This article shares a series of f/13 high ISO test images captured handheld with Olympus camera gear.
Like many other photographers I’ve been investigating the recently announced M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS super telephoto zoom lens. The fact that this lens will accept M.Zuiko MC-14 and MC-20 teleconverters really appeals to me, since I own the 2X version. Using it with the 100-400 zoom would mean shooting at high ISO values with an aperture of f/13 at least some of the time.
As a result, I’ve been doing some f/13 high ISO test photography, and wanted to share my experiences with readers.
It is also important to mention that I recently added some additional software to my post processing approach. While many folks view software as an ‘either/or’ proposition, I’ve always viewed software from an ‘and’ viewpoint. All of the images in this article were produced from RAW files using a combination of software programs. My new standard approach includes DxO PhotoLab 2, Photoshop CS6, the Nik Collection and Topaz AI.
I only acquired my Topaz AI software yesterday afternoon so I’m still feeling my way around and experimenting with it.
First let’s have a look at an image captured handheld at ISO-6400, Like all of the photographs in this article an aperture of f/13 was used.
The next image is a crop done at 2600 pixels on the width, then resized for web use.
Here’s another ISO-6400 test photograph.
As regular readers will know, I always like to push my camera gear when doing test photographs. So, let’s have a look at another photograph of the same subject, this time captured at ISO-10000 using an aperture of f/13.
Here’s a 2600 pixel wide crop done of the above image, then resized for web use.
As part of our f/13 high ISO test, let’s have a look at three additional photographs, all captured at ISO-10000. Each is followed by a 2600 pixel crop, resized for web use.
Each of us have our own expectations in terms of the quality of our images. I appreciate that many people would not feel comfortable shooting a smaller sensor camera at ISO-10000. Depending on subject matter I would be prepared to push my Olympus gear to this ISO level.
Unless I was in quite tight to a subject bird, I likely wouldn’t push my ISO this far. The following image, with corresponding crop, illustrates that I pushed my ISO a bit too far with this blue jay.
Having said that, shooting at f/13 using ISO-4000, or even up to ISO-6400 is something that I would not hesitate doing when photographing perched birds. Here are a couple of sample photographs along with crops.
I hope you’ve found these f/13 high ISO test images to be of interest. A lot of assumptions are made about smaller sensor cameras. We need to keep in mind that advancements in lens and camera design, as well as with post processing software can help extend the usable range of M4/3 and other small sensor cameras.
The softening effects of diffraction can be reduced, and high ISO noise can be controlled through post processing. To accomplish this we need to develop some reasonable skills working in post, and find software that meets our needs.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.
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