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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk 
Thread started 02 Mar 2014 (Sunday) 22:42
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Aurora lens for 6D: Samyang 14/2.8 or something else?

 
MalVeauX
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Mar 13, 2014 13:04 |  #16

xarqi wrote in post #16730353 (external link)
I may get a chance to tick off a "bucket-list" item within a month, that is, to see the aurora. Of course, I wouldn't mind getting some decent images too, and I'm prepared to spend some money on the project; hundreds, but not thousands.

I'll be using my 6D, but as for lenses, the most appropriate I have is the 24-105/4. I'm wondering if the Samyang 14/2.8 represents the best alternative without spending a small fortune.

I'm sorted for support with my Gitzo Explorer, and I can use my android phone for remote control to avoid shake.

So, will the 24-105 do the job, possibly by cranking up the ISO, or should I spring for the Samyang, or is there another option I should consider?

Thanks.

Heya,

You can just use the 24-105 at F4. Unless you just want to buy an ultrawide. If you want an ultrawide, maybe look at the 14mm F2.8, a whole stop faster on the aperture which is a full stop advantage. And stops of light are what night astro/sky photography are all about. I'd start there. Otherwise, use the 24mm end of the 24-105 at F4. Even though it's F4, it's only 1 stop slower than F2.8. So you can make up for that with ISO on the 6D. The 6D handles ISO like a champion, so going from 1600 to 3200 or higher is not a big deal. You won't even notice the noise likely. You could even do this shot at 12800 ISO without too much worry. 15~25 seconds of exposure time, F4, ISO 1600~12800 depending on exposure that you want (do a test shot and see, add ISO until you get the range you want exposure wise).

So bottom line:

Zero money spent, add ISO for free. This is the 6D advantage.

$400 spent on a new lens. F2.8. One stop of light advantage. If you do this, you're just going down on ISO by 1 stop depending on which lens you select, for the same exposure basically. Or reducing shutter time 1 stop. And of course a wider angle.

Very best,


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Ginga
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Mar 13, 2014 13:13 |  #17

The Samyang 14 is excellent for auroras!


Sony A7R * 70-200 2.8L II * 24-70L II * Samyang 14
Recently sold: 5DIII * Sigma 35 *

  
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xarqi
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Mar 13, 2014 16:05 |  #18

I've decided that if the trip goes ahead, I'll make do with what I have, the 24-105. One of the deciding factors was the realisation that even if all of the pieces fall into place and I am a witness to a display, given that I'll be only at mid-latitude, I don't think I can expect the whole-sky displays that are so dramatic, and 24 may well be wide enough for the job. If not, and I fill the 24 mm frame with aurora, with more to spare, then I'll be ecstatic!

Others have suggested, rightly, that if I wanted a super-wide for the future, either for astro work or otherwise, now would be a good time. Well, back in the days of 35 mm film, my widest lens was 24 mm and I never had problems for the type of images I wanted to make; same has been true since moving to digital, with 15 or 18 being wide enough on APS-C and 24 on FF. If I lived in a dark-sky area, or had more than a postage stamp's worth of open sky, then there could be a bit more temptation.

Hiring isn't really an option. The cost would be about half that of purchase, so purchase and resale would be the only non-permanent solution, something I'd consider if some truly compelling arguments are made.

So, that's it. It'll be in about 3 weeks, if it happens, with another chance a month later if things fall through.

Thanks for all the advice. I'll report back with pics if my 1% chance pays off.




  
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xarqi
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Mar 31, 2014 22:09 |  #19

OK - I'm in Tekapo for a week, hopefully. The sun gave a minor burp yesterday, so maybe there'll be some action, if the 50%+ cloud cover doesn't get in the way.

Now, can someone help me with this: most of what I read about space conditions that favour auroral displays says that the Bz component must be directed S, or negative, but is that just for the Aurora Borealis? Should I be hoping for the Bz to move N or +ve to see the Aurora Australis?




  
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catclaw
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Apr 08, 2014 19:20 |  #20
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You really need to be in a different location. I don't think you're going to get good Aurora in Tekapo. I went to Fairbanks Alaska and had a great showing. We're kind of out of peak aurora season now.


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xarqi
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Apr 08, 2014 22:35 |  #21

catclaw wrote in post #16820035 (external link)
You really need to be in a different location. I don't think you're going to get good Aurora in Tekapo. I went to Fairbanks Alaska and had a great showing. We're kind of out of peak aurora season now.

Unfortunately I was limited to places I could get to without leaving the country. Tekapo isn't ideal, for sure, but it was the best compromise available, being dark, fairly far south, and with a reputation for clear skies, and not too remote.

If things had gone differently, I might have been in a hot pool in Iceland, but, well, they didn't.

I have two more nights here, but I can't stay longer. The moon is past first quarter now, and it's time to be heading home, with or without any aurora images, mental or digital.




  
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Aurora lens for 6D: Samyang 14/2.8 or something else?
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