Best settings for architecture (day & night)

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
Ken Barley Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Best settings for architecture (day & night)

I did a Silk Road trip in 2018, covering the usual suspects of Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent. I took approx 2200 shots and kept about 70%.

A subset are in my Flickr album. They have full EXIF.

I ran Exposure Plot on the keepers, so you can see the focal length, ISO, aperture and shutter speeds. Some oddballs because of some phone photos.

So some points

Uzbekistan is very dusty so wanted to minimise lens changes. So I used a Pentax K3ii with 18-135 as main body and a Pentax K3 with either a Sigma 10-20 or Pentax 55-300 . Both APS-C so multiply by 1.5 for FF equivalents

Everything shot in raw. I normally have a -0.7 EV as standard. I have in-camera noise reduction for ISO 100-1600 OFF, 3200+ set to LOW. Sort it out in Lightroom.

My ideal is to shoot at f8 and 100 ISO. This will go up into the 400-800 range when have people and movement, or into the 1600 to 6400 range for handheld interiors or night.

Even managed one at 12800...

Although I took a tripod, use was minimal. Have an "insurance" shot of Kalon Minaret in Bukhara taken at 3200ISO and a "proper" shot taken later with tripod and 100 ISO. Difference is striking. So take your tripod but accept that many places will be too busy.

Play around with settings and take photos at night and try noise reduction options so that you know beforehand what you can get away with.


Can't comment on your lenses other than fact that would sit on f8 and 100 ISO.

However think you need longer glass.

Bearing in mind I had FF equivalent of 15 - 450mm lens coverage the graph shows that 28-90mm range was most favoured.


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 Ken Barley's gear list:Ken Barley's gear list
Pentax K-3 II Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM Pentax smc DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6ED AL [IF] DC WR Pentax K-5 Pentax K-3 +7 more
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