Attempting to take night shot of city view... having problems

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by electronicaddiction23, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. electronicaddiction23

    electronicaddiction23 TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone, i am new to this forum. I have a canon EOS Rebel XT with a wide angle lens, an original lens, and a telephoto lens. The wide angle has a polarizing filter and UV filter on it.

    I am trying to take night shots of the view from my balcony but the pictures come out in my opinion terrible.

    First let me show you the shot i am trying to take:

    [​IMG]
    link to large size: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2058/2341600411_507a684084_b.jpg

    as you can see it is terrible.

    when you compare it to this picture i took in New York, there is a world of difference:

    [​IMG]
    link to large: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2072/2311286047_89b636efb3_b.jpg


    why is it that the new york skyline is so much crisper and clearer than the view from my house?

    Is it because there is more lights in the NY skyline?

    What settings would you guys suggest based on the information ive provided?


    Thank you so much in advance.
     
  2. Yahoozy

    Yahoozy TPF Noob!

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    that could be part of it, but i think its also because the angle of the 2nd one is so much more appealing, as well as being an overall crisper image in terms of focus, the first one seems a bit blurry, are u using a tripod?
     
  3. electronicaddiction23

    electronicaddiction23 TPF Noob!

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    yes im using a tripod. i even set the camera on timer and then take the picture so my hand isn't touching it all when the picture is taken.
     
  4. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Does your lens have an infinate focus, I have heard some don't but I don't use EF glass so I would not know for sure.

    And lock your mirror, it's a must.
     
  5. electronicaddiction23

    electronicaddiction23 TPF Noob!

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  6. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    According to that link you do have infinate focus and I would assume you are using it so....


    as for locking the mirror

    I am not sure how it is done with your camera but I have to assume it can be you will have to check the manual.

    Locking the mirror is just another way to minimize movement of the camera body.

    The mirror used to relay the image from the lens to the view finder is between the lens and the sensor, so It has to move when the shot is taken (otherwise it would obstruct the sensor) This movement can cause vibration during long exposures like any movement can. With older cameras like mine the mirror moves so quickly and hard it literally jolts the body, this is known as mirror smack.
     
  7. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    Go into your menu. In the last menu (far right) there is an option called "Custom Functions (C.Fn)." From there scroll down to option 7, which will say "Mirror lockup" and be set to 0: Disable. Hit the Set button, and then scroll down to 1:Enable. Now when you click the shutter the first time it will lock the mirror up (your viewfinder will go black). You'll have to hit the shutter once more to make your exposure.

    Try this: Enable Mirror Lockup, set your aperture to f/8 and your ISO to 100. Keep using your tripod and the timer, and set your shutter speed to whatever it needs to be to get the correct exposure. This should give you the sharpest image possible.

    EDIT: You should also manual focus. You should be able to focus just a bit behind infinity and get everything sharp.
     
  8. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sweet, you are the first one to follow me up with a how to.


    Yes, I forgot about that, lenses with infinity focus often go a touch beyond infinity. Also Manual focus is a key as AF has issues finding subjects in the dark. When I first glanced at the samples I assumed you where manual focusing, but now that I look again I think there may have been enough light for the AF to find something, that could cause some slight focusing miss as well. If you are not alredy, focus manually, don't be afraid to spend a period of time focusing, it'll pay off in the end.
     
  9. Wozza

    Wozza TPF Noob!

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    With that view, I think you may get a more interesting shot just after dusk. You know, it's light enough to still get some detail in the foreground but all the lights are on. IMO of course,
     
  10. electronicaddiction23

    electronicaddiction23 TPF Noob!

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    thanks a lot for the how to. i will definitely be trying everything you guys have suggested tomorrow night. the mirror lock sounds like a plan. i think i remember reading something about it in the manual but i never actually tried it out.

    i also appreciate the settings.

    will post up pics tomorrow after it gets dark. thank you.
     
  11. electronicaddiction23

    electronicaddiction23 TPF Noob!

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    i will try that too. its a great idea.
     
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, A lot of beginners see it in the manual and don't realize what it's for and don't try it then forget about it. Well this is it, the most dominate use for it is Night photography followed by Macro photography.
     

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