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I just made a stat of my ISO settings for 3 years (5827 shots analyzed).

ISO 50 = 6 % (Canon G6)
ISO 100 = 18 %
ISO 200 = 16 %
ISO 400 = 30 %
ISO 800 = 21 %
ISO 1600 = 8 %
ISO 3200 < 1 %

I used Exposureplot from this site: http://www.wega2.vandel.nl/ (free)

I always set ISO manually. A minority of shots were taken with the G6 (50 to 400 ISO) or with flash.
For me, choosing ISO is as important as choosing aperture and shutter speed for each type of scene.

Obviously, this kind of statistics is typical of your shooting style and preferred subjects.
Michel B
PSE6, 11,12,13.1 - LR 5.7 Windows 7 64 - OneOne Photo Perfect Suite - Canon 20D, Pana TZ6 - Fuji X100S
Most used add-ons: Elements+


Mes Galeries
Here's the info from the photos I've taken with my XSI (that I've kept.......dumped countless). It's skewed a bit, since I used AUTO ISO on my last trip and didn't realize until after I got home that Auto ISO defaults to 400 when using Aperture Priority. Yuck.
ISO.png
ISO.png (9.31 KiB) Viewed 447 times
Sunny
My Galleries
Sunny's 12 OF 12
Canon 40D; EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM; EF 50mm f/1.4 USM; Tamron 17-50 f/2.8; EF-S 55-250mm IS.
Believe in your heart that something wonderful is about to happen.
A recently read about this, very recently, but I can't remember where it was.

This so called photography expert contends that cameras are designed to work best at an optimum ISO. "work best" translates to "lowest noise". He said that a camera's optimum ISO is always the lowest menu setting available on that camera.

Because i can't remember where I read this I offer no opinion on the qualifications of the writer. But.... it makes sense to me. Long before reading this I had always set my Nikons on the lowest available settings; I only increase the setting if necessary to get a "good histogram" on my play-back view.

Rusty
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

www.prestophoto.com/photos/gallery/19932
Normally,I have my ISO set to 200 which is its lowest setting. Lower setting =lower noise or so I've read.
I do watch the histogram and at other times I watch for blinkies on my display. If I can't get rid of the blinkies by changing the exposure, I'll try a different ISO. Just something that works for me.
Chas
Chas's Gallery
f/16 on a sunny day.....:)
Me, too, as to the lowest possible ISO. I think the XSI tends to be noisy from 400 up....taking all those photos at 400 on my trip still galls me.
Sunny
My Galleries
Sunny's 12 OF 12
Canon 40D; EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM; EF 50mm f/1.4 USM; Tamron 17-50 f/2.8; EF-S 55-250mm IS.
Believe in your heart that something wonderful is about to happen.
I suppose my more recent involvement with a photo club and various photography courses has made me always bear in mind that I may want a large print eventually (or something that's going to be displayed on a big screen). For that reason I almost always carry a monopod (at least) and usually a tripod, so I tend to stick with ISO100 for almost everything - I'm more likely to make allowances for movement blur than have lens blur.

My first photographic efforts would have nearly all been with 100ASA - and once you had your film in the camera you had to make allowances for it (because I didn't want to go through the saga swapping film in mid-roll, and I only ever had one camera at a time. It all sounds a ridiculously clumsy thing to do now, but it was done quite a lot....... note the exposure number, rewind into the cassette, replace with another film, shoot away and if you were in the middle of the new film you had to do the same process again, then 'wind-on' the original film to the correct exposure and then allow some extra - what a waste.
PSE6 on WinXP, Pentax K10d...... and now a Canon G10.

Gallery
sarch99 wrote: Me, too, as to the lowest possible ISO. I think the XSI tends to be noisy from 400 up....taking all those photos at 400 on my trip still galls me.


Do you really notice noise at 400 ISO with your XSI? I mean, in prints? Yes you may see it when looking at 100% magnification on your screen, but I very much doubt it would be visible even on poster-size print. The truth in Rusty and Chas3tix statement is that there is an optimum so-called base ISO where the captor has the least signal to noise ratio, leading to the best details, lowest noise and dynamic range. This fact is so well known that there has been discussions about tests of DSLR (I believe it was my Canon 20D): a few years ago, people wondered why laboratory tests gave better detail at 200 ISO than 100 ISO. They had good reasons to suspect a marketing plot to make consumers believe this was better than Nikon or Pentax 200 base ISO, since less is more! To make matters more confused, others contended that 100 ISO produced better dynamic range. I have never been able to see a difference, that's why when in doubt I use 100 ISO. With moving subjects or low light, 100 ISO is not an option (it has never been, even in the film days, where Tri-X and HP5 were standard for reportage). My experience has been that for my type of subjects, I have missed much more pictures on account of too low ISO than the opposite. Particularly with indirect flash, I am getting much better and consistent results with 400 ASA. For landscapes and still life, 100 ASA, no contest.
Michel B
PSE6, 11,12,13.1 - LR 5.7 Windows 7 64 - OneOne Photo Perfect Suite - Canon 20D, Pana TZ6 - Fuji X100S
Most used add-ons: Elements+


Mes Galeries
geoff_chalcraft wrote: I suppose my more recent involvement with a photo club and various photography courses has made me always bear in mind that I may want a large print eventually (or something that's going to be displayed on a big screen). For that reason I almost always carry a monopod (at least) and usually a tripod, so I tend to stick with ISO100 for almost everything - I'm more likely to make allowances for movement blur than have lens blur.


I quite understand that... but if like me you never have the opportunity to do any poster-size prints (A4 is my limit) you come to another conclusion. More than half of my shots would have been impossible at 100 ISO. By the way, today's big screens have low resolution and cannot compete with the splendid kodachrome or Ektachrome (particularly 6x6 cm ones). For this kind of photography, I would perhaps follow Don Diego's advice: aquire a second hand Rolleiflex or the like for slides, a good scanner for digital editing and printing.
Michel B
PSE6, 11,12,13.1 - LR 5.7 Windows 7 64 - OneOne Photo Perfect Suite - Canon 20D, Pana TZ6 - Fuji X100S
Most used add-ons: Elements+


Mes Galeries
Good point on the noise at ISO 400 with a print, Michel. It's probably fine. I'm seeing it in LR on the detail panel, which is zoomed way in. I've only had two things printed from the trip so far. One, a 16 X 24 standout, and the other a textured 10 X 20 canvas wrap. No noise on the 16 X 24 that I'm aware of, and the texture would have hidden any noise on the canvas.
Sunny
My Galleries
Sunny's 12 OF 12
Canon 40D; EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM; EF 50mm f/1.4 USM; Tamron 17-50 f/2.8; EF-S 55-250mm IS.
Believe in your heart that something wonderful is about to happen.
I use 100 for anything that doesn't move. Critters and sports require minimum 400 iso. I, too would rather have grain than image blur.
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