X-T10 long exposure and battery life for astrophotography

Started Jan 26, 2016 | Discussions thread
Cliff Beard Regular Member • Posts: 461
Re: X-T10 long exposure and battery life for astrophotography

If you are doing star trails using a digital camera you are usually better off taking multiple 30 second exposures and later combining them in free software such as Starstax.

This way the effects of any noise or sensor heating are greatly reduced.

You can use the built-in intervalometer on some cameras or use an app such as trigger trap and their electronic cable release.

Best to set exposures to 30 seconds at f2.8-4 approx and ISO to perhaps 400-800.  Take a single frame test exposure in the shooting environment and see if you need to adjust these parameters depending on the available light and any light pollution.

The interval between exposures should be as short as possible but there will be limits to how short this can be depending on the camera.  Sometimes if you set the interval too short the camera will not capture an exposure or will miss alternate ones.  Aim for 5 seconds or less.

A typical example would be exposure time 30 secs, interval 35 secs.  The exposure will trigger and take 30 secs then there will be a 5 sec gap before the start of the next exposure.

Because the Earth is moving, the interval between exposures can appear as gaps in the trails, so you need to keep the interval short and the gap problem will be more apparent with longer focal length lenses.

Starstax has a gap-filling blending mode so the software can help fill in small gaps in the trails.

Another point is that you need to make sure your lens is focused accurately at infinity, which is not always at the physical stop.  You may be able to focus on a point source of light at night such as a bright star, but it may be an idea to check infinity focus in daylight and note the position off the index mark on the focus scale (if the lens has one).  I take an iPhone snap of the focus scales of lenses I use focused at infinity so I can easily set the lens at any future time.

Lenses such as the Samyang 8 or 12mm or fuji 14mm are good as they have proper focus scales and are easy to focus manually.

You will need several batteries for a night of shooting.  An issue with the X cameras is that you usually have to remove them from the tripod to replace the battery so the same composition as before can be hard to achieve for a continuous trails and of course there will be a big gap in the trails.  You may get an hour or 2 of shooting on each battery, depending on temperature and battery condition, which should give decent trails.

Hope this helps.

Nikon D300 with 10.5mm lens...about 50 mins of shooting

X-T1 with Samyang 8mm; single exposure @ iso 6400

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