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02-01-2008, 03:47 AM   #1
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Night photography with K10D - High ISO short exposure VS Low ISO long exposure

Is there any concensus on the best approach with the K10D?
I know the Nikon D200 is meant to be good for exposures up to about 20 mins duration and I believe it has the same sensor as the K10D.

Am I better keeping the ISO at 100 and using long exposures, or should I turn it up to ISO 400 or 800 and use shorter exposures?

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02-01-2008, 04:02 AM   #2
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It is better to expose longer with lower sensitivity.
02-01-2008, 04:30 AM   #3
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You can't go wrong with a low ISO.
I think there would be a significantly different result, if you were to use 400 or 800.
02-01-2008, 05:16 AM   #4
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it depends upon what you wish to achieve.

High ISO short exposure can give you very good photos where everything is frozen, cars are points of light ect., but there is an element of noise to the shots. These shots can also (especially with SR) be hand held

long exposures with low ISO give you lower noise, but cars will now be streaks of light through the frame, any people will be blurrs in the frame, etc.

It is you as the photographer, who needs to decide the effect.

02-01-2008, 06:00 AM   #5
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I would go with the lowest ISO setting even at the expense of a long exposure. I tend to get cleaner images.
02-01-2008, 08:14 AM   #6
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Low ISO / long exposures gives cleaner images , so its usually the way to go to get quality pictures.

But its always been possible to take long exposures on a tripod - right back in the film days.
Part of the fun I've had with the K100D has been its ability to take quite acceptable shots at ISO 1600. Together with the SR function, it can allow you to go into previously impossible photo opportunities. I've enjoyed taking night time city shots with the kit lens , just walking about without the tripod, thanks to the high ISO capability.
02-01-2008, 08:35 AM   #7
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I have some samples here Night Landscape

Photo # 3, 8, 10 etc (there's a few more like them in the album) were all shot at ISO-100, 30 second exposure, f5.6 or f4.5 depending on the shot, taken with the DA 16-45 lens on a K10D.. I used a spot light and a flash light for some highlighting during the exposure as well.
02-01-2008, 08:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pw-pix Quote
Is there any concensus on the best approach with the K10D?
I know the Nikon D200 is meant to be good for exposures up to about 20 mins duration and I believe it has the same sensor as the K10D.

Am I better keeping the ISO at 100 and using long exposures, or should I turn it up to ISO 400 or 800 and use shorter exposures?

--
Peter

there is no 'right' answer which is why you have choices. To me shake and focus issues (associated with depth of field) are far more destructive of a photo than some noise.

If the camera is bolted to a block of non-vibrating concrete, and object of the photo is not going to move, and is on a flat plane so depth of field issues won't ruin the photo (or artwork considerations call for something to be out of focus--or blur is wanted) but if you are invading the privacy of a couple not quite behind the bushes in the city park---crank up the ISO all the way.

I carry a camera around for those 'unexpected moments' when you really wish you had a camera which when they occur usually don't give you a lot of time to fiddle witih the knobs.
I usually keep the ISO set to automatic with a range up to 800. as sthe default---often with a depth of field bias--- and a 16-50 SDM lens. This is designed to assure that the 'first photo'
is a photo of something. If time permits then I will tweek the buttons----usually the EV first as this lens frequently underexposes in this configuration, and if there the subject is still around, then I'll tweek other buttons.

This approach is based on the theory that a noisey focused shot of a Martian landing an UFO is preferred to no shot.

02-02-2008, 04:22 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses.
I'm photographing landsacapes, out of town with ni artificual light, using the full moon.
So low ISO and a tripod with long exposures sound like the right way to go for me.
Your answers are much appreciated :-)
02-02-2008, 07:05 PM   #10
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FWIW, I just did a little test today shooting RAW and viewing in-camera (I would imagine this gives the same results as shooting jpg) at various ISOs, and 200 looked pretty identical to 100 in deep black areas. there was a little noise in 400, but I wouldn't worry about it and 800 ain't that bad either.
02-03-2008, 01:37 AM   #11
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Thanks for that extra info.
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