The Milky Way Over The Sierra Thread

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ExploreABitMore
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Re: The Milky Way Over The Sierra Thread

Post by ExploreABitMore » Thu May 21, 2015 9:56 am

dbourke wrote: I have been scoping out places near my house in Alpine Meadows to get the Milk Way lower and more horizontal in the sky. I think I will need a moonless night to do this, but it has cloudy cloudy here for the last week or more. I may miss my opportunity for this spring.
I think you can usually get a decent Milky Way arc in June, but not too long after dark. Pretty sure I took one up by Sailor lake around mid-June last year. I'm hoping to still get one this year too, before it gets too vertical too early in the evening.

Star walk is a great iPhone app for tracking things like this, if you don't have something similar already.


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Re: The Milky Way Over The Sierra Thread

Post by Jimr » Thu May 21, 2015 10:15 am

I'll have to check out Star Walk. Sky Guide is a good app for iPhone as well. It even has soothing celestial music :D
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Milk Way over Ice

Post by dbourke » Wed Jun 03, 2015 2:56 pm

These are from Sabrina Basin this weekend. The moon didn't set until the Milk Way was beyond where I wanted to point the camera. I tried to process for a natural look, at the expense of highlighting the stars.
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Re: The Milky Way Over The Sierra Thread

Post by kpeter » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:44 pm

Wow. So many gorgeous photos. The Falls below Moonlight are one of my favorite places in all the Sierra, but to see it with the Milky Way behind it is just spectacular.

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Re: The Milky Way Over The Sierra Thread

Post by sdhiker » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:39 am

As someone who is new to Milky Way Shots I am looking for some suggestions. I'm heading up to Mt Whitney In a week or two and was thinking of taking my Sony A7 ii up with me to try and do some milky way shots. Since I used a lot of my play money getting this new rig I don't have the extra money to run out and buy a wide angle lens or prime lens right away so I'm making due with the •28-70mm lens that came with it. Based off of that information does anyone have any suggestions on what settings would make the most out of this set up for taking Milky Way Shots ( assuming that I even get clear skys ).

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Brad
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Re: The Milky Way Over The Sierra Thread

Post by fishmonger » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:53 am

sdhiker wrote:As someone who is new to Milky Way Shots I am looking for some suggestions. I'm heading up to Mt Whitney In a week or two and was thinking of taking my Sony A7 ii up with me to try and do some milky way shots. Since I used a lot of my play money getting this new rig I don't have the extra money to run out and buy a wide angle lens or prime lens right away so I'm making due with the •28-70mm lens that came with it. Based off of that information does anyone have any suggestions on what settings would make the most out of this set up for taking Milky Way Shots ( assuming that I even get clear skys ).

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Brad
calculator tells me:
Shutter Speed: 18 seconds
f/number: f/2.8
ISO: 3200


I suggest to just rent a Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 or the 24mm f/1.4 (or the equivalent "cine" lenses in case you don't have a Nikon or Canon adapter) - check lensrentals.com and weigh that against the cost of the whole trip. With the 14mm you should be able to expose twice as long as with the 28mm before getting blurred stars, while with the f/1.4 24mm you can really drop the ISO to something like 800 for a much cleaner image, because it collects so much more light.

But check the moon calendar first - even with clear skies, you don't want that bright ball of light in the sky when exposing for distant stars.

shooting with a zoom is a compromise - how sharp is that thing at f/2.8 - especially in the corners? 28mm isn't very wide either, but you probably will get something useful no matter what, as the sensor in that camera is very capable.

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Re: The Milky Way Over The Sierra Thread

Post by maverick » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:34 pm

Hi Sdhiker,

Welcome to HST! The Samyang suggested by Fish is a good lens for star/astro, it is sharp, and it's coma is very good, even when compared to lens 4x the cost.
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Re: The Milky Way Over The Sierra Thread

Post by sdhiker » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:12 pm

Thanks for the info guys. I was thinking about checking out that site LensRentals, what has been your experience renting from them before Fishmonger ? I checked out the moon calendar it doesn't look to bad, there still is some moon there but not a bright ball of light. The week after would even be better, but we can't all have what we want :tear: Eric if you would like me to throw a link onto my links page for the site, not a problem.

Thanks again.
Brad :)

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Re: The Milky Way Over The Sierra Thread

Post by fishmonger » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:28 am

lensrentals.com is my go-to place for anything I can't afford. The Rokinon/Samyang glass I usually own (not the 24mm as it is almost $750), but I'd hate to pay shipping that almost equals the rental fee. I use them for the $10,000 lenses, as I shoot motorsports now and then, but not enough to take out a mortgage to get the best glass for it.

Renting for hiking trips makes little sense for me, because I am usually out there for a month or more, and at that time only the most expensive lenses are a good deal as a rental. For weekend trips, though, if you live close to these places, I'd be renting any lens over $500 before actually buying it, just to make sure the lens actually is worth the investment.

borrowlenses.com has some followers, too, but I never tried them. Similar prices and selection. It's just that the main tech guy for Lensrentals posts on my photo forum, so I use his outfit.

Also - any moon will mess with the star photos. Even if it's just a sliver, it's way brighter than the stars. You need it to be down, so check moon rise/moon set calendar for your dates. It may require getting up super early.

Here's a full moon night star sky from last year, below Bishop Pass - not much of the night sky visible other than that "super moon" that turned the night into day, at least for my camera

f/4.0 20 seconds ISO 1600 with the 16mm f/3.5 AI fisheye - about 3am in the morning

ImageMoonlight over Bishop Creek

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Re: The Milky Way Over The Sierra Thread

Post by ERIC » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:40 am

@sdhiker - please, and thank you! :)
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