Author Topic: Star photography  (Read 3007 times)

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Offline Mike

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Star photography
« on: 08 January 2008, 08:05:36 PM »
I've been more keen of late to take long exposure shots of the stars and with the earth's rotation have them all streaming in the photograph - we've all seen them and some on this forum have taken them - but i'd like to know what F-stop and other settings I need to achieve the images i've seen so often?

Mike
Darwin, Northern Territory.
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Lightning Research 2010/14

Offline Richary

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Re: Star photography
« Reply #1 on: 09 January 2008, 01:43:26 AM »
It's been years since I have done it, but from memory I pretty much opened the shutter all the way and was running ASA100 film. It will partly depend on the amount of local light though, this was years ago in Canberra. I don't think it would work from my current Sydney location. As far as I know most digital cameras won't allow a long exposure like that so it would need to be film.

Star movement is 15 degrees an hour, so to do the arcs across the sky requires quite a few hours of photography. Modern 35mm cameras may have their batteries run down during this period (not sure) so in some ways the older manual cameras may be better.

Offline Mike

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Re: Star photography
« Reply #2 on: 09 January 2008, 06:42:25 AM »
Interesting....

I would have thought that modern SLR cameras would be ideal for this as I've seen many photos of late of this particular subject that were taken with digital cameras.  Battery life would be something to watch I agree - perhaps plugging the thing with to an AC adaptor to the car might be the way to go for it.

 I think that if the area was dark, with no city lights to ruin the shot then the stars would be the only thing you'd be seeing any light into the camera lens.

Is there any particular lens that is needed or can the standard 55mm or wide angle lens do the job do?

Mike
Darwin, Northern Territory.
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Lightning Research 2010/14

Offline Richary

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Re: Star photography
« Reply #3 on: 09 January 2008, 03:37:03 PM »
Yes, the part about battery life was a bit of a guess. I suppose most of the energy on a modern SLR is taken with the autofocussing and so on, so if the batteries would fully charged before you started it would probably be OK.

Yes, if it is dark then the only lights are the stars and occassional meteor (if lucky). So you can basically leave it open from dusk until dawn - at least when it is totally dark. But Canberra despite having a few hundred thousand people back in the late 70s was OK for a few hour exposure. I think I used my dad's old 120 size film camera with B&W film (that combination would be rare now).

I wouldn't mind trying it again, but I think the 35mm SLR camera was something else I lost when I had to split from the ex fiance in Adelaide, as well as the older Fuji digital. But the trouble to try and get them back would be much more than the value of the items. At least I ended up with some furniture, clothing, the SW radios, my computer and the newer small digital (that worked better anyway).
« Last Edit: 04 February 2008, 11:53:51 AM by Jimmy Deguara »