Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-09-2010, 05:30 AM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: northeast USA
Posts: 273
Astrophotography

I'm now an advanced beginner I guess (been nearly a year since I got my first dslr, the K20D - no previous experience with SLR). Anyway, I started experimenting last night with astrophotography. I really have no clue what I'm doing. lol

I set my camera on my tripod, turned the anti-shake off, set the ISO to 400, the drive to remote shutter, put on the 18-55 lens, F5.6, camera on manual. Set the lens to 55mm and the SS to the slowest possible setting. And of course on RAW. Aimed at the big dipper (or was it the little dipper?) and started snapping away w/the remote.

I got some so-so and some crappy results (sorry haven't processed them yet so I can't post). So basically, being completely clueless on how to do this my question is: What should I do that I didn't do? Lock mirror up? Change to my 70-300mm lens (I only have the two lenses)? What SS? What ISO? (I tried 800 and it seemed too noisy when I looked at it on the LCD). Also, how do you get the picture in focus? Maybe it's just me but when I looked through the camera to try and focus on something, I couldn't see squat, so I just winged it. lol

Okay thanks in advance for any tips you may have. I've also been searching the net for articles, so I'm open to links as well.

Thanks again!

09-09-2010, 05:54 AM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 42,367
Keep in mind that stars do move, and that it's also important to use a relatively small aperture to preserve image quality. There are people on the forum better at this than I am, but I believe that iso 400 or 800, f8, and a shutter speed of several second should get the job done. The longer the lens, the better- my favorite focal length for the purpose is 300mm.
09-09-2010, 06:08 AM   #3
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: northeast USA
Posts: 273
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Keep in mind that stars do move, and that it's also important to use a relatively small aperture to preserve image quality. There are people on the forum better at this than I am, but I believe that iso 400 or 800, f8, and a shutter speed of several second should get the job done. The longer the lens, the better- my favorite focal length for the purpose is 300mm.
Ah see I had it in my head to try and leave the aperture as big as possible to let in more light. Forgot about the movement part. So how many seconds on the SS would you guesstimate?

Yeah I figured I should have just used the 70-300, focused it to infinity and hoped for the best. I'll try that tonight if the conditions allow. Thanks Adam.
09-09-2010, 07:03 AM   #4
Raylon
Guest




It also depends on what kind of astrophotography you are wanting to do. I love star trails, so I set my K200 to do pictures upwards of ten minutes. I want as much sky and light as possible so I use ISO 400, and simply use the kit lens at 18mm with lowest possible aperture.

If you want to take pictures of certain constellations and such, a long focal length and low aperture so you can collect as much light as possible before the stars move. You will have about 15 seconds before you can see movement.

Focusing is easy enough. Turn manual and and move the focus to infinity.

If you are really serious about astrophotography, you will need to get a nice tripod with a motor that tracks the stars. Starting price for those start well above the $1000 range, so I doubt that will be an option for you.

I included a picture that I took last year. It was taken at ISO 100, f/6.7, 18mm, and length of 278.3 seconds.

Attached Images
 
09-09-2010, 07:27 AM   #5
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: northeast USA
Posts: 273
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Raylon Quote
It also depends on what kind of astrophotography you are wanting to do. I love star trails, so I set my K200 to do pictures upwards of ten minutes. I want as much sky and light as possible so I use ISO 400, and simply use the kit lens at 18mm with lowest possible aperture.

If you want to take pictures of certain constellations and such, a long focal length and low aperture so you can collect as much light as possible before the stars move. You will have about 15 seconds before you can see movement.

Focusing is easy enough. Turn manual and and move the focus to infinity.

If you are really serious about astrophotography, you will need to get a nice tripod with a motor that tracks the stars. Starting price for those start well above the $1000 range, so I doubt that will be an option for you.

I included a picture that I took last year. It was taken at ISO 100, f/6.7, 18mm, and length of 278.3 seconds.
Well for now I'd just like to capture the constellations and then move on to star trails from there. No need for a motorized tripod just yet. Actually, my birthday is in a few weeks and I have a nice Manfrotto 190 series & ballhead on my wishlist, so I'm hoping to move up to that for now. hee hee

Anyway, I'll give it another 'shot' tonight as I said, conditions permitting. THanks for the tips and for sharing that cool photo.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, focus, iso, lens, lol, pentax help, photography, ss, thanks
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Astrophotography iClick Pentax DSLR Discussion 1122 07-21-2016 09:18 PM
astrophotography with K-7 - issues =(. Please help? Nass Photographic Technique 40 02-10-2010 10:28 PM
Astrophotography mithrandir Photographic Technique 1 11-26-2009 06:56 PM
K7 And Astrophotography Christopher M.W.T Pentax DSLR Discussion 49 11-25-2009 08:51 AM
Astrophotography elLuiggi Post Your Photos! 0 11-01-2007 05:43 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:52 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top