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Tried "M" Mode For First Time To Capture Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction (Didn't Work - Help!)


Hi Everyone,


First post. I'm trying to go beyond "Auto" mode with my Rebel SL3. The local news noted if owning a DSLR one could adjust the ISO to 12800 or so, and the shutter to 1 Sec and capture a better image of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction this evening.


So I ventured to "M" mode for the first time and made the above settings. Took the pic. Got nothing but a white screen. Tried it three different times. Same results. Switched to "Auto" and zoomed in and took a decent pic. Can someone tell me why I got a totally white image when shooting in "M" mode with the settings above?


Thanks much! Steve



Please post some of your pics that includes EXIF data and we can probably tell you what happened.

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These settings, if they can be believed, seemed to capture Saturn fairly well, but Jupiter is overexposed.  Create a composite image made up of your best exposures of each planet.  I don't think it is possible to capture both of them just right at the same time.  


The camera's metering system is not well suited for exposing stars in the night sky.  I think the TV guy was joking.



"The right mouse button is your friend."


Your ISO was way too high, you were probably getting noise. My exposures were comparable to what was listed here.


I made sure to practice a few nights ago. Always practice when you have once-in-400-year shots to take.



Think about this for a moment.  People often make this mistake when they shoot celestial objects. Take the Moon for instance, it is daylight on the Moon.  It is only night time here on Earth, so daytime exposures work. The same is true for Saturn and Jupiter. The problem there is they are very small so there isn't a lot of total light to capture.


"Got nothing but a white screen."  Simple over exposure!


If I get the chance, it has been cloudy in the southwestern sky here, I will use my 200mm f2.8L lens at f2.8 and around a 1/4 second SS. Use a tripod. Adjust ISO for several bracketed shots. Don't be afraid to adjust SS, too. Bracketing is your friend here.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Everyone... Thanks much for your thoughts! Very helpful. Yes, I think over-exposure was the source, and I think I should have practiced a night or two before. But I did get to tinker with the manual settings for the first time, and at least for this there was some benefit as I now start venturing this direction. Thanks again.


FWIW, I now see what I did. Below is the TV news station direction for how to photograph the conjunction.


I read the ISO direction as "16,000" not "1,600"...  OOOOPS.


Just as you all thought.



Photographing this rare event can be done in several ways with different equipment.


If you have a DSLR camera — either professional or prosumer grade — you can get some amazing photos. I would recommend using at least a 200mm lens, but the longer the better. (It's 550 million miles from earth to Jupiter and another 456 million miles from Jupiter to Saturn.)


Set your camera to an ISO of at least 1600. If you have a better camera, you can go even higher without getting a grainy image. Use an exposure of about 1 second with ISO 1600. (You don’t want to have the aperture open for much longer than that because the earth is spinning and the planets are moving.)


A tripod will eliminate blurring, and if you can use a bigger ISO, you can use a shorter exposure, which will even further eliminate blurring.


"I would recommend using at least a 200mm lens, but the longer the better."


Not necessarily.  A longer lens will require shorter shutter times or a tracker.  Otherwise you will likely get really blurry photos.

A 1/4 SS and a 200mm lens will work well.  If your SS goes too much longer than that you will run the risk of trails or blurry shots.


Even a 35mm or 50mm lens and some earthly objects in the forground can make an interesting photo.



Hillsdale Lake shot of comet Neowise, with EOS 1DX, 24mm, f4, 20 sec., ISO 1600.


EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!