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SL2-S for astrophotography, anybody?


Pierre68

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Hello everyone. during these holidays I have taken the opportunity to try and shoot some astrophotography with the M10-R and a Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZM.

The results have been disappointing with quite a lot of noise at iso 3200.

So I was wondering if I would get better result in this setting with the SL2-S. 

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1 hour ago, Cattoo said:

Short answer is yes.  SL2-S will give you cleaner images at high ISOs.  

Have you considered a star tracker?  That would let you reduce your iso and increase your exposure.

Hi and tank you for the answer. I have read about the high iso capacities of the SL2-S but I also read the it did not paired well with wide angle M mount lenses... Anyone on this topic? And in combination with the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 distagon?

And no I did not consider a star tracker as I am just investigating in astrophotography. It might become an option in the futur if I really dig into astrophotography

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I would stay away from wide angle M lenses. Get the Sigma Art 14-24 DG DN with the SL2-S and call it done.

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1 hour ago, beewee said:

I would stay away from wide angle M lenses. Get the Sigma Art 14-24 DG DN with the SL2-S and call it done.

Why not an even faster Sigma prime? The 20mm f/1.4 looks promising on paper, MSRP $899. Haven't tried it myself so would recommend to check out reviews first ... But faster than 2.8 would be better for sure?

 

Edited by mzbe
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Depends on the lens but fast primes also tend to have more aberrations that result in less than pin point stars.

 Also, for milky way photos, I tend to want to shoot as wide as possible and the Sigma 14-24 is the widest native L- mount lens available. It is sharp to the corners at f/2.8 which is very rare for ultra wide angle lenses, let alone a zoom.

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8 hours ago, beewee said:

I would stay away from wide angle M lenses. Get the Sigma Art 14-24 DG DN with the SL2-S and call it done.

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Thank you for your input. This is THE image that got me wanting to investigate astrophotography 😉

I read a lot of good reviews about the Sigma Art 14-24mm f/2.8  on B&H website, but I also stumble upon the Sigma art 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM, which also has very good reviews and an aperture of f/1.8. Does anyone have any experience with this lens?

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I bought the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 specifically for this.  I use it with the SL2-S.  It's a good, fast lens.  

Unless you already have the SL2-S or are looking for an excuse to buy one, I'd still suggest looking into a star tracker.  Their purpose is to let you extend your exposure time at lower ISO without worrying about star trails.  They're much less expensive than buying an SL2-S.  

That said, I use an SL2-S with the Sigma 14mm and an ioptron Starguider pro.  This guy has some good how-to videos:  https://www.peterzelinka.com/blog/2018/6/ioptron-skyguider-pro-review

Also suggest you look into the PhotoPills smartphone app.  It's really a must-have for Milky Way / astrophotography.

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There are also other alternatives to a star tracker which includes photo stacking software designed for astrophotography. You basically do multiple shorter exposures and the software combines the images to form a single low noise image that account for star movements and such. You can also combine foreground with extended exposures and sky images, along with dark frames that the software can use in place of waiting for the camera to do a long dark frame compensation each time. The benefit is that you only need to do a single dark frame and you can discard exposures that get corrupted by things like airplanes or satellites for a cleaner image.

With all that said, I do prefer the simplicity of just a single exposure and the SL2-S + Sigma 14-24 achieves that for me.

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I am going to add a star tracker and use longer exposures with composites.  I think you can see more detail in the Milky Way with that setup.  I really enjoy the images I see that have used a tracker.  I think there is a big difference using these to fast lenses and high iso.

Robb

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17 hours ago, beewee said:

There are also other alternatives to a star tracker which includes photo stacking software designed for astrophotography. You basically do multiple shorter exposures and the software combines the images to form a single low noise image that account for star movements and such.

It depends on how long your exposures are.  In my experience photo stacking software is no substitute for using a star tracker with longer exposures.  It's actually more of a complement.  

Edited by Cattoo
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On 7/27/2022 at 11:35 AM, Cattoo said:

It depends on how long your exposures are.  In my experience photo stacking software is no substitute for using a star tracker with longer exposures.  It's actually more of a complement.  

I think it really depends on what you’re shooting and the focal length you’re suing. I’d 100% agree that star trackers are essential if you’re shooting with long focal lengths or a telescope.

All my shooting is done at 14-16mm with foreground so a star tracker may help with the stars but will blur foreground and at the end of the day, is just a hassle to transport, carry to location, setup, power, and tear down. For ultra wide angle astrophotography, a tripod + ball head and high ISO with reasonably fast glass (f/2.8 or faster) and ISO 12500 is the way to go. You can do a single 30s exposure and it’ll be bright enough on a clear night, even in the darkest of skies for observing. If I could wish for any improvement, it would be clean ISO 25000 and a 14mm APO Summicron SL. That would be the ultimate astro setup for me but I think we’ll be lucky just to get the long promised 21mm APO Summicron SL.

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On 7/27/2022 at 3:44 AM, robb said:

I am going to add a star tracker and use longer exposures with composites.  I think you can see more detail in the Milky Way with that setup.  I really enjoy the images I see that have used a tracker.  I think there is a big difference using these to fast lenses and high iso.

Robb

Hi Robb, what model of star tracker do you have in mind?

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This was taken a few days ago with the SL2-S + 24-90 SL and a Gitzo traveller tripod.

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15s | f/2.8 | ISO 12500 Edited by beewee
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4 hours ago, beewee said:

This was taken a few days ago with the SL2-S + 24-90 SL and a Gitzo traveller tripod.

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15s | f/2.8 | ISO 12500

Nice shot. Thank you for sharing

 

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The newly (officially) announced Sigma Art 20mm f/1.4 DG DN looks pretty promising. MTFs look good and the sample photos doesn’t show any serious coma but I would reserve final judgement until I can see some raw DNGs with stars out to the corners.

I do really like how they added a MF focus ring lock since it’s not hard to bump the focus ring and shift the focus without knowing in the dark. Support for a lens heater is also a nice touch but probably not really necessary unless you’re shooting time lapses into the morning where the lens is cold soaked overnight but the air warms up in the morning.

Now, if Sigma can offer a 14mm f/1.4 DG DN lens, that would be my dream astro lens. Sigma can even price it the same as the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM and I’d still want it.

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On 8/3/2022 at 3:39 AM, Photoworks said:

 

I haven’t decided which I will go for but iOptron has several promising units for around $250-500

they are lighter weight so for travel that’s a plus.  Heard they are not built super solid so will have to check them out first.

Robb

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22 hours ago, beewee said:

The newly (officially) announced Sigma Art 20mm f/1.4 DG DN looks pretty promising. MTFs look good and the sample photos doesn’t show any serious coma but I would reserve final judgement until I can see some raw DNGs with stars out to the corners.

I do really like how they added a MF focus ring lock since it’s not hard to bump the focus ring and shift the focus without knowing in the dark. Support for a lens heater is also a nice touch but probably not really necessary unless you’re shooting time lapses into the morning where the lens is cold soaked overnight but the air warms up in the morning.

Now, if Sigma can offer a 14mm f/1.4 DG DN lens, that would be my dream astro lens. Sigma can even price it the same as the Sony 14mm f/1.8 GM and I’d still want it.

Interesting lenses from Sigma 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/videos/photography/sigma-adds-a-pair-of-wide-angle-primes-to-the-art-line?sc_src=email_26316&sc_lid=2629837&sc_uid=9IaQbND8zA&sc_llid=1347&sc_customer=5E010906DFAF36A20011B10AA9E0A2727F6F7DD9D8C11F2A7E98BC4A1EA705E1&utm_medium=Email 26316&utm_campaign=Announcement+Emails&utm_source=220808_ANN_ANN_Sigma 20220808&utm_content=&utm_term=IMAGE+md_3214.jpg&encEmail=5E010906DFAF36A20011B10AA9E0A2727F6F7DD9D8C11F2A7E98BC4A1EA705E1

 

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