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Thread: Northren Lights

  1. #1
    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Northren Lights

    Just wondering what others have for a good set up and method to ideally cature these?

    matto

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Northren Lights

    D600 or D800, Rockinon/Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 or 24/1.4, Nikon 14-24, Zeiss 15/2.8 or 21/2.8. You'll most likely want to shoot WIDE ...

    I'd avoid the highly corrected faster f/1.4 lenses if you want nice star points across the frame because they tend to be affected by coma. That would include the Nikon 24/1.4 for example.

    Exposure with Aurora is dependent upon the 'look' of the image. Shorter exposures will have more shape and detail. Longer exposures will tend towards the more diffuse Aurora look. I'd start at something like ISO 1250/1600 or so and shoot at f/2.8 focused at infinity (true infinity as found on your live view of a star - not necessarily the end of the focus on the lens!). Time will depend upon the conditions but < 20s.

    The main thing is that you want a good exposure based on the histogram and the 'look' of the image. Noise can be cleaned up but is very controllable on the D600/D800 or similar full frame cameras. You could use other lower resolution low noise options such as the D3/D3s/D700 or D4 etc too. Newer typically is cleaner.

    There are some good web sites out there about night photography that will also cover shooting the Aurora Borealis. Generally speaking good night photography technique will also apply to shooting the Northern Lights. Trust the histogram and not the LCD.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

  3. #3
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Northren Lights

    You might want to pick up "How to photograph the Northern Lights" eBook by Phil Endres. It's pretty comprehensive and worth the investment.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

  4. #4
    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: Northren Lights

    I really appreciate this Graham, a colleague of my wife's is going to Iceland in October and wants to shoot the lights with a d3200. I figured wide is better.

    I will definitely let her know about the book.

    Thanks again

    Matto

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