Last night's huge aurora

Discussion in 'Astrophotography' started by Edmunds, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. Edmunds

    Edmunds Mu-43 Regular

    158
    Oct 16, 2012
    Last night there was a major geomagnetic storm, which led to aurora being seen really far south as well. Saw it really well in Latvia, though I had to drive 1,5h away from population centers to get good light (or lack of it, otherwise the aurora looked washed out).

    Overall, was an awesome night out, did not go to sleep until 4AM, never seen anything like this before so far south!

    P3188735.


    P3188708.


    P3188726.


    P3178687.


    P3188760.


    All of these taken with the Olympus E-M5 and either the Olympus 12mm f/2 or the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye
     
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  2. maritan

    maritan Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Oct 30, 2014
    Beautiful. Must have been unreal to see it in person. I need to get up north and see this phenomenon in person. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
    Awesome!
     
  4. Edmunds

    Edmunds Mu-43 Regular

    158
    Oct 16, 2012
    Thanks guys!
     
  5. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    921
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Wow. Nice shots. They were reportedly visible where I live about 1000 miles further south in longitude, but still too much city lights and it peaked an hour before I went outside anyway.
     
  6. rpringle

    rpringle Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jan 9, 2014
    Great images, encouraging to see such results coming from the E-M5 and the 12mm. I have a 12mm coming to my doorstep soon and can't wait to try it for night shooting. I hope the weather improves here in Maine it's frigid and windy. I've never seen the aurora myself we are supposed to have them here but I guess I haven't been lucky enough yet.
     
  7. Kalifornier

    Kalifornier Mu-43 Veteran

    431
    Apr 29, 2014
    California
    Very beautiful!
     
  8. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    wonderful shots Edmunds!

    What did you think about the 12mm for these? I have it but am considering the new SLR Magic Hyperprime 10mm T2.1 for aurora & milkyway photography.
     
  9. Edmunds

    Edmunds Mu-43 Regular

    158
    Oct 16, 2012
    The 12mm f/2 is a great lens, probably the best you can do with m4/3 as far as wide angles go. The only thing to keep in mind is that on the MF focusing scale infinity marker is in the wrong place. I posted a thread about that here: http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/threads/76708-Olympus-12mm-f2-infinity-mark

    The thing about astrophotography is that you really need a very sharp lens to see stars. Lenses made for video don't really have that, as people using those are more interested in that cinematic feel. I haven't used the SLR Magic 10mm T/2.1, so you'll have to find someone who has taken a picture of the stars with it, but honestly I'd lean more towards the upcoming Voigtlander 10.5mm f/0.95, that will not be sharp wide open, but you can stop down over 2 stops to get f/2, and by then it will probably match the Olympus 12mm f/2 for sharpness.

    Any lens that is slower than f/2.0 doesn't really work very well, because you can only shoot stars only at up to ISO800. After that, stars get botched up with noise. If you don't want star trails, you have to keep shutter speeds low. This is limiting.

    Also, think hard about what focal length you really want. Wider isn't necessarily always better. Compositions at UWA are more difficult, you need to think very hard about what is going in your foreground, and it can get repetitive - this is because with an UWA prime you are stuck in one very specific perspective, and you cannot zoom with your feet as taking a step forward/backward radically changes your picture. In the end, I have ended up carrying two primes - the 12mm f/2 as my regular lens, and the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye.
     
  10. RedLeopard

    RedLeopard Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Jun 22, 2011
    Bolton, UK
    Fantastic shots, especially with the great foregrounds :)

    I was lucky enough to have timed a visit to Lapland perfectly to see this display but took most shots with my 40D rather than EM1 as it seemed to handle the noise better. Will post a few from the EM1 though.