The Fuji xt20 is an extremely popular mirrorless camera body from the Fuji line up that has continued to go from strength to strength amongst the photography community. Its excellent performance, great versatility, solid build quality, and fair price tag all come together to make it a very attractive camera body for photographers from all niches and all levels of experience.
With the Fuji xt20 being such a popular option, we constantly see a large number of questions being asked about it from a wide range of photographers covering pretty much every photography niche and situation that you can think of. That said though, over the last few months with the surge in popularity of night photography, we have noticed more and more questions about improving the Fuji xt20 night photography image quality.
Due to this, we have decided to dedicate this article to a number of tips and tricks that you are able to implement into your own photography sessions to try and ensure that you are able to get the best image quality possible. Although many of the tips in our article below can be used in multiple night photography sub-niches, some are specific to the more difficult sub-niches.
On top of this, we have also tried to include as many free tips as possible to help our readers who are on a tight budget. That said though, many of the tips that do have a cost have a relatively low cost associated with them anyway as well as ways you can often do the same trick but for a lower price.
Consider A Free Night Photography Course
Although the Fuji xt20 is more of an intermediate level mirrorless camera that also offers some functionality for professional-level photographers, we do see a large number of entry-level photographers using it. Even with a large number of the intermediate photographers who do use the Fuji xt20 as their camera body of choice, many of them may be new to working in the night photography niche.
If this is the case then we would highly recommend that you take advantage of the Photography Paws trial offer for Skillshare premium. Although most people have to pay for Skillshare premium, as a reader of our blog, you are able to take advantage of the trial offer above and sign up for a no-commitment trial without having to spend a cent.
Not only does this provide you with access to some of the best online photography courses available that have been made from world-class photographers, it also allows you to enroll on one of, if not the best night photography course ever made. Since it was released on the Skillshare platform, the course has managed to go from strength to strength and earn an excellent reputation with tons of positive reviews meaning it is well worth checking out considering you can do it with the trial offer.
Get Yourself A Lens That Is Ideal For Night Photography
Just to quickly touch on this one, we do see a large number of people using lenses that are perfectly fine for other photography niches in night photography with little to no success. The low light environment means that the apertures of many of these popular lenses just can’t cut it for night photography and can be one of the main reasons your image quality can suffer.
That said though, although there is only a limited selection of suitable night photography camera lenses available for the Fuji xt20, the ones that are available are great. On top of this, even some of the cheaper lenses for the xt20 with a fast aperture can make a great improvement to your night photography image quality.
As we mentioned back at the start of our article, we know that a large number of our readers are on tight budgets. Although the retail price for some of these entry-level to intermediate lenses can be as little as $200-$300, you can often get pre-owned lenses on sites such as eBay for much cheaper. This allows you to keep your costs as low as possible while also allowing you to upgrade your camera accessories to get better night photographs.
Invest In A Suitable Tripod
Although there are a surprising number of popular photography niches out there where you are able to hold your Fuji xt20 in your hands and still get some excellent quality photographs, this can be considerably harder for night photography. This is due to the lack of available light meaning that even a slight movement of your hands when trying to capture your photo can easily result in blur and spoil the image.
Thankfully, there are a ton of tripods available on the market that are able to quickly and easily prevent this. Although a large number of photographers reading this will probably already have added a tripod to their camera accessories, we would recommend the Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 for anyone who is yet to get a decent tripod.
If you are on a tight budget then something like the Zomei Z699c can get the job done without breaking the bank but it will not last you as long as the Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3. If you are planning to stick with photography for five years or more, we would recommend that you go with the MT055CXPRO3 if possible as it can easily last you decades without having to be replaced where as the Z699c may only last you a couple of years.
Consider Getting Some Steel Wool
The photograph above serves as an excellent example of this next point, without the use of steel wool by the photographer, the image would be boring and very badly lit. As the subject in the photograph is spinning some steel wool above their head, it adds the additional light as well as some movement to make the photograph stand out.
You are able to integrate steel wool into your night photography sessions with your Fuji xt20 in a large number of different ways if you think outside of the box. This allows you to still have an effective night photography session in a location where the lighting is less than ideal. On top of this, it also allows you to capture photographs of locations that are photographed on a regular basis but ensure that your photos stand out from the competition.
With many photographers wanting to grow their social media profiles due to social media, particularly Instagram being an excellent source of income for photographers, steel wool can be a quick, easy, and cheap trick to implement. The unique look of a steel wool photograph helps your work stand out from the crowd of other photographs and can draw people to your social media profiles after finding your photograph searching hashtags.
Get Yourself A Remote Trigger
This tip is specifically for anyone wanting to work in the Astrophotography sub-niche of night photography with their Fuji xt20. When using the super zoom lens ranges that the majority of Astrophotography requires, even just pressing the capture button on your xt20 can end up causing enough vibration to spoil your photograph and cause it to blur.
This is where the various remote triggers on the market come in as they prevent you from even having to touch your Fuji xt20 to capture your photo and thus, remove the vibration risk. There are a large number of different remote triggers out there that usually retail around $20 or less depending on what you want them to do so we would recommend that you check out the features of the various triggers to make sure you get the right one for your requirements.
Experiment With Manual Focus
With auto focus technology becoming better and better we have noticed a worrying trend in many entry level photographers just letting their auto focus system do the majority of focusing work for them. As the photograph improves the rest of their skillset and becomes an intermediate level photographer, their manual focus skills end up lacking and it really can show when it comes to night photography.
All low light niches have the same issue when it comes to auto focus, the lack of light causes the system to just track constantly forcing the focus to change every few seconds to try and find the subject of your photograph. This ends up making it almost impossible to capture your photograph but manual focusing prevents this.
We know that if you are new to photography, letting your auto focus system deal with the focusing is tempting and easy but we would highly recommend that you get used to using your manual focus with your Fuji xt20 and your lens of choice. It is a valuable skillset to develop and is useful in other photography niches too, not just night photography.
Plan Your Night Photography Session
Although this is such a simple, quick, and easy tip, we always see people from all across the photography spectrum, no matter their experience all making this same mistake. Take a few seconds to plan your night photography session before you leave your house and potentially carry your Fuji xt20 and all of your camera accessories miles.
A quick Google search can provide you with a ton of information such as the weather conditions, the cloud cover, the phase of the moon and pretty much everything else you may require for the location you want to take your night photographs. We have lost count of the number of people who leave their house without checking, potentially travel miles just to find low cloud cover and rain and not be able to do anything resulting in nothing but wasted time.