MLU for longer exposures with tele lenses?

Joined
Feb 11, 2006
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6,645
Location
Riverside, CA
First of all, there really isn't a "shooting techniques" category, so I guess I'll post this question here.

I'm in Vegas and have been trying to shoot the skyline including the strip using my 70-200 at all focal lengths. Shooting between 1/3 and 1 second and I can't seem to get them sharp enough. I misplaced my release, so I'm using self timer.

But I'm wondering if mirror slap is causing problems? I've never used MLU, so I don't know how much it really will help. I wish I had thought of this while out in the field, I guess I'll try again tomorrow.

This one is at 1/3 second. It was also very windy. To minimize tripod issues, I was shooting with the pod all the way collapsed.

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Joined
Jan 26, 2005
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978
Location
Viera Fl
Looks nice
Can't see much detail at this size though
Yes I clicked on it.
Went to your gallery. Unable to find
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
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77
Location
Hong Kong
At 1/3 second and fairly long focal lengths, mirror slap could well be contributing. Lack of sharpness could also be due to the wind, or both.

I'd try a lower ISO, smaller aperture (like f8 or 11) and slower shutter speed to see if that eliminated the problem. From my experience and reading, mirror slap effects are worst in the 1/60 to 1 sec range.

If that doesn't improve the sharpness then iit may be the wind. I'd keep the tripod low, do my best to get out of or block the wind (or wait for calmer moments) and make sure there are no cables or straps (like the camera strap) catching the wind. Try various shutter speeds faster and slower, but staying out of the mirror slap range.

If for whatever reason I wanted to use a shutter speed in the mirror slap range and didn't have a remote with me, I'd either try using mirror-up and let the camera time out - 30 seconds after the first shutter press I think it will automatically take a picture - or try the 0.4 second mirror pre-release feature. If the focal length isn't too long and the tripod is fairly stable, the pre-release may help.

There could be other causes in the desert like whatever you call those wavy air currents that might be visible over a distance on a hot day (or night). I've not yet had to deal with those; if they are contributing to lack of sharpness, maybe get closer or try different shutter speeds to see if their effects can be minimized.

Enough rambling.

Good luck.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
Wind and lens hood don't mix
Might take that off and put a bean bag over the lens:>)))))
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
77
Location
Hong Kong
Harry thanks for those tips.
You're most welcome, hope it helps at least in a small way.

Your original post got me thinking about the detail that can be captured in long range night shots. If you're interested I just posted an example from a while back at

https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=117918

The processing is non-existant to pitiful, but the point is to illustrate what kind of detail even a novice like myself can capture with this equipment, even from a distance and in the dark.

Looking forward to seeing the end result of your outing.
 
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C

chinesestunna

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I'm assuming you're on a tripod :) Turn the VR off per recommendation of Nikon and several reviewers for more sharpness. Also atmospheric effects will contribute to lack of sharpness and sometimes you just can't get around it.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
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Riverside, CA
Better results tonight. This is 8 images stitched together, all shot with my 300f4 lens, each image exposed for 6 seconds at f10. MLU used. The original image is 24300 pixels wide x 2200 pixels high. This one cropped to 3000 wide. Those of you with a keen eye will notice I was at the other end of town for this compared to the other shot.
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Joined
Apr 1, 2007
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Hong Kong
Great stuff Rodney!

Any chance of sharing a closer view? I see you used a 300mm. I have one too and I'd like to see what a 100% crop of some of the buildings look like. How far away were you?

Congratulations on the results.
 

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