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d800 and photographing stars

lukaswerth

Lahore, PK
578 posts

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lukaswerth Registered since 24th May 2012
Wed 19-Jun-13 08:34 AM

I had never photographed stars so far, but plan to do so, so I made a few test exposures from my window here in Lahore. The results surprised me; here is the link to the flickr set where I upoaded 3 image files:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukaswerth/sets/72157634210917406/


Here in Lahore there is of course lots and lots of optical pollution; still, the big bear is clearly visible near the top.
Camera: Nikon d800e
Lens: Zeiss 18mm f/3.5
Exposure time: 15 seconds
the three pictures were taken, as their file names indicate, with 100, 400, and 1600 ISO. Developed with ACR and PS.
I give the jpegs here with their full resolution.

The most remarkable result is for me:

1) the 100 ISO file shows for all I can see, if you look at it at 100%, just as many stars as the 1600 ISO file. I raised the exposure value in ACR, but still... This is contrary to everything I read so far about photographing stars: normally they recommend 3200 ISO and f/2.8 - which I don't have on the 18mm which is my widest lens.\

Do you have any explanations for this, or similar experiences, or am I getting something wrong?

Just now, this seems to show to me how good the d800 sensor really is. 100 ISO and stars!!

One more point:

On my screen when uploaded, the files show some posterization, I think this is due to my raising the contrast. Or could this be a problem of the sensor?


A further observation, not related to the camera:

Even with 15 seconds and 18mm,the star shapes are already quite elongated (also contrary to what I read). I wonder whether this is because because of the latitude of Lahore??


Lukas


Trying to be a keeper of the light

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukaswerth/

also see my Nikonians gallery:
https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/member.php/uid/444897

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