Sat 12-Jan-13 10:51 PM | edited Sat 12-Jan-13 10:56 PM by rutherfordphoto
Hi... be careful of just setting your lens to the infinity marker. Most lenses, especially AF lenses, that is only a guide. True infinity can be just a hair in either direction.
If you focus on mountains that are 2 miles away, that will be good enough for infinity, especially on a wide angle lens. Once you've achieved focus, set the camera or the lens to MF and tape the lens in position. It's possible to get moved by accident, and you don't want to find out after you're finished shooting.
A new moon and a clear sky will give you the optimum conditions to see the stars, but the Milky Way is at it's most visible from June to August in the Southern sky. It's also a really good idea to get out of the lights of the city, as they can really hinder what stars you can see in the sky
A wide angle lens is also better, because it allows for a longer exposure. The stars are always moving and the more zoomed in you are, the more you can see the stars move. This is really evident even when using a 50mm lens. Even with a wide angle lens your exposures are usually limited to a max of 30 seconds. I've found that with my 16mm, 25 seconds works really well.
Here's an example I shot the other evening, I'm planning on something pretty cool in the next few weeks, just waiting for the right weather.