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night sky pictures

Camera equipment and technique for taking photos.
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Re: night sky pictures

Postby mattpayne11 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:48 am

jameseroni wrote:Just getting into this.... is it true that it's hard on the sensor in the camera if the exposure is greater than 5 minutes? Is a special filter required for longer exposure times?


First I've heard of that.

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Re: night sky pictures

Postby Theodore » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:49 am

I wouldn't be surprised if it was hard on the old film SLR's, but I would bet that with 'modern' cameras, it's a non-issue.

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Re: night sky pictures

Postby Steve Gio » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:33 pm

I have heard about sensors getting overloaded during long exposures. I must have read it on a photography forum but don't recall where. I would be curious to know for sure. I would think with a full format camera there should be no problem.

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Re: night sky pictures

Postby vonmackle » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:50 pm

jameseroni wrote:Just getting into this.... is it true that it's hard on the sensor in the camera if the exposure is greater than 5 minutes? Is a special filter required for longer exposure times?


I think the issue with long exposures in low light photography tends to be excessive noise. I'm guessing that's why people stack several shorter exposures to create star trails.
Leaving the sensor exposed for extended periods in daylight can overheat the sensor and cause image degradation. I have experienced this when shooting in live view for too long.

I don't use any filters at night...my good lens only opens up to f4, so I need all the light I can get.
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Re: night sky pictures

Postby mattpayne11 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:08 am

Yep, although sensor noise does not mean that the sensor is damaged, just that it is "hot."

I would not be concerned unless your long exposure is shooting at the sun...

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Re: night sky pictures

Postby mattpayne11 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:57 pm

Thought I'd post my most recent nightscape - a 360 pano of the Milky Way and a cabin near Grand Mesa, Colorado.

Image
Milky Way and the Grand Mesa cabin by Matt-Payne, on Flickr

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Re: night sky pictures

Postby shaberer0511 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:28 pm

Fantastic pictures. Matt Payne, yours are truly incredible. I am starting to take night sky pictures and I was just wondering what kind of settings/shutter speeds you use. I have taken a few but all I can see is the big dipper. Any pointers? I will try to post my picture.
Last edited by shaberer0511 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: night sky pictures

Postby mattpayne11 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:55 am

shaberer0511 wrote:Fantastic pictures. Matt Payne, yours are truly incredible. I am starting to take night sky pictures and I was just wondering what kind of settings/shutter speeds you use. I have taken a few but all I can see is the big dipper. Any pointers? I will try to post my picture.


Thanks.

You need a tripod for starters.

You also need a decent camera and lens. The lower the f stop the better (on the lens). I use a f/2.8 lens for most my night shots... with 30 second exposures... ISO 800-3200.

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Re: night sky pictures

Postby shaberer0511 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:56 am

Thanks! I will give that a shot. I have a Sony DSLR camera with two lenses ranging from 18-200 mm.

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Re: night sky pictures

Postby letourneau41 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:41 am

Would a lense with an fstop of 4 be low enough to get a decent shot? Or should I try to get to the 2.8 range.
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Re: night sky pictures

Postby mattpayne11 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:39 pm

letourneau41 wrote:Would a lense with an fstop of 4 be low enough to get a decent shot? Or should I try to get to the 2.8 range.


You can do that, but ideally f 2.8

This has some great info that should get you started to help you think in terms of f and shutter speed and ISO (the exposure triangle).

http://theamusing.com/photography/startrails.html/

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Re: night sky pictures

Postby ryanmicj » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:12 am

I shot this Sunday 8/20 from the Grays Peak trail head:

Image

f/5.6 (not sure why I wasn't using something lower...)
30 second exposure
ISO 6400

Its not the greatest, but its not bad for only my second night out. I'd love some feedback/suggestions for improvements, though.
Last edited by ryanmicj on Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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