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Old Feb 27, 2010, 1:37 PM   #11
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Spy, I am a big fan of your artistry in your photos. Each one I see creates a sense of inspiration and clearly demonstrates your talent. Thanks for posting your link and the article!!
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 10:02 AM   #12
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Yep. I'm resurrecting this thread. I plan to go up north tonight for a trial sky shot. I need to be good for Aug 7/8 when I'll be out overnite so I'll grab some of the Perseid meteor shower (I hope).

I've read a lot, now I'm filled with uncertainty. I do know I'm doing a lot of work so I'd like to give myself a chance to get something. Where I'm going is usually so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face. Tonight is a full moon, but I'll point away from it. Don't know if that'll work tho!

So I've written my plan. I'm hoping for suggestions. Particularly on the BOLD items. I think I'll do a set at ISO400 and another set at ISO1600. If i get time, I'll even do another at ISO3200. Maybe too ambitious. We'll see. Please take a look.
thanks...
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 12:26 PM   #13
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Hey Frank, glad you've "resurrected" this thread! I read your notes in the attachment and have a few things to suggest.

1] I don't know the sony product line so I'd suggest seeing if you can rent a wide angle 2.8 lens for your outing.

2] If you use any of the Adobe cs3/4 or 5 programs, you will have no need to take dark frame shots. The purpose of taking these shots is to eliminate sensor "hot spots" during your post processing. However, the Adobe cs programs automatically take these spots out when Camera Raw opens the images.

3] Shoot in RAW. You need as much pixel information as you can get when doing your post edits.

4] Aperture - As wide as possible. 2.8 is ideal - look at renting this lens. If your widest is f4 then that will work as well for "star trails". Getting Milky Way Galaxy shots will not work as well.

5] 60 seconds is too long if your after that crisp Milky Way shot. 30 seconds max is as long as you should shoot before noticing earths rotation. If you want to have long star trails then shoot off 150 30 second images and "stack" them using that star trails program and set your ISO's to around 800. Any more and your trails will look too busy.

6] Your example of "ISO 100 @ 4 minutes at f4 is fine if your exposing your shot of a light on a lamp post in the distance but it won't work for stars because they move, the lamp post doesn't. Stars are very dim to begin with and setting the ISO's to 100 is saying, 'I know they're dim and I don't want them any brighter'.

The thing to remember is that as light crosses each pixel on your sensor, the ISO's determine how bright that light is. If you can imagine just how small each pixel is on your sensor reading the light as it moves across it, a moving star takes just mili seconds to cross pixels so you don't have 4 minutes of exposure time to get your stars right...you only have seconds.

If you consider a 4 minute shot,...4 minutes at the end of that exposure will do nothing for the beginning shot of those moving stars. But it will for a stationary lamp post. Yes?

So now that you only have seconds to get your exposure right, bump that ISO up to 1600 for 25-30 seconds and see how it looks.

Hope this helps.

Kevin

Last edited by spy; Jul 26, 2010 at 12:30 PM.
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 12:57 PM   #14
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Default OK.

Ok again.
I have a 2.8 zoom. I'll use it. I'll shoot raw&jpeg. I'll take your advice and shoot two sets: one at ISO800 - 30 sec exposure and another at ISO1600 - same exposure. After each shot, the LCD will show me a review for a couple of seconds. I'll peer at a few. I'll take 30 or exposures for each set.

This exercise is to prep for the meteors. I don't have Adobe so I'll just take some dark frames. That'll be the easiest part of this anyway.

Thanks for your suggestions and I'll post a follow-up tomorrow. Hopefully, at least one pic will be presentable.

Really what I want to get in the end is an avi putting a long set together showing star moving across the sky and once in a while a meteor. I'm not sure how that will work if the meteor is only in 1 frame, but we'll see how it goes.
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 1:12 PM   #15
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I wouldn't use a zoom. Go wide angle. If f4 is all you have then make the best of it.

Good luck.
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 1:31 PM   #16
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Default just to clarify

Quote:
Originally Posted by spy View Post
I wouldn't use a zoom. Go wide angle. .
I needn't have used the term "zoom". A bit misleading. I have the sigma 1770 f2.8 zoom. I'll use it at f2.8 17mm (with 1.5 crop sensor in the Sony).
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Old Jul 26, 2010, 2:00 PM   #17
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Ok, gottcha.
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 5:46 PM   #18
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Default First attempt

I tried. Full moon. Trees in the way. Dew all over the camera. So, a learning experience. Exposure seems Ok. I can get multiple shots no sweat. I use a short tripod, steady enough. The only issue was dew caused the lens to steam up. I know there's volumes of literature on that problem. So I'll read up and try again. Here's a sample before I packed it in. This was a 20 second exposure. I took some 30s also.
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 6:32 PM   #19
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Before I read this, a few days ago I took my first celestial shot (besides the usual moon shot in the past). Here is the Big Dipper. Why is the sky brown? Also how do you get celestial colors and still have the stars nice and sharp instead of short lines. Now Im betting as I write this that my answers are in your article here which Im going to start reading now.
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Old Jul 27, 2010, 6:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
Before I read this, a few days ago I took my first celestial shot (besides the usual moon shot in the past). Here is the Big Dipper. Why is the sky brown? Also how do you get celestial colors and still have the stars nice and sharp instead of short lines. Now Im betting as I write this that my answers are in your article here which Im going to start reading now.
Difference? iso1600, shutter 20 sec, f2.8 Big. Why yours was brown? I used daylight wb. I don't have what you used in front of me right now. But I see your exposure was way way shorter. and you had gain up a little. you might try my setup document and fix it up for you so you'll be able to get consistent results. i'll add the word version so others can edit it to suit themselves.
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Last edited by frank-in-toronto; Jul 27, 2010 at 6:44 PM.
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