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Thread: How to shoot the Stars

  1. #1

    Default How to shoot the Stars

    Attempted few times in getting decent shot of the star trail during hikes to M'sia but had disappointed results. Tips on getting a decent shot ?

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    If you dont climb the mountain, you cant see the view !

  2. #2
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    me not specialized in this area, but i believe you need sepcialized equipments if you want to be able to take such shots, and your cam have to be able to control shutter speed also.

  3. #3

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    advice on aperture and type of lens to use ?
    kinda limited to max of 210mm...
    If you dont climb the mountain, you cant see the view !

  4. #4

  5. #5

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    hello, I suppose ya are trying to shoot star trails.
    in general, they won't start to trail on a 50mm untill ya expose from 20-22 sec beyond
    but even @30 sec, ya'll probably get short 2-3mm trails
    so it means e shorter e focal length, e longer ya will have to expose for 'trails' and longer ones. & vice versa for telephoto.

    there shld a formulae out there for calculating the exposure for trails with the focal length.

    for star trails on a wide angle, generally, it takes hours.
    aperture will determind the 'thickness' of the trail.
    if light pollution is a problem, then consider shorter exp or smaller aperture.

    of coz with telephoto, ya shld be getting trails within 10 mins and up.
    but framing is up to ya play with.

    yes, it is possible to get pinpoints of stars on a wide angle too!


    enjoy

    ps: no 'specialised' equipment. only more basic functions
    ya will need B mode on ya shutter, a sturdy tripod and cable release.
    a black card might be useful.

  6. #6

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    That's an eye-opener alright ! Had tried using telephoto lens, subjected it to at least 30 minutes of B-mode & not a single twinkle popped in the pics (",).
    It's also tricky to focus in total darkness, tend to set it to inifinity instinctly.
    Shall try the <35mm lens the next time round, know of anywhere in S'pore to take a relatively decent shot ?
    If you dont climb the mountain, you cant see the view !

  7. #7
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    ops... hehe, my bad...
    no experience in this area... cos i always see those telescopic lenses.. i tot only those can take star trails... gosh..

  8. #8

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    you will have to use manual settings.

    get on the lowest ISO possible. biggest fear is noise.

    a good tripod, release shutter for at least 15 mins. you will need very clear skies away from interferring light sources like traffic lights, street lights, car headlights and stuff.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostpipefish
    you will have to use manual settings.

    get on the lowest ISO possible. biggest fear is noise.

    a good tripod, release shutter for at least 15 mins. you will need very clear skies away from interferring light sources like traffic lights, street lights, car headlights and stuff.
    not true for ISO... too low an ISO, you get weak star trails (ie not bright and distintive enough) and very long exposure time. an moderate ISO should be set to avoid noise and to avoid very long exposure time.

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    jsut do a simple yahoo and tonnes of setup will pop up. Like here for D70 since you're a nikon user.

    Most importantly, I think singapore isn't a good location for astro-photography because of light pollution. It's hard to find a really dark and obstructed view of the sky. Then you have to wait for the right night with clear skies. M'sia would be much better.

    Film would win over digital flat for this purpose. No worries about noise and batteries running flat. There are also many CSers here who have done it. Check out the galleries or someone's signature
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  11. #11

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    Still relying on good old F80 & Sigma lens (19-35mm) for shooting stars.
    ISO 400 should be adequate considering that it's not slow or fast for the night skies huh ?
    If you dont climb the mountain, you cant see the view !

  12. #12
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    if u wan a circular effect, do a few tests on longer shutter speeds to find the north star. den u can compose to get the circular effect - the north star doesnt move.

    these may also help if ur interested.

    http://www.calculatorcat.com/moon_ph...n_phases.phtml
    http://singastro.org/

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  14. #14
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    the north star actually tells your horizontal (longitude or latitude forgot which one) position on globe when you take the angle formed by the Nstar and the horizon (or ground) S'pore being located near the equator will have the Nstar located about the horizon which makes it (nearly) impossible to see.
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay
    the north star actually tells your horizontal (longitude or latitude forgot which one) position on globe when you take the angle formed by the Nstar and the horizon (or ground) S'pore being located near the equator will have the Nstar located about the horizon which makes it (nearly) impossible to see.
    Agreed. Thats why is is diff to shoot star trail in the circular shape in this region cos the north star isn't at our side. But the star trail is possible. For digital user, u may need to shoot many shots with certain exp time then stack the images together with the dedicated programs. To shoot in shorter exp time because it will let ur sensor to cool down and hence reduce the noise plus the risk of burning ur sensor.

  16. #16

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    For capturing star trails using long lens, say 210mm, for about 15min or so... apart from subjecting photographer to 'hand freeze' and mozzie's attack out in the dark, how do you keep the lens from sliding back when angled pointed to the sky ?
    If you dont climb the mountain, you cant see the view !

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    Your nick looks really familiar.... Maggie? is that you??? Ron here!!!
    Last edited by SniperD; 15th April 2005 at 03:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag_lim
    For capturing star trails using long lens, say 210mm, for about 15min or so... apart from subjecting photographer to 'hand freeze' and mozzie's attack out in the dark, how do you keep the lens from sliding back when angled pointed to the sky ?
    1) use a tripod and cable release

    2) use low ISO (ISO 100 - 200)

    3) use noise reduction when post processing

    4) use a wide angle instead of a tele lens (if can't be helped, use gaffer tape to keep lens from sliding back down the barrel)


    * about the mozzies.. hehehe.. there's always insect repellants ya know
    Last edited by SniperD; 15th April 2005 at 03:44 PM.

  19. #19

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    Yo SniperD Merci Amigo for the tips !
    "Use noise reduction when post processing " ??? Eh ? explain in layman lingo, Ron (",)
    If you dont climb the mountain, you cant see the view !

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag_lim
    Yo SniperD Merci Amigo for the tips !
    "Use noise reduction when post processing " ??? Eh ? explain in layman lingo, Ron (",)
    hehehe... I will email you on this one

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