K-5 Blurry Night Shots WITH Tripod

Started Apr 30, 2014 | Questions thread
miles green
miles green Veteran Member • Posts: 6,439
Re: out of focus?

davids8560 wrote:


Thanks for your reply. The camera was in Shutter Priority Mode. The platform was solid concrete. But it was very windy. The weather service had issued a wind advisory that night. Gusts to 40mph.

I half-pressed the shutter. I believed it had achieved focus lock. Or so I thought!

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it...

I took about ten exposures, ranging from 1.5 seconds to ten seconds. All of them turned out like the example, shown, except for variations in brightness. Ten seconds proved way too long.

Is there a way to determine the right exposure length in advance? Or is trial and error best?

In such cases, i put the camera in Av mode, dial in a relatively closed aperture (f/8, 11 or more to get lots of DOF and nice starbursts), ISO 80, and let the camera do the rest. I evaluate exposure from the histogram and start over. Or bracket a lot so that I can do HDRs afterwards as well if i feel like it. If it's as windy as you describe, it's unlikely you'll get the trees to stay still without compromising IQ.

The camera usually gets it right, but night shots can really confuse cameras (focus, exposure, white balance....) so it's best to check and fine tune as needed and as to your taste. Besides, when you shoot with a tripod, you usually have the time to do just that.

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Miles Green
Pentaxian with chronic LBA
Corfu, Greece

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