Sponsor for PC Pals Forum

Author Topic: Night Sky Photography  (Read 4213 times)

Offline GillE

  • Forum Fanatic
  • ******
  • Posts: 6349
  • Never totally serious
    • Gill's East Lindsey Camera
Night Sky Photography
« on: January 04, 2020, 16:10 »
I want to learn how to photograph the night sky.  Hubby has a telescope with a camera adapter.  Has anyone ever tried this and, if so, please could they advise me how to go about it?  I'd really love to capture features such as the moon, Mars and the Milky Way.
There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.

(Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

Offline Simon

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 71628
  • First to score 7/7 in Quiz of The Week's News 2017
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 19:24 »
Too much light pollution around here for that sort of thing.   :(
Many thanks to all our members, who have made PC Pals such an outstanding success!   :thumb:

Offline Clive

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 68783
  • Winner BBC Quiz of the Year 2015,2016,2017, 2020
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 20:45 »
I'm not an astrophotographer but  I think Sam has a lot of experience in this field.  Taking photos of celestial objects is made difficult because of the Earth's rotation which is magnified through the lens of a telescope.  It means that the image at best will blur and at worst will trail.  The Moon is definitely your best bet as it's so bright but catch it before first quarter otherwise the craters will be washed out by the light. 

Offline sam

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 19913
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2020, 19:17 »
I'm not an astrophotographer but  I think Sam has a lot of experience in this field.  Taking photos of celestial objects is made difficult because of the Earth's rotation which is magnified through the lens of a telescope.  It means that the image at best will blur and at worst will trail.  The Moon is definitely your best bet as it's so bright but catch it before first quarter otherwise the craters will be washed out by the light.

I do :-)  what camera are you thinking? What telescope, aperture etc?

For the moon you will need some form of filter BG20 might help but neutral density.....

Earth rotation is a pain.. .but lots of short exposures work well...
- sam | @starrydude --

Offline sam

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 19913
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2020, 19:19 »
Too much light pollution around here for that sort of thing.   :(

Not true. The right filters help, less so now we don't illuminate our street with sodium lamps... but you can do pretty amazing things inside big cities...
- sam | @starrydude --

Offline sam

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 19913
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2020, 19:19 »
Good starting point for all things stellar: https://in-the-sky.org/
- sam | @starrydude --

Offline GillE

  • Forum Fanatic
  • ******
  • Posts: 6349
  • Never totally serious
    • Gill's East Lindsey Camera
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2020, 21:01 »
It's a Celestron Astro-master 130 telescope.  I have a T adapter which means any Nikon DSLR can be connected directly.  I'd prefer to use my full-frame D850 but I fear it may be too heavy, in which case I'd resort to my cropped sensor D3300.  Insofar as aperture is concerned, the camera connects to the telescope via the lens mount which means I cannot use a camera lens.  Therefore, there's no aperture.  If I were to photograph the night sky without the telescope I could mount the D850 onto a tripod and use a Sigma 150-600mm sports lens with a F5.6 aperture or possibly a lens with a shorter focal length and a faster aperture.  I have a variety of ND filters, for 1 stop up to 10 stops.

Thanks for the link to in-the-sky which looks very informative  :).
There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.

(Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

Offline sam

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 19913
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2020, 19:59 »
It's a Celestron Astro-master 130 telescope.  I have a T adapter which means any Nikon DSLR can be connected directly.  I'd prefer to use my full-frame D850 but I fear it may be too heavy, in which case I'd resort to my cropped sensor D3300.  Insofar as aperture is concerned, the camera connects to the telescope via the lens mount which means I cannot use a camera lens.  Therefore, there's no aperture.  If I were to photograph the night sky without the telescope I could mount the D850 onto a tripod and use a Sigma 150-600mm sports lens with a F5.6 aperture or possibly a lens with a shorter focal length and a faster aperture.  I have a variety of ND filters, for 1 stop up to 10 stops.

Thanks for the link to in-the-sky which looks very informative  :).

I had meant the aperture of the telescope.

Looks likely that the counterweight on that telescope wouldn't cope with the full-frame TBH. You will likely get similar magnification with your  typical lenses. I'd do that for the moon, with some form of ND filter.

The benefit of a correctly setup telescope is that you should be able to use the RA wheel to track the object.

Oh I meant to post before:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/a25697/beginners-guide-to-astrophotography/

http://www.astropix.com/html/i_astrop/toc_ap.html

https://astrobackyard.com/beginner-astrophotography/

- sam | @starrydude --

Offline GillE

  • Forum Fanatic
  • ******
  • Posts: 6349
  • Never totally serious
    • Gill's East Lindsey Camera
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2020, 20:11 »
Thanks Sam  :) .
There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.

(Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

Offline GillE

  • Forum Fanatic
  • ******
  • Posts: 6349
  • Never totally serious
    • Gill's East Lindsey Camera
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2020, 20:48 »
Well, I had a go at tonight's 'Wolf Moon'.



F2.8, ISO 800, 1/3200 sec, focal length 200mm.

I'd like to get more detail but perhaps my gear isn't sufficiently sophisticated.
There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.

(Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

Offline Simon

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 71628
  • First to score 7/7 in Quiz of The Week's News 2017
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2020, 21:14 »
That's brilliant, Gill!   :thumb:
Many thanks to all our members, who have made PC Pals such an outstanding success!   :thumb:

Offline sam

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 19913
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2020, 06:26 »
Well, I had a go at tonight's 'Wolf Moon'.



F2.8, ISO 800, 1/3200 sec, focal length 200mm.

I'd like to get more detail but perhaps my gear isn't sufficiently sophisticated.

Nice shot... yeah bit more contrast if you have a few filters
- sam | @starrydude --

Offline GillE

  • Forum Fanatic
  • ******
  • Posts: 6349
  • Never totally serious
    • Gill's East Lindsey Camera
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2020, 08:51 »
What filters do you suggest, Sam?

I just compared my photo against those on the BBC website and Iím pleased with how favourable the comparison is 😀.  I still want a better shot though.
There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.

(Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

Offline Simon

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 71628
  • First to score 7/7 in Quiz of The Week's News 2017
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2020, 10:32 »
I know it's cheating to some extent, but you can achieve quite a good contrast enhancement simply by using Photoshop.
Many thanks to all our members, who have made PC Pals such an outstanding success!   :thumb:

Offline GillE

  • Forum Fanatic
  • ******
  • Posts: 6349
  • Never totally serious
    • Gill's East Lindsey Camera
Re: Night Sky Photography
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2020, 11:48 »
I did use editing software with that photo and it looks ok to me - perhaps the contrast is a matter of individual monitor calibration?  :dunno:
There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.

(Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


Show unread posts since last visit.
Sponsor for PC Pals Forum