Milky way photo settings

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

DesertXJ

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
11
Hey guys I need some information I see a lot of you posting great photos of the Milky Way in the background, I'd like to know what settings you using and what lenses you're using thanks
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Laura

freespirittraveler
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
957
A full frame camera is probably the most important thing. You can take decent pictures on a crop sensor, but in such low light the full frame really picks up the details and can handle the noise. I used a Canon 5D MkIII for this, a Canon 24mm f1.4 lens that I rented, settings were ISO 800, f2.2, 25 second exposure. This was also taken on a night with no moon. If there's no moon on most occasions you're going to need to light paint your subject if you want to see it. For this picture I had to do a lot of work in Lightroom to make the rock cliff visible because the tent was lit from within and light painting wouldn't have worked on this scene.

Milky Way Tent Secret Spot.jpg
 
Last edited:

Nick

Spiral out.
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,818
A full frame camera is probably the most important thing. You can take decent pictures on a crop sensor, but in such low light the full frame really picks up the details and can handle the noise.
While I agree a full frame is definitely superior for it, a crop sensor can be very capable. I would consider glass much more important than FF vs crop for this. The vast majority of my night shots were done on my 60D and I think most people would be pretty happy with similar results. Ironically, I've mostly given up night photography since going full frame. Ha!

This was taken with a crop sensor.


And all of this.
 

slc_dan

Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Messages
1,685
A full frame camera is probably the most important thing.
That's a great shot, but I would disagree that a full frame is most important. It's certainly helpful, but a clear sky, and the know how is the most important thing. I've got some great results this year with a crop sensor camera.

Camp 1 Milky by slc_dan, on Flickr

I must admit though, I am jealous of the full frame, particularly the really high iso shots with no noise. If I just had an extra $2k...
 

Laura

freespirittraveler
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
957
I didn't say you couldn't get nice shots with a crop sensor, just that full frame makes a definite improvement. I took some nice shots on my T1i with the same Canon 24mm f1.4, but my 5D3 really picks up detail in low light that a crop sensor won't.
 

DesertXJ

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
11
Thanks so much everyone for the info, I have a T5i but haven't bought any Extra glass yet. I have the canon 18-135 And 55-250. But will need to invest in some new glass, any recommendations would be much appreciated
 

Nick

Spiral out.
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,818
If the progression of improvement has continued, I bet the T5i is pretty good at high ISO for a crop sensor. Next tip would be to turn off IS when you do long tripod exposures and find out where your infinity focus is on your chosen lens so that you can manually focus it in the dark.
 

slc_dan

Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Messages
1,685
If the progression of improvement has continued, I bet the T5i is pretty good at high ISO for a crop sensor. Next tip would be to turn off IS when you do long tripod exposures and find out where your infinity focus is on your chosen lens so that you can manually focus it in the dark.
From what I understand-could be wrong, but I believe it's the same sensor in all the T-series. It's just different features.
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Nick

Spiral out.
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,818
I'm using a Canon 6D (or 5DmkIII) with a Rokinon (Samyang) 14mm 2.8 lens.
How do you like that lens, Randy? Have you ever shot into brighter lights like a campfire with it? Particularly curious about night shot flare resistance. Their 8mm 2.8 fish looks interesting too. Really inexpensive...
 

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,243
How do you like that lens, Randy? Have you ever shot into brighter lights like a campfire with it? Particularly curious about night shot flare resistance. Their 8mm 2.8 fish looks interesting too. Really inexpensive...
It's a great lens for night photos. Much better than my Canon 16-35mm 2.8

I have not shot brighter lights like a campfire, though.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,818
That's wild that it's much better than the Canon 2.8. Thanks for the input. I just ordered one so I'll have it in time for my trip this weekend. I'd like to get back in the habit of taking night shots, especially if I have to stay up all night defending myself from skinwalkers, sasquatches and/or aliens.
 

Dave

Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
.
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
1,719
That's wild that it's much better than the Canon 2.8. Thanks for the input. I just ordered one so I'll have it in time for my trip this weekend. I'd like to get back in the habit of taking night shots, especially if I have to stay up all night defending myself from skinwalkers, sasquatches and/or aliens.
I've thought about picking this lens up for the same purposes. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts Nick.
 

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,243
That's wild that it's much better than the Canon 2.8. Thanks for the input. I just ordered one so I'll have it in time for my trip this weekend. I'd like to get back in the habit of taking night shots, especially if I have to stay up all night defending myself from skinwalkers, sasquatches and/or aliens.
The Canon lens has a nasty habit of making the stars in the corners look like commas and not points. The Samyang lens does not have this issue and keeps the stars looking like points. That's the main reason I say it's better for night photos.
 

Dori Coplien

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Messages
51
I was thinking of buying the Rokinon 14mm 2.8 lens for milky way shots and after seeing your photo ordered it. It was a big debate as it didn't sound like the best lens for anything else. Have a question. I almost always leave picture style set at faithful (6D). What do you use for milky way and star trails with this lens? Any other pointers in regards to settings?
 

Nick

Spiral out.
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,818
I almost always leave picture style set at faithful (6D). What do you use for milky way and star trails with this lens? Any other pointers in regards to settings?
Is that one of the JPEG picture styles? I'm not familiar with using those. I usually shoot in RAW and white balance to Daylight for night shots.

I just picked up this lens. I haven't shot anything serious with it yet, but so far I love the wide angle.
I rented that one a couple times. Nice bursts. Overall I preferred the Canon 10-22 better, but that Tokina is still a really sweet lens.
 

steve

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
2,140
Good feedback, thanks. For me, shallow DOF in a very wide angle was my main goal (not that an f 2.8 gives me a much shallower DOF). I think i'm going to dig this lens for video work.
 

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top