Long Exposure Problem - Nikon D610

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Jonathan Sabin
Jonathan Sabin Forum Member • Posts: 98
Long Exposure Problem - Nikon D610

I've been shooting astrophotos with a DSLR (and film SLRs before that) for a long time. Decades, in fact. So I do know what I'm doing in terms of getting my exposures right.

But I've never seen, or even heard of a problem like I had last night.

Shooting with my new D610 (with my brand-new Irix 45mm 1.4 lens attached), every other long exposure starfield shot I took appeared black in the thumbnails.

My exposure times varied from about 24 seconds to 91 seconds. Because these were shot over a span of maybe 10 minutes, none of the other settings were changed. The ISO was 320 and the aperture was set to f6.3 for all. The camera was affixed to a polar-aligned tracking mount in order to avoid star-trails.

There's nothing wrong with the images that *are* good. The longest exposure from the non-problematic images was 55 seconds. After applying a final tweak in Luminar, it's a perfectly-acceptable starfield image. (also attached)

The very next shot was exposed for 91 seconds. No other setting was changed. The thumbnail is black, and when I opened the image to attempt some adjustments in Luminar, there *IS* an image there, but it looks like it was taken with a completely different camera.

If anything, nearly doubling the time of the exposure should have made the stars/sky brighter, not darker. The only indication there is that it was a longer exposure is the fact that the clouds moved more. (BTW... the bright streak at the upper left is the International Space Station... when I framed my shot, it passed a bit above where I expected it to.)

Has anyone experienced this? Is this an "every other shot" is compromised issue, or is a long-exposure problem? (One of the dark images is actually a slightly shorter exposure than one of the ones that came out okay. But in *every* instance, it was a good exposure followed by a bad one.)

Is there a firmware update anyone might be aware of?

Any input would be appreciated!

The last 14 images I've taken. The daylight images exhibit no problem whatsoever. But every other long exposure image results in a completely under-exposed photo. (And with only one exception, the LONGER the exposure, the less exposed it appears.)

A 55-second exposure came out just fine.

This 91-second exposure showed up as a 'black' thumbnail... only by stretching the image dramatically does anything show up.

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Nikon D610 Irix 45mm F1.4
Nikon D610
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