D3100 and Astrophotgraphy

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Sumandira, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Sumandira
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    Sumandira New Member

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    Everyone is speaking a lot of good words about D3100. But has anyone tried it in astrophotography? Not simply moon pictures, but deep sky images also, like planets and nebulas. Of course, lens and others instruments like a tracker and if possible a good telescope with T mount ring are necessary for that, but what about the camera performance in this regard.
    Anyone has any idea, please share.
    Another point is worthy to be mentioned here. In astrophotography web pages. the authors are primarily mentioning Canon DSLRs instead of Nikon's. As I am slightly inclined and loyal to Nikon brand, so I am wondering whether there is really any advantages of Canon over Nikon in case of astrophotograph.
    Thanks a lot in advance
    Sumandira
  2. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Most astrophotographers use cameras specifically made for astrophotography.

    Those cameras have a way to cool the image sensor so image thermal noise is minimized during a long exposure.

    Long exposures are required for faint diffuse astronomical objects like nebulas and galaxies. The aperture of the telescope used will have a large bearing on the quality of images made with a D3100.
    As a general rule telescope apertures of at least 12 inches are considered suitable for making 'deep sky' images of faint, diffuse, nebulas and galaxies.

    Much shorter exposures are needed for the planets because they are not diffuse and subjects in our own solar system are not considered 'deep sky' subjects. Of course no one has directly made images of any of the extra-solar planets.

    I believe it is just coincidental that you have seen a bias towards Canon cameras.
  3. JDRPDX
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    JDRPDX New Member

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    I have a Nikon D3100 and have tried it with Astrophotography ("AP"). As I have no experience with AP, I just started experimenting using a large computerized telescope, a T-ring and adapter. My first shots were of the Orion Nebula. I think the D3100 needs to be in "M" mode to utilize a "bulb" setting to hold open the shutter for an extended period of time. To minimize vibrations, the D3100 requires a remote cord (I bought a Nikon MC-DC2 remote cord) to operate the shutter release and to hold it open during the long exposures required by AP. My first few shots (about 20-30 seconds of exposure on a night with a full moon) came out OK as it was easy to tell that the nebula had colors. I was quite pleased, but I need to do some more experimenting unless someone is aware of a primer on such matters. Any ideas?

    John
  4. pantherous
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    pantherous New Member

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    i'm just reading and have no experience, but could you maybe link us to some pics so we can see how they turned out?
  5. DannyInMontana
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    DannyInMontana New Member

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    Would love to see pics also on this matter :)
  6. quiddity
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    quiddity New Member

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    :addpics:
  7. mswiech
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    mswiech New Member

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    Come one and lets see the pic :D
  8. subscuck
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    subscuck Well-Known Member

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    Shooting without a modified DSLR (IR filter removed, cooling system installed) you have to resort to stacking images for best results. Registax is still free as far as I know, and works pretty well. You take multiple shorter exposures and stack them with software to get an equivalent long exposure. If your scope is autoguided, all the better as you may have to take several hundred shots. I've seen some very nice shots done this way that you would have sworn were done with a CCD imager.
  9. kassad
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    kassad New Member

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  10. JDRPDX
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    JDRPDX New Member

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    I've tried to post my best photo, but I don't see how to do it via this forum. Suggestions? Thanks.

    JDRPDX
  11. ulrichsd
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    ulrichsd New Member

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    To post on this forum you have to save it to another server (photobucket, flikr, etc.) and then link that image link into the "insert image" icon in your reply. This forum doesn't host files if I'm not mistaken.
  12. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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  13. JDRPDX
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    JDRPDX New Member

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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  14. reznap
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    reznap New Member

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    ^ That's pretty cool. What did you have the ISO set to on the camera? Also, did you use any in-camera noise reduction? Canon has a long exposure noise reduction option that, when enabled, takes a second long exposure with the shutter closed just to isolate the noise, then applies noise reduction in-camera to the original image based on noise from the second shot. It works pretty well I think. Nikon probably has an identical feature just with a different name.
  15. JDRPDX
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    I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not sure. JDRPDX

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