View Full Version : Photographing the Milkyway - tips please

15-05-2019, 10:48pm
I will be fortunate to be away in June near Maroon Dam QLD, and I found Stellarium, which tells me that the milkyway should be visible between sunset and moonrise at 9:24pm.

That works perfectly for me as I won't need to get up in the wee hours of the morning :)

I was planning on using Deep Sky Stacker and take multiple static (no tracking mount) photos with my D7200.

So baring cloud cover issues.., has anyone got tips for me to improve my chances of getting (hopefully somewhat) awesome photos?

I've got a couple of f1.8 primes (35mm & 50mm) and my 16-80 f2.8-4.

Should I be using on of those primes for the f1.8? or my 16-80 for the wide angle?

Anything else that might help?


16-05-2019, 5:41am
No tips yet, but a Q: Are you after star trails, or a non-movement image?

16-05-2019, 5:59am
A non movrment image

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16-05-2019, 6:31am
OK, then if with a star-tracking device, decide on which lens will give you the FOV
that you want. Consider also using your narrower 50mm prime with its gaping f/1.8
for some narrower field view, such as in basketballfreak's recent Antares pic.

If not with a tracker, set up a pretty wide lens to reduce the star trail movement
(you'll never eliminate it, just keep it to a few pixels). It increases linearly with
distance from the celestial poles, so it is greatest at the C equator. About 30 sec,
wide open aperture, and I've seen up to 3200 ISO setting, depending on noise
performance of your camera.

- - - Updated - - -

Forgot to say: the stacking program should help to reduce noise, too.

16-05-2019, 6:42am
Hi John

If the D7200 is an APS-C (crop) camera, then the Field Of View of the 35mm and 50mm primes will only cover a portion of the Milky Way. If you want to record the wider sweep of the MW, you will either have to stitch a pano or use the wider zoom.

Do you have an app that allows you to enter your camera/lens combo and then overlay the FOV on the night sky - this will show you the framing with you various body/lens combinations.



16-05-2019, 7:44am
Important question is: do you want just the milky way sky in the image, or do you want some static terrestrial subjects in the scene with the astro?

Can't offer any specific astro advice, but in terms of gear I reckon ISO6400 is workable on a D7200, have no idea on that lens but hopefully 16mm works well at f/2.8.
And that leaves shutter speeds. 30 sec should be plenty heaps. At f/2.8 I don't think you'll need all of that, but never used that lens so can't help.

16-05-2019, 8:14am
AM, my thought of using Deep Sky Stacker was about the noise reduction :) . It has some good documentation on light frames and dark frames and all the other frame types and how they help increase the signal to noise ratio.

Dennis, I think Stelarium might show FOV. Will have to dig further.

Arthur, not sure if I'll be able to get terrestrial objects in the FOV. Stelarium suggests the milky way will be quite high in the sky between sunset and moon rise. Will have to follow up on Dennis' suggestion to see if I can preview the FOV.

How close to moonrise does the light from the moon start to add to light polution?

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16-05-2019, 8:22am
Oh and if this works out it will be perfect timing for the 'M' weekly challenge :D

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16-05-2019, 8:27am
Tands. Stellarium does show various angular grids for the sky, so you need only match that
with the FOV of your lenses.

16-05-2019, 8:17pm
Looks like it will be low enough in the sky that terrestrial objects might actually be an option.:confused013