As many of you know, I have been working on many fronts: honing material for a "Down With the Noise" webinar, organizing several Milky Way photography events, and a large assortment of other things (like eating, sleeping, astrophotography).
What I would like to do is get some hardcore people to join me for a 2-3 hour data collection exercise. There is no charge for this event, but there are several important restrictions.
- You must be willing on one day notice to join me.
- You must have your own transportation
- We will meet at a location that is no more than a 90 minute drive West or South from the San Jose Airport.
- Total time spent may span from 8:30 PM to midnight.
- You must have the following equipment.
- A sturdy tripod.
- A DSLR camera body
- A wide angle lens capable of 24mm at f/2.8 (zooms OK)
- A cable release or intervalometer.
- Layered clothing - prepared for cold and windy or warm and balmy.
- A blank, formatted media card with at least 2 Gb capacity.
- You must have experience using the equipment - specifically setting your camera to take RAW images and in manual exposure mode.
- You must be willing - on the spot, to provide me with your raw data and allow me to use the results - with attribution - in upcoming publications and webinars.
What will YOU get out of it besides my gratitude?
- The benefit of whatever shot(s) you take (I just want a copy for my research).
- Mention in an upcoming column or webinar.
- Knowledge about WHERE I go to shoot the Milky Way.
- Practice shooting the night sky.
- Some coaching from me.
- A possibly game changing result.
- Time to rub shoulders with other Night Denizens.
- Practice and instruction on how to take Light Frames, Dark Frames, and Flat Frames.
I would like to get many different representative cameras for this experiment, and the data will be most useful only if it is collected all at the same time.
There are several questions you must answer to be considered for selection... please read and answer them carefully.
Thank you for your help!
NOTE: If possible I'd like to collect the data sometime between Sunday, July 8th and Saturday, July 14th.
So far responses include the following equipment:
. 5D Mk II, 5D, 5D Mk III, 50D, XTI, 5D, 7D, 40D, 30D
. D800, D7000, D700, D90, D40X
. OM-D E5
Looking for some more equipment, particularly Nikon D70 and others.
Sunset is at 8:31 PM
Astronomical Twilight Ends at 10:21 PM
If you'd like to rehearse here is what we'll do:
- Format memory card.
- Focus on infinity. Turn off autofocus.
- Take flat frames (5).
- Turn off LENR, High ISO NR. Use Manual mode, f/2.8, 24mm.
- Point camera at Milky Way.
- Set exposure to 10 seconds and:
- ISO to 200. Shoot a regular frame, cap the lens and shoot a dark frame.
- ISO to 800. Shoot a regular frame, cap the lens and shoot a dark frame.
- ISO to 1600. Shoot a regular frame, then dark
- ISO to 3200 (if possible) . Regular, then dark.
- Repeat step 5 but set exposure length to 20 seconds
- Repeat step 5 with 30 second exposures.
- Repeat step 5 with 60 second exposures.
This will result in 37 frames and it should take about 20 minutes assuming that changing camera settings between each shot requires 10 seconds, and it takes about 5 seconds to remove or replace the lens cap.
Total shoot time for steps 5 to 8 should be about 20 minutes.
Thanks much for your willingness to help!
If you're wondering why we need to be together for this effort: It's because I want to control the conditions so that everyone has the same temperature, lighting, and so on. Then the results will be directly comparable.