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Archive 2010 · Lenses for night sky
  
 
dancam
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p.4 #1 · Lenses for night sky


Well, I don't know specifics but, if you're shooting critically tight astro why not look into adapting some MF lenses and avoid the corners all together I'm not sure about wides but, I do know a couple people that use Pentax 67 and 645 lenses for astro and swear by them.

Dan



May 13, 2010 at 08:06 AM
Chris VenHaus
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p.4 #2 · Lenses for night sky


When stacking, how are you able to correct for star movement, but leave the landscape "static"?


May 13, 2010 at 11:01 AM
ISO1600
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p.4 #3 · Lenses for night sky














Nikkor 18/2.8 AF-D is my star lens.



May 13, 2010 at 11:54 AM
tjavery
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p.4 #4 · Lenses for night sky


Just wanted to follow up regarding the photos I posted. Below is the tree photo I posted previously followed by a close up look at the corners. Note that the close-up shots are actually from two different photos that I took at the time (one is at f/2.0, and the other f/2.8)














Same thing again with the cross photo. Below it is a close up of the corner. Remember this photo was focused on the cross (6 or 7 feet away) and the stars are out of the DOF.














May 14, 2010 at 01:15 PM
tjavery
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p.4 #5 · Lenses for night sky


Also, I've been working on an article about this type of photography for a while now. I've just finished a draft and have uploaded it here:

http://www.texbrick.com/photo/notes/starshots.pdf

This is based on my experiences and covers shooting locations, conditions, gear, and post processing. Let me know if you have any comments. This is something that I'll update over time as I continue with this type of photography. Thanks!



May 14, 2010 at 01:17 PM
Chris VenHaus
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p.4 #6 · Lenses for night sky


That performance at f2.0 isn't bad at all. The 2.8 is exceptional, but the noise at 6400 becomes a problem. If the next generation 5D mkIII moves another stop with its noise, this could solve alot of problems. I plan on taking the mkII 24mm out this weekend and will hopefully get some clear, dark skies...

Thanks for the info!



May 14, 2010 at 01:27 PM
Chris VenHaus
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p.4 #7 · Lenses for night sky


Very nice article, Thomas.


May 14, 2010 at 01:28 PM
dcmiller
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p.4 #8 · Lenses for night sky


I suggest when doing the curves adjustment to use luminosity to avoid the color shift.

For my taste the exposure is too high. Most people keep the exposure no more than ten seconds. Since foreground detail doesn't move, a second exposure can be made if you don't want the earthly details black.
A cool camera has less noise. When making repeated long exposures the camera can warm up. Obviously more of an issue in the summer.
Turn off auto lighting optimizer on the 5DII.
Try all the NR available. In my case its DPP, Lightroom and PS.
I want everything in the bottom quarter of exposure to go to black. I want to snug the white just before clipping (Can't do with the example exposure. Dynamic range isn't an issue, especially with a separate exposure for terrestrial objects.
The limitation to enlargement is star movement. So either a shorter shutter time or a tracking mount is needed to make big prints. Obviously a tracking mount can't be used with terrestrial objects



May 14, 2010 at 02:49 PM
AhamB
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p.4 #9 · Lenses for night sky


Chris VenHaus wrote:
When stacking, how are you able to correct for star movement, but leave the landscape "static"?


AFAIK you can use stacking to get nice star trails with low noise because you can keep the exposures short (see http://www.startrails.de/html/software.html). I'd think isn't possible to use stacking with static landscape in the frame.



May 14, 2010 at 03:12 PM
morpheus2891
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p.4 #10 · Lenses for night sky


tjavery.... are you getting some streaking b/c of imperfect tracking?


May 14, 2010 at 05:00 PM
 

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Cableaddict
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p.4 #11 · Lenses for night sky


Regarding coma,

I'm just guessing, but wouldn't the OP be best served by a macro lens, since they are optimized for flat-field?

-or is that only when the subject is close?

-or are there no good, wide macros?



May 14, 2010 at 06:28 PM
fourfa
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p.4 #12 · Lenses for night sky


Great article TJAvery, exactly matches my experiences. I might throw in a recommendation to seek out high elevations. And I might caution that when using live view to focus on bright stars, make sure you do so in the center of the frame. I've had devilish troubles framing first, then scrolling around looking for bright stars in the scene to focus on - curvature of field can really spoil the party.


May 14, 2010 at 07:45 PM
Mr Joe
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p.4 #13 · Lenses for night sky


@TJAvery - what a great resource. I'd love to include a photo and link to your site on my night photography blog -- let me know when you're ready!


May 14, 2010 at 11:04 PM
AhamB
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p.4 #14 · Lenses for night sky


I hope you don't mind this plug but I think it's nice to see what can be done with a 5D mkII and 24L in terms of timelapse: http://www.timescapes.org/


May 14, 2010 at 11:34 PM
jhapeman
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p.4 #15 · Lenses for night sky


tjavery wrote:
Just wanted to follow up regarding the photos I posted. Below is the tree photo I posted previously followed by a close up look at the corners. Note that the close-up shots are actually from two different photos that I took at the time (one is at f/2.0, and the other f/2.8)

http://www.texbrick.com/photo/notes/apert_comp.jpg



You've got star trailing here that adds to any distortion. If you look at the image I linked to earlier, where I used a tracking mount, you can see that by f/2.8, the stars in the corner using the 24L II are almost perfect pinpoints--which is pretty remarkable.

With the pixel density of today's high-resolution cameras, you will see trailing in just a few seconds, even with wide lenses like the 24L II. If you're OK with that, no problem, if not then the way to get a shot like this is with layers--one of the foreground, and one of the sky using a tracking mount and then pasted in.

While we're posting links to technique articles, I'll post a link to an article I wrote a few years ago that focuses on a topic not yet hit in this thread: Long-exposure astrophotography with a tracking mount and DSLR.

http://www.naturescapes.net/docs/index.php/category-technical/44-technical/145-long-exposure-astrophotography

Jeff



May 14, 2010 at 11:46 PM
jhapeman
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p.4 #16 · Lenses for night sky


Cableaddict wrote:
Regarding coma,

I'm just guessing, but wouldn't the OP be best served by a macro lens, since they are optimized for flat-field?

-or is that only when the subject is close?

-or are there no good, wide macros?


Most macro designs are optimized for near distances; however, they do make good lenses for astrophotography. They just are rarely faster than f/2.8. As for "wide macros" I think that's an oxymoron.

Jeff



May 14, 2010 at 11:49 PM
tjavery
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p.4 #17 · Lenses for night sky


Thanks everyone!

When viewed at 100%, you definitely see star trails in my photos. But when viewing a 12x18" print, it's not noticeable (unless you stick your face up close and view from a few inches).

Using a tracking mount for this type of photography would definitely solve a lot of problems, but it's just not feasible when you want to include ground-based objects in the frame.

Good point about focusing in the center of the frame!



May 15, 2010 at 02:44 PM
qtluong
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p.4 #18 · Lenses for night sky


I'd tend to think that of the high iso noise (ISO 6400 @ f2.8) and the coma (f1.4 or f2.0), the former is the lesser evil since it is easier to correct in software.

So in the end, what was your preference between the Zeiss 21 and the Canon 24 ?



Jul 08, 2010 at 07:29 AM
olyacme
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p.4 #19 · Lenses for night sky


tjavery wrote:
Using a tracking mount for this type of photography would definitely solve a lot of problems, but it's just not feasible when you want to include ground-based objects in the frame.


Actually, it is somewhat feasible. Because the terrestrial components of the scene usually show much less contrast than the stars do, you can allow a foreground tree to slip several times further (due to tracking) than you can stars (due to lack of tracking) before the result becomes objectionable. IMO, anyway!

/Acme



Jul 08, 2010 at 11:26 AM
Depp
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p.4 #20 · Lenses for night sky


As for "wide macros" I think that's an oxymoron.

Jeff


For that average Joe consumer yes,but Bjørn Rørslett would beg to differ....these aren't intended for infinity shots.

"The unique and elusive Macro-Nikkor range comprises 4 lenses made for the Nikon Multiphot, an advanced photomacrographic device targeted at the scientific lab segment. They are largely unknown to the general public, and people get confused by Nikon designating them as "Macro" lenses (which they in fact are). After all, aren't the familiar Micro-Nikkors also "macro" lenses? Nikon's terminology is literally correct, as the Macro-Nikkors only provide larger than life-size (1:1) magnification in contrast to the Micro-Nikkors, which ends their focusing range at 1:1 or 1:2 and can focus to infinity."

The widest is the Macro-Nikkor 19mm f2.8 and there is also the Macro-Nikkor 35mm f4.5...

Zuiko also produced a photomacrographic lens the Zuiko 20mm f3.5 Macro optimized to produce around 8-10:1 images...

Canon produced a photomacrographic lens the Canon 20mm f3.5.Optically it's not up to the quality of the Zuiko 20mm...

Nikon also produced the Ultra-Micro Nikkor 28mm f1.8.Originating from a series of industrial lenses optimised for extreme sharpness (up to 1.200 lines/mm resolution!)

Novoflex produced the 35mm f3.5 Noflexar.The 35 Noflexar was offered in various mounts, most are found today in Exacta mount while F-mount versions are rare. The rear section protrudes into the camera throat and on some bodies can jam the reflex mirror (no issues on D200 and Fuji S3, though).

Olympus also produced a comprehensive range of true macro lenses, i.e. lenses that is designed for larger-than-lifesize work and thus there is no need for reversing them for macro photography.The widest in the line is the 38mm f2.8 Macro.This lens is multi-coated, but strong flare still can be an issue with it.





Jul 08, 2010 at 11:50 AM
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