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  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Focus with manual lens - night photography

    After first couple of hours outside in the night and a couple of shots into the night sky, I came back inside the house asking myself: How the hell is even possible to get the sharp images using manual lens with camera without built-in motor? I have been shoting with my D3300 with kit lens and I will put my shots soon once I procces them, but thinking of an upgrade no lens comes on my mind which is not super expensive... Any ideas of an upgrade without changing my camera?

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  2. #2
    Happy Canadian
    Super Mod
    Marcel's Avatar

    Re: Focus with manual lens - night photography

    The best way to manually focus is using the Live View function with the magnifying function. But I can understand that if you are trying to shoot stars, it's not very easy if not impossible except for the moon.

    But you mention using your "kit" lens (I suppose 18-55), so you could try the autofocus only to find that there isn't enough light and objects to focus on.

    Some people find the infinity focus point on their lenses during the day and mark the lens so they can reproduce the focusing inside before going out in the dark.

    Good luck.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Re: Focus with manual lens - night photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel View Post
    The best way to manually focus is using the Live View function with the magnifying function. But I can understand that if you are trying to shoot stars, it's not very easy if not impossible except for the moon.

    But you mention using your "kit" lens (I suppose 18-55), so you could try the autofocus only to find that there isn't enough light and objects to focus on.

    Some people find the infinity focus point on their lenses during the day and mark the lens so they can reproduce the focusing inside before going out in the dark.

    Good luck.
    Thanks for the answer Marcel!

    Yes, I use 18-55mm. The way that I achieved focus during session was finding quite interesting tree near by and then painting it with the light until focus is aquired, then af is set to mf, recompose and then shot long exposure. The shots are quite good and sharp at first sight but I ask how to focus on clear sky with manual lens. I am a little bit confused with the infinity focusing idea and somewhere I have read that those shots with lens focused to infinity are not that good like other achieved in the method that I previously used.

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  4. #4
    Happy Canadian
    Super Mod
    Marcel's Avatar

    Re: Focus with manual lens - night photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Gruyanidas View Post
    Thanks for the answer Marcel!

    Yes, I use 18-55mm. The way that I achieved focus during session was finding quite interesting tree near by and then painting it with the light until focus is aquired, then af is set to mf, recompose and then shot long exposure. The shots are quite good and sharp at first sight but I ask how to focus on clear sky with manual lens. I am a little bit confused with the infinity focusing idea and somewhere I have read that those shots with lens focused to infinity are not that good like other achieved in the method that I previously used.

    Послато са SM-G903F уз помоћ Тапатока
    The infinity method I mentioned is mostly for Star pictures, milky way etc. In your case focusing at infinity if you had trees that were not at infinity would have been a mistake.
    No Light no Life.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Re: Focus with manual lens - night photography

    You'll need to do some research and trial and error. Google, and understand "Hyperfocal distance"... learn to set your camera for the distances you'll need, and it'll work. You don't even need to see very much... and in fact, some of the older less expensive manual lenses have the distance scales on the lenses... Good luck...

  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Re: Focus with manual lens - night photography

    Thanks for the advices , I will do research definitely. I am going to post my shots here after processing.

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  7. #7
    Crazy Aussie
    Scott Murray's Avatar

    Re: Focus with manual lens - night photography

    Focus with manual lens - night photography
    Quote Originally Posted by Gruyanidas View Post
    Thanks for the answer Marcel!
    I am a little bit confused with the infinity focusing idea and somewhere I have read that those shots with lens focused to infinity are not that good like other achieved in the method that I previously used.

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    Really?

    I must really talk to my camera then all at infinity focus.

    Untitled by Scott Murray, on Flickr

    Untitled by Scott Murray, on Flickr
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  8. #8
    Crazy Aussie
    Scott Murray's Avatar

    Re: Focus with manual lens - night photography

    Focus with manual lens - night photography
    And just so you know it wasn't a fluke

    Lost City under moonlight by Scott Murray, on Flickr
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  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Re: Focus with manual lens - night photography

    I knew that I am going to get an answer like this lol 😃 Do I need to say something like stuning shots 😃 My issue is that I have trouble setting kit lens to infinity. Need to do research on it.

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  10. #10
    Staff
    Challenge Team
    Moderator
    RocketCowboy's Avatar

    Re: Focus with manual lens - night photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Murray View Post
    And just so you know it wasn't a fluke
    That camera of yours needs a real stern talking to!


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