D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic

Started Jan 27, 2013 | Discussions
Astrophotographer 10
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D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
Jan 27, 2013

The D800E and 14-24mm F2.8ED combo works really well for nightscapes.

This one is 24 images at ISO6400, 30 seconds of the Orion area to Eta Carina all sky mosaic.

http://upload.pbase.com/image/148495320

Greg.

Nikon D800E
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Daniel Lauring
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 27, 2013

Wow.  What technique do you use?...ie...exposure time, ISO...etc.  Do you stack images?

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Steve Bingham
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Now that's impressive!
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 27, 2013

. . . and i don't impress easily! Take a bow!

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herbymel
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 27, 2013

Some more nice work Greg...would like to see an even larger example of it.

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Daniel Lauring, Jan 27, 2013

On a ballhead tripod, 3 images up in a column x 8 wide. 30 seconds ISO640 long noise reduction on, picture style vivid, mirror lock up, RAW. I use the levelling tool to level most times.

Lightroom 4.3 for RAW processing, PTGui Pro for stitching, Photoshop for colour processing. No stacking of images.

Greg.

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Zardoz
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 27, 2013

Why is the top of the image so blurry?

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Vincent O'Sullivan
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 27, 2013

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

On a ballhead tripod, 3 images up in a column x 8 wide. 30 seconds ISO640 long noise reduction on, picture style vivid, mirror lock up, RAW. I use the levelling tool to level most times.

Very nice image.  Unfortunately, I live too close to London to try anything like that.  I was going to ask about the pink and green banding across parts of the sky, but the fact that you set the picture style to vivid probably explains that.

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Zardoz
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Vincent O'Sullivan, Jan 27, 2013

Not sure what effect the vivid picture style will have when he also said it was shot raw and processed in Lightroom.

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Daniel Lauring
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 27, 2013

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

On a ballhead tripod, 3 images up in a column x 8 wide. 30 seconds ISO640 long noise reduction on, picture style vivid, mirror lock up, RAW. I use the levelling tool to level most times.

Lightroom 4.3 for RAW processing, PTGui Pro for stitching, Photoshop for colour processing. No stacking of images.

Greg.

Thanks.  What lens do you use such that you don't have distortion issues when lining up the pictures?

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Tung Chung
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 27, 2013

Beautiful picture, well worth the man hours you've put in this mosaic

Tung

http://www.tungchung.co.uk

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Vincent O'Sullivan, Jan 27, 2013

The pink and red and green banding is related to aurora. It is a radioactive emission from charged molecules. The different colours relate to different elements reacting. I think red is sodium, blue is oxygen, I forget what green and yellow are. I could look it up if you are interested.

At first I though these colours were an artifact in previous images I have taken. My site is very dark, almost light pollution free which is quite rare in the modern industrialised world. I see it also in other people's images too. It varies. On time lapses you can see it moving like slow moving clouds. Some nights its more prominent than others.  Its called skyglow.  Its not visible to the eye and you would need a dark site to pick it up.

I often wondered why sometimes I would get a green gradient in my telescope images from my dark site. There was clearly no light pollution. This is why.

These modern cameras are so sensitive now they are picking this stuff up. The green skyglow can e quite bright in some images I have taken so I turned down the white balance to 4200K and reduced green and magenta -1 each in white balance.

Those colours are slightly enhanced but clearly visible even on the LCD download.

Fascinating really.

Greg.

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Brandon birder
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 27, 2013
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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Daniel Lauring, Jan 27, 2013

I mainly use 14-24mm F2.8ED and I have also used 24-70mm F2.8ED. I think F2.8 is the irreducible minimum here. I have a Samyang 24mm F1.4 which is good also but you need to stop it to F2 before coma and chromatic aberrations are tamed enough to use it. 24mm is as long as I would go at 30 seconds. In fact the 24mm at F2 is bright at about 12-15 seconds and I will probably try that next time. 14mm is good that way in that 30 seconds still has relatively round stars hence the ISO6400. I suppose I could do a panorama using the Vixen Polarie lightweight travel mount but the D800E is a bit heavy and bulky for that. I could probably just do it.

I used Lightroom 4.3 to do lens corrections. Also noise control. It does these better than NX2.

I did not do anything when taking the photos to allow for distortions. I overlap at least 25% and I think most of this was overlapped at least 50%. It was a problem with stitching though. I found this one the hardest to stitch so far as there are some trees and foreground objects that created parallax errors.

I intend to get a Nodal Ninja NN4 pano head before the next lot to make this aspect a lot easier. This shot was simply done by shifting the camera on the ballhead and levelling using the artificial horizon in the D800E.

Greg.

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Tung Chung, Jan 27, 2013

Thanks Tung. I appreciate your compliment.

Greg.

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Brandon birder, Jan 27, 2013

Cheers Brandon.

Greg.

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: Now that's impressive!
In reply to Steve Bingham, Jan 27, 2013

Thanks Steve!

Greg.

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Vincent O'Sullivan
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 28, 2013

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

The pink and red and green banding is related to aurora. It is a radioactive emission from charged molecules. The different colours relate to different elements reacting. I think red is sodium, blue is oxygen, I forget what green and yellow are. I could look it up if you are interested.

At first I though these colours were an artifact in previous images I have taken. My site is very dark, almost light pollution free which is quite rare in the modern industrialised world. I see it also in other people's images too. It varies. On time lapses you can see it moving like slow moving clouds. Some nights its more prominent than others. Its called skyglow. Its not visible to the eye and you would need a dark site to pick it up.

I often wondered why sometimes I would get a green gradient in my telescope images from my dark site. There was clearly no light pollution. This is why.

These modern cameras are so sensitive now they are picking this stuff up. The green skyglow can e quite bright in some images I have taken so I turned down the white balance to 4200K and reduced green and magenta -1 each in white balance.

Those colours are slightly enhanced but clearly visible even on the LCD download.

Fascinating really.

Greg.

Thanks for your reply.  I, too, had assumed that it was some kind of artefact.  I'm impressed that you've followed it through and been able to show that it's natural, and also impressed that these effects can now be picked up so clearly by a consumer SLR.

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J Mankila
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Beautiful indeed - one question...
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 28, 2013

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

The D800E and 14-24mm F2.8ED combo works really well for nightscapes.

This one is 24 images at ISO6400, 30 seconds of the Orion area to Eta Carina all sky mosaic.

Certainly a beautiful sight, thanks! One thing that bugs me, though, and it's the distortion near the top edge. Perhaps has to do with the chosen parameters in PTgui, or simply the fact that the original photos cut close to the Milky Way?

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regards
Janne Mankila, Finland

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Lance B
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Re: D800E 24 image Milky Way mosaic
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Jan 28, 2013
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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: Beautiful indeed - one question...
In reply to J Mankila, Jan 28, 2013

Yeah I tried to minimise that and went to great lengths to reduce that. I have had this before in other panoramas but not quite as bad. Its a consequence of the type of projection used in the stitching program. I have seen it in others similar images. You have a choice of projection methods and this one works best overall but that is a consequence. I do have other views of the same image with no distortion but these are more circular with the Milky Way spiral arm going across the image in a straight line.

I think if I shoot with a panorama head it may be reduced.  I probably should take a few more shots overhead to widen that view to give me more margin later in processing. Something to work on with the next one.

Any suggestions on how to minimise this effect? I think a Pano head, faster capture time, more overhead shots would help.

Greg.

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