Thread: Lens or tracker
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Old 14-07-2019, 11:09 AM
gregbradley's Avatar
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gregbradley is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 15,513
The best lens with poor tracking = lousy photo.
A mediocre lens with good tracking = good photo.

A good lens with good tracking = best photo.

Above about 15mm you kind of need tracking anyway unless you plan on doing 15 x 10 seconds at too high an ISO and process it and somehow match the landscape to the sky.

With an even mediocre tracker you can go 1 minute with a 14mm lens easily, 1 minute with polar alignment at 21mm + and even longer.

Now you can do 8 x 30 seconds at virtually any focal length up to about 150mm and stack them and get round stars and no noise and some colour depth without blowing out star colours by using too high an ISO.

Tracker for sure.

Vixen Polarie is one of the better ones at its so small and light and easy to use.

I also have a Fornax Lightrack ii which is very nice, more accurate but less portable and harder to supply with power. Its still very portable overall.

Having said all that, for a long time nightscapes used mostly Samyang 14mm F2.8 (if you can get a good copy - 1 in 3 chance of that) and used 30 seconds ISO3200 and did mosaics and got very good results. Today that formula is a bit dated and lacks colour depth and is too noisy and the stars are not tight enough. But its a great starting place.

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