9 Tips To Improve Your Nikon D3400 Night Photography!

After seeing so many people reaching out asking for Nikon d3400 night photography tips and tricks we decided to publish this article to help as many of our readers as possible. As we know many of our readers are only just setting out on their photography journey we have some tips that may seem like common sense but we have lost count of how many experienced photographers overlook them until we point them out.

Invest In A Suitable Lens

Without a doubt, our number one Nikon d3400 night photography tip is to invest in a decent, budget-friendly lens that is actually suitable for night photography. Our recommendation would be to take a look at the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC (Click here to check for product prices and availability) and seriously consider picking it up.

With it being based around the 14mm focal length the lens offers some excellent wide angle photographs that allow you to capture photographs of large sections of the night sky with amazing image quality. The f/2.8 aperture offers some excellent low light performance too further increasing the image quality the lens can offer you. This is why it has proven so popular with photographers and has so many independent reviews (click to read them) left commenting on its night time photography performance.

One of our favourite night time photographs that was captured using the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens. We feel that it is an excellent showcase of the lenses capabilities and what it can offer your Nikon d3400.
One of our favorite nighttime photographs that was captured using the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens. We feel that it is an excellent showcase of the lenses capabilities and what it can offer your Nikon d3400.

The image above offers an excellent example of the level of detail and image quality that the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 can offer you. Its low price tag also makes it a no-brainer for most people who are wanting to get into night photography and take it seriously.

The video below offers an independent, third-party in-depth review of the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) although the version in the video is under the Samyang brand it is the same exact lens. We always like to share independent opinions on lenses we recommend as we find it gives our readers a better overall view of the product.

Choose An Appropriate Tripod

It’s no secret that image stabilization is a key factor when wanting to take photographs of the night sky. It is essential for any of the sub-niches that require longer exposure times or time-lapse settings and it is a very quick and easy thing that you can add to your digital photography kit. Having the ability to mount your d3400 on a stable base and leave it for extended periods of time allows you to focus in on the exact same area of the sky and capture some beautiful images.

Chances are that you already have a tripod as one of your camera accessories but if you don’t we would highly recommend that you consider picking up the Zomei Z699C Tripod (Click here to check for product prices and availability) as it is a very cheap tripod considering the amount of functionality and the level of performance it provides. Additionally, our article on what we feel are the best tripods for Nikon d3400 cameras may also be helpful to you.

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Get Your Hands On A Wireless Remote Control

Unfortunately, the Nikon d3400 has a totally different port setup to the vast majority of other Nikon cameras meaning none of the Nikon compatible Intervalometers available on the market at the time of writing will work with your d3400. Thankfully, the Foto&Tech FTML-L3 (Click here to check for product prices and availability) is very cheap, easy to use, and will work seamlessly with your d3400 and provide a similar functionality although with limited capabilities to a proper Intervalometer.

The Foto&Tech FTML-L3 already has a number of reviews posted by other d3400 owners (click to read them) as well as a number of reviews posted by other nighttime photographers (click to read them). As we mentioned earlier in the article, stability is a very important factor in many sub-niches of nighttime photography. Even when using a tripod to hold your camera, you may accidentally ruin your timelapse by pressing buttons on your camera. These remotes do their best to remove this allowing you to capture a nice and smooth time-lapse or long exposure of the night sky.

Experiment With Steel Wool

A night photograph using steel wool to make an other wise boring image interesting.
A night photograph using steel wool to make an otherwise boring image interesting.

Depending on your night photography niche this may not be usable for you. For example, if you are focusing on star trails and photograph the milky way then this is totally useless to you but if you are wanting to photograph landbased subjects at night then picking up some steel wool specifically designed for photography (Click here to check for product prices and availability) can provide some unique images.

One thing that we would recommend if you are considering experimenting with steel wool is to watch the video below as it offers some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of it.

Experiment With ND Filters

Another tip would be to pick up some budget-friendly, high-quality ND filters (Click here to check for product prices and availability) for your lens of choice on your d3400. Again, this will depend on your particular night photography goals as if you are wanting to focus on star trails or milky way photographs then an ND filter can be useless due to it limiting the starlight your camera can pick up.

On the flipside, if you are in or near to a city photographing urban objects at night a decent ND filter can be a useful tool by limiting the amount of light pollution that your lens will let get to your d3400 sensor. They will also let you toy around with some long exposure times and capture some unique photographs. Our article covering our Gobe ND filter review and our Hoya ND filter review may help you choose what filters to pick up.

Start with ISO 3200

Tweaking your ISO settings on your camera is an easy way to improve your night photography image quality with minimal effort. Your optimal ISO setting will change depending on your location though but we usually recommend that you start with 3200 and then adjust up or down as required.

Tweak Your Camera Settings For Night Photography

The video above goes over the optimal Nikon d3400 night photography camera settings and we would highly recommend that you watch it as its short and free.

Know When and Where to Look

When taking photographs of the night sky, knowing where and when to look is usually more than half the battle. Our recommendation is to search around for local photography groups on social media and use the members experience to know good locations in your area as well as the best times of year for the various locations.

Watch A Professional Night Photography Tutorial

Just like the d3400 camera settings for night photography above, we would highly recommend that our readers watch the video below on night photography as it is jam-packed with little tips and tricks that will massively up your game.

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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