Milky Way - First attempt with the XT2

nerwin

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I stepped outside before heading to bed and noticed how clear the sky was. I ran inside, grabbed the camera and tripod.

I haven't done any milky way shots with the XT2 yet. I was surprised how well it actually handled it, if I had a faster lens like the XF16mm 1.4, I could've got better shots. But the 18-55 handled it ok (surprised honestly). It can be done!

Later I might try taking several frames and stacking them. But for some reason DeepSkyTracker doesn't seem to like the Fuji RAW files. So I'll have to look further into that, but I might try doing it in Photoshop too.

The hardest part was focusing, I should have found a bright star and focused on that instead and then recomposed. I'll have that try next time.

I mean, I know the XT2 won't be as good as my Nikon D610 with the 20 1.8G lens because of physics. But it's still usable and with the right technique and lens, I SHOULD be able to match the D610. APS-C sensors have come a LONG LONG way.

I don't see a TON of milky way shots from Fujifilm cameras, so hopefully with me doing them it might help someone out there who is interested in this.

Fujifilm XT2 + 18-55
18mm, f/2.8, 20 seconds at ISO 3200

Erwin-180706-22444-IridientEdit.jpg
 

Fujidave

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What a great first go at the Milky Way, great colours and lighting and nice dark trees.
 

kalgra

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I too just took my XT-2 out for the first time to do Milkway pictures. I purchased the Rokinon 12mm f/2 and was very impressed. Id say the results were not that far off from what I have gotten with my Canon 5DIV and Zeiss 15mm combo which is staggeringly more expensive and heavy.

This was my shot at f/2, 20sec, 3200
4 portrait frames processed in Capture One then merged in Lightroom and polished in Photoshop. I loved loved loved being able to tilt my screen up in portrait mode for shot. Im tall and it was just so great to be able to stand so comfortably. Also the 12mm on the XT-2 was a featherweight dream to carry up the trail.

Milkyway Mirror by Kristian Algra, on Flickr

On a side note I have read that the 16mm 1.4 while an incredible lens doesn't do all that well for the milky way compared to the Rokinon 12mm. I think its safe to say if the Rokinon is better this is the only category for which that would be true so if I could only have one id take the 16mm in a heartbeat. Although as you have pointed out there really are not that many examples out there to compare and Im willing to bet it would be really good just looking at what you were able to so with the 18-55 kit lens. Nice Job!
 

kalgra

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Just for comparison this is the exact same shot done with the Canon 5DIV and the Zeiss 15mm 2.8 Distagon taken about an hour or so before the fuji.
25 sec, 3200

This was a single image completely processed in Photoshop. The big color difference was mostly just an editing choice playing around to see which I liked better but the two camera/lens combos definitely rendered colors much differently. Or perhaps the difference came from using two different RAW editors who know but interesting I think. I am no milky way expert by any means but to my eye the quality of the Canon Zeiss combos is only slightly better. I was able to pull a tab bit more detail from the files and the files were cleaner in terms of noise. Given that there is about a $4000 difference between these two setups Id say the Fuji wins hands down.

Milyway-1-1600px by Kristian Algra, on Flickr
 

SquarePeg

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Impressive shots. Shooting the milky way is on my bucket list. Heading to the White Mts for a week in August so hoping to get something going while I'm up there. Will need to do a ton of research first as I know nothing about shooting the night sky. @nerwin and @kalgra I'll be knocking at your doors for some direction!

I guess I'll be using the XT2 and 18-55 as that is my widest lens. Only other option would be the 35 f/2 which I'm guessing is not going to cut it.

Kalgra - how do you like the Rokinon? I've been eyeing that for a while. It gets lots of love on the Fuji forums...
 
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nerwin

nerwin

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I might buy that Rokinon 12 f2 actually. It's really cheap on the Facebook group. Seen them for like $200. Can't beat that lol.
 
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nerwin

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Good stuff to both you guys. As I have often stated, for me the Fuji is a good compromise between the FF IQ and the small footprint of MFT.

I think so too. It's a great balance.
 

HavToNo

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Very nice shot. I'm mostly into wildlife but I've always wanted to try photographing the milky way. My widest lens is a 3.5 witch is not the best for this kind of thing. At some point I'll have to invest in a nice fast lens.
 

kalgra

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Kalgra - how do you like the Rokinon? I've been eyeing that for a while. It gets lots of love on the Fuji forums...

To be honest I haven't really used it much yet other than this shot so I don't really have the experience to say for sure. Initial impressions are very good! The build quality is nice for the price and the small size is vey welcome as well. The copy I have seems pretty good the infinity focus is right on the mark which is good. I have had two other Rokinon lenses where that wasn't the case.
 

jcdeboever

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super work @nerwin. I don't know where it is at in the sky.

I have a fond memory of viewing it though... I was in Marine boot camp, and we had to climb a hill called mount MF'r, rightfully called. Anyway when we finally reached the top, around midnight I think, it was spectacular sight, and my bud said it was the milky way. It didn't look exactly like your shot but wonderful. I bet it would be an ideal site to shoot at. No light pollution, perfect CA weather, and amazing display of star clusters and color. Being a city boy, I had never experienced the sky in such glory. It was a moment I'll never forget.
It was the best moment of boot camp, other than graduation.
 

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