Iso and aperture settings for star trails

The Liverpool Astronomical Society Forums Help and Advice Iso and aperture settings for star trails

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Mrs Julie E Gibbons 5 years ago.

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  • #2804

    Mrs Julie E Gibbons
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi, can any tell me in practical language please as we are real beginners…what settings we should use on a Fuji Finepix S2950 for the aperture and ISO so we can try our hand at photographing star trails? Thanks to you all.

    #3401

    David Galvin
    Administrator
    2p

    Hi Julie,
    You need to put the camera in manual exposure mode and select an ISO rating of 400 to 800 and , if possible, set an exposure of 30 seconds or more. The longer the exposure then the longer the trails. If you use 30 seconds or less then you should get point images of the stars/constations.

    I do not have the full specifications for your camera  but  I would suggest a wide aperture to cover a large field of view to ‘see’ a constellation such as Orion. 
    The camera, ideally, should be on a tripod but you may be able to carefully prop the camera on a wall (for example) so that it is steady. The tricky part is to ‘press’ the shutter without shaking the camera and causing the image to blur. You may be able to set the camera to take the picture using its time delay function (if it has one of course)
    Try experimenting with these basics in mind and let me know how you do. Focusing can be difficult and it is best to focus on a brigt star , planet or the moon.

    #3402

    Mrs Julie E Gibbons
    Registered user
    0p

    Hi David, thank you for the information, I am sure I can figure the camera out. We will be having a go on the next clear night. We have a tripod so hopefully we will catch something. Many thanks.

    #3403

    Michael J. Hill
    Registered user
    0p

    Julie,
           Worth mentioning that if you do get ‘camera shake’ because of vibration when depressing the shutter release there are 2 neat tricks to try.
       1/  Use a remote shutter release if one is available for your camera.
       2/  Using a black coloured piece of card or similar cover the lens of the camera. Depress the shutter release, wait a second or two for vibrations to die down then move the card away from the lens.
       Hey presto less ‘camera shake’ effect on your images.

    #3404

    Mrs Julie E Gibbons
    Registered user
    0p

    Thanks for the tips Michael we will try the card one, have not been able to do much viewing as my daughter has been ill for a few months and it has been too cold for her to go outside.

    #3405

    Michael J. Hill
    Registered user
    0p

    So sorry to hear about you daughter. Hope she is on the mend.
    I have 3 boys myself, the older two suffer from a degenerative neuro-muscular condition so my escape when all is quiet (rarely) is the night sky.
    I am a ‘newbie’ but have learned heaps from the friendly people of the Astronomy Community.
    Having ‘caring’ responsibilities has made it very hard to commit to regular meetings but finally managed to make it to the monthly meet last Friday with my better (and calmer) half. What an enjoyable evening, Great presentation on ‘Living with a Star’. Already was, but now I am a lot wiser about another ;-)
    Any questions you have feel free. If I don’t have the answers I will try my best to find out (with the bonus of expanding my knowledge).
    Happy viewing.

    #3406

    Mrs Julie E Gibbons
    Registered user
    0p

    Many thanks Michael, like yourself my time is limited, my daughter who is 32 is autistic and her escape is the stars. She has anaemia and a host of other problems. However, our problems are no where near yours. Best of luck to you and I will ask if I need to. I cannot attend the meetings at all as my daughter does not do meetings! lol

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