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Old Aug 2, 2007, 11:00 AM   #1
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I had a chance to take a nice night picture yesterday -- moon over a misty field of corn. My *ist DL with a Tamron XR DI 28-300 lens (plus tripod) would not lock on anything for a focus, and would not let me shoot the picture.

What are my appropriate settings?


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Old Aug 2, 2007, 11:48 AM   #2
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while not familiar with your specific camera, I would say in that situation (using a tripod, etc) simply set focus to MANUAL focus - then focus yourself and take the pic.
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Old Aug 2, 2007, 5:10 PM   #3
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I think some camera's won't let you take a picture if auto focus isn't locked on to something.
The last post was right about using manual focus. But you have to decide what you want to focus on. You can focus on the moon, but it may still turn out blurry because of it's motion, depending on how long of an exposure you take. Sometimes what I do is bring a flashlight along with me, and shine it on the subject I want to focus on so I can clearly see it through the view finder. Like in the picture I took below, I used my flashlight to help me focus on the short dead tree sort of in the centre of the picture. I also hid the moon behind the tree in the upper left corner to help reduce lens flare.
Just experiment and find what works for you!
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Old Aug 3, 2007, 5:41 PM   #4
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would also setting the self time be best?
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Old Aug 5, 2007, 1:26 PM   #5
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When I saw the title of the thread, the first thing that came to mind was "First, wait until the sun goes down."

As others have mentioned, use manual focus. In fact, for this type shot, I would use manual everything. Your Pentax has the "hyper program" feature, which, in manual, will stop down the lens to your selected aperture, and meter the scene for you. Since you have a very bright object, (moon) over a dark field, you will have to decide if you want the moon to be properly exposed, and the field so dark it has no detail, or have detail in the field, and the moon very overexposed to the point of being a glowing blob. Or something in between. I would start by metering on the field, and making a series of exposures, either picking one which served, or combining to create a High Dynamic Range image.

Since some of the exposures could be quite long, locking the position on the tripod, and using the self timer would give you steadier shots. Be careful of too much time though, as the moon moves sufficiently to blur it.


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Old Aug 5, 2007, 1:49 PM   #6
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I haven't used the camera you mentioned but I took some pics in spain last December of the christmas lights with a kodak z740. Didn't have a tripod with me so improvised and balanced the camera on a wheelie bin and used the timer set to 10 seconds...had previously set the scene selection to 'night'.

Pic came out quite well...I could have set the camera manually but the scene selection did the trick without fumbling about...
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