Hey /out/ I need your advice. I'm not a pro photographer at all but I would like to get into photography and night photography, specifically taking pics of stars. But I have no clue where to start, can you guys recommend me a beginner setup that won't break the bank? That would be great
You'll need a tripod and a camera capable of adjusting its shutter speed and aperture at a minimum. The click you hear when a photo is taken with a camera is the shutter opening and closing. In the daylight it's like the blink of an eye, but when taking pictures of stars there's not enough light to get a visible image in that amount of time, so the shutter has to stay open for a while, maybe a few hours, to get an image like the one you posted. You also can't move the camera or the image will be blurry, which is why you need the tripod.
/p/ has guides for beginner setups, I think. If you want to try film, I'd recommend medium format, rather than the traditional 35mm. Better for nature photography because it's capable of holding fine detail from far distances. The Bronica SQ-A is a nice setup for about $300. Film costs a lot though. Get a digital camera if you're not as concerned with fine detail. Nikon d40 or canon rebel are two common beginner digital cameras.
Just so you know, that's not really what the Milky Way looks like with a long exposure, OK? Your image is clearly photoshopped with some nebula texture overlaid and vastly enlarged.
With a good set up, you can expect results more like pic related.
There are a few elements that go into this, and before that, you need to clarify what you want to do. 1) Take wide angle images, or 2) Take telephoto images. For either one, you can use a normal tripod or a tracking telescope tripod. A motorized tripod allows longer exposures, but good results can be achieved with a stationary tripod. The main pieces of gear you need to start accumulating are:
1) A modern DSLR with high ISO capability. Full frame sensors help a lot.
2) Fast lenses. For wide angle, f/1.4 is ideal, but the lens needs to be sharp with the aperture wide open, and not all fast lenses are.
3) A sturdy tripod. Either stationary or with tracking.
4) Post processing software, such as Lightroom.
All told, it will likely cost you thousands of dollars, so I'd recommend just giving up before you begin. Peace.
If you want an example of a good set up, a used Canon 6D and an EF 35mm f/1.4 L lens will get you where you want to be, albeit for a steep price. A cheaper option (though it won't give as much light-gathering power) would be a used Canon 60D and a 24mm f/2.8 STM lens.
Please disregard everything in >>661175. He's totally ignorant and possibly mentally retarded.
>so the shutter has to stay open for a while, maybe a few hours, to get an image like the one you posted.
If the image in the OP were a multi-hour exposure, either the stars would be streaks or the trees would be blurred. You can't have both. That image is definitely photoshopped heavily. Disregarding the fact that good night sky exposures are done with exposure times in the 20 second to several minute range (not hours), the kind of textures seen in the image in the OP are simply NOT THERE in the sky. Those are from a close up of a nebula, had colors wildly enhanced, and were dropped into the image with a semi-transparent mask in PS.
>You also can't move the camera or the image will be blurry, which is why you need the tripod.
You MUST move the camera (star-tracking tripod) for a significantly long exposure or the stars will just be streaks.
>film, I'd recommend medium format, rather than the traditional 35mm. Better for nature photography because it's capable of holding fine detail from far distances.
No, that's not what medium format is for at all. If your subject is very far away, the solution is to use a telephoto lens, not a bigger film format. Medium format cameras excel in capturing an extremely narrow depth of field for a given perspective not attainable with smaller formats. Not for cropping small subjects!
>Get a digital camera if you're not as concerned with fine detail.
Totally incorrect. Even entry level digital cameras far out-render film in terms of detail. Color depth isn't as good, but resolving power is now far more advanced than any format of film.
Just ask on /p/.
Op here, thanks for that advice but I'm not going to give up that easily, I'll look online for second hand cameras and I already have a tripod. And btw Ik the pic I posted isn't what it's going to look like, I painted that myself
>but resolving power is now far more advanced than any format of film.
You're completely wrong senpai.
Digital is better than 35mm film, true, but once you get into MF and LF, digital is shat upon.
I'm sorry that you're willfully ignorant. Have fun doing nature photography with a wide angle lens.
Eh op here again, I found this guy selling a Nikon d300 on kijiji for 175$, would this be good for what I want? I'll include the pic of the specs he listed
This, coming from the guy who thinks that the OP photo was a multi-hour exposure where the camera was held still for the entire exposure.
This camera is horribly out of date and I would not expect much from it. I gave you some recommendations of gear I'm familiar with. If you want to ask about older gear, /p/ is where you should be doing it.
>OP: go buy an H5D so you can do astrophotography.
I don't know anything about these cameras' low light capabilities. I'd suspect it's very good, but this is not what they are designed for. Looking at the specs, the highest ISO setting is only 800... Not that OP wants to spend $15,000 on a DMF camera, but still. Not so sure that they would be the best choice in any case.
What you need.
BULB shutter speed (preferably)
If you don't care about star streaks this is perfectly acceptable and easy. Finding stellar north and shooting directly at it will at least make the streaks circular in motion which is at least pleasing.
OR high performance ISO for minimal streaks.
If you want to take photos at night these are the factors you gonna want to cover:
no 1 TRIPOD
A lens that is wide and fast
A camera with reasonable sensor size and ISO performance
And yeah its all well and good you asking for advice man but serisouly do a bit of research ALL the information you need is out there. Get a budget, read some reviews, google the nomenclature you don't know, develop an understanding of whats important to YOU and what you intend to do with the camera, knowledge and ability is 90% of the game, we could recommend you the best cameras but if you don't know how to use it whats the point?
If you're low budget I'd say get a crop sensor dSLR intro, like a Nikon d3xxx, get it with the kit lens for regular shooting, and buy an additional lens for whatever you're into, but buy it after you've played around with the kit lens for a while.
Don't be afraid of buying a camera that is a year or two old - Photography is always about the newest the greatest and prices reflect that. You can get a VERY respectable camera if you buy the last generation model.
Don't become obsessed with the stats and numbers just get something you can afford and get out there and practice. You can always trade up later.
btw I'm a Fuji X shooter, and I use a 14mm f/2 lens for my astrophotography. Pic related.
Thanks, anon. Heres another for your perusal.
I'd recommend getting an external shutter release, either wired or wireless, they're not expensive and when you're doing long exposure you want to minimize possible camera movements as much as possible.
Pentax k 50 with kit lens (or even better a ~30mm prime lens) off ebay for 300$ + 20$
Has integrated timelapse functions and works well with high chip sensitivity settings
>This guy is a douche and telling you to ignore the other anon is bullshit.
No, just long exposures, typically shooting would be say ISO 800, f/2. 30 seconds.
You'll need an slr, a wide angle lens with a lower aperture is best, tripod, and I'd suggest a shutter release cable but you can certainly get by with the time settings on modern cameras.
Get a heavier tripod for better stability.
Camera I'd recommend canon or nikon. canon tends to be more vivid and nikon is more natural colors. a light sanctuary nearby or far from cities would be good.
>canon tends to be more vivid and nikon is more natural colors
This is easily avoided with the pictures settings (all modern dSLRs have them.) The point is moot anyway since whatever you do is going to require post (and you really should be shooting raw anyway.)
Personally I'm pretty happy with my LX7 for this kind of shit. As it's small and light I have it with me at all times when /out/ which means I get waaaaay more nice pics from it than I would with a DSLR.
Many of the manual controls have their own dedicated sliders/buttons.
Fairly wide ish lens for what it is.
Shutter speeds down to 250 seconds
Pretty cheap nowadays.
High ISO performance is a bit shit (small sensor perhaps?)
Gets a little grainy on long dark exposures even at low ISO.
Processing time of whatever the shutter time was after each exposure. This does mean dead pixels are dealt with though which is nice.
I personally am a BIG fan of compacts though, like I said it's better a compromised camera that's with you at all times than a perfect one that's only there when you can be arsed carrying it. Best camera is the one you have with you and all that.
You should spend another $5 on one of these, it helps a lot in the dark.
When I was moving, the truck broke down somewhere by the red box. Growing up in Chicago, I never thought the Milky Way was a real thing until that night I broke down on the Turnpike at 3am.
The area on that map where I currently live is supposedly really polluted, but I can see way more stars here than I could in Chicago. Especially when I look East over the ocean.
As far as OP's question, look for a sale on last year's Nikon or Canon DSLR. Or maybe a used one. The older models go on clearance for some good prices. Lenses and shit get expensive tho I think. Real film is cool, but it's 2016.
That seems like it has to be a glitch.
I'm confused as to why northern Italy and a lot of Germany looks worse than the NE United States. Is it really that bad? Or are there different types of measurements? Or just inaccurate math?
Like I said, where I live now, it is supposedly very polluted. It's populated, but when you get close to the ocean, you can see a lot of stars compared ro similarly populated inland areas.
>That seems like it has to be a glitch.
>I'm confused as to why northern Italy and a lot of Germany looks worse than the NE United States. Is it really that bad?
A late bump to the thread but here is a NASA photo of Europe at night. Italy in particular produces a ridiculous amount of light pollution.
There was a study on light pollution in Italy and it is so bad that the average Italian has measurably worse night vision than their European neighbors.
>On more than three quarters of the Italian population "night" never really comes because the zenith sky brightness is larger than the typical zenith brightness at nautical twilight due to the excessive amount of artificial light.
>Seven Italians on ten effectively live in perennial moonlight because the night sky in standard clean atmospheric conditions in the place where they live is brighter than has been measured in the nights close to full moon in the best astronomical sites. They rarely realize it because they still experience the sky to be brighter under a full moon than under new moon conditions.
>What's up with all the light pollution in northern Canada? The aura borealis?
The Magnetic pole is actually located in Canada and not at the geographical north pole so the aura borealis are very bright even in southern Canada. When you factor in all the reflective snow on the ground you will find that winter nights in Canada tend to be especially bright.
Toronto's harbor and the islands that surround it are not well lit and there are very few buildings. There is a tiny regional airport on the west side of the island and the rest is mostly park area.
I live there, that's why I mentioned it. The harbour is right downtown as you can see from your picture, the airport is regional but very busy (it's the Porter Airlines hub), and while you can see a few bright stars especially looking out over the lake, there's still a lot of light pollution. The only time I've seen the milky way from the waterfront was the blackout of 2003.
I am making a direct observation that I can see a lot more stars from the yellow-orange area on the left (north end of Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, north of the town itself) than the green area on the right (the lighthouse at the end of the Leslie St Spit).
That's still crazy how bright northern Italy is. And northern Europe too by the Netherlands and Belgium. I guess that is a fairly populated area, but I forget how close some of these European cities are to eachother.
Back when I was still in IL, I would be driving up I-57 towards Chicago and it is crazy how you can see the giant orange/pink spot in the sky when you are still pretty far south. It just gets bigger and bigger until you can't see the stars anymore. And on a cloudy night when there is fresh snow on the ground, the sky is orange and it is so bright outside.
I flew over Chicago a couple of times at night (the San Francisco to Toronto route went just south of Lake Michigan). As the sun started setting flying over the plains the lights from the towns started comng out, and the towns got bigger and closer together. We hit Chicago proper just as it got properly dark and the lights were spectacular. I can imagine the light pollution though.
Not really. You work out your focal length as a full frame (35mm) equivalent, and then divide 500 by that number to get your max shutter speed without star trails.
So I use a 14mm crop lens which = 21mm full frame, so 500 / 21 = 23 seconds.
Then use your ISO to get your exposure right, I usually start at 800 and tweak from there.
>All these retards who think OPs image is a photograph
>>chyeah brah I'm an expert photographer and this looks like a shoop brah
How dumb can you get