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10-17-2016, 05:24 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Orionid meteor shower

The Orionid meteor shower peaks Thursday night/Friday morning (20th/21st). If you want to try photographing a meteor shower this will be your next opportunity. Conditions will be less than ideal but with a little luck you might capture a few. The best shooting will from around midnight Thursday to shortly before sunrise Friday. Dress for it. It's October and could get pretty cold in the early morning hours. Fast and/or wide lenses are preferred. I use a Vivitar 28mm f2, a Pentax F50 f1.7, and a DA 18-55 f3.5 and swap out lenses throughout the session. Set up in a dark place. The less light the better. Turn off high ISO and long exposure noise reduction. Set the camera for manual exposure and manual focusing, focus the lens to infinity. Remove any lens filters (UV, polarizer, etc) these can cause flare. Compose the image. I prefer some foreground.. abandoned buildings, low hills, water, or something to give some context. Aim the camera to the northeast or southeast. Orion will rise in the east and, unfortunately, so will the Moon at about the same time. The Moon will be quite bright, about 66% illuminated. After the Moon rises, around 10:30 pm, ensure that the Moon isn't visible in the viewfinder. For exposure settings, I'd start at 1600 ISO, 10 seconds exposure time and aperture at 1 or two stops from wide open. Check the exposure and make any adjustments. It's unlikely that you've captured a meteor but you want to have the foreground and sky properly exposed. Once you're all set up and ready to shoot, use the intervalometer. Remember that the interval has to be more than the length of the exposure. If you're exposure is 5 seconds, the interval you set has to be 6 seconds or more, If the exposure is 10 seconds, the interval has to be 11 seconds or more, so on and so forth. Press the shutter release, sit back and enjoy the show. Good luck!

10-17-2016, 05:59 PM   #2
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Thanks for the literal heads up!

If the weather is permitting, I plan to see how the K-1 does using Interval Composite in Bright mode with about a 15 second exposure time, minimum delta between shots (probably about 1/4 sec), and let it do 5 shots to gauge the effect. Then I'll probably have to adjust the ISO & shutter to balance noise, star brightness, and light pollution before I attempt a 50-shot sequence.

With a 24 mm lens, stars on the ecliptic should move about 1 pixel every 2.8 seconds so a 15 sec shutter should give a 5.4-pixel trail during each shot and the 1/4 sec gap between shots should be invisible. A 50-shot composite should produce 270 pixel star trails over the 12-13 minute exposure time.
10-17-2016, 07:31 PM   #3
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Cool, thanks for the tips and heads up.
10-22-2016, 03:30 PM   #4
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