Nikon D810A: An astrophotographer's perspective
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Nikon D810A: An astrophotographer's perspective

Viking Lights. L'anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada. Nikon D810A, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens @ 14mm. Sky: Single shot at ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1 second. Foreground: Single shot at ISO 1600, 14mm, f/5.6, 2 minutes. Photo by Adam Woodworth

We first became acquainted with Adam Woodworth when we featured his portfolio earlier this year. His photos capture the interplay between the earthly and the celestial, often framing the center of the Milky Way Galaxy in alignment with landscape formations. Recently he's been trying out Nikon's D810A, the world's first full frame camera dedicated to astrophotography.

So what's different about a camera designed for astrophotography? Most cameras' Infrared filters are rather broad-ranging and filter out some visible red light, as well as IR. The filter on the D810A is much more precise, meaning the camera is around four times more sensitive to long-wavelength red light than an ordinary DSLR.

This makes it much more able to capture the Hydrogen Alpha spectral line (656nm): the precise color emitted by the hot clouds of Hydrogen gas that occur in emission nebulae. The modification won't make much of a difference when shooting sunlight reflected off the moon or planets, though the character of the filter means it's likely to give a reddish tinge to ordinary photography under certain circumstances. 

See some of Adam Woodworth's photos from the D810A and find out his impressions on using it.