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So, I've been out tonight trying to take pictures, I've tried with M31, M41 and M45 but all I get is a completely black picture, bit confused really

I've tried all sorts of settings, did a quick search on google and for taking pics of the stars with just a camera and tripod are 15secs exposure, f/5.6 aperture f/5.6 and iso 1600, but I still got a black screen, even just using the camera on a tripod

Could anyone shed some light as to what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks in advance :)

Ps. I should probably state, I am using the camera in Manual mode, AF turned off and the camera is a Nikon D3300 :)

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have you tried taking a 15sec pic of betelgeuse or sirius? do they show up ok? i would have thought that 15 secs would be long enough to give you some faint star images. possibly the focus is out? i havent taken pics without my scope so am just shooting in the dark here 

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15 seconds is more than enough to get something on the sensor. I know lens cap is stating the obvious, but did you? Have you?

You say you have AF turned off. Did you manually focus on a bright star first?

Edited by Craig20264

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You need the shutter at its widest possible opening (lowest f number), ISO1600 should be fine. But you need to try stacking multiple images or at least part process one sub (stretch it a few times) and the stars should appear. Could be that the focus is not right too, its best to focus on a bright star first before moving to your intended target.

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I would suspect that the focus ia a little off and so you lose the image, M31 is fuzzy and dim at the best of times, if the focus is out by a bit it will just disappear.

M31 is dim and it is easy to miss - was it actually in the field of the lens (I assume DSLR with camera lens?), in effect have you imaged a blank bit of sky. I suspect many have and never admitted it. Hubble got lucky when it tried.

As it is a DSLR you can simply open up the lens set the speed to 20 sec and open the aperture, basic idea is just to prove that you are actually getting it/something. May not come out great but DSLR's have a Delete button.

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Can you get your aperture more open than f5.6 to let in more light? Also focussing, as suggested above. What you can do is focus on something way in the distance before it gets dark using live view or whatever and then tape your lens so the focussing ring doesn't move. You can't rely on the infinity mark on the lens itself. Use the sort of tape which doesn't leave a residue of sticky stuff behind when you take it off!

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Yeah lens cap was definitely off, yeah I manually set the focus onto the brightest star first

I've with the exposure set to 20 seconds too, my aperture goes down to 4.2, I'll have another bash at it on the next clear night and use the tips suggested here, really want to get this nailed, dying to get some pics

I managed to take some pics of the moon last night and they came out fine, just using camera and tripod, I only have a 18-55 zoom lens for my camera at the min so couldn't get real close up to it

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If you have he Nikon AFS DX Nikkor 18-55 then it has a maximum f ratio of 3.5 at 18mm and 5.6 at 55mm.

I would suggest trying with it zoomed out to 18mm and the aperture fully open at f3.5.

20s is getting up to your maximum exposure time before you trail at 18mm, at 55mm it is more like 7 seconds before you will trail.

Good luck :)

/Dan

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Check you have the noise reduction turned off as well, whilst it is very good at removing noise it can also decide that stars are noise and remove those too!

/Dan

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Check you have the noise reduction turned off as well, whilst it is very good at removing noise it can also decide that stars are noise and remove those too!

/Dan

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Good advice. There is also a high ISO noise reduction option. Turn this off too. It's right next to the long exposure noise reduction option in the menu. You need to be working complete!y in Manual mode. Don't let the camera make any dercisions, and shoot everything in ''Raw'.

Good luck.

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Back button focus if your camera supports it is brilliant to use as it will hold focus on a lens

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