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 Post subject: 1st attempt - milky way
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:08 pm 
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I was attempting more star trails earlier which failed quite badly - shooting through house windows simply is bad. I knew it was, but I wanted to try a north facing one, and leaving the camera in front of my house would likely get it nicked.

So just for last minute fun, I went back to my back garden and fired some random shots upwards. I got this:

Image
Sony A350, Sigma 10-20 at 10mm, 30s, f/4, ISO1600, MF to infinity marker on lens. Resize only.

I know the composition sucks, but it was more a test shot. If you look carefully parallel to the house roof line, there is a faint whiter band there, which looking up on a sky map confirms it is, and I got part of Cygnus too. Pegasus is visible in the lower left part of this shot.

Any ideas on how to reduce the light pollution other than going into the middle of nowhere? Desaturating reds helps to an extent I need to play with more. I do have a LP filter but it's for scope eyepieces and far too small for camera lenses. Bigger ones are scary expensive.

Edit:

Couldn't resist a quick go with the Canon.

Image
Canon 50D, Tamron 18-270 at 18mm, 30s, f/3.5, ISO1600, MF to infinity marker on lens. Auto colour correction, levels adjust.

I couldn't process the Sony output to be much better than it was. The Canon output was a bit easier to reduce the red glow from processing alone. I got the milky way a bit more visible here.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:07 am 
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popo wrote:
...Any ideas on how to reduce the light pollution other than going into the middle of nowhere?...

Going inot the middle of nowhere helps but if, as in your shot, the problem is sodium street lighting then a dedicated filter, such as the ones sold by Hutech for example, is a good investment. The LPS-P2-FF work with a small selection of bodies or you can get the same effect from a regular LPS filter. Unfortunately, as you can see from the price list, none of the LPS filters come cheap but I can confirm they work. But even with one in place if you go deep then you'll probably still have to remove a "sky gradient" during post-processing.

BBob.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:30 am 
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Thanks for the links Bob. The bigger diameter screw in ones are ideal apart from the $300+ price tag! I wonder if there are more "value" versions.

For now I think I just have to get creative with the eyepiece filter I already have. See if there's any way I can mount it to a wide angle lens.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:43 am 
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Here's one from last night, again pointing at Cygnus. The moon was too close I think.

Image

30 shots of 15 seconds each. f/3.5 18mm ISO1250.

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3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:01 am 
Nice :) now you need to learn how to get rid of that light gradient


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:09 am 
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I will as soon as I work out how :D I notice there's a function in Iris for that. Time to read the manual...

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Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:18 am 
Good luck :lol:

While in x1 zoom , select a black part of the sky ( upper right corner seems good ) then type >black then enter in the command window . You might have to adjust the threshold after that .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:28 am 
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This image is photoshopped. The basic output has a varying pink cast over the whole image.

And I just realised I forgot to try something last night - IR! I have no idea if that would give anything at all, but I wanted to try. Next time... probably not tonight though, looking cloudy.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:42 pm 
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Image
I think this was 18mm f/3.5 15 seconds (7 shot stack).

Another night, another attempt. Without the moon the white glare is gone, but the LP is still around. Still, the sky has been the clearest it has been for a while, and I even managed to see the milky way with naked eye.

Tried something a little different with the processing this time, as I just desaturated the lot and tweaked it from there. Did try selective colour but it didn't help. Note the white-ish circle in the middle which I guess is from lens vignetting.

I have more shots from the sequence I didn't use, as there were the occasional faint cloud drifting past. I'll have to manually sort those out another time and retry to see if that helps reduce the noise much more.

To get much beyond this I'm either going to have to pay up for the really expensive LP filter, or move to middle of nowhere. The second option isn't an option.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:59 pm 
The last two shots you posted are quite cool. THought if anything, a bit blurry?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:19 pm 
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The focus isn't perfect, as there wasn't anything bright enough in the sky for live view to display. Jupiter was hiding behind a tree, and the rest couldn't be seen. So I had to resort to using the focus indicator. It gets close enough for wide angle, although not perfect. Further to that, the lens suffers quite a bit from coma distortion I think it's called. Points towards the edges end up looking like cones.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:13 pm 
I see.

But just kind of going a bit off topic - when I was in the national park of the USA I saw some really awesome starts - I don't think I've seen so many ever before! I tried to take some pictures, but all I got was some, errrr, white dots and that's about it - I was thinking "yeah a DSLR would be beneficial; for this situation". Though looking at the settings on your shots it makes me think you gotta have "a bit" more than an SLR. :p

Though I think that bulb exposure would be really beneficial for this kind of stuff - not may comapcts have that and the noise would probably be too much even at base ISOs after too long.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:21 pm 
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It should be ok with a DSLR, but a bit more work is needed for me for two reasons: I don't have tracking at the moment, and also there's the light pollution to take care of. Noise can be worked around to a fair degree.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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