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Olympus UK E-System User Group

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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #1  
Old 28th June 2013
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Glasgow

I took these images on my way to the airport to pick up a customer.Found out the plane was delayed so stopped by the Clyde in Glasgow.The sky was really rotten and i was unsure as what to do with them.I feel a lot of my nightime images are full of noise and would appreciate any help to do this.



Any help would be most welcome thanks!
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Old 28th June 2013
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Re: Glasgow

This should have been in Looking for improvement IMO.

Having looked at them in the gallery they taken using f22 ISO 200 and between 30 and 50 seconds on an E-520.

Did you shoot RAW?
Have you had to do much processing to them?
The grain seems excessive if they were exposed well.
What software do you use?

Correct exposure is more important for grain that anything else even high ISO.


I presume you expected something a little more like this


Media city 2 by alf.branch, on Flickr
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Old 28th June 2013
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Re: Glasgow

No expert, but thought you might find this of interest.
On a trip to London to do the lights, I set the camera to Aperture and let that set the shutter. After a while I noticed noise in the sky and some overexposure in the lights.
So I set to Manual, dropped the focal length right down and got a much faster shutter, the result, I have to say, really surprised me.
In this image, taken from a tripod, I focused on the shed right at the front and then composed the shot. Taken at f2.8, 2.4sec @ ISO100
You will see why it surprised me ....
Hope it is of interest

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Old 28th June 2013
Ulfric M Douglas Ulfric M Douglas is offline
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Re: Glasgow

I dunno Scott, but F14 to F22 isn't what I'd be setting in the dark of the night ...
maybe the overly long exposures aren't good for noise in your particular camera.
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Old 28th June 2013
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Re: Glasgow

I think others have said it all already.

However, FWIW I don't think I've ever used an aperture as small as f14-f22 with my 4/3 cameras even in the brightest sunlight. Did you have a reason for using such a small aperture?

Regards.
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Re: Glasgow

The aperture is not the problem its the under exposure in my opinion.

The shot I have posted was ISO 200 f16 10 seconds in Aperture-priority. This was obviously a brighter scene.

Scott shot his in manual but I cant tell what other settings were used.
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Old 28th June 2013
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Re: Glasgow

Have you tried cleaning them up in noise reduction software, there are a few good ones that deliver excellent results?

Tom
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Re: Glasgow

No, the aperture isn't the problem, but I think folks are trying to help to get the basics right before even clicking the shutter - unless you're shooting macro you've no reason to be going anywhere near these small apertures, especially for night shots.

I know the 520 sensor isn't the best, but it shouldn't be this bad! More info needed to diagnose these.....
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Re: Glasgow

Thanks guys I take your point about aperture,I was mostly between f14-22.reason I suppose was to give a longer exposure. Yeah am disappointed in the look of them tbh.I took other shot albeit at f14 but with a faster shutter speed of 6sec but they don't look any better.my thinking was my exposure was too long at 30-40 seconds.I'm pretty new to this and trying to diagnose my problems.I used manual on every shot and exposed each shot bang on depending on the aperture and shutter speed.as stated yes the e520 isn't exactly top notch just looking for a bit better than this.a couple of the shots were f22 for the star effect light.
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Re: Glasgow

Scott if possible its best to shoot these type of shots as it is getting dark when there is some light in the sky..

Try taking some shots on Aperture priority. and adjusting as necessary.

I used f16 on my shots to keep them sharp back to front.
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Re: Glasgow

Yeah I get you Alf it was a spur of the moment thing.I will go out again soon and try for better results.thanks though for the advice.
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Re: Glasgow

It was late when I shot mine though.

Can you show us an unprocessed Jpeg from the camera
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Re: Glasgow

I think the exposure was soooo long and the sensor was producing more noise from thermal runaway (a semiconducor phenomenon) this is worsened if you leave the camera on live view while walking around as the sensor creates more heat needlessly.

just a thought.
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Re: Glasgow

It might be worth checking noise reduction settings - from the Olympus (US) website:

How does the E-520 combat noise commonly found at high ISOs?

Digital cameras vary the light sensitivity of the image sensor by varying the gain voltage applied to the sensor, much like turning up the volume on a stereo. When the gain voltage is increased, as it is when shooting with higher ISOs, the sensor becomes hot. Hot pixels perform differently under extreme conditions. The result is a graininess known as “noise.”

Noise occurs whenever sufficient heat has built up on the image sensor. Therefore, it can also be seen in images with long exposures, such as night photographs, due to the additional heat generated by charging the sensor for an extended period of time.

All digital cameras include technologies to minimize the effects of noise. The E-520 combats noise with two methods: NOISE FILTER and NOISE REDUCTION.

The NOISE FILTER is found in the Camera 1 menu, represented by an icon of a camera followed by the number 1. The noise filter function has four options: OFF, LOW, STANDARD and HIGH. The majority of digital cameras have a default noise filter that is always on. Some photographers feel that this reduces detail, so Olympus has included the option to not use a noise filter at all.

NOISE REDUCTION can also be enabled from the Camera 1 menu. After the first exposure, the camera makes a second exposure of equal length with the shutter closed. It then, in effect, overlays the two images, finds the hot pixels in the second image (essentially, any pixels that aren't black), and deletes the corresponding pixels from the first image. This doubles the shooting time. If the first exposure is 12 minutes 30 seconds, the second, black exposure is also 12 minutes 30 seconds, for a total exposure time of 25 minutes.

The ON option enables Noise Reduction to be applied in all situations. Using the AUTO option activates Noise Reduction when the camera determines that an exposure is of a duration that will generate hot pixels.


I remember doing some star trails with my E-620 and turned noise reduction off as it was taking too long only to find the noise ruined the final image.
I hope this helps
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Old 28th June 2013
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Re: Glasgow

I think Iain has the answer. Unless the pictures were badly under exposed and considerably lightened in pp I suspect that the noise was caused by the long exposure and that Noise Reduction was turned off. Noise reduction, as opposed to the noise filter, is specificaly targetted at long exposure noise and works by taking a dark frame (with shutter closed) for exactly the same amount of time immediately after the first frame. The noise in this dark frame is then mapped by the camera and subtracted from the exposure. Unlike Noise Filter it doesn't smooth out detail and it can be left on at all times as it is only activated for long exposures.

I am moving this thread to Looking For Improvement as it is more appropriate.
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