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Time lapse at night

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Geoff McKay
Time lapse at night
on Nov 12, 2010 at 4:50:47 am

It looks like we are going to have some clear cold weather here during the next couple of night, so I was hoping to get some clear shots of the moon. Any suggestions for camera settings?
Also, I wanted to do a time lapse shot of the stars moving across the sky. I was wondering if a slower shutter speed would "brighten up" the stars. I was also curious as to what interval setting would be most appropriate.


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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Time lapse at night
on Nov 12, 2010 at 2:11:54 pm

I've only ever tried this once since I love using my DSLRs with intervalometers for time lapses. It didn't work out so well. I use a shutter duration of 30 seconds or greater with a DSLR, but trying to keep the shutter speed as slow as the EX1/EX3 allows with sufficient gain resulted in unusable noise.

Shooting the moon would work a lot better because it's actually very bright. Once you find the correct exposure settings to get the moon's detail I'm sure you'll be within an acceptable range of gain/shutter. Trying for stars or auroras though, I think it may just be the wrong tool for the job.

Don't let that keep you from trying, because it's very likely that I'm just missing something. If you get a good result, let me know.

Last night had good potential for Northern Lights, just not this far south (I'm about 120 miles south of Canada). On our brightest aurora nights here in North Dakota you can read by 'em...but the solar minimum put a damper on that. Hopefully the sun snaps out of it soon!

Have a good weekend,
Cf


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Geoff McKay
Re: Time lapse at night
on Nov 16, 2010 at 7:42:59 pm

Clint,
Thanks for the advice I wound up doing a time lapse of the moon. I was shocked to find that I actually needed to be quite careful with the shutter setting in order to avoid "washout". The first portion of my shot was ok, but the moon moved out from behind some mist, became brighter, and lost all detail. I am not sure if auto iris would help as I don't dare touch the camera. I can see that there is potential there for a good shot though.

Geoff


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Craig Seeman
Re: Time lapse at night
on Nov 16, 2010 at 8:08:01 pm

Picture Profile could be critical. You may want a cine gamma to gently roll off the bright areas. If you use standard, the knee would be critical.



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Chris Dolan
Re: Time lapse at night
on Apr 6, 2011 at 8:37:14 am

I know this is an old thread, but I just came across it while searching for 'time lapse' discussions, so I thought I'd offer some information for anyone else searching the topic.

The EX Slow Shutter feature allows you to brighten a dark shot significantly, without any gain. The downside is anything which moves in the shot is exceptionally blurred. Shooting the night sky, however, would not result in any blur since the earth's movement is so slow. Simply access the EX Slow Shutter feature in the camera menu and set it to 16, 32 or 64, depending on how much you need to brighten the shot.

Hope that helps...

Chris Dolan


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