Sunny 16, Looney 11, Starry ???

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by teru, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. I've done some searching and haven't been able to find a consistent answer so I'm hoping someone can help me out.
    I realize that conditions can be highly variable, but taking the most general settings (clear night, stars visble, no moon) is there a exposure rule for star trails that's similar to the Sunny 16/Looney 11 rules? Or if not, is there an aperture/shutter/ISO combination that works for most occasions?
    I'm using a D700. What's the max time that I can leave the shutter open without getting negative results from amp glow?
    Also, sice the use of Noise Reduction essentially doubles the amount of time needed to take a photo, can I turn Noise Reduction off and then take a lens cap photo using the same exposure settings later on to use for noise subtraction?
    Example, say I take 4 photos each at f/8, 15min, ISO100, all with NR off. Can I shoot a 5th photo with the lens cap on using the same f/8-15-100 exposure and load it into Capture NX to use as a noise reduction reference pic for the first 4 photos?
  2. Have you done any research on image stacking for star trails? Might solve the whole dark frame issue by rendering it moot! :)
  3. Since stars are effectively point light sources, the exposure needed depends on the size of your lens opening, not the f-number. For a star, you collect the same amount of light (and need the same exposure) with a 200mm lens at f/8 as you do with a 35mm lens at f/1.4. (Of course, if you have some of the surrounding landscape in the picture too, the exposure needed for that does vary with f-number.)
  4. Take a look at here.
    ISO1600, 477 stacked images, over 4 hours.
    Normal photographic rules twist in the darkness. ;)
    Seriously though, I don't think there's a consistent answer to your question. Only starting points for different methods.
  5. Actually, take a Google at Fred Parker's Ultimate Exposure Calculator. It has exposures for varisou amounts of night light... full moon in summer, full moon on snow, etc. It's actually a spreadsheet you download for free, and I've found it extremely accurate.
    The star trails' length can be calced pretty easily. A star will rotate 360d in 24 hours, or 15d per hour, or 5d in 20 minutes. Five degrees is enough to see the trail, but it's not a very long trail. So then you can go to Fred Parker's calculator, find a night scene that has the amount of light that will give you a good exposure over the time that it takes to form a decent start trail
  6. I seem to recall that the looney 11 rule is f11 and 1/ISO in DAYS, for properly exposing a scene lit by the moon. Which makes sense given how much less light the moon casts compared to the sun.
    So if you're at ISO 100, this would be f11 and 1/100 day which is 86,400s/day/100 = 864 s = 14.4 min. I usu. shoot wide open, say at f2.8, or 4 stops which is 0.9 min or 54 s.
    And, as others have said, to get the moon right, just shoot it at sunny 16.
  7. this sounds like fun,how can I do this with my nikon d7000.I have two lens,one a nikkor 70-300mm vr and a nikkor 18-105 mm vr.Which would be the best to use and at what settings would you recommend ?thanks
  8. I seem to recall that the looney 11 rule is f11 and 1/ISO in DAYS, for properly exposing a scene lit by the moon. Which makes sense given how much less light the moon casts compared to the sun.​
    The amount of light reflected off of the moon is about 1/1,000,000 of that we get directly from the sun. This is twenty stops.
    Therefore on a clear night with a full moon, what would be a sunny 16 exposure in daylight e.g. ISO 100, f16, 1/125 will nees a shutter speed of about two hours assuming ISO and aperture stay the same. This is for scenes lit by the noonlight and not of the moon itself.

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