Why are my pics so grainy?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Jasuhn, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. Jasuhn

    Jasuhn Guest

    I've been trying to do a lot of concert photography lately. I use a Nikon
    N65 with a Sigma 28-80mm lense with 800 film. A lot of my phots turn out
    very grainy. I use either 1/30 or 1/60 shutter speed, and 5.6 f-stop. I try
    to only shoot when there's good light on stage / the subjects.
    If anyone has any advise, I'd really appreciate it.

    Jasuhn, Aug 17, 2003
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  2. Jasuhn

    Jasuhn Guest

    What would you reccommend?

    Jasuhn, Aug 17, 2003
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  3. Jasuhn

    v_equals Guest

    Probably because of the ISO-800 film, the faster the film the more grainy
    the picture.

    Hope that helps.
    v_equals, Aug 17, 2003
  4. Jasuhn

    v_equals Guest

    (Sorry if I use bottom posting and the group standard is top posting, I
    took the liberty to change this to bottom posting)

    That was my first post to this group, and I am only an amateur, however if
    you are having to shoot at 1/30 or 1/60 shutter on ISO-800 then the only
    thing you can do to increase the amount of light into the camera is
    increase the appature (by lowering the f-stop), I can not tell you to what,
    however one of the guys (or girls) here posted a great article about three
    and a half weeks ago, if you do a search on google groups you should be
    able to find it, or one of the regs will give you better advice.
    v_equals, Aug 17, 2003
  5. You can try using 400iso, but set your camera at 800iso. Tell the photolab
    to push process the film (tell them what you did) You cannot do this at a
    walmart or cvs, go to a pro lab or even a minilab place like ritz or
    motophoto, they will know. If they push process it for you, you can still
    use 800 iso but not have as mucg grain
    Pro's use medium format cameras, the size of thier neg it bigger so they
    don't have to use really fast film to do concerts
    Try looking up Brent Whitmire, he has photographed over 1000 event from No
    Doubt to Eminem to James Brown and Sammy Hagar.
    Christina Cericola, Aug 17, 2003
  6. Jasuhn

    Bob Sull Guest

    Unless you are shooting at night, why are you using 800 speed film? The
    higher the speed, the higher the grain. Try some 100 speed and watch
    the grain in it.

    Bob Sull, Aug 17, 2003
  7. Jasuhn

    Bob Sull Guest

    Huh? I don't understand this thinking.....

    Bob Sull, Aug 17, 2003
  8. Jasuhn

    Jasuhn Guest

    I use Kodak 800 Max. I like the ideas of using a slower film, and the push
    processing. I've heard about it, but keep forgetting to ask.

    Thank you all for the advise!
    Jasuhn, Aug 18, 2003
  9. Yuh....me too......thought film was film. But good thing I bought that
    snazzy Mamiya, now I can shoot in pitch dark???????????
    John Garrison, Aug 18, 2003
  10. Jasuhn

    Brian Guest

    The more you have to blow up a print the more grain shows, also the faster
    the film the more grain will show, so a medium format camera which has a
    much larger negative, will blow up to the same as your 35mm, neg, but show
    much less grain, with the same film speed, so for example if you use a
    medium format camera, with 800iso film and blow the print to 10x8, you will
    have a much less grainy print than if you use a 35mm camera with 800iso and
    blow it up to the 10x8.

    Brian, Aug 18, 2003
  11. Uh, yeah looking at it that way, how true. But where budgets are concerned I
    don't think that would convince someone who needs to shoot in low light to
    go over to medium format. The desirability of all the other benefits would
    have to be considered, and if funds were still lacking then no. If low light
    is the only consideration; then, film speed and aperture are all that
    matters for any given format. I mean if your stuck with whatever format that
    John Garrison, Aug 18, 2003
  12. Jasuhn

    David Guest

    fyi, when you push process, you increase grain. i.e. if you shoot 400asa
    film at 800, you're getting grainier (word?) images than if you were to
    shoot 400 at 400. also, some places charge for processing pushed film.

    try the fuji professional 800 film, designated NPZ.


    David, Aug 18, 2003
  13. Jasuhn

    David Guest

    no, just really really dim. for pitch dark at 1/250, f5.6, you need an 8x10
    view camera.

    (tongue firmly in cheek)

    David, Aug 18, 2003
  14. Tee Hee!

    John Garrison, Aug 18, 2003
  15. Jasuhn

    Brian Guest

    No one said they should go out and buy medium format, they asked why it was
    different and I told them, I also told them that the same effect can be got
    by using different film speeds.
    A faster film speed means a smaller aperture can be used, particularly
    usefull if you are hand holding the camera, but if your not looking for an
    extensive depth of field then that doesnt matter, so you can go for a slower
    film and use a larger aperture, Modern film film manufacturing means that
    grain is getting less noticable in faster films, i get the feeling that the
    guy is using something like ACME pancrap 800, probably has grain the size of
    golfballs at 10x8, I think if he uses somehting like Fuji superia x-tra 800
    he will find a lot less grain in his final prints

    Brian, Aug 18, 2003
  16. Jasuhn


    the consumer 800 speed films aren't all they're cracked up to be. you might
    be better off with 400 speed or trying the pro 800 speed film.
    CRAIG PALME, Aug 19, 2003
  17. Jasuhn

    Brian Larmay Guest

    Me being in astrophotography, I do have a few recommendations for you to get
    the most out of your concert pics..

    There are a great deal of software out there to decrease grain size... two
    such programs are called; "grain surgery", and "SGBNR".

    Grain Surgery is the superior with sgbnr close to follow.

    Grain surgery is something you purchase, and SGBNR is something you can
    download for free.

    Heres the link for SGBNR:

    This basically eliminates noise in and smooths the image somewhat.

    I Remember shooting a Rush concert once with Provia 400F and pushed it a
    stop with not a whole lot of grain, but it was noticable.
    After using the sgbnr, none was noticable and the image was perfect....of
    course a steady hand and a wideangle was the way to go.

    Also another thing you might want to consider.. how old is your scanner and
    is it manal focus as in turning a knob.
    I had an old Nikon LS 10E that produced so much noise it wasnt funny so you
    might want to consider upgrading your scanner if its a later model.

    There are a few other things you can do in photoshop such as bringing out
    information that is in the dark areas.

    If you want to know, just respond and Ill type out the procedure.

    Brian Larmay, Aug 19, 2003
  18. Jasuhn

    J C Guest

    Now that's a new one for me. I've never heard that hard water
    increases grain size.

    I've always heard that hard water can cause specks (of calcium) and/or
    "scum" on film and prints. BUT, I believe that the problem of
    hardwater in film/print development is grossly overstated. One of the
    reasons I chuckle is that I have excessively hard water. It deposits
    build up on the faucets and shower heads. But I found a good way to
    clean it. Stop bath seems to be the answer. While vinegar also works,
    stop bath is a much stronger concentration of acetic acid. When it
    touches the hard water deposits they visible bubble away. Since stop
    bath is used for negs and prints, I personally believe that it's
    eliminating any possible ill effects of hardwater. And any residue of
    calcium left over (specks) can be easily removed with good rinsing and
    photo flo.

    But despite all this I still question the assertion that, hardwater
    affects grain size. I'm not convinced but am willing to listen. Can
    you point me to someplace that documents that? I'd like to have a look
    at the info. Because if it does, then a easier solution would be to
    alter developing temperature or time.

    -- JC
    J C, Aug 19, 2003
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