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Need Advice: Shooting the Night Sky with the OM-D E-M5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by newbert, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    Now that I finally have a compatible L-plate for my tripod head, I want to start shooting the night sky (Milky Way; Moon; etc) with my OM-D E-M5. My plan is to set up a Myset for the settings required. However, I have a few questions about how to set the camera up.

    1. First, because I normally have AF activated with the shutter button, I need to de-activate that and use MF. (I don't have a cable release, so will be using the shutter button to activate the shutter. I don't want the focus point to be changed via AF when pressing the shutter.) I'll probably be using the 12-50 kit lens for these shots - so what's the best way to set this up for focus?

    2. What settings do I need to activate or de-activate to minimize camera/shutter shake, since I'll be using the shutter button to activate and end the exposure? (I plan on using the Live Time feature to monitor the exposure on the LCD).

    3. Finally, does anyone have specific shooting/exposure settings to start with for this type of photography? I've done a bit of this type of shooting with my Nikon D300, but not with the OM-D E-M5.

    Thanks!
     
  2. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    You can get a shutter release cable on Ebay for a few dollars or buy the expensive, real Oly one. On long exposures like this, camera shake from pressing the shutter button shouldn't be an issue.

    Custom Menu A -> AEL/AFL You can find out more on how to assign focus to another button here: User Guide: Getting the most out of the Olympus E-M5: Digital Photography Review I have mine set to FN2.

    IBIS should be turned off when you are on a tripod, so shake is down to the quality of your tripod.

    I plan on using my OM D for long night exposures. Please post some results when you can.
     
  3. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Sep 23, 2011
    Colorado
    I use the 2-second self timer to reduce camera shake. Fire the shutter, let go of the camera/tripod/everything, and the shutter will actuate two seconds later. I have a cheap remote for > 30sec exposures and time lapses, but if I'm shooting < 30 sec exposures I usually don't use the remote.
     
  4. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    Could you please elaborate a bit more on this? (I am SO confused with this...)

    I was just working on my settings for Night Photography and and want to assign all those settings to MySet 4. In this MySet, I would like to a) disable AF from the shutter button, and b) reassign AF to F2 like you have done, but I'm having no luck. Could you provide me the exact menu items and settings to adjust? I've set F2 to AEL/AFL but F2 still won't focus. (It seems to only toggle AEL on and off, per what's shown on the LCD.) Perhaps the focusing on the shutter button needs to be disabled, but I haven't found where or how to do that.

    I would REALLY appreciate simple step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish this. It's so easy to do on my Nikon D300, but Olympus's manual is so cryptic that I can't figure it out.

    Thanks!
     
  5. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
  6. dannat

    dannat Mu-43 Regular

    174
    May 2, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    id use 10 sec timer, make sure there's no wind when you shoot..i use off camera remote lke other suggestion - the programable timers are great, dial i 30 shots at x secs & walk away

    other settings - just shoot raw, do a few high so tests, start with 800,1600,3200 -doubt youll be able to go above this. pick the best detail with acceptable noise
    what lens r u using?
     
  7. Tincam

    Tincam Mu-43 Regular

    65
    Apr 25, 2012
    Iowa
    Matt
    Use ISO 200, noise in the shadows needs all the help you can give it with night shots, and large areas of even tone, like a night sky.

    You won't need a cable release, but it would be handy. A 2 sec timer is plenty if you're mounted on a good tripod.

    Live Time is a great feature and fun to use.

    You'll want to use a wide aperture lens and use it wide open, or close to it.

    The moon is bright and moves fast.
     
  8. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    Here you go: in AEL/AFL go to S-AF and set Mode 3. This makes the shutter button give AEL for a half press and Exposure for a full. Then go into B: Button/Dial, select Button Function, and set Fn2 to AEL/AFL

    I also turned off the toggle function asI kept on bumping them and moving the focus point. Being old, I am used to Focus/Lock/Recompose using only the centre point.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. dannat

    dannat Mu-43 Regular

    174
    May 2, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    Tincam iso200 would need a tracking mount to get the light in, it just wont ather enough - unless you are doing star trailing
     
  10. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    Sweet! You are THE MAN!! :biggrin:

    On your second point (Turning off Toggle because of inadvertent moving of the focus point) -- I also find that annoying, so how do you do THAT?

    Thanks a LOT!
     
  11. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    In the Button Function menu, further down.