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Hi,

I've been meaning to get out and try to get some Milky Way shots with my 18-55mm kit lens but I've been struggling to find any sites nearby that are actually dark enough to produce anything meaningful. I live in the Medway area and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction as light pollution here is awful.

Thanks,

Billy

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Hi Billy

https://www.lightpollutionmap.info is a good resource - apparently the Atlas 2015 setting is most meaningful. However, looking at that area, it may not be good news. Also, you'll probably need significant exposure time at f/4-ish on that lens, requiring some way of tracking the sky to prevent star-streaks or an excessively noisy (ISO-boosted) image. If you can get hold of an f/2.8 lens or faster, you'll be better off.

Cheers, Magnus

Edited by Captain Magenta

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We camp in various places in Kent and Sussex, and there was one camp we used to go to near Pluckley, which wouldn't be too far from you if you have a car, which was particularly dark.  

Headcorn is another dark location we used to go to.  We only stopped going to these camps because of various problems with lack of hook up and the other double booked us, so we don't go there any more.  

HTH

Carole 

 

Edited by carastro

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1 hour ago, Captain Magenta said:

Hi Billy

https://www.lightpollutionmap.info is a good resource - apparently the Atlas 2015 setting is most meaningful. However, looking at that area, it may not be good news. Also, you'll probably need significant exposure time at f/4-ish on that lens, requiring some way of tracking the sky to prevent star-streaks or an excessively noisy (ISO-boosted) image. If you can get hold of an f/2.8 lens or faster, you'll be better off.

Cheers, Magnus

I do have a f2.8 70-200mm but obviously that isnt going to be the greatest for wide field, plus i'd need shorter exposure times. Do you have any lens recommendations that aren't too pricey but can get the job done?

 

Thanks

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3 minutes ago, Cog98 said:

I do have a f2.8 70-200mm but obviously that isnt going to be the greatest for wide field, plus i'd need shorter exposure times. Do you have any lens recommendations that aren't too pricey but can get the job done?

Thanks

For very little money the 50mm f/1.8 ones are very good, but obviously not very wide especially with a crop sensor. For a little more, look at the Rokinon/Samyang range, 1.4 or 2.8 and 14, 24 or 35mm - they're all supposed to be very good for MW and minimal star-distortion. They keep the cost down by being manual-focus only, which is OK as auto-focus doesn't work at night anyway. I have a Samyang 24mm f/1.4 and I love it. I also have an Astrotrac but by now you're slipping down the slippery slope of spending...

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48 minutes ago, Captain Magenta said:

For very little money the 50mm f/1.8 ones are very good, but obviously not very wide especially with a crop sensor. For a little more, look at the Rokinon/Samyang range, 1.4 or 2.8 and 14, 24 or 35mm - they're all supposed to be very good for MW and minimal star-distortion. They keep the cost down by being manual-focus only, which is OK as auto-focus doesn't work at night anyway. I have a Samyang 24mm f/1.4 and I love it. I also have an Astrotrac but by now you're slipping down the slippery slope of spending...

I've heard good things about the Samyang 24mm f/1.4, it was my first choice when I was looking a few months back! In terms of trackers i've been looking at lightweight ones such as the Skywatcher Star Adventurer and the iOptron Sky Tracker but have been sceptical as I would also want to use my 70-200mm (for deep-sky astrophotography) which nears towards the weight limit

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Here's a photo of a part of the milky way taken with the 18-55mm kit lens at 18mm f3.5 from my light polluted back garden in Bushey, bortle 6 skies. The photo is actually a stack of 25 x 15 sec ISO1600.

LRM_EXPORT_20170926_065347.thumb.jpg.ce55e50666aa74fc9e03381d237c8d0b.jpg

Now I have a Samyang 16mm f2 and I'm hoping to get some Milky way shots with it very soon. I only heard good things about this lens, tried it on the stars a few times and I love it.

I used it for a few photos of the stars with a full moon for a collection I'm making.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=453127651797260&id=440814366361922

 

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Most night skies in the M2/A2-M20 corridor are surprisingly dark.  However, I would strongly suggest you do not set up in that area anywhere unaccompanied...

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