Improving astrophotography tips

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hasibul212003 New Member • Posts: 22
Improving astrophotography tips

So I am very new to astro so I would appreciate some tips which would help me take better pics.

This was taken with the X-T2 & Samyang 12mm. Tripod: Mefoto roadtrip. Shot RAW then converted to jpeg. No post editing done.

Apart from editing any tips that I could implement. ISO-400, SS-15 s

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GreetingsFromAP Regular Member • Posts: 107
Re: Improving astrophotography tips
1

hasibul212003 wrote:

So I am very new to astro so I would appreciate some tips which would help me take better pics.

This was taken with the X-T2 & Samyang 12mm. Tripod: Mefoto roadtrip. Shot RAW then converted to jpeg. No post editing done.

Apart from editing any tips that I could implement. ISO-400, SS-15 s

Looks like a lot of light pollution.  The 500 rule will help to determine how long you can expose but that doesn't account for light pollution. 12mm and f/2.0 should be enough if you can get to a dark sky area (look up dark sky maps), cloud coverage is low and the moon isn't out. Given the right spot you could even boost the ISO some . I'd also turn off all in camera processing .

I'd have to travel 2-3 hours for true dark skies but I know about 30 min and I'm away from the local sources. Plan to try it soon

Jerry-astro
MOD Jerry-astro Forum Pro • Posts: 13,393
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

hasibul212003 wrote:

So I am very new to astro so I would appreciate some tips which would help me take better pics.

This was taken with the X-T2 & Samyang 12mm. Tripod: Mefoto roadtrip. Shot RAW then converted to jpeg. No post editing done.

Apart from editing any tips that I could implement. ISO-400, SS-15 s

Well, a few things to consider.  The good news is that your lens choice is excellent.  The Rokinon/Samyang 12 is pretty well regarded as one of the very best astro lenses you can use on a Fuji mount camera.  There are a few things you can do to help here.  For starters, the light pollution here is pretty obvious.  This can basically ruin most any attempt at longer exposure astro shots.  So the most dramatic improvement you can make is to get yourself to a darker area with little or no light pollution.  Secondly, you still have a little exposure latitude and could probably shoot up to about 25s at that focal length without seeing much in the way of star trailing.  Any additional light from that somewhat longer exposure will result in more detail.  Finally, you are shooting (IMHO) at far too low an ISO and essentially leaving significant possible detail on the table.  You can easily go up to ISO 1600 (2 additional stops) or even ISO 3200, with some careful noise reduction, and see a ton more in the way of stars and other interesting celestial objects.  So, if you’re not really familiar with doing NR, this would be a good time to build some basic skills... it’s a “must do” for astrophotography, with the trick being reducing noise without also killing star detail.  It’s a skill you can develop with some practice.

This site has a lot of good recommendations and it’s an excellent place to get tips, not necessarily specific to Fuji gear, but still very useful:

https://www.lonelyspeck.com/astrophotography-101/

Best of luck and please do continue to share your work here.

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OP hasibul212003 New Member • Posts: 22
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

Thanks for the suggestion. I used the link and for my city all the areas are either yellow, orange, red. I am not sure yellow would be dark enough. So is the aim to find an area  with dark blue/ light blue color scheme?

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Erik Baumgartner Contributing Member • Posts: 722
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

hasibul212003 wrote:

So I am very new to astro so I would appreciate some tips which would help me take better pics.

This was taken with the X-T2 & Samyang 12mm. Tripod: Mefoto roadtrip. Shot RAW then converted to jpeg. No post editing done.

Apart from editing any tips that I could implement. ISO-400, SS-15 s

When shooting in low light situations, you are often best off to set your ISO for a minimum of 800 (on auto or otherwise). ISO 800 is actually less noisy than 400 and at twice the shutter speed.

Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 37,495
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

Lonely Spec tutorials are very helpful.   The third tutorial down on that page I think should be your first read (Finding the best ISO for Astro. . . )

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HB1969 Senior Member • Posts: 1,472
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

hasibul212003 wrote:

Thanks for the suggestion. I used the link and for my city all the areas are either yellow, orange, red. I am not sure yellow would be dark enough. So is the aim to find an area with dark blue/ light blue color scheme?

Are you looking at the darksite finder website? If so then I've taken images in areas that are in the "dark green" to "light blue" region but this alone is not enough. You need to have a clear view of the galactic center (the brightest part of the milky way) and on a night that is closest to the new moon* to get the best images.

* or shoot at a time before moonrise or after moonset.

Another tip. Use ISO800-3200. There's no advantage to shooting low ISO in this situation. You're not trying to protect any highlights and you'll have to boost the gain anyway if you shoot low ISO.

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kiwidad Regular Member • Posts: 357
Re: Improving astrophotography tips
1

hasibul212003 wrote:

So I am very new to astro so I would appreciate some tips which would help me take better pics.

This was taken with the X-T2 & Samyang 12mm. Tripod: Mefoto roadtrip. Shot RAW then converted to jpeg. No post editing done.

Apart from editing any tips that I could implement. ISO-400, SS-15 s

Take a road trip to somewhere where light pollution isn't an issue.

On a side note, somewhere in the world I have slides of the last time Haleys comets came by. I lived in New Zealand at the time and the Govt turned EVERY street light off in the whole country  in the wee hours several days in a row and it was incredible. Its amazing how much is out there when cities don't pollute and reflect back of the upper atmosphere also!

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HB1969 Senior Member • Posts: 1,472
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

I remember trying to see Halley's comet as a kid. It was in the backyard of our suburban house. All we could see was the fuzzy blob that, with hindsight, might not have even been the comet

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The Davinator
The Davinator Forum Pro • Posts: 22,234
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

hasibul212003 wrote:

So I am very new to astro so I would appreciate some tips which would help me take better pics.

This was taken with the X-T2 & Samyang 12mm. Tripod: Mefoto roadtrip. Shot RAW then converted to jpeg. No post editing done.

Apart from editing any tips that I could implement. ISO-400, SS-15 s

I tried my normal quick and dirty routine on my iPad to bring out as much as possible...but with posterization from an 8 bit jpg, and the amount of light pollution, there isn't much to go on.  Still...a fair bit of stars recorded.  You need darker skies.  A second thing to consider is running a number of 15-20...or perhaps 30 second exposures, and stacking them to increase SNR to get  ore data to work with.

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ToxicTabasco
ToxicTabasco Senior Member • Posts: 2,276
Re: Darker skies and higher ISOs
2

If you're getting that result with 400 ISO, chances are the sky isn't dark enough. If you want better night sky landscapes, the sky needs to be darker for more stars. And if you seek the milky way, it will need to be real dark on the horizon depending on where you shoot from.

In the Southern hemisphere you can get good milky way shots as the core of the milky way is above the horizon. However, in the US and other locations above the equator, you'll need real dark skies, as the core of the milky way will be on the horizon.

At any rate, the base line settings for a dark night sky landscape of the milky way should be f/1.8 at 3200 ISO at 15mm equivalent using 13 second shutter. Most new DSLRs and mirrlorless can achieve good results with this base line exposure set up.

Single shot from a time lapse with D5500 and Rokinon

Below, a multi shot, multi row panorama shot with Lumix G9 (micro 4/3 sensor) at f/2.8, 3200 ISO, 13 seconds exposure.

IF non milky way shots is your goal, you can get by with less ISO in brighter sky conditions. This next shot was done during a sunrise with less ISO.  And the Milky Way was barely visible.

Another key to getting more dynamic shots is, add in a low power LED light to enhance your foreground for more detail and color.

Anyway, hope this helps. Good luck on your night sky landscape adventures.

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miroshi Regular Member • Posts: 489
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

GreetingsFromAP wrote:

hasibul212003 wrote:

So I am very new to astro so I would appreciate some tips which would help me take better pics.

This was taken with the X-T2 & Samyang 12mm. Tripod: Mefoto roadtrip. Shot RAW then converted to jpeg. No post editing done.

Apart from editing any tips that I could implement. ISO-400, SS-15 s

Looks like a lot of light pollution. The 500 rule will help to determine how long you can expose but that doesn't account for light pollution. 12mm and f/2.0 should be enough if you can get to a dark sky area (look up dark sky maps), cloud coverage is low and the moon isn't out. Given the right spot you could even boost the ISO some . I'd also turn off all in camera processing .

I'd have to travel 2-3 hours for true dark skies but I know about 30 min and I'm away from the local sources. Plan to try it soon

Hmm, I think it is 600 rule, but may be wrong.

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HB1969 Senior Member • Posts: 1,472
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

miroshi wrote:

Hmm, I think it is 600 rule, but may be wrong.

This rule number gets higher and higher everytime I read it.

It used to be the 300rule

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kiwidad Regular Member • Posts: 357
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

HB1969 wrote:

I remember trying to see Halley's comet as a kid. It was in the backyard of our suburban house. All we could see was the fuzzy blob that, with hindsight, might not have even been the comet

Sadly when it was closest it wasn't the best comet like object to look at. My local observatory was open for viewing when it was heading toward earth and it looked like a fuzzy ball and at one pointy could almost see the tail. My pics looked like a cocktail glass shape of dots with a blob at the bottom.

It was exciting to shoot given its a once in a lifetime thing for most of us and also it was sooooo dark when the lights went out!

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miroshi Regular Member • Posts: 489
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

The things change only the stars are still there

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kiwidad Regular Member • Posts: 357
Re: Darker skies and higher ISOs

ToxicTabasco wrote:

If you're getting that result with 400 ISO, chances are the sky isn't dark enough. If you want better night sky landscapes, the sky needs to be darker for more stars. And if you seek the milky way, it will need to be real dark on the horizon depending on where you shoot from.

In the Southern hemisphere you can get good milky way shots as the core of the milky way is above the horizon. However, in the US and other locations above the equator, you'll need real dark skies, as the core of the milky way will be on the horizon.

At any rate, the base line settings for a dark night sky landscape of the milky way should be f/1.8 at 3200 ISO at 15mm equivalent using 13 second shutter. Most new DSLRs and mirrlorless can achieve good results with this base line exposure set up.

Single shot from a time lapse with D5500 and Rokinon

Below, a multi shot, multi row panorama shot with Lumix G9 (micro 4/3 sensor) at f/2.8, 3200 ISO, 13 seconds exposure.

IF non milky way shots is your goal, you can get by with less ISO in brighter sky conditions. This next shot was done during a sunrise with less ISO. And the Milky Way was barely visible.

Another key to getting more dynamic shots is, add in a low power LED light to enhance your foreground for more detail and color.

Anyway, hope this helps. Good luck on your night sky landscape adventures.

I got to get back to godzone

great shots from down under!

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OP hasibul212003 New Member • Posts: 22
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

Yes I was referring to the dark site finder website. Thanks for the suggestions I will keep them in mind when I shoot next time

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OP hasibul212003 New Member • Posts: 22
Re: Improving astrophotography tips

Thank you everyone for the useful advice

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Hi_fotoguy New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Improving astrophotography tips
1

Study up on ISO Invariance and Signal-to-Noise ratios. Fuji is pretty ISO invariant which in short means bumping your ISO does not increase the Noise in the photo. What you want to do is increase the Signal (collected light) by controlling ISO, SS, Aperture. The higher the signal to noise the less noisy the photo looks. So all other settings constant, an ISO at 400 would be more “noisy” than the same settings at 1600. I’m not an expert but I’ve taken this concept and have got much better looking photos. Still improving. Good luck!

LukasHaydukas New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Darker skies and higher ISOs

ToxicTabasco wrote:

If you're getting that result with 400 ISO, chances are the sky isn't dark enough. If you want better night sky landscapes, the sky needs to be darker for more stars. And if you seek the milky way, it will need to be real dark on the horizon depending on where you shoot from.

In the Southern hemisphere you can get good milky way shots as the core of the milky way is above the horizon. However, in the US and other locations above the equator, you'll need real dark skies, as the core of the milky way will be on the horizon.

At any rate, the base line settings for a dark night sky landscape of the milky way should be f/1.8 at 3200 ISO at 15mm equivalent using 13 second shutter. Most new DSLRs and mirrlorless can achieve good results with this base line exposure set up.

Single shot from a time lapse with D5500 and Rokinon

Below, a multi shot, multi row panorama shot with Lumix G9 (micro 4/3 sensor) at f/2.8, 3200 ISO, 13 seconds exposure.

IF non milky way shots is your goal, you can get by with less ISO in brighter sky conditions. This next shot was done during a sunrise with less ISO. And the Milky Way was barely visible.

Another key to getting more dynamic shots is, add in a low power LED light to enhance your foreground for more detail and color.

Anyway, hope this helps. Good luck on your night sky landscape adventures.

Ahh I love that shot of the Grand Canyon, and I never realized that people have been using low power LED lights for the foreground... Are there any that you can suggest?

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