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Thread: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

  1. #21

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    One point to add, if my memory is correct, 11-16 tokina can be used on fx without needing to activate DX mode and it able to cover the full frame sensor at 15-16mm with some vignetting.
    Last edited by DSolZ; 11th October 2015 at 11:40 AM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angus Siew View Post

    I got myself a D700 and 24-70 f2.8. So i think i would be getting a Samyang 14mm f2.8 in a month's time.

    Yup nobody uses auto focus to take astro. Hahaha. Light discipline sure sounds like Army. I heard that usually astro photogs use small headlamps to set up their stuff so you would have two hands to work on stuff.
    The Samyang 14 will be great, but I think 12mm FE even better. Hahaha.

    And yes, think army...

    For the small headlamp, personally, I dislike those... Cos it's very easy to shine at someone's face, esp when people talk to you while your light is on... And even when looking around with that light on may accidentally destroy other photogs long exposure shot. The last thing you will want is getting into an argument where no one wins.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  3. #23

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by DSolZ View Post
    One point to add, if my memory is correct, 11-16 tokina can be used on fx without needing to activate DX mode and it able to cover the full frame sensor at 15-16mm with some vignetting.
    I was thinking about the Samyang 14mm f2.8 at this point of time. Hahaha. Any reviews of it bro?

  4. #24

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyStrike View Post
    The Samyang 14 will be great, but I think 12mm FE even better. Hahaha.

    And yes, think army...

    For the small headlamp, personally, I dislike those... Cos it's very easy to shine at someone's face, esp when people talk to you while your light is on... And even when looking around with that light on may accidentally destroy other photogs long exposure shot. The last thing you will want is getting into an argument where no one wins.
    Hahaha. You've used it personally? I dont really like FE eh.

    Haha dont worry bro. I would just be using it to set up my gear and will be turning it off aft that. Dont think it'll be a problem.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by Angus Siew View Post
    I was thinking about the Samyang 14mm f2.8 at this point of time. Hahaha. Any reviews of it bro?
    That one I don't know. I haven been using Nikon for 3-4 yrs already. Was using tokina 11-16 previously.
    Last edited by DSolZ; 12th October 2015 at 08:45 AM.

  6. #26
    Member macaroni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by Angus Siew View Post
    I was thinking about the Samyang 14mm f2.8 at this point of time. Hahaha. Any reviews of it bro?
    Not a user personally but heard from some of my friends that the markings on the lens may not be truly accurate. So gotta make your own markings for infinity focus in case when the big day comes shooting astro and you got your focus all messed up.
    An astro shot i'm extremely lucky to get in bright Sg.

    Clouds across the moon by Hak Wee, on Flickr

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    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by Angus Siew View Post
    I was thinking about the Samyang 14mm f2.8 at this point of time. Hahaha. Any reviews of it bro?
    Quote Originally Posted by Angus Siew View Post
    Hahaha. You've used it personally? I dont really like FE eh.

    Haha dont worry bro. I would just be using it to set up my gear and will be turning it off aft that. Dont think it'll be a problem.
    Have both the Samyang 12mm and 14mm. If you want the sharpness, 14mm is sharper... but the 12mm field of view is alot more wider than the 14mm. You can use plugins to de-fish the shot.


    Ah, yes... What macaroni mentioned about the 14mm focus mark is true as well (mine is somewhere inbetween the 2-3m mark). So, know where you infinity focus is first..... no such problem at the moment for the 12mm FE for now.

    Something I've shot using the Samyang 14mm some time back.
    Mt Bromo - Milky Way
    Last edited by SkyStrike; 12th October 2015 at 09:29 AM.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  8. #28

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by DSolZ View Post
    That one I don't know. I haven been using Nikon for 3-4 yrs already. Was using tokina 11-16 previously.
    I see I see. Saw the reviews for that is good too, but guess I'll just get a prime wide angle instead. Haha.

    Thanks for your help though!

  9. #29

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by macaroni View Post
    Not a user personally but heard from some of my friends that the markings on the lens may not be truly accurate. So gotta make your own markings for infinity focus in case when the big day comes shooting astro and you got your focus all messed up.
    An astro shot i'm extremely lucky to get in bright Sg.
    Awesome man. Especially in a place where its lighted.

    Alright will go and test the lens a month before I fly then. Hahaha.

    Your shot is taken with a double exposure?

    I always have this opinion that most astro shots should be taken in landscape sia. You took it in portrait so as to focus on the milky way in addition to a nice foreground?

  10. #30

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyStrike View Post
    Have both the Samyang 12mm and 14mm. If you want the sharpness, 14mm is sharper... but the 12mm field of view is alot more wider than the 14mm. You can use plugins to de-fish the shot.


    Ah, yes... What macaroni mentioned about the 14mm focus mark is true as well (mine is somewhere inbetween the 2-3m mark). So, know where you infinity focus is first..... no such problem at the moment for the 12mm FE for now.
    Wow.. Way too nice. Hahaha. Did you sacrifice and have a little coma in order to get more vibrant stars? Heard many people go to Mersing for astro too.

    Alright. Will test out the lens and make my own mark, if you focus out of the "infinity" focus then the whole photo will be out of focus?
    I've also read reviews saying the edges of the 14mm is always darkened out at lower apertures. Was it the same for you? Or did you take this shot using higher than f2.8?

    Sorry if I ask too many questions :x Way too new in photography.

    Thanks in advance!

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by Angus Siew View Post
    Wow.. Way too nice. Hahaha. Did you sacrifice and have a little coma in order to get more vibrant stars? Heard many people go to Mersing for astro too.

    Alright. Will test out the lens and make my own mark, if you focus out of the "infinity" focus then the whole photo will be out of focus?
    I've also read reviews saying the edges of the 14mm is always darkened out at lower apertures. Was it the same for you? Or did you take this shot using higher than f2.8?

    Sorry if I ask too many questions :x Way too new in photography.

    Thanks in advance!
    Hmmm, coma... I personally still feel that only those looking at 100% will notice it... On FB I doubt it will make any difference

    Focusing at infinity, at 14mm, f2.8, anything from 2.3m and beyond will be in focus (use DOF calculator: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html).

    The corner darkened happens even with the most expensive lens you can ever think of (I think).... It's vignetting. Almost all lens vignette when shot wide open.

    For astro, unless you are doing star trails, I doubt any one will want to stop down (heck, even for star trails, I use f2.8 and stack them afterwards ). the settings for single shot is already about ISO1600 (or ISO3200), 30s. Stopping down will mean even higher ISO or longer exposure time which will cause the star trails to be captured.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by Angus Siew View Post
    Awesome man. Especially in a place where its lighted.

    Alright will go and test the lens a month before I fly then. Hahaha.

    Your shot is taken with a double exposure?

    I always have this opinion that most astro shots should be taken in landscape sia. You took it in portrait so as to focus on the milky way in addition to a nice foreground?
    Thanks man, I was lucky that the conditions were right when i took that shot. It was a 2 tile vertorama shot in landscape orientation.

  13. #33

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    Other equipment you should look into getting will be a good set of tripod, remote or cabled shutter release and a good thin pair of gloves.

    Forget the torch. Light from your mobile phone screen will be good enough for you to work on your camera.

    Was shooting at Lake Tekapo late June this year. It was really cold n windy. So if you are going there, be sure to gear up. N bring along a thermo flask filled with ur fav hot beverage. Its a life saver!

    One other thing i learnt from that trip.....its soooo dark, the clouds are all black! U cant really see them. Review your shots carefully.

    Last but not least, have patience. There's bound to be jokers walking around with super bright torches ruining everyones' shot.

    Good luck!

  14. #34

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Folks here covered most of the important points. Just add a couple of my own:

    If you suck at astro like me, I used a fisheye initially to locate the milky way. Just point upwards and shoot at random.

    Your viewfinder is mostly useless so chances are, you have to trial and error to fine-tune your compositions. Set to the highest ISO when adjusting your compositions, like 51200 at 10sec or something so you can reduce the time spend checking. No need to keep waiting 30sec for every iteration. Remember to drop back when taking actual shot.

    I assume the environment will be cold. Bring some heat packs along and keep inside your pockets. Helps to keep your fingers warm.
    You could consider a pair of photogapher gloves like these if you are sensitive to cold:
    Name:  shooting-gloves-main.jpg
Views: 0
Size:  17.2 KB

    The Samyang 14mm f/2.8 is cheap and good. I used it for astro and certain timelapse.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by CamInit; 13th October 2015 at 02:03 AM.

  15. #35
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    When I talked of coma before I should have said sagittal coma flare. Mark that I am no astrophotographer but I have studied the topic somewhat because one day I would like to do some shooting like this (I have a giant big black sky outside my front door and have a few telescopes too ). One thing I just learned from reviewing this topic again is that one should use the largest diameter lens possible (which explains why the best telescopes are the largest diameter ones) but also one with as little sagittal coma flare as possible when used wide open. Please read this on the legendary Noct-Nikkor expressly designed for this type of shooting...it provides some good information to use for evaluating your lens options...in other words it may tell you the kind of things to look for in a lens to get the best out of shooting at the night sky. The other lens like this one from Nikon is the 28/1.4 AFD. Other sources on the net say some of the modern fast fifties do fairly well concerning sagittal coma flare and I do suppose modern lens formulas and coatings may do better at this then older ones although I'm not completely certain about that. Just trying to be helpful and learn at the same time bro.

    http://www.nikkor.com/story/0016/
    Last edited by Nikonzen; 13th October 2015 at 07:41 AM.
    Expand your mind or get left behind

  16. #36

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyStrike View Post
    Hmmm, coma... I personally still feel that only those looking at 100% will notice it... On FB I doubt it will make any difference

    Focusing at infinity, at 14mm, f2.8, anything from 2.3m and beyond will be in focus (use DOF calculator).

    The corner darkened happens even with the most expensive lens you can ever think of (I think).... It's vignetting. Almost all lens vignette when shot wide open.

    For astro, unless you are doing star trails, I doubt any one will want to stop down (heck, even for star trails, I use f2.8 and stack them afterwards ). the settings for single shot is already about ISO1600 (or ISO3200), 30s. Stopping down will mean even higher ISO or longer exposure time which will cause the star trails to be captured.
    Hahaha. Thats true. Aiya no choice right, its all about balancing everything. Cant have best of both worlds unless $$$. D:

    Yea man. Else whats the point of buying lens with low aperture right hahaha.

    Okay. Maybe I'll go rent the lens for a day and test it sometime.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by macaroni View Post
    Thanks man, I was lucky that the conditions were right when i took that shot. It was a 2 tile vertorama shot in landscape orientation.
    Oh i see. Hope to achieve this kind of standard sometime soon!!

  18. #38

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by kohbro View Post
    Other equipment you should look into getting will be a good set of tripod, remote or cabled shutter release and a good thin pair of gloves.

    Forget the torch. Light from your mobile phone screen will be good enough for you to work on your camera.

    Was shooting at Lake Tekapo late June this year. It was really cold n windy. So if you are going there, be sure to gear up. N bring along a thermo flask filled with ur fav hot beverage. Its a life saver!

    One other thing i learnt from that trip.....its soooo dark, the clouds are all black! U cant really see them. Review your shots carefully.

    Last but not least, have patience. There's bound to be jokers walking around with super bright torches ruining everyones' shot.

    Good luck!
    I just bought a Sirui T-2204X with E20 ballhead. I was thinking if i should use the automated timer of my D700 to shoot. Or normally do people use bulb mode to really gauge the timer?

    Okay, no torches then. Hahaha. Was there alot of photogs when u went there? I should be heading to South Island around March I guess. So it'll probably be quite cold by then. But I'm gonna prepare a sleeping bag so should be fine. Thanks for the tips bro!

    By clouds are black you mean you couldnt even see if there were clouds and it obstructed your view of the stars?

    Hopefully I wont meet any jokers as I hope to do a time-lapse photo of Lake Tekapo

  19. #39

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by CamInit View Post
    Folks here covered most of the important points. Just add a couple of my own:

    If you suck at astro like me, I used a fisheye initially to locate the milky way. Just point upwards and shoot at random.

    Your viewfinder is mostly useless so chances are, you have to trial and error to fine-tune your compositions. Set to the highest ISO when adjusting your compositions, like 51200 at 10sec or something so you can reduce the time spend checking. No need to keep waiting 30sec for every iteration. Remember to drop back when taking actual shot.

    I assume the environment will be cold. Bring some heat packs along and keep inside your pockets. Helps to keep your fingers warm.
    You could consider a pair of photogapher gloves like these if you are sensitive to cold:
    Name:  shooting-gloves-main.jpg
Views: 0
Size:  17.2 KB

    The Samyang 14mm f/2.8 is cheap and good. I used it for astro and certain timelapse.

    Have fun!
    Okay bro. So maximise ISO to position my camera for the best view. One thing about landscapes is there are more or less not movable so a newbie like me will have at least some time to figure out what settings to use.. Hahaha. I'm still not able to really judge ISO settings in the environment that I'm in...

    Yup am prepared for the cold already. I'll give a thought to the photog gloves!

    Thank you!!

  20. #40

    Default Re: Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonzen View Post
    When I talked of coma before I should have said sagittal coma flare. Mark that I am no astrophotographer but I have studied the topic somewhat because one day I would like to do some shooting like this (I have a giant big black sky outside my front door and have a few telescopes too ). One thing I just learned from reviewing this topic again is that one should use the largest diameter lens possible (which explains why the best telescopes are the largest diameter ones) but also one with as little sagittal coma flare as possible when used wide open. Please read this on the legendary Noct-Nikkor expressly designed for this type of shooting...it provides some good information to use for evaluating your lens options...in other words it may tell you the kind of things to look for in a lens to get the best out of shooting at the night sky. The other lens like this one from Nikon is the 28/1.4 AFD. Other sources on the net say some of the modern fast fifties do fairly well concerning sagittal coma flare and I do suppose modern lens formulas and coatings may do better at this then older ones although I'm not completely certain about that. Just trying to be helpful and learn at the same time bro.
    The Noct-Nikkor and 28 f1.4 is way out of my budget at this point of time, but I do think that photography heavily depends on the photog itself too, so I hope to improve my skills first :P

    I'm reading on the coma flare thing, it really seems like you have to be a physicist to be a photographer nowadays. Hahaha kidding, just doing my best to understand what is it about.

    Thank you so much for the info bro.

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