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post #151 of 252
Why shoot at anything but maximum aperture? I mean, sometimes stepping down makes clearer/sharper stars but still, I'll much rather take the light.

I'm using a Canon 550D and my favorite lens at the moment is a Nikkor 24mm f2.8 AI-s, it's exceptionally sharp at f2.8. I usually shoot 1600 ISO at f2.8 or lower depends on the lens. This is my widest lens at the moment and can do 20sec exposures without getting trails.

Was thinking about buying that kit lens (18-55mm) but it's such a crap lens to use, the feel is so bad I can't really stand it, it is a cheap wide angle though. I think I'll save for the Samyang 14mm f2.8.

Took this the other day, really could use some post processing tips. It's just a single exposure, no flats, blacks or whites.

Megellanic Clouds....

Edited by ErOR - 10/25/12 at 6:05pm
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post #152 of 252
Thread Starter 
Nice to see this thread has some activity! Been busy with work and classes, so I haven't been on much.
post #153 of 252
i just got back (about 30 minutes ago) from a solar eclipse in Cairns. i got some nice shots, a lot of which need a bit of work. but here's some ones that came out pretty good just by themselves:
hope you enjoy thumb.gif
(I have never seen an eclipse before so my shots are average, was a little bit breath taken by the whole thing)
Heads up: These Pictures will kill your internet biggrin.gif

Full Eclipse, those blasted clouds!

Partial Eclipse after-woulds though a very ghetto filter. biggrin.gif
post #154 of 252
Anybody here who'd own the Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM? I have the weirdest feeling that it's nearly useless in astrophotography due to the enormous coma. I don't believe that's my problem though, because it should be quite sharp full open on the center at least, but when shooting at the Milky Way I get barely nothing, even on areas that subjectively to my eyes seem pitch black, far away from big cities or streetlights. The Milky Way is very very faint, too much so for an exposure stack to help. What do? I see other Finnish people shooting excellent photos on the same areas and I consider myself not a complete newbie. Doesn't matter what exposure time or ISO or aperture I use, it just seems like I'm unable to pull photons from the sky. Is it just the light pollution or possible high altitude clouds?
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post #155 of 252
Here is a eclipse shot from me, got lucky with the clouds. Had no ND filters and clouds helped me dim the light smile.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by seepra View Post

Anybody here who'd own the Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM? I have the weirdest feeling that it's nearly useless in astrophotography due to the enormous coma. I don't believe that's my problem though, because it should be quite sharp full open on the center at least, but when shooting at the Milky Way I get barely nothing, even on areas that subjectively to my eyes seem pitch black, far away from big cities or streetlights. The Milky Way is very very faint, too much so for an exposure stack to help. What do? I see other Finnish people shooting excellent photos on the same areas and I consider myself not a complete newbie. Doesn't matter what exposure time or ISO or aperture I use, it just seems like I'm unable to pull photons from the sky. Is it just the light pollution or possible high altitude clouds?

You say milky way is very faint, that's light pollution. In Auckland, NZ I can see the milky way pretty good and that's about 10km from the city center. A 30 second exposure at f2.8 really brings it out, and I can't wait till next year to do some more timelapses.

If it were thin clouds you could see them in your photos.

In this situation you should be looking to get a EQ mount that will track that way you can try some ~10min exposures and then stacking them.

Coma shouldn't be a problem, well the stars at the edges won't look great but it still doesn't mean that it will be bad for astrophotography. At f1.4 you should really be able to see something. What settings have you tried?

Have you done any post processing with the image?
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post #156 of 252
Nice eclipse shots. The only full-solar eclipse I've ever seen was in 1999, and I didn't have any camera gear at the time (well, one terrible camera and no gear for it).

As for me right now.... CLOUDS. CLOUDS EVERYWHERE.
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post #157 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErOR View Post

What settings have you tried?
Have you done any post processing with the image?
Nice eclipse shot!

I've tried f/1.4, exposure of 30s and ISO ranging from 800 to 6400. In the photos you can see the sky getting more orange/yellow as EV increases, stars overexposing to burnt points and yet the nebulae around Milky Way seem very faint no matter how drastically you adjust the curves to try pick up detail. You can get "something" into an exposure stack but it's very far removed from authentic looking material anymore. Other people get excellent photos with relatively minor adjustments with settings like f/2.8, 15s and ISO 800 so I guess that it's just the light pollution then, which is actually more enfuriating than workflow issues since the other I can do something about, argh.
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post #158 of 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by seepra View Post

Nice eclipse shot!
I've tried f/1.4, exposure of 30s and ISO ranging from 800 to 6400. In the photos you can see the sky getting more orange/yellow as EV increases, stars overexposing to burnt points and yet the nebulae around Milky Way seem very faint no matter how drastically you adjust the curves to try pick up detail. You can get "something" into an exposure stack but it's very far removed from authentic looking material anymore. Other people get excellent photos with relatively minor adjustments with settings like f/2.8, 15s and ISO 800 so I guess that it's just the light pollution then, which is actually more enfuriating than workflow issues since the other I can do something about, argh.

Cheers! biggrin.gif

Oh dam, yeah it really sounds like light pollution if you can't pick up the gas clouds.

Here is a map of light pollution levels, might be handy so you can see where you are at and where you need to go: http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/

Generally, if you can't make out the Milky Way with naked eyes then it's not dark enough.

Like I mentioned, getting a EQ tracking mount will let you do much longer exposures although there's a steep learning curve when it comes to that kind of astrophotography.
Adding a scope and then doing astrophotography is also a whole different can of worms, but fun and addictive.


This was taken with a 10mm fisheye, 25s at 1600ISO, showing of georgeous Orion and Pleiades.

Edited by ErOR - 11/18/12 at 9:38pm
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post #159 of 252
Nice shot, I don't get anything like this with f/1.4 and various settings. I don't believe an EQ track is in my nearby budget. I've seen a person take very vivid and beautiful photos with the Canon EOS 300D (6mpix, very very noisy), 10s, ISO 1600 f/3.5 of the ye olde kit lens. Now if I can't get any sort of data with 30s/15/10/5s, ISO 1600 and an aperture three times as big with a much less noisy EOS 550D.. yeah maybe it was a really even misty cloud layer, or light pollution.

Also, that map is of the US, I live in Finland. I managed to snatch a night-time globe pic somewhere, and I can almost decipher where it wouldn't be too bright, but it will be a stretch to just hike 400km North and I don't have a car. Oh well.
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post #160 of 252
I guess there were some beautiful Northern Lights visible from the top of Mt Washington last week. Had I known about it ahead of time, I might have tried to get up to the observatory (if you even can at night, unsure).
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