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Archive 2013 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?
  
 
RogerC11
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p.1 #1 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


Recently on the forums I'm noticing examples of the latest bodies and their super high iso abilities. While I can understand the use for it (night sports, weddings, etc) most of the shots that I see posted are usually of somebody sitting on a couch or cat in a living room with horrible white balance and no visual appeal aside from a proper exposure. I'm not really sure what to think of it. It makes me question if people are buying into these new bodies just for the sake of taking photos in the dark. Two things come to mind: the quality of light is still crap even if you're getting the right exposure, depth of field is usually no deeper than f2.8.

I recently shot a BJJ tournament with a 5dii and 70-200 2.8II at ISO 6400 and thought the shots came out decent and can see why the high ISO ability is useful in situations like these. But in a controlled situation (where I can add light) I just really don't see any visual appeal of using super high ISO for around the house for family or animal photos. After all, IMO photography is all about capturing light, not the pursuit of crappy light trying to make something useable from it. This is the end of my rant. Thank you all for listening.



Feb 10, 2013 at 06:24 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #2 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


Your post makes no technical nor practical sense, and it is not even funny.
In order to perk it up a bit, why don't you show us some of those BJJ shots of yours taken at ISO 6400 ?



Feb 10, 2013 at 06:45 PM
RogerC11
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p.1 #3 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


It's not meant to be funny, and if you don't understand it, then maybe you should read it one more time because I typed it in English.









Feb 10, 2013 at 06:49 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #4 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


Better High ISO performance is a tool that enables photography in situations that previously weren't possible, or at least not possible with acceptable results. As with any tool it can be abused, like using it in situations where it's unnecessary or when there are better alternatives like flash.


Feb 10, 2013 at 07:00 PM
trumpet_guy
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p.1 #5 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


Roger's point is understandable and well taken. I do think, however, that because usable
high ISO bodies exist now, venues are restricting flash more and more, and this makes
having a good high ISO body pretty important for weddings and concerts and such.

I totally agree that adding more and better light is often far preferable.



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #6 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


Roger -- I know what you mean, but I think maybe a slightly different emphasis on the results might help.

Personally, I have little use for high ISO photography. About the highest I go is 1600 with a 5D2. But I'm impressed and intrigued by some of the images I've seen from the 5D3 and 1DX at 6400 and 12,500 -- 12,500 looks really usable!

You are right that it is all about the light. Poorly lit subject are bad no matter what, unless for documentation.

And yes, cats and kitchen counters are boring and banal, and I wish I could say I've never posted awful test shots of new-to-me gear. But I have. It's just part of the new gear phenomenon -- you can't wait for some glamorous assignment (that may never come!).

I really think the high ISO is great for sports, events and performances. Even some documentation. And video! Man, Philip Bloom and others have really shown some great film making with high ISO video -- not your grandpa's movies anymore. And the trickle down improvement to lower ISOs -- the new 800 is like the old 35mm film 100! And 1600 is good for anything, without worrying. And since I usually stay below 400, that is better too, although not so radically.

Bring on the kittens in poolhalls, and night shots of rainy alleyways, and cow-tipping under moonlight (maybe that's getting too autobiographical?). Ha-ha!



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:04 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #7 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


I have no idea of the BJJ. Is it a Canon issue that occurs at high ISO? The highest I usually use is ISO 1600 on Canon and 3200 on Nikon.

EBH



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:05 PM
RobertLynn
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p.1 #8 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


I don't get your post either. You say you can see the reason for it, but then you can't see why people post photos of it around their house?

some people measurebate, other's shoot out in the world and use it in real life circumstances.

I shoot 6400-12800 all of the time, and even higher now. You've got to do what you've got to do.




Feb 10, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Beni
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p.1 #9 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


And no photographs taken with the aid of flash light, either, if only out of respect for the actual light - even when there isn't any of it. - Henri Cartier-Bresson - "The Decisive Moment"




Feb 10, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Matt Howell
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p.1 #10 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


If you are artistically inspired by movies and pay attention to the work of great DP's, you will see that what they have really mastered is not the camera, but the light.

I see both sides of this. On one hand, good high ISO performance is a godsend in situations where you cannot control the light and allows shots that are otherwise impossible. On the other hand, I also see it used as a crutch far too often, basically just covering the ass of lazy photographers, including myself at times, who are content with good enough, instead of actually caring enough to make an effort to control the light or find better light for a shot.



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:13 PM
 

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PeakPhoto
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p.1 #11 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


High ISO performance was the reason I chose the 6D. I need it, and use it often. I've had plenty of situations where I'm Yellowstone before the sun has really lit up the whole park and I've come across a mama black bear and cubs. I was shooting a 60D at the time and not being able to really bump the ISO killed me in the end and I only pulled one decent shot out of the bunch I took. Another time I was in Namibia and came across a pride of lions eating a fresh kill right as the sun dipped behind the mountains. Luckily my 70-200 f/2.8 kept me shooting longer than person who had the 100-400, but if I would have had my 6D I would have been much better off.

Examples of times I wish I would have had a better low light performer:




Feb 10, 2013 at 07:16 PM
RogerC11
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p.1 #12 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


Tim- I rarely do event photography anymore and sadly, sporting events have become less frequent for me since becoming a father. I do agree that high ISO is certainly applicable in those venues where flash is either not practical or prohibited all together. And at those events I usually try to move around a little to see where the best angles of light are.

Jim- You bring up an excellent point about documentation vs art. For those working as PJs, it is much more important to get the shot and I can completely understand the need for high ISO abilities vs those who are out to create "art". And who says getting new toys is never fun.



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:17 PM
3iron
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p.1 #13 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


Higher ISO allows photography where it was not possible before. Some will use it, some not. It's another tool just as a flash is another tool. I'm guessing the OP was just asking the question and not being inconsiderate.
Todays cameras are so much more than they were, it makes photography much easier than the witchcraft it once was. It has made a much better photograper out of me because of the instant feedback.
There are so many more usable tools than before, I'm greatful for the changes.



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:17 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #14 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


PeakPhoto wrote:
Examples of times I wish I would have had a better low light performer:


Those look very nice to me nevertheless. Now, you gotta go back with your 6D and get them super good.



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:24 PM
RogerC11
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p.1 #15 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


RobertLynn wrote:
some people measurebate, other's shoot out in the world and use it in real life circumstances.


If you said this, then you apparently understand some meaning behind my post.



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:27 PM
PeakPhoto
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p.1 #16 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


PetKal wrote:
Those look very nice to me nevertheless. Now, you gotta go back with your 6D and get them super good.

Absolutely! Living only an hour and a half from Yellowstone has its perks!

Back to the subject at hand... I think wildlife photography is an area where the high ISOs really benefit. I am by no means a wildlife photographer, but I do pretend from time to time. But there is no real way to tell an animal to move to where the light is better, or to wait right there until a cloud moves away. If it's a cloudy muggy day in Yellowstone a bump in ISOs is pretty necessary to capture action.



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #17 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


RogerC11 wrote:
Recently on the forums I'm noticing examples of the latest bodies and their super high iso abilities. While I can understand the use for it (night sports, weddings, etc) most of the shots that I see posted are usually of somebody sitting on a couch or cat in a living room with horrible white balance and no visual appeal aside from a proper exposure. I'm not really sure what to think of it. It makes me question if people are buying into these new bodies just for the sake of taking photos in the dark. Two things come to mind:
...Show more

Hey it's not cool to make light of boring cat and ugly family member portraits at ISO12800! That's why we spend the big bucks!

I don't think most people buy the latest and greatest photo geek toys to take pictures in the dark. They mainly enjoy the pride of ownership and pixel peeping. The boring cats and ugly family members are merely a humanizing break from lens cap photography and extended MA sessions.



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:40 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #18 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


RogerC11 wrote:
Recently on the forums I'm noticing examples of the latest bodies and their super high iso abilities. While I can understand the use for it (night sports, weddings, etc) most of the shots that I see posted are usually of somebody sitting on a couch or cat in a living room with horrible white balance and no visual appeal aside from a proper exposure. I'm not really sure what to think of it. It makes me question if people are buying into these new bodies just for the sake of taking photos in the dark. Two things come to mind:
...Show more

1. As you say, there a tons of non-controlled situations (lots of sports, PJ work, wildlife, etc.). Don't forget that even on the brightest, sunniest days, you are already into high ISOs shooting wildlife in a forest interior and that is just for starters.

2. Maybe the very low, but non-planned light is nicer light than setting up flash? Or setting up flash would totally change the mood, atmosphere, look of the shot? Lots of people are not big on flash.

3. Even if you don't end up shooting at ISO51,200, if it does much better there, it will also deliver a much nicer ISO800-4000 too, don't forget.




Feb 10, 2013 at 07:43 PM
John P Mulgrew
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p.1 #19 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


I'm so happy I'm not stuck at ISO 6400, nothing wrong with 10000 ISO under crappy lighting








Feb 10, 2013 at 07:48 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #20 · Appeal of super high ISOs...fallacy?


Just because you *can* do something does not mean you should.


Feb 10, 2013 at 07:50 PM
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