Saturday, March 20, 2010

Low Light and ISO 1250

My favorite shot tonight. It just cracks me up.

I love Ozzy's expression in this shot.

I added some color to Ozzy's toys for the heck of it.

This one is less noisy.

I think this is the noisiest shot.

I took a quick few photos of my dog Ozzy tonight in low lighting. (I would have taken pictures earlier if I didn't leave the camera in the "on" position for the last week. LOL! So, after I charged the battery, I decided to try a few high ISO shots in crummy low light The light doesn't get any crummier than downstairs where I live. Hahahaha!)

It was totally dark outside, and the lights were on indoors. It's very dark downstairs, and the lighting is hideous. Add to that the ugly color of my rug, and you get some nasty color photos. I changed them to black and white to avoid looking at the rug. (Previous owner's choice of rug, not mine.)

The camera was set at various shutter speeds and mostly wide open at f/2.0, but the constant was ISO 1250. Things get pretty noisy at around ISO 1250 on the Leica M8.2. I can't imagine how ugly they get at 2500; probably as ugly as my rug! I doubt ISO 2500 is useable. Depending on the various lights, I still think that ISO 1250 is a doable range. Not the best, but acceptable. These pictures were noisy though, and if it's a matter of getting that nightclub shot or whatever, the M8.2 will get a capture. It will look better than the Canon G9 or Canon SD800 that I usually use for night shots while out and about. It's no Nikon D700 in the low-light arena, but I don't have a Summilux on the camera, just a Summicron, and this isn't a M9. I still think it's pretty good considering. Yes, the M9 would do much better, and I wish I had one to try out for say, 10 years! LOL! I know the M8.2 doesn't do better than my cheap Nikon D80 at that ISO, depending on the lens. Considering the cost of the camera, one would think it could shoot low light without an issue. That's not the case, and the sweet spot for this camera is ISO 640. After that things start to noticeably degrade when you blow up the file.

I don't know if this is a big issue with people wanting to shoot low light. Gosh, what did we do when we only shot film? Ha! We pushed the film or used that grainy 3200 ISO stuff. Film grain and sensor noise are two different things though. Film grain is much more pleasing to look at than noise from a digital camera. Well, I bet I could have brought the ISO down a bit and hand-held for a less noisy shot, but I specifically wanted to see how much noise this camera produces. Didn't you? I don't know. What do you think? Is it passable? (I truly wish you could see how terrible the lights are, and how ugly this rug is down here.) I want to experiment more with low light shooting with this camera and I do believe I can get better pictures depending on lights, and scenes. This is kind of disappointing though. I was expecting a much better low light file.


  1. I think that those are incredible low light shots! I hardly see any grain....but then again, these aren't large pictures. If you blow it up on your monitor at full resolution, do you see lots of grain?

    Bottom line: very impressive.

  2. Oops, never mind. I just clicked on your pics for the larger resolution shots and I'm not seeing too much grain. Now I'm even more impressed.

    You're right, the M9 + Lux or Noc would be incredible.

    Did you have a hard time focusing in the dark?

  3. I didn't have a hard time focusing, because it wasn't dark. I usually have a hard time focusing, because I'm not used to it. LOL! The light was terrible though, a yucky orange-yellow, and it was completely dark outside. There was enough light, but it was cruddy light.

    I would love to see what a M9 would produce in this lighting.

  4. loving it. thanks for sharing