High ISO B&W

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by Deadbear77, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    So my sister in law had another show the other night and the lighting was non existent. So taking decent pics was going to be a problem.

    Long story short after getting a little fed up I switched to black and white and turned up the ISO to 6400. Shot with my minolta 1.4 at between 2.0/2.8

    I have to say I really like the grainy film quality these produced.

    When you get handed lemons make lemonade I guess.

    gypyju3y. 4yvazagy.

    Have a lot more but here are a couple of my favorites.
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Are these developed raws of jpegs? Because it looks like a little too much noise reduction is going on here - I'd like to see a little bit more grain in order to get more sharpness and detail.

    Whatever, ISO 6400 is really quite usable on modern NEX cameras.
  3. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    They are jpg, no PP just a slight crop in snap seed. From my photo stream... May be reduced in size originals were on my ipad. These I have uploaded from my phone.
  4. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Do you have the RAWs? If so, don't let them unused on your hard drive. I'm pretty sure the first shot could be processed to look really stunning! Printed on a chromatic aluminum plate, this would make such a nice gift for her. ;) 

    And the fourth shot is a great band shot. Again, developed correctly (and maybe getting rid of the "Exit" sign, depending on what you want to tell the viewer) this would make a great cover for a album booklet.
  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I don't know, Kevin. For ISO 6400, I'd be VERY pleased with those. Best lemonade ever!
  6. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    For ISO 6400 they look pretty good.
  7. olli

    olli TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 16, 2011
    Washington DC
    Nice shots. Great mood. Love the drummer with his reflection. I agree with Poki that a bit more graininess might work well.
  8. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Thanks guys I do not have the raw files as I don't shoot raw but I just bought a Mac mini so maybe I will try shooting raw and see how that goes.
  9. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    First, the Mac Mini is a real monster of a machine! The quad-core chip alone costs 378 bucks if you buy 10.000 or more, so the price of the Mini actually is quite good. And it's small, silent, powerful and good-looking - that's why I preferred it together with a Thunderbolt Display to an iMac. Have much fun with this machine! It really is as snappy as you'll want it to be with just about any raw files - and even AVCHD video without converting in FCP X.

    Second, ALWAYS SHOOT RAW!!!! I can't emphasize this enough. Since there's the setting "RAW + JPEG", there's really no reason not to shoot RAW. You simply get sooo much more freedom in post processing, sooo much better files in low light and a much wider dynamic range and finer tonality. Sure you need a bit more time in post, but it's worth every minute.

    I personally shot JPEG only until the end of 2010, but I never regret switching to RAW, so I shoot RAW only nowadays.
  10. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    wow I like the result obtained with this high ISOs, grain gives the look like a film, love that, very good?
  11. Chuck Lawson

    Chuck Lawson TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 23, 2012
    Dallas area
    Those are outstanding -- B&W always looks better to me with a bit of grain,
  12. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    RAW is real.
  13. claude

    claude TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 13, 2013
    Ottawa Canada
    Great results for iso6400. Nice series. I like the first one the most. If you often shoot in those situations I think raw would definitely give you more options when processing them. Still nice work.
  14. loonsailor

    loonsailor TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 7, 2013
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    I agree completely. It's worth it for the extra dynamic range alone. On these shots, for instance, I'm sure that you could have found and recovered some detail in the shadows that's simply not there once the camera has converted to jpeg.

    One other wonderful thing about shooting raw and converting to b&w in post is the ability to control the tonal relationships. Does red render as a darker or lighter gray relative to blue (like pan or ortho film)? How about darkening the grass? Wanna dramatize the clouds by darkening the blue sky, maybe even an Ansel Adams "black sky" effect (like a red filter)? How about an infrared kind of look? All are very easy in lightroom, and easy-possible in other converters. Back in the day, I would have carried a bunch of expensive filters and spent long hours in the darkroom to try to do this stuff. Now, it's a snap. But, it's all impossible if you shoot b&w jpg's, because then all of the color relationships are gone when you get to post.

    BTW, I love grain sometimes too, but digital noise is not grain, and can sometimes be pretty ugly. Another thing that you can do in post is go through noise reduction, as required, and then add back grain as an effect, in a much more controllable fashion. Sort of possible with the jpg, but much, much more flexible working from the raw.

    Realize that the sensor always generates raw. That's why it's called raw. Think of it as a digital negative. And, we always look at something other than raw, usually a jpg but maybe a gif, or whatever. The jpg contains much less data than the raw - fewer bits / pixel (less dynamic range), probably a smaller color space, maybe less resolution, etc. When the conversion happens, lots of decisions get made, in order to render the raw in a particular way and to reduce the data. Those decisions include tonal relationships (see above), black and white point (what highlight or shadow detail is discarded), contrast, white balance, and much more. Once those decisions are made, they can't be changed from the jpg, only by working from the raw data. The only question is where the raw is converted to jpg. The camera will happily do it, and then discard the raw file. And, it does a pretty good job. But, it does not have your aesthetic sense, and can't possibly do as good a job as you can. It can't know that you wanted a dark sky, or that the most important thing in this photo is in the shadows, not the highlight. That's why I choose to almost never relegate those decisions to the computer, and to always shoot raw.

    Oh, yeah. Also, I find that it's also way more fun to be able to mess with stuff afterwards, and try things that I might never have thought of at the time I shot.

    BTW, nice shots!
  15. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Ok. From now on raw+ jpeg it is. Ill have to carry around some more sd cards now. ;) 
  16. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    ^^I've been doing that from the beginning (even though in the end used to only post/process jpegs) and glad I did, cause now that I've discovered LightRoom (Version 3.6 but still...) I'm getting a lot of fun with RAWs PP. And its easy!!!
    Ok, the dual format option may take more memory space but thankfully memory cards are cheap ;) 
  17. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    One more soul saved. I've done my job today. ;) 

    (thanks loonsailor for your great help in saving this guys soul!)
  18. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Those are terrific. Very dark conditions, ISO 6400, manual focus, JPEG and ISO 6400...very impressive Kevin.
  19. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Now you'll be cooking with gas. Even if you don't process the RAW files until years from now, it will be nice to have the option.
  20. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I don't know what size SD cards you normally carry around with you, Kevin. But I just formatted an 8GB card in my NEX-6, and the camera tells me I could shoot 337 raw+jpeg images with that card. I suppose it's possible, but I don't think I could (or would want to) shoot 337 frames in a single evening.
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