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When shooting in the night,to capture building lighting, I tried:

(1) Shutter Speed: 40-80 (2) F-Stop: 5.6 - 6.3 (18-35 mm kit lens) (3) ISO: 500 (4) Exposure Compensation: +1.0 - +2.0 (5) Manual Mode

The photos were very dark and sometimes the camera was not able to focus on the moving lights. I had to use Auto mode to make it capture.

I want to know whether is there any setting in the camera which is preventing light or it is the kit lens issue since the aperture not getting wide open.

Also, in settings I found "Long Exposure" option set to ON. What should be the default setting and when to use Long Exposure?

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    What settings did the camera use in Auto mode?
    – Philip Kendall
    Aug 16 at 7:19
  • 2 comments regarding the settings . In manual mode, the exposure compensation setting does not do anything, You can set it to whatever. It does nothing at all in manual mode. ALso, the long exposure option set to ON , does not affect the exposure settings. The full name of the setting is "long exposure noise reduction" i.e. it runs a noise reduction algorithm IF you decide to take a long exposure photo. Apart from that, the answer given is correct. There is nothing unusual happening here. Low lit scenes are always tricky to capture. You just have to trial and error to get the correct settings. Aug 25 at 13:52
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I think the real question here is why you chose those settings? As you are shooting in Manual, you need to decide on each of these settings to get the result you want. If the results are not to your liking, you will have to change some settings:

  • Too dark? Slower shutter speed, open the aperture (which I think you already did as 5.6 is usually the largest opening on a Kit lens) or raise the ISO.
  • Too bright? Raise shutter speed, close the aperture, lower the ISO. I don't really think there is any more to this issue. It does not seem like there is something unusual going on.

You can take a closer look at the thread What is the "exposure triangle"? to get more insight on how Shutter speed, Aperture and ISO affect each other.

Also remember that if photographing in dark scenes, if you want the images to show that it is dark, you will generally have to try and underexpose just a bit, as the built in meter in the camera would expose for a more bright scene.

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