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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Astronomy & Celestial 
Thread started 20 Oct 2011 (Thursday) 11:46
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Milkyway nightscapes

 
TCampbell
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Post edited over 2 years ago by TCampbell.
     
Mar 13, 2016 13:59 |  #2821

rndman wrote in post #17933665 (external link)
This is really nice.
So what I understand is

1. the aperture should be at least f/4 if not larger
2. Should be away from city lights and a moonless night
3. 25s (or max 30s) exposure
4. Widest focal length possible.
5. You must stack the images. (Is this really necessary?)

Is 40mm f/2.8 or 50mm f/1.8 preferred to 24-105 f4?

If your camera is on a stationary tripod, then the stars will elongate due to the rotation of the Earth. This is
(a) why you want to collect as much light as you can in a short amount of time (and that's why low focal ratio lenses are a huge benefit)
(b) you want to use a very short focal length (ultra-wide angle) because it takes longer to notice the rotation at very wide angles.

As for the exposure length, divide the focal length of your lens into 600 if using a full-frame camera or divide 600 by your crop factor and divide into that (you could also just multiply your focal length by the crop-factor of your sensor and divide that result into 600. That gives you the number of seconds you can likely expose without the stars appearing to elongate in your images and grow star trails.

Both 40 and 50mm focal lengths would be very long if you are on a stationary tripod. E.g. even if you had a full-frame body with a 40mm lens then you'd only get 15 seconds. On an APS-C crop-frame body it's just shy of 10 seconds. That's not very long so you'd need to crank the ISO up (and that means more noise.)

If, on the other hand, you had a 10mm lens... or maybe the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8... a 10mm on an APS-C body is 37 seconds (you might be able to push that to 40 if you wanted) or the 14mm would get you about 27 seconds (and you might be able to push that to 30). Some imagers are bit more conservative round down just to make sure they don't have any elongation on the stars.

If you have a tracking head, you can go as long as you want BUT... if there's landscape in the image then the land is going to blur. Also if you have a tracking head you can take lots of images and that allows you to stack. Stacking has lots of advantages w.r.t. to noise suppression and also the ability to suppress things that only show up in one frame (satellite trails, aircraft trails, etc. can all disappear if you take enough frames and then use a sigma clipping algorithm to stack because the pixels where the trails show up become outliers and the stacking algorithm is smart enough to realize that it should reject outliers.)

If you want a landscape shot with Milky Way then you're better off looking for a very short focal ratio lens. I use a Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L IS II... but that's an expensive lens. The Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 is MUCH more affordable (I think the Rokinon, Samyang, and Bower 14mm f/2.8 lenses are actually all the same lens with different branding.)

This is what happens to the foreground when using a tracking head on a long exposure (I thought I had posted this previously, but now that I'm looking for it, I can't find it):


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The camera is angled because this was just a test (I didn't care about the land) and I'm framing for the Orion constellation in the center of the frame (I switched to a 135mm f/2 lens to get much greater detail in that area after aligning the head.)

This was an 8 minute exposure at f/10 but I am using an f/2.8 lens. Had I shot this at f/2.8 it would only have needed to be 40 seconds long to get the equivalent exposure.

I took this shot in January in Science City on Haleakala in Maui. BTW, the observatory you see in the foreground (blurred) is this one: http://www.universetod​ay.com …es-atop-hawaiian-volcano/ (external link) The observatory is still under construction at the time of this image.

The star just above the observatory dome is Sirius (in Canis Major - the "Big Dog")... apart from the Sun that's the brightest star in the sky. It's not technically a particularly bright star ... it's just a little brighter than average but it is particularly close (only about 8 light years away) so it "seems" really bright to us. In the bottom center of frame is Procyon (in Canis Minor - the "Little Dog"). In the extreme lower left corner are Pollux and Castor (the Gemini twins). Pollux is the lower and slightly yellower of the two. Castor is higher but farther left in the frame and it's also slightly bluer. Near the top edge (left half of the image) is Aledberan (in Taurus) - the red angry-eye of Taurus the bull. Roughly near the center, the bright yellowish star is Betelgeuse (in Orion) - a red-giant star that is expected to go supernova soon (likely within the next thousand years). In this image Orion is laying on it's side. To the right you can see the three stars of Orion's belt (from bottom-to-top they are Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka) and Orion's "sword" region where the brightest point in that area is not a single star... it's the Orion nebula -- which is why it looks a little fuzzy.) Slightly above and to the right of the nebula is Orion's knee ... the bright blue star Rigel.



  
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pdxbenedetti
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Post edited over 2 years ago by pdxbenedetti.
     
Mar 19, 2016 15:43 |  #2822

Damn near froze myself solid getting the shots for this one, it was 13 degrees up in the Uinta Mountains (Utah) when I finished up, but I told myself this year I wasn't going to pass up any opportunities to go out shooting if the skies were clear. So I sucked it up and threw all my gear in the car at 2 am, drove an hour into the mountains, and shot for 3 hours. Luckily I had ~40 minutes of dark sky after the moon set and before the sun started coming up:

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1601/25281360904_6c08231219_b.jpg


This is a 8 shot pano, 4 shots for the sky with my Nikon D600 and Rokinon 24mm f1.4 on the iOptron Skytracker mount, then I turned off the mount and shot 4 images for the foreground. Unfortunately the foreground shots were taken as the sky was really starting to get light so I had a hell of a time blending the transition between the pine trees on the left and the sky (each exposure was 2.5 minutes so by the time I got to imaging those trees it had been nearly 30 minutes). This is something I really need to work on this year since I'm using the skytracker so much now.

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RedHeart
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Mar 19, 2016 17:22 |  #2823

Awesome work, Eric! The MW looks nice!




  
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NCHANT
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Pekka with reason 'fixed img url'.
     
Mar 20, 2016 06:16 |  #2824

pdxbenedetti wrote in post #17940971 (external link)
Damn near froze myself solid getting the shots for this one, it was 13 degrees up in the Uinta Mountains (Utah) when I finished up, but I told myself this year I wasn't going to pass up any opportunities to go out shooting if the skies were clear. So I sucked it up and threw all my gear in the car at 2 am, drove an hour into the mountains, and shot for 3 hours. Luckily I had ~40 minutes of dark sky after the moon set and before the sun started coming up:

QUOTED IMAGE

This is a 8 shot pano, 4 shots for the sky with my Nikon D600 and Rokinon 24mm f1.4 on the iOptron Skytracker mount, then I turned off the mount and shot 4 images for the foreground. Unfortunately the foreground shots were taken as the sky was really starting to get light so I had a hell of a time blending the transition between the pine trees on the left and the sky (each exposure was 2.5 minutes so by the time I got to imaging those trees it had been nearly 30 minutes). This is something I really need to work on this year since I'm using the skytracker so much now.

Wow totally worth it! Excellent shot :)

Finally got to test out the Tamron 35mm ƒ1.8 lens in the weekend :)

View at 35mm:

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1648/25807337312_3ee864266d_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Fjvm​gA  (external link) E.T (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr

6 shot panorama:

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1452/25300039633_82c6262145_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ExFj​kT  (external link) E.T 2 (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr

6D | 600D | A6000 | 10-22mm ƒ3.5-4.5 USM | 24-105mm ƒ4L USM | TM 35mm ƒ1.8 VC | 40mm ƒ2.8 STM | 50mm ƒ1.8 | 85mm ƒ1.8 | 135mm ƒ2L | 200mm ƒ2.8L II | 55-250 ƒ4.5-5.6 II | Sy 24mm ƒ1.4 | Sy XP 14mm ƒ2.4
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NCHANT
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Mar 20, 2016 16:09 |  #2825

3 shot composite (2 for the sky panorama and 1 for the foreground):

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1514/25310054504_193787ccb0_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EyyD​q5  (external link) 'El Campitan' (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr

6D | 600D | A6000 | 10-22mm ƒ3.5-4.5 USM | 24-105mm ƒ4L USM | TM 35mm ƒ1.8 VC | 40mm ƒ2.8 STM | 50mm ƒ1.8 | 85mm ƒ1.8 | 135mm ƒ2L | 200mm ƒ2.8L II | 55-250 ƒ4.5-5.6 II | Sy 24mm ƒ1.4 | Sy XP 14mm ƒ2.4
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virginie24jb
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Post edited over 2 years ago by virginie24jb.
     
Mar 20, 2016 16:42 |  #2826

Spectacular, as always! Really liking the longer lenses more and more for those shots.
I got myself the Samyang 24mm 1.4 recently. I haven't had the opportunity to test it yet. No clear sky... :-( I'm so impatient!


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pdxbenedetti
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Mar 20, 2016 18:21 as a reply to  @ NCHANT's post |  #2827

Coma looks really good on this lens, have you shot it wide open yet? Not sure what it is with these semi-wideangle lenses and the crazy chromatic aberration.


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rezcar
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Mar 21, 2016 20:53 |  #2828

A quick one from the other night

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1456/25853638132_011e3d4a91_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/FoAD​TA  (external link) Gaaaaaarrrrrr! (external link) by owen yano (external link), on Flickr

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pdxbenedetti
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Mar 21, 2016 22:39 |  #2829

Ha, awesome composition, where was that taken?


Not sure how everyone feels about star trail pictures, I hardly ever make them (not really my thing), but I thought I'd try using some of the frames from a timelapse I did the other night/morning. I used the very first image for the foreground since the moon was still up and lit everything very well. Then I used the middle 50 frames to stack and create the star trails (total exposure ~25 minutes).


IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1602/25855307342_aab3517879_b.jpg

Each frame taken with my Nikon D7000 and Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens, 30 second exposures, ISO 1600, f2.8, 11mm. Edited in Lightroom and Photoshop, the stacking was done with StarStax.

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NCHANT
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Mar 21, 2016 22:43 |  #2830

pdxbenedetti wrote in post #17942282 (external link)
Coma looks really good on this lens, have you shot it wide open yet? Not sure what it is with these semi-wideangle lenses and the crazy chromatic aberration.

Yeah it's not too bad at ƒ1.8, still sharp but coma and CA is noticeable.

virginie24jb wrote in post #17942174 (external link)
Spectacular, as always! Really liking the longer lenses more and more for those shots.
I got myself the Samyang 24mm 1.4 recently. I haven't had the opportunity to test it yet. No clear sky... :-( I'm so impatient!

Thanks! Oh you will love that lens once you have stretched it's legs :)

A new creation:

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1511/25343403364_097a2498e5_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EBvy​Sq  (external link) 'Night Fury' (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr

6D | 600D | A6000 | 10-22mm ƒ3.5-4.5 USM | 24-105mm ƒ4L USM | TM 35mm ƒ1.8 VC | 40mm ƒ2.8 STM | 50mm ƒ1.8 | 85mm ƒ1.8 | 135mm ƒ2L | 200mm ƒ2.8L II | 55-250 ƒ4.5-5.6 II | Sy 24mm ƒ1.4 | Sy XP 14mm ƒ2.4
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rezcar
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Mar 21, 2016 23:39 |  #2831

pdxbenedetti wrote in post #17943913 (external link)
Ha, awesome composition, where was that taken?


Not sure how everyone feels about star trail pictures, I hardly ever make them (not really my thing), but I thought I'd try using some of the frames from a timelapse I did the other night/morning. I used the very first image for the foreground since the moon was still up and lit everything very well. Then I used the middle 50 frames to stack and create the star trails (total exposure ~25 minutes).


QUOTED IMAGE

Each frame taken with my Nikon D7000 and Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens, 30 second exposures, ISO 1600, f2.8, 11mm. Edited in Lightroom and Photoshop, the stacking was done with StarStax.

Thanks, that was at Anza-Borrego NP.

I like star trails, I've never had the MW show up as clear as yours did tho.


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Mar 26, 2016 06:27 as a reply to  @ NCHANT's post |  #2832

@NCHANT...

I have to say I find your shots very inspiring... so much so I have just bought a 6D to replace my trusty 50D/24mm f2.8 pancake setup I have been using for starry pics...

I have got a Samyang 24mm f1.4 on its way as I can't use the EF-S 24mm on the 6D but have seen good reviews concerning the Sigma 24mm f1.4 ART and wondered if you have an opinion of this over the Samyang at all as the reviews suggest its sharper at the edges than the Samyang wide open and overall IQ appears to be better...

I'd rather buy the right lens now than later

<tuffty/>




  
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ptcanon3ti
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Mar 26, 2016 12:37 |  #2833

NCHANT wrote in post #17943922 (external link)
Yeah it's not too bad at ƒ1.8, still sharp but coma and CA is noticeable.

Thanks! Oh you will love that lens once you have stretched it's legs :)

A new creation:

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/EBvy​Sq  (external link) 'Night Fury' (external link) by Mikey Mack (external link), on Flickr


That is one heck of a composite Mike! You have the patience of Job and equal skill!


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pdxbenedetti
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Post edited over 2 years ago by pdxbenedetti. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 26, 2016 18:42 |  #2834

tuffty wrote in post #17949187 (external link)
@NCHANT...

I have to say I find your shots very inspiring... so much so I have just bought a 6D to replace my trusty 50D/24mm f2.8 pancake setup I have been using for starry pics...

I have got a Samyang 24mm f1.4 on its way as I can't use the EF-S 24mm on the 6D but have seen good reviews concerning the Sigma 24mm f1.4 ART and wondered if you have an opinion of this over the Samyang at all as the reviews suggest its sharper at the edges than the Samyang wide open and overall IQ appears to be better...

I'd rather buy the right lens now than later

<tuffty/>

Before I bought my Rokinon 24mm I did a bunch of research and what I saw was that the Rokinon is significantly better than the Sigma 24mm and the Canon or Nikon 24mm lenses. The coma on the Sigma/Canon/Nikon lenses is really poor, especially wide open, you basically have to shoot at f3-f4 to get acceptable levels of coma which defeats the purpose of the lens unless you are using a tracker. Plus the Rokinon is cheaper than all the others, I'd recommend getting it over any of the other 24mm f1.4 lenses.

The Sigma Art 35mm f1.4 is probably the best overall lens for full frame cameras, it collects the most light and has fantastic coma control. It's bizarre that the 35mm f1.4 is so good and the 24mm f1.4 is so poor.


Finally got around to processing a bunch of the timelapse shots I had taken the last few weekends, poor together a short clip of what I've done so far this year:

(make sure you set the quality to 1080p)


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NCHANT
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Mar 26, 2016 23:36 |  #2835

^ What he said :)

I haven't tried the Sigma 24mm lens at all, and to be honest I am so happy with the Samyang that I won't bother buying another one, unless reviews absolutely blow the SY out of the water.

I do however, really enjoy using the Tamron 35mm ƒ1.8 lens, that one is pretty darn good!


6D | 600D | A6000 | 10-22mm ƒ3.5-4.5 USM | 24-105mm ƒ4L USM | TM 35mm ƒ1.8 VC | 40mm ƒ2.8 STM | 50mm ƒ1.8 | 85mm ƒ1.8 | 135mm ƒ2L | 200mm ƒ2.8L II | 55-250 ƒ4.5-5.6 II | Sy 24mm ƒ1.4 | Sy XP 14mm ƒ2.4
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