Questions about Night Photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by john3eblover, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. john3eblover

    john3eblover TPF Noob!

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    Hi, i am new to these forums, and had a few questions about photography.

    I have a Minolta Xt, and will be getting a Nikon N65 soon, with a 28-90mm lens.

    I love taking pictures of sunsets, landscapes, and cityscapes.

    I am wondering what are the recommended settings for f-stop and shutter speed when taking long exposure pictures of sunsets, night skies, and skylines of cities.

    thanks for the help
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    There are no recommendations - it all depends on your light levels and what you are trying to achieve.
    Play around with your aperture and shutter settings, trying different combinations, and see which one you like the best.
     
  3. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

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    Your camera has the advantage of being able to run the shutter for several seconds accurately. Unfortunately this causes battery drain especially in the cold (bring a spare battery).

    Mount your camera on a tripod and meter the scene. Most beginners tend to underexpose rather than expose correctly. Since your shutter speeds are going to be fairly long (i.e. need a tripod), you can try and squeeze mid-apertures (f5.6-8) to smaller ones (f11-22) from your lenses. Using the tripod means that you can get everything front-to-back of the scene reasonably sharp. There's a starting point. Hopefully others will help once you add a little clarity to your question.

    Regards.
     
  4. Holland

    Holland TPF Noob!

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    From the National Geographic Field Guide
    • City street, ISO 100, 1/30, f/2
    • City skyline at dusk, ISO 100, 1/60, f/2.8
    • City skyline at night, ISO 100, 2 sec, f/2
    • Landscape lit by full moon, ISO 100, 4 min, f/4
     
  5. john3eblover

    john3eblover TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the help.

    as far as speeds of film, which is best for low light or night situations? and are you saying that a smaller aperture setting with a longer exposure will give me a clearer shot? i think that the maxiumum i can leave the shutter open is 30 sec, unless i just hold it with my finger indefinitely
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A smaller aperture will give you more depth of field which is usually helpful in landscape photography. Since you will be using very slow shutter speeds and therefore a tripod, you might as well stop down the lens and increase the shutter time.

    It is recommended that you use a remote shutter release or at least the self timer so that you don't have to touch the camera as it fires. If you have a mirror lock up feature...this is when you would activate it.

    From what I have read, it is better to use slower film (ISO 100) for long exposures, rather than 400 or 800 etc.
     
  7. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Correct. Faster film tends to render the sky muddy at night.
     
  8. john3eblover

    john3eblover TPF Noob!

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    sweet. any idea if 1-30 sec exposures will drain the batter on an N65 very fast?
     

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