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Archive 2013 · ISO 50 … a Bad Rap?
  
 
Jefferson
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · ISO 50 … a Bad Rap?


A shot from this weekend… late afternoon around 4pm… I’m on the wrong side of the track for the time of day… partly cloudy… not overcast… nice day… lots of clouds moving across sky (nice big white clouds with lots of blue between them)… so I’m on this side to get some pans … Most of my shots from this side were at ISO 100… with the clouds helping… but thought I would throw this out because most advice on shooting is how to get to a shutter speed of 400 or so for sports… in “low” light …

I like this side of the track for pans (when there are people in the stands wearing different colors… makes for a nice backgrounds with slow shutter speeds … passing in that area makes for better shots from this side of the track also.

When a cloud was not covering the sun, the direct light from the sun could be considered harsh… I had to go to ISO 50 from ISO 100 to get a 1/60 shutter speed and not over expose. I really wanted a 1/30 shutter… but ISO 50 wouldn’t let me do it. Don’t want to stop down more than f/11. Don’t want to use a ND.

So I seem to be pretty much “maxed out” for my self imposed limits…
I know ISO 50 gets criticized and is considered “artificial” and I understand that… but you shoot them when they’re there and this was the best solution that I could find.

Does anyone besides me consider ISO 50 legit … ?
Most discussions are about high ISO to get faster shutter speeds to freeze action… I want slower shutter speeds to show motion… kind of reverse of what most do…

This was shot in RAW… then imported into LR as a .dng file… only lens correction applied… otherwise… as shot…

5Dc + 300 f/4L IS + 1.4x II @ f/11 … ISO 50 … 1/60 … center focal point on “roll cage” just behind helmet … AI Servo… manual exposure mode … hand held

http://jeffersonposter.smugmug.com/photos/i-fD4FKBt/0/X2/i-fD4FKBt-X2.jpg



Sep 23, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Paulthelefty
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · ISO 50 … a Bad Rap?


An interesting problem...

I usually get decent pans starting about 1/125 depending on the sport and the conditions. I don't have an ISO 50 body! I find that going lower than 1/100 really starts to kill my hit rate, so I have to be mindful of what my intentions are for the shoot (is my priority a cool shot, or sellable shots of individuals?).

What is your hit rate at 1/60? And why the fear of f/16? Just curious, not accusing... :-)

Paul



Sep 23, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Jefferson
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · ISO 50 … a Bad Rap?


Paulthelefty wrote:
An interesting problem...

I usually get decent pans starting about 1/125 depending on the sport and the conditions. I don't have an ISO 50 body! I find that going lower than 1/100 really starts to kill my hit rate, so I have to be mindful of what my intentions are for the shoot (is my priority a cool shot, or sellable shots of individuals?).

What is your hit rate at 1/60? And why the fear of f/16? Just curious, not accusing... :-)

Paul



The hit rate does go down with the slower shutter speeds… maybe 40% at 1/60 and drops to maybe 20% at 1/30 … in the real world it would be less than that because the cars can come one behind the other not leaving much time to frame the next shot. You can end up with the back or front cut off … although sometimes I do that intentionally to isolate a driver or feature of a car. I don’t hold the shutter release down … I shoot one click at a time … or at least try, sometimes I get two or three… it can get pretty busy at times …

I like the slower shutter speeds for the background effect … you can blurr a porta-potty and almost make it blend into the background … not that I try…. But I shoot at lower shutter speeds to become more proficient at it… for non-pans … I stay 1/125 to 1/250 for moving subjects.

I have shots in the 1/30 to 1/125 range and then shots say through turns that are in the 1/200 to 1/250 range depending on the angle of the car … (to get wheel blurr if you can see them).

I also use a 1/250 to 1/320 speed for head on shots where the shutter speed has to be fast enough to catch the car before it travels to much distance … a car doing 160 + mph can cover a lot of distance in 1/125 of a second… won’t be sharp …

As far as f/16 … f/11 is where I set my limit … not that it’s out of the question to stop down more… but for now I try to stay f/10 and below … makes me come up with different ISO …shutter speed … aperture combinations that work, (just starting this year to shoot manual exposure mode exclusively), … and no UFOs… I have much better results in manual exposure mode than Av or Tv… I plan on being pretty decent by next year…

This shot is not one that I would sell, although with some LR I could make it look decent. Just an example that’s in focus …

I don’t dial in exposure compensation because it takes to long … I can change ISO much faster, (just me), and adjust later in LR … RAW

Jefferson



Sep 23, 2013 at 11:57 PM
rolette
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · ISO 50 … a Bad Rap?


Jefferson wrote:
When a cloud was not covering the sun, the direct light from the sun could be considered harsh… I had to go to ISO 50 from ISO 100 to get a 1/60 shutter speed and not over expose. I really wanted a 1/30 shutter… but ISO 50 wouldn’t let me do it. Don’t want to stop down more than f/11. Don’t want to use a ND.

So I seem to be pretty much “maxed out” for my self imposed limits…
I know ISO 50 gets criticized and is considered “artificial” and I understand that… but you shoot them when they’re there and
...Show more

Sure it is legit. Use what you need to on your camera to get the shot you are after. 90% of my shots the last few years are around ISO 8000 (joys of indoor volleyball!), so any issues with ISO 50 are minute in my view

There is also the difference between what settings can deliver a shot that meets your needs vs. what is the absolute best IQ you can get in the situation. Most of what I've read (note: read, not practiced personally) says that you give up some DR by dropping to ISO 50. YMMV depending on what body you use. According to dpreview, you lose ~2/3 of a stop in DR at ISO 50 on a 5D2 (about a full stop on highlights, but you gain back a bit in shadows).

Probably worth checking with the guys in the Landscape forum to talk to folks with experience using it. I'm sure the waterfall guys spend plenty of time discussing the merits of ISO 50 vs. ND filters

Jay



Sep 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM
 

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Carl Auer
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · ISO 50 … a Bad Rap?


On most Canons (can not speak for the 1DX or 5DIII), ISO 50 is not a natural ISO. My understanding is, your sensor has a sensitivity range, for example, 100-6400. This is the pure ISO settings for your camera. The expansion settings allow you to extend that range down to 50 and up to 12K, 25k, etc. But instead of this being a natural ISO setting it takes a ISO 100/6400 sensor and adds a software algorithm to the mix to create the extended ISO settings. You could say it is similar to the film days when you pushed or pulled film. It can be nice, but it can also cause issues. I have used ISO 50 sparingly for well lit portraits and while colors and skin tone were real nice, the sharpness was just not as good as ISO 100.

As for not using ND filters, why not? In my film days I use to use ND gradient filters and ND filters all the time (not typically for sports, but sometimes). A ND gradient with a tobacco color shooting into the sun can give you some phenomenal sunset images.

What about a polarizer filter? Most of those take away some of the light that if you are shooting at 1/60th at ISO 100, you should be able to hit 1/30th with a CP filter, plus it would cut glare on windshields, and really make any blue skies pop.

I should add, most DSLR's have a native ISO. My classic 1D is ISO 200, my 1DMkII and 7D are 100. At these ISO you get the highest quality, sharpest possible image from the camera. Any other ISOs are not as sharp (for pixel peepers) as the native ISO.



Sep 24, 2013 at 05:22 PM
OzIan
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · ISO 50 … a Bad Rap?


I shoot a lot of motorsport here in Australia and often suffer the "to much light" situation. I shoot with Nikon D300S bodies that have a minimum native ISO of 200 but is capable of being set at ISO 100 which is what I use for the vast majority of my work.

We have to work with the light we are given, so to achieve the type of shots we want then you have to use whatever tools that are available either as camera settings or by the use of light filtering tools. We are constrained by the laws of physics and the exposure triangle of ISO/shutter speed/aperture so your method of lowering the ISO to the minimum setting is very appropriate. Don't be concerned, use ISO 50 and get "the shot". Your customers will not care what ISO you use and any loss of detail or sharpness in using "non natural" ISO will probably only be noticed by you, if at all.

I shoot most of my motorsport in the northern part of Australia where the light can be very intense during the hours that racing takes place. I use a polarising filter or a 2 stop ND filter to claw back some control of shutter speed/aperture. I shoot a fair bit of historic motorsport where the use of a CP filter has the added benefit of countering the reflections from flat windscreens and chrome parts.

Use ISO 50 and be happy.



Sep 24, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Jefferson
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · ISO 50 … a Bad Rap?


… Your input is very much appreciated …

Jefferson



Sep 24, 2013 at 11:32 PM





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