cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Want to photograph Neowise?

ebiggs1
Legend

 

Want to photograph comet Neowise?  Here is how I would do it and I might if the sky clears. Whether stars will trail in your photo or not, depends on the 500 rule.  It says 500 divided by the focal length of the lens equals the exposure time to keep stars sharp.  

I.E. 18mm / 500=33.3 seconds, 50mm / 500=10 seconds.  This is a general rule because not all DSLRs have the same size sensor.

 

Your camera needs to have a manual mode.  You can focus, use manual focus, on any bright star because when any star is in focus all stars are in focus. Even comets!

 

You do not need a telephoto lens!  Matter of fact you can get great comet and landscape pictures using a wide-angle lens.

The standard kit lens that comes with many cameras, the 18-55mm is fine. Try different focal lengths. Use fairly long exposures like 10-20-30 seconds and ISO 1600 or 3200. Keep the 500 Rule in mind. You will need a tripod.

 

Make sure you “bracket”. This means try different exposure settings.

 

You can get a close-up of the comet’s tail. But for close ups you do need a telephoto lens.  For instance, a 300mm lens would be great. It needs shorter exposures, however, like 2 or 3 seconds at perhaps ISO 3200 to get detailed pictures.  These are basic settings, try several and happy star gazing.

 

You can find Neowise in the lower northwest sky.  But you really do need to get to a dark sky place away fro any bright lights.

Some can see it naked eye but binoculars are best so take them along, too.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
29 REPLIES 29

There is another part of the sky, too. 🙂This is the opposite direction from comet Neowise. This is where the "Milky Way" is right now. The very bright light right in the middle is Jupiter. The lesser and smaller light to the left is Saturn. Jupiter is the brightest it will ever be right now.
This pano is from seven photos. EOS 1DX, 16mm, f4, 20 sec., ISO 1600.
 
_OS12049-Pano-Edit.jpg
EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Last night was a challenge as fog set in as the rain ceased and skies cleared. EOS 1DX, 28mm, f4, 15 sec., ISO 3200.

The camera and lens was wet.  Dripping actually. Smiley Sad  Not the best condition to take night time sky photos. 

 

_OS12056-Pano-Edit.jpg

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

A few of us are gping out and looking for sites for Milky Way photography with foreground subjects.

 

Still tweaking my post processing efforts.

 

Crawford Train Station.jpg

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LR Classic

I'd say you are well on your way.

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

TCampbell
Elite

The comet is on it's way out and the tail is fading fast ... but the core is now intensely green.

 

Comet NEOWISE.jpg

 

This is a single 5-minute long exposure.

 

Canon 60Da body; Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM III @ 200mm

Losmandy StarLapse tracking head

Exposure:  5 minutes at ISO 800 & f/2.8

I used a SharpStar2 (LonelySpeck) bahtinov focusing mask.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

I was hoping the Master would post!  It is really green for sure.

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

I wasn't sure I'd get a shot.  I missed getting this a few weeks ago when it looked completely different.  I'd check the forecast, plan the time, pack up the gear, head out to the dark sky park (a little over an hour's drive away) and ... it'd be cloudy.  One time it was clear everywhere in the sky EXCEPT for huge wall of clouds in the NNW ... *exactly* where the comet was.   And those clouds weren't budging (I waited a few hours ... and they just continued to get worse.)    

 

I was starting to think I was going to miss it completely (and we haven't had a really good comet visible from northern latitudes for a while) and getting a bit discouraged when... on a night that was previously forecasted to not be so good, turned out to be great.  Fortunately I left all the gear in the back of my car so I just needed to grab my car keys and go.

 

There was another forum where a photographer thought something was wrong with their camera because the core was green and many other photographers were speculating that it was a serious white-balance problem. 

 

The core actually does appear that green ... even viewing through binoculars.  

 

But just a couple of weeks ago, it wasn't green... mostly white, with the white dust tail and the faint blue ion tail.  For those who are curious as to why, you can read about it here:  https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/comet-neowise-goes-from-red-to-green-and-has-spiral-arms

 

The major things that made this an easier shot were

(a) I was using a tracking head.  This cancels out the rotation of the Earth and this is how I got away with a single 5 minute exposure and didn't need to do extensive post processing (e.g. what you'd have to do using the 500 or 600 rule).  They're pretty cool... the rotation axis points at the celestial pole (they come with an alignment aid) and since the tracker's axis of rotation is parallel to Earth's axis of rotation, they rotate in the opposite direction that the Earth spins, but at the same rate (15 arc-seconds per second) and this cancels out the motion of the sky so the camera remains pointed at the same piece of sky for as long as you need to get your shots.

 

I use a Losmandy StarLapse... they don't make that anymore.  The popular models these days are the Sky-Watcher "Star Adventurer" head and the iOptron "Sky Guider Pro" head.  Both have good reputations and lots of astrophotographers use them.  (Expect to pay somewhere between $300-400 ... they do make some accessories such as counterweights, etc. that help balance the load and that might drive up the price a little). 

 

(b) I focused using a SharpStar2 bahtinov mask.  Focus is always manual and difficult to do.  Usually I point the camera at the brightest star in the sky (and it really should be a star... not a planet).  Turn on live view.  Canon does "exposure simulation in live-view" so if you crank up the ISO to max and crank the shutter speed to 30 seconds and crank the f-stop to wide-open, what you see will get brighter.  Center on the brightest star you can find (manually adjust the lens so it's near the "infinity" mark on the focus ring) and it should be close enough to at least see the star.  Zoom the live-view to 10x and then *carefully* adjust focus.

 

But the SharpStar is a square slide-in filter.  So you need a filter holder (but they do come in standard 100mm/4" size).  It's clear but has grooves etched in the pattern of a bahtinov mask.  This causes stars to throw diffraction spikes... three of them.  When you are close to focus, they wont converge at a common center point.  When you nail the focus, all 3 spikes converge at a common center point.  (The company that makes this is called Lonely Speck)

 

Most bahtinov masks are solid ... usually black ... and then have some slots cut in them.  But this blocks roughly half the photons.  So the image you get is very dim.  That's no problem on a great big telescope.  But on a camera lens, those diffraction spikes are *really* hard to see.  Since the sharp-star is clear, *all* the photons come through.  You get brighter stars with bigger diffraction spikes so it's much easier to nail focus.  

 

Then just return the exposure settings to what you really plan to use for the shot (not maxed out) and re-point the camera on the section of sky you plan to shoot ... being *careul* not to bump the focus ring (make sure the lens is in manual focus).

 

Dew was a bit of a problem for me... stuff was getting wet and fogged over.  I used my lens hood to protect against dew.  That bought me enough time to get the shots.  If I were doing a whole night... I'd probably need a dew-heater.  I do own dew heaters... but didn't bring one with me on this particular night.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

I also had cloud issues as seen in some of my shots. We made a couple empty trips down to the lake. I was able to view it early on with my Nikon 16x binoculars. It did indeed change color.

 

The railroad built an Intermodal almost exactly where Neowise was viewable. However Neowise was bright enough that I saw it from my front yard in spite of the Intermodal lights which never shut off. How often do we get a comet bright enough to view naked eye?  No many for sure.

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


@ebiggs1 wrote:

I also had cloud issues as seen in some of my shots. We made a couple empty trips down to the lake. I was able to view it early on with my Nikon 16x binoculars. It did indeed change color.

 

The railroad built an Intermodal almost exactly where Neowise was viewable. However Neowise was bright enough that I saw it from my front yard in spite of the Intermodal lights which never shut off. How often do we get a comet bright enough to view naked eye?  No many for sure.


I remember viewing one from the roof of my college dorm. It must have been between the fall of 1956 and the spring of 1959, although Googling doesn't seem to confirm it. IIRC, it was visible to the naked eye, although I guess we used binoculars.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Down at Hillsdale Lake, Neowise was clearly visible in the dark skies.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Announcements
06/10/2022: Service Notice:UPDATE: Canon Inkjet Printer continuous reboot loop or powering down
06/07/2022: New firmware version 1.3.2 is available for PowerShot G7 X Mark III
06/07/2022: New firmware version 1.0.3 is available for EOS M50 Mark II
05/31/2022: Did someone SAY Badges?
05/26/2022: New firmware version 1.0.5.1 is available for EOS-C500 Mark II
05/26/2022: New firmware version 1.0.3.1 is available for EOS-C300 Mark III
05/10/2022: Keep your Canon gear in optimal condition with a Canon Maintenance Service
05/05/2022: We are excited to announce that we have refreshed the ranking scale within the community!
04/26/2022: New firmware version 1.0.1.1 is available for EOS R5 C
03/23/2022: New firmware version 1.0.3.1 is available for EOS-C70
03/22/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for PowerShot PICK
03/16/2022: New firmware version 1.5.2 is available for EOS-R5
03/16/2022: New firmware version 1.5.2 is available for EOS-R6
02/09/2022: Share Your Photos is back!
02/07/2022: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for EOS-R3
02/07/2022: New firmware version 1.6.1 is available for EOS-1DX Mark III
01/19/2022: READY FOR ANYTHING EOS-R5 C
01/13/2022: Community Update. We will be retiring the legacy profile avatars on 01/20/2022. Click this link to read more.
01/05/2022: Welcome to CES 2022!
12/7/2021: New firmware version 1.3.0 is available for Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x
12/7/2021: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for CR-N 300
12/7/2021: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for CR-N 500
12/2/2021: New firmware version 1.1.0 is available for RF 70-200 F4 L IS USM