Capturing lightning

edited March 2012 Posted in » Canon T2i Forum
I tried taking some shots of lightning last night with a few good results, but I was wondering if I need to change my settings. I was using my T2i, 18-55mm lens set at f/8, 100 ISO, 30 second exposure. Some pictures were fine (not fabulous) while others were blurry. I have seen where I should set my lens to infinity, but I don't think the 18-55 is capable (?) of this setting based upon what I read. Any ideas? Thanks!


  • Howdy @milstead - The best way to achieve 'infinity focus' is to first focus on a highly contrasted subject in the distance (street light, building, moon, etc...). Once you lock focus, turn the AF/MF switch on the lens to MF. This will allow you to take shot after shot without having to adjust focus each time. Set your aperture between f/8 to f/16 and you should be able to get a sharp shot of the storm.

    As for the other settings, the T2i can only go down to a minimum shutter speed of 30 seconds when shooting in Aperture priority (Av). If you're ISO is locked to 100 and there's not enough light available, the T2i will need more light in order to get an accurate exposure. You can get more light by increasing the ISO or using a shutter speed longer than 30 seconds.

    If you want to keep the ISO locked at 100, you'll need to enable 'Bulb' mode and use a remote to hold the shutter open for a period longer than 30 seconds.

    As for the "blur" you're experiencing, it could be attributed to camera shake, improper focus or even image stabilization. Make sure the 'Stabilizer' on your lens in set to the 'Off' position whenever you mount the T2i to a tripod. Hope that helps and happy shooting! :)
  • edited March 2012
    Thanks for the quick reply! I didn't turn the stabilizer off...that is something I always seem to forget. Thanks for explaining how to do the infinity focus too!
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