One of the reasons I bought a Nikon D700 was due to its' legendary low light performance. I am sure you have noticed more and more night shots with the Milky Way and star trails and such. This is due to better sensor technology - which makes it sooo much easier to execute more dynamic shots.

Sure this could be done in the film days or even during the "toddler" stage of digital, but it was harder. One of the they very few times I wished I had newer gear. A camera with a high ISO limit and fast glass (2.8 or faster) are a recipe for good results - neither of which I had until last week; as I just picked up the 14mm 2.8 prime.

This particular photo was taken at Pacific City with my Canon 1DS and Tokina 17mm 3.5 RMC that I just sold several weeks ago. ISO on this was 800, which my D700 absolutely scoffs at. To put this into perspective, I can get a shot at 6400 at night, handholding the camera - and the shot turn out. Of course newer flagship cameras (Canon 1Dx and Nikon D4, respectively) can shoot 25,600 and be usable - though you pay for this privilege ($5000+). The exposure was 782 seconds, so roughly 13 minutes.

I ran the file through Niks' AMAZING Define 2.0 software, which rids images of noise, and this image has plenty. Happened to go through files in Aperture, cleaning up and deleting images I have no reason why I keep, and came across this shoot - I totally forgot about them.


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