Exercise: Tolerance for noise (DPP)

For this exercise I have to take a series of identical photographs indoors in daylight of a scene that included some sharp detail and a textureless area like a white wall with some of the textureless area in shadow.

I had to set the camera on a tripod, use aperture priority setting to keep the depth of field consistent and take a series of images covering the whole range of ISO settings on my camera.

My Nikon D5500 ISO range is as follows:

100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, 8000, 10000, 12800, 16000, 20000 and 25600.

I’ve chosen to upload several pictures throughout the sequence, rather than the whole sequence.


ISO 100

At the lowest ISO there is no noise whatsoever.


ISO 500

At 500 the noise levels are still hardly present at all.


ISO 2000

At 2000 the noise is starting to become evident.


ISO 8000

At 8000 the noise is now extremely noticeable, especially in the shadowed area to the left of the vase.


ISO 16000

At 16000 the image is covered with noise, making it appear to be of a much lower quality.


ISO 25600

Finally at 25600 it’s totally speckled with noise, really reducing the overall quality. I would not want to submit a picture with this much noise.


I’ve always been aware of the results of using a high ISO but this exercise really did enforce the importance of using the lowest possible, and the unwanted effects of using a high ISO. For this exercise I think anything over ISO 800 starts to show an unattractive amount of noise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s