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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO...Can anyone tell me why I am getting noise in my images at ISO 200? Below is a 100% , ...
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Old 25-04-2008, 11:32   #1 (permalink)
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Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Can anyone tell me why I am getting noise in my images at ISO 200?

Below is a 100% , non-adjusted, crop of an image taken from a raw file which demonstrates the noise which I think shouldn't be so pronounced in the off-focus shadows.



The full image can be seen here

EXIF data is here:

Camera Model:.............Nikon D300
Pixel Size:....................407 x 612
Aperture:.....................f/22
Shutter Speed:.............1/60
Exposure Bias:..............0ev
Focal Length (35mm):...24.0mm
Focal Length:...............16.0mm
ISO Speed Rating:........ISO 200
Lens Minimum (mm):....16.0mm
Max Lens Aperture:.......3.7
Len Maximum (mm):.....85.0mm
Lens Model:..................16.0-85.0 mm f/3.5-5.6

I couldn't export the histogram but there is no clipping of highlights or shadows in the image (in case that's in any way useful to know)
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Old 25-04-2008, 11:43   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

I know it is a different camera but I've seen similar in low ISO from a D200, it seems to happen a lot in greyscale objects.
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Old 25-04-2008, 11:59   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Any idea why? When I see reviews of this camera and they show 100% crop images at 200, 400, 800, and 1600 - even the 800 seems to have less noise than what I am getting. I can't help feeling it's exposure related in some way but everything seems to be bang on the money in regards to my exposure settings.
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Old 25-04-2008, 12:34   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Found this Nikon D300 Review: 18. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review gives a comparison chart of ISO for the D300. After a very brief Google on the subject there appears to be some debate going on about the noise with some people comenting on it being 'grainy' but nothing as to the cause.

Judging from the shot I doubt that the camera would be doing any NR processing on the shot though this also appears to be under debate as to whether the camera does anything with the RAW image no one seems to know for sure.
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Old 25-04-2008, 13:20   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

If you have active D lighting on? I suggest turning it off and trying again.
Are you using capture NX to convert your images? if not, I suggest you give it a go too.

Good luck.
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Old 25-04-2008, 15:35   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

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Originally Posted by Original-Tin View Post
Found this Nikon D300 Review: 18. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review gives a comparison chart of ISO for the D300. After a very brief Google on the subject there appears to be some debate going on about the noise with some people comenting on it being 'grainy' but nothing as to the cause.

Judging from the shot I doubt that the camera would be doing any NR processing on the shot though this also appears to be under debate as to whether the camera does anything with the RAW image no one seems to know for sure.
I also read that site and looked at those images and that's what made me think the noise in my images were worse than those dpreview are showing. From a settings standpoint the camera only performs noise reduction for what it deems to be "High ISO" which I wouldn't include 200 in that. I guess my overriding question is that do other's (especially any other D300 users) see the noise in my image at ISO 200 as being excessive for that ISO?

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Originally Posted by Soupdragon View Post
If you have active D lighting on? I suggest turning it off and trying again.
Are you using capture NX to convert your images? if not, I suggest you give it a go too.

Good luck.
I am not sure why Active D Lighting would affect noise? It doesn't affect the sensor sensitivity in my understanding and I haven't read of other's who have disabled it due to it producing noise. I am reluctant to disable the Active D given that it does actually do a great job at lifting shadows and normalising the hightlights in strong contrast situations.

The noise you see btw is exactly as it appears in the raw and, yes, I do use Capture NX almost exclusively. Great program!
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Old 25-04-2008, 16:35   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Nope, it's not excessive - it's just normal luminance noise that is present in the shadows.

This would be exacerbated by the use of Active D-lighting since it effectively boosts the signal in the shadow area, emphasising any noise recorded.

If you want to avoid the issues associated with shooting high-contrast scenes, then shooting RAW is your best bet. Pull down the highlights in post and reduce the shadow curve to regain details lost when doing so.

By the way - you should avoid going beyond f/11 when shooting with your D300... you'll be starting to introduce diffraction effects in to your images and will therefore lose critical sharpness. The shot above would have been better taken at f/11 and 1/250 sec.
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Old 25-04-2008, 16:37   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

I'm not sure why you are so reluctant to try the cam without D lighting?
What have you got to lose?, as you have NX you can apply D lighting with greater fidelity during post processing anyway.
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Old 25-04-2008, 16:38   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Quote:
Originally Posted by VikingPhotography View Post
Nope, it's not excessive - it's just normal luminance noise that is present in the shadows.

This would be exacerbated by the use of Active D-lighting since it effectively boosts the signal in the shadow area, emphasising any noise recorded.

If you want to avoid the issues associated with shooting high-contrast scenes, then shooting RAW is your best bet. Pull down the highlights in post and reduce the shadow curve to regain details lost when doing so.

By the way - you should avoid going beyond f/11 when shooting with your D300... you'll be starting to introduce diffraction effects in to your images and will therefore lose critical sharpness. The shot above would have been better taken at f/11 and 1/250 sec.
Crikey! f22, how did I miss that one?
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Old 25-04-2008, 16:39   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

I have a D300 and a D200 and I noticed that the images had noise. I recently updated to the New Nikon NX on my Mac. I also think I need to turn off the D lighting. Check to see if the Jpeg images have noise or just the imaged converted from Raw. I think if I use flash I am going to limit the Auto ISO or turn it off on the flash camera. I plan to use the D200 for flash and the D300 for existing light. I will do more investigation. Charles L. Mims an old guy still trying to learn.
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Old 25-04-2008, 16:41   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Thanks for the info (and to those before you who also replied of course).

With regards the f-stop and diffraction effects. I thought this was specific to the lens you used as opposed to the camera body? I read somewhere that I should steer clear of the min and max aperture settings and need to keep that in mind. I was just trying to make sure I had the whole image in focus and not the top (peacock) out of focus due to the d.o.f, but f11 probably still would have been okay. Shame I can't try it now lol

Thanks for the tips, feedback and advice. All helps!
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Old 25-04-2008, 16:48   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Active D now disabled!

Last edited by LJR69; 25-04-2008 at 16:59. Reason: corrected typo
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Old 25-04-2008, 16:50   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

I know you've pretty much got the answers, but I have also found that Active D-Lighting does contribute so the noise...just to confirm
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Old 25-04-2008, 16:59   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Thanks muchly!
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Old 25-04-2008, 17:07   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

On an aside for the diffraction - Diffraction

This I have to say is afirst for me - never heard of it before.
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Old 25-04-2008, 17:28   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Thanks for that link.

Quote:
This should not lead you to think that "larger apertures are better," even though very small apertures create a soft image. Most lenses are also quite soft when used wide open (at the largest aperture available), and so there is an optimal aperture in between the largest and smallest settings-- usually located right at or near the diffraction limit, depending on the lens. Alternatively, the optimum sharpness may even be below the diffraction limit for some lenses.
This is what I was referencing but it appears the diffraction is in fact camera body/sensor size specific as well.

Too bloomin confusing all this...I'll just keep away from the small apertures when possible
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Old 25-04-2008, 17:39   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

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Originally Posted by LJR69 View Post
Too bloomin confusing all this...I'll just keep away from the small apertures when possible
I don't recommend that either.
I suggest for critical work you download and print a DOF calculator, then you can use the correct aperture.
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Old 25-04-2008, 17:48   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

I wouldn't get too hung up about noise. This shot was from D200 @ 1000 ISO
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Old 25-04-2008, 18:03   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

As far as the diffraction thing goes, you've got a DOF button - use it, then use the stop that gets the shot you want.

Air on the side of the wider apeture if you wanna be obsessive about it but I'd wager large sums of money that most people couldn't spot it unless they were looking for it and even then I'd bet they'd put it down to focus over the physics of light diffracting through a small hole...

And like the guide thing says - you'll need REALLY good glass before its gonna be the diffraction and not the optics. Hmm straying a little (I just wanted to use that smilie
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Old 27-04-2008, 10:29   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Hi! I experience the same problem with my new D300. In darker areas the noise is visible att iso 200. I tried to set tuhe iso to 100 but the noise is ther. I must admit that I'm new to Nikon DSLR so maybe I'm doing something wrong.
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Old 27-04-2008, 13:35   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Ok. So. I think possibly some people will either disagree or prove me wrong here, but this is my theory:
- Different lenses also affect noise levels.
- Higher quality glass will render more detail in the shadows, leaving less room for noise to fill up where there isn't any
- THe D300's resolution goes a long way to showing up this lack of resolving power of your earlier 'amateur' lenses, like what most of us had (and still have) when we upgraded to the D300 (me included).
- That means: more money!

JHW, about the ISO100: The reason it's not marked as ISO100 is because it technically isn't, it's just the camera underexposing but a bit more. It wont reduce the noise artifacts, in fact, you might even get a few smoothing artifacts instead, so it is only really for use when you need a lot less sensitivity, for example with a long exposre of a bright scene. Nikon don't even recommend using it as default.
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Old 27-04-2008, 13:55   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Thats a theory I must try. Try the 16-85 and then shift to the 18-50/2.8 Sigma and see if there is a difference in the images. Could be. I earlier used Canon and Digital Professional and could/ stil can't see any noise in the darker areas at lower iso settings. I will test with both lenses and get back with 'a report'. True that Nikon recommend using iso 200.
JMitchell, thanks for the tip.
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Old 27-04-2008, 14:34   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

No problem, I'd be interested to see the results.
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Old 27-04-2008, 14:46   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

I put two images taken earlier on the following link:
Sample image 01
Please download them if you could and tell me what you think about them.
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Old 27-04-2008, 14:58   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

JHW - The photos in your link are .NEF files and cannot be opened except with software that reads Nikon RAW. If you would like them to be viewable by everyone else, you should save in JPG or TIFF format.
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Old 27-04-2008, 15:04   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Aha, i was thinking you could download them and open them with Capture NX.
Does it work? Or?
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Old 27-04-2008, 16:00   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Yes, as I said, it's OK if people have software that will open Nikon RAW (i.e. .NEF) but not for anyone else.
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Old 27-04-2008, 17:21   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

I downloaded the first one and yes, there is a fair amount of noise in the light shadows on the white walls of the building.
I have to say, I don't like it, and I doubt it will improve with whatever lens you use.
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Old 27-04-2008, 18:06   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

Soupdragon: Thanks for your opinion. What should I do to determine what is 'wrong'.
Do you use Capture NX?
Any ideas?
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Old 27-04-2008, 18:33   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Nikon D300 noise in images at low ISO

I looked at the two, and the noise definitely looks like the noise I've seen caused by Active D-Lighting, which I see you used...

The solution is to 'expose to the right'. This might sound wrong on a digital camera, but you naturally have to make sure you watch the highlights as well. That means, that if you want that shadow detail, you have it, rather than trying to pull it back in post processing or D-Lighting, where noise like that will be introduced.

Last edited by JMitchell; 27-04-2008 at 18:44.
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