Lens Question

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Beau82's picture
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Lens Question

The other day I had my 50mm on the camera (Nikon D90) and I was just playing around adjusting different things to see what outcomes I would get. When I finished up, the ISO was up to 2000. The next day I was taking photos of my boys, niece and nephews and I forgot to change the ISO until after quite a few photos had been taken. Anyway, I noticed after uploading the photos that the ones with the super high ISO weren't nearly as grainy as when I have a high ISO on my kit lens (18-105mm). I find on the 18-105, if I go higher than 800, the photos look really grainy and bad.
My question is, does the lens really make that much of a difference? I was really amazed at how nice the photos looked even though I was at ISO 2000.

marymoonu's picture
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Interesting... I'm curious now, too. I don't know about lens difference, but I do notice more noise at high ISO when I'm taking pictures of subjects with more dark-colored areas. It's not as noticeable in pictures of lighter-colored things.

Jeffininer's picture
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I would guess that it wasn't the lens, but how the photo was exposed. If you even slightly underexpose a photo with a higher ISO you will have more noise. Where as, if you properly expose or even slightly overexpose a photo, the noise is significantly less. The key is always proper exposure.

I have taken pictures at 3200 ISO on my 50D and had little to no noise at all.

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"Jeffininer" wrote:

I would guess that it wasn't the lens, but how the photo was exposed. If you even slightly underexpose a photo with a higher ISO you will have more noise. Where as, if you properly expose or even slightly overexpose a photo, the noise is significantly less. The key is always proper exposure.

I have taken pictures at 3200 ISO on my 50D and had little to no noise at all.

This! I, too, have noticed if the picture is too dark, the noise can be WAY worse (in the blacks, etc.) than on an proper and/or overexposed photo! I'm terrible sometimes about remembering to switch back my ISO if I bump it way up, so I can totally relate to this!! Wink

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I think the lens CAN make a difference though. I can take a pic w/ my telephoto lens at 50mm and then with my 50mm prime and get a noticable difference. I think this is where the true definition of bokeh comes in to play. Recall that bokeh is the QUALITY of the blurry parts of your photo. When I use my telephoto lens I will notice a definite drop in the quality of my bokeh - it often looks pixellated and that might come across as noise.

KWIM?

So ... in the end ... I think that the lens CAN make a difference as well as the conditions for which you are exposing.

Best,
GiGi

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I just have a P&S so probably shouldn't even talk about the noise thing, but for my camera, no matter how well-exposed a shot is, anything above ISO 800 is simply unuseable. ISO 400 has to be run through noiseware. I guess the lens on my P&S isn't that great, and exposure of the shot doesn't make a difference. Probably underexposed shots are worse, but the problem exists regardless.

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Your glass can make a total difference! Completely! The more expensive the better quality of glass is a big rule.

I have found that I stick to Nikon or Nikkor lenses and usually the ones that are above $500. Really makes a huge difference!

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That is interesting. I'm constantly forgetting to check my ISO before beginning a shoot. I need some kind of stickie on my camera to remember!

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"CJWilkes" wrote:

Your glass can make a total difference! Completely! The more expensive the better quality of glass is a big rule.

I have found that I stick to Nikon or Nikkor lenses and usually the ones that are above $500. Really makes a huge difference!

Yep! Smile