Newbie into Astrophotography confused about Gears


Sep 27, 2015
69
0
6
#1
Hi everyone,

I'm planning to go New Zealand to shoot soon, therefore I'm getting prepared and to learn the basics before my trip.

I'm planning to get a Nikon 24-70 F2.8 for normal shooting and a Tokina 11-16 F2.8 as my wide angle lens.
Body wise I'm getting a second hand one but still not sure whether to get a D7000 or a Full frame (Other recommendations are welcomed :p)
Tripod wise I haven't really thought about it.

Anywhere in Singapore that is a good place for Night shooting? Since light pollution here is quite high I doubt there are many.

Thanks in advance!
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
10,926
84
48
#3
Consider a Pentax DSLR with the O-GPS1 module.
The new K3II has this built into the camera.

The advantage is that the module is just mounted on the hot-shoe and about the size of a wireless flash transmitter as opposed to more costly and larger tracking setups.
The one on the k3II is built in and there is no need for a separate module.
It uses the in-camera shake reduction to shift the sensor for up to 5 mins of exposure time.

More info here :
http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/review/pentax-astrotracer-review-astrophotography-made-easier/
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1268826
http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/...astrophotography-pix-experiences-namibia.html
 

Sep 27, 2015
69
0
6
#4
Thank you! Sorry still very new here, will take time to read those.
 

thoongeng

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
1,246
15
38
#5
Do note that Tokina 11-16f2.8 is for DX / crop sensors, so not ideal for full frame (could be used but better to get a full frame lens). And it is a must to get a sturdy tripod.

The camera and lens to get really depends on your budget... there are advantages for a full frame sensor, like lower high-ISO noise, but it will cost more and are heavier. D7000 with Tokina 11-16f2.8 is quite cost effective for a start. Any reason why Nikon 24-70f2.8?

Astrophotography is not that easy, main challenge is to be able set up in the dark, and usually it will be cold. Also need to know what general settings to use, and how to focus in the dark etc...

You can actually do night shooting anywhere, just that it is not easy to get eg the milky way to stand out. However you should still practice, maybe try setting up to take seascapes in the dark for sunrise, so that you will be familiar with your equipment before you go overseas.

Have a good trip, and first and foremost enjoy it! (photography comes second ;) )
 

Last edited:
Sep 27, 2015
69
0
6
#6
Do note that Tokina 11-16f2.8 is for DX / crop sensors, so not ideal for full frame (could be used but better to get a full frame lens). And it is a must to get a sturdy tripod.

The camera and lens to get really depends on your budget... there are advantages for a full frame sensor, like lower high-ISO noise, but it will cost more and are heavier. D7000 with Tokina 11-16f2.8 is quite cost effective for a start. Any reason why Nikon 24-70f2.8?

Astrophotography is not that easy, main challenge is to be able set up in the dark, and usually it will be cold. Also need to know what general settings to use, and how to focus in the dark etc...

You can actually do night shooting anywhere, just that it is not easy to get eg the milky way to stand out. However you should still practice, maybe try setting up to take seascapes in the dark for sunrise, so that you will be familiar with your equipment before you go overseas.

Have a good trip, and first and foremost enjoy it! (photography comes second ;) )
Hello!

Thank you for taking your time to give me opinions.

Im planning to get 24-70 f2.8 for normal usage and 11-16 DX for wide angle shots. My budget is not super high therefore i think im starting with D7000 or D7100. Altho the noise level/ISO may be a bit higher compared to FF but thats what makes the price difference haha. Any idea if which is better of the two? I've heard D7100 uses a different sensor but im not too sure about it.

Im planning to get it soon to practice on it before heading off to overseas and get lousy shots. Hahaha.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

thoongeng

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
1,246
15
38
#7
Hello!

Thank you for taking your time to give me opinions.

Im planning to get 24-70 f2.8 for normal usage and 11-16 DX for wide angle shots. My budget is not super high therefore i think im starting with D7000 or D7100. Altho the noise level/ISO may be a bit higher compared to FF but thats what makes the price difference haha. Any idea if which is better of the two? I've heard D7100 uses a different sensor but im not too sure about it.

Im planning to get it soon to practice on it before heading off to overseas and get lousy shots. Hahaha.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Hmm if you're going to get 'lousy shots' then might as well use your smartphone or bring a compact camera with manual exposure controls, and enjoy the moment and scenery instead hehe... really better than bringing a lot of equipment, fumbling over settings and missing the moment ;p

D7100 has a newer 24 megapixels sensor so will be better than D7000. If you're getting second hand can also consider paying a bit more (maybe a bit highter than $1000) for an older full-frame like D600, but then you will have to get more expensive full frame lenses, so it boils down to your budget heh... I asked about 24-70f2.8 because it is more expensive and a full frame lens, if you're going budget there are good and cheaper/lighter DX lenses as well.

Any of those cameras you get will be able to get you good shots. However the most important is to be familiar with your equipment and it's limitations, and work with those :)
 

Sep 27, 2015
69
0
6
#8
Hmm if you're going to get 'lousy shots' then might as well use your smartphone or bring a compact camera with manual exposure controls, and enjoy the moment and scenery instead hehe... really better than bringing a lot of equipment, fumbling over settings and missing the moment ;p

D7100 has a newer 24 megapixels sensor so will be better than D7000. If you're getting second hand can also consider paying a bit more (maybe a bit highter than $1000) for an older full-frame like D600, but then you will have to get more expensive full frame lenses, so it boils down to your budget heh... I asked about 24-70f2.8 because it is more expensive and a full frame lens, if you're going budget there are good and cheaper/lighter DX lenses as well.

Any of those cameras you get will be able to get you good shots. However the most important is to be familiar with your equipment and it's limitations, and work with those :)
Hahaha. Im fine with normal photography with a DSLR. Just have to learn the ropes of night photography.

The last time i went Kukup, saw the blood moon. But bloody hell my iPhone couldnt capture anything. Hahaha

Going FF with 24-70 F2.8 and 14-24 F2.8 seems too much of an amount for me right now @_@ D7100 is able to use 24-70 as well right? Just that crop factor comes in...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

thoongeng

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
1,246
15
38
#9
Going FF with 24-70 F2.8 and 14-24 F2.8 seems too much of an amount for me right now @_@ D7100 is able to use 24-70 as well right? Just that crop factor comes in...
Yup can use 24-70 on both DX and FX camera bodies, and since you know about the crop factor as long as you are ok with the field of view you're good :)
 

devilry

New Member
Feb 16, 2006
986
3
0
#10
Hi everyone,

I'm planning to go New Zealand to shoot soon, therefore I'm getting prepared and to learn the basics before my trip.

I'm planning to get a Nikon 24-70 F2.8 for normal shooting and a Tokina 11-16 F2.8 as my wide angle lens.
Body wise I'm getting a second hand one but still not sure whether to get a D7000 or a Full frame (Other recommendations are welcomed :p)
Tripod wise I haven't really thought about it.

Anywhere in Singapore that is a good place for Night shooting? Since light pollution here is quite high I doubt there are many.

Thanks in advance!

Actually Singapore is not that bad a place for night shooting. Yes, there's light pollution but it's manageable at times.

I caught this star trails at Bishan Park a couple of months back:

$Star_Trails.jpg
 

Sep 27, 2015
69
0
6
#12
Yup can use 24-70 on both DX and FX camera bodies, and since you know about the crop factor as long as you are ok with the field of view you're good :)
Thank you so much for your guidance!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Sep 27, 2015
69
0
6
#13
Actually Singapore is not that bad a place for night shooting. Yes, there's light pollution but it's manageable at times.

I caught this star trails at Bishan Park a couple of months back:

View attachment 9355
Oo. Yeap i guess you need to know where to go haha.

May i know what settings were u on? Its a single shot or a compilation?


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daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#15
Hahaha. Im fine with normal photography with a DSLR. Just have to learn the ropes of night photography.

The last time i went Kukup, saw the blood moon. But bloody hell my iPhone couldnt capture anything. Hahaha

Going FF with 24-70 F2.8 and 14-24 F2.8 seems too much of an amount for me right now @_@ D7100 is able to use 24-70 as well right? Just that crop factor comes in...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Neither of those lens will let you capture a nice image of the moon, just saying... you neet at least 400mm.
 

Nikonzen

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2014
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Oklahoma, USA
#16
I do not shoot astro but I will give you my take on the question.

You need a lens that doesn't have any coma.

Noct Nikkor or 28/1.4 AFD...

Either one will probably cost as much as trip to New Zealand...

Sorry I am not much help... :)

Maybe some other bro can give example of Nikkors that have characteristic of very low coma.
 

Last edited:
Sep 27, 2015
69
0
6
#17
Neither of those lens will let you capture a nice image of the moon, just saying... you neet at least 400mm.
Haha. Im going for more of landscape shots at the moment bah! That one in the future maybe :p
 

Sep 27, 2015
69
0
6
#18
I do not shoot astro but I will give you my take on the question.

You need a lens that doesn't have any coma.

Noct Nikkor or 28/1.4 AFD...

Either one will probably cost as much as trip to New Zealand...

Sorry I am not much help... :)

Maybe some other bro can give example of Nikkors that have characteristic of very low coma.
Wa. Thats a very deep topic to understand for me right now as a newbie. Hahaha. So generally prime lens has lesser coma?

I think im just going to take above average photos bah, maybe as skill level increases then upgrade to different kind of lens. I got 24-70 cos its very versatile for me to do all kinds of shoots as well. :)

Thanks for your help bro!
 

SkyStrike

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2010
3,444
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Somewhere
#19
I think, you should not worry too much about the gears and such. For now, 11-16 and 24-70, you are pretty much covered.

The most important thing is to get used to your gear. Be it changing settings or changing lens (change lens faster), etc. And personally, the number 1 thing to learn is, learn how to focus at the stars (infinity) in pitch dark condition, as I'm not aware of much (any) systems that have auto focus working when shooting astro (other than the moon -_-" )

Of course when trying to find the infinity focus, you can use some LED/torchlights to help you, but need to learn some light discipline if there are other photogs in the area as well. One won't enjoy getting blinded or when the LED lights shines randomly while doing long exposure.
 

Sep 27, 2015
69
0
6
#20
I think, you should not worry too much about the gears and such. For now, 11-16 and 24-70, you are pretty much covered.

The most important thing is to get used to your gear. Be it changing settings or changing lens (change lens faster), etc. And personally, the number 1 thing to learn is, learn how to focus at the stars (infinity) in pitch dark condition, as I'm not aware of much (any) systems that have auto focus working when shooting astro (other than the moon -_-" )

Of course when trying to find the infinity focus, you can use some LED/torchlights to help you, but need to learn some light discipline if there are other photogs in the area as well. One won't enjoy getting blinded or when the LED lights shines randomly while doing long exposure.
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. [emoji51]

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.
 

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