Grain / Pixelation and D200?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jasonsmith, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. I purchased a Nikon D200 in January this year which would probably make it one of the initial batches made. The guy I shoot for has raised the issue of grain a couple of times. As such when shooting weddings I rairly go above 400ISO He sent back this page citing the grain as unacceptable. It was shot indoors at 400ISO with flash bounced off the wall behind me. I can see his point when I zoom in on the hairline. I am thinking the background is probably more so grainy due to underexposure. Has anyone had a similiar exoerience with the D200?
  2. The "grain" in the plain background looks typical "digital" to me, and I have a D2x. If you've ever looked closely at NPH400, you wouldn't have any problem with this picture at all.

    I see pixelation in this sample, probably because it is enlarged too much. A 100% crop (pixel for pixel) is a little more objective for evaluation. Pixelation is easy to deal with, you can double the the PPI of this camera through resampling then sharpen without any obvious artifacts.
  3. How dark was the original? This looks to me like an image that's had a few stops of exposure compensation in post processing.....or perhaps the shadow/higlight tool was used.
  4. Lauren - I shot raw and may have adjusted the exposure a little. Other than that its 'as shot'.
  5. ky2


    Poof. Noise gone.
  6. Given how hard that shadow is on the wall behind the subject, it's hard to believe the flash was bounced off the wall behind you. The other possibility is that the flash didn't contribute much to the overall exposure, resulting in significant underexposure, which would increase the apparent noise when you compensate in post-processing.
    I suspect the flash didn't have enough power, or was misconfigured.

    Still, in my experience, ISO 400 on the D200 is far from noise-free, even with proper exposure. It will always be highly visible in solid sections like that background. Noise Ninja or Neat Image is a good answer if you find it objectionable.
  7. Mark

    It was a small bedroom and was resonably dark. The side shadow would have been a lot worse with direct flash.
  8. Jason at 400 ASA in the dark image areas you need to do noise removal. Neat image or noise ninja are two popular programs.

    As a starter do apply noise removal as the first step, certainly before applying sharpening!

    You also need a bit of practice since it is a bit difficult to find the best compromise between loss of detail and noise removal. You also should practise removing noise on various areas of the image with different settings. A wall without structure is open for heavy noise removal, while some areas of the face are not.
  9. You don't mention which lens you are using. Assuming you are using something like the 18-200 zoom or equivalent, you can eliminate your need for using ISO 400 by using a faster lens, like a 2.8. The 50mm 1.8 is inexpensive and produces excellent results as well.

    While noise reduction programs work well, they typically reduce sharpness a little as well.
  10. Elliot - I was using a Tamron 28-75 F2.8.

    I have a 50mm F1.4 but due to the 1.6X effect it is of little use in such close quarters.
  11. Yaron -- along with that "poof" you lost a ton of detail. Look at the vest, for the most obvious example. I don't know how that software works, but can you mask off the background somehow and only do the noise reduction on that?
  12. ky2


    "Yaron -- along with that "poof" you lost a ton of detail. Look at the vest, for the most obvious example. I don't know how that software works, but can you mask off the background somehow and only do the noise reduction on that?"

    That's true, but Neat Image fares much, much better on a much larger image. It requires a much larger area to profile the noise. This was a 10 second drill for me, and still-- the results are visible. Jason, if you wish to send me a larger image, Ill be happy to process it for you.

    On the noise issue, "unacceptable" is a brtual over reaction. I don't massage my images with noise removal at ISO 400... Only when I go above ISO 1250, and that's only if I need big prints. At ISO 400, I can print any D200 snap up to 14x11, and the noise will not show at all.
  13. For those that use film - would grain of ISO400 film be similar at that magnification?? Is the person complaining about this noise really got that much to complain about. Just a thought.
  14. Yeah maybe the solution is to not let your client view the files at 100%. Just take him prints or smaller jpegs to preview and he won't see the "grain" to complain about it.
  15. What RAW converter did you use? I've seen a lot of variability, and found RAW Shooter Essentials to be particularly bad with automatically trying to create detail and increasing noise...
  16. next time give him smaller samples and save yourself the aggrevation.

    And, tell him to use a better hair coloring solution next time! There is BANDING Occuring on his crown, and it's NOT THE D200! Bwhahahahahaha

    Tom Matus
  17. I would honestly say that there is very little wrong with the grain if that is a 100% crop from the original file. 35mm ISO 400 print file will look much more grainy if scanned to the same size as the D200 image files and then viewed at 100%. The problem is that we can view everything at 100% in photoshop so we now worry much more about grain, lens sharpness because we can now view things so close. What size photo would you make from this file. I would guess it would be one of the smaller images in an album and not likely to be ordered as a large wall print. If your boss is used to seeing images from Canons then he may well think it is a bit noisy as the Canons do produce a cleaner image but I personaly don't see this noise as anywhere near unacceptable but I guess it depends what you compare it to. At the end of the day when you work for another persons business you are stuck with what they say is and is not acceptable.

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