TPF Noob!
Nov 29, 2016
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Cambridge, England
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I've been practicing shooting the stars, but they don't turn out as good as I wish they would. Any tips on how to do better long exposures? I shoot on a crop sensor if that has any impact on my results. I would eventually like to do time lapses of the galaxy.


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Dec 19, 2015
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New London, CT
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Typically a fast wide lens and a camera that is good with high ISO produces the best results. I've found some success with my 50mm 1.4 in the 10 second exposure range at 3200 ISO to do pretty well. A wider lens allows you to use a longer exposure time.

Honestly though -- I looked at where you are located in England, and it will be a pretty challenging places to shoot the night sky due to light pollution. You might need to travel away from Cambridge quite a distance to get really good results.

Light pollution map


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Jul 10, 2014
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Things you need:
Lens with a wide aperture,
Lens with wide focal length,
high ISO setting [depends on camera]
Remove filters from camera,
Turn off auto focus,
manually adjustments to the focus ring,
Stay away from city/towns cause of light pollution,
Don't go longer than 25 seconds shutter speed,
Play with the white balance if not shooting in RAW


Been spending a lot of time on here!
Jan 31, 2015
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Shooting our galaxy takes a bit of practice.

1) The most important factor is your location and how bad the light pollution is. I live in Vermont, USA and there is basically zero light pollution and in the summertime I can see the milky way clearly with my own eyes. So find a good location away from a city with minimal light pollution.

2) Shoot at the biggest aperture your lens has like f/1.8 for example but depending on how good the lens is, you may have to stop it down for better edge to edge sharpness or if your lens has bad coma.

3) I don't try to shoot above 15 seconds otherwise you'll start to get star trails.

4) Keep ISO under 2000 to keep noise and hot pixels from being a distraction.

5) Set lens to manual focus and if you have a focal scale, focus to infinity and just back off a little. Take a shoot, zoom in on the picture and make sure the stars are nice and sharp, if not..then adjust focus accordingly.

6) Turn off any lens or in camera stabilization since you will be on a tripod.

7) Use a remote shutter so you're not physically touching the camera.

8) Shoot RAW

9) Be patient, experiment with different settings, take lots of shots and have fun!

10) Learn how to stack using dark frames and software like DeepSkyTracker to take your milk way shots to the next level!

Unfortunately, camera gear does play a significant role in shooting the milky way. Higher end lenses and full frame cameras will always be better at shooting the milky way. With that being said, no reason why you can't take good milky way shots with what you have.

These are mine > and I took these in my own backyard lol.

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