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Wide angle lens for startrails?
Old 03-12-2018   #1
carbo73
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Wide angle lens for startrails?

Hi, I've both a Nikon F and a Leica IIIb. Any suggestions about a good wide angle lens to take startrail pictures? F-mount and M39, obviously. And what could be better for this kind of photography, a rangefinder or SLR?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-12-2018   #2
narsuitus
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For capturing startrails on 35mm cameras, I have used 50mm normal lenses to fisheye lenses.

Due to the long exposures required for startrails, I prefer battery independent cameras vs. battery dependent cameras. The battery independent cameras I have used include the Argus C3, Pentax Spotmatic, Fujinon ST705, and Nikon F2.

I have also used battery dependent cameras with a battery pack.

When I have to leave a camera in a remote location for an extended period of time, I prefer to use an inexpensive camera that I can afford to lose.


Star Trail by Narsuitus, on Flickr
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Old 03-12-2018   #3
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Thanks, Narsuitus!
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Old 03-14-2018   #4
David Hughes
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Hi,

Nikon made an 8mm f/5.6 (from memory) lens to do just that but the price is astronomical these days...

Your favourite lens will do it or you might decide on a wider one to capture more; it really depends on what you want. That means an arc or a circle or part of a circle. Polaris at the top and the horizon at the bottom should or could be the deciding matter.

Best to experiment and see how it goes, imo.

Regards, David
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Old 03-14-2018   #5
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I'd tend to mostly use wide angles but I'd imagine almost anything would suffice, although obviously a long lens is going to show just a narrow piece of the sky. I do a lot of night photography but its not specifically star trails, although the stars are almost always visible in the sky/background. If I was using my Nikon F I'd probably try my 20mm/f3.5 or 28mm/f2.8 Nikkors on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by narsuitus View Post
When I have to leave a camera in a remote location for an extended period of time, I prefer to use an inexpensive camera that I can afford to lose.
I was reading an account of a guy who set up to do a very long (like, 4+ hours) exposure at California's famous Tehachapi Loop. He said people often asked if it was dangerous... Coyotes, snakes, etc in the dark (this was back in the 1950s). His response: No danger at all - I opened the shutter, then jumped in my car, drove into town and caught a movie!
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Old 03-14-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
If I was using my Nikon F I'd probably try my 20mm/f3.5 or 28mm/f2.8 Nikkors on it.
Yes, I'm going to get one of these in eBay or a local shop to pair it with my Nikon F
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Old 03-14-2018   #7
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Get a digital camera. Get any of the superfast wides (they are plenty and not too expensive). If you have a FF DSLR try the Sigma 20mm 1.4 ART. If you have a m43 try the Laowa 7.5mm. Iv'e seen some crazy good startrail shots with those lenses.
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