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Noise, How much is too much?

I'm just getting started here and have been reading about microstock all week. One thing I have read over and over is how photos are rejected for noise. I understand there are several factors that cause noise in an image including sensor size, length of exposure, ISO, etc. I'm shooting with a full frame sensor so I figure that's step one to reducing noise. Shutter speed and ISO are inversely proportional and I was wondering if there is a maximum ISO that you feel safe shooting at and at what ISO do you just say it's pointless to waste the energy pressing the shutter button because the photo will be useless?
Thanks in advance, hope to uploading soon.

Canon 5D Mark III
Posted: 01/12/2013, 12:00:47 PM
Wow, over 100 views and no one has any comments. Is the question that dumb or doesn't anyone pay any attention to ISO as it relates to noise?
Canon 5D Mark III
Posted: 01/12/2013, 21:46:21 PM
The maximum ISO level depends on camera and on the subject of your image. I try always keep it at the minimum level (ISO100) but sometimes I have to set it to 200 or even to 400. But as I know, ISO400 is quite working calue for Canon 60d, e.g.

So, there is no definite answer to your question. You will get it only from your experience with your specific equipment.
7d + lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm/3.5-5.6 IS USM & EF 100mm/2.8 USM Mac...
Posted: 01/13/2013, 01:59:51 AM
It really depends on the imageitself, but I would say with my Canon 5D MarkII, ISO 400 still have very little noise, it start to show above 800

But, when you process sometimes you lift the shadows, this increase the noise appearance too, so, even with a low ISO you can have noise.

That said, I have images taken with ISO1600 where I reduced the noise in photoshop and decreased the resolution untill it got into an acceptable level and they were approved.

So, there is not a perfect answer, but use the lowest ISO you can get, pay attention to noise during your processing, never forget you can upload a downsized file (minimum is 3mpixels) in order to make the noise less apparent.

Which full frame camera are you using? Are you taking jpgs or RAW?
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Posted: 01/13/2013, 03:59:16 AM
Thank you both very much for your replies. I had forgotten that the subject make a difference too. Also didn't consider I could downsize the file. Two very good points!
I'm using a Canon 5D Mark III. This question was prompted because of the menu settings available for ISO range. Since I can set a maximum ISO the question just becomes where to set it for max. I'm hand holding often so high shutter speed is a must. Balancing aperture and ISO for good depth of field is the trick. I am shooting in RAW so under exposing could be done and then post process up the exposure. But, I read somewhere the that doesn't work very well and just brings in noise also.
A tripod is in my immediate future I know it's a requirement. Feeling a bit like a starving artist after buying the camera though. ;-) I'm looking at a 3LT since I get a monopod too. More than $40 US for a QR plate is a bummer though. I need to call and see if any Arca-Swiss plate will work.
Canon 5D Mark III
Posted: 01/13/2013, 09:17:14 AM
Hello, I use Nikon d5100. This one has ISO3200. So, ISO is not so important, more important is to get the exposure right. Of course, some basic editing in PS, but the picture itself does not have so much noise.

   Tango flirt   

Also, I have photos rejected that were shot at ISO 100... for poor lightning. I hope this answers your question.
Photography I use Nikon 105mm F2.8G, Nikon 35mm F1.8G, Nikon crop body...
Posted: 01/13/2013, 15:24:34 PM
Yes, this is all quite helpful. Thinking through it all. I've been away from photography for about eight years, fortunately physics hasn't changed.
Canon 5D Mark III
Posted: 01/13/2013, 19:33:07 PM
Noise shouldn't be a big problem, certainly not with an EOS 5D. It has excellent imaging capabilities.
Just make sure that you check images at 200% for noise. It's better that way, very little risk of getting rejected.
Shoot a well exposed blurred photo at ISO 100 with as many colors as possible. Then look at the amount of noise you get. Use this as a comparison. I'm sure any ISO100 photo wouldn't have serious noise.
Now when you shoot at higher ISO, compare with this image to see if noise has seriously increased. If it has, do a noise removal. It's easy, you'll soon get used to it and when you look at any image you'd know if it has too much noise.

Important thing is:
- Some noise removal tools apply too much sharpening to recover details. You'll get a distorted pixels rejection.
- Check only the darkest areas for noise. If they are fine, everything else would be fine too.
- Use a mask so that you don't apply noise removal at places with details and places of interest.

   Garden lizard or chemeleon basking   

In the above image the dark areas had some noise. I did a noise removal and forgot to set the sharpening to low and got this photo rejected.
After that I resubmitted with lower sharpening and selective noise removal...it was accepted.
I didn't remove noise from the eye region. The scales were too little and very detailed. Why lose the details?
55-250mm standard lenses. Dual tube macro flash and external speedlit...
Posted: 01/14/2013, 01:26:29 AM

Originally posted by Naretev:
Quoted Message: Thank you both very much for your replies. I had forgotten that the subject make a difference too. Also didn`t consider I could downsize the file. Two very good points!I`m using a Canon 5D Mark III.

Jesus, man, you have Mark III and is worried about noise?
Only if you explore its limits you will see any noise at all!
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Posted: 01/14/2013, 04:01:30 AM

Originally posted by Afagundes:
Quoted Message: Jesus, man, you have Mark III and is worried about noise?Only if you explore its limits you will see any noise at all!

Yea, I know it's its really good for noise I'm just trying to push the limits for - low light - good depth of field - hand held shooting - so it becomes all about the ISO and noise. I just got the camera 4 days ago and it's been really cloudy (darkish) here. It replaces my 10D (like I said I've been away from photography for a while). Tripod is in the mail, historically I know I don't tend to carry it with me as often as I should. I got one with a removable leg that makes into a monopod for versatility,we'll see.
Canon 5D Mark III
Edited: 01/14/2013, 09:11:31 AM
Ok, so, of course use the lowest ISO you can get and try to stay below ISO1600, at least with the Mark II it gets really noisy, even with the Mark III brand new sensor, I think anything above ISO1600 is probably complicated to use.

The lowering resolution tip works really good, you can process it starting with the 24Mpixels RAW file, filter as much noise as you can in, say Adobe Camera RAW or any other software, but the trick is not to try to sharpen it too much, or maybe don´t even sharpen it at all, because this will add up the noise again.

Than you decrease the resolution down to where you think it gets sharp enough, minimum being, of course, 3mpixels.

This procedure saved a lot of my images that would be, otherwise, unsuitable for stock.

Of course you can use some more techniques, like using a heavy noise filter in the shadows and masking it with a not so heavy noise filtered version of it and so on.

But, if the noise is reeeeeally bad, the only thing that will save it is downsampling it in the end of the process.
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Posted: 01/14/2013, 14:27:59 PM
Lots of good information!
Also, remember to always check your histogram, shooting to the right without clipping your highlights.
Currently my primary cameras are a Fuji X-T2 and a Fuji X100F.
Posted: 01/15/2013, 10:59:20 AM

Check this blog for some information about noise. Please write a comment if you have any additional information or anything to correct, I'll appreciate it :)
Nikkor 35mm f2.8 - Nikkor 50mm f1.4 - Nikkor 50mm f1.8 - Tam...
Posted: 01/18/2013, 03:33:41 AM