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Hi!

I tried astrophotography for the first time this weekend, and have a few questions.

I've read many times that an F4 lens isn't fast enough for astrophotography, but it was my only option this weekend. I think the outcome was far better than I expected, although my "standard" for results probably isn't that high.

Anyway - I tried 30 seconds F4 on approximately 16mm, on a tripod of course. I can see glimpses of the milky way, but not as clearly as the "typical" astro-photo you'd see from an experienced photographer.

Question 1: Which camera settings (shutter speed, aperture, iso) is preferable in order to capture the milky way?

Question 2: Is it not enough with only one photo or are you supposed to stack multiple photos?

Question 3: What is the benefit of stacking photos - will the milky away appear more clearly, or is it to reduce noice?

Feel free to advice me (and other beginners) on how to make the milky way appear more clearly. I'm sure the camera settings should have been different .

I'll throw in a couple of sample images from this weekend. Both are edited in LR.

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On 9/24/2019 at 8:13 AM, danhopen said:

Hi!

I tried astrophotography for the first time this weekend, and have a few questions.

I've read many times that an F4 lens isn't fast enough for astrophotography, but it was my only option this weekend. I think the outcome was far better than I expected, although my "standard" for results probably isn't that high.

Anyway - I tried 30 seconds F4 on approximately 16mm, on a tripod of course. I can see glimpses of the milky way, but not as clearly as the "typical" astro-photo you'd see from an experienced photographer.

Question 1: Which camera settings (shutter speed, aperture, iso) is preferable in order to capture the milky way?

Question 2: Is it not enough with only one photo or are you supposed to stack multiple photos?

Question 3: What is the benefit of stacking photos - will the milky away appear more clearly, or is it to reduce noice?

You're right... typically, you'll want a lens that can do F2.8 or lower

To capture the Milky Way, you'll want to follow the "500 Rule" ... 500 / (your focal length in 35mm terms)
- If you're using an APC camera, the calculation would be 500 / (focal length x crop factor)
Example: 500/24mm = 20 sec exposure or 500/(16mmx1.5) = 20 sec exposure


That will determine your shutter speed. You'll want to set your aperture to wide open (F4 in your case)... I set my ISO to 1600 and adjust it if needed. Sometimes 1600 works, other times, i'll bump it up.

You could get away with only one photo, but taking multiple images then stacking will reduce noise. 

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You could also use a tracking mount to aid you in longer exposures and therefore more detail.  I recently purchased the Sky Watcher Star Adventurer Pro Pack. I'm shamelessly using video's on YouTube from Peter Zelinka to get more to grips with it. 

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Posted (edited)

A good beginning for Milky Way photography is:
ISO 1600-3200,
a shutter speed of 15-20 seconds,
and the lowest (most wide open) aperture that your camera allows.
As with most astrophotography, a decent wide angle lens may be a must for Milky Way photography. You’ll also want to use your camera’s noise reduction function to catch up on the high ISO.

Edited by jamescooper

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Posted (edited)
On 9/29/2019 at 9:15 PM, JPR_Deadpool said:

You're right... typically, you'll want a lens that can do F2.8 or lower

To capture the Milky Way, you'll want to follow the "500 Rule" ... 500 / (your focal length in 35mm terms)
- If you're using an APC camera, the calculation would be 500 / (focal length x crop factor)
Example: 500/24mm = 20 sec exposure or 500/(16mmx1.5) = 20 sec exposure


That will determine your shutter speed. You'll want to set your aperture to wide open (F4 in your case)... I set my ISO to 1600 and adjust it if needed. Sometimes 1600 works, other times, i'll bump it up.

You could get away with only one photo, but taking multiple images then stacking will reduce noise. 

if i set ISO to  1600 will increase the ISO noise , how can i avoid or minimize the effect of the ISO noise on such lights conditions?

Edited by jorge29
miswritten word

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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2020 at 1:50 AM, jorge29 said:

if i set ISO to  1600 will increase the ISO noise , how can i avoid or minimize the effect of the ISO noise on such lights conditions?

Unfortunately using an APSC sensor is quite difficult to get a really good picture of the milky way, in fact for this reason I bought a full frame.

But with a bit of work in post-production you can achieve similar result.

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10 hours ago, GundamRX91 said:

Unfortunately using an APSC sensor is quite difficult to get a really good picture of the milky way, in fact for this reason I bought a full frame.

But with a bit of work in post-production you can achieve similar result.

i didn't know that detail about APSC sensor , maybe in the future would consider move to mirroless full frame, the unique problem  is a possible dissappointment in  the result on post production eliminating ISO noise also can means loss of detail unless increase  the detail but photo would looks not natural on light and contrast and the time invested worthless 

Edited by jorge29
more detail on argumentation

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4 hours ago, jorge29 said:

i didn't know that detail about APSC sensor , maybe in the future would consider move to mirroless full frame, the unique problem  is a possible dissappointment in  the result on post production eliminating ISO noise also can means loss of detail unless increase  the detail but photo would looks not natural on light and contrast and the time invested worthless 

Wich camera have you got?

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