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Galaxies for Mikey2000

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Post Options Post Options   Quote mikey2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Galaxies for Mikey2000
    Posted: 20 August 2013 at 19:58
There was a very clear sky here the other night my part of the south east UK. I thought I could see the Milky Way and had a stab at it....

It's not as easy as some people make it look I think I have a bit of light pollution!

Epic Fail 1

Camera Model: SLT-A99V | Lens: Carl Zeiss T* AF 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM | Focal Length: 24 mm | Aperture: f/2.8 | Exposure Time: 15 | ISO: 1600

The next day, flying along, the Milky Way was *clearly* visible from 38000' over Italy. With no tripod and a moving plane, I resorted to desperate measures with amusing results:

Epic Fail 2 inc. seriously heavy PP

Camera Model: NEX-5N | Lens: Sony E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS | Focal Length: 16 mm | Aperture: f/3.5 | Exposure Time: 2.5 | ISO: 25600


Hats off to the proper astrophotographers! I hope you can have a good chuckle at my efforts

Edited by mikey2000 - 20 September 2013 at 09:39
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    MichelvA View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2013 at 20:00
    Maybe not perfect, but i like watching stuff like this. #1 a bit better than 2 btw. And i guess you had fun making these too. Mission accomplished! TFS
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote WanderingSkunk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 August 2013 at 21:52
    Here is a Milky way Panorama I grabbed at a music festival I was shooting in Minnesota with my B camera, a Sony NEX 5N and the kit lens actually...

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    Sony A57 & A7, Min 24/2.8, Rokinon 35/1.4, Min 35-70/4, Min 50/1.4, Min 50/1.7, Min 100-200/4.5
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote kerrath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2013 at 06:54
    As long as you have dark skies, it's really not that hard. The truly hard part is composing a scene when it's dark enough that the milky way is visible. After that, careful and tasteful post processing is likewise quite challenging.

    The best way I have figured on how to compose is to take a test shot at 6400ISO or so to reduce your exposure time by 1/4. This way you can reposition quickly and get the composition you want without going through a bunch of full-length exposures.

    To get a satisfactory brightness anywhere near the city without smearing the trails, I have to push my camera to ISO800 or ISO1600 which typicaly introduces large patches of color noise that I have not figured out to remove. I suppose that qualifies as hardship as well. Though it's tempting to leave long-exposure NR off, it does make a consequential difference in these photos and is worth leaving it on.

    These couple photos are from my second time ever photographing or attempting to photograph the milky way. Camping up in the mountains for the recent Perseid meteor shower.


    Tamron 20-40mm @20mm F3.5 30s ISO1600
    (Here, I should have used the F2.7 aperture instead of F3.5 With these lengths of exposure and the finite detail available after the noise factor, the DOF gained by stopping down becomes irrelevant.)



    Tamron 11-18mm @11 F4.5-5.6 43s ISO1600
    (I really liked the view with the 11mm, but the F4.5 was an unfortunate factor. The wider view allowed a longer exposure with no extra smearing. With the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8, you could easily do the same shot at ISO800 to get better IQ. Likewise, a prime with F2.8 ability, like a 14mm prime would suit.)


    Edited by kerrath - 21 August 2013 at 07:03
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote gouldina Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2013 at 09:24
    To be honest, I think any attempt to photograph the milky way from SE England is doomed to failure given the amount of light pollution in that area. You need to get up to the Highlands or at very least somewhere a lot less populated.
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    mikey2000 View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote mikey2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2013 at 09:51
    These photos put me to shame!   I think I don't stand a chance in the south UK. Next time I'm on a night flight, I'll take the a99 and 50/1.4 to see what I can get handheld :-).    I suddenly feel the urge for a 14/1.8 samyang (???) for handheld Milky Way photography....
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote kerrath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2013 at 18:45
    Originally posted by mikey2000 mikey2000 wrote:

    These photos put me to shame!   I think I don't stand a chance in the south UK. Next time I'm on a night flight, I'll take the a99 and 50/1.4 to see what I can get handheld :-).    I suddenly feel the urge for a 14/1.8 samyang (???) for handheld Milky Way photography....

    If there are any large-ish unpopulated places in your area, you should be able to get decent milky way photos. I wasn't terribly far from Los Angeles and its suburbs when I took those, but I was also rather high up.

    Even with an F/1.8 aperture, to get decent image quality, you'd need to hold it steady for about 15s at ISO1600. At ISO6400 call it 4s and even at 25600, a full second. In terms of tripod based shooting, the F1.8 aperture helps most in allowing shorter exposures times to reduce star smearing.

    And fwiw, my photos have noise and color patches which aren't visible without looking at them larger. I wouldn't be able to conscionably print them any larger than perhaps an A4 print. The truly dedicated astrophotographers use tracking platforms which rotate at the same rate as the earth to keep the camera aligned with the starfield. With one or a few lower ISO long exposures combined, they composite that result with an image taken on a stationary tripod to obtain low-noise and no-smearing milky way photos (since if the stars aren't being smeared, the ground must be with the tracker).
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote Trav Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 August 2013 at 19:38
    Definitely need darker skies, tripod, and longer exposures. Not great by any means, but this was my first attempt. Using kit lens (since replaced due to poor night shot aperture) so iso was 3200 I think, and the orange glow at the bottom is a small town in Northern WI of 1500 people 5 miles away, and it still interferes.



    Good luck, it's fun to shoot, tough to get a strong composition sometimes.

    Edited by Trav - 21 August 2013 at 19:44
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote mikey2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 September 2013 at 09:41
    Epic Fail 3

    another stab at a Milky Way pic from the Isle of Wight. It's a bit better than my other epic fails but still was quite hard to catch. I think the UK is not the right place for this kind of thing!
    Camera Model: SLT-A99V | Lens: 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM | Focal Length: 24 mm | Aperture: f/3.5 | Exposure Time: 15 | ISO: 3200
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 September 2013 at 10:07
    Less distractions compared to your previous shot. The universe itself also looks better this way. I like the blue color too, but it's not only England/UK that is not the proper location; it's the surface of the Earth that isn't.
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote mikey2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 September 2013 at 10:17
    Maybe I need a taller tripod then.   Much taller...
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote MichelvA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 September 2013 at 10:21
    Or a tripod with rocket engines on it But i recommend a fast shuttertime in that case.
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote jet_set_willy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 September 2013 at 11:56
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    Post Options Post Options   Quote jmbillings Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 September 2013 at 15:29
    Interesting thread, seeing all the different attempts. Dark skies really are a must. I tried recently from about 12 miles north of Cambridge out in the fens- I also had the advantage of a tracking mount so I could do longer exposures, and then stack them to reduce noise. Even then it's washing out due to skyglow :(


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