K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod

Started Apr 30, 2014 | Questions
davids8560
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K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
Apr 30, 2014

feature Gee, the other night I took a series of night shots with my new K-5 and they all came out blurry, even though the camera was on a sturdy tripod.

Thought cause may be using shutter button to start exposure, or maybe wind? It was very windy at the time! Or, maybe SR needs to be disabled for tripod exposures?

I know the K-3 is all the rage right now, but I am just starting out with a brand new K-5 and I'm very happy with it. Just learning.

K-5 with 18-135 WR on Manfrotto Tripod

Amtrak 717 at Niagara Falls Station

Olympus Stylus 1 Handheld Nightshot Mode

Amtrak 717 at Niagara Falls Station

Thanks for looking and your advice too!

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Olympus Stylus 1 Pentax K-5
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samomatic
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, Apr 30, 2014

Hi, did you turn off the SR in the camera?

If you have it on a tripod you can also select a 2sec or 12sec delay for the shot. The camera automatically disable the SR in those 2 modes. So you won't forget to enable SR again when you are shooting normally.

Hope that helps!

Sam

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davids8560
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to samomatic, Apr 30, 2014

Hi,

Wow! That was a fast reply! Thanks!

I did not turn off SR. I forgot about doing that! I also did not know the camera will turn off SR in certain modes. That's thoughtful!

Do any of you guys have awesome K-5 nightshots to encourage me? How'd you do yours?

Thanks again,

Dave

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PhotoHawk
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, Apr 30, 2014

Use mirror lockup.  Use a delay or better yet use a remote shutter release.

Also f4 for the 18-135 isn't particularly sharp.  You likely have the wrong lens for what you want to do.  On the other hand it should be much sharper than what you have.  Try f5.6 and use a higher ISO.  You're safe with the K5 at least up to 1600 - it will still be clean.  But you could also go up to 3200 or 6400 depending on the size you intend to view the picture at.

Not all tripods are the same.  Sometimes the cheaper ones might look steady but do actually vibrate.

Lastly if that diesel is thumping you may be getting some vibrations in the concrete that is affecting your picture.

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Capture Lights
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, Apr 30, 2014

Wow, that's strange, looking at your first picture, it seems as if the subject was not in focus, nor anything else in fact. Where did you focused on?

Another question is, do you have cheap filter on your lens? because the lights were directly shining on the lens, it could cause lost of contrast and that might contribute to the result of your shot?

btw, 99% of my current pictures were taken with K-5ii and 18-135, i do have night pictures with this combination in my personal website, take a look.
http://www.capturelights.com/night/
http://www.capturelights.com/new-york/

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davids8560
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to Capture Lights, Apr 30, 2014

Capture Lights wrote:

Wow, that's strange, looking at your first picture, it seems as if the subject was not in focus, nor anything else in fact. Where did you focused on?

Another question is, do you have cheap filter on your lens? because the lights were directly shining on the lens, it could cause lost of contrast and that might contribute to the result of your shot?

Hello and thank you for your comment! No, I actually did not have a filter on the lens. Do you guys think my 35mm f/2.4 AL would have done better? It sounds like I did this all wrong! LOL

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Rod Herdman
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, Apr 30, 2014

Normally if it is shake or vibration, you can see the multiple images of the subject. It looks to me like your picture was just out of focus. Since it looks out of focus all the way to infinity I would guess it is set at close focus, but as to why that would happen - dunno.

Cheers,

Rod

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davids8560
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, Apr 30, 2014

I took the photos below earlier the same day. So I'm pretty sure the lens is working fine! Just FYI and comparison. But maybe these could have been better, too!

Country Scene in Ovid, New York (DA 18-135 WR Lens)

Buffalo Niagara International Airport (DA 55-300 lens)

Thanks for looking!

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davids8560
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to Capture Lights, Apr 30, 2014

Capture Lights wrote:

Wow, that's strange, looking at your first picture, it seems as if the subject was not in focus, nor anything else in fact. Where did you focused on?

Another question is, do you have cheap filter on your lens? because the lights were directly shining on the lens, it could cause lost of contrast and that might contribute to the result of your shot?

Just checked out your night and travel shots in Washington, DC. I really like the one of the Capitol with the Christmas tree! Give me some time I guess and I will be able to coax better night results with my Pentax gear.

I am now thinking even though I half pressed the shutter the K-5 did not focus lock? It was very noisy, and really very windy, too. So maybe a smaller aperture and higher ISO.

Interestingly, I did glance at these shots on the camera's LCD after taking them, and judged them to be okay. I did not spot that they actually were quite flawed until I got home and viewed them on my PC!

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David Bourke
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, Apr 30, 2014

The shot is cleary out of focus.  Don't worry about changing setting.  Just make sure to focus.

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DDWD10
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, Apr 30, 2014

I had the same problem, and I think it was because I used a remote release on a long exposure shot without turning SR off or using a 2 sec or 12 sec delay. SR was running for a few minutes and wobbling around and producing this blur.  Even when the camera was performing DFS (about 720 seconds), I could hear the SR whirring away!

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Capture Lights
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, Apr 30, 2014

Yep, always remember to zoom in when you check after shots.

I set mine to back button AF and linked focus lock with AF, therefore, i'm not too knowledgeable about that, though do try and fiddle with the camera setting in term of AF.

Also as you've mentioned, wind could be a big factor. My suggestion for windy situation is to remove lens hood, and try to see if you can block the wind from the direction its blowing and just pray that picture come out sharp.

Good Luck!

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Nigli
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, Apr 30, 2014

Hi David,

It might be good to maximise all aspects of iq on a shot to see where things might be going wrong. E.g. by finding a static subject in good light.

Camera: use base iso, f8 and the 2 sec delay for the shutter. Use live view + manual focus and the info button to zoom in onto something so its sharp.

Tripod, is it a ballhead? don't extend the centre column. Lock it down well.

Let us know how you go. If things aren't right, there are a quite a few reasons why things might not be going right. It could be the gear. It could be the way you use the gear. Good luck.
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davids8560
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to Nigli, Apr 30, 2014

Re: "Is it a ballhead tripod?" It is, and I'm pretty sure it was as tight as could be. But the center column was quite extended...

And a couple of new questions:

What is back button AF?

What is DFS?

Thanks to all, and have a great day!

Dave

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davids8560
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to PhotoHawk, Apr 30, 2014

PhotoHawk wrote:

Use mirror lockup.

Hi,

What is Mirror Lock-Up and where do I find it?

Thanks!

Dave

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DDWD10
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, Apr 30, 2014

davids8560 wrote:

What is DFS?

Thanks to all, and have a great day!

Dave

Sorry, I should have clarified:

DFS = dark frame subtraction.  For longer exposures, your camera will take a blank frame right after the real image is taken and subtract any noise shown on this blank frame from the real image.  It is used to clean up hot/stuck/dead pixels on the sensor and give you a cleaner shot.  I believe it can be disabled if you choose.

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Capture Lights
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to DDWD10, Apr 30, 2014

Button Highlighted in Red; It allow me to have much better flexibility during composition in still photography. Without having the camera to refocus every time when i click the shutter.

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jmanuel
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to DDWD10, Apr 30, 2014

Make sure the focusing lever is not set to MF (Manual focusing), it should be set at AFS or C.  This lever sometimes can be moved by mistake or if you shoot in manual focusing and forget to reset it to AFS.

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davids8560
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to Capture Lights, May 1, 2014

BTW Did you use one of those 'Star Filters' for one of the night shots?

Dave

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KentG
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Re: K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod
In reply to davids8560, May 1, 2014

Your shutter speed is way too slow at 1 second. Nothing that moves will be clear at that speed. Notice the Oly shot was at 1/30 second. Better but not perfect. If the train was moving 1 sec. is way too slow. As it is 1 sec allows too much camera movement unless SR is On and even then it might be marginal. Also if you focus on a non lighted object the lights will be over exposed.

Kent Gittings

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