/ Any tips for indoor climbing snapping to reduce noise?

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oldrichie - on 11 Nov 2013
I do realise this is not everyones cup of tea - right now my lad and his team climb and compete regularly indoors, I want to get decent snaps from the floor , or where ever they coral the parents. So I am zoomed out with the usual light fall off that comes with that, I chance 1/200th but still get blur, wide aperture, ISO on auto on a canon 650d, small sensor. Every shot is just full of noise. I would like to hear what other folks are doing with similar cameras to get their shots.
ChrisJD on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie:

Have you tried shooting in manual mode and choosing your speed, fstop and ISO. Also shoot in RAW and clean up noise in something like Lightroom.
AndrewHuddart - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie:

The noise is from your ISO (as you no doubt know), take control of that first and keep it as los as you can. Shutter speed does need to be reasonably high which means getting lots of light in. This is one area where good kit comes in handy - f2.8 is slow.

In the mean time, while you save up for the f2 telephoto, steady your camera with a monopod and choose your shots for when you subject is still.

There's no escaping the need for more light though.
BIgYeti86 - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie: Are you shooting with flash on as if you are that noise is the chalk particles in the air.
oldrichie - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD: I should of said, all on manual, set the 1/200th, widest aparture for my big lens (on a budget so a slow 5.0 zoomed out) and shooting in raw, to bring up when bringing into photoshop
oldrichie - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie: So there are noise reduction techniques post processing in lightroom?
oldrichie - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to BIgYeti86: No flash at this distance, otherwise it would look like some alpine expedition I am sure :)
oldrichie - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to AndrewHuddart: Thanks Andrew, So will i get less noise in the photo's underexposed and bringing them up in Photoshop? Have a monopod and completely comfortable with 'M' on my dial. It is just a challenging lighting situation.
Tom Last - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie:

Might be worth getting a speedlight and using it as a slave with a radio trigger.

So you'll be shooting with the flash off camera, with you hooting from wherever you need to be, but with the speedlight on a stand closer to the subject. This will have multiple benefits such as freezing the action, creating interesting lighting & crucially allowing you to reduce your ISO. Ultimately, your photos should be punchier & with less noise.
Kieran_John - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie: Not much use to you if you're on a budget but I'm finding my 50mm fixed lens works wonders indoors. Brilliantly fast with little noise.

Won't do you much good if you're stood away from the action though.

This was a quick snap from a recent comp at City Bloc:

http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0093009/photos/kieranjohn/9508792729/

No flash and it's pretty dark in there.
ChrisJD on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie:

Sounds like you are doing all you can camera end (bar auto ISO).

It's now down to your Post Processing.

If you've got access to the latest Camera RAW processing plugin in Photoshop, then it will be the same noise reduction approach as in Lightroom. [buy Lightroom anyway its much easier overall compared with Photoshop]

There are tricks (more of an art/taste than strict approach) in Lightroom - its a combination of general processing tools, sharpening tools (with masking) and noise reduction tools, you can also add Grain back in. Often good to go to B&W sometimes.

oldrichie - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Kieran_John: I have a fixed 50mm from my film days, 2.0. so on my small sensor an 80mm (?) I might have a pop with that to get the light in and crop.
oldrichie - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to ChrisJD: Thanks Chris - I have opted for B&W a few times to hide noise. Another option is to petition walls to hang more lighting up for me.
oldrichie - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Tom Last: Tom, it would be perfect to light this situation, and I do hope to set that situation up in the future ( I have triggers and flashes, also have studio flashes/softboxes etc, just waiting for the urge to suggest) but the situation is a comp or a training session, so flash would be unwelcome unfortunately, so I am trying to exploit pre and post photo settings to get the best shot. Or climb outside and wait for the sun :)
Kieran_John - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie: Yeah, 75mm to 80. Providing it's nice and fast it should do the trick.

There's a 50mm f1.8 Canon lens (just had a VERY quick skim) that can be picked up on Amazon for 79

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-EF-50-1-8-Lens/dp/B00005K47X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384172643&...

Here's a review of it specifically with low light sample pics:

http://lenstests.com/reviews/canon-ef-50mm-f1.8-ii-page-3

So if your old films 50mm didn't do the trick and you can spare the 80 (which is a bargain, the only complaints seem to be it feels a bit cheap but looks ace) then it'll probably do the trick.

It's whether or not you can get close enough though without being able to zoom.
oldrichie - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Kieran_John: I'll have a pop with my Sigma 50mm and then see if I can talk to my financial adviser (wife) about a fast long lens, getting closer will help, light fall off is the main issue I think.
Fraser on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie:

More suitable for bouldering, where you can get nearer the subject, but for under 100, you could pick up a non-branded (or old) flash and a couple of remote triggers. I did that and am happy with the results.
Toerag - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie: You've 18megapixels to play with, get a cheaper faster wider lens and crop for now. Or can you get a speedbooster?
Tom Last - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie:

Far enough Richie.

I'd echo the suggestions of a fast 50mm then. I use the one linked to above, daily. It's not the sharpest lens in the world but it's cheap and fast(ish) and despite owning a couple of good L lenses, I find myself turning to it more and more.
Best of luck!
oldrichie - on 14 Nov 2013
thanks for all the advice. I will have a go with my Sigma 50mm 2.0 and crop, also I realized I had turned off high ISO noise reduction to speed up FPS, so might try that also next time.
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oldrichie - on 14 Nov 2013
Actually just saw it's a 2.8 I was thinking of my old 20mm Canon, with is 2.0, but far to wide for the distance
Durbs on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie:

The only other advice I could offer would be to really choose your shots so you can drop shutter-speed a bit (and thus ISO) - when climbers are resting/setting up for a move.

Boosting under-exposed shots in post-production usually brings in more noise.

The other oprion as someone else mentioned is shooting in B&W where noise isn't quite so noticeable.
Arjen - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie: WTF, do climbers really mind that a flash is going off? I've taking pictures w/ flash during bouldering comps, nobody really cared.
Just threw the thing in a corner so it bounced nicely off the walls and didn't blast anyone's eyeballs out, and had no complains.

Otherwise ask for a bit more light? Bring some halogens of your own...
Blue Straggler - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie:

Where you say "zoomed out" I assume you mean "zoomed in".
Normally I would say "get closer to the action so you can use the wider end of the lens where it has a faster aperture" but it sounds like you can't (?) so it may be worth considering a longer prime lens like a 135mm f/2.8 if you have an old one lying around (it sounds as if you have various "old" kit around).
I don't do much shooting in indoor walls especially at long focal length, but I've shot a lot of concerts on a 135mm f/2.8 with acceptable results.

Just an alternative suggestion anyway
Hannes on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie: sounds like you need a faster lens, even an f2.8 lens will be 1 and 2/3rds stop faster and a lot less noise
just - on 15 Nov 2013
In reply to Hannes:most of the pictures i have of indoor comps have noise on them which is chalk dust in the air and on the lens never found a way round it when taking pictures from the floor
AndrewHuddart - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to oldrichie:

Yep, less noise if you up the ISO and expose 'normally' rather than deliberately under-exposing at a lower ISO and then pulling the image back 'up' in post processing.

It was a huge realisation for me last winter when I did some tests which the pixel peepers in various fora then confirmed.

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