New Nikon D50 user + Astrophotography
I just bought my first Nikon camera, a D50. I’m having a great time learning how to use it as it offers considerably more flexibility than my Olympus C50.
Anyway, I’m especially interested in astrophotography so I setup an old tripod a couple of nights back and just started taking pictures while experimenting by adjusting the ISO, aperture and shutter speed on the D50. I used the manual focus on the ‘kit’ lens and set it to what I thought was Infinite.
However, when I looked at the pictures later on the computer, they were all blurry and out of focus. Was this because the manual focus was not correctly set at Infinite? How can I tell? There are no marking along the focus ring.
I’m anxiously awaiting the next Aurora display (I live in Alaska) and I want to have the D50 ready to go!!
Thanks for your help!
#1. "RE: New Nikon D50 user + Astrophotography" | In response to Reply # 0dwig Registered since 30th May 2004Thu 22-Dec-05 05:24 PM
Most likely, they are simply out of focus. Most modern AF lenses, particularily zooms, will focus beyond infinity for a variety of reasons. Not having the lens stop at infinity means that ;you will have to manually focus on some massively distance object (moon, planet, or bright star).
Additionally, minor amounts of flare can make overexposed images of small bright objects (stars, ...) look out of focus. Also, since the earth spins making the sky appear to be moving, you will get "motion blur" in the form of streaking when the camera is stationary and the exposure is longer than about 1/30th of a second.
You might check out the photo tips at Sky & Telescope's site:
You should even read their HowTo for film cameras; much of it applies to DSLRs also.
nikonian in paradise
use: cp8400, cp990, cp950
retired: F,ELW, 21mm, 45 f/2.8 GN
used to own: S2, SP, F2, F3, 20mm f/3.5, 35mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2.8, 43-86 f/3.5, 50mm f/2, 50 f/1.4 (for S2/SP), 55mm f/3.5 Micro, 105mm f/2.5, 105mm f/4 Micro, 300mm f/4.5, 180mm f/4.5 (for 4x5)