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What are your methods for nightime city pictures? - Page 2

post #11 of 28
One other thing just occurred to me Topgear. Check your Picture Styles settings on your camera. I've seen a few people buy new Canon DSLR's and the sharpness was set to 0 in the Picture Styles. I max mine out to 7.
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post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Honestly I am not blowing the photo up to max res at all. I am just looking at it as it shows in Lightroom or even the software canon gives you. The image is maybe 8 or 9 inches across when I am seeing the noise. I could see it being there for sure at max res with a giant photo. I know most photos I see on even professional sites are rather small, so you point is well taken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by r31ncarnat3d View Post
I still have absolutely no idea how a flaw in the camera could lead to being unable to manually focus properly.

As for noise, it sounds like you're pixel peeping. When you blow a photo up to high magnification as you do on PC, you're always going to see noise. The thing is you're never going to publish or print out these photos at these high magnifications, so you're just freaking yourself out unnecessarily.



Export the JPG and upload onto a file hosting site like mediafire or sendspace.

Curious; what filters and tripod do you have? And it doesn't look like you've a damaged sensor from these photos.



It's your post processing settings. I'm not sure what program you use, but with Lightroom I have the option to change the quality of exported JPGs. IIRC, the original setting was at 80, which gave me some artifacts on my exported JPGs, but since changing the setting to 100% quality, I haven't had an issue with any of my exports.

As for your camera, it's your own prerogative, but in all honesty the problems you've been having still sounds a lot like user error to me than the camera. I've heard of lenses back or front focusing before, but I've never heard of a lens and camera being unable to manually focus onto the subject properly.

EDIT: What were you focusing on in these photos? I know you wanted the whole scene in focus, but what specifically were you using at 10x magnification to judge proper focus?
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ok, I am using Landscape style, and I have not changed anything in it at all so I will try that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneTomorrow View Post
One other thing just occurred to me Topgear. Check your Picture Styles settings on your camera. I've seen a few people buy new Canon DSLR's and the sharpness was set to 0 in the Picture Styles. I max mine out to 7.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
For reference here is a pic I took with my Phone, and I compared it to the canon and it seems my phone takes super clear photos.
post #15 of 28
You're comparing, quite literally, night to day though. I'm sure your T2i focuses fine during the day when there's plenty of light, correct?
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post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
It can but if I use manual mode I cant seem to get that fine tuned focus. With the 18-55 lens it seems that just a tiny bit either way will throw it off and then it feels like there is a lot of sloppyness in that focus ring that wont let it stay where I want it. If it is in AF it can most of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljason8eg View Post
You're comparing, quite literally, night to day though. I'm sure your T2i focuses fine during the day when there's plenty of light, correct?

Edited by Topgearfan - 10/10/11 at 12:12pm
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topgearfan View Post
It can but if I use manual mode I cant seem to get that fine tuned focus. With the 18-55 lens it seems that just a tiny bit either way will throw it off and then it feels like there is a lot of sloppyness in that focus ring that wont let it stay where I want it. If it is in AF it can most of the time.
What do you mean by sloppyness, as I have the same kit lens. I don't manual focus often but in low light when I do it seems to work fine. My pictures are terrible cause I don't have a tripod and cannot hand hold the camera. But as far as focusing I don't have any issues in low light with manual focus.
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post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topgearfan View Post
It can but if I use manual mode I cant seem to get that fine tuned focus. With the 18-55 lens it seems that just a tiny bit either way will throw it off and then it feels like there is a lot of sloppyness in that focus ring that wont let it stay where I want it. If it is in AF it can most of the time.
Things to note:

1. There's an AF confirm for manual focus. Hold the shutter button while manually focusing and the camera will notify you when the image is in focus.

2. The focus ring for the 18-55mm moves with barrel rotation. If you manually focus then zoom in or out, you'll have to focus again.

3. Focus gets thrown off easily because of a narrow DoF. It doesn't take much for the focus to be off. It's not an issue with the equipment here but with photographic principles. Sometimes when I'm shooting myself, the DoF can be a matter of fractions of an inch.

4. The viewfinder for entry level cameras are tiny things. I never had much luck manually focusing with them either. And this is across the board with all entry level cameras I can think of, not just Canon ones.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topgearfan View Post
No filters were used in these pics. I did use LV 10x mag to focus in on the buildings in the distance. My trip is a Manfrotto 293. Not super heavy and not light. It is the ones made in Italy not China. It does not have a hook for weights though. I did not see any vibration in LV. As for the mirror lockup I have tried it and I am not sure it is doing what the mirror lock up in Nikons does exactly. When I enable it it seems to not allow the shutter to close because it never takes the shot. I hear a click then nothing happens, so I disabled it. Noise reduction for long shots was enabled as well.

The focus issue I am finding is a pain because the viewfinder is not allowing me to tell if it is really focused properly and LV at night is still hard to tell with the low light and glare of the lights. I read a few reviews from professionals saying that the T2i suffers in this area when focusing and using the viewfinder. I know it is a good camera but maybe not one that will allow me the quality I am looking for? Since none of my lenses have an Infinity setting I may need to get one that does. It seems every video I see they say to set it to infinity for best results.

Would it be better to increase ISO to 400 and allow a faster shutter to decrease a smoother look and get sharpness? I was watching a tutorial video and they said they crank ISO to 800 or even 1600 but I know the T2i does not do well above ISO 800 in low light. There are so many ways to do this it seems it really depends on the cameras sensor ability. SOme will not show much noise with higher ISO. Clearly a D3s will give a better shot at high ISO and low light than mine. I have seen night pics with a D3s at 12800 ISO with 3sec shutter look fantastic.
Keep in mind that you're using an entry level DSLR, so the VF is very tiny and dark. If you want a great VF, look into the 7D. 100% coverage and very bright. Of course, many film cameras have even larger and brighter VF's.

However, you shouldn't give up yet on your T2i. Keep experimenting, trying different settings, etc. There's a steep learning curve to shooting with a DSLR, so don't expect great things overnight. And better gear doesn't always mean better shots. Shooting in low light is a big challenge for any camera, which makes the comparison to your phone's daylight shot pointless. Take the same night city scape with your phone and compare it.

And MLU works like this: when you press the shutter release, the box flips up, but the shutter remains closed. After you press the button a second time, then the shutter opens, exposes, and the mirror box returns. This way, the mirror won't cause vibrations during the exposure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topgearfan View Post
Ok, I am using Landscape style, and I have not changed anything in it at all so I will try that.
Check that for sure. Make a custom Picture Style and don't use the presets. I went through nearly this same discussion with someone else with an XS, and it turned out that the sharpness was set to 0 the entire time. However, if you're shooting RAW, you can adjust the sharpness in PP, so it may be a non-issue.

And about converting RAW files. Canon's own Digital Professional Pro produces the best quality JPEG conversions, better than PS/LR. Same for Nikons and Nikon View NX. PS & LR are used for the tools that DPP lacks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topgearfan View Post
It can but if I use manual mode I cant seem to get that fine tuned focus. With the 18-55 lens it seems that just a tiny bit either way will throw it off and then it feels like there is a lot of sloppyness in that focus ring that wont let it stay where I want it. If it is in AF it can most of the time.
The kit lens, while capable of producing sharp images, is cheaply made. The focus ring is not well damped and difficult to use. A decent prime will have a better focus ring, and old MF film lenses have the best focus rings.
Edited by GoneTomorrow - 10/10/11 at 12:45pm
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post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Well I will stick with the T2i I guess. A girl in my office has a a 60D and I thought about reuting and getting that one since it gets better reviews when it comes to the viewfinder being a pentaprism unlike the T2i which i did not know it was not one. The 60D also has better focusing ability I read.

@GOneTomorrow- Ya I figured shooting in RAW would make it it a wash with the type of style I am shooting and the setting in camera, but Last night I was trying to sharpen up and clarify the pictures and I could not tell it was doing anything. Noise level reducion seemed to work to a degree before it made it too soft looking. I think a better lens will make the biggest difference like you and others have said. I am just trying to decide which lens to get since I really do not want to spend 600-1000 on 2 lenses so I need to figure out what style of shoot I most want to focus on. I really like nighttime shooting and sceneic shots, so maybe a good Macro lens? Tokina or Sigma? I know I cant afford to also do a great prime so I need to stick with the Nifty Fifty for now.
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