First Time Settings Question...

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP John Retsal Regular Member • Posts: 218
Re: First Time Settings Question...

Vincent DP wrote:

Hello John,

That zoom lens is not ideal.

Ultra wide makes it easy, not better, to shoot astro. An ultrawide lens has a small physical aperture and cannot gather a lot of photons. Your f/4 is also not very fast.

You would have *much* better results with a longer prime lens at f/2 - f/2.8. A 35mm would be excellent, a 50mm even better - but of course you would have to stitch multiple shots into a panorama.

If you want to use your 14-30 f/4 lens - I would use 24mm, 12 second exposures. At 14mm, you can expose for ~20 seconds without visible trailing.

The Z6ii is ISO invariant, so use ISO 800 and boost the exposure in post - this will prevent burning the bright stars. Most stars are not white, their color goes from orange to blue. You should certainly not use high ISO, as some people recommend - it would only clip the highlights quicker!

White balance - use daylight and adjust in post for natural color (brown - orange Milky Way). The night sky and the MW are not blue or purple.

Next steps - read about stacking multiple exposures and stretching.

I recommend Roger Clark's astrophotography articles: https://clarkvision.com/articles/index.html

Great info, thank you Vincent. I have the Z 50 1.8 and the Z 28 2.8 both of which I will try at my next outing. Below is one shot I took of the Perseus/Cassiopeia region (with M31 to the right of Cassiopeia). It was with the 14-30 at 30mm f/4, 8 seconds at ISO800. I pushed the exposure to +4.

The Milky Way did not show very well here.  Could it be too short of an exposure?

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