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Thread: Night view

  1. #1

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    Night view

    I took this photo from my apartment window, on a tripod, small aperture (can't remember the exact aperture used). It's not as sharp as what I saw, especially the buildings and lighting at the opposite waterfront. Is there any way to improve the clarity further? Thanks!





    Night view

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Night view

    Quote Originally Posted by Alison Wong View Post
    I took this photo from my apartment window, on a tripod, small aperture (can't remember the exact aperture used). It's not as sharp as what I saw, especially the buildings and lighting at the opposite waterfront. Is there any way to improve the clarity further? Thanks!

    Night view
    Hi Alison,

    Welcome to the group. What model camera did you use, and what lens. To get the sharpest photo possible you need to know at what aperture your lens performs best. For instance, I have an 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G AF-S DX Nikkor lens. This particular lens is rated highest for sharpness at its longest focal range of 55mm when used with an aperture between 5.6-11. You may lose some of the quality of your image because you are photographing through glass.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 21st December 2010 at 07:22 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Night view

    Here's the EXIF data from the pic:

    Camera: Nikon D90
    Lens: 24 mm
    (Max aperture f/4)
    Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 8 sec, f/14, ISO 200
    Flash: none
    Focus: At 5.0m, with a depth of field from about 1.5m to infinity

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    Re: Night view

    And what editing software? Some programmes do tend to produce slightly softer images than others; even after sharpening.

    But it is still a good photo.

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    Re: Night view

    Quote Originally Posted by Fit View Post
    Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 8 sec, f/14, ISO 200
    There is a post on here (tried searching but can't find it) by Colin in which he explains why one should always used 'full' f stops (f8, f11, f16, etc) rather than 'mid' stops such as f14. This, if I remember Colin's post correctly, is an 'artificial' f stop that has to be created by the camera and, as such, does not produce as good a result. Wish I could find it. Will look again.

    Mod update: I believe this was actually about mid-ISO stops, not apertures.
    Colin says (for Canon anyway), stick to whole stops, e.g. 400 and 800, don't use 500 and 640. (etc.)
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 22nd December 2010 at 11:15 AM.

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    Re: Night view

    Alison,

    To me, a lot of the issues with your image has to do with the lower ISO limits of your camera. At ISO 200, the lights in your image are more intense and they overshadow the sharpness of the rest of your image. I would look at the best aperture settings for your lens and also consider the effects of your ISO settings on bright objects. I tweaked your image a little to compensate for the intense lights but I may have darkened it too much.

    Night view

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    Re: Night view

    You guys are really nice and helpful
    Shadowman: Mine is Nikon D90 w/ 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 AFS DX Nikkor. Do you know where I can get more information re best shooting aperture of my lens? Tnx. I think the photo is a bit dark after editing and some colour tone is missing too. I shall try to use a lower ISO for night scenery shooting next time to see the difference.
    Fit: Where did you get all these data? (*o*) Scary!~
    Geoff: Thanks! This photo is an original. I’ll use Lightroom3 for editing (still learning how to )
    Donald: All new terms and concepts… (*~*)’ really got a lot to learn,… yet, so interesting. Tnx CIC.
    Last edited by Alison Wong; 22nd December 2010 at 03:16 AM.

  8. #8
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Night view

    Quote Originally Posted by Alison Wong View Post
    You guys are really nice and helpful
    Shadowman: Mine is Nikon D90 w/ 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 AFS DX Nikkor. Do you know where I can get more information re best shooting aperture of my lens? Tnx. I think the photo is a bit dark after editing and some colour tone is missing too. I shall try to use a lower ISO for night scenery shooting next time to see the difference.
    Alison,

    Unfortunately, you can only go to ISO 200 with your camera, there is a hybrid ISO 100 level that you can try and that might help somewhat. See the following link for your lens.
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/0801/08...kkor1685vr.asp
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 22nd December 2010 at 11:16 AM. Reason: fix close quote tag

  9. #9

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    Re: Night view

    Shadowman, Thanks for your info.

    So, that's a shortfall of D90? How about other models or brands? Do they have a lower ISO?

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    Re: Night view

    Quote Originally Posted by Alison Wong View Post
    Do you know where I can get more information re best shooting aperture of my lens?
    Hi Alison,

    I have a D90 too and I have the same question. Part of the answer is right here on CiC, in the tutorial on diffraction: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...hotography.htm. According to the diffraction limit calculator in the tutorial, regardless of which lens is on our camera, the D90 is diffraction limited (i.e. less sharp) starting at f16. If you want to try the calculator out yourself, the variables to input other than aperture are 12.3 for megapixels, and CF of 1.5X for camera type. Diffraction may or may not be the primary explanation for the softness in your photo (I am not knowledgeable enough to judge), but it would be interesting to see what happens if you shoot the same scene in similar light one stop wider. At the very least, we both now know that for maximum sharpness, we should shoot wider than f16.

    Hope that helps you; it certainly helped me to read that tutorial for a third time. I think it is starting to sink in.

    Janis

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    Re: Night view

    Just went through the article once, so academic, I can only understand a little bit of the theoretical part. Anyway, it's useful, and now I know a bit more about diffraction limit. Tnx Janis
    Last edited by Alison Wong; 22nd December 2010 at 08:40 AM.

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    Re: Night view

    Quote Originally Posted by Alison Wong View Post
    So, that's a shortfall of D90? How about other models or brands? Do they have a lower ISO?
    Canon's go down to 100 iso, but it really isn't a huge problem, the only reason to go to a low iso is to minimise noise and maximise dynamic range - and if Nikon achieve that at 200 iso, I don't see a big problem.

    That said, a Canonite will say 'what if I want a slow shutter speed to smooth water' and they'd be correct to an extent, but usually you'll need a Neutral Density (ND) filter to make enough of a difference anyway, so it's not really that relevant - but then I would say that

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    Re: Night view

    Quote Originally Posted by Alison Wong View Post
    You guys are really nice and helpful
    Shadowman: Mine is Nikon D90 w/ 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 AFS DX Nikkor. Do you know where I can get more information re best shooting aperture of my lens? Tnx. I think the photo is a bit dark after editing and some colour tone is missing too. I shall try to use a lower ISO for night scenery shooting next time to see the difference.
    Fit: Where did you get all these data? (*o*) Scary!~
    Geoff: Thanks! This photo is an original. I’ll use Lightroom3 for editing (still learning how to )
    Donald: All new terms and concepts… (*~*)’ really got a lot to learn,… yet, so interesting. Tnx CIC.
    Hi Alison,

    Post processing skills are going to make far, far more difference to night shots than phaffing around with differences between 200 and 100 iso, or f/14, f/16 or f/8, etc. The light/dark tone of the picture, colour saturation and accuracy, plus sharpness*, can all be dealt with very effectively by suitable PP software - you really cannot expect to 'get it right in camera' for this type of photography
    * you do need to get a shot without camera shake though! Not saying there is any here, I can't see on a small image like this, it certainly isn't obvious.

    When the PP is effective (and LightRoom 3 is almost perfect), then you can concentrate on which aperture gives the best results, it will affect things like out of focus blur (bokeh) and how prominent any star effects are off point sources of light

    There are many other techniques to help with night photography, but I would urge you get a full understanding of the basics before tackling more complex stuff like this. I'm not saying don't take night shots, just walk before running, that's all.

    Keep asking the questions though - and we'll keep answering them

    If I haven't said it to you before; welcome to the CiC forums from ...

  14. #14
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Night view

    Quote Originally Posted by Alison Wong View Post
    Shadowman, Thanks for your info.

    So, that's a shortfall of D90? How about other models or brands? Do they have a lower ISO?
    Most models do have a lower ISO setting and Nikon does make a few (D3000 and D60) but ISO alone wouldn't be the reason to choose one model over another. Sometimes there is a tradeoff to get one favorable feature and you might possibly get another that under the right circumstances hinder your performance. settings were

  15. #15
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    Re: Night view

    I might be talking rubbish here, but how hazy was it? Large cities can be quite hazy and I suspect that would affect clarity.

  16. #16
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    Re: Night view

    Hi Alison (or Wong?)

    Just learned this myself. There is metadata stored with each photo, "Exchangeable image file format" or "EXIF" data. It can be read by various tools, many available for free download or even online. For example:
    http://regex.info/exif

  17. #17

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    Re: Night view

    Didn't read all the comments, but I guess it hasn't been mentioned.
    I guess you didn't turn of your VR while taking this shot. Sorry if I am wrong.... But thats a mistake generally people make...

  18. #18

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    Re: Night view

    Dave: You’re putting money into my pocket!! <-- A Chinese idiom ($,$). You’re right; I think I should go back to CIC’s basic tutorials first. Thank you for your advice.

    Sahil: The VR of my lens was off when I took this pic; I did read the manual Thanks anyway!

    Chris: You can call me Alison; Wong is my last name. Thanks for introducing the term “EXIF” to me, another new stuff to learn.

    Rachel: Please don’t say that any suggestion or comment is most welcome for a greenhorn like me!! But, for sure, this is not hazy effect.

    John: Thanks for your info.

  19. #19

    Re: Night view

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the EXIF info link, it's very helpful.

    Cheers,

    Raj

  20. #20

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    Re: Night view

    Alison, you were asking about the best settings for your lens. Have a read of this test review (if I have selected the correct lens) which suggests that around F 5.6 to F 8 should produce the sharpest results. http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikko...or_1685_3556vr

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