ISO Lo 1 - what is it?

Lo X stands for Low.

Hi X - not an abbreviation, but the full name of Hi (high)

ISO selection

ISO selection

Nikon has a habit of calling low and high ISO like Lo and Hi, for example Nikon D90, Nikon D3, Nikon D3s, Nikon D300, Nikon D300s, Nikon D700, Nikon D5000 use Lo to denote low ISO, where in terms of ISO it turns out somewhere:

  • Lo 1 - ISO 100
  • Lo 03 - ISO 160
  • Lo 07 - ISO 125

For Nikon D800,D800E, D600, D4 can use the same ISO Lo1 value, but they have it equivalent to the ISO 50 value.

What is ISO Lo 1 and do I need to use these modes?
Actually Lo 1 is ISO 200 overexposed by 1 stop with in-camera post-processing. In fact, it is a plug-in of the base ISO to the desired value. Post-processing most likely includes the restoration of overexposures and bringing the picture to pseudo ISO 100, no one will tell you exactly what is happening. The other Lo 03, Lo 07 do the same trick, only with 1/3 and 2/3 overexposures at the base ISO 200. That is, Lo is software ISO wrapping.

Why is it added to the camera functionality?

  1. To work with longer shutter speeds - indispensable when shooting in bright conditions on fast lenses F1.4-F2.8, when excerpt in 1/4000 no longer has time to dose the light.
  2. The real noiseless picture enhancements, especially helps in suppressing noise in the sky.
  3. Still gives the opportunity to shoot on ISO 100. - After all, 100 is very tempting, but it is a kind of marketing move that you should not pay special attention to.

Are there any downsides when using Lo 1?
Yes there is. Firstly it dynamic range drop Pictures (DD). The instructions for cameras using these types of ISOs indicate that there will be little loss of contrast in Lo X modes and recommend using ISO 200 and higher. Secondly, areas in which strong lights suffer very much. In fact, when re-exposure of bright objects, they turn out to be illuminated and the camera simply cannot draw useful information from there.

My advice:
If the shutter speed suits you, use on cameras with all sorts of lo and Hi actual (basic) ISO values. By the way, if you work with Auto ISO, then you will notice that the camera never sets Lo 1, because it knows for sure that these are just tricks of the software cheat. From personal experience, I will say that the difference in the picture between lo 1 and ISO 200 is quite difficult to notice.

When can I turn on Lo 1?
If you want to get a clear picture as much as possible, get rid of noise in the blue sky and get a scene with a lower DD, or fit into the minimum shutter speed - you can shoot on Lo 1. Also, when using the built-in flash, where excerpt usually stops at 1/200, this will open the stop at 1 stop.

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Comments: 38, on topic: ISO Lo 1 - what is it?

  • serg

    My opinion is ISO 200

  • my opinion,########!


    our choice is a light filter!

  • Markusha

    As far as I understand, all ISO in general is the work of a program according to a certain algorithm.
    The matrix does not change its parameters depending on the amount of light.
    In each of the pixels of the matrix, a voltage arises due to the photon entering it, and this voltage simply increases to the right degree from the set ISO.
    And if so, then there is no difference in terms of processing the frame — on which ISO to shoot, the program pulls the received information to the desired value.
    And faintly turned that all Lo will worsen the parameters.
    On the other hand, there is no difference between Hi and 3200 - that is, in reality it is - it is exactly the same as between 3200 and 1600.
    And if the photo is printed at a small size and without cropping, then there is no difference, but only the need to either shorten the shutter speed due to excess light or lengthen it because of its lack.
    There is simply a minimum voltage that cannot be reduced anymore, and those pixels that have received this minimum by 200 will give the same thing in terms of lo, and the dynamic range will drop.

  • Bui-com

    Means on d5100 it is necessary not to align below ISO 200 !?
    And forget about ISO100 !?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      No, that doesn't mean anything. The article is just for general development. Moreover, the D5100 ISO 100 is native.

  • Leonid

    Good evening!
    What can you say about lo modes in studio shooting? Is it worth setting up a "pseudo" hundred square meters or using 200? Camera - D300.
    Thank you.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I use Lo1 in the studio, as too lazy to adapt to ISO 200

  • Leonid

    OK, thanks!

  • Diana

    My scales show Lo when I turn them on. Please tell me what this means, otherwise I can’t weigh anything. Thanks in advance☺.

    • Edward

      You need to buy a new scale with new batteries. The service for replacing batteries in old scales will cost you more.

      • Andrii

        Do you think a man for 10 years did not solve the problem?

  • Catherine

    But on Nikon 1500, in m mode, where you can configure the ISO, and just do see how much it is set to automatic? (Can I just don’t configure it in m mode?)

  • Catherine

    oh Nikon 5100))))

  • Scooter

    I looked at the sequence for a long time in the article
    Lo 1 - ISO 100
    Lo 03 - ISO 160
    Lo 07 - ISO 125
    Everything seems to be correct, but everything was somehow “wrong” :)
    Apparently the whole thing is in inconsistently arranged elements of the sequence :)
    IMHO, it would be better to arrange them as they go in the camera when scrolling with a wheel, namely:
    Lo 03 - ISO 160
    Lo 07 - ISO 125
    Lo 1 - ISO 100

  • Reypey

    Love, no one has changed the golden rule “The lower the ISO, the better”! And if the camera has a native lower ISO 200 (like I did on the D300s), I still set Lo1. Let the camera count. There is always less noise. So the old master taught us - NO ISO CASE TO RISE ABOVE THE LOWER LIMIT! Well, since there is Lo1, so be it. Thanks a lot for the article!

  • Reypey

    By the way, are Lo1,07,03 in the ISO scale? so that…

    • Scooter

      I mean, if you turn it down from ISO 200, there will be L 0.3, L 0.7 and L 1.0, at least in D90. Well, if you go from the lowest to the highest, it will be as you wrote.

  • Reypey

    Sorry, the phrase certainly sounds without a question mark.

  • alexey

    I have d90. topic about iso interested. I will test. if I dig in then I’ll try not to be too lazy and unsubscribe.

  • Ilya

    Is there any difference when shooting a rabbi? I didn’t set ISO Lo1, but then in the converter I reduced it to 1 exposure and vice versa .. In fact, the same thing? Or a camera like that will be recorded by a girlfriend?

    • NE

      essentially not the same thing

  • Benjamin

    Arkady, I would like to clarify the terminology.
    The article says: "If you are satisfied with the shutter speed, use the actual (base) ISO values ​​on cameras with all kinds of lo and Hi."
    What are “ISO Baselines”? Or just “base ISO”?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Basic - no ADC gain, usually the lowest iso. Lo1 is already a cleverly revised base, lowered.

      • Benjamin

        Thank you.

  • Alexey

    Arkady, good afternoon!
    In this article, you do not recommend using a hardware-reduced ISO if you have enough shutter speed, but in your recent reviews on the D90 it is almost always worth lowering. Is there a reason you redefined your views?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      No, in the reviews just ISO 100 lo1 on the D90 was used in cases with a lack of exposure (these are aperture lenses 58 / 1,4 and 50 / 1,2)

  • anonym

    Materials from Radozhiva really help to understand the rubble of digital photography and get clear answers to many questions. The author’s great basic preparedness is respectable. I advise everyone to turn to the articles of this professional.

  • Dmitriy

    Thank you very much, Arkady, for your materials! Very glad I found this site! I shoot on D7000, toiled with focusing with point selection, I missed so many good shots! I also didn't really figure out the 900 flash, it slaps pre-flashes even in mode A, today I'll try to experiment, read your articles ...
    And yet, the question is according to ISO: what is LO1 really like, in the D7000, where is the minimum standard ISO 100? And why do I need it?

    • Valentine

      Does the D700 have Lo1? I shot them somehow, it seems that there is no Lo1. It is needed when, at ISO 100 and the fastest shutter speed, overexposure occurs. Then you need to either close the aperture, or lower the ISO to Lo1, if any.

      • Valentine

        At D7000 meant, did not finish a zero.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The d7000 has a basic ISO of 100, there is no lo ISO

  • Dmitriy

    ... in terms of the sky at 100, and so it should turn out well without noise?

  • Kirill

    I can definitely say that on the D800 ISO, Lo1 and Lo2 give a noticeably cleaner picture, this is especially noticeable in the twilight sky. (I realized this for the first time using these modes in pictures of the setting of the Moon and Venus) It’s absolutely absolutely clean and does not require post processing at all. On ISO 100, when underexposed in the sky, inconspicuous digital artifacts climb, but if you compare in crop it can be said that they do not exist

  • zinc

    “Hi” is the same abbreviation for “High” as “Lo” for “Low”
    Well yemana !!!!

  • Viachtslav

    Thank you very much!
    Only from you, Arkady, I could get an explanation about LO-X and HI-X. The rest are engaged in verbiage ...

  • Cecil

    I am having a real problem with noise even at ISO 64 on my D810. Will using L01 help with noise? What other settings can I try??

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