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Old Jan 23, 2014, 6:39 AM   #11
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I think it's all about keeping the camera steady and keeping the ISO low... a couple from my recent trip to Aruba.... with the E-PL2

Lumix 14mm f2.5 @ f4.0, ISO 200, exposure 2.5 seconds, resting on the dinner table at a restaurant called the old man and the sea, this is a private dining dock, although the night we were there it was kinda windy and not a good night to sit out on the dock


Old Man and The Sea by ramcewan, on Flickr

14-54mm @14mm and f6.3, ISO 200, exposure 1.6 seconds on a tripod


Hotel at Sunset by ramcewan, on Flickr
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 3:30 PM   #12
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If you do get to do some with it in the future please post one up here for me
Will do.

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This is the guy who inspires me to keep working on the Nightscape theme. I find there is something about this that hits me. Perhaps because I have always liked astronomy from a very early age (in my limited way).

http://www.mikesalway.com.au/np101-f...e-photography/
Ditto on the interest in Astronomy. I used to be quite active in the local Astronomy club. Served as president for awhile. Even though seeing can be better on crisp winter nights I'm more of a warm weather astronomer now. Thanks for the very informative link. Bookmarked for easy refferal when spring arrives.
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 6:49 PM   #13
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I love these.

Any general advice on how to get the starts to pop so nicely?
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Old Jan 23, 2014, 10:40 PM   #14
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I love these.

Any general advice on how to get the starts to pop so nicely?
You need a dark sky. Like folob suggested earlier, if it wasn't cold he would have walked to a different lake further away from the lights of the lodge. There are just as many stars above Dallas or Aruba but when exposing for the artificial light the stars don't have a chance. Play around next time you're camping in the country and you'll probably be surprised. Unlike our retinas that adsorb photons the sensor collects them so starlight can burn in. If done right you'll see more stars on an image than you will with the naked eye.

@folob- I hope you don't mind my playing with your photo. I thought it interesting we both captured the little constellation Delphinus, the Dolphin. The difference in size having to do with the different focal lengths. Difference in orientation/location has more to do with latitude, season and time of night. Nice photo.

EDIT- should add that even though there are as many stars over Dallas as there are over Aruba the light pollution of Dallas would keep them from being very visible even if you photographed from a shadow without artificial light in the FOV. Barring a power outage the visibility or photography of stars over Dallas is essentially gone. And speaking of light pollution, our good friend the moon makes for light pollution however natural it may be. If you're going to shoot stars check your calendar and head out on a new moon weekend.
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Old Jan 24, 2014, 8:23 AM   #15
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Not to mention that in my part of the country we can expect solid cloud cover from now until about Mid-March or so. :/
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 7:30 AM   #16
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"My God it's full of stars !"
The sci-fi quote comes to mind from some of the images

Just got back from a long weekend. Inspired by the thread and your pictures posted, I tried the E-520 some more.
I can do OK with persistence, but nothing at all like Mike Salway's images. Got have something to aim for I guess...

Here's two of the better ones I took.
To get decent amounts of stars from the E-520 with minimal noise I find I have to use quite a long exposure time, minimum 10 seconds, to say 30 seconds maximum, and use only up to 400 ISO and no higher. When I do try higher I find the image has about a dozen os so hot noise bands (red tinged) horizontally across the frame, even with only 10s exposures. So the E-520 limits my ISO range a lot.
I don't have a fast wide landscape lens so I make do with a stock Oly 14-42mm, at F/3.5 on the 14mm end.

I'd like to show up more stars than this photo, as there was a lot more visible than that on the night.
The night was full dark with no moon, 120km distant from the city as well. A couple of local lights and a car in the distance was all that was around.
I 'painted' the grassy paddock foreground with a pocket flash-light halfway through the exposure. Just a brief pan of the flash-light, then off again.
[exposure F/3.5, 400 ISO, 20s]

The second image is a long exposure across a 3km bay where the beach shack we stay at is located. The lights are the houses across the bay.
Took that shot with my best lens, 50-200mm F2.8 Oly (non SWD). It's been cropped slightly.
Gathers more light for sure. Star shot with this lens are better, but of course the field of view is smaller too.
[exposure F/3.0, 400 ISO, 10s]

Might need to get me a fast'ish landscape lens (on a mid range budget or used unit) before a body upgrade. For Nightscapes an old manual focus prime on an adapter would work ok perhaps too ?
Food for thought...
Martin
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 8:25 AM   #17
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I think you have a bigger problem with your E-520 (read its sensor) than the lens. You might want to take a look to a used or new E-M5 before investing in more lense(s).
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 10:48 PM   #18
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Pretty good in my book. You got some stars in the 1st image (not to mention the nice light painting of the grass) Also dig the glitter paths on image two.

Found this article (posted today) just by chance. The guy does an excellent job explaining how to select a great lens for landscape astrophotography. As you might expect, there are trade-offs. After reading this at least you'll know what those trade-offs are and whether you already have the right lens in your arsenal. http://goo.gl/MvOauN
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Old Jan 30, 2014, 7:36 AM   #19
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I think you have a bigger problem with your E-520 (read its sensor) than the lens. You might want to take a look to a used or new E-M5 before investing in more lense(s).
I think you are right, I guess I just lack confidence or experience to have been sure of that.
Here's an example of what the E-520's noise bands look like when the exposure is pushed. I can show it up by boosting the light a bit in my photo editing app (like this one attached), or I can generate this by winding up the ISO to 800 or so for a 10s exposure. It's always been like this BTW since new, so I took it to be the best the sensor could do in low light.

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Old Jan 30, 2014, 7:39 AM   #20
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After reading this at least you'll know what those trade-offs are and whether you already have the right lens in your arsenal. http://goo.gl/MvOauN
Thanks. I'm digesting this right now. I see ISO 12800 mentioned, holy cow, in my dreams !
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