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08-11-2021, 07:25 PM   #1
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Perseid Meteor Shower - Which Lens???

Thinking about taking out the K70 tonight.

Lens options:
SMC-M 28, 3.5
Limited 15mm, f4, HD
Limited 21mm, f3.2

I do have some 1.4, 50mm lenses, but seems like wider is better.

Suggestions/recommendations greatly appreciated@

08-11-2021, 08:04 PM - 3 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by 87Duckfan Quote
I do have some 1.4, 50mm lenses, but seems like wider is better.
Wider is better! Try your 15mm, run ISO up to ~800-1600, set f4 to f5.6, take a 30-second exposure and see what the sky background is. You want to just barely reach the background sky level in your exposure/ISO images.

Check your focus on something bright (bright star/Jupiter should be up/or a light down the street) with manual focus (live view with zoom is your friend) and then do not touch focus!

The later in the night, the better!
08-11-2021, 08:19 PM   #3
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Thank you so much!

Couple of questions:
1. I have seen other people recommend shutter speed around 10 secs, and ISO around 3200. Shorter shutter to minimize star blur/movement?
2. Wouldn't I just set focus to infinity?


Thanks again!!




QuoteOriginally posted by AstroDave Quote
Wider is better! Try your 15mm, run ISO up to ~800-1600, set f4 to f5.6, take a 30-second exposure and see what the sky background is. You want to just barely reach the background sky level in your exposure/ISO images.

Check your focus on something bright (bright star/Jupiter should be up/or a light down the street) with manual focus (live view with zoom is your friend) and then do not touch focus!

The later in the night, the better!


---------- Post added 08-11-21 at 08:21 PM ----------

Also, what's the best WB to set? Auto?
08-12-2021, 01:55 AM   #4
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The infinity focus mark on lenses isn't very precise. There is a good reason for that as the actual infinity position can vary with ambient temperature. It is always more accurate to use magnified live view, you might be surprised at how far off your lenses are if you just wind the focus to the end stop. Adjust focus until a distant point source like a bright star or planet is at minimum size.

08-12-2021, 04:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by 87Duckfan Quote
Also, what's the best WB to set? Auto?
Are you shooting RAW?, if so it won't matter much, you can adjust in post. I use daylight WB, there are options for different temperatures, plenty of Youtubers play in post.
You should be able to get 300/15=20 seconds before star trailing. If you set up continuous high shooting from the menu and trigger by a remote held on then you can select the best sequence of meteors for a stack of say 6 shots in sequator or similar, and take the whole sequence to do star trails.
08-12-2021, 06:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 87Duckfan Quote
Also, what's the best WB to set? Auto?
NO! It's so dark, the camera won't know what to choose. I set it to daylight for astro pix - all those stars are far-away "suns" and your meteor trails will look more natural as well.
08-12-2021, 11:21 AM   #7
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Great, thank you all for the tips! Got a couple shots last night, nothing eye dropping. Very fun to try this! Might get out more this week.

08-12-2021, 01:21 PM   #8
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According to spaceweather.com, the Perseid peak appears to be delayed to Aug 12-13. There's still time to play!
08-13-2021, 04:37 AM   #9
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I use a fisheye lens to get to cover maximum sky. The longer the shutter is open, the better the chance to catch a few meteors. Good luck
12-21-2021, 11:18 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by 87Duckfan Quote
Thank you so much!

Couple of questions:
1. I have seen other people recommend shutter speed around 10 secs, and ISO around 3200. Shorter shutter to minimize star blur/movement?
2. Wouldn't I just set focus to infinity?
Also, what's the best WB to set? Auto?
1.) In my opinion, if you are using a 15mm, you can get away with about 20 seconds and then whatever ISO is appropriate depending on conditions, but if a dark sky (little light pollution, no moon), ISO 3200 is a good starting point.

2.) You're correct, you DO focus to infinity. You want to use the lens' true infinity. This might require you to focus manually, possibly using Live View to focus in on a star until you can get it as sharp as possible.

For WB, I would recommend using a manual WB. I set mine to typically 3800K (Kelvin), but depending on your taste and the circumstances, 3800K-4100K is a good starting point. Try not to use Auto WB if at all possible, as it would keep wavering.

I also want to point out that it is important to use a consistent and reasonably accurate WB when in the field. While people will tell you that it "doesn't matter" because you are shooting in RAW and can adjust it later, in my opinion, it does matter because it directly affects your histogram and what you see. And I don't know about you, but I want to know as accurately as possible what I am getting/seeing.

I hope this helps!

~~~~

Below is a falling star, done while I was creating star trails, so perhaps not the greatest example since you are discussing relatively short exposures to keep the stars from trailing. I saw this streak across the sky during the exposure, lighting up things pretty well!



---------- Post added 12-21-21 at 12:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
I use a fisheye lens to get to cover maximum sky. The longer the shutter is open, the better the chance to catch a few meteors. Good luck
That'll work too. I just keep the thing clicking away and hope to get something.

I didn't get very spectacular meteors, but I do have Andromeda, a Milky Way and a small meteor to the upper left between the branches, so it's all good.



P.S. Darn it, I just realized I'm answering an older thread, the second time I've done this today. I'll keep my two posts up here in case they help other people for subsequent meteor showers, etc.

Last edited by Ken Lee; 12-21-2021 at 11:27 AM.
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