Some tips pls

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490
Name
Lloyd
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#1
Going to have another bash at doing a meteor shower in the early hours of 4th Jan (Quadrantid). Looks like clear skies from midnight to 3am and then it will become misty/foggy (according to Met office). The moon is around 5% and so that should help and I'm in an area of low light.

Could do with some camera settings tips please. Here's what I'm taking plus some settings I think I'll go for

Nikon D850
Lens is Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 (not ideal, but the fastest lens I own that's even remotely 'wide')
Tripod + 3-way head
Flask of hot hot coffee (it's going to be -4C)

Focal Length: 24mm
Aperture: f/4
Shutter: 20 seconds (checked and this seems okay by the rule of 500)
ISO 2000 (should this be higher?)
Long Exposure NR disabled
Interval around 5 seconds
Shoot length - 2 hours

I'll set the focus about 1/2 a metre beyond Hyperfocal - is that the best way to get stars into sharp focus? I'm not going to get hung up on aiming toward the radiant given my focal length isn't particularly wide anyway. In any case there is a Gallow on the hill I'll be shooting from and I think that would look great if I can get any kind of silhouette from it in the final image.

Any advice from those of you experienced in this kind of photography will be gratefully received. Only the second time I've ever tried it.
 
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231
Name
John
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#2
Ok best guide on meteors is the one produced by the team at PhotoPills, they do one every year - see https://www.photopills.com/articles/meteor-guide

That covers nearly everything you are asking, have a read - the only thing on your settings is that I would up the ISO, I normally start at 3.200 the 850 is good right up to 6,400 plus. Plus the 20 second exposure may give you some problems, it may be worth dropping that back to 15 seconds, but I would give it a try and zoom in & see if you are happy with the level of movement. Its always a fine balance between going for longer exposures to get more in, or more shots. Remember if you have any foreground in the shot to do a separate exposure for that, so that could be however, long it needs

Meteors are not an exact science, 24 mm does not cover a lot of the sky, so its all about getting plenty of shots

Have fun & good luck

 
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401
Name
James
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#3
Morning,

Did you manage to capture any last night? I managed to get one in 2 hours of shooting that I'm hoping to process over the weekend.

James
 
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3,981
Name
matt
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#4
Ok best guide on meteors is the one produced by the team at PhotoPills, they do one every year - see https://www.photopills.com/articles/meteor-guide

That covers nearly everything you are asking, have a read - the only thing on your settings is that I would up the ISO, I normally start at 3.200 the 850 is good right up to 6,400 plus. Plus the 20 second exposure may give you some problems, it may be worth dropping that back to 15 seconds, but I would give it a try and zoom in & see if you are happy with the level of movement. Its always a fine balance between going for longer exposures to get more in, or more shots. Remember if you have any foreground in the shot to do a separate exposure for that, so that could be however, long it needs

Meteors are not an exact science, 24 mm does not cover a lot of the sky, so its all about getting plenty of shots

Have fun & good luck

Terrific post.
 
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LJR
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490
Name
Lloyd
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#6
Morning,

Did you manage to capture any last night? I managed to get one in 2 hours of shooting that I'm hoping to process over the weekend.

James
I didn't! We were all set to leave (wife was coming to watch the meteors). and about 30 mins before we left at midnight the Met Office updated their cloud cover forecast shifting the cover from starting at 4am, to around midnight. So we were thwarted by good ol' UK cloud cover....I suspect a common theme when trying to do Astro photography
 
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John
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#7
I didn't! We were all set to leave (wife was coming to watch the meteors). and about 30 mins before we left at midnight the Met Office updated their cloud cover forecast shifting the cover from starting at 4am, to around midnight. So we were thwarted by good ol' UK cloud cover....I suspect a common theme when trying to do Astro photography
Yup comes with the territory, always worth going out as the forecast can be very wrong :)

I remember one evening it was reporting 10mile visibility & no cloud, where the reality was you could not see the end of the bonnet due to the torrential rain and 100% cover - it happens...
 
OP
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LJR
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490
Name
Lloyd
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#8
Yup comes with the territory, always worth going out as the forecast can be very wrong :)

I remember one evening it was reporting 10mile visibility & no cloud, where the reality was you could not see the end of the bonnet due to the torrential rain and 100% cover - it happens...
Yeah I did go out and check the cloud cover. Actually I was loading up the car and looked up and thought wtf! Then went in, checked the forecast again and gah! Cloud cover apparently arriving 4 hours too soon.

I have some other dates in the planner though. It’s good to have to work for this. :)
 

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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31,582
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#10
Depends. Go as high as necessary but stay as low as possible.
 
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