Shooting the night sky


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Tigger

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Nov 21, 2004
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#1
Hi all,

I've tried taking the night sky using digital SLR. The following photo was taken in New Zealand, shutter 25sec at f/4.5, ISO1600.

It however doesn't look very good to me. Any tips? Or digital SLR is simply not for taking night sky?

 

paradigm

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Aug 12, 2004
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Hi Tigger,

think that yours is a bit too grainy, due to high ISO ... a touch of star trails as well ... 25 secs is a bit on the long side ... esp when you are zooming in. It makes the star trail more prominent ...
 

icarus

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Jan 27, 2002
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#3
25 seconds exposure is hardly enough for taking stars trails.
Try 10-15mins with a cable release. :sweatsm:
 

paradigm

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Aug 12, 2004
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#4
From the photo, think that tigger wanted to take point stars ... so 25 secs a bit too long ... can vaguely see a bit of trail ...
 

yanyewkay

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Sep 22, 2004
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#5
25 secs is enough for the stars to trail.. the stars are already longish in shape and not dots.
 

Tigger

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Nov 21, 2004
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#6
But if I don't see high ISO and long shutter, I could hardly see the "star" on the pic. What is the best to capture the point star?

on the other hand, can digital SLR (mine is D70) take star trail? I know it can set to "bulb" i.e. long exposure, control by the shutter release, but din't try that while I was in NZ... now Singapore don't have this kind of night sky....
 

yanyewkay

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Sep 22, 2004
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#7
i don't know if D70 is capable of taking point-stars. becos D70 has a median filter built into the firmware to smooth out noisy pictures.. so your low magnitude stars might be mistaken for noise and get smoothened out. The median fitler is also applied to RAW files according to some astro-photog camera review page. So it's not really "true" raw in that sense.

Nikon has already made known that the D70 was not designed for astro-photography. :cry: your picture may have contained more weaker magnitude stars but might have already been removed.
 

metalgear

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Aug 11, 2003
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#8
Tigger said:
... now Singapore don't have this kind of night sky....
same night sky, dude; except for local city light/haze pollution.

local astrographers go to dempsey road at night to shoot; i'm sure ubin or somewhere dark and obscure will reveal more in the sky.
 

paradigm

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Aug 12, 2004
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#9
Try not to zoom in ... my feel is that you were using a zoom lens (southern cross does not look that big on my screen for my pic) that cause the trail to come out at 25 sec ... try using <50mm lens for same time. You should get better results ... and dun use AF but use MF ... needs a few tries to get it right ... that's why I am not posting my pics ;p
 

paradigm

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#11
Think that once in a while, Singapore does offer rather good night skies ... you just need to be there with a good cam and tripod and start shooting ;p
 

r32

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Dec 31, 2002
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#13
While you're at it (with the 50mm lens) use the largest aperture possible to increase the amount of light you'll get for the selected exposure time, if you want distinct points of starlights then with a F/1.4 or /1.8 lens you'll get a few more stops of light compared to the F/4.5 setting you used.
 

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