Settings on DSLR for simple photography

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Settings on DSLR for simple photography

Postby cwardlaw » Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:35 pm

I have made a very simple start in the attempt to capture a little of the night sky by putting my DSLR camera on a tripod and using changes to the ISO settings and exposure times to take images of The Milky Way, for example. I have tried a number of different things.

I am not sure at all as to which settings I should use on the camera. For example, there are P Tv M ....etc options. I know that I am very limited in what I do know so many thanks for the help any one can offer here.


CW
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Re: Settings on DSLR for simple photography

Postby Aratus » Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:03 pm

Hello. You can quickly get some impressive photos with your camera.
There are several options but try this for a start

If you have a standard type zoom lens, set it as wide as possible.
Turn off 'autofocus' (AF) and select 'manual focus'. (MF)
Manually set the focus to infinity. Try to focus on a distant street light or something like that
Turn to the 'TV' setting
Choose a high ISO like 1600 or 3200
Select an exposure of about 15 seconds (15")
For best results use the timer to trigger the shutter. That avoids shaking the camera when you press the button. An alternative is to place dark card in front of the lens, press the button, and then move the card away.
When you have your photo, zoom in and make sure the stars are small points of light. If they are out of focus then change focussing and try again.

You can try using 20" or 30" exposures but in many cases the rotation of the earth will cause the stars to trail. No harm in trying. Zooming in also reduces the time it takes for the stars to trail.
Of course if you want to trail stars, then leave the shutter open for longer.

You can easily photograph some of the smaller and medium sized constellations, conjunctions, and the Milky Way.

Post your results on the forum, and if you have any problems or questions, share them here.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: Settings on DSLR for simple photography

Postby cwardlaw » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:54 pm

Thank you for that very useful information. I will I am sure make progress when the skies clear.
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Re: Settings on DSLR for simple photography

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:49 pm

Aratus wrote:Hello. You can quickly get some impressive photos with your camera.
There are several options but try this for a start

If you have a standard type zoom lens, set it as wide as possible.
Turn off 'autofocus' (AF) and select 'manual focus'. (MF)
Manually set the focus to infinity. Try to focus on a distant street light or something like that
Turn to the 'TV' setting
Choose a high ISO like 1600 or 3200
Select an exposure of about 15 seconds (15")
For best results use the timer to trigger the shutter. That avoids shaking the camera when you press the button. An alternative is to place dark card in front of the lens, press the button, and then move the card away.
When you have your photo, zoom in and make sure the stars are small points of light. If they are out of focus then change focussing and try again.

You can try using 20" or 30" exposures but in many cases the rotation of the earth will cause the stars to trail. No harm in trying. Zooming in also reduces the time it takes for the stars to trail.
Of course if you want to trail stars, then leave the shutter open for longer.

You can easily photograph some of the smal<script id="gpt-impl-0.5178895779287636" src="http://partner.googleadservices.com/gpt/pubads_impl_104.js"></script>ler and medium sized constellations, conjunctions, and the Milky Way.

Post your results on the forum, and if you have any problems or questions, share them here.


I would only recommend using ISOs over 800 unless the site is REALLY dark.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

My website: http://www.philippughastronomer.com/

My blog: http://sungazer127mak.blogspot.com/

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/philippughastronomer/
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Re: Settings on DSLR for simple photography

Postby Aratus » Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:33 pm

I see the point you are getting at but I would say start at the highest ISO setting and keep reducing it if it makes the background too light. When the background sky is as dark as you want it, then that is the optimum ISO for that particular location. There is no harm is trying the higher settings first.

I have a sky which is roughly '4' on the Bortle scale* and I have little problem with ISO 1600 or ISO 3200 at exposures which are short enough not to trail with an average lens and a fixed tripod. '4' is better than a lot of people get, but it is far from being a truly dark site.

It would be interesting to see if others have an ISO limit due to sky brightness, and what that might be.

For anyone unfamiliar with it, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bortle_scale for information on the Bortle Scale
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
Aratus
 
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:17 pm
Location: East Lincolnshire

Re: Settings on DSLR for simple photography

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:06 pm

I use ISO 6400 for 300mm focal length shots and 2 or 2.5 seconds' exposure. I use ISO 800 for 30 second widefield exposures. I don't have a dark site and my limiting magnitude is usually around 4, exceptionally 5. I experiment a lot and not everything works.

Remember that you can use longer exposures near the pole.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

My website: http://www.philippughastronomer.com/

My blog: http://sungazer127mak.blogspot.com/

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/philippughastronomer/
The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof
 
Posts: 467
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:53 pm
Location: Wiltshire but can be just about anywhere up to 41 000 feet


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