Thursday, July 23, 2009

Post-Eclipse Astrophotography

I discovered the benefits of using expensive equatorial mounts for doing astrophotography. Fantastic. It was easy to take 5-20 minute exposures with many lenses and get stunning views of the Milky Way. I had tried to do astrophotography earlier but was limited to 30-second raw exposures on a tripod. The tracking makes everything better....

I tried out the infra-red modified Canon I've got with the 750nm longpass filter. I used Martins 80mm f/1.8 for this run.

Then the normal pictures with my K20D and a 50mm prime at f/1.2 and f/2.1

This shows a wide-angle 18mm f/3.5 shot. It's pretty striking how big a difference f/1.2 to f/3.5 makes. That's a factor of 8.5 in light received. The wide angle shot catches the milky way but has a lot of noise still.... long exposure with little light.

This is a 30-second exposure recorded raw and highly processed. It's not bad in this compressed 800-pixel wide version but at full resolution it's fuzzy with a lot of color noise.


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