EOS 20D - recommended setting for nighttime bridge shot

Started Dec 10, 2013 | Discussions
garmel
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EOS 20D - recommended setting for nighttime bridge shot
Dec 10, 2013

Hello, I'm new to photography aside from taking pics of my kids.  Can anyone recommend a good setting for taking nighttime pictures?  I'm looking to take pictures of things like the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, etc.  No people.  Thank you!

Canon EOS 20D
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Port Royal Dad
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A lot of variation...Try this as a starting point...
In reply to garmel, Dec 11, 2013

garmel wrote:

Hello, I'm new to photography aside from taking pics of my kids.  Can anyone recommend a good setting for taking nighttime pictures?  I'm looking to take pictures of things like the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, etc.  No people.  Thank you!

  • Camera on a tripod
  • Remote shutter release
  • Spot metering
  • Single point-center focus
  • Mirror Lock-up on
  • Camera set in Manual Mode
  •    Shutter set to bulb mode
  •    ISO set to 100
  •    Aperture f/16 (this narrow aperture will give a star effect to lights)

Trial and error on the shutter speed…. Start with 20 seconds in an attempt to get light trails from the vehicles… adjust shutter speed to suit exposure.

r/Mike

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B.R.A.S.S. (Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze)

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AOKH
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Re: A lot of variation...Try this as a starting point...
In reply to Port Royal Dad, Dec 11, 2013

Port Royal Dad wrote:

garmel wrote:

Hello, I'm new to photography aside from taking pics of my kids. Can anyone recommend a good setting for taking nighttime pictures? I'm looking to take pictures of things like the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, etc. No people. Thank you!

  • Camera on a tripod
  • Remote shutter release
  • Spot metering
  • Single point-center focus
  • Mirror Lock-up on
  • Camera set in Manual Mode
  • Shutter set to bulb mode
  • ISO set to 100
  • Aperture f/16 (this narrow aperture will give a star effect to lights)

Trial and error on the shutter speed…. Start with 20 seconds in an attempt to get light trails from the vehicles… adjust shutter speed to suit exposure.

r/Mike

-- hide signature --

B.R.A.S.S. (Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze)

Just a quick question: since f/16 is well into the diffraction area on crop, isn't f/11 max a better option? I know f/16 is no problem on my 5D II, but on a crop I think you'll lose some resolution at this aperture.

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Regards. Anders

 AOKH's gear list:AOKH's gear list
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Port Royal Dad
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Good Point...
In reply to AOKH, Dec 11, 2013

AOKH wrote:

Port Royal Dad wrote:

garmel wrote:

Hello, I'm new to photography aside from taking pics of my kids. Can anyone recommend a good setting for taking nighttime pictures? I'm looking to take pictures of things like the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, etc. No people. Thank you!

  • Camera on a tripod
  • Remote shutter release
  • Spot metering
  • Single point-center focus
  • Mirror Lock-up on
  • Camera set in Manual Mode
  • Shutter set to bulb mode
  • ISO set to 100
  • Aperture f/16 (this narrow aperture will give a star effect to lights)

Trial and error on the shutter speed…. Start with 20 seconds in an attempt to get light trails from the vehicles… adjust shutter speed to suit exposure.

r/Mike

-- hide signature --

B.R.A.S.S. (Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze)

Just a quick question: since f/16 is well into the diffraction area on crop, isn't f/11 max a better option? I know f/16 is no problem on my 5D II, but on a crop I think you'll lose some resolution at this aperture.

-- hide signature --

Regards. Anders

I have the 70-200L f/2.8 IS and the 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS lenses, fortunately I've not experienced problems with diffration with either of these lenses and my 30D with narrow apertures.  But you do make a really good point. I only threw in f/16, since it's at a good point where points of light become more like stars vices blobs...  The OP certainly needs to decide how DOF will factor into his images.

Regards, Mike

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B.R.A.S.S. (Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze)
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AOKH
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Re: Good Point...
In reply to Port Royal Dad, Dec 11, 2013

Port Royal Dad wrote:

AOKH wrote:

Port Royal Dad wrote:

garmel wrote:

Hello, I'm new to photography aside from taking pics of my kids. Can anyone recommend a good setting for taking nighttime pictures? I'm looking to take pictures of things like the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, etc. No people. Thank you!

  • Camera on a tripod
  • Remote shutter release
  • Spot metering
  • Single point-center focus
  • Mirror Lock-up on
  • Camera set in Manual Mode
  • Shutter set to bulb mode
  • ISO set to 100
  • Aperture f/16 (this narrow aperture will give a star effect to lights)

Trial and error on the shutter speed…. Start with 20 seconds in an attempt to get light trails from the vehicles… adjust shutter speed to suit exposure.

r/Mike

-- hide signature --

B.R.A.S.S. (Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze)

Just a quick question: since f/16 is well into the diffraction area on crop, isn't f/11 max a better option? I know f/16 is no problem on my 5D II, but on a crop I think you'll lose some resolution at this aperture.

-- hide signature --

Regards. Anders

I have the 70-200L f/2.8 IS and the 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS lenses, fortunately I've not experienced problems with diffration with either of these lenses and my 30D with narrow apertures. But you do make a really good point. I only threw in f/16, since it's at a good point where points of light become more like stars vices blobs... The OP certainly needs to decide how DOF will factor into his images.

Regards, Mike

-- hide signature --

B.R.A.S.S. (Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight, Squeeze)
http://lh5.google.com/PortRoyalDad/Rwu_WzPG87I/AAAAAAAAAnU/fC0kmv_nhY0/s144/IMG_1479.JPG
A Link To - WilbaW's Unofficial Rebel Forum FAQ- http://snipurl.com/RebelFAQ

Thanks. Diffraction is sensor size specific (not lens based); however, as you have not encountered any problems with f/16 on your 30D, I think he should be fine with his 20D as well (same sensor).

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Regards. Anders

 AOKH's gear list:AOKH's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM +14 more
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A 70D.
In reply to garmel, Dec 12, 2013

garmel wrote:

Hello, I'm new to photography aside from taking pics of my kids.  Can anyone recommend a good setting for taking nighttime pictures?  I'm looking to take pictures of things like the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, etc.  No people.  Thank you!

All those settings the other guy mentioned on a 60D, 70D, or maybe even a T5i/700D.  I loved my 30D but the jump from 8MP to 20MP is a pretty big deal, not to mention all of the great improvements in the rest of the body.  Even base ISO noise response and DR will be improved.

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anisah
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Re: Good Point...
In reply to AOKH, Dec 13, 2013

Not disagreeing with any of the above - all good advice. The most important parts, possibly, though others might disagree, are:
1. Use a tripod and Manual mode, with ISO no more than 400, as on the 20D anything greater could lead to problems of clarity;
2. Experiment using an aperture of between those suggested, but even maybe up to f8;
3. Experiment with different shutter speeds at each aperture setting;
4. Use a remote or cable release if possible. If this is not possible set the self timer to 10 secs as this is an old trick used to try and ensure there is minimum camera shake;
5. Take careful note of what settings you used so that you can compare them and decide for yourself on the most pleasing results.

Hope this may help.

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sleibson
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Re: EOS 20D - recommended setting for nighttime bridge shot
In reply to garmel, Dec 13, 2013

I think all of the replies so far are great. The only omission I thought I'd comment on, because it's implied by not stated, is that the scene you want to shoot won't do well with auto exposure. That's why there is unanimous recommendation for manual exposure with experimentation and bracketing.

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Steve Leibson
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Shooting with Canons for 40 years

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MisterBG
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Re: A 70D.
In reply to howardroark, Dec 14, 2013

howardroark wrote:

garmel wrote:

Hello, I'm new to photography aside from taking pics of my kids. Can anyone recommend a good setting for taking nighttime pictures? I'm looking to take pictures of things like the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, etc. No people. Thank you!

All those settings the other guy mentioned on a 60D, 70D, or maybe even a T5i/700D. I loved my 30D but the jump from 8MP to 20MP is a pretty big deal, not to mention all of the great improvements in the rest of the body. Even base ISO noise response and DR will be improved.

Interesting.
I just regard my 6D as the same as my 30D but with better image quality, and I don't regard the step up from 8MP to 20MP as a "big deal" simply a quality improvement.

Going back to the OP, although a tripod is recommended I think the emphasis should be on a good tripod for long exposure work.
Without a stable support all your photographic efforts will be wasted.
Definitely stick to a low ISO, since there are likely to be areas of shadow that will reveal noise very quickly.
Another thing to mention is that there is no such thing as a "correct" exposure when it comes to night shots. If there are light sources within the picture these will be burned out way before you start seeing details in shadow areas. It's therefore important to decide exactly what details you want to preserve in your shot, either highlight or shadow detail or something in between, although with a bit of manipulation and image blending, you might be able to produce an HDR image with both highlight and shadow details preserved.
As has been recommended, shoot and experiment and see what satisfies you. One of the great things about digital is that you can experiment all you like and it won't cost anything apart from time.

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