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How to fix accidentally wrong ISO setting of 25600?

goldentwiggoldentwig Registered Users Posts: 8 Beginner grinner
edited June 10, 2014 in Finishing School
Okay I feel like a complete dork. I recently got a new Nikon D5200 and was playing around with it at an indoor ballroom wedding reception last Saturday night. I have never had a camera with such high possibilities for ISO settings before, and decided to test out the crazy high setting options like Hi1, Hi2 and 25600 just to see what they looked like, how they compared to each other, etc.

Well the next afternoon was my son's 2nd birthday party at an outdoor park on a beautiful sunny day. After spending HOURS of prepping all of the food and decorations for this event, I religiously took my hopefully-Pinterest-worthy photos of everything, telling someone else that after I had documented everything with photos, it would prove we did a great job and could relax even if the wind blew it all away. :) My mother-in-law also said to me, "I don't have to worry about taking too many pictures, because I can get copies of yours, right?"

WELL... due to a busy schedule this past week and some quirks with my home computer, I just finally loaded the RAW photos into Lightroom today and realized... OH NO. I forgot to change the ISO settings back to normal and accidentally shot everything in my haste at the party in ISO 25600!! How I did not realize this when shooting, I'm not sure, except that I was probably trying to do too many things at once and it just didn't show up on the tiny display. They look TERRIBLE! Grainy beyond crazy at 100% and most of them are much darker than they should be. Closer to fine for thumbnails, but I was planning to print these out as 3.5x5" for the guests' thank you notes, not to mention just document my son's whole party. I kind of want to cry. Bumping Luminance up to 100% makes everything look fuzzy. Where else do I start? Please someone give me some tips on how I can at least partially salvage these pics! I'm attaching a sample and you can see how dark the white eyes of "Big Bird" are...

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    pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,700 moderator
    edited June 7, 2014
    Yikes!! Under exposed images at high ISO produce lots of nose, as you have experienced. High IOS may not be so bad, but under exposed makes it much worse, especially at ISOs > 1600

    Did you shoot RAW files or jpgs? Raw files may give you some options, but jpgs will not tolerate much editing - this might be a good time to learn about the virtues of NoiseWare from Imagenomic, or DeNoise from Topaz Labs


    Do you have Photoshop Elements or Photoshop perhaps, to go along with your Nikon D5200?

    I took your image and ran it through NoiseWare, gave some high pass sharpening, and rebalanced the color to decrease the blue cast and this is what I have - not great but better than the mid gray mayonnaise in your image.....To so this with your images, you will need some access to Photoshop or a similar image editing program. The image I uploaded is only 110 Kb, so it will have more defects than a larger file that you can create from your original images.

    The good news is that 3 x 5 inch prints will be far more forgiving of your noise than you might think, if the image is not too dark.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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    goldentwiggoldentwig Registered Users Posts: 8 Beginner grinner
    edited June 8, 2014
    I haven't heard of those software programs!!

    I did shoot RAW (thank goodness!) and I use Lightroom 5.4 to post-process. I also have Photoshop CS5, but usually edit photos only in Lightroom.
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    pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,700 moderator
    edited June 8, 2014
    Since you shot RAW, and you do use LR 5.4, download the Lightroom, or a Photoshop plug in of NoiseWare, from Imagenomic, and I think you will be surprised how much it can help. Since your goal is only 3x5 inch prints, I think NoiseWare and Raw editing will help you save your bacon. Since you own LR5, and Photoshop CS5 ( which is what I used to process your file as I was on my older computer ) check out high pass sharpening and try it after your denoising, and see if you find it helpful.

    None of us like noisy images, but the noise seen on screen is not really representative of the noise as it will appear in a printed image, especially a small image like a 3x5 inch print, since you are starting with a 24Mpixel APS-C Raw file.

    I have some nice images I shot at ISO 12800, as I was shooting a leopard in Africa, using Tv and auto ISO, and following the cat back into the shadows in the underbrush near sunset. I would never have chosen an ISO of 12800 had I been paying attention to ISO, but since it was not under exposed, the file really came out pretty nice, and was delightful in black and white ( since it was so dark there was not that much color anyway).

    Modern cameras are letting us shoot in places it would never have been remotely possible with ISO 400 color slide film.

    Please post a few of your corrected images here, so folks can see the changes from as shot, to final image after editing.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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    arodneyarodney Registered Users Posts: 2,005 Major grins
    edited June 9, 2014
    Try all the NR options in LR first before you render and send to a 3rd party plug-in, might not be necessary. Then you can keep all the edits within LR and upon that actual raw data.
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
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    pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,700 moderator
    edited June 10, 2014
    I agree with Andrew that I would utilize the NR capability built into LR5 first, but I still think that a significantly under exposed frame shot at ISO 25600 on a crop body camera is going to need more help than just the NR effects in Lightroom.

    But try LR5 first, you already have it, and then decide for yourself if you are done, or if you need further help with noise reduction.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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