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Old 07-07-2011, 09:43 AM
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steve000 (Steve)
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DSLR and Meteor Shower

Hi All,

On the 30th I plan on being outside viewing the Delta Aquarids again.

I would like to attempt to image some, what would be peoples recommendations.


I have at my disposal
Canon 400D
plasticfantastic 18-55mm lens
tripod
about 8amps of lead acid power
voltage regulator for camera.

I was thinking of multiple 1 hour exposures at ISO 100 aimed straight up.

any other suggestions? obviously in only going to get 1 shot at this until next year.

Thanks heaps

Steve
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:16 PM
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dannat (Daniel)
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1hr, i hate to think whast the noise will be like from a 400d, any reason why you wouldn't do 12x5 min exp? or 60x1 min & stack them. what lens settings, i wouldn't do 18mm, but something like 22-24mm & stop it down a stop
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:23 PM
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steve000 (Steve)
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Im planning on 18mm for maximum field of view.

I could do less time more exposures. How would it go with stacking and star trails and movement?


I could step up the ISO a little to about 400 and take a bunch of 30 second shots or similar, that would make stacking easier. and less trails and higher sensitivity to capture fainter meteors

Steve
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:17 PM
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mithrandir (Andrew)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve000 View Post
Im planning on 18mm for maximum field of view.

I could do less time more exposures. How would it go with stacking and star trails and movement?
What were you planning on using for the stacking? Does it cope with the distortion inherent in wide angle lenses?

I'd recommend the DSLR be mounted on a GEM, and arrange it to be tracking through the area where you expect the meteors. Don't start or finish too close to the horizon or atmospherics will make things even harder.

Andrew
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:03 PM
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steve000 (Steve)
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hrmm.. interesting. that is an idea about mounting it.

on my Canon Ive never noticed any distortion at 18mm, the Pentax on the other hand is nassssty but it gives me better reds, bizzare.

I might have a look at 18mm, and 24mm see how i go.

Also thanks for everyone for the replies.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:39 AM
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Astroman (Andrew Wall)
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If you are planning this make sure you have some form of dew prevention for the lens also. Dew can form on the lens very quickly if the lens was pointing straight up. You will need a fast lens also, the Deltas are not hugely bright meteors and can be easily missed, sometimes you can be lucky and get a bright one. If you are using the 18-55 you may want to bring the zoom in a little to 24mm, but doesn't hurt to try it at 18mm, use the zoom on the preview to check the stars... Use a reasonably high ISO also, I know the the 400D isn't that hot on high ISO but ISO 400 seems to be okay. I know people who use 1600 ISO quite a bit, but I don't like it for the noise, but it may be better with the colder nights. Not sure on the conditions up there but Dew is the main killer of capturing meteor showers for me down here..

You can always practice days before hand to find what settings work best for you also.. Is your EQ3 motorised? you can always use that for the DSLR, or use the EQ6 (overkill) so you don't get trailing during the 30s+ exposures.

Good luck, look forward to your results...
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:58 PM
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philiphart (Phil Hart)
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here's a few ideas:

http://philhart.com/content/geminid-meteor-shower

that's a relatively slow lens for capturing meteors. to have any chance you will have to use it wide open (you're going to have to sacrifice image quality). the shorter your exposure the easier to extract any meteors from the background. ie longer exposures just makes the background brighter without effecting the brightness of the meteors.

don't expect to capture many even after a few hours!

phil
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:05 AM
luigi
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Several things to mention:

If you expose for one hour unless you are under really dark skies you are going to have a very bad result.
As Phil mentioned a long exposure will wash away the faint meteors.
I had that problem during the Eta-Aquarids this year, meteros were seen visually and were very faint but couldn't record them well in 1 minute exposures (only 1 minute!).

I'd recommend you to use the lens wide open, shoot 30 second or 1 minute exposures and aim the lens to the radiant area of the sky.
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