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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:13 am
Posts: 135
Hi

Do any of you have some tips on shooting northeren lights?

I have shot a lot of them and my "tip" put it on a tripod or something steady, use a remote and do long esposiurs, and adjusting exposiure time, untill I liked what I saw. As I remember it was usually 10-15 sek.

I used 28-135 mm lens, set at 28 mm offcourse, and got pretty great shots.
It always bothered me not to be abel to show more of the sky. It isn't just a shade in the horizon, it spreads over most of the sky, and you only see the part where there is most.

But is there a more reffined teqnique, that would make the pictures better?
Anything else but exposiure time I should adjust?

What type of lens would be good for it? Wide angel offcourse, but what else should I look for in a lens for night photograpy?

I have been thinking of canon 10-22 because it is really wide.
It it a good choice?
Or will I be better off with something else?
Does the f/number make a big difference when you just expose the picture longer to compensate?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:36 am 
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Location: The Netherlands
The 10-22 may be a bit too wide, I dont know.
With 18mm on the kit lens could you really make some good wide shots...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:00 am 
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I think the question starts to expand to landscape thoughts. If you can include an interesting land feature in the shot it can help make the shot look better.

How wide you want to go depends on the situation. Going to 10mm will more than double the field of view you get from 28mm. The Canon 10-22 is generally considered a good lens. The recently launched Sigma 8-16mm is even wider! If you get a wide angle lens with a bigger aperture (lower f-number) then you could possibly use shorter shutter times for the same exposure. But if you're already using a tripod I don't think that really helps much.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:55 pm 
Hi michael_g,

1st, the canon EF-S 10-22mm is an excellent lens, I've been using it for about 2 yrs. It is definitely a specialized lens that gives you the equivalent of 16-35mm on full-frame. This is an ultra to standard wide angle zoom and nothing else, it has little reach, but if you shoot landscapes, shoot in tight limited spaces and like to experiment making highly distorted images, it might be for you.

Once you get beyond 24mm the level of distortion can get pretty strange if you don't shoot perfectly level or at a parallel angle with your subject. Both horizontal and vertical lines are affected; curving buildings, trees, etc. A good article/discussion on using ultra wide lenses can be found at the link below.

How to Use Ultra-Wide Lenses
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/how-to- ... lenses.htm

Consider renting before buying the 10-22mm. Call your local camera shop and rent it for half or a full day, perhaps over a weekend. Shoot everything you can, explore how ultra wide works. Also, DXO Labs makes a great piece of software that helps correct distortion and I highly recommend it if you buy the 10-22mm; you can also correct lens distortion in Photoshop.

DxO Optics Pro 6
http://www.dxo.com/en/photo/dxo_optics_pro/new_in_V6

Good luck shooting the Aurora...it looks amazing/beautiful.

Regards,

Jerry

PS. My everyday digital kit consists of a 40D, 10-22mm, 50mm f1.4 and 70-200mm zooms.

I've not really needed a mid level zoom, usually reverting to primes for the middle ground, but the new EF-S 15-85mm looks pretty nice and will get you 24-135mm coverage; more reach. And 24mm is plenty wide enough for shooting landscapes or wide expansive skies...like the Aorora!

You might look at Gordon's review of the 15-85mm, its very informative and you get IS with this lens; the 10-22mm is non IS.

Canon EF-S 15-85mm IS USM
http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon ... 5mm_IS_USM


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:05 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Canada
This article might help:

http://www.alaskaphotographics.com/how_ ... ghts.shtml

Luminous Landscape also have a couple articles about photographing auroras, so you could have a look at them as well. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:51 am 
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Canon have just published the web page Fredrik NeregÄrd on photographing the Northern Lights.

Bob.

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 Post subject: Aurora Alert
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:45 am 
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Hi folks,

The Universe Today reports that a solar flare (coronal mass ejection) is heading our way and could produce some good auroral displays sometime on Nov. the 14th or 15th. If you live at high latitudes and you fancy trying to capture some images then "clear skies".

Bob.

P.S. I've taken the opportunity to move this thread to our Technical and scientific photography section.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Darn, although 49 degrees north feels like the North Pole, it just isn't north enough to get good auroral displays... Sometimes we'll get some small ones, but it's very rare and they're dim...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:24 am 
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Hi folks,

Wish they were mine but sadly not: check out these Zoltan Kenwell's aurora photographs taken yesterday.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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