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Thread: Optimum kit for star trail photography

  1. #51
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    If you shoot with a P+ back out in the cold or for long exposures I can highly recommend the CH-910 external battery pack/charger. You can attach two batteries, including the much larger video camera ones, to the unit and put it in a small bag along with a couple of hand warmers and shoot for ages. Last night I was shooting for two hours and the unit basically was less than 50% used even in freezing conditions.

    The other good thing is that you can use the same unit as your charger and so I tend just to take this on the road with me in the bag when I travel. (The cautious side of me also has me stash one of the dual chargers in my checked luggage just in case).

    They only seem to be available used these days and so you have to be sure to get the battery pack cable. Most of the ones I see listed don't seem to have this and so it's just a dual charger without it. The battery plate attachment for the back is the Canon DC920 which you can find on Amazon.

    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

  2. #52
    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Hey Graham thank you very much for the information!!!

    cant wait to try it out

    matto

  3. #53
    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Man this guys shots are really well done

    All sizes | Circumpolar Stars over GTC | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    matto

  4. #54
    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    He actually uses adobe after effects to stack his star images, really well done

  5. #55
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    After I received so much excellent advice and generously given help, thought you guys would like to see a couple of shots I took two nights ago. Not strictly relevant to this forum since they are shot with a 5Dii, but a neat follow-on to the discussion above...

    [IMG]
    StarTrailFromFiles_MG_0091-165(plus168ForLightSceneAnd170DarkFrame)Step9Curve sSMALL by eduardotunnel4, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]
    StarTrailFromFiles_MG_0009-84(Plus0005ForLightScene)Step9sRGBSMALL by eduardotunnel4, on Flickr[/IMG]
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  6. #56
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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  7. #57
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Ed,

    Very nice stuff, you seem to be getting some different colors, to the trails. I have only seen this with the IR full spectrum type cameras like Graham has.

    Were these stacks, or one long exposure?

    Paul

  9. #59
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    I looked at the big files over at Flickr and these are stacks.

    Nice job with the interesting foregrounds and blending those in.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

  10. #60
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Thanks Graham!

    The help you guys have given has been much appreciated.

    Yes, these shots are all stacks. Depending on the picture in question, the individual exposures were between 15 and 90 seconds each.

    As for how different trail colours are being rendered despite using a normal 5Dii, I can't answer that. I'm just pleased it happened!

    Planning to try a D800E next weekend (weather permitting) for comparison.

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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    If you shoot with a P+ back out in the cold or for long exposures I can highly recommend the CH-910 external battery pack/charger. You can attach two batteries, including the much larger video camera ones, to the unit and put it in a small bag along with a couple of hand warmers and shoot for ages. Last night I was shooting for two hours and the unit basically was less than 50% used even in freezing conditions.

    The other good thing is that you can use the same unit as your charger and so I tend just to take this on the road with me in the bag when I travel. (The cautious side of me also has me stash one of the dual chargers in my checked luggage just in case).

    They only seem to be available used these days and so you have to be sure to get the battery pack cable. Most of the ones I see listed don't seem to have this and so it's just a dual charger without it. The battery plate attachment for the back is the Canon DC920 which you can find on Amazon.

    Hi Graham,

    Thank you very much for the information. It is very useful for shooting night photography with a P+ back (I have P45+).
    Which battery do you use? Canon BP-970G Lithium-Ion Battery?
    Can this battery pack be used with P1 IQ back (not for star trail)?

    Thanks
    Pramote
    Last edited by Landscapelover; 3rd February 2013 at 03:14.

  12. #62
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Pramote,

    I use a couple of BP-970G clones as an alternative to BP-911's. However, a cautionary note is that one of those cracked due to cell expansion when I charged it using the standard Phase One battery charger so I may get genuine replacements to be safe.

    Regarding the IQ, it would seem like the DC920 will fit in the back since it is identical to the BP-911 in size. However, you would have the battery door open all the time which concerned me. It's somewhat moot anyway due to the exposure times of the IQ - I can always change batteries between shots anyway so I've not used this with the IQ160. With the P25+ (or your P45+) you really want a big battery unit to handle the needs of what could be a 2 hour expose/dark frame exposure combo. That's a big difference to 2-4 minutes.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Thanks very much Graham! This information is very useful. I really appreciate it.
    I've just bought the DC 920 and CH-910 after I posted the massage. I hope these are all I need.
    Which batteries do you use? From your picture, they look like BP-911.
    I will buy a couple of Canon BP-970G. Or do you think the clone one is adequate?

    Thanks again.
    Pramote

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    With hindsight I'd probably play safe and buy the genuine canon battery.

    I got my clones on Amazon via a third party and so it would be a hassle to return compared to someone like B&H or Adorama. Had the case cracked on a genuine canon battery then I wouldn't hesitate to return it. As it is, I just put some gaffer tape on it and it works fine, albeit a bit ugly.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

  15. #65
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Thought you guys might like to see my latest attempts at this type of shot (all taken with D800E and 14-24 lens at 24):



    [IMG]
    StarTrailFromFiles_DSC6413-7093(DarkFrame7096)Step11CropSMALL by eduardotunnel4, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]
    StarTrailFromFiles_DSC6413-7093(DarkFrame7096)Step13sRGBSMALL by eduardotunnel4, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [IMG]
    StarTrailsFromFiles_DSC6047-81V2(PlusDarkFrame6085)Step11(PTGui)CropSpotSMALL by eduardotunnel4, on Flickr[/IMG]


    StarTrailsFromFiles_DSC6449-6501V2(DarkerAndWithGrad)Step6sRGBSMALL by eduardotunnel4, on Flickr

    Oh, and just for fun, have started doing this with the files as well:

    Time Lapse 1 Crop (15fps) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Time Lapse Cv2(small) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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  16. #66
    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography


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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    With hindsight I'd probably play safe and buy the genuine canon battery.

    I got my clones on Amazon via a third party and so it would be a hassle to return compared to someone like B&H or Adorama. Had the case cracked on a genuine canon battery then I wouldn't hesitate to return it. As it is, I just put some gaffer tape on it and it works fine, albeit a bit ugly.
    Thanks Graham! Insight information like this is extremely useful.

  18. #68
    Senior Member ondebanks's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Quote Originally Posted by viablex1 View Post
    Man this guys shots are really well done

    All sizes | Circumpolar Stars over GTC | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    matto
    Hey, I've been there! Did an observing run on the NOT in 2009, further up the mountain from the GTC. Here's a film shot I made of startrails over the moonlit GTC. Mamiya 645 1000s, 55/2.8 N at f5.6, Kodak E200, 4 minutes exposure.



    While this was exposing outside, the NICS instrument inside the NOT dome was taking my infrared spectra of a brown dwarf star. Being so busy with operating the instrument and checking and logging the data coming in, I only had a few chances to multitask like this during the observing run.

    I love going observing and I especially love this place (Roque de Los Muchachos observatory, La Palma, Canary Islands)...it's a pity I usually only get to go there at intervals of a few years.

    This has been a superb thread, BTW. Fabulous images and really useful information.

    Ray
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Quote Originally Posted by viablex1 View Post
    Man this guys shots are really well done

    All sizes | Circumpolar Stars over GTC | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    matto
    Nice combo of a star field shot along with star trails stack & foreground. The star field really makes the image somewhat more interesting than a straight trail shot.

    I know what I'm going to test out next time ...


    Quote Originally Posted by ondebanks View Post
    Hey, I've been there! Did an observing run on the NOT in 2009, further up the mountain from the GTC. Here's a film shot I made of startrails over the moonlit GTC. Mamiya 645 1000s, 55/2.8 N at f5.6, Kodak E200, 4 minutes exposure.
    Excellent.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    iq260. nough said

  21. #71
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Quote Originally Posted by mmbma View Post
    iq260. nough said
    Ok for a single shot but no good for stacks.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Ditto to Graham's comments.

    Stacking with the manditory dark frame will be a bit too many gaps.
    All trails will have gap, (at least digital capture). even on a single exposure. But most of these can be removed with startracer. However removing all the gaps over a 1 hour exposure from a MFDigtal back would be a lot more work.

    Stacking for stars is so much more a powerful solutiion, I wish Phase would at least allow a Long exposure noise reduction to off like Nikon and Canon. I can't imagine a 260 at a 2 min exposure would be that bad? noise wise.

    However stuck pixels would be another matter entirely. LR can't seem to get the stuck pixels on my older work from my P45+ like it can with Nikon and Canon images. Capture One 7 gets some of them.

    With stacking a stuck pixel is not that bad since it's always in the same place you won't move it (creating a path) in a stack process. It's just that when you start getting hundreds of them (and you will with time) they become a pain to remove.

    Paul Caldwell

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Further to Paul's points, the IQ260 also doesn't likely really have the high ISO performance for great star fields - clean ISO 1600/3200+ is needed, particularly since MF glass typically isn't that fast.

    We won't know for certain until we try it though but there has been no indication of big changes at that end of the ISO range.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 23rd April 2013 at 11:46.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    I have a problem:

    I now own a Canon CH-910a - but my one has no holder which I could plug on my back as battery.
    Does anybody know where to find the adaptor seperatly? Canon Germany only answered my "we don't know".
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Christian,
    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    The battery plate attachment for the back is the Canon DC920 which you can find on Amazon.
    But graham is using the CH-910 (non "a"), no clue if there is any difference to yours.
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Quote Originally Posted by mbn View Post
    Christian,


    But graham is using the CH-910 (non "a"), no clue if there is any difference to yours.

    Sometimes you need a kick in your *** to see something. Thanks a lot for this hint! Will order this soon - and then give a feedback here.

    (myselfs... )
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    Re: Optimum kit for star trail photography

    Enjoyed all the photos from everyone. I found this link somewhere (maybe getdpi??) and it's sort of related to this topic, it's about making night sky images (no trails). Two interesting things about it are first it shows how to do image stacking in photoshop to average out the noise in long exposures and, secondly, making a video consisting of all the individual shots resulting in the stars and galaxies moving across the sky. Looks really cool!


    (Jump to 7:40 if you just want to see the light show)

    Landscape Astrophotography Noise Reduction with Image Stacking in Photoshop CS6 - YouTube

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