Find out how to {photograph} the night time sky with a fisheye lens

Find out how to {photograph} the night time sky with a fisheye lens

On this information we’ll present you learn how to {photograph} the night time sky with a fisheye lens.

The night time sky might be breathtaking, particularly when it incorporates brilliant views of the Milky Method from a dark-sky location.

However what?s one of the simplest ways to {photograph} your entire stretch of the night time sky?

There are a number of strategies, however as ever compromises need to be made. On this information we’ll run by a few of the choices after which present you learn how to {photograph} the night time sky with fisheye or wide-angle lens.

We have included a step-by-step information to stroll you thru the method, too.

Learn our guides on learn how to {photograph} the Milky Method and astrophotography for inexperienced persons.

Choices for capturing the night time sky

A digicam with an interchangeable lens system similar to a DSLR or mirrorless digicam provides you one of the best of all worlds, permitting you to go wide-angle or mid-angle.

Learn our guides on learn how to use a DSLR digicam and DSLR astrophotography for recommendation.

A large-angle lens has a focal size of 17mm or much less, a mid-angle is 18-40mm. Something over that is getting in too near the topic to be thought of all-encompassing.

When you select a mid-angle focal size, you?ll be capable of cowl an honest portion of the Milky Method, however you?ll want to contemplate mosaicking pictures collectively to cowl all of it.

Nevertheless, seemingly excellent pictures can then reveal points similar to lens distortion and edge vignetting, so be ready to place vital time right into a Milky Method mosaic as a way to get one thing that appears pure.

For assist with this, learn our information on learn how to create a Milky Method mosaic.

Utilizing broad angle and fisheye lenses

The Northern Lights and the Milky Method, captured with a fisheye lens. Credit score: Zhuoren Xu / Getty Photos

Another for photographing the night time sky is to make use of a wide-angle lens, primarily capturing many of the seen a part of the Milky Method in a single fell swoop.

Photographing the night time sky utilizing a fisheye lens appears an apparent selection to scale back workload, however wide-angle lenses have drawbacks of their very own.

As with photographing a meteor bathe, utilizing a wide-angle lens could appear the best route.

Catching a path is all the way down to luck, however the narrower the sphere of view, the much less probability of success.

So it appears a no brainer to decide on a lens that covers your entire sky in a single go.

Nevertheless, except you?re fortunate sufficient to seize a brilliant fireball monitoring over many of the sky, a typical meteor path will seem somewhat puny and unimpressive.

A fireball captured over Belgium by UK Fireball Community cameras stationed within the UK. Credit score: UK Fireball Community and the World Fireball Observatory.

As well as, excessive wide-angle or fisheye lenses generally tend to distort across the fringe of body each spatially and by way of picture finesse.

By spatially we imply the angular scale on the centre of the body will likely be totally different to that on the edge.

Finesse refers back to the high quality of the picture in direction of the body edge and impacts issues just like the tightness of stars and whether or not they really appear like stars!

One other wide-angle compromise is the quantity of sensor utilised.

The Milky Method with a fisheye lens. Credit score: Nori Yuasa / Getty

True fisheye lenses ship a round picture. This both matches and underutilises the entire sensor space or does fill the sensor by reducing off a part of the fisheye?s picture.

Sometimes, an 8?10mm focal-length lens produces a picture that matches circularly on a full-frame sensor. A 12?18mm will fill the sensor body whereas cropping a little bit of the fisheye?s picture.

An extended session exterior with a fisheye lens requires cautious placement of any dew-reduction package, whether or not this can be a passive lens dew defend or an energetic dew heater strap.

When you don?t take note of the place you set these, it?s simple for them to finish up as a pseudo false horizon.


DSLR or equal

Broad-angle lens

Pushed equatorial mount


Step 1

Look to stability sensor vs fisheye protection:

Entire sensor used, however fisheye closely cropped Sensor corners unused, fisheye cropped Sensor corners unused, fisheye absolutely utilised in a single axis Sensor and fisheye underutilised Fisheye absolutely used, sensor underutilised Poor use of sensor and fisheye

Step 2

Mount the digicam on a tripod; there?s no want for star monitoring with a fisheye.

Totally open the lens, focus precisely and thoroughly level on the zenith.

This half might be difficult ? any offset could trigger much less sky and an excessive amount of horizon to point out.

The digicam?s dwell view choice is beneficial, though the display screen place will likely be awkward!

Step 3

When you?re contemplating dew prevention with a dew defend or dew heater band, place them fastidiously so that they don?t seem within the discipline of view.

Take a check shot and study any indicators that the lens is selecting up one thing it shouldn?t.

Whether it is, take away the dew defend or transfer the heater band again in direction of the digicam physique.

Step 4

Set a low to mid ISO and take a check publicity.

To minimise star trailing, adhere to the ?500 rule?, which states that the longest publicity you may take with out star trails changing into apparent is the same as 500 divided by the focal size of your lens.

For instance, for a 14mm lens, 500/14 = 36 seconds.

Step 5

Study a check publicity.

A brilliant however not overexposed sky is suitable, however if you happen to really feel it?s too brilliant, take a look at the standard of the sting stars.

If they give the impression of being significantly out of focus or an odd form, shut the lens by a cease or two.

If the standard is ok, scale back ISO.

If vital, contemplate lowering the publicity time as properly.

Step 6

Edit your ensuing picture as you’d any deep-sky picture.

Making a fundamental S-curve utilizing a curves software can work wonders.

You may apply corrections in case your photographs seem closely distorted.

Packages similar to Photoshop and GIMP (freeware)provide lens correction filters to regulate this.

Have you ever captured a fisheye picture of the night time sky? Remember to ship us your photographs!

This information initially appeared within the August 2023 challenge of BBC Sky at Night time Journal.

Previous Post Next Post