This weekend we were shooting at night without a whole lot of light and the only ISO that I could get to work for photos with a reasonable shutter speed was H2 (102400). The noise I got in the shots precludes a lot of the processing I normally do, forget about trying to bring up the shadows, pushing the tone curve or anything like that. My question is how do you deal with noise and what combination of filters or techniques are the best?
I figured it's best to watch the shadow and black levels very closely, trying to limit the contrast to where the noise is passable and just black out the rest. Right now I am doing +50 luminance and +75 chroma for noise reduction in LR4, then I'll apply the topaz filter (DeNoise) rather liberally, as high as I can set it without destroying detail (generally around +60 to +100, +100 in the shadows with +80 detail recovery, blur and grain both set to 0), and finally apply another topaz 'pop' filter to add some of the local contrast back into the final image.
How can I improve, on the second one for instance?