camera adjustments to get the photos to look clear

Uploads of real night vision scenes

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camera adjustments to get the photos to look clear

Postby fkalich » Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:40 pm

1) You absolutely need a camera that can manual focus. I had understood that the focus needs to macro down to less than 1 1/2 inch. I got a camera that does that (Nikon 990, 995 or 4500 will work). However I have found the focus for my D-300 gen 3 is right when set to .35 meters. Go figure. But that is the case, that is consistently the correct value for a good focus.

2) Focusing a D-300 is a bit tricky, because you have to prefocus, and then attach the adaptor. It is easy to shift the focus when doing so. I have used a strip of elecrical tape wrapped around the focus ring to hold it in place when I attach the adaptor. If you don't get a good focus here, you pictures will not look good.

3) You will find that lights will play heck with your pictures. Glare just screw it up. Reflections screw it up. They cause the picture to look unclear, lose definition. I have tried several adjustments to deal with this when it occurs.

A) I have tried aperture and stutter speed adjustments with some success. Basically you can improve things by slowing down the shutter speed and decreasing the aperture. The problem with that is that you need to hold the camera very steady.

B) I have tried some white balance adjustments. Those can improve things. And the incandescent bulb setting makes the pictures a pretty bluish green hue, very nice.

C) ISO setting have not done much for me, at least so far.


HOWEVER, I have found that the Exposure Compensation settings can really improve things, and that is quick and easy to do. You are supposed to use this when you have complex patterns of light and shade or areas of high contrast.

Below I show the results, again with an D-300, nikon 990 hooked up to the adaptor. I set the focus to .35 meters on all pictures. The pictures are from 20 feet, in my attic. It is totaly dark there, so I used an Infrared.
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Last edited by fkalich on Sat Mar 19, 2005 4:45 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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now here is with exposure compensation set to -1.0

Postby fkalich » Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:43 pm

Look on the upper left, see the spider web. You hardly see that in the first picture. Look how much clearer the detail is overall, see the detail now on the drywall and the 2x4 that I mentioned?

This picture as I said is from 20 feet away. Pretty good detail I think from that distance.
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Last edited by fkalich on Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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and lastly a point of interest

Postby fkalich » Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:54 pm

Some fixed pattern noise could be seen on my original photo without the exposure compensation. The conditions were right for that, bright light against the drywall. My D-300 gen III has this more than my mini-14 gen III.

But the uploaded pictures do not show it because I reduced the resolution of the original photos to about 15% of the originals. It does not hurt them, you don't have better resolution than that in night vision anyway, the capability of high pixel cameras it totally wasted in night vision photos, I think 1mb is sufficent for that.

But what is interesting, is that not only did the exposure compensation significatnly improve the detail and clarity of the picture, it removed most of the fixed noise pattern. This makes me think that a filter could be placed on scopes that would remove this factor.
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more pictures

Postby fkalich » Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:47 pm

1) A lithograph called "Cats Play" in my livingroom. I used the IR, and exposure compensation was set to negative. I think that I did something to brighten this a bit, probably increased the aperture. It is still not as clear as looking directly at it. I will keep working on seeing how close I can get to that.

2) The same lithograph. I used the IR, and exposure compensation was set to negative. I like the blue look you get. I think it is not bad. You can read the Chinese characters.

3) Another picture of BoBo with exposure compensation was set to negative. Again, not bad. Looks like BoBo. BTW, expect cat pictures, I have 7 of them. However cats are not like dogs, you can't yell at them and get them to pose. I expect I could brighten it by increasing the aperture or slowing the shutter speed, and still not have glare.

4) And the same picture of BoBo without exposure compensation. It is brighter, but that is just glare that makes the picture lose clarity. As I said, I expect that I could have made the preceeding picture just as bright without glare by using the aperture or shutter speed, maybe even increasing the ISO.
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swap picures

Postby fkalich » Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:55 pm

D-300 gen III alpha. Pictures were taken in the Haskel Wetlands south of Lawrence Kansas in the Wakarusa flood plane. This is a preserve next to Haskel Indian College, one of two American Indian colleges in the US. According to tradition there were some burials here at the turn of the century. I always keep my eye out for bones when hiking during the day, and for Cougars at night. Nobody has ever proved either of them exist here.

Conditions were cloudy, light drizzle. Taken from a bridge. The blue picture is with the incandescent setting on white balance, looking east. It seems less focused. I took it with low (VGA) resolution. The other is looking west, I took it with high resolution. You see a streetlights in both on county roads about a half mile distant. There are no other closer lights, and none for several miles south.

I used exposure compensation decrease on both, that seems the thing to do in most cases. Glare just screws up night photos, and that seems to remove that effect. The green picture still does not look as clear as in person, it is still not fully focused and not as clear. It may be that I need to use a tripod, the shutter speed is about 1/4 second, I probably can't help but move a bit in the amount of time. However I will keep working on it. The picture that I see in the led screen on my camera is very clear, it seems that there should be a way to digitize that view without losing quality. Maybe a tripod. Maybe not using compression (jpeg). Maybe something else. I will keep experimenting.
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magnifiction

Postby nad » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:32 am

thanks for the nice fotos,
i think u made them with the 1x magnifiction.
are u or another able to shoot some with 3 or 5x magnifiction and please ad how far away the objetcs are.
thanks
nad
nad
 

I will do so soon, probably this weekend

Postby fkalich » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:29 pm

With both 1x and 3x lens. Correct, the above are 1x.

I am trying to get myself familiar with all the camera settings before I go out in the dark again, I believe that I can do a lot better. My intent to to sneak up on wildlife out here in rural Kansas and Missouri and get pictures, on boat/hiking trips. Maybe even some caves. It is extravagant, but I have a mini on my head, and a D-300 hooked up to my camera, I am ready at all times to get a picture that way. I saw no other practical way of getting the pictures I wanted. And no I can't afford it.
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Postby mongo223 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:48 am

Cool pix. I would not be caught out there after dark w/out a firearm. This is no joke, I lived 0n 500E RD. just south of Lecompton back in 96' and had my horse attacked by couger, not pretty. And recently in 07' I was driving thru Big Springs, maybe 10 to 15 miles from the wetlands, it was dusk when I saw a very large mountain lion cross from north to south on hwy. 40.
Every good boy deserves firearms.
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Postby nightstalker » Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:09 am

theres numerous photo shop programs that you use to get the picture to actualy look like what your eye see's..or just improve them to look even better.

tone, levals, pixilate(clan up stray pixals), hue,contrast etc etc etc...levals or auto image corection/auto white corection in conjuntion with tone or/and colour contolls can either snaz the pic right up or over do it for arty 'solarisations'...takes a while to figure the programs fully but with in an hour you'll get the jist. the more you pay the better usualy, but..each cheap one or free one has the odd one function that makes it worth having, even if you have to go from program to another.

however....a bad pic is a bad pic....cant make it good but some can be 'improved'..i found best way for pictures is to take a few..change the light leval or auto white contolls and take two or three at each graduated level...then on the pc in a 'photo shop' you'll find maybe 3 out 10 are useable, the odd one just spot on...and even better the odd one is top notch in terms of a profetional shot.
i've had no end of pic's that were something special..shame they were crap quolity and couldnt be rescued....i take a few now..lol..just in the vain hope i get the shot i want lol..

heres an exsample, time spent about 3-5 minutes looking at a new program to see what it can do...minimal masking on an auto mask..the picture was under exsposed in poor lighting and of no real worth other than to fill a pc file.
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Postby Tracer » Fri May 11, 2007 9:53 pm

Those two pics of the swamp are absolutely creepy looking..! :shock:
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Postby nightstalker » Sat May 12, 2007 1:54 am

yes therye intresting though...

has a little play and couldnt do much to improve them, though i got bit more depth on the swamp maybe..hope you dont mind...
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