The Nikon d850 is an outstanding, professional level DSLR camera body from the Nikon range that has managed to rightfully earn itself an excellent reputation amongst the photography community as well as a huge user base of photograhers. Due to so many people using the d850 as their go to camera body of choice, we constantly see photographers reaching out with various questions on how they are able to improve their skillset and image quality when using the camera.
Although we see pretty much every question you could ever imagine being asked ranging from various camera accessories to camera settings for specific photography niches, we have noticed more and more people reaching out about improving their Nikon d850 night photography image quality. Due to this, we have decided to focus on a number of tips, tricks, and suggestions that you are able to implement into your routine when on your night photography sessions to get the best photographs possible.
Depending on the specific night photography sub-niche that you are planning to be working in as well as your goals for your session and the location that you will be in, you may not be able to implement some of these suggestions below. This is fine and you should pick and choose accordingly to meet your own needs and impliment the suggestions that you feel are going to be able to offer you the best improvements for your Nikon d850.
Get Yourself A Lens That Is Ideal For Night Photography
Although the vast majority of photographers who own the Nikon d850 will probably already have a number of decent lenses, we do see a few people trying to capturing high quality night photographs with their d850 when using a sub-par lens that has been designed for a totally different task. Thankfully, there are an absolute ton of camera lenses available that will mount to your Nikon d850 across all price points that are able to offer excellent image quality at night.
That said though, although the Nikon d850 is a professional level camera, there really is no need to splash the cash and risk breaking the bank when it comes to your night photography lens. In our opinion, the Rokinon 14mm is an excellent little night photography lens that will natively mount to your d850 right out the box without needing a converter or adapter. It is usually towards the more budget friendly end of the price range when compared to the other lenses that most d850 users will be using but we feel that it is a great little lens that offers tons of versatility.
Although we usually recommend it as our go-to lens of choice for the majority of night photography sub-niches, it also offers you excellent image quality in a number of other popular photography niches too. Since its release, the Rokinon 14mm has gone from strength to strength amongst the photography community and managed to build up a huge customer base as well as an excellent reputation that just keeps on getting better and better.
Invest In A Suitable Tripod
Although the vast majority of people who use the Nikon d850 as their camera body of choice usually already have a decent tripod in their collection of camera accessories, we do still see some people using an entry level tripod or trying to use their d850 as a hand held night photography camera. Now, make no mistake about it, you can definatley use the d850 as a handheld camera but at night, you really are going to need an ideal lens to get decent image quality out of it.
If you are still using an entry-level tripod or using your Nikon d850 as a handheld camera then we would highly recommend that our readers check out the Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 as we feel that it is one of the best tripods ever created that offers excellent performance and functionality with tons of versatility. Although it is an intermediate price point tripod, it can definitely offer you the professional level performance that most Nikon d850 will need and its maximum load capacity can easily support the d850 with the vast majority of camera rigs that we can think of with ease.
Consider Getting Some Steel Wool
Depending on the sub-niche of niche photography that you are planning on working in with your Nikon d850, you can usually look to trying to integrate some steel wool into your photographs to add that additional layer that offers movement, light, and excitement to draw the eye to your image. The photograph above serves as an excellent example of this as it is essentially of a bridge that has poor lighting and would otherwise be a boring, dark photograph but as you can see, the steel wool really helps to bring it to life and make the photograph pop.
As the vast majority of people who use the Nikon d850 as their go to camera body of choice will probably be professional level photographers and share their work on social media, this is a very simple, easy, and cheap trick to attract views, likes, and followers to your social media channels. This can work particularly well if you are planning ot be photographing popular landmarks that are photographed on a regular basis with many competing photographers sharing their work on the relevant hashtag.
Get Yourself A Remote Trigger
Although this one is going to be for the astrophotography sub-niche of night photographer rather than just general night photography, if you don’t already have a remote camera trigger in your camera accessories, spending the $20 or so on getting one can be well worth it. As you probably know, if you are using a super zoom lens for your astrophotography, even a slight vibration can end up causing your image to blur and be spoiled. One of the main causes of these vibrations is often the photographer pressing the trigger button on their camera to capture the photograph.
Thankfully, a wireless or regular remote camera trigger removes the need for you to physically touch your camera to capture the photograph and can easily help to remove the need to these accidental vibrations. This is another quick, easy, and cheap improvement to your night photography image quality that you are able to implement but like we mentioned, it is only really relevant to astrophotography or any other niche with a telephoto lens of over 300mm of zoom.
Take Advantage Of The Landscape
If you know the area that you will be using for your night photography session, try to plan out the local landmarks that you may be able to use to your advantage when capturing photographs. If you don’t know the area that you will be using, a quick google maps search can usually give you some solid infomation on the type of landmarks around so you can plan to use them with your night photographs if and where possible.
Although this will depend on what you are actually trying to do, the image above offers a solid example of how you are able to use hills and trees to add depth and scale to the moon. If you are going to be in an urban location then you can usually use tall buildings or bridges just as well and the trick also works well with stars or anything else that is prominent in the night sky too.
Experiment With Manual Focus
Although we would hope that most of our readers who have invested in the Nikon d850 will already know this, the majority of the auto focus systems on the market right now still don’t offer very good performance in low light conditions essentially ruling them out for night photography. This is why we always recommend that our readers try to get used to using their manual focus and develop their manual focus skillset. Although we would like to think that anyone with a d850 has already developed their manual focus skillset, if you haven’t managed to get around to it just yet, it is well work putting the time in for.
Plan Your Night Photography Session
This next one is one of the most overlooked Nikon d850 night photography suggestions and it doesn’t matter what level of a photographer you are, we see this same mistake with entirely level, intermediate level, and professional level photographers and its when they don’t plan their session. It only takes a minute or two to check the local weather, cloud cover, phase of the moon, and astro predictions for starts but we still see people heading out and just hoping for the best without checking.