8 Easy Tips To Improve Your Nikon D3200 Night Photography!

In this article, we will be taking a look at a number of tips to help improve your Nikon d3200 night photography performance with as little time, effort, and investment required as possible. Sometimes the smallest tweaks can provide the largest benefits and we definitely have a few gems mixed in with our photography tips.

Invest In The Correct Lens

Without a doubt, the quickest and easiest thing that you can do to improve your Nikon d3200 night photography is to invest in a high-quality, budget-friendly, low light lens like the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Ultra Wide Angle Fixed Lens (Click here to check for product prices and availability). It will natively fit your Nikon d3200 and provides some excellent low light performance with a proven track record. These independent reviews of the lens from night time photographers can offer a great insight into its performance and functionality.

The fixed 14mm focal length of the lens makes it a great landscape photography lens with both wide angle and ultra wide angle potential while the f/2.8 makes it ideal for night photography. Both of these functions in the same lens with such a low price tag offers a great little bargain.

An excellent photograph captured with the Rokinon 14mm lens offering a good example of what you may be able to capture with your Nikon d3200.
An excellent photograph captured with the Rokinon 14mm lens offering a good example of what you may be able to capture with your Nikon d3200.

Depending on your current lens of choice for your d3200 switching over to the Rokinon 14mm could have an excellent effect on your image quality and drastically improve your capabilities.

The video below offers an additional third-party, independent review for the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 to offer our readers an independent opinion of the product. As a point of note, the lens reviewed in the video is released under the Samyang brand as it was sourced from Asia but in North America and most of Europe, the exact same lens will be under the Rokinon brand the majority of the time.

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Choose An Appropriate Tripod

Even though the majority of articles and videos on how you are able to improve your night photograph always recommend using a decent, budget-friendly tripod like the Zomei Q555 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) we still see people who hold their camera by hand. This has a massive effect on your image quality as the slightest movement can totally spoil your photograph or timelapse.

Picking up a cheap tripod will let you set your camera rig up as needed, mount it on the tripod and then leave it to do its job without any small movements ruining all your work. The added image stabilization provided by the tripod also allows you to get more adventurous with your night photography by also using longer exposure times, timelapses, and also try your hand at star trail photography.

If you already have a tripod then chances are you would be able to use that without issue and get all the same benefits but if you do choose to pick up a new tripod or don’t already have one, our article on the best tripods for Nikon d3200 cameras may help you.

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Get Your Hands On A Remote Shutter Release

Next up on our list of tips to improve your Nikon d3200 night photography and building on the image stabilization offered by the tripod above is to pick up an intervalometer that is compatible with the d3200 like the Pixel FSK (Click here to check for product prices and availability). You are able to use them to improve your night photography by totally removing the last bits of camera shake that can even occur when using a tripod.

For example, say you have to tweak a setting on your d3200 and you slightly change the angle it can have a major effect on your timelapse and totally ruin everything. Using an intervalometer that is compatible with the d3200 allows you to remotely control your camera without issue and not have to actually touch the camera body and risk knocking it.

If you are wanting to get into star trail photography then picking up an intervalometer is going to be pretty much essential anyway.

A star tail photograph capturing using an intervalometer.
A star tail photograph capturing using an intervalometer.

Use A High-Quality ND Filter For Long Exposures

Depending on the type of night time photography you are wanting to get into you may be using long exposures to your advantage. If this is your plan then picking up a decent ND filter (Click here to check for product prices and availability) can be a great addition to your camera accessories as it will limit the light that reaches your d3200 sensor allowing you to experiment with a number of long exposures.

If you are unsure what ND filter to pick up then our full Gobe ND filter review and our full Hoya ND Filter review may be helpful, also our article on the best ND filters for Nikon d3200 may also be helpful. Both are budget-friendly and offer some excellent performance while also having earned an excellent reputation within the photography community due to allowing you to use a longer exposure and get some truly unique night shots with your Nikon d3200.

Consider Testing Steel Wool In Your Photographs

A night time photograph taken where the subject is spinning some burning steel wool for a unique effect.
A nighttime photograph that was taken with a subject spinning some burning steel wool for a unique effect.

People using steel wool (Click here to check for product prices and availability) to get a unique image for their night photography is becoming more and more popular as it can make an otherwise boring photograph spring to life.

With there being so many questions around using steel wool for photography we would highly recommend you watch the video below. It is an excellent tutorial on how best to use steel wool to get the best photograph possible while also keeping yourself perfectly safe.

Start with ISO 3200

Tweaking the ISO setting on your d3200 can also help improve the quality of the photograph that you are able to capture when snapping the night sky. Depending on the light pollution in your area the ideal ISO can change quiet drastically. Most people usually end up with an ISO of 800–3200 but our advice would be to start with an ISO of 3200 and then adjust accordingly depending on the conditions in your local area.

Know When and Where to Look

Your timing and location will be a massive factor in the quality of photograph that you will be able to get. Although there are some websites out there that offer an idea of what kind of time of the year will be best for your location, we would recommend you google for local sources.

Many towns and cities now have photography groups online and on social media that will be able to offer better guidance to you due to their experience in the local area. A quick search on something like Facebook usually turns up a few local photography groups for most cities and large towns.

Watch A Professional Night Photography Tutorial

Our final tip is to take professional advice on your night photography. This can add up to be quiet pricey if you decide to hire a local photographer to help you but we would highly recommend that you watch the video below as it is totally free and offers some great little tips.

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Image Licensing

Shared under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Michael Seeley – Spot The Station + Milky Way – https://flic.kr/p/HgpAfh