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Help with "Milky Way" shot

GiantTristan

Stamford, US
2688 posts

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"RE: Help with "Milky Way" shot"

GiantTristan Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006
Thu 26-Jul-12 04:18 PM | edited Thu 26-Jul-12 08:03 PM by GiantTristan

You got some very expert advice already. I have hardly ever taken pictures of stars, let alone of the Milky Way, and I am not an expert.

Last weekend, while staying in rural PA, there was a beautiful clear night sky and I decided to test the low light performance on the D700 of my newly acquired Zeiss 25/2.0 lens. I started out with tripod, mirror up, LiveView, focus infinity, f2, 30",iso 200. I got some pictures that even showed the different colors of stars, but the stars were not sharp, but on enlargement showed the presence of star trails. Also I felt that there was some under exposure, since some of the less bright stars were not displayed.

The first attachment shows a picture taken at 25" and iso 2000. This showed a lot more stars, but the stars were still blurry.

The second attachment is a capture at 8" and iso 3200. Now the stars are sharp, but some of the fainter ones are absent and the colors are no longer noticeable. In this picture you can also recognize the red left hand navigation light of a plane and the white blinking anti collision strobe. You see 8 white spots which means that the blink frequency is 1/s.

Your lens has a wider angle of view at 10mm which is good. However, the lens is about 2 stops slower and with a D300 you probably don't want to go above iso 1600. I suggest you pre-focus your lens on a distant object during daylight, since the infinity marking on most lenses cannot be trusted. I am not convinced of the stacking approach, since not all star trails are created equal. If for example you reference the pictures to the Polar Star which remains stationary, the result will look like the strobe of the plane...

Good luck with your endeavor!


Click on image to view larger version



Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)

Tristan

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A general, generic topic Help with "Milky Way" shot [View all] , JDuchene Silver Member , Wed 18-Jul-12 02:58 PM
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