what iso in dark church

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by davebarnes007, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. i have upgraded from 5d mk 1 to mk 3 and would like to hear what iso
    any one has used [ in a dark church ] no flash. 24 - 105L lens thanks...
  2. Congrats on the new camera. I love the MK III. You will be able to shoot at any iso keeping in mind the higher you go past 3200 the more grainer it will look. Having an F4 lens is not going to help you. If you are working off a tripod and subject movement is not an issue then it really doesn't matter. If you are hand holding or you need the subject to be frozen then you need a faster lens otherwise you will be shooting at 125000 and higher.
  3. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Don’t use a 5DMkIII myself, but I’ve seen very smart results at ISO 12800. Much has to do with making the correct exposure (NOT underexposing) and then suitable post production. As per Michael wrote you can use whatever ISO that you need. I push a 5D to ISO “H” (aka 3200) and I use my 5D MkII at ‘H1’ (aka 12800), quite often.
    I think that if you are contemplating what your ISO limit will be, then it is probably better just to go into a dark place and run a few tests for yourself: but I think that if a “very dark church” is a potential or ongoing problem for you, then it would be a good investment to have an inexpensive fast mid long (EF 85/1.8) and probably also a fast mid wide (EF35/2).
    Outside of Wedding Photography I collect the interiors of Churches as I have an interest in the Architecture and I’ve been a few in really dark Churches – when the interior is NOT lit for a Service. However, from an experience point of view - the ‘darkest Church’ I can remember covering was an older European Style Chapel in winter, it had very small windows . . .etc and when it was lit for a Service I was at about 1/30s~1/50s @ F/2 @ ASA3200, which translates to: 1/30s~1/50s @ F/4 @ ISO12800, and in good hands I don’t think that the 5DMkIII will have much trouble doing that. I’ve been in darker Churches and in darker areas in Churches, but not when the Church is lit for a Service.
  4. From the Nikon side, I use a 16-35 4.0 that has a 4 stop VR for museums/churches that prohibit tripods. At 16 mm 4 stops down is a full second! I brace against a wall or pillar, crank iso to 1600 or so and can hand hold at 1/2 second or even a full second in a pinch! If needed, I shoot in 3 frame bursts and the middle is usually fine because not pressing or releasing shutter on that frame.
  5. Bob makes a good point which requires the question of the poster to clarify whether or not he is talking about highest iso as it relates to slowest possible hand held shutter speed or highest iso that allows a fast enough shutter speed to prevent subject blur and camera shake. The first senario has the advantage of lower iso noise but is limited to non moving subjects and the steadiness of the photographer. This would be the wide shot in the back of the church showing a still shot. The last senario allows the photographer to shoot hand held candids and freeze the subject but with the sacrifice of extra noise from high and extreme high iso. These are two very different techniques.
  6. I just bought the Mark 3 today! So far I have no idea about the ISO's.

    With my other cameras, the 1Ds mark 3's I usually set the camera at ISO 800 and in most dark churches I
    was comfortable with an F 4 to F 5.6 at 15th of a second. With your lens you have the image stablilizer so
    it's not too hard to hand hold it at a 15th of a second.

    I've heard really great things with the 5D mark 111. You can probably use an ISO setting around 3200
    without any issues. Maybe setting your camera at 60th of a second around F 8. Hope this helps. I can't
    wait to go out and play!
  7. Lens stabilizer is only for camera shake not subject movement. There is a big difference.
    Bob Bernardo you need to explain your senario more in detail. What lens are you using? I don't know of anyone who shoots 1/15th sec shutter speed available light. Maybe for one or two shots when everything is absolutely still. I also don't know of anyone shooting available light in low light conditions who shoots at f8.
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    “. . .clarify whether or not he is talking about highest iso as it relates to slowest possible hand held shutter speed or highest iso that allows a fast enough shutter speed to prevent subject blur and camera shake.”​
    Yes please.
    And also clarify a point to which I was alluding - if we are discussing simply the highest ISO acceptable for noise – (which is of course more a more subjective call).
  9. Seems like a strange question. Use whatever is required to get the shot you want with a sufficiently high shutter speed to avoid camera shake. This will depend on the lens and whether it has an image stabilizer. I have the 6D, and I go very happily up to ISO 1600, and less happily up to 3200 and 6400. 3200 and 6400 usually need some noise reduction but can be very good. I personally only go above 6400 when I just have to have the shot.
  10. Lol Robin. I totally agree but that's the type of questions newbies ask.
  11. Wow! lol I don't know Michael. Good question, hard to answer. All of my lenses are pro. The longer lenses have the image stabilizer. This surely helps. Your opinion is surely valuable. I'm not going into details. All I can say is I've been shooting
    since 1988, probably an average of 35 to 45 weddings a year. Some of the wedding photographers
    weren't born yet and others were, such as the great William W. He's been in the business much longer
    then me! I'm not bragging, because Los Angeles is a huge place and it's so easy to find 50 people
    getting married. There's 8 million people here! I started with medium format Hasselblads with the
    ASA/ISO Kodak film rated at only 160. William and so many others remember this. Then came the
    ASA/ISO 400 film. Yes I used trpods sometimes. I even shot some black and white film then and
    developed it myself. Many others did this as well. This was the basic standards back then. Pretty much
    everyone shot with medium format cameras at least for the formals, however the photographers weren't
    shy with trying new ideas. Anyway you need good gear. This is why I have several camera's and all of them have 2 card slots. Just in case one card dies.

    Of course people move, thats normal, so you take 2 or 3 shots or 100. Why not! At one point they won't move!
    Some wedding friends in this group shoot around 4000 images per wedding. I'm sure they got the
    needed shots and I'm sure they had lots of fun!

    We all have our own styles of shooting. This is the way. That's all I can say. Photographers are all
    different. Do what works best for you, perhaps have a blast and try new things! It's really fun playing with
    stuff like assorted filters from star filter to color filters, to all kinds of filters. That's so much fun being
    creative.Michael, your photo's are very good. Don't get me wrong here. I always get the
    needed formal shots. Always. You must. I think this is why I've been doing this for so many years. There's no limit with creative photography. Pretty cool for sure.

    By the way I shoot a lot of the church and temple formals at a 15th of a second to pick up the background
    which is often very beautiful. I normally usa a flash too. A flash often stops movement.

    Good or bad that's why I wrote the above post. Lets have fun together. Let' have fun, even with the formals and slow shutter speeds.
  12. No disrespect to you Bob! You have a 10 year head start on me. I am sure you have heard of the F8 ten feet rule. We are from the film days and manual flashes. Today with digital and shooting high iso one needs to balance depth of field with iso to keep the noise level to a minimum. Shooting at f-8 in low light conditions seems to me a waste of extra added noise when one can simply shoot at f4 and save two stops of ISO noise. Flash photography is a different animal and I am all for the F8 in that scenario especially when using room lights.
  13. Michael, you are a great guy, a friend! I know you didn't mean anything! We are working together giving
    ideas to people. Frankly your ideas are just fine! The F8 10 foot rule works when using a flash. Take care my friend and be well. Thanks. bob
  14. Oh Bob I just reread your last post and you reminded me of another good point. You said you take several shots cause people move and one of them should be a good one. Today with the such good digital cameras the iso is very clean in low light levels even up to 2,000 ISO. When you have good even light you can even shoot upwards of 6400. The point here is there is no reason today to shoot at a shutter speed of 15 sec and hope 1 out of 5 shots may be in focus. Years ago yes that was the case. I was one of those people who dragged the shutter even up until a couple of years ago. I have broke out of that habit and now have 95% useable images. I have four hasselblads collecting dust and I still have a kodak pro pac 220 160 iso.
  15. Michael! I just picked up the 5D Mark 111! 4 hours ago. I am so excited to play with the higher quality ISO's compared to
    my 1DS Mart111's. Isn't life fun! So many toys to play with. I thought the 1Ds Mark111's were going to be
    my last cameras I'd buy. Nope! I wonder when the next toy comes out? After I shoot with it for a few weeks
    I may post something if I like the high ISO's. Take care Michael. Good posts for sure.
  16. You will love it. My eyes are not so good today at close distance and I especially enjoy the larger screen than from the 1ds Mk 111. I sold mine to get the 5D Mk 111 and i have not looked back. I was so tired of only being able to shoot at a max of 800iso with the 1DS. Enjoy and yes post pictures!
  17. Thanks for the great tip with the 5D 3. About the grain. Yes I hate it too. Thus the reason for buying the new camera. When shooting weddings
    they are always in RAW. Since you know about the film days very well, it's always my goal when editing to
    get that film look with digital. I'm lowering the contrast and the clarity a bit. There's a fine line there, too
    much doesn't work at all. It really helps to get that old time film look. Once I zero in on finding that look, I
    select all of the images and make the adjustments. That way there's no need to mess with each image.
    When I make these adjustments I think it softens that digital look and the people look better instead of that
    hard edgy kind of look.

    OK, I'm signing of. Time to open my new toy!
  18. With that camera and lens, 6400 should be fine. Just get the exposure nailed.

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