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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 04 Jul 2008 (Friday) 23:33
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Northern lights

 
kdvincent
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Jul 04, 2008 23:33 |  #1

Who might have experience with pictures of the Northern Lights. What lens, what exposure or other info??
I will be in Fairbanks in October or November.

Thanks,
Keith

Using a 30D (unles I win the lottery then a 1DsIII)


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ArcticShooter
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Jul 05, 2008 12:26 |  #2

kdvincent wrote in post #5851409 (external link)
Who might have experience with pictures of the Northern Lights. What lens, what exposure or other info??
)

You need the 10-22mm and the fish-eye can be cool.
Exposure most not be over 30s otherwise your stars will become oval.

I mostly use ISO 400-800 and from 8-20s. Can't wait for the winter to try out my new 40D :)

Bring lots of freshly charged batteries, a steady tripod and a remote trigger.
Remove the UV filter since you might get halos

http://www.flickr.com/​photos/8231799@N06/708​396051/ (external link)

This pictures was taken with the 350D and the kit lens. Think it was 13s with high ISO. But I've never seen a brighter light. It was going from pitch dark to the power of 3 full moons in just seconds. So you have to be ready to shoot. Don't use the built in NR, since you might miss some great shots waiting for the NR to finish processing.

Check out the images to my favorite northern light photographer:
http://foto.no …gi?brukerid=270​7&nomenus= (external link)

Here you just click on the thumbs and he have put some of the EXIF in the info.
It is all in Norwegian but you will understand the f-stops and time.

Hope this will help you some in getting started.

/H


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kdvincent
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Jul 05, 2008 22:57 as a reply to  @ ArcticShooter's post |  #3

Thanks Helge,
I understand your information. However, what is NR that you refered to?
Keith


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CamDiver
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Jul 06, 2008 00:09 |  #4

Noise Reduction, as a guess


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Nordly
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Jul 06, 2008 01:27 |  #5

Sounds like you're in tough with the 1.6x sensor. I just came back from a month in Norway through Dec/Jan and shot with a 20D & Sigma 10-20 f/4. Not brilliant. I did get some keepers, but you'll need to hope for a very high level of activity with that slow of a lens. I generally shot ISO 800 on average (give or take depending on activity level) and used shutter speeds between 40-60 seconds at 10mm (avoiding star trails).

Helge offers some very good advice above - especially with regards to not using the in camera noise reduction. Those are the longest seconds of your life while you have a good show overhead. I know it'll be a little long, but I wonder how you'd be with the 30D & 28 1.8, or Sigma 30 1.4 - both decently priced and they'll be nice and fast so you can keep your shutter speeds under 10 seconds!

I've since picked up the 5D and will get the 24 f1.4 before I go back this Winter. My advice - tripod, stick a filter on the front of your lens as it'll frost up. (I was shooting in up to -25C) and that can't be good for your front element. Bring a cloth to clean the frost off with and just experiment. Don't forget to take your hands off your camera and just enjoy her though too... the Aurora is an amazing girl!

Sorry, Keith, I forgot to add a link to my Aurora Borealis set on Flickr - take a peek, if only for the sake of EXIF on the different conditions.. http://flickr.com …n/sets/72157603​987793376/ (external link)




  
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ArcticShooter
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Jul 06, 2008 03:29 |  #6

CamDiver wrote in post #5856990 (external link)
Noise Reduction, as a guess

Yes, that is correct.
And one more, shoot with RAW or RAW+JPEG.
The image will mostly need some adjustments


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John_TX
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Jul 07, 2008 00:03 as a reply to  @ ArcticShooter's post |  #7

On the 40D, which would be the better lens for shooting the aurora? I would assume as fast as possible.
Canon 17-40L f/4, Canon 17-55IS f/2.8, or Tokina 11-16 f/2.8?


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kdvincent
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Jul 07, 2008 11:41 |  #8

Thanks for the information.
I don't care what every else says about you guy.... you are a big help;)

I liked looking at the attached pic's. I hope I will have as good of luck.
Keith


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ArcticShooter
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Jul 07, 2008 12:12 |  #9

John_TX wrote in post #5862881 (external link)
On the 40D, which would be the better lens for shooting the aurora? I would assume as fast as possible.
Canon 17-40L f/4, Canon 17-55IS f/2.8, or Tokina 11-16 f/2.8?

I guess that the Tokina will do the trick. I will try out my Canon EF-S 10-22 for the next aurora season. Hopefully the noise will be less than on my 350d.


Helge
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John_TX
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Jul 07, 2008 18:19 |  #10

Helge Mortensen wrote in post #5865638 (external link)
I guess that the Tokina will do the trick. I will try out my Canon EF-S 10-22 for the next aurora season. Hopefully the noise will be less than on my 350d.

What have you been shooting the aurora with? Specifically, what f-stop & exposure lengths have you been using?


5D4 | 5D3 | 16-35 f4 IS | 24-105 f4 IS | 70-200 f4 IS | 100-400 II | Sigma 20 f/1.4 ART | Sigma 35 f/1.4 ART | EF 1.4x III | EF 2x II | 430EX II |

  
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Northern lights
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