Night Exposure/ISO settings
I went downtown the other night to take some pictures. I just purchased a nikon d40, and this was my first time taking night shots. I was having trouble getting good clarity. The pictures are fuzzy (sharpness) I believe the technical term is noise. My plan of action was to increase the exposure. I was shooting most pictures around 1/8 sec.

I shot most oo 200 ISO and some on 800 ISO but I did not see much difference..

If anyone can give me some tips on shooting in low light/ outdoor night conditions I would greatly appreciate the feedback..

Thankstake it easy..

Comments (5)

I will use ISO-100 only. The best time to take "night" picture is short after sunset when there are still some blue in the sky.YongboPhoto Gallery:

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Comment #1

If you didn't see any difference at 200 and 800, it probably wasn't noise. It was probably camera shake from hand holding at a slow shutter speed. What lens were you using? 1/8s is pretty slow for hand holding without VR..

Suggestions...shoot at the widest aperture your lens will go, up your ISO, use a VR lens or get a faster lens, try to steady yourself as best as possible. 1/focal length is an average shutter speed to shoot for with hand holding..

If they are very dark night shots - as opposed to a well lit downtown night shot - and you can't get your shutter speed up enough to hand hold, use a tripod or set the the camera on something..

Stu - Camera User (see profile for gear)http://www.DigitalPhotoPeople.com


Comment #2

MatthewSmith wrote:.

I went downtown the other night to take some pictures. I justpurchased a nikon d40, and this was my first time taking night shots.I was having trouble getting good clarity. The pictures are fuzzy(sharpness) I believe the technical term is noise. My plan of action.

Noise refers to chroma noise (manifested as off-color speckles, possibly random, possibly in patterns) or luminance noise (undesirable variation in brightness, essentially). There are other ways in which an image can be fuzzy..

For instance, it may not have been focused. AF systems need -some- contrast to lock on, and that's harder to find in the dark..

Second, the low light may mean a long exposure, even using ISO 800 and shooting at f/3.5 or so. Long exposures give time during which the camera might shake, or during which subjects may move. At 1/8s, either might be a problem the usual guideline is no longer than 1/(35mm equiv focal length), or perhaps 4-8 times as long with a stabilized lens. So you may need to bump ISO more, and shoot wide-open if you're not and if you still need a long exposure, consider a tripod..

A tripod won't do anything to stop subjects from moving, however, so if that's an issue you'll simply need to use a shorter exposure, and push during post-processing if that means you -must- underexpose. At least noise can be dealt with easier than subject motion blur...

Comment #3

I sat on the front porch (my wife makes me smoke outside) and set my shutter timer for 2 seconds, then I set the ISO 100, F3.5 to F5.6 play with it, and played with the shutter speed. Start out at 2 secs. and go up to 15 secs. and every step in between, you'll get some fun seeing how the camera picks up the light at night. Sometimes you will get some cool shots and before you know it you'll be doing it with out thinking about it, failure is the bet way to learn.Tim..

Comment #4

Hi there,.

If you're doing long exposures then you should really shoot with a tripod to keep things still. This means you can take a longer shutter speed to let more light into the lens without bumping up the ISO..

I couldn't see your image, but it sounds like your problem could be due to a high ISO setting. I never go above 100 on night time shots..

My typical setting would be an aperture of about f8 with a speed of 15s (depending on the light meter reading) and an ISO of 50 if you can (100 will do)..

Try it..........


Nick Kind

Comment #5

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