Multi-row Milky Way Panorama - Shooting Workflow

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP indigoshrine Forum Member • Posts: 73
Re: Multi-row Milky Way Panorama - Shooting Workflow

Some good input here.

I just had my first MW night out and it was a big failure. Didn't even get that far with trying panoramas - major issues were much more basic: couldn't find a good spot even after hours of scouting, light pollution with the MW still being very low and only really visible in the final hour due to obstructive -  but necessary for composition - mountains. At that late time, some high clouds also dimished the exposures. It was way too cold so I had issues focusing with a steady hand. Worst of all though, the tracker stopped working and I only noticed almost at the end - assuming it stopped due to the cold, operating min. temperature according to manual only goes as far as -5° degrees.

At the end I just tried to consider it a training-only session, made one untracked single-row panorama in portrait with 18mm and a tracked 3x3 (sky) - 1x3 (foreground) in landscape with 50mm. I'll probably post the multi-row result here within the next days when it is finished, as I have a few questions and there's certainly lots to improve.

Coming back to the comments here:

- polar alignment: If the tracker is switched off for a longer period of time (let's say 30+ minutes) and I am also on a long focal length like 50mm or even 85mm, a repeated polar alignment is really not necessary? I read that for longer FLs, polar alignment needs to be very precise, but in my understanding if you leave the tracker off for an extensive period of time, the offset does grow quite strongly and at some point I would not feel confident anymore.

- thanks for pointing out about the f number for foreground, I used f4 on my 50mm assuming it would be enough for DoF but probably it has to be raised much more (which will result in even longer exposures though). I will definitely not go into focus stacking, the process is already complicated enough as it is

- I understand the benefit of arriving early to shoot foreground first and make use of twilight light. Two cons though: (1) you can only do that for one composition, if you want to shoot from a slightly different position later on you have the dark foreground again / (2) at this time and my location, it gets dark before 18:00 but the MW only gets out around 1:40, waiting 7+ hours between foreground and sky is not really an option. Will be more realistic later in the year though. Morning twilight (foreground last) is probably more helpful currently.

 indigoshrine's gear list:indigoshrine's gear list
Sony a7 III Zeiss Batis 18mm F2.8 Sony FE 85mm F1.8 +1 more
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