Yesterday i was trying to shoot night photography and my camera was on tripod. I tried to shoot with 70-200mm f2.8 tamron lens and the picture looks blurry I don't know why since the camera on tripod and everything is perfect and solid.

My camera is Nikon D7100.

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    Maybe the camera hasn't focused properly. Can you post an example? – laurencemadill May 21 '15 at 9:19
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    How long was your exposure? How steady is your tripod? How still was your subject? – Please Read My Profile May 21 '15 at 14:44
  • If you are trying to shoot stars with the relatively longer focal lengths of a 70-200mm lens, assuming an APS-C body, any shutter speeds longer than 2 (200mm) to 5 (70mm) seconds will result in motion blur due to the earth's motion relative to the stars in the sky. – Michael C May 22 '15 at 0:13

I'll assume that you are talking about very low light scenes with exposure times of typically say 5 seconds plus. If not, please advise.

If that is a Vibration Correction (VC) lens the VC feature should be turned OFF when on a tripod. The VC feature tries to "correct" vibration that ideally is not there and makes extra vibration!

Do not touch the camera during exposure. Allow vibrations to settle as much as possible and if you have a prerelease timer try using it allow vibrations to settle more.
I find that very good tripods on a rock solid surface need litle delay but I find that with only OK gear that 2 seconds is not enough delay and if it matters I allow 10 seconds pre-shot delay for the vibrations to settle.

A release cable or remote electronic release can help.

In extreme cases where you want some "settling time" but cannot use a timer for some reason you can hold something as flat black as possible in front of the lens - and preferably move it around somewhat to ensure it as evenly "not there visually" as possible. This obviously decreases the exposure time but can be allowed for.*

Set focus to manual and find a bright enough object (star etc) and focus on that as well as you can.

On longer exposures some cameras allow light to enter via the eyepiece and cause image degradation. Depending on ambient light it may pay to use an eyepiece cover. In informal hurried situations if there is rear lighting I stand between camera and light source and may hold a shield between camera and light or drape somewthing over the eye piece.

You are probably not using small apertures eg f/16, f/22 BUT if you did then diffusion may cause loss of sharpness.

That lens should be OK at f/2.8 but slightly stopped down may be better.

Because night shots may take 10 or 20 or 30 or more seconds, and dark pixel compensation may take as long again afterwards, and if you add 10 seconds timer pre-delay ... you can take a long time to get a few shots. To assit with composing and getting the feel for the effect of light levels of parts of scenes which may be hard to know about in advance, I try taking high ISO maximum aperture shots first, then when I have seen the likely results, change over to lower ISO and smaller apertures. This can greatly speed up proceedings.

You should tell us as much as you can about your setup and situation:

  • The more we know the better we can help.
  • What is the full lens spec (it may be one of several).
  • You should give settings - exposure time, aperture, ISO.
  • How did you ensure focus was OK?
  • What are you photographing?
  • More ... ?

A very occasionally useful "trick":

On rare occasions where an unexpected light source suddenly threatens to enter the image area I have slapped something as light blocking as possible across the lens to terminate the exposure - this MAY produce a usable shot depending on circumstance. This would not be deemed good practice by most and should be avoided where possible :-). Some cameras will terminate a long exposure shot AND give a saved image if you turn them off mid image - some may not. Know what yours does. If it saves the image thus far you can block the lens and then turn the camera off and long again. Desperate - but worth knowing.

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  • The need to turn VC/IS/VR/OS off when using a tripod really depends on the lens in question. Many newer stabilised lenses can auto sense when they are tripod mounted and take it into account. A few, such as the newest members of Canon's Super Telephoto series, even have IS modes designed specifically to counteract mirror slap when the lens is tripod mounted. – Michael C May 22 '15 at 0:16

I presume by "night photography" that you mean starts etc.? It's important to set your camera focus manually and to infinity ∞ to take pictures of the night sky.

Another important matter is that if you was to take the picture on a long exposure using the shutter button that you would move the camera slightly. If you're not already doing so, you should use a remote of some kind whether that be a cable release or IR remote control. I'm guessing you're probably already doing this as a lot of night time shots are difficult without using bulb mode on your camera. Another point worth mentioning is that you won't be able to "lock" the shutter open with an IR remote.

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  • Most lenses won't reliably focus to perfect infinity when set to infinity. – chili555 May 22 '15 at 0:55
  • @chili555 That kind of depends on what one means by set to infinity. Of it means aligning two marks on the lens then you are more or less correct. But it could also mean visually focusing the lens to infinity. – Michael C Sep 12 '17 at 0:40

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