Easy Astrophotography with normal DSLR equipment

Astro photography? Microscopic images? Other technical shots? Post your tips or questions here

Moderators: Bob Andersson, Thomas, Bjorn van Sinttruije

Postby AFeveredEgo » Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:37 am

Image

Here is one I took recently in Algonquin Park, Canada. Used a Nikon D5000, with a 50mm lens, f1.8, ISO 1600, 13 second exposure time.

Thanks for the tips in this thread, wouldn't have got this image without them!
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Postby Ruben123 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:02 am

Great one!
Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies
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Postby rkloz » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:28 am

the images posted here are fascinating and truly out of this world! :lol:
i really want to give this a try myself especially a shot of the milkyway, but one thing concerns me though, do the sensor heats up during those long exposures? well, a single 30 second exposure is fine but what about if you want to stack a bunch of them and doing several 30 second exposures? will it accumulate enough heat to cause sensor overheating?

:?

btw, i'm sorry for such an amateurish question :(
rkloz
 

Postby Bob Andersson » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:20 am

Hi rkloz,

May I wish you a warm welcome to the forum.

I guess it depends to some extent on the ambient temperature and the camera in use but I doubt it will be a big issue. Personally I've settled on a 50% duty cycle (e.g. a 2 minute exposure followed by a 2 minute rest before the next exposure) and that seems to work well enough, the point being that even though the sensor can absorb a lot more punishment you can lose more IQ than you gain by more exposure time because a warm sensor is a noisier sensor. Trial and error may prove you can be more aggressive but 50% might be a good starting point.

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.
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Postby rkloz » Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:33 am

Hi Bob!

I will try that 50% duty cycle, i think it's a good starting point indeed, and cooling the sensor between shots will also produce lesser noise in the next exposures. This is an excellent idea! :D
And even though the sensor can handle more punishment, I'll stick to the safe side as of now (50%) :lol:

Many thanks!
rkloz
 

Postby Doctor_K » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:12 am

Wow, nice thread/forum I just found. Great practical info on astrophotography, generally without the telescope. Read all the posts, and viewed all the images. Great stuff!

Of course I just have to add my own contribution too. It's not much, but when I was coming up the stairs early one morning, and caught a glimpse of this thru my kitchen window, I knew I just HAD to capture it immediately right then.

Image

Image

Photo Info: Canon 10D, Sigma 70-200/2.8, ISO400

The first shot was @70/2.8, 1/60. After I relaxed a sec I took the second one @200/2.8, 1/100.

It was right before sunrise @5:41, on 4/24/06. No image processing other than crop in PS7.

And yes that IS Venus courting the Moon.
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Postby Gordon Laing » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:50 am

Nice shots Doctor_K - it's an addictive subject!
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Postby eos550D » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:20 pm

Star trails last night although there wasn't that much of stars up the sky, its a good start I guess and I want to hunt and capture milky way as well but I don't know any deep dark sky around Farnborough, Hampshire.

Also can someone give me a good settings to capture milky way please. I will be using my available lenses (28-75mm 2.8, 50mm 1.8 or 18-55mm kit) mounted on 550D.

Also I saw this video and the guy mentioned about the 600/FL rule before the stars starts to trail.

Image
eos550D
 

Postby Gordon Laing » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:27 am

Hi EOS550D, can I refer you back to the first post in this thread - I described some settings for untracked milky way shots with normal lenses.
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best settings for my nikon

Postby Ergin » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:28 am

Hey! Thanks everyone for sharing their experiences. I'm quite new in photography. I just got a Nikon D3100 18-105mm VR(f/3.5) kit, which limits me with the f number in case of night photgraphy. What shooting settings would you recommend me to use to take photo of northern lights & stars? Also about the focus ring; does it focus on infinity when I rotate the focus ring all the way to the end? (auto-focus doesn't work)
Also does it matter if I turn of VR off or on, since I have a tripod?
Is it possible to zoom and take a photo of the moon with that objective I have? I'll do lots of trials once I see it!
Ergin
 

Need some advice on which dslr to buy for astrophohtography

Postby essa » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:05 am

since last week my interst in astrophotograpy has come back. im free from looking after my ill sisters, last year i purchased celestron 130 eq md telescope 650 focal lenght ameture 130 mm, focal raito 5inch.

full spec can found here

http://www.celestron.com/c3/product.php?ProdID=503

i also bought 2x barlowlens 4 it , it come with 10mm and 20 eye pices thts all i have.

i was thinking of attacing Celestron NexImage Solar System Imager ccd

http://www.celestron.com/c3/product.php?ProdID=354

but than i thought why not invest in dslr i could use 4 astrophotography and family use.
i have done 2 days of reserch and have been out to local shops to get advice. shop keepers couldent help me they ddint no enought o advise me.(

i have seen rewiews on both fourms and videos on dslr astrophotgraph.

i come across ur rewiews and i liked wat i had seen so here i am after reading all the threads in this section 1 clock in the morning.

i have narrowed it down to these choices from canon dslr:

Canon 5D Mark II
Canon’s EOS 7D
Canon's EOS 600D
Canon's EOS 550D
Canon's EOS Mk IV

i have aslo found that pepole are using the 450 and 350 models for astrophotogrpy.

so guys what is the best dslr from the above list. once i know dslr to buy i can save the money for it also could you kindly advice on which kit to go for (lens) to go with my telscope. and ur free to advise , recommened or suggested to me other dslr out there.

i thought il post here cz u guys no wat ur on about its really intellgent community. look forward for ur reply urs sincerly


eshan
essa
 

Postby oldCarlos » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:29 am

eos550D. This link might help you finding `dark skies` in Hants; http://www.hantsastro.org/darkskies01.html
Image btw,He who dies with the most toys, WINS!
Nikon D800E & D700 bodies + Nikon 200-400mm F4 VR1, 50mm F1.4G, 16-35mm f/4G VR, 105 F2.8 VR macro, 70-300mm lenses. A couple of filters, Giotto tripod & ballhead. Lowepro Slingshot 302 AW
Image
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Postby Bob Andersson » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:07 am

Hi essa,

May I wish you a warm welcome to the CameraLabs forum.

I guess a lot depends on what sort of astrophotography you want to do. The problem with DSLRs is that they are heavy, have large sensors (can your telescope produce pin sharp images across the whole sensor) and those sensors have a built in filter which blocks most of the deep red Hydrogen alpha radiation from emission nebulae. You can get DSLRs modified to remove that filter but that means they are less suitable for general purpose photography.

I've used my 5D2 for astrophotgraphy by piggybacking it on top of a telescope and using Canon's own lenses to produce the image (example) and also used its video capabilities at my telescope's prime focus to produce a few shots of the Moon (example) but I could equally well have used an EOS 550D.

That said, if you are including cameras such as the 5D2 or 7D as possibles then why not get a 7D or cheaper and use the balance of the budget that might have been spent on a 5D2 to buy a dedicated astronomical CCD? I can't recommend it, because I've never used it, but check out the Atik Titan. Forum member Digz has one of these though I'm not sure whether he uses it for photography as well as for guiding. You'd have to do lots of homework to find out if this is the camera for you but at least they are British (as are Starlight Xpress) so questions like "how do I attach it to my 'scope", "can I use it with a Hydrogen-alpha filter" and "will I need to guide my telescope" should be quickly answered. It may not be right for you but I think with your budget it should be possible to buy both a good DSLR and an entry level cooled astro-CCD imager.

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.
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Postby essa » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:55 pm

ty my friend for the warm welcome apprecatite it and ty for your fast and informative reply.

i m going to use the telescope for taking images of the plantes reason is that i live in the uk and you know the uk wheather is is bad you dont get that many clearly nights plus.

bob could you please narrow down the option to two dslr to make life easier the thing is i dont understand all the spec info. all i know is that i need low nosie dslr, with bulb and that it be manually with high iso, and can you rougly advice me on which leans thth i could use. ameature raging ?

from the list which is the best dslr spec on paper for astrophohgraphy
essa
 

Postby Bob Andersson » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:05 pm

Hi essa,

I'm running out of time today so this must be short. I did this Google search for the terms webcam planetary telescope. Check the results (and do an Images search as well) but I think you'd be better off using a webcam for the planetary imaging which frees you up entirely to choose the DSLR you want for normal photography. Sorry this was so brief. :oops:

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.
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