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Beginning Night Sky Questions


Arlington, US
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MarcG19 Registered since 16th Apr 2009
Tue 13-Nov-12 08:07 AM | edited Tue 13-Nov-12 11:47 AM by MarcG19


I've started to dabble in photographing the night sky (not much success as of yet ), and have a few questions.

-I've heard contradictory advice from a brief google search, but it seems that some recommend that in order to NOT get stair trails, you can use shutter speeds of between 20s-1min. In my limited experience, if I don't set it to 10s, then I will have a star trail if I look at it at 100%

- do you all recommend NR to be "on" on the D90? Also, what tradeoff do I make on that generation of camera between ISO and noise?

-finally, I've been dabbling with an Olympus OM-D and a D90.

I've found the OM-D very difficult to work with (electronic viewfinder means that Venus is the darkest thing I can use for composition, and my fixed 24mm equivalent lens is sometimes insufficiently wide. ETA: landscape is invisible, and composition must be done by a painful "WAG and adjust" process).

In contrast the D90 is merely difficult to work with (DX viewfinder troublesomely dark. but IIRC at least Sirius and the brighter stars in Orion can be made out if you squint hard, and know that they're there. ETA: Landscape is only marginally more visible)

Are FX viewfinders easier to do moon-or-starlight only compositions with? Night photography won't be my only factor in format choice, but I am at a purchasing crossroads and am trying to balance m4/3, DX and FX's strengths (thus far, m4/3 has generally been winning in my calculation - but that's for a separate thread).



"90% of my best life's work could have been made with a manual body, a 24mm lens, and a telephoto zoom in the 80-200 range"
- Galen Rowell