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Author Topic: Best setup for falling stars  (Read 8363 times)

lintoni

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2013, 11:11:43 AM »
Best set up for falling starts?

You could try the Betty Ford Clinic?
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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2013, 11:11:43 AM »

LewisShermer

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2013, 11:34:24 AM »
I tried this for the first time last night in my garden. I was pointing the wrong way for the milky way (as that'd be pointing towards my flat) and failed to catch any significant asteroids (as I was only out there for 10 mins just playing about)

I'm pretty sure that if I recreated these settings in the proper settings and persevered for a good amount of time these would serve me well:

canon 5Diii, 24-105L @ 24mm, f8, 1600iso, 30 sec, around 2900k for white balance (or shoot auto in raw and sort it out after)

I did do a bit of noise reduction in post.

you might want to pop the odd flash off at f8 if there are any points of interest within the frame when shooting...

it's not a great shot as it was just messing about, but the theory is sound...
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CarlTN

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2013, 04:07:38 PM »
I'm spending next Monday night trying to capture the falling stars and an not quite sure how best to do this. I checked the forum and there are a few threads about it, but mostly about the night sky and not so much about falling stars.

Currently I own the 7D and 5DIII and plan to use both on tripods with the usual trimmings (mirror lock-up, remote trigger with 2 or 10 seconds delay), but haven't fully decided about the lenses and the camera settings.

Lens-wise I have at my disposal the following (partly my own, partly from a friend) (U)WA lenses:

Samyang 8 mm 3.5 fisheye
Canon 10-22 3.5-4.5
Samyang 14 mm 2.8
Canon 16-35 mm II 2.8

My initial idea was to use the following setup:

5DIII + Sammy 14, at 2.8, 30 seconds, ISO 800
7D + 10-22, at 10 mm 3.5, 30 seconds, ISO 1600

What is your idea about that? Catching falling stars is the main objective, so I might bend or even break the rule of 600 a bit, preferring photos with them and some motion blur of the others stars. Also, I know that I could crank the ISO quite a lot higher with the 5DIII, but shorter times again reduce my chance of getting a meteor.

Unfortunately I am going to the countryside with some friends for this and don't have the opportunity to properly test the settings on-site beforehand. However, I took some photos there last year, and here is an example with the 5DIII, the 24 1.4 at 2.2, with 51 seconds and ISO 400 (never mind the blur, I wasn't properly supporting the cam). This year it might be a bit darker, because we're going to be there between 2:00 and 4:00, and last year we were there at 23:00.

I'll do some initial test-shots when we get settled there, but a small hint would be most welcome. Also whether the 8 mm fishy might be a better choice for the 7D.

Nice airplane lights...my advice would be to not use a 7D.

CarlTN

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2013, 04:09:04 PM »
Dear Friends.
I do not know how to shoot the stars with Wide Angle Lens yet, But I use my EF 600 mm. shoot the Moon and the Comet ( First time in my life) = The Comet Panstars - 3/12/2013. I have Learn From the PRO that when we use the Long Tel. Lens, We must set the Super Fast Shutter Speed such as 1/500 Sec. to not let the moon Movement Blur.
Yes, I set My Canon 5D MK II at the TV.( shutter Speed Priority) at 1/ 500 sec, Set ISO = 2500  and the Camera will auto set F = 4.0.
It's works.
Enjoy
Surapon

You let too much blue in, and the moon shots should have been sharper, it seems to me.  But they're interesting pictures nonetheless.

CarlTN

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2013, 04:10:56 PM »
I'd consider sticking a fast 50mm on a full frame and going with that.  http://www.extremeinstability.com/2012-12-13.htm  That is what I got last year with a Sigma 50 on a 5D II.  20 seconds 1600 ISO apparently on this one then stacked the frames.   


Too bad coma so bad on that lens and well all the fast canons.  This year going to try the Samyang 24 F1.4 on the 6D.  Just because it at least doesn't coma.  14 too wide  unless something crazy happens.  If I had a 50mm that didn't coma I'd probably chose that as the go to lens for this.  35mm probably best on full frame for it.  Hard to say but fast lens helps a lot. 

Everyone that goes out to do that should at least have a cable release they can lock in and let the camera go in consecutive shooting mode.

Yours is the best shot of this thread, very nice job!  I too am thinking of the 24mm Samyang or Rokinon with my 6D...for ISON (but I have a feeling I will also use longer lenses).  If you want a good 50mm f/1.4, try the Voigtlander 58mm Nokton SLii.  I will probably never sell mine.  Unbelievable wide open to the corners, even on full frame.  I use a Photodiox Nikon-to-Canon adaptor, works well. 
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 04:14:13 PM by CarlTN »

surapon

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2013, 04:21:03 PM »
Best set up for falling starts?

You could try the Betty Ford Clinic?

Ha, Ha, Ha---At that Place--Thanks Dear Lintoni, , I can use my 70-200 or 100-400, and my 600 mm too,  I do not want to use 24-70 mm, because of the Security guards of the falling stars , might beat me up.
Thanks for your suggestion, and I can sell these photos to the newspaper too.
Surapon
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 04:33:25 PM by surapon »

surapon

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2013, 04:38:55 PM »
Dear Friends.
I do not know how to shoot the stars with Wide Angle Lens yet, But I use my EF 600 mm. shoot the Moon and the Comet ( First time in my life) = The Comet Panstars - 3/12/2013. I have Learn From the PRO that when we use the Long Tel. Lens, We must set the Super Fast Shutter Speed such as 1/500 Sec. to not let the moon Movement Blur.
Yes, I set My Canon 5D MK II at the TV.( shutter Speed Priority) at 1/ 500 sec, Set ISO = 2500  and the Camera will auto set F = 4.0.
It's works.
Enjoy
Surapon

You let too much blue in, and the moon shots should have been sharper, it seems to me.  But they're interesting pictures nonetheless.


Thousand Thanks, Dear CarlTN  for your Comments, Yes, That Blue Moon is late After Noon, in Blue Sky---Yes, I should get the Moon Photos sharper----Yes, I forget the Insect spray, And The Mosquitoes in My home town , in North Carolina are big as the Bees-------Just Fast Shot and Go back Home.
Thanks again
Surapon.

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2013, 04:38:55 PM »

Rick Massie

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2013, 05:37:44 PM »
I tried this for the first time last night in my garden. I was pointing the wrong way for the milky way (as that'd be pointing towards my flat) and failed to catch any significant asteroids (as I was only out there for 10 mins just playing about)

I'm pretty sure that if I recreated these settings in the proper settings and persevered for a good amount of time these would serve me well:

canon 5Diii, 24-105L @ 24mm, f8, 1600iso, 30 sec, around 2900k for white balance (or shoot auto in raw and sort it out after)

I did do a bit of noise reduction in post.

you might want to pop the odd flash off at f8 if there are any points of interest within the frame when shooting...

it's not a great shot as it was just messing about, but the theory is sound...

Just to help the OP - I would not recommend these settings. They will work good for normal stars since they get to let their light bleed into the photo for 30 seconds. However, a shooting star will only last for about 1 second or less, and at F/8 Iso 1600 I really don't think it will register on the sensor. Wider aperture, and shorter shutter speed is likely to work better, at least in my limited experience.

tiger82

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2013, 05:54:58 PM »
To get the same amount of light captured at ISO 1600:

30s @ f/8
15s @ f/5.6
8s @ f/4
4s @ f/2.8
2s @ f/2
1s @ f/1.4

For a 1s exposure, if you have:
f/4 lens, you have to shoot at ISO 12800
f/2.8 lens, ISO 6400
f/2 lens, ISO 3200

I hope my math is right.  Get a remote shutter release that stays locked and keep the camera in continuous shooting mode and you just may capture some shooting stars.
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Geohansolo

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2013, 07:19:13 AM »
I find that you can use relative low ISO, max 800, with short exposures of 10-15 seconds using a wide angle lens as the Canon 10-22. At 10 mm, remember that longer exposures will cause star trailing in the corners. When I shot the Perseids last year, I made 10 second exposures at F/2.8 and ISO 800. At 15 seconds exposure, star trails were getting significant and at 30 seconds, most star were just blurs.

As suggested earlier, stacking as a pleasant alternative

TommyLee

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2013, 08:46:35 PM »
Best set up for falling starts?

You could try the Betty Ford Clinic?


ha ha you beat me to it

FIRST OFF people here have great ideas and pics... wonderful...

on a less serious note
I usually use a 35 f1.4 sigma ..... on Lindsy Lohan...in the clubs....

sorry ......when I saw your post I had to un-restrain myself....

again........... I love the REAL work here

TOM

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2013, 07:53:06 AM »
Last week I did two night sessions with the 600D and the tokina 11-16. I chose ISO 1600 (too much color noise in the area where some light pollution slightly brightens the sky, next time i'll set 800), f/2.8 and 30sec. With some PP i got nice time lapse movies. I caught some falling stars, and the second night when pointing south, there was some kind of satellite tumbling around ;)

After the exams i will edit these movies.

I need to get that money to buy me the new sigma lens - with f/1.8 10s exposures should work fine!
Oh, and a battery grip for 900 instead of 450 images ;)
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stephan00

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2013, 10:40:25 AM »
Hi guys,

just wanted to follow up with the results of my nightly session:

I shot around 520 frames, about half on 5DIII and 7D each.
I ended up with around 30 frames with something in it other than trees and ordinary stars.
I found three frames where I am quite sure they have a falling star in them (all three of them included below)
I got several frames with more than one moving thingie in them which are most probably satellites, non-blinking planes, the ISS or the latest Alien shaceship :-)

Next time I'll probably take the advice with the shorter exposure time (and a timer remote), as it is indeed kinda difficult to see the faint traces in the long exposure frames.

Some time during the time I realized that the lenses started to fog up, due to the cool night, and had to periodically wipe them off; this is also one thing I will have to improve upon next time.

But it was fun, and I'll be doing the same thing next year for sure  :)

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2013, 10:40:25 AM »

stephan00

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2013, 10:44:58 AM »
here are some with several traces in them :-)

What's also fascinating is comparing a few frames which were each taken a minute apart and see the slow revolution of the stars!



epsiloneri

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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2013, 04:38:49 PM »
Congratulations on your catches! Though in the images you posted only 20130813-0132 and 20130812-0129 look like meteors. All of your second set are definitely satellites. Meteors can be tricky to capture, but I have a good recipe and I'm sorry I wasn't able to share it with you before this year's Perseids. Well, there are other showers (e.g. the Leonids) , and perhaps you will have the opportunity for a repeat with good weather next year, or for the moonless 2015 Perseids.

A few relevant things about meteors:

  • There are more fainter meteors than brighter
  • They flash in a fraction of a second (longer for brighter ones)
  • Showers appear to originate from a point, called the radiant
  • Meteors (even for showers) are as likely to happen anywhere in the sky, and are unpredictable

1 & 2 implies that in order to catch as many meteors as possible, you should aim for maximum practical sensitivity while limiting the background as much as possible for the best contrast.
 
  • Maximum aperture for your lens
  • As high ISO as you find acceptable
  • The shorter the exposure (longer than the expected duration of the meteor), the better the contrast, i.e. the brighter the meteor looks like relative to the background/foreground. There is a trade-off to be made, of course. In practice, using the longest exposure that maintain dark skies does not significantly worsen the contrast, so go with that. This is where you realise you need dark skies, as city skies easily can saturate in less than a second, while you can go on for minutes before that happens in truly dark locations.
  • Keep shooting repeatedly for as long as you can.
  • With dropping temperatures, watch out for dew on the front lens. Lens hoods help a bit, but for wide-angle lenses they are not very constraining.
  • Watch your focus, use live view on a bright star. For a slow lens (as the EF-S 10-22), use some other, bright faraway light, or focus during daytime and lock it.


What about focal length? With a wider lens, you cover more sky, so are more likely to get a meteor in the field. On the other hand, its image will be smaller and less impressive than if you were lucky to catch it at a longer focal length. Again, it's a trade-off.

For your alternative, I think the lens choices you made are the best given your selection, but as you've already concluded, it would be better to reduce the exposure time of the 5D3, perhaps using 10s with ISO 1600 or 3200. That would improve your contrast by a factor of 3. For the 7D. it's hard to improve your strategy, since going beyond ISO 1600 gives pretty noisy results.

I also photographed the Perseids this year, but I did it in a very lazy way. I happened to visit my parents-in-law house on the countryside, where they have dark skies, so I just went out at midnight and set up the camera to shoot repeatedly (using a remote and locking the shutter button). Went to bed, and came back to empty the net after two hours. My settings:
5D3+24/1.4L @ 1.4, 15s, ISO 1600. Since I wanted to capture the perspective effect of the radiant, I included Perseus in the field (but no interesting foreground object... I save that for 2015!). In ~500 frames, I identified ~50 meteors, out of which I produced a mosaic from the brightest half (seen below). The mosaic took some time to produce in photoshop, since I had to match the rotating background of stars. Next time I'll perhaps use a mount with drive, to simplify the process.

I think 24/1.4 is pretty much ideal for meteors. Unfortunately the 24/1.4L has awful coma, so next time I will probably try the Samyang 24/1.4, which is supposed to show less (see this thread)

I also found hundreds of satellite tracks in my images. The easy way to identify them is:

  • hey are generally white (reflected sunlight). Meteors are colourful!
  • They last for more than a fraction of a second (typically minutes and can almost always be seen in consecutive frames)
  • Their streak don't generally show the same light distribution as meteors (though a few do).


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Re: Best setup for falling stars
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2013, 04:38:49 PM »