Please recommend me some settings for shooting night sky with a D7000

Started Sep 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
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nixda
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Please recommend me some settings for shooting night sky with a D7000
Sep 30, 2011

I'd like to try my hands at taking pictures of the night sky, without telescopes or guiding. I'd appreciate any pointers as to how to best use my D7000 and the Nikon 18-200mm lens.

Here is how I have done it last night, which was my first attempt:

0. mount camera on tripod
1. use interval shooting mode and take many 30-sec exposures at 18mm and F3.5
2. set manual focus to Infinity (surely not the best way).
3. turn noise reduction off
4. shoot in RAW + JPG (fine)

Here are my questions:

1. How do I best focus? I have none of the typical astrophotography gadgets to help me focus. Pick a star and focus through the OVF or with LiveView? Which works best?

2. Any settings that could be optimized?

3. Any other things that could help?

Thanks so much in advance.

 nixda's gear list:nixda's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8
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