one .

    Cheers Andreas

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Hi folks I am slow to join in because I still have not got my PC back from repair yet and I have just had a new telephone line installed so I have been without communication. I am currently on my wife's PC so I cannot yet comment too much on the images posted other than to say they look pretty good to me though I fully agree a print is going to be the final arbiter regarding true quality.
    I have posted a few images over the last couple of years taken with my 1DX at ISO 12,000 25,000 and I think 50,000 the latter in the macro forum. I would go along with what has been said i.e the image will be surprisingly good at high ISO provided:
    1 It is well exposed i.e. to the point of slight overexposure at capture.
    2. The shutter speed is adequately fast - again I would concur a slightly noisy image is better than a less noisy soft one.
    3. Cropping has to be absolutely minimal and ideally none at all.
    I recall an image of a bison I posted at ISO 25,000, I slightly overexposed the image as a whole but the bison being darker than the surrounding grasses was not clipped. The grasses were just clipped but readily rescued during conversion. I did not require any noise reduction on the bison and this was because noise was minimised at capture and because the inevitable minimised noise present was not amplified in any way due to cropping.
    I swear by DPP for producing a clean image, I keep trying Lightroom or ACR for some conversions but as a general rule of thumb I find DPP provides the cleaner image. I am not sure why this is but when I look at the histogram in DPP and in ACR they are usually dissimilar so data interpretation has to be different in each piece of software.
    As a slight aside this conversation helps explain why I use Auto ISO so much. In general I look at the subject and decide what is the optimal shutter speed and aperture, in most instances I simply set what I desire and let Auto ISO take care of the rest. If I think I can get away with a slightly slower shutter speed I will use it in order to optimise the ISO but mostly the shutter speed is key for me. I must point out that I also use over or under exposure when necessary - much as anyone one would do using AV or TV modes. I think most people tend to use their tried and tested techniques - nothing wrong with that but I would suggest Auto ISO is worth trying.
    Hopefully I will be posting tomorrow I have been told I should get my PC back today!!

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    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Hello high ISO fans!

    I had an opportunity for a little test last night so I thought I'd try and give this thread a little bump. Im off to Skomer next weekend and my 1dx played up a little when shooting a footy tournament in the mini heatwave last weekend (shutter appeared to be dragging and leaving a small overexposed strip on on side of the frame - got worse as the day went on), so I wanted to borrow a back up camera. Dennis, who some will know from here offered me his 1d4 as a backup so I went to pick it up and took the opportunity to test my 1dx with a reliable subject in poor conditions. Good news was the shutter issue didn't repeat itself, but the light was dim so I pushed the ISO a bit further than normal - 12,800 here.

    To me, this is the real importance of a high ISO test, where its being used in dim conditions, as opposed to being pushed in decent light because you want to get a higher shutter speed.

    Techs here are Canon 1dx, ISO 12800, 1/320th, f8, about 75% of full frame. RAW was processed in DPP4, NR figures of Luminance 7, Chrominance 11, taken to PS, resized, then a little more NR added to the greenery.

    I'm not saying the rest of the image couldn't be improved, I was just interested in noise and detail.

    For me, this would be acceptable for most web use at least.

    Keen to keep the discussion going

    Mike

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Mike I really don't want to pee on your chips but until fairly recently I would have agreed noise is well controlled but I think now knowing what I do I would really back off with the luminance - it just smothers detail. I like your image but I think you can get more detail and use the NR more selectively. I genuinely think there is finer detail to be had.

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    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    What would you suggest Jon? I just took Arash and arties guide and tried to push the numbers a bit further for the increased ISO.

    I'm planning on trying neat image soon

    Mike


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Yep agree Jon, but with the 1DX MKII it is a 'Game Changer'.

    All I would say is that it is a trade off, more noise, less detail and you need to know when to shoot and when to put the camera down. I think Mike there is more you can extract from the file as viewed, even at 12k. It's very much dependent on the Exposure, the Contrast within the image and the PP process.

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    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kaluski View Post
    Yep agree Jon, but with the 1DX MKII it is a 'Game Changer'.

    All I would say is that it is a trade off, more noise, less detail and you need to know when to shoot and when to put the camera down. I think Mike there is more you can extract from the file as viewed, even at 12k. It's very much dependent on the Exposure, the Contrast within the image and the PP process.
    Steve,

    This was taken purely as a technical exercise rather than a potential wall-hanger, so I wasn't expecting wonders, just something to learn from. Its not a situation where I'd normally shoot unless I had something rare in front of me.

    What would be your Nr/ sharpening workflow with something like this given the low light on the night. As shot, the extreme whites (the feathers on the right as we look) were on the verge of blowing and were in the 250's in DPP4, so no room to expose higher without losing detail.

    Mike

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Mike I use LR and my Workflow is different, I also shoot in a way that I know ahead of the game how I will process the image. This is why I feel capturing an image and PP and very much 'Dovetailed', the two are not separate entities, they are all encompassing. If the whites were on the verge of blowing then you needed to drop the exposure to retain more tonal value IMHO.

    I also think you need to know when to shoot and when to put the camera down .

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    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kaluski View Post
    I also think you need to know when to shoot and when to put the camera down .
    Like I said Steve, this was shot as a technical exercise rather than trying to get an award winner. I was hoping to stimulate some conversation of the techs needed for shooting high ISO for future knowledge.

    Mike

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Poole View Post
    Like I said Steve, this was shot as a technical exercise rather than trying to get an award winner. I was hoping to stimulate some conversation of the techs needed for shooting high ISO for future knowledge.

    Mike
    Mike I would try again this time using very little luminance, try Chrominance at 8 these are rough guidelines, I will be happy to have a look at the raw if you wish.
    Also (not trying to start any wars here) I genuinely suggest you try ACR set Luminance to 0 and try Chrominance at 25 see what results you get, probably not perfect but I suspect not a million miles from where you want to be (provided the image wasn't underexposed initially).
    Having done that you could then apply a mask in PS and use NR on the background and very selectively on the darkest plumage if required.

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hey Mike great that you are participating in this thread ....
    And good to see you are pushing the camera and see what the camera can deliver under not ideal conditions.
    Always very good to try....and keep doing it!!!!!!
    Well the image does look quite ok to me ...without being too picky.Always possible to get better results in PP edits if the base file is good.
    I will not jump into ACR / DPP discussion ....you know what i prefer .
    You might drop the luminance down to 4 and keep the chrominance at the default , more important is the sharpness and the picture style .
    with these High Iso shots ....i set sharpness never higher than 3, sometimes even only 2 .
    More important is the NR as the first step once send to PS , i prefer for a very long time Neat Image .
    In the end up to you , and experiment with different ....options to find the way you like the things .

    TFS Andreas

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    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Thanks for coming back into this one Andreas. I'm happy with DPP, but also willing to try Jon's idea if there is an improvement to be had. Still, I'm not overly keen to get into debates over the 2 systems, they can both clearly do a job the right hands.

    What would your ideas be regarding the NR settings in DPP4 for an image like the owl then? I took Arash's table and pushed them a bit further as the table does not go this high, but its interesting that both Jon and yourself recommend lowering the luminance compared to what Arash would (probably) suggest. Exposure wise, this was as far right as I could have gone, with the feathers under the right (as we look) eye nearly but not quite clipping.

    I intend to get neat image soon, hopefully that will help as well.

    Mike

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hi Mike ....well i was happy to see somebody else jumping into this thread , thanks.
    Regarding the debate about DPP and others is mostly useless as too many different opinions about this . Specially when we look at web size images ....
    I just leave it to the author of the posting how he / she processes the files , i can just give my WF as a guiding point for those who are interrested in DPP . And even within the Canon user community there are different views how to use DPP .
    I work different to i.e. Arash/Artie ...and not saying something is better . I tried the recommended settings from there DPP guide , but decided to use different settings as my personal prefs.
    AS i said try different settings and compare them side by side in PS in the final file , and be your own critical judge .
    I have never seen a posting made by Arash / Artie in the real HIGH ISO range ....difficult to compare to i.e. my own. As a lot of times i was forced to use very high iso, due to our very lovely mid europe weather and light conditions at times .
    Regarding your question of this owl ....and the settings , well i must see the raw to tell you .
    I have no automated WF , so i treat each file individually .And therefore i cannot tell you , but feel free to fire me the raw and i take a look .
    You get back a copy of the raw with my DPP edits ....so easy to recall what i have done within DPP

    Hope this helps , cheers Andreas

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    Andreas,the thread is fascinating,as someone of much lesser expertise,I'd like others learning to try and take on board this mindset of pushing the iso for SS that you and Steve and the guys have guided me towards,for me it's been a bed rock of my learning curve. Sure my camera is older and technology is moving ,as we can see from the incredible iso this image was made at. But this mindset of ETTR and pushing the iso to get that faster shutter I feel is a bed rock to build off even for older camera users.

    Steve there is a particular nuance I have picked up on in your reply to Mike in pane 13......".If the whites were on the verge of blowing then you needed to drop the exposure to retain more tonal value IMHO." Can you elabourate here on this statement please...how far should this exposure have been dropped. Steve my indset has always been push the exp until I start to see blinkies,are you advocating this should be tempered slightly to get better tonal detail. I reaslise this might be very much subjective to the individual image,but I feel it's really worth asking if it is possible for you to be more specific.

    Andreas it's incredible what you guys can do with a camera, the iso figures shared here are bewildering,but so inspiring. Naturally the need to handle noise well within post at these higher isos is also deeply interesting, Obviously I am still stuck in DPP at this time,but my hopes are high that in the not to distant future this might change we'll see. What is important though is both your's and Jon's posts regarding the luminance settings in dpp for NR. Should I be pulling this back slightly? Andreas I need to study this and it's relevence to me in my situation at this time, do you think this might still be of relevence to me while I can only use DPP as my post processing engine or will this only be applicable later when I have PSCC aswell?

    Wonderful and amazing images at these high isos all. Good reading for even the novices amongst us,although I can't really jump in persay I think this is of so much importance that it's worth adding a post to keep this thread going,maybe more will see,and naturally there are questions in my mind from the posts for good measure.

    Thanks guys for the education and the inspiration

    stu

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