stu1978
Posts: 119
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Night Photography Tips Required

Sun Aug 14, 2005 5:48 am

Very shortly ill be off to Tokyo of a 2 week stay and hope to take full advantage of the various viewing decks that can be found out there on me trip.

Ill be visiting both the Tokyo airports and have done me research in finding that these decks, are open till 2000 local time....having looked on various weather sites it also mentions that the sun set's at roughly 1830ish....if this is true then it gives me a hour to and half to get some night shots of the various aircraft that I may encounter.

I've tried some night shots before but have had average results with what I've got.....some of the pictures that I have seen recently on Anet is far superior to what I have ever achieved.

I have heard that shooting RAW at night far out way's, shooting JPEG due to the fact your able to play with the image more when viewing/editing on your PC.

The equipment that I'll be using to experiment with will be 10D + 100-400L and a 28-105EF.

So what I ask is for your tips / thoughts on what's the best way to achieve these shots or even settings that you may use.

Cheers

Stu
 
Gary2880
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Sun Aug 14, 2005 5:57 am

Always use a longer shutter speed over a higher ISO, I normally use between 20-30seconds exposure. Keep your sensor clean as night dust spots are the biggest pain in the arse ever, if you have a lens hood put it on, you can still shoot into the light in the dark so try to avoid bright lights being behind your subject, use your body as a wind breaker and contrary to what most people say they turn out fine with IS on.

And use a shutter release cord!

Edit :

to illustrate my point. as you can see here the antonov is on the correct side of the bright lights and the tornado I am shooting into the lights, however both are nice in their own right. But a better effect comes from using your light correctly, the antonov was taken from the hill that is visible behind the tornado


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Photo © Gary Stewart



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I personally always use manual focus, as that tornado was in pitch black and I used a 40 second exposure I had to focus on a small glint coming off its nose and there's no way the autofocus would have hut it.

Hope I have been somewhat helpful!

[Edited 2005-08-13 23:07:27]
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel :- Samuel Johnson
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:09 am

read and learn about white balance, and practice before you get there.
 
Gary2880
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:18 am

and hope that they don't use bright orange lights like the BAA do. otherwise you`ll be lucky if you can find the correct balance to turn orange into white.
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel :- Samuel Johnson
 
Dehowie
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:02 am

G'day Stu
You willl get some awesome results.
The decks at Haneda are open until 2200 which will give yo uplenty of time to practice.
For most of my shots i settled on shutter speed around the 10-20 sec mark using auto as a guide but shooting full manual.
Sometimes you will be lucky like this when they pop the lights on just prior to commencing taxi.

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Take a good tripod as one of the things about shooting off the decks at Haneda and Narita are you will have to learn to deal withthe holes they cut for lenses in the fences which willmean a good tripod is a must.

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I really like the JAL side of Haneda at night with the background lighting providing some nice backdrops but you can get good results on both.

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Given the frequency of departures you will get plenty of practice but try starting around the 10 sec/F8 range on some parked aircraft before you shoot goodies toget a feel for the lighting n different parts of the ramp.
Have fun mate Japan is a super place for aviation photography with great access to ramps rwy ends etc.
You will have a great time.
Darren
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
stu1978
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:43 pm

From what I have gathered from the above I'll be shutting manual and varying my shutter speeds for different lighting effects until I find a pleasing one that I like.

Reading about the white balance and color temperature setting does this make much of a different from using the AWB to say going to the Tungsten setting on the white balance.......

Results that I'm looking for would be the ones similar to Darrens above, where it looks more natural.

I know the airport lighting will be a major player on this and the results that I will achieve, from what I remember from the majority of the UK airports that I have visited at night they seem to portray a yellow/orange affect.

This can not be said for the country that I'm soon to visit as I do not know what effect they will have at night. From looking and admiring Darrens pictures I can only assume that they are a lot better than the ones in the UK.

With regards to using a shutter release cord, I do not have one of these at the moment....but hopefully the 10sec delay function that is avialable on the camera will compensate for me not having this. Providing the aircraft stays stationary for up to 45sec max, depending on my chosen shutter time.

Thanks for the replies so far

stu
 
Dehowie
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:26 am

Stu
Before you head out get on the train and head into Shinjuku to go shopping.
You willpick up a shutter release for not much and it makes a big difference to your quality.
Also use the mirror lockup if you have a 20D or better.Not sure if the 300D/350D have mirror lock.
I like the yellow look myself which is the color that you see when you look at the ramp with your own eye's.
Having spent so much time on airport ramps it just looks real weird to see a temp corrected shot where white is white.
Still looking to find an airport which has ramp lighting which is actually white!!
Have a greattime.
Darren
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
transair737
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:48 am

I have limited experience but a few things that I have found useful
- a good tripod
- shutter release as has been mentioned or I use a battery operated remote
- mirror lock up is a good feature if you have it on your camera

Good luck with the photos and have fun!
 
senorcarnival
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:02 am

Quoting Stu1978 (Reply 5):
Reading about the white balance and color temperature setting does this make much of a different from using the AWB to say going to the Tungsten setting on the white balance.......

I'd go for a custom white balance. When you're there at Haneda ready to go, take a clean sheet of white paper, hold it in front of your camera, and set the white balance to that.
Also, I found a macro for PS7 to reduce the excessive yellow tinge that night av photos can have. Unfortunately, I've never used it so I can't tell you how well it works. Let me know if you want it, I'll send you a copy. Good luck!
Oh no, she's getting impatient! Take a stab at it!
 
LGW
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:38 pm

Stu,

Main thing I would say is to shoot in RAW which of course gives greater flexibility to edit colours etc when back at home on the PC

Enjoy your trip

Cheers

Ben Pritchard
 
saxdiva
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:52 pm

One of the more stunning night shots I've seen here. To make it even better, Wietse included his settings.  Big grin


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-Leanne
 
stu1978
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:58 am

Cheers for the replies guys

The 10D does have the option of the mirror lock up.
There is a very good chance that i'll be able to pick up a shutter release cord, as one of me hotels is in Shinjuku area.

My Tripod is on the way is apparently capable of the requirements of me gear.

Is there much difference in the quality produced from say shooting in F8 like on some of Darren's shots and F22 in Weitse shot ?

Or is there pro's and cons to both.

Me personally I've only ever gone for around the F8 - F11 mark.

Once again cheers for the info

Stu
 
TZ
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:02 am

Quoting Stu1978 (Reply 11):
Is there much difference in the quality produced from say shooting in F8 like on some of Darren's shots and F22 in Weitse shot ?

f22 will give you greater depth of field, if that is what you want in your composition.

It has the added benefit that it (the tremendous depth-of-field) compensates for inaccurate focusing, which is always a problem with night-shots.

Furthermore, the small aperture gives a much longer shutter speed, which blurs motion in the background, giving some "life" to the image.

I recommend f18-f22.

TZ
TZ Aviation - Aeropuerto de los Banditos Team Images
 
timdegroot
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:09 am

Shoot RAW, only way to go for nightshots. Personally I always use autofocus and have never once had it fail on me.

Tim
Alderman Exit
 
andrewuber
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:17 am

I end up doing a lot of night shots due to my job. The ramp lights here in FWA tend to cast a yellow glow onto everything, but it can be removed in PhotoShop. I too reccommend f22 or so, and I like long exposures. Some examples:

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Photo © Freight-Dawg
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Sometimes it's acceptable here to upload a photo "exactly as it was taken". I thought this one would get rejected "BADCOLOR" but it made it in:

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Photo © Freight-Dawg



Have fun, and good luck!  bigthumbsup 

Drew
I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
 
TZ
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:17 am

Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 13):
Personally I always use autofocus and have never once had it fail on me.

Obviously you're not as dim as me then Tim....  Wink

TZ
TZ Aviation - Aeropuerto de los Banditos Team Images
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:32 am

Maybe Tim's 300D has some settings your camera doesn't Big grin
 
dc10tim
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:24 am

Hey this is all really useful info. for truely "dark" shots guys!

What would you recommend for "dusk" shots? I was out the other day shooting on ISO 400 at about f8 and 1/30 and they came out looking like I had tried to expose them in really poor daylight and didn't reflect the conditions at all.

Regards,

Tim.
Obviously missing something....
 
Dehowie
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:44 am

HI Stu
I was shooting at F8 as i wanted to keep the shutterspeed down to 10 secs.
Unlike Wietse's shot which was of static arcraft the effect i was trying to capture was to have the shutter close just after the taxi lights where turned on.
With a 30 sec exposure the 744 would have been long gone.
In two nights of photography the top one was the only one to be perfect.
Sometimes the Japanese crews pop the lights on after starting moving which was a pain.
Dont know how many shots i got where the aircraft just started moving or the shutter closed just before the taxi lights came on but there where a few!!
I'd shoot F22 of a static as well when there is no chance of movement but for something which is about to move you cant afford the benefit of F22.
Even at F8 the background is in focus so 22 may be a bit of overkill if simply aiming at DOF.
Have fun.
Darren
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
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Jofa
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:41 am

I have some experience with nightshots, and nothing beats shooting in RAW. Like others have said a solid tripod is a must especially if its windy. Also a cable or similar release is very useful. As for the in camera settings, i usually boost the aperture to about 16-22 and choose shutter according to the histogram. No need to worry about whitebalance if shooting raw. ISO100 always. Also, perhaps the most important, you gotta know what you're doing when it comes to post processing.


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[Edited 2005-08-16 03:45:48]
 
stu1978
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Wed Aug 17, 2005 5:41 am

Thanks to all that has contributed to this thread.

I'll now be able to go away and experiment and enjoy me trip with a lot more knowledge and info that I never knew before.

Excellent pictures that have been posted by various members as well, a joy to view.

Thanks again

Stu Lawson
 
donder10
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:39 am

How much is a cable release for the 10D out of interest?
Thanks,Alex
 
ChrisH
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:51 am

You dont need a cable if you've got self-release timer. On the D70 it can be set from 2 seconds or more so timing isnt a problem. Mirror lockup isnt needed on times over ~1 sec either.
what seems to be the officer, problem?
 
Dehowie
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:29 am

Actually Chris you will find that mirror lockup is need all the time on any time exposure shot.
The concept is it stops the mirror moving and causing vibration through the camera assmbley by opening the mirror prior to opening the shutter and the sme in reverse the shutter closes then a short time later so does the mirror.
Darren
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
ChrisH
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 pm

MLU is the option to manually lock the mirror up well in advance of releasing the shutter, so to avoid vibrations, yes, however these vibrations will only ever be seen in a shot with a shuttertime between 1/30-1sec thereabouts. Think about it, the vibrations die out within half a second. What impact will that have on a 20 second exposure, or even 5? None at all. It's not essential.
what seems to be the officer, problem?
 
javibi
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:12 pm

Quoting ChrisH (Reply 24):
None at all. It's not essential.

I have to disagree; if you are shooting motion night shots like the one that is currently PC (a 13 sec. exposure at f20, BTW), if you do not use mirror lock you'll definitely see your mistake reflected in the light streaks. So I do not think it will harm anybody to use it in all kinds of night shots.

Cheers

j
 
ChrisH
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:31 pm

Javibi, in the event of light-streaks you are right that it would be visible. What I do though is fire the shutter before the plane is visible in the viewfinder, problem solved. And looking at your pic that's what you did too, unless you cropped it. For shooting something static though, it wont matter.

No MLU on these, the D70 don't have it =)


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what seems to be the officer, problem?
 
aviopic
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Thu Aug 18, 2005 12:56 am

Quoting ChrisH (Reply 24):
None at all. It's not essential.



Quoting Javibi (Reply 25):
I have to disagree;

I do agree with ChrisH.

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Never used mirror lock up and not even a remote control.
When using exp. from 10s and above I have not problem to press the shutter by hand because even half a second shake doesn't do anything to your image.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
Dehowie
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:20 am

You guys may want to tell all the landscape shooters and pro's over at FM's that MLU is not required for time exposure shots. 
Any blurr is evident over a 1 or 30 sec shot period.
With the bright hard edges you get on airliner shots any substantial vibration will be clearly evident particulary with poorer quality tripods.
The major impact is shooting with lenses like my 300/2.8 or 500F4 at night on a pod which only require the lightest vibrations to ruin a photograph.
At the shorter end like your shots vibratin is hardly evident so its not really a "major" issue.
However try taking a shot with my 500 at night without MLU and you are wasting your time.
Anything which makes your final shot higher quality should be used especially as it is standard fittout on Canon gear.Just because your Nikon D70 does not have it does not mean that it is not required nor a great feature to have.
Quite surprised to hear the D70 doesnt have it.
Seeya
Darren

[Edited 2005-08-18 03:33:08]
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
ChrisH
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:08 pm

Quoting Dehowie (Reply 28):
Just because your Nikon D70 does not have it does not mean that it is not required nor a great feature to have.

Now Darren I hope you are taking the piss here, cause I know you aren't dumb. The MLU function would not have made a lick of difference in the shots above, cause as I said, the vibration is so small, and occurs under such a short time, its not noticable in these types of shots.

I'm a member at FM and I find most ppl there are hobbyists just like us. I could ask them and they'd agree with me, in fact that's where I first learned all this.

And btw, with that 500, the shake might be even less evident than with a small lens, simply due to the size/weight of the lens.

Heres an interesting page for you to read Darren, with diagram and all.

http://www.photo.net/learn/nature/mlu

[Edited 2005-08-18 10:19:16]
what seems to be the officer, problem?
 
Dehowie
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:34 am

Thanks Chris interesting read.
However one of the first replies talks about the situation exactly as i described with longer lenses being far more susceptable to any vibration at all including mirror moving etc.
You are correct that in shots like yours it will make very little difference as the short focal lengths of the lens means vibration is hardly noticed.
From reading the article though it is pretty clear that he is a fan of MLU at all shutter speeds but he is pointing out that is it more prevalent between 1/2 and 1/60th with shorter lenses.
To quote one of the replies"However, lock up improved the image when I used a 300 f4 and PN 11 extension also at f16 and 1/8 sec (1:4 shot)."
Another quote"As a general rule, unless I knew otherwise, I'd always use MLU at speeds of 1/60 or slower when using lenses of 300mm or longer."
And one final one from the article from the guy who wrote it sharpness loss through vibration,"This is especially the case when using long telephoto lenses or when doing closeup (macro) photography."
I think its pretty clear that MLU is a valuable feature and to be used whenever and where ever you can and it is pretty well backed up entirely bythe article you linked,thanks.
I think the article is excellent but i cant find a single quote or line from anyone saying to not use MLU if you have it.
If you can feel free to point it out.
Does the D70 have mirror lock with time release as from reading the article it seems several Nikon camera's do?
Maybe you are in fact using MLU with time release and just dont know it?
Darren
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
ChrisH
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:54 am

The D70 does not have prerelease of the mirror no. I have the IR-remote control though, so I don't have to time pressing the shutter 2 seconds in advance anymore =). The D100 had prerelease, I don't know why it was removed from D70. Maybe the shutter doesn't cause enough shake to warrant it...

As you see above all those guys are talking of times <1 second. That's when you definitely want MLU/prerelease. If you're shooting open for several seconds, what you can do if you want to go to extremes, is hold a piece of black cardboard up just in front of the lens. Quickly pull away _after_ the shutter has opened =) 100% blur-free.

However this is measurebating imo. I did some tests with my camera and in a 6mpix RAW-file on a cheap manfrotto, I could see absolutely no difference in sharpness in these long exposures. (+1 sec)

A much more useful tip imo, is to figure out where the wind is coming from, then block it as much as you can from hitting your camera during exposure. Wind is what will seriously mess up your long exposures =)
what seems to be the officer, problem?
 
Dehowie
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:58 am

I agree fully about the wind it plays a much bigger part than almost eveything else particularly as your lens gets longer.
Even my sturdy Manfrotto wont work with a longer lens once the wind gets up.
Good tip Chris.
DArren
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
donder10
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:49 pm

How exactly does mirror lockup work when taking night shots with 10-20sec exposures?
 
Dehowie
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:36 am

Hi Donder
What mirror lockup does is to move the mirror out of the way well prior to opening the shutter.
The comcept being that any vibration associted with the banging of the mirror when it opens will be gone prior to the shutter opening.
Basically eliminates all in camera vibration prior to shutter release.
Every little bit helps!!
Darren
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
donder10
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:12 pm

Hi Darren.
My question was too vague in the previous post.What I meant was how does the operation of the shot work while using mirror lockup.Perform a mirror lockup and then take the shot?
Thanks again,Alex
 
TZ
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:10 am

Quoting Donder10 (Reply 35):
Perform a mirror lockup and then take the shot?

Yes.

Normally when you take a shot: You press the shutter button, the mirror flips up out of the way, then the shutter opens, then closes, then the mirror flips down again. All this happens really fast and so the movement can bring quite a vibration.

With Mirror Lock up enabled: You press the shutter button once, which flips the mirror up. Wait a few seconds for the vibration to settle down. Press the shutter button again then the shutter opens then closes, then the mirror flips down.

TZ
TZ Aviation - Aeropuerto de los Banditos Team Images
 
donder10
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Fri Aug 26, 2005 2:54 am

Thanks,Tamsin.

So the procedure for taking a night shot with both mirror lockup and self-timer would be to press the shutter down once to activate mirror lockup and then a second time to take the shot itself?The self-timer on the 10D is 10seconds and I've read the mirror lockup only occurs for 30 secs so does that limit the exposure time to 20seconds or am I being blond?
Thanks,Alex
 
TZ
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:01 am

Quoting Donder10 (Reply 37):
The self-timer on the 10D is 10seconds and I've read the mirror lockup only occurs for 30 secs so does that limit the exposure time to 20seconds or am I being blond?

Hehe! Don't wanna admit to being blonde  Wink

If you operate the camera in shutter-delay mode (the one which displays the little clock on the LCD panel) WITH mirror lock-up enabled, this is the behaviour...)

1. Press the shutter-button. The mirror flips up.
2. Two seconds pass.
3. The shutter opens.
4. After the shutter time (up to 30 seconds) the shutter closes & mirror returns.

This is a good procedure when you do not have a remote shutter release available. Make sure you are gentle with the camera though - it has only two seconds to stabilise before the shutter opens.

You'll notice that when mirror lock-up is enabled the shutter delay changes from 10 seconds to 2 seconds. Don't ask me why it does that! Also notice that only one shutter-button press is needed

My recommendation would be to use a remote-release. You can then turn off the shutter-delay mode. With the release you can press once to flip the mirror up, wait a while, then press again to start the (unlimited-duration) shutter opening.

Hope that is not too confusing!

TZ
TZ Aviation - Aeropuerto de los Banditos Team Images
 
donder10
Posts: 6944
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RE: Night Photography Tips Required

Sat Aug 27, 2005 3:50 am

Hehe! Don't wanna admit to being blonde
Make that too blonde Sad

Thanks a lot for the reply,Tamsin.Think I've got my head around that now!

Roughly how much does a remote-release cost?

One final question:are your SEN night shots taken from public land or from ATC Lasham or Air Liveries property?
Thanks again,Alex

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