Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots

Started Dec 6, 2013 | Photos thread
murfthesurf Contributing Member • Posts: 634
Re: Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

murfthesurf wrote:

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

murfthesurf wrote:

I have a question for you though, did you shoot that first shot with the 12-50 or 12-40 2.8?

All of them are shot with the 12-40. Some with a polorrizer. I'm not sure which.

Hmmm. I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the way that lens renders the starburst effect on lights. The spines aren't very crisp at all. I was really looking forward to ordering that lens, but now I'm not sure. I really like to shoot long exposure night scenes and that effect is important to me. Unless, of course, it's the polarizer that caused that.

The thought that someone would make an equipment buying decision based on an image I posted, given my level of experience, really concerns me. Please don't do that.

Don't worry, I plan to do plenty of research before making a decision.

Before your shot, I had not seen any images that use that lens for a night shot at a narrower aperture that would show the starburst effect. I have a favorite night skyline location where I test all my lenses for that effect. It has been my experience that the Oly kit zooms don't handle it very well. I have seen similar images using the Panny 12-35 f/2.8 that look much better, so I was hoping the Oly 12-40 f/2.8 would handle this effect similar. If you like that effect, try shooting f/8 and above.

I have recently learned on a thread I started asking about this effect that the cause of the starburst is defraction which increases as the aperture gets narrower (higher fstop number). The more the defraction, the sharper and longer the starburst spines get, but the less sharp the overall image gets. So, the trick is to find a sweet spot for the lens where you get good starburst and good overall sharpness.  I have found that with the Oly 45 f/1.8 that sweet spot for me is between f/8 and f/11.

It might be worth looking over that thread I mentioned. There is some very helpful info in it if you like night shooting:


Be sure to read my response below about the polarizer...

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- Murf

 murfthesurf's gear list:murfthesurf's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8 Samyang 7.5mm F3.5 UMC Fisheye MFT +4 more
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