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Thread: Lenses and noise

  1. #1
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    Default Lenses and noise

    Is it my imagination, or does the lens itself have an effect on noise, and I refer to colour noise in particular? In the past few weeks I have spent some time editing family photos I have taken with a Canon 50mm f1.4 USM prime lens - one step short of an L-series lens. In almost every case, I seem to have used double the correction factor for colour noise than I have been in the habit of using with the L-series lenses I use. Do any of you have knowledge of this phenomenon and would like to comment?
    Last edited by Margaret Leggoe; 30-05-2012 at 11:03 AM.
    Margaret Leggoe
    Never too old to learn.

  2. #2
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    Dont know any technical reason why this would be so, but you do hear of certain lens transmitting colour in different ways. Are they recent images taken with the same level of technique ( I'm thinking exposure differences here ) that you apply to your birding?? Interesting to see if someone on the forum has an explanation.
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

  3. #3
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    Hi Margaret,

    The most important thing is whether your shots were "keepers" after correcting and, less-importantly, whether they would have been possible with a slower lens. Is it the problem noise or CA?(colour fringes at boundaries of high contrast black/whites)

    All wide aperture lenses (e.g. <1.8), usually have a few design compromises, whether they are "L" or not. (TANSTAAFL)
    Depending on the "ambient light and distance at time of photo"/aperture at time of photo /lens design etc. fast lenses may exhibit: CA; or Softness when wide open; or "focus shift"; or vignetting at some apertures. (Different for different lenses and different conditions).
    e.g. I have one fast lens that is great under most conditions, but the focus can be iffy around f2 close to the MFD, and it's slightly softer at f1.2 than f1.4. But it takes great shots that I just couldn't get with a slower "more perfect" lens.

    cheers,

    Tony

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    There['s no reason to expect more noise due to a lens, it's all down to the amount of light available. The most likely explanation is under exposure due to subject matter or perhaps that lens does not interact with the meter in the same. Perhaps you were less fussy on exposure for snapshots? The histogram on the uncorrected raw images will be instructive. Assuming of course similar ISOs and exposures in the normal range which seems likely for snapshots.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
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  5. #5
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    Thank you all for commenting.
    These photos have been taken under a variety of light conditions, ranging from Geelong in early spring to Perth in midsummer, but mostly outdoors. Perhaps there is always a lot of colour noise in facial shadows, because, with people I usually look for it in the shadow under the jaw line, or the shaded side of a face. In any case, I don't know why I am letting it bother me, because wild grandchildren generally require less cropping than wild birds and animals.
    Margaret Leggoe
    Never too old to learn.

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