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Astro Advice

Discussion in 'General Photography Discussion' started by Pete15, May 19, 2017.

  1. Pete15

    Pete15 Premium Member

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    Weather permitting, I will be attempting shots of the Milky Way from a very dark vantage point in northern Vermont with the X-T2 and Rokinon 12mm f2.0 this weekend. I'd appreciate any and all advice that could help me fully utilize this rare visit to such a dark sky with a camera and lens bought to capture such events. I'm going to get some competition mountain biking during the day light hours too, with the 55-200mm, and am very excited to use the AF of the X-T2, having used the X-E1 last year.

    Pete
     
  2. ojporqpojrewpo

    ojporqpojrewpo Premium Member

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    The Rokinon is perfect for this.
    • Try to establish the infinity setting of the lens during the day
    • Start with ISO 3200, F2 and 30s
    • Have a tripod
    • Shoot RAW
    • Use the built-in timer to avoid shake or use intervalometer with bulb mode
    • Have fun!!!
     
  3. Pete15

    Pete15 Premium Member

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    Thank you. I've got an electronic cable release and sturdy tripod, and I was going to zero out all settings. Should I use noise reduction, and what's the max ISO I should max out at to get a manageable RAW image?
     
  4. ojporqpojrewpo

    ojporqpojrewpo Premium Member

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    From my experience ISO 3200 works well as a starting point. I have shot between 1600 and 6400. It depends on the light.
     
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  5. Jonny2773

    Jonny2773 Premium Member

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    I was hoping to do the same thing in the UK as I have just purchased the same 12mm lens except I'm pairing up with an iOptron Skytracker pro for the first time. I have shot astro in the past with my 18-55 and got reasonable results but by all accounts the Rokinon/Samyang is the right tool for the job.
    I also shoot mountain bike races and I find the 55-200 is just not quite as sharp as I would like it and sometimes a little slow to focus, this shouldn't cause too many issues as the XT-2 AF is pretty good and compensates but I think if you were thinking of doing this kind of photography often then the 50-140 is the lens of choice (next on my shopping list).

    Ive always shot ISO 3200 in the uk for my MW shots BTW
     
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  6. antiphotom

    antiphotom Member

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    Have a look at this:

    Please login or register to view links

    FnF
     
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  7. 5280Pics

    5280Pics Premium Member

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    I always try to keep my shots right around 20-25 seconds. Any more than that and you can start to see the movememt of the stars. Its not much but, it can help the overal photo look sharper.
     
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  8. HonoluluGator

    HonoluluGator Premium Member

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    Get a few Hot Hands and wrap them on the outside of the lens, use gaffers tape. Keeps the lens warm and prevents condensation on it.

    Set it to 2.o, 3200, 20-25 seconds and have it take a photo every minute all night long. Can then use software to stack images and reduce noise. If your really want to be fancy take a few shops through the night in same environment with same settings and then lens cap on to establish background noise. Once you get your hundreds of images, use free time on a rainy day to evaluate post processing and image stacking options through Google search.

    I agree, Lonely Speck a great place to start.

    ooops... almost forgot. Bring a headlight, make sure you have an interesting foreground or landscape, and experiment with illuminating the foreground with the headlight. A good starting point is a weak headlight and about 1/2 to one second of near foreground illumination and 2-3 seconds of mid foreground illumination during the 20-25 second exposure. I like to set the camera to take pictures automatically and then just experiment until I fall asleep.
     
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  9. shoessar

    shoessar Member

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    See two picture

    1) XT1 with 16mm

    2) X-T2 with 12mm Rokinon

    Parameters for both pictures:
    ISO 1600
    F2.8
    20sec

    * For 12mm Rokinon on X-T2 I am not 100% sure about parameters.

    IMO: XT1 has more dynamic range and better suited for time laps photography. Never gave any error. Insted X-T2 gave me error lots of time in time laps.

    Can't upload any picture via android
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  10. Juan Andres Tovar

    Juan Andres Tovar Premium Member

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    I'm glad this thread exists. I will go on my first astrophotography adventure tonight, hoping to capture the Milky Way and Antares.

    Will put into practice everyone's advice here and, if successful, share the resulting images with the group.
     
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  11. Juan Andres Tovar

    Juan Andres Tovar Premium Member

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    [​IMG]Milky Way + Scorpio + Saturn[/url] by Please login or register to view links, on Flickr[/IMG] OK, as promised, here's the result of following this thread's advice.

    Please login or register to view links by Please login or register to view links, on Flickr

    X-T20 + Rokinon 12mm ƒ2
    ISO 3200 / 25" / ƒ2.0 or 2.8
     
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  12. 5280Pics

    5280Pics Premium Member

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    Well done!
     
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  13. Juan Andres Tovar

    Juan Andres Tovar Premium Member

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    Thanks!
     
  14. Jonny2773

    Jonny2773 Premium Member

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    That's great and puts mine to shame

    Please login or register to view links
     
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  15. Juan Andres Tovar

    Juan Andres Tovar Premium Member

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    No way! That's a great shot that even has a mine. Besides stars I show just some dark clouds.

    The main difference I see is that my case I could do roughly half the exposure time because I went to a completely dark spot in the Utah desert + double the ISO.
     
  16. Jonny2773

    Jonny2773 Premium Member

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    Yours looks very natural and that's why i like it over mine.

    I was lucky and the light pollution gave the Milky Way the colour, however, there was a lot of processing in lightroom involved to take away the light pollution from the rest of the shot

    I used an iOptron skytraker which allowed me a 1 min exposure, without it I would of only managed 25 seconds max. I would have liked a 120 secs+ but due to the light pollution this wasn't possible.
    Hopefully when we get the next new moon we will also get clear skies and I can get to one of the only Dark Sky sites in the UK, but even then there will be some light pollution on the horizon.
     

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