another milky way scene ...

Discussion in 'Astrophotography' started by popcan, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. popcan

    popcan Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    I'm still trying to get better at capturing the milky way - I have only been using the Lumix 12-35 f2.8 so far. My biggest challenge is getting an image with as little noise as possible.
    What's the longest exposure you like to use, at what iso?

    daybreak 3.
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  2. I like to use a 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye at 30s, ISO1600-3200. To combat noise I typically take about 8 shots and stack using DeepSkyStacker with star alignment enabled for the sky, before recombining the stacks together for final PP.
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  3. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    That's a pretty nice shot. Is this from a single raw file?
  4. popcan

    popcan Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    No, it's a blended image, foreground added later ... We can't actually see the core in winter time where I am, but I was itching to try creating a scene, just for fun. We have really dark skies, but I need to find a higher unobstructed place next summer.
    I will have to learn more about stacking!
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  5. popcan

    popcan Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    Love to see some of your shots! ?
  6. Some here:
    Tekapo - Image Heavy
    A very late night...
    Stars over Wellington

    Note that with this technique it's not really a composite - the framing you see is actually what was visible - hence the use of a fisheye to get both foreground and Milky Way in the shot.
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  7. popcan

    popcan Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    Thank you ... some stunning captures!

    Do you have to de-fish?
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  8. Yes, towards the end of PP. It's never reprojected to rectilinear though, I generally also have to do some fixups using the warp tool in PS afterward.
  9. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
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  10. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere Subscribing Member

    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    With a 12mm lens I find 10-20s works depending on the direction the camera is facing. At f/1.8 I find iso1600 preserves star colours but iso3200 captures more of the milky way. At f/2.8 I'd think iso 3200 would be the best bet but have not tried so.

    Nice shot btw :2thumbs:
  11. m43_landscapes

    m43_landscapes Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 23, 2017
    In very general terms, a brighter exposure can wash out some of the noise and at least make it appear less dominant.

    At 12mm, I would suggest a 25 - 30 second exposure. There will still be very short star trails, but the image should be usable for online sharing and mailing smallish prints.

    Bumping up the ISO will also help (brighter exposure) but comes at the expense of adding noise.

    Learn to remove noise in post in a controlled manner (I.e. try not to kill too much detail). Software (like Neat Image - one of my favorites) and even ACR or LR can do a pretty good job.

    I have a good friend who has done a lot of Milky Way and night shooting using an EM5 and also EM1. I've seen his files. At ISO settings of 3200 and 6400 there is a significant amount of noise. He's never been completly satisfied with his shots, but noise reduction software does clean them up quite a bit.

    I've done a lot of night/dark sky shooting with Canon full frame cameras. Not to knock 4/3 sensors, but they just cannot compete with larger pixels in a bigger sensor. If you desire to really improve the technical quality, then a larger sensor would be better than 4/3.
  12. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere Subscribing Member

    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    Not to start a war or anything, but the advantage of FF cameras for this sort of shot is entirely the lenses and the larger clear apertures they intrinsically have. M4/3 sensors are just fine for this especially if you use stacking. Smaller pixels actually provide better resolution for imaging tiny things like stars.

    Just as I wrote this a fantastic example appeared on the site, see:
    Orion wide field - reprocessed

    If you want to shoot the milky way you just need to keep learning and practicing, and/or maybe picking up a better lens (ie, larger clear aperture).
  13. The problem is that nobody makes extremely good fast UWAs (I'm talking f/1.8 at least) that can compete with a 14mm f/2.8 on FF... the Olympus 8mm f/1.8 FE kind of works but is FE only. Whatever techniques you use (e.g. stacking) can be done on FF sensors too. How much does a 6D or D610 + Samyang 14mm f/2.8 cost these days?
  14. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere Subscribing Member

    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    But there's a misconception in there. That 14/2.8 you mention has a clear aperture of 5mm. The Olympus 8/1.8 has a 4.4mm one which is only slightly smaller. The best options for wide angle imaging in the m4/3 world are the Panasonic 12/1.4, 15/1.7, and Olympus 17/1.8 with 8.6mm, 8.8mm, and 9.4mm respectively. All of which will do better than the 14/2.8.

    (I exclude the 12/2 because the coma is poor until f/2.8)

    Now the FF advantage is with the 24/1.4 (17.1mm) and 35/1.4 (25mm) lenses out there. Those m4/3 cannot compete with without a tracker.
  15. Huh? I've got the PL15. It's a 30mm equivalent focal length. If I want <20mm equivalent FoV UWA it doesn't work.
  16. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    But those lenses aren't better because unless you are using a tracker mount you can't use nearly as long a shutter speed, so despite the larger physical aperture, you aren't getting as much improvement in light gathering as the aperture would suggest. With the 12/1.4 on M4/3 you can only keep the shutter open for half as long as a 14/2.8 on FF without getting star movement, so you're losing a stop of light that way. You still end up a stop ahead, but...

    ...the main issue is just that you aren't getting an ultrawide field of view that often makes these astro-landscape photos so compelling.

    I enjoy astrophotography and don't have any interest in getting an FF camera and a huge, heavy ultrawide like the Samyang 14/2.8 specifically for it, but it's hard to find lenses that can give you equivalent results. The closest will be the Laowa 7.5/f2 when that's available, and you'll still be effectively 1 stop behind a 14/2.8 on FF in terms of SNR.
  17. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere Subscribing Member

    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    Sure they don't match the field of views, but in terms of detail captured (colous and faint objects) you can do as well with the 8/1.8 as 14/2.8. And if the wide view is your interest, then the fisheye is wider... Dunno.

    I have both the 8/1.8 and 15/1.7; between them I find the 15 creates more interesting images of the milky way, and I prefer it's field of view too. Though living on the wet coast in the middle of urban wasteland I rarely see the sky well enough to experiment.
  18. popcan

    popcan Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    Here is my second attempt at composite image - I like this one better, but there is still a lot of noise.

    So I gather from discussions above, the Lumix 12-35 2.8 is not even in the discussion of lenses suitable for astro?
    Is it worth getting one of the samyang/rokinon wide angles?

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  19. Should be okay, if you're willing to composite and stack. My individual frames at ISO3200 look roughly equivalent noise-wise, it's stacking that cuts it down.
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  20. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere Subscribing Member

    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    I think that looks very good; where's this noise you speak of?
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