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06-08-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
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Vivid Sydney night/lights photography

Sorry if this has been asked before. I'm heading in to see the lights tonight and after advice on what to take and some suggested settings? I have a k-r, kit 18-55mm, sigma 28-90 with macro, cosina 28-210mm, sigma dl macro super 70-300mm and a Pentax a f2 50mm? The only lens I have an nd filter for is the kit lens. Should I take a tripod? Thanks for any advice/tips

06-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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Yes!!! take a tripod and an external shutter release if you have it. If not set the camera to do a 2 second delay so that the vibrations dampen out prior to taking the image.

page 147

Shoot with a low ISO and a long shutter speed, using say f5.6 to f8, manual focus. This way you will get good depth of field. Experiment with the shutter times and everything else, especially on the tripod. Take several hundred images and see what turns out.

Last edited by interested_observer; 06-08-2012 at 05:01 PM.
06-08-2012, 10:22 PM   #3
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Yes, tripod definitely and remember to turn the SR (shake reduction) OFF when using a tripod.

It's easiest to use Av mode and pick an apeture like f5.6 or f8 when you zoom in & out the f-stop stays the same
use Matrix metering so the camera does meter off of 1 point light source (or a dark spot)
lowest iso possible for least noise.
manual focus for the most part

Some of the displays change scene quickly so for some "faster" speed (like under 1/2 sec) take 1 fast lens like your 50/2 and you might need to bump the iso up a bit.
If you take multiple shots of the same changing scene you can make a nice slide show.

It might be crowded before 9pm. I stayed until Midnight on Monday when i went.
Wear a warm jacket of course.
06-09-2012, 12:23 AM   #4

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Take off filters, not even UV filters, they are no good for night shoots. Tripod is essential.

in terms of lens, I'd take the kit lens, Sigma 28-90 if you want a few closer shots, and your Pentax 50mm f2, it's the perfect focal length for Opera House from International Terminal.

Use Liveview & zoom in function to confirm focus. If you are not comfortable with M mode just AV the whole way, F8 and be there, dial in -2/3 or a stop of exposure compensation to deliberately under expose a little, that would preserve detail in the highlight. Then you have to take a few test shots in Auto ISO (100-1600) and then decide what ISO you want to use. Use a remote or 2 sec delay to minimise camera shake.

Really pack some warm cloth, it's rather cold........

06-09-2012, 12:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by elpolodiablo Quote
Really pack some warm cloth, it's rather cold........
Good idea.... Now that its 108 outside, I forgot that its winter down there.....
06-09-2012, 12:42 AM   #6
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I took a tripod out the other day- if you are extremely patient, then yes.
As for me there was far too many people around to make a decent go of it.
Also most of the displays on the buildings involve continuous video projection so even don't make those exposures longer than say a second unless you are going for effect of course. . I was going to return with my better high ISO Kx and an FA31 due to lots of interesting ground displays.
06-09-2012, 04:55 AM   #7
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Thanks for the tips ended up taking the 2 kids (8 and 4yrs) so ditched the tripod and went with the gorilla pod knockoff, monopod and a small wheat bag/heat pack that is great for sitting the camera on if there's a semi-flat surface. Because of the kids I couldn't stay too late and it was crazy busy (remind me never to go there for nye!) so didn't get much ended up bumping up the ISO and trying a few hand-held shots as there was too much vibrations in the railings. Will have a look tomorrow on the pc but I'm not expecting much. Oh well! Had fun and will try some more night shots sometime and take the tripod instead of the kids

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