Nikon 18mm. f/3.5 AI-s for night sky photography ?

My level of experience in the field of night sky photography is no more than novice. Even so, after purchasing this wonderful little vintage Nikon 18mm. f/3.5 AI-s, I wanted to give it a try for this purpose.

The focal length of 18mm. with 100º viewing angle makes it very suitable for photographing the sky. The only drawback might be considered a priori, could be the somewhat recuced f/3.5 aperture, as an f/2.8 is always better to capture as much light as possible in the less time possible in order not to the stars leave no trace of motion and avoiding  to increase ISO ratings that would cause unacceptable grain. Anyway with current cameras and software, the resulting grain in long exposures or high ISO ranges can be greatly reduced.

Obviously the pictures displayed here are nothing extraordinary. They are not made from the desirable total darkness spot. There are  really true artists dedicated to the subject and can be found gorgeous results in the net. Nevertheless, some of these photographs which may seem so gorgeous on low screen resolution are disappointing once enlarged to actual size due to excessive motion of the stars, coma effects and optical aberrations of the lenses used.

The camera used in my case was a Nikon D800 at full resolution RAW and processed in Lightroom.

Well, here go the results:

© Jesus Coll

ISO 5000 f/8 30 sec.

© Jesus Coll

ISO 3200 f/8 20 sec.

Fragments at 100% from prior image (click to enlarge)

© Jesus Coll

Fragment at 100% from central area.

© Jesus Coll

Fragment at 100% from upper left area.

© Jesus Coll

ISO 3200 f/8 20 sec.

© Jesus Coll

ISO 1600 f/8 20 sec.

By | 2017-02-03T09:03:10+00:00 November 14th, 2014|

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