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Bronze iris

By Tianshi_angie
My photo doesn't really do this Iris justice - but it is a real delight to me. Whilst when I look through the 'viewer and get the best definition I can when I enlarge the image to 100% of the PC there are always tiny artefacts which I don't know why. Noise reduction helps to remove them but I feel that I also lose some definition. Would like suggestions on how to not have these in the first place.

Tags: Iris Flowers and plants

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chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
14 May 2020 2:53PM
Hi Angie and welcome to the Critique gallery.
I suspect the artefacts you are referring to is noise, probably caused by the very high ISO you have used.
At ISO 6400 I would expect some noise even from some of the best cameras.
So, reducing the ISO would probably do the trick, reduce your aperture to around F11 and you will..hopefully, still have enough speed to avoid camera shake.
Use of a tripod would help, did you use one here ?
You could use a plain piece of light coloured card behind your subject to isolate it, that would help to push some light forward with a reflector to one side to assist with the light even more. I know, you need at least two pairs of hands but if the camera is on a tripod and you have a shutter release cable attached you could do it, especially if the card behind was propped up or held in place...clothes pegs are great for that.
A difficult flower to photograph as it has many planes of focus.

I did download this and dropped it into Photoshop, yep, noise, especially in the darker more contrasty areas.
I used Nik Define on a separate layer, masked off the flower so the noise reduction only applied to the bg.
Added a little sharpening to the flower, too much and more noise would be created.
14 May 2020 2:59PM
Thank you Chase - I must admit I hadn't realised the ISO was as high as that! Obviously need to check everything before I start. I can only stand for a very short period of time so sometimes it is a little difficult but I will heed your suggestions. Grin
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
14 May 2020 3:10PM
And welcome from me, too, Angie. I agree with Janet that it's most likely to be digital noise that you're picking up.

I use Sony Alpha 7 bodies, and I've owned a few, both early and later models. The original Alpha 7 wasn't anything special in terms of high ISO performance, but the later ones are much better: which is no help at all unless you're itching to upgrade, and have the spare cash. (Looking at your portfolio, I see that you've moved to a 7 from an 850: again, a journey that I know myself. I'd be interested in your impressions of what you've gained and lost... The portfolio is impressive!)

On the technical side, you'll be able to drop the shutter speed quite a bit without a serious risk of camera shake: even though the original 7 doesn't have in-body image stabilisation (IBIS for short), the lens does have IS capability. You should be able to go down to around 1`/60 second without problems.

Similarly, you can open the aperture a bit, and the lens performance will improve a bit. I'd join Janet in suggesting f/11 for starters. This will also allow the fence behind to drop out of focus a bit more, which will make the image less cluttered.

Your portfolio doesn't tell us a lot about you and your photographic journey: the more we know, the more we can help - for instance, I notice that you use RAW files (definitely good) and Manual exposure (can be excellent, but Aperture priority is less work most of the time, for beginners and experts alike).

At the file size the site currently displays, it's not possible to see the noise (again, you're right that suppressing the noise in processing will reduce sharpness) - could you, perhaps, upload a modification here showing a small section of the frame at 100% size?
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
14 May 2020 3:11PM

Quote:I hadn't realised the ISO was as high as that!

Ooops, perhaps a lesson learned Wink
You could take this perhaps sat on a stool or small garden chair if that would help.
BTW, I did convert the colour profile to sRGB, the one recommended for uploading to the site.
14 May 2020 4:33PM
Thanks to you both - this plant is actually up some steps - I have a very long raised bed. And I couldn't manoeuvre the steps and a stool or anything to sit on - so its steps and standing. My physical difficulties are basically severe pain - so having got that out of the way - Dudler - I moved from the 850 to the A7 because of weight. I could no longer hold the 850 and certainly couldn't carry it any distance. The A7 was on offer so went for it. I have lost the safety of the mirror protecting the sensor. The A7 has a very large blob on the sensor which I have tried to clean but with very little effect. Most of the time I can sort that bit in post processing. I have also lost the familiarity I had with the 850 - I am still getting used to the A7 and it does have a lot more to get used to.

As I am not a plus member I will upload a section of the image tomorrow.

Chase I checked the ISO and in fact it was set on 'auto' therefore the other settings forced the camera to go up that far - probably haven't used this camera enough yet to get used to it. I have found that the viewfinder doesn't necessarily give me a clear understanding of the way the settings have affected light - a number of times I have found images way too light or way too dark. Again - a lesson learned.

Thank you both for your time and interest. I very much appreciate it.
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
14 May 2020 4:39PM
Angie, from your exif data you were on manual Exposure Mode.
14 May 2020 5:03PM
I can see that on the above Exif that is what it says - but looking through the A7 menu I cannot find where that is set. I have it on manual focus but cannot find a setting for manual/auto exposure. Going to look in the manual.
14 May 2020 5:38PM
I have uploaded a section of the RAW file in 'modifications' but it doesn't seem to appear. I am getting a little lost within the 'Critique Gallery'.
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4227 Canada
14 May 2020 5:44PM
The Manual mode is on the circular dial, top right side of the camera, where you have PO,A.S,M and perhaps one or two more.

Its is certainly in Manual mode, meaning all settings, including ISO were set manually. That could have been a setting carried over from a previous shot, even from another day.

I find the ISO performance here very good indeed for 6400, and as you shot RAW, its your decision which amount of noise reduction to apply in post processing, - if using Photoshop or Lightroom there may be a base setting that you can lower if you want NO noise reduction.

One observation I can make when I download it and look at colour channels is that is very over saturated and underexposed,and that you could have likely use a larger aperture, f/11 perhaps, and a way lower ISO for the same shot. A larger aperture can provide you with more apparent sharpness. In addition, underexposing the shot means more ISO noise is visible; if you can, check the exposure using the Histogram, in R,G B channels and you will see if its actually underexposed, or if its oversaturated; a brightness histogram WILL indicate OVERexposure if any channel is oversaturated too much.

I uploaded an image sowing the Manual mode selection on the top of the camera

I have addressed these two issues in a mod.

Hope this helps,


dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 761 England
14 May 2020 8:58PM
Welcome from me too.

It's a gppd lesson in checking your settings before a shoot.

Looking at the exif you were midway through the zoom ramge. f/20 won't give the best quality in any case. If you could move a touch further back and use the 70 mm end the background will be less intrusive and the flower would be the same size but stand out more.
f/11 and an ISOof 800 would still give you a high shutter speed for handholding. While the weather holds there's time to have another go.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
14 May 2020 10:02PM
The section is there, and yes, that's the sort of digital noise that the A7 gives.

Two thoughts: first, on moving to the A7, there will be a period of getting used to the different ergonomics, but I can promise you that it's worth it. The advantages of seeing the effect of exposure changes in the viewfinder, the possibility of using any lens ever made for 35mm cameras, the accuracy of manual focus (I can write reams on this bit!)...

And I have actually had fewer problems with dust on the sensor than I did with the A900 and A850. If there was a serious mark when you bought the camera, is the vendor able to help?

It is, though, possible to set the viewfinder so that it doesn't reflect the settings properly (and you need that ability for studio flash work).

Please feel free to ask about the Alpha 7s here, or in a private message. When Sony introduced the 7 they were forging into new territory, which Canon and Nikon took years to explore. In many ways, Sony are calling the shots now.

One suggestion: if you don't have a second battery, it's a very worthwhile accessory. A long day's shooting will see off the relatively small A7 battery: Sony have addressed this with the A7 III, which has a battery around the same size as the A850.
14 May 2020 10:27PM
Once again thank you to everyone for your thoughts and help. Yes it was on M - I have always preferred to do all adjustments myself, but I think the A7 is far more complicated than the 850, so I shall have to spend more time just experimenting. I will have another shot at the Iris tomorrow - today was very windy - and try to put into practice all your thoughts and suggestions. I much appreciate all of your help.
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
14 May 2020 10:34PM
There are certainly additional controls, and a more complicated menu: but the basic controls remain aperture, focus, shutter speed and ISO, with a side order of white balance...

Good luck tomorrow - we'll be looking for the results.

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