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Thread: Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Default Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!



    I recently took the plunge and got my first DSLR and tripod $800 in total and took it out tonight and I caint get the lens to focus on the stars!!!!!!!!! I am in manual mode and nothing all blurry images. the lens i have is the kit lens and it has no infinity symbol on it? can that be the problem. Help depressed.

    Cassandra

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    Default Re: Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You might give us a bit of help, to help you - what camera body, and which kit lens?
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    Default Re: Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!

    One thing that will help is to focus on a star. Using the LED screen, zoom in on the star on the screen. Get the focus to a pin point of light. Once you get the focus set, using masking tape or painter's tape secure the focus by taping it.
    Thanks
    michael
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    Default Re: Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The infinity setting on a camera is seldom perfect.
    Always better to home in on your target, live view it and expand to the 10x view.
    Tune the focus carefully then trigger with A REMOTE SHUTTER RELEASE.
    With the camera on live view there will be no mirror slap and if you don't touch the camera it won't vibrate-
    The more solid your tripod the better the pic.
    The mount is more important than the camera for many things - making sure it is stable is the key to successful AP
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    Default Re: Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Its a SL1 18-55 mm lens. I am a total newbie and I think the live view will probably help.thanks

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    Default Re: Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You'll want the lens at its widest setting, 18mm. Using the manual focus ring, and the LiveView function, as others suggest, zoom in on a star in the target field, then twiddle the focus ring until the star is in sharp focus. A piece of painter's tape can be used to secure the focus ring, once things are set.

    The focus will likely change from night to night, based on temperature, so you'll get lots of practice.

    With a tripod, your exposures will be limited to a few seconds, maybe 10 at the absolute outside, depending on the elevation (altitude) of your target field in the sky.
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    Default Re: Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cassandra,
    Set the camera to Manual Focus. Make sure the lens is set to Manual Focus. Using Live View, you can also use the Magnifier button to verify that the stars are in focus. You're looking for the smallest size.

    If you are running AF or AF Continuous, it most likely will not have enough information to correctly focus on, which is why you have to use manual focus.

    I recommend an ISO setting of either 400 or 800. You might try 1600, but for most entry level cameras, I find that to be pushing it.

    At 18mm, your F/ratio is f/3.5, while at 55mm, it's f/5.6. Not overly great numbers.

    Now, here's the thing. With an 18mm lens, you should be able to do wonderful images of the Milky Way, and you should be able to expose up to 15-20 seconds with that focal length. For DSLR photography, there is something called the Rule of 600, which basically says divide 600 by the focal length of your lens. Here's a great chart to help you figure out your exposure.

    Astrophotography and the 600 Rule | Capturing the Night

    Purchase an 'Intervalometer' like this one: LCD Intervalometer Remote for Canon 550D 600D 650D 700D 100D 1200D 1000D 100D | eBay

    This will allow you to set the camera to take a series of shots at a regular interval. So, you could set it to take 10 twenty second exposures every 30 seconds. That way, after five minutes, you can come back and the camera has shot those exposures. Drop them into DeepSky Stacker, along with the flat and bias frames, and you'll be good to go. Read the DSS Wiki for information on using DSS.

    Hope this helps,

    Gary

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    Default Re: Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks and I have discovered how to use the live view and i think that will help a lot!

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    Default Re: Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Dont forget to come back and post your images! I love wide-field star shots, especially of the Mily Way.
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    Default Re: Help taking photos of the stars!!!!!!!!!!!!


 

 
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