D300s ISO 800 Noise?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by miha, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Hi,
    I was just looking at my recently taken pictures where I chose ISO 800 on my D300s. All pictures are quite sharp but parts of pictures just look somehow muddy. Is this noise? Besides taking pictures at lower IS0 can I make anything about it? Is this just the limit of an old D300s and the camera can't do it better? All samples are not sharpened nor manipulated.
    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Regards, Miha.
    00djiH-560696284.jpg
     
  2. Now the sharp(est) part:
    00djiJ-560696384.jpg
     
  3. The 'muddy' part:
    00djiL-560696484.jpg
     
  4. Well, I just thought It may be the consequence of the atmospheric situations (light fog). The church is almost a mile away. What do you think?
     
  5. And one more photo made at about 60-70 meters away. It looks quite sharp (this is just the part I focused on). Same data as previous picture.
    00djiO-560696584.jpg
     
  6. Shot in RAW or JPEG? What lens? Aperture? What did you focus on?
     
  7. Those look like very challenging conditions. The haze and the distance seem like the dominant factors in your photo.
     
  8. SCL

    SCL

    I also suspect perhaps a slow shutter speed...when I open picture #3, modify levels and add sharpening...things which are really static, like the bridge, are indeed sharp but things like the trees are blurry, possibly due to being obscured by a thin layer of moving mist, possibly slight movement in the wind. Mist often causes blurriness by itself.
     
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The haze is the main issue here. Regardless of how great your sensor and lens might be, the haze is going to dominate the whole situation.
    I would find a clearer day to recheck.
     
  10. that looks like atmospheric haze. not so much a camera issue as a technique issue. most cameras would struggle with that scene, as shot. not sure why you shot at ISO 800 as that scene doesnt seem all that dark, but there may be slight overexposure which is actually fairly well-controlled in terms of noise, from looking at your crops. also, not sure if you used a tripod, but the 4th photo you posted seems to have slight subject movement. you may be able to reduce some of the haze effect with a circular polarizer, but it's asking a lot for any camera shooting from that far away into a hazy background.
     
  11. The "smudgy" looking foliage in pic #3 looks to me like in-camera noise reduction applied to a JPEG. The camera raises the level of "smudging" (pixel-to-pixel smoothing) according to local contrast and ISO speed. The impression of unsharpness is simply down to low contrast caused by atmospheric haze IMO.
    The overall blue cast doesn't help with colour differentiation or saturation either.
    If you have a RAW image to work on (and if not, why not?) then you can (1) correct the White Balance, (2) raise the contrast by using the curves tool of your RAW processor to apply a gentle "S" shape to the tone curve, then (3) apply some noise reduction to taste. Personally I'd rather see a bit of noise than artificial-looking smudging of low-contrast detail.
    I've done stage 1 and 2 as described above to your first image, together with a bit of saturation increase. If the same was done to the original full-sized image I'm sure it would look much sharper. The colour is still a bit off because I didn't have a RAW file to work with.
    00djjJ-560698084.jpg
     
  12. Eric Arnold [​IMG][​IMG], Feb 08, 2016; 04:08 p.m.
    that looks like atmospheric haze. not so much a camera issue as a technique issue. most cameras would struggle with that scene, as shot. not sure why you shot at ISO 800 as that scene doesnt seem all that dark, but there may be slight overexposure which is actually fairly well-controlled in terms of noise, from looking at your crops. also, not sure if you used a tripod, but the 4th photo you posted seems to have slight subject movement. you may be able to reduce some of the haze effect with a circular polarizer, but it's asking a lot for any camera shooting from that far away into a hazy background.​
    I would agree...
    Rodeo Joe [​IMG], Feb 08, 2016; 04:36 p.m.
    The "smudgy" looking foliage in pic #3 looks to me like in-camera noise reduction applied to a JPEG. The camera raises the level of "smudging" (pixel-to-pixel smoothing) according to local contrast and ISO speed. The impression of unsharpness is simply down to low contrast caused by atmospheric haze IMO.
    The overall blue cast doesn't help with colour differentiation or saturation either.
    If you have a RAW image to work on (and if not, why not?) then you can (1) correct the White Balance, (2) raise the contrast by using the curves tool of your RAW processor to apply a gentle "S" shape to the tone curve, then (3) apply some noise reduction to taste. Personally I'd rather see a bit of noise than artificial-looking smudging of low-contrast detail.
    I've done stage 1 and 2 as described above to your first image, together with a bit of saturation increase. If the same was done to the original full-sized image I'm sure it would look much sharper. The colour is still a bit off because I didn't have a RAW file to work with.​
    Very cool and very good...This is why both Eric and Rodeo Joe are some of my favorite posters here. Always worth the read.
     
  13. RJ for the win! excellent PP job.
     
  14. Admittedly, the (beloved) D300 is always a bit 'muddy' .. and at higher ISO's a bit smudgy..
    My good-old D200 was much cleaner .. up to ISO 200 .. I set my D300 generally at ISO 320, because that gives some exposure room to manouver (sp.?), and keeps the 'muddyness' acceptable. After the D200, the D300 opened a new world in terms of high-ISO images, though! ISO 3200 was useable, if you accept a bit of aforementioned 'smudgyness'.. For indoor photography, the D300 was such an improvement.
    And yes: I do use the NEF's and (still) develop them in Capture NX2.
     
  15. Thanks all for the quick answers, especially Rodeo Joe for the extensive help. Now the photo looks a lot better (even as a small pic).
    I posted the JPG pics straight out of the camera, without any work of them. I also have RAW files, but I just wanted to know how to start working on them.
    There was some haze (light fog) as I mentioned beforehand. I used a 200-400 f/4 lens, mounted on a tripod, at f/8 and 1/400s.
    The last picture - the orange buoy with the letters was made with the same lens, on tripod, at f/5.6 and 1/200s. Therefore I had to raise the ISO level to get acceptable short shutter speeds.
    Thanks again for your help. Miha.
    PS: Attached is a 100% crop, JPG, strait out of the camera, same gear as before, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/640. Will try to work on the RAW file to make it better.
    00djmz-560704984.jpg
     
  16. Thanks for the compliments - I'm blushing now!
    If it's any further help Miha, below is the curve I applied to your misty picture. I used the free GIMP software, but almost any decent image editor should offer the freehand curves feature. Capture NX-D and the old Capture NX-2 both have that facility, as well as Adobe's ACR, Lightroom etc.
    00djo3-560705884.jpg
     

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