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Thread started 24 Nov 2010 (Wednesday) 14:17
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Meteor troubles, PLEASE HELP!

 
rpmaurer
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Nov 24, 2010 14:17 |  #1

Hello,
Recently I went out to take pictures of the Leonid Shower and got my first capture... it sucked. Ive been having issues getting these pictures since august, with the Perseids. It seems with all of my pictures even when a meteor passes it wont pick it up. I almost always use these settings, f2.3 ISO1600 15sec. The only meteor capture i got was of the trail left behind from a bolide. Is it possible that after the meteors leave that the ISO blotches them out? With the Geminids quickly approaching from Dec 8 to 16 I really need help.

Thanks!
Ryan


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Nov 24, 2010 14:43 |  #2

post processing,

I've had many things show up I didn't know I caught.




  
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rpmaurer
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Nov 24, 2010 14:55 |  #3

I'm sorry say again? I've tried post processing but too much noise unfortunately.


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mtbdudex
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Nov 24, 2010 15:07 as a reply to  @ rpmaurer's post |  #4

I assume you are shooting widefield, 18mm or 15mm?

In your test shot is there too much light pollution?

Post an image from your set.


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rpmaurer
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Nov 24, 2010 15:17 |  #5

I will asap. Unfortunately no there is not much ambient light. When the pressure camea over it was crystal clear. With the Leonids some high altitude cirrus clouds. I will post my only meteor pic soon.


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jsigone
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Nov 24, 2010 17:46 |  #6

how are you controlling the camera? Remote shutter? Laptop? Tripod? Are you waiting to too it and then click?

If I were to image a shower, I'd use a laptop to control the camera through intervals.
High ISO 1600, 1/2 stop down. Set the timer to take 30-45sec shots with wide lens, 3sec gap between shots, and program 100-300 shots. Kick back and enjoy the show w/ hot chocolate and the camera/laptop does all the work til you get home. Every 30 mins adjust the tripod to center on Leo again.

They say 30-45 per hour so figure 70- 80% of the pics taken will taken to the side and stack them for the hell of it.


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rpmaurer
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Nov 24, 2010 21:23 |  #7

Well i dont have a bulb setting, max i can go is 15 sec... my 15sec shutter is followed by a 15sec pause between pictures.. I can have it take ten at a time...


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Scottdog129
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Nov 25, 2010 17:10 |  #8

Your downfall is the limit of the camera's shutter time, unfortunately.


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SteveInNZ
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Nov 25, 2010 18:19 |  #9

Do you know about CHDK (external link) ?
That gives you the option of longer exposures, raw, no automatic dark frames and scripting to take more than 10 exposures. You're still limited by the small sensor, but it makes your camera a very flexible tool. If only something similar was available for DSLRs.


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marubozo
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Nov 25, 2010 19:07 |  #10

While we're on the subject of meteors, I have a question as well. Is the high ISO needed to pick up most meteors? I'm just wondering because I've been shooting a ton at night lately for star trails, which have been turning out great. But out of a few thousand exposures I haven't found a single meteor. I've caught plenty of planes and such, but I'm kind of shocked that I have hours of exposure and haven't caught a single meteor.

Then again, I'm shooting 30 second exposures at ISO 200, not 1600 like the OP. So, I'm wondering if the ISO needs to be higher because of the very short duration of most meteors. Of course, it picks up the tiny blinks of very faint and distant planes in this setup, so maybe I'm just unlucky?


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SteveInNZ
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Nov 25, 2010 19:31 |  #11

I can't speak for intentionally going for meteors, but if you are seeing them and not recording them, then ISO is about the only option you have. However, because you are using the multiple exposure method for your trails, the stacking will reduce the effect of the noise that comes with the higher ISO. Since you are happy with your 30sec at ISO 200, you could go for ISO 800 and reduce your exposure time accordingly to around 8 seconds. That would keep the background/starlight ratio about the same while increasing the sensitivity to meteors. The limiting factor would be keeping the inter-exposure gaps to an acceptable level.


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marubozo
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Nov 25, 2010 19:49 |  #12

SteveInNZ wrote in post #11346308 (external link)
I can't speak for intentionally going for meteors, but if you are seeing them and not recording them, then ISO is about the only option you have. However, because you are using the multiple exposure method for your trails, the stacking will reduce the effect of the noise that comes with the higher ISO. Since you are happy with your 30sec at ISO 200, you could go for ISO 800 and reduce your exposure time accordingly to around 8 seconds. That would keep the background/starlight ratio about the same while increasing the sensitivity to meteors. The limiting factor would be keeping the inter-exposure gaps to an acceptable level.

Thanks. Well, I'm not witnessing the meteors myself and then noticing they aren't being captured. I usually set my camera up and go inside for 3 hours while it does its thing since it's so cold outside. :mrgreen: But yeah, I've been pleased with the output from ISO200 at 30 seconds in terms of number of stars visible, low noise, and quality of the sky color. My goal was to hopefully come away with some star trail shots that had a meteor streaking across. That just hasn't been the case yet.

I suppose I could play with a higher iso and shorter exposure to come away with about the same overall effect while increasing the chances of catching some faint meteors.

To give you an idea of what I'm working with, here's a still shot and then a composite from a recent shoot. You can see how the composite clearly showed planes, so it was sensitive enough for that at least. (Ignore the faded end of the star trails and glow at the bottom. The lens started to fog up after about an hour.) :o

Single exposure:

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/png' | Byte size: ZERO


Composite:

IMAGE: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4088/5202921919_f56f8ca4d4_b.jpg

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Bollan
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Dec 17, 2010 16:35 |  #13

marubozo wrote in post #11346366 (external link)
Thanks. Well, I'm not witnessing the meteors myself and then noticing they aren't being captured. I usually set my camera up and go inside for 3 hours while it does its thing since it's so cold outside. :mrgreen: But yeah, I've been pleased with the output from ISO200 at 30 seconds in terms of number of stars visible, low noise, and quality of the sky color. My goal was to hopefully come away with some star trail shots that had a meteor streaking across. That just hasn't been the case yet.

I suppose I could play with a higher iso and shorter exposure to come away with about the same overall effect while increasing the chances of catching some faint meteors.

To give you an idea of what I'm working with, here's a still shot and then a composite from a recent shoot. You can see how the composite clearly showed planes, so it was sensitive enough for that at least. (Ignore the faded end of the star trails and glow at the bottom. The lens started to fog up after about an hour.) :o

Well one thing is for sure, to capture a meteor at ISO 200 is next to impossible. That ISO is way to low to capture anything but the brightest stars. Also it doesnt matter how long your exposure time is (apart from creating a nice star filled sky and eventual foreground) when it comes to the actual capture of the the meteor.

Of course you increase your chances with longer exposures but the only way the meteor will show up on your frame is working with very high ISO. The problem with meteors is that most of them are so fast and emits very little light for just a fraction of a second. The only way to capture those is going really high in ISO.

To think about noise really comes into the second plane when shooting meteors. First objective is to actually capture them and you will have loads of noise in the images which can be cleaned to a certain extent in post processing.

I would say even 1600 is on the low end to get a good result (only exception if you use an F/1.4 lens). Most wide angle lenses have F/2.8 or smaller so 3200 or 6400 will increase your chances big time.

Wally Pacholca who is one of the best wide field astrophotographers i know of have some excellent shots on his web http://astropics.com/i​ndex.html (external link).

His meteor gallery is here http://astropics.com/m​eteor-pictures.html (external link)

If you look through all his amazing shots you'll notice how much noise is present but still one hardly take any notice of the noise if youre not peeping for it of course.



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Bollan
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Dec 17, 2010 16:39 |  #14

rpmaurer wrote in post #11341988 (external link)
Well i dont have a bulb setting, max i can go is 15 sec... my 15sec shutter is followed by a 15sec pause between pictures.. I can have it take ten at a time...

If you turn off the in camera noise reduction you will eliminate that 15 sec pause after each shot.



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marubozo
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Dec 17, 2010 17:06 |  #15

Thanks. I was actually able to capture about a dozen or so meteors last week with the meteor shower. ISO 1600 and 20 second exposures did the trick.


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Meteor troubles, PLEASE HELP!
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