Milky Way Photography with E-M10

Started Sep 25, 2018 | Photos thread
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brianwang76 New Member • Posts: 22
Milky Way Photography with E-M10

I was feeling great today and decided to be brave and show my milky way photo that I practiced throughout the past 2 years since I picked up my E-M10. Most of them are done with Panasonic 25mm f1.7 or Rokinon 12mm f2.0, and they are all taken in Arizona. These are pretty amateur so hope you guys don't mind I share so much stuff and hope you guys enjoy them!

They are all processed in Lightroom.

Perseid Meteor Shower 2018 -- Only got two due to bad weather for most of the night. Green color is beautiful airglow. Rokinon 12mm f2.0. This image is 5 photo median-stacked, with the meteors layered on top.

30-image panorama with panasonic 25mm f1.7 at f2.8 for each picture. Each sky is single shot, the ground is 10-image stitched pano with each having 4X 1 minute exposure and then stacked. I also love the green airglow here

Milky Way Core, 3 image stitched panorama, each image are stacked from 5 photos. "HLVG" used to get rid of green color. Each was f2.0, 10 seconds, ISO 2500.

Milky Way core 9 image stitched pano, each with 5 photo stacked.

This is an earlier practice panorama with 20 single-exposure photo I believe. Each with f1.7, thus you can see the vignetting in between. I learned that I need to stop down if I want to stitch photos!

Perceid Meteor Shower 2017, Grand Canyon North Rim, with Rokinon 12mm f2.0. I didn't know I am suppose to shoot foreground separately, and it's too dark for the poor E-M10 sensor, so very noisy. Sky is 60-image stacked.

Some technical info if anyone is interested:

Usually a wide angle lens provide pretty good coverage of Milky way, but my experience is that a narrower lens bring out so much detail in the Milky Way Core. Hence I started to use the 25mm and stitch pictures (since 25mm is not wide enough for the whole core). I generally use LR or Hugin for panorama stitching, and stop down to 2.8 to avoid ugly vignetting.

I usually median-stack photos to reduce photon shot noise. This noise happen due to random quantum fluctuation of light photon counts, and it cannot be removed from in camera Noise Reduction. NR can only reduce the "thermal noise" which basically are the hot pixels. Stacking is at this date the best method ever to reduce noise in astrophotography. The best stacking method is using Starry Landscape Stacker (on Mac) or Sequator on PC. I also sometimes used a plug in called "hasta la vista green" plug-in in Photoshop to get rid of some unwanted ugly yellow-green color shift, however in most case the green airglow is pleasant and I will keep it.

To be honest, m43 has a lot of great advantages, but astrophotography is not really one of them -- small sensor pixel size means more noise, and less dynamic range means stars will blow up, leaving less color in the picture compared to a full frame. Even with extensive processing/stacking/cleaning, the photo will still be a lot noisy and "muddy" compared to full-frame astro shots, and FF photo can easily be printed large if done properly. Still, I like m43 because I can bring it anywhere easily, and can still yield some ok results for me! And I am really looking forward to the rumored super camera Olympus might put out next year. If the sensor is a big step up then it will benefit astrophotography for sure!

 brianwang76's gear list:brianwang76's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Panasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 ASPH +1 more
Comment & critique:
Please provide me constructive critique and criticism.
Olympus OM-D E-M10
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