Overexpose RAW or use higher ISO

A few days ago I had a thought. What results in a cleaner photo? Should one overexpose a darker RAW file or use a higher ISO instead. Which one will have less noise? So I decided to try it out and see.

Let’s compare

Let’s look at this photo. This is a crop from 100% zoom. Both versions are the same except for the ISO settings. The first one is ISO 100 and overexposed by two stops, second on ISO 400.

It’s really hard to see any difference, except the High ISO one, is a tiny bit brighter. I noticed this on every single photo I tried. Two stops of exposure were never the same in Lightroom as in the camera. Let’s zoom in to 200% to see better how it looks.

Still, hard to see much difference, except the brightness. Maybe the overexposed has a tiny bit more noise, but hard to say for sure.

Let’s look at a different image. This one with more even areas, that will show the noise better. Again, both taken at the same settings except the ISO. First one at ISO 100 and overexposed by 2 stops, the second one at ISO400

Really hard to see any difference at 100%. It looks almost the same. Let’s zoom in to 200% to a single color area.

Here you already can see a bit of difference, the noise is a tiny bit stronger in the overexposed image.

How is it?

I tried more comparisons, and every time I got to the same result. The overexposed shot is a bit darker and has a bit more noise. But in most cases, I was not able to even see a difference. Even when going up by 3 exposures, it was the same. Not sure if this would be same on all the cameras, but it worked like this on the 5D Mark IV. So it looks like it does not really matter and both work fine.

The biggest difference was actually the overexposed areas. When you overexpose a shot, you get better exposure in those areas. But of course the underexposed will be darker, so you get less detail there.

I tried the same comparison where instead of changing the ISO I changed the exposure time, but in that case, the overexposed one was much noisier in every case. This is, of course, to be expected.

4K wallpapers

Acording to the site statistics, the 4K wallpapers are the most visited/downloaded from all the wallpaprs so how about few more.

As always, all wallpapers are for free and can be distributed further, just link back to this site (of course only for personal use, no commercial use allowed without my permission).

Don’t forget to check out other available wallpapers:

More 4K wallpapers of Dubai

The theme for today’s wallpapers si Dubai at night. All are at 3840x2160px, so perfect for a 4K monitor.

More 4K wallpapers of Dubai
More 4K wallpapers of Dubai
More 4K wallpapers of Dubai
More 4K wallpapers of Dubai

Back to posting

I got back home late at night yesterday, so it’s time to get back to updating the blog. But as I feel crazy tired today, I’m just relaxing, and instead of a new photo, I have for you even more super ultra-wide wallpapers. Get them now :)

Don’t forget to check out other available wallpapers:

New wallpapers

Went with a quite random selection for today, all at 5120x1440px resolutions as with all other super ultra-wide wallpapers I posted before. Get them as always at the super ultra-wide wallpapers page.

Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px
Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px
Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px
Super ultra-wide wallpapers 5120x1440px

Wallpapers

I feel a bit tired today, so instead of a new photo or article, how about even more new wallpapers. And since the super ultra-wide category has only few to choose from, here are few new ones.

Don’t forget to check out other available wallpapers:

More super ultra-wide wallpapers

As before, these are all at 5120×1440 pixels, made specificaly for those huge 32:9 screens. But they will also work fine on 21:9 screens (with the sides cut off a bit) and on dual monitor setups with 2 times 2560×1440 resolutions.

Super ultra-wide wallpapers
Super ultra-wide wallpapers
Super ultra-wide wallpapers
Super ultra-wide wallpapers

Laowa 12mm lens

It has been over a year now since I got the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens. In that time I had the opportunity to try it out a lot of times, so today I will share with you my thought on it, and if I’m happy with the purchase.

Taking photos at 12mm

There are not many lenses where you can go that wide. This is great, but also makes this a very specific use lens. One can only use it when something is really close, or very big. In all other situations, all will look very small, or you get too much of empty space. Also, pointing the lens up or down results in a huge amount of perspective distortion, so it’s best used when perfectly leveled.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

Still, the moment you are in a situation that fits this lens, it’s great. The distortion is minimal, the sharpness is great. Also having the F2.8 aperture is perfect if you want to do star photos or auroras (have not tried this personally, but have a friend who uses it all the time). It’s also great when you want to do a panorama, but are not able to do multiple photos. As it’s so wide, you can just take a photo and crop it later into a panoramic aspect ratio.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

The ability to use a circular polarizer and 10cm square filters make it very practical. Now I can use the same filters on my lenses and don’t have to get the big 15cm ones. This makes it much cheaper and much harder to damage the filters. You still get strong vignetting, but that’s a small tradeoff for how easy is to use them. I wrote more about this here.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

There are actually only two things I don’t like about this lens. First is, the aperture ring is very easy to randomly rotate. When I get back to the lens, it never is at the same aperture I left it at. Usually, just by touching the sides of my camera bag, it moves to F22.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

The second thing, it’s a bit harder to focus for me. I always manually focus, so being a manual focus lens is not a problem. The issue is the aperture. Normally, when you focus on a camera, the lens first opens to it’s biggest aperture, to let in the biggest amount of light it can. There is a button on the side of the most camera, that when pressed, steps the lens to the aperture you selected.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

On this lens, you have to change the aperture manually, so it’s always set to the one you have chosen. Like this, you see the resulting focus right away. But since the DOF is usually very high, you don’t really know where you are focused at all and have to check multiple areas of the photo. This is not really a problem of the lens, more of my workflow when taking photos. It’s just different from my other lenses, that I forget about it, and then end up with out of focus photos.

One year with the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D lens

In the end, the Laowa 12mm F2.8 Zero-D is a great lens, and I’m happy I got it last year. And of course, all photos in this post are taken with it. You can also see my favorite composition with it. I like to have a path, railing or something similar on one side, pulling your eyes into the photo.

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