JBPhoto - really like the 1st photo, the long exposure really worked for you, great colour. That's a magazine quality shot.
Kernuak - your pic is great too, it has a Sci-Fi feel to it (like a UFO was about to land over the next ridge). Wonderful photo.
Thanks DB. It's the first time I've seen them in the UK and only the second attempt at photographing them, but I learnt from my first attempt. I have to say as well, that the 5D MkIII is cleaner for aurora at ISO 3200, than the MkII at ISO 1600.
Great photos! I would like to start doing this type of night photography....I'm trying to decide between purchasing the 24L II or the 24-70L II. Obviously, the 24L II is going to be better in low light, but I like the flexibility of the 24-70L II for my overall photography needs.
I have the 5D MarkIII....Can anyone share their thoughts between the 24-70L II and the 24L II for night sky photography?
When you say "this type" of night photography, meaning landscape/sky, where long exposures and tripods can be used, then I think the choice seems pretty clear, go with the 24-70L II. The presumptive low-light superiority of the fast prime is effectively negated if you have a still subject or the ability to use a tripod, and the 24-70L II is a wildly versatile lens otherwise (that is reputed to be plenty sharp at 24mm if you are set on using the wide end).
Actually, aurora are far from being static objects and fast lenses are imperative.Also, if you have too long an exposure, you start getting star trails, which often isn't what you want when shooting aurora. Lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 are the minimum and the faster the better. Ideally you need exposures around 3-5 seconds to get the structure of the aurora. For dimmer ones, such as the one I posted, the structure isn't evident, but for the ones like JBPhoto's, the bands you can see slowly move and you lose some of the impact with longer exposures, so 20 seconds is about the maximum ideally, unless you do timelapse, where the loger shutterspeeds create a smoother transition. While you can get good aurora images with the 24-70 and slower lenses, if you want to concentrate on aurora more specifically, then the 24 f/1.4 is better. It will also produce much higher image quality for more standard landscapes, but you do of course lose the flexibility of a zoom. Ultmately, it comes down to how important overall IQ is to you and how often you want to shoot aurora.