Critique Milky Way confusion

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John M.
Color me naively confused. I took this the other night and I can't seem to get the post-process where I want it. I was trying out the Zed seven with kit at 24mm at f4.8 for only three seconds at ISO 1600. Plenty of room to open the exposure, but I am reluctant to over-process. My question is, when do you know when to say when? I can't tell where the stars end and noise begins. This is not my first foray into the night sky, but I always end up frustrated.
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Why only 3 seconds on your exposure? I don't take these types of photos often, but I recall being able to go up to 20 seconds and still have the stars be nice and sharp without any trailing. I bet there would be much more information on your sensor to work with if you open up that lens, increase your ISO and increase your shutterspeed.
 
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Night photography is difficult to do well. As noted above, your chosen settings are not those commonly used for star/night photography. You need to capture more light.
The real question, in my mind, is where are you trying to go with the image? You need to have a strong idea of what you want the image to look like before you start- otherwise you will never know when you get there.
Gary
 
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John M.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Thanks for the prompt reply. I usually do longer exposures, but I felt that with high resolution camera pushing past 15 seconds would be problematic, plus I wanted to test the camera/lens combo — should be no movement at three seconds — even the kit Z lens is superb. Yes, I’m being lazy (hello Google; err and public library) but interested in first-hand input from my ‘cafe’ colleagues. Gonna be clear here the next few days, perhaps I’ll give it another go.
 

Commodorefirst

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24mm try 20-25 seconds, wide open aperture, iso 1600-3200. Then try post procesding links above.
 
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with high resolution camera pushing past 15 seconds would be problematic, plus I wanted to test the camera/lens combo — should be no movement at three seconds — even the kit Z lens is superb
The 500 rule would allow for 21 seconds of exposure, but that's only a rule of thumb. If you use the NPF rule, which takes into account the resolution of the sensor, the recommended exposure is 10.75 seconds for a 24mm lens at f/4 on the Z7. Also, don't forget to turn off stabilization and use a remote release (or delayed shutter release).

If you are willing to venture into stacking and shooting dark frames, you can use that shorter exposure time to keep the stars from trailing and crank up ISO as needed to expose correctly. The stacking process will eliminate the noise that results from the high ISO.
 
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