I have had a d3000 with the standard 18-55 VR lens for a week now and during the day its great. However whenever I try to take pictures at night or pictures with lights I am finding it really poor.
If it is pitch black outside and I take a picture it seems to take ages to shoot and then the picture is all blurred.
If I try to take a picture of lights then they are reflecting in my camera.. See my example below. Am I missing a trick here?
#1. "RE: Night photo reflections" | In response to Reply # 0elec164 Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Sat 29-May-10 02:38 PM | edited Sat 29-May-10 02:58 PM by elec164
The ghosting you experienced is a know issue with digital cameras. Unlike the dull matte finish of film the hot filter that is over the sensor acts like a mirror reflecting strong light sources back toward the lens. The offending light source in this example seems to be the passenger side headlight.
Modern lens are designed with this in mind and are made with anti-reflecting coatings, but they are not totally immune from this issue.
A usual suspect in this issue is the UV filter that most use as a protection on the lens. Most people buy the lesser expensive ones which are poorly coated if coated at all and cause the ghosting you are seeing.Even the more expensive filters can cause this. In most cases removing the filter reduces or eliminates the reflection.
Edited to add:
As to shooting in low light and the blurring issue, well that comes under exposure 101.
With a darker scene you would need to do one of three things using the exposure tri-angle.
Increase aperture size (lower f-number), increase exposure, or increase ISO or a combination of any of those factors.
If hand holding the common rule of thumb is 1/focal length. So if using a 50mm lens you should keep shutter speed at or above 1/50 of a second to prevent blur from camera movement, or use a tri-pod and remoter release when that is not possible. If the lens is already wide open and you need to keep the shutter speed up then you would have to increase ISO, but that may increase noise.
If the subject is moving then the speed of the subject will determine the shutter speed needed to prevent blur.
There are so many variables and situations it is hard to list all without more specific questions and relating your knowledge and experience so we could better tailor our answers to your needs.
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#2. "RE: Night photo reflections" | In response to Reply # 0aolander Nikonian since 15th Sep 2006Sun 30-May-10 01:12 AM
"If it is pitch black outside and I take a picture it seems to take ages to shoot and then the picture is all blurred."
You can't shoot when it's "pitch black" without a slow shutter speed, a large f/stop (aperture), or a high ISO - or all three. Shutter speed and aperture control the amount of light to the sensor. ISO determines the sensitivity of the sensor to light. The blurring is from a slow shutter speed.
#3. "RE: Night photo reflections" | In response to Reply # 0tvaillancourt Registered since 02nd Mar 2007Wed 02-Jun-10 03:34 PM
simple answer is that your ISO is probably set to about 100 and needs to be increased, either through the menu button or press the bottom left hand button on the camera to bring up the common settings.
the other answer is to open the F stop as much as your lens allows by selecting "A" and rotating the wheel (top right)
The penalty with increasing the ISO is "noise" or grainy appearance although I find little noise or grain up to about 800 or so.
The penalty with opening (lowest number) your F stop is reduced depth of field which may, or may not matter a lot to you
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#4. "RE: Night photo reflections" | In response to Reply # 0chriscosta77 Registered since 22nd Jun 2010Tue 22-Jun-10 03:05 AM
Okay, first off, when it's darker, the exposure is going to take longer. Because of this, use a stabilizing device, such as a tripod to avoid blur. Also, unless there's a lot of wind that's causing vibration or "ringing" in the leg of your tripod, turn off VR. Forgetting to turn off VR is easy to do.
Secondly, do not use a higher ISO than 100 as that will just introduce noise, especially in the darker regions of your photo.
Use the widest aperture your lens allows. Smaller the aperture, the longer the exposure.
I suggest getting the remote, setting it to manual, opening the aperture up, turning off flash and setting it to Time mode.
Looking at your exif data for that photograph, I see that you let the camera select an exposure for you. The camera will attempt to give you an exposure that "best fits the scene", so that it replicates what it looks like. To overcome this, you need to use the Manual mode and do an exposure longer that.
My guess (and take it as such) that a 12 second to 18 second exposure would look brilliant-- assuming all other settings and lighting are the same.
Here's an example of that in practice: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bizzyb0t/4718395197/
I recommend never going above ISO 100 when taking longer exposures. The image comes out a lot cleaner.
#5. "RE: Night photo reflections" | In response to Reply # 4gaurhav Registered since 08th Jul 2010Thu 08-Jul-10 05:13 AM
Hi, Some nice suggestions relating to long exposure shots specially during night, even i was having the same problem of getting a blurry or noisy image, so i took the advise from a wise photographer, that, always use a Tripod or a sturdy base for long exposure and keep the ISO to the minimum....i got the image somewhat correct with my D3000 and 18-55 kit-lens.....
the link to the image see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gaurhav/4497873622/