Has anybody seen the starr comet in the northern hemisfere

Started Mar 12, 2013 | Discussions
fotosplaneta
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Has anybody seen the starr comet in the northern hemisfere
Mar 12, 2013

Do you know which are the best camera settings that are necessary to picture this comet which it appears very low in the horizon and in the glow of the sunset. Furthermore, in the case in question it is necessary to take into account the glow of city lights. That is, which are the ideal aperture, iso, and shutter speed to get a good photo.  Besides of the best focal length required to get a decent size of the comet´s tail.

Regards

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Mark Scott Abeln
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In reply to fotosplaneta, Mar 12, 2013

I didn’t see it, since weather here has been overcast the past several days. Perhaps tonight might be good.

Anything longer than a 15 second exposure time for a normal lens will produce visible trails from the rotation of the earth. For longer lenses, shorter exposures will be needed for this, and so you might have to boost your ISO.

Since I assume you are using a digital camera, then you should not worry too much about exposure, since you can immediately check your histograms and image afterwards.

If you underexpose the image a bit, you will retain the color of the stars, which are usually overexposed in many astronomical photos.

However, the comet will only be visible right after sunset, and so there will be extensive sky light. In this case, automatic exposure might give you good results.

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Wildbegonia
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Re: Has anybody seen the starr comet in the northern hemisfere
In reply to fotosplaneta, Mar 12, 2013

fotosplaneta wrote:

Do you know which are the best camera settings that are necessary to picture this comet which it appears very low in the horizon and in the glow of the sunset. Furthermore, in the case in question it is necessary to take into account the glow of city lights. That is, which are the ideal aperture, iso, and shutter speed to get a good photo. Besides of the best focal length required to get a decent size of the comet´s tail.

Regards

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotosplaneta

Nope! We do not pay enough taxes up here in the northeast coast of North America to get that kind of celestial show!  

-- hide signature --

"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in" Leonard Cohen

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dsjtecserv
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Re: Has anybody seen the starr comet in the northern hemisfere
In reply to fotosplaneta, Mar 12, 2013

Here's one posted from the LA area from last night:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1196612

Dave

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johnznyc
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Re: Has anybody seen the starr comet in the northern hemisfere
In reply to dsjtecserv, Mar 13, 2013

I tried to get a shot Sunday night from the Top of the Rock.  Unfortunately, certain tourists did not  the time change and sunset became overly crowded and I missed the window.

I will try again Thursday at sunset...

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OpticsEngineer
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comet visible in NA
In reply to fotosplaneta, Mar 13, 2013

It was visible naked eye in New Mexico this evening.  Here a couple of handheld shots from my Sony A65  18-135 mm lens.  I was out taking pictures of my dogs and kids at twilight at the park when one of the other dog walkers reminded us about comet.  So  a few of us waited until if finally appeared, dimly, but clearly visible if someone could point out to you where to look.



sony a65, comet is small smudge in center of image



sony a65

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Placation101
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Re: Has anybody seen the starr comet in the northern hemisfere
In reply to fotosplaneta, Mar 13, 2013

fotosplaneta wrote:

Do you know which are the best camera settings that are necessary to picture this comet which it appears very low in the horizon and in the glow of the sunset. Furthermore, in the case in question it is necessary to take into account the glow of city lights. That is, which are the ideal aperture, iso, and shutter speed to get a good photo. Besides of the best focal length required to get a decent size of the comet´s tail.

Regards

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotosplaneta

Really depends how high in the sky you are able to locate it and how much haze. while it should get brighter as it gets darker it is so low that as it moves down in the sky eventually haze may obscure it. My best recommendation is a nice set of binoculars to find it immediately when it comes into view. look roughly above where the sun set. I set my focus on very distant clouds while the sun was still setting to avoid refocusing. I had to go all the way up to the local mountains here to get a clean Shot.

Iso, when it first came out I was shooting 100, 800 by the time it was all the way down.

If you followed the Fred Miranda link above you will see that the head of the comet is conical. The real shape is spherical. To best capture the true comet shape I observed keep the exposure under two seconds. At first I was able to keep it well under two seconds by the end in the haze it was much longer and the shape began looking worse in my opinion, more conical. Better to get a conical comet than none at all.

Dont need to worry really about city lights I don't think? Avoid them if possible.

shoot raw for noise removal.

i used a 300mm f/4 +1.4tc. f stop f/5.6-f/8 mostly 5.6. still pretty small in frame.

if you locate the comet early you should have plenty of time to adjust settings. Nobody will be able to give you the exact settings because conditions will vary and then vary again from sun setting. This is your chance to prove you can Quickly adjust. As long as you get one frame containing the comet you will be able to adjust exposure accordingly.

tomorrow is supposed to be a nice moon and comet photo op. however its not gonna really be easy to expose the moon and comet both properly so...

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OpticsEngineer
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answering the OPs question
In reply to Placation101, Mar 13, 2013

That was a better post than mine in terms of answering the OPs question.

The post below showed a good result on a Sony A99.   For a good picture, lower ISO and longer exposure time and a tripod is certainly better than my handheld shot.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3400196

And of course a fast long focal length lens would be a big help.  But it is still worth taking a picture even with something like a standard 55-300 zoom lens even if it is as slow as f/6.3 fully zoomed out.

From the time the sky became dark enough to see the comet,  knowing where to look, to when it disappeared into the dust in the sky toward the horizon, was about 15 minutes for us tonight.  So you do need to have a good idea of what settings you want to try.  Also, for my 1/20th second shots, the comet was not visible in the camera display.  I knew where to point the camera based on seeing where it was with my naked eye relative to the moon.  I just took a few shots and hoped the comet would be visible when I downloaded the image onto the computer, which it was.

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Placation101
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Re: Has anybody seen the starr comet in the northern hemisfere
In reply to Placation101, Mar 13, 2013

I should say that all of the shots I took that came out to my satisfaction were reasonably close to properly exposed.  try and shoot for a sky that looks approximately like every picture you see online.

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fotosplaneta
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Re: Has anybody seen the starr comet in the northern hemisfere
In reply to Placation101, Mar 14, 2013

Thanks everyone for all the answers.  Unfortunately it has been unusually cloudy during the past few days in a way that not even the moon was visible.  It is very strange the overcast conditions in this time of the year (rainy season is in the summer). However, it seems that the comet could still be photographed in the next few days using enough exposure time (hoping the clouds allow such implementation).

Cheers

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CuriousMark
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Re: Has anybody seen the starr comet in the northern hemisphere
In reply to fotosplaneta, Mar 14, 2013

You may want to check out several threads on Pan STARRS over in the Astrophotography forum area here.  Lots of discussions on what settings were used for the various shots taken and posted there from different countries and different parts of the US.

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