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Author Topic: HDR Bracketed 24 Hour Timelapse with Nikon D4 help pls  (Read 2175 times)
Brian Hirschfeld
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« on: May 09, 2013, 02:39:33 PM »
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I want to do a 3 stop (under, proper, over exposed) HDR Timelapse for 24 hours from my apartment view before I move, the camera ill be using is my Nikon D4, I know absolutely nothing about how to do this other then the fact that I need a tripod (lol) if someone could walk me through the capture process I would be greatly appreciative.
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 03:15:38 AM »
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Point, click, wait.  Repeat for 24 hours.

Actually, it depends on what your view is. If it's a busy street scene or a cloudy and windy day, then you'll need to take shots every second or so.  Why do you need HDR?
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 06:30:00 AM »
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It's not going to be easy.  Especially if you will want to leave the camera unattended.  The D4 has a built-in intervalometer.  The problem is the changing light conditions during the time period.  You set the time between shots in the sequence, but this has to include the total time of the three bracketed images.  If you set a gap of, say, 30 seconds that will work fine in the daytime, but when it gets darker you could have shutter speeds that exceed that spacing.  That will mess up your brackets. The way around that is to change the ISO during the shoot to get your shutter speeds back in line.  Doing that if the camera is unattended is the problem.  You can try putting the camera on Auto-ISO.  I'd run a test first to see if that works before setting up for the entire 24 hour shoot.  Do a sunrise or sunset so you get a significant change in light to see if it will work.  You may end up having to set a very long gap between segments to account for the darkest part of the night, which isn't going to make for a very fluid timelapse.  The ISO is also likely to change if clouds pass by, for example.  This could cause some flickering in the final result.  You also have to be wary of what's called 'aperture flicker'.  This is caused by the auto-aperture mechanism of the camera not closing down to the exact same size every time.  If you're using lenses with manual aperture rings, you can set the aperture manually on the lens then disengage the lens slightly.  You rotate it to the point where the aperture stops down to the set number and it will stay locked there for the entire shoot.

I've done a fair bit of HDR timelapse.  It can be a cool look but it's a bit of a mess logistically.  The other thing you have to be careful of is consistency in tonemapping from bracket to bracket.  Even very slight inconsistencies can cause flicker in the rendered clip.  The last 5 seconds of this clip is HDR, http://youtube.com/#/watch?v=o7H6Xy0rF0Q&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Do7H6Xy0rF0Q.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 06:39:17 AM by BobFisher » Logged
Paul2660
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2013, 07:12:22 AM »
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When I tried to work with the intervoltmeter on the Nikon's I found it can't function past 30" of a sec.  You also can't use the interval time and intervoltmeter at the same time.  For time-lapse you will be shooting in a method like I use for stacking night work.  For this you need both a set interval, (1) and may need a time longer than 30 seconds.  You will need the MC-36 remote or one of the knock offs.  The MC-36 will control your shutter speed and interval which is necessary.

If you think you get get the series done without longer exposures than 30 seconds, you might get it to work with the built in timer on the D4 as Bob mentioned.

Flicker will the real issue and HDR will make this even a bigger issue.  When I started night stacking I got interested in time-lapse shooting and watch some videos on it.  For the time it takes both to shot and then process I decided not to try it.  There are some software tools out there that can help reduce the flicker issues once you have put the video together.  Here is link to one of the tools: http://www.granitebaysoftware.com/

The other solution to help reduce iris flicker is use a manual lens with a aperture ring as this will keep the camera from creating the slight variations since the ring is fixed.

In night photography that I do I will sometimes see flicker results, but since I am blending back to only one frame the stacking tends to eliminate it. 

Hope you post your results.

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2013, 07:57:30 AM »
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Paul, you're saying you can't get the intervalometer to set a gap longer than 30"?  Or are you saying you can't get a shutter speed longer than 30"?

If the latter, that's because 30" is the longest 'auto' shutter speed available.  To go longer than that you have to go into Bulb mode.  That's another reason for adjusting the ISO.  Yes, you get more evident noise at the higher ISO settings but there are compromises everywhere.  Grin
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Paul2660
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 09:51:14 AM »
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Bob:

Sorry for the confusion, I meant shutter speed longer than 30 seconds.  From what I found the built in timers which can't be used together, won't work when you go to bulb.  There are a few nights I will work at less than 30 seconds, but for most of my stacks, I run 1 minute 30 sec to about 2.5 minutes.   

I totally may have overlooked something, as I only attempted it once.  But I remember that for what I wanted to do, I needed the timer (to get longer than 30 seconds) and I still needed the intervoltmeter for the interval and thus couldn't use either.

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2013, 09:58:15 AM »
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Doug Peterson may have convinced me to do it using my IQ180 in Sensor+ mode tethered to my computer, since apparently I can run a script in CaptureOne which will do everything for me and I can use phantom power through the firewire port, have better DR (so no need for HDR), and save all the images to an external hard drive....

Or I may wind up using a borrowed intervelometer on the camera, but still.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2013, 10:00:37 AM »
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An outboard intervalometer seems to be required.  I googled "HDR time lapse" and got this:

http://vimeo.com/38838557

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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2013, 10:49:46 AM »
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Bob:

Sorry for the confusion, I meant shutter speed longer than 30 seconds.  From what I found the built in timers which can't be used together, won't work when you go to bulb.  There are a few nights I will work at less than 30 seconds, but for most of my stacks, I run 1 minute 30 sec to about 2.5 minutes.  

I totally may have overlooked something, as I only attempted it once.  But I remember that for what I wanted to do, I needed the timer (to get longer than 30 seconds) and I still needed the intervoltmeter for the interval and thus couldn't use either.

Paul Caldwell


I think that's right.  Because you have to hold the shutter open in Bulb.  

Brian, how much extra brightness range are you going to get with the IQ?  A stop, stop and a half over the D4?  That's not going to be enough to take care of all the brightness differences you'll encounter. 
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 10:53:38 AM by BobFisher » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2013, 10:51:36 AM »
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An outboard intervalometer seems to be required.  I googled "HDR time lapse" and got this:

http://vimeo.com/38838557



With Canon yes because they don't have an integrated intervalometer.  Several Nikon models have one built in.
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2013, 09:39:32 PM »
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I think that's right.  Because you have to hold the shutter open in Bulb.  

Brian, how much extra brightness range are you going to get with the IQ?  A stop, stop and a half over the D4?  That's not going to be enough to take care of all the brightness differences you'll encounter. 

I was thinking I might just do full res-IQ180 files since I could just have the tethered C1 capture save them to an external, then I could processes them with the full 12 stop DR (or whatever it is) and then just downsize the files to make them easier for processing...
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