Thursday, October 7, 2010

Astrophotography With A Nikon D3000

This is Jupiter and its moons, taken this morning(about 2 a.m.)--200 mm zoom lens, ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1.3 seconds. Notice the blown highlights on Jupiter and a lack of stars. A longer exposure would have brought up more stars but Jupiter would have been brighter and fuzzier. Focus wasn't as crisp as I'd like. I don't know if it's my eyes or the lens. Click any of these photos to make them bigger.

This is the constellation Orion--55 mm zoom lens, ISO 1600, f/4, 20 seconds. There's plenty-o-stars in this shot. Because the exposure time was so long you can see the elongation of the stars, called star trails. The cool thing about Orion is that it has a galaxy and a stunning nebula, but you need a bit more magnification to see them.

This is the star cluster Pleiades, the Seven Sisters--200mm zoom lens, ISO 1600, f/5.6, 4 seconds. You can just see the start of star trails from the 4 second exposure length.

I took almost 100 shots this morning, and these are the best three. All of these pics are full-on manual settings, even manual focus.


  1. Wow, I didn't think they'd trail at 4 seconds. We be whizzin' around fast!

  2. Hi Mayberry,

    You can really see how fast when you watch the moon set.

    When I took these pictures, I started at 1 second, then 2 seconds, 3,4,5,6..... up to 30 seconds. A huge number of stars at 30 seconds, but loooong star trails. At 1 second only the brightest stars showed in the picture.


  3. I should have known that. Many times I've watched the rapid setting of the sun over the water when out night fishing. Duh....

  4. You realize that a polar algnment on your tripod would remedy any startrails...

    1. I've still got lots to learn. I do have polar alignments down now. Definitely helps.



All comments are welcome.