Rodney Campbell's Blog

Beneath the Heavens…

by on Apr.24, 2017, under Life, Photography

It was the day after the full moon so definitely not the ideal time to be attempting to shoot beneath the stars.

Beneath the Heavens

Beneath the Heavens

NIKON D750 + 12.0 mm f/2.8 @ 12 mm, 21 sec at f/2.8, ISO 1600

I’d brought my new Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D ultra wide angle lens with me on this trip so…

We’d just finished a nice dinner and I figured even tho there were many things that weren’t ideal I’d give it a try anyway…

The full moon was the biggest problem – it washes out the sky and hides many of the stars. The only upside was that I could use it to effectively light paint the landscape (and the house) for me. However the bright conditions forces me to shoot at a lowly ISO 1600 instead of my usual target of ISO 6400 for shooting the milky way in dark sky conditions. Even then it was too bright and I had to manually shoot a number of exposures (20, 10, 5 & 2 seconds) and blend some parts of the darker exposures into the base 21 second exposure.

The Laowa 12mm is very wide and has a fast wide open aperture of f/2.8 which are ideal statistics for shooting the stars. The lens however apparently has a significant amount of batwing coma which makes it much less useful for shooting static starfield shots like this. Instead of having nice points of light for the stars you get smeared out batwing shapes (especially in the corners). The lens will however likely be a useful tool for star trail scenarios where the trailing stars isn’t a problem, in fact it’s probably a benefit.

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