Auto ISO

I spent my early photography days using film, especially reversal film which resulted in slides to show in a projector. Reversal film is not as forgiving as print film and that meant that you had to be pretty accurate with all camera settings and that included using the ISO recommended by the manufacturer.
I started shooting digital with Olympus E cameras and as they didn’t handle high ISO settings very well, it was usually kept at the default of 200 ISO or sometimes 400 ISO and very, very rarely went above that.
Now I’m shooting with Nikon on a D800 and D7100 both of which have a fantastic latitude for high ISO’s and for still returning noise-free results. However, years of being careful of excessive high ISO’s have meant that it has taken me some time to get used to the fact that I can increase the ISO setting and still get low noise images.
So, yesterday I spent the day shooting with the D7100 in auto ISO mode for the first time. I set the maximum ISO to 800 (still playing safe) and the minimum was set to ‘Minimum Shutter Speed – Auto’, which means it uses the set focal length of the CPU lens. I increase that setting by one of the two plus increments.

Nikon Auto ISO settings

Nikon Auto ISO settings

ISO Minimum Shutter speed

ISO Minimum Shutter speed

How did it go? Well, it was strange seeing the increased ISO readings in the viewfinder, and I had to stop myself from turning auto off out of sheer habit of seeing 200 ISO in the readings, but I persevered and the results seem fine.
It’s not something I would use when I’m taking landscapes with a tripod etc, but it certainly is worth using whilst walking around.


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