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Too Much Grain
Old 08-05-2006, 12:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I need some help here guys and gals. I wanted to capture some good photos of my wife while she is still pregnant (we are due at the end of this month). I set up some lights, wanted to create some good black and whites. I am using a D70, set up as follows
F11 @250
Raw
White Balance-Flash
Iso 200
Using a cheap strobe light to get some lighting, put the strobe behind a white sheet, to try and get a "soft" look. Instead, I got a really really bad, grainy look. I am not sure where I went wrong??? ISO? WB? Fstop? Take a look and offer me some suggestions. I just don't know what went wrong. I have been having a problem with grain lately, and I am not sure if its the camera or what. When I take pictures outside, even with the iso set at 400, I still am getting grain. I never had this problem before...and a lot of my pictures I have taken in the past with this camera and the same setups have been great. Can someone please help me with this!!!!! Additionally, the photo didn't look quite as bad with the raw file, but when i resized the picture, it looks worse. Any help with this is greatly appreciated.
I appreciate your comments in advance.
Joe
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Re: Too Much Grain
Old 08-05-2006, 01:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeymags34
Additionally, the photo didn't look quite as bad with the raw file, but when i resized the picture, it looks worse.
How are you resizing the photo? Are you talking about when the photo is posted to the web, printed or both? Are you shooting in the Adobe RGB or sRGB colorspace? (I don't have a D70 so I assume you have these menu choices.)

My first thought was the cheap strobe/white sheet combo was causing the problem but you say you get great results in the past using this. Are you doing any significant levels or curves or exposure compensation in your post processing? A little more info might help some of the guru's here to help.

LSC
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Re: Too Much Grain
Old 08-05-2006, 05:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Resizing the photo in Photoshop. The grain problem comes before the resizing though. I shoot in Raw, when I open up the image, there is a lot of grain, more so than I would have liked. I have to play withe brightness and contrast to get the grain to go somewhat away, and then the photo is far from being the actual picture I took.
As for messing with the exposure, and levels, no post processing done on this. I basically take the picture, open it up in Photoshop, accept the raw file, and then work on my brightness and contrast in B/W to get the picture to come close to what I like. I haven't printed any out, but have checked the photos on different computers, and they are all grainy. I was hoping to be able to capture an image and have a large print made, as this is my last child, want to remember it. I am just having a hard time, I don't know if its lense?? Its the D70 kit lense, I know, not exactly Nikons best, but like I said, I have had good luck before. Hope this helps you understand what I have done!
Thanks Again for the help
Joe
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Re: Too Much Grain
Old 08-05-2006, 06:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm going to guess there are several compounding problems. When I look at the sleeve of her blouse, I don't see much grain. The background, whatever it is, is grainy. The photo is slightly underexposed so all of the mottling of your wife's belly from the distention is showing up. Likewise, the natural, no make up look may be multiplying the skin texture of her neck and shoulders. I'd try to intensify the light a little, do a little make up, and then shoot a whole bunch of bracketed images till you get one you like. Looks like you should hurry though. Tom
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Re: Too Much Grain
Old 08-06-2006, 09:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I can't believe it's the lens in this case. The image has a lot of sensor noise (grain) and if you weren't sure you were shooting at ISO 200, I would swear you were at 800+ which Nikon's sensor handles just OK. Lower ISO will produce less sensor noise/grain. Gunslinger gave some good advice in pumping up the light and braketing.

I re-read your post and you sound like this has just started recently. I love my Nikons but the one thing I hate is that they don't return to a default setup when turned off and then back on. If you've made any unique adjustments for a prior shoot and forgot to reset them back to "normal", it could be contributing to this. Have you tried a full menu reset and starting over with your setup?

Cheers,
LSC
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Re: Too Much Grain
Old 08-06-2006, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Joey

Double check the exif data. A similar thing happened to a friend of mine when he knocked it onto an auto setting. Have a look for noiseware professional plug in by imagenomic. If you don't mind, I copied the photo and ran the filter on it and e-mailed the new version to you. You would obviously get better results on the original, but you will notice the improvement.

I found someone using it on this community, only costs about £20 and can really save your arse sometimes.

Pete
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Re: Too Much Grain
Old 08-06-2006, 04:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Pete, I didn't get the file. Not sure if my emial account is set up correctly here at G1. Can you send it to joeymagliocca@yahoo.com.
Thanks everyone for the help. I am going to take some of the advice and go back and try and get a few more pictures before she has the baby. I'll check the settings on the camera, and see if I screwed somethign up in the menus.
Thanks again.
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Re: Too Much Grain
Old 08-06-2006, 04:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, was checking my settings. In the camera setting menu, the iso is set at 200. In the pencil setting menu, the iso is set to auto. Is this where my problem came from? Sorry for the synonyms for menus but I can't think of any other way to describe them.

Thanks Again guys. I appreciate all your help.
Joe
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Re: Too Much Grain
Old 08-06-2006, 05:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Probably not since the camera icon is the menu that's linked to your controls on the top left of camera. BUT, there is really no reason to have your "pencil" menu ISO set to "Auto". In fact, other than for P&S guys, I can't think of a reason to ever set the ISO to auto. I would definitely change that to "auto off" and try some images. Unless you have some critial settings saved in memory, I might do a total menu reset to clear and start again.

Let us know if dropping the ISO auto to off improves things.

Cheers,
LSC
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