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My first go at wide field

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It's been a while from I've been able to do any imaging, due to an immanent house move, most of my gear is boxed up so thought I'd give some wide field a go.

This is 30 x 30 sec exposures at ISO 1600 f4.0 using my Canon 60D with the nifty 50 attached (no calibration) and just a little post processing in PS. I mounted the camera on a tripod, pointed it at Cygnus and took a sample shot to use as a custom white balance then let her go. The camera had the EOS Clip LP filter attached.

I've been doing some reading and it seems that ISO 1600 is probably too high for that f stop? Would ISO 100 or 200 @ f4.0 be more suitable?


Any tips most welcome.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, i normally use 1200iso for wide field. I've gone down to 800 before though. Obviously the higher the iso the more noise, but with untracked wide field you are limited to exposure length and the stars starting to trail.

Generally, 30 seconds at iso 1600 at f3-5 will give you a great result! Another thing to note is what f ratio your lens performs best at, most people stop down 1, and if you have a 50mm at f4 it looks like you're already doing that? 

Some people do use an even higher ISO, up to 2400, which can bring more data out with 30s exposures. If you have a lot of light pollution, it will limit how high you go with your ISO. 

Give a few different settings a test and see what works for you. If you want to do true widefield maybe look at getting another lens too, something like a 10-20mm. I tend to find a 50 doesn't give a great field of view. Also try go for the right area of the sky - Cygnus going down to Sagittarius is where the Milky Way really comes to life, so even with the 50mm go for those areas. If you haven't already, download 'Stellarium' and turn off 'Atmosphere', you'll see a rough visual to the Milky Way and where it is and where its brightest, then you can plan your shots a bit better and know where to look.

Hope that helps a bit

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  • 1 month later...

Thankyou for posting this Ivan, it has cleared up a lot of confusion, I just last night imaged EXACTLY the area of sky that this image covers and I couldn't make out the nebula's, this confirms my suspicion that I need more subs, I exposed 30X10 sec with 15X10 sec darks and I can't say for certain that I can see any nebula at all, at least here you can see where the nebula is lol


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