Author Topic: Total newbie to ML - seeking advice for star trail stills photography  (Read 1031 times)

Matikr

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Hi Guys.

I have a trip to the Canyonlands NP coming up next month, and was thinking of taking my EOS-M along side my A7iii. was hoping to use the EOS-M as a B camera to capture mainly stratrails (connected to a Powerbank), while the sony does most of the heavy lifting for the milky way. I'm not new to photography, but ML is kinda new to me.

I do my startrails, by exposing multiple images , at around 30 sec each, and stacking them afterwards in PS. I use the histogram and try and have it go all the way to a bout the middle point, so I still get some color in the stars

I started playing around with ML (June 2018 build if I'm not mistaken), but found most videos on youtube are for video mostly, and the amount of info, along with the differnte builds got me a bit confused, so I'd appreciate any advice regarding setup, things to look for, or ideas for when I go out to shoot.


a few questions to get the ball rolling if you don't mind:

1) what's the best practice (setting wise) to be able to zoom at night on the stars?

2) Any suggestions (ML setting wise) for the actual shoot?

3) From your experience with the EOS-M, any recommendations of do and don'ts for such shots (like max ISO etc) ? nights will be cold if it makes any difference.

4) intervalometer: - how to I stop it once it started (without taking out the battery) ? is there a way to set it to where the there's absolutely no gap between pictures taken (not even 1 sec)

5) I enabled the "Global Draw" and really like the fact I can see the focusing distance , but is there a way to control the camera settings, or the X10 zoom while at that window? Iat the moment I need to switch to 1 of the regular displays by hitting the INFO button

6) I was reading some on Dual ISO and ETTR, but is seems like it is not something I should use for long exposures, am I correct?

any other advice?

Thanks a lot for your time.


Pic from a trip 5 years ago, before I knew ML or stacking was even a thing. so 30 min at ISO 200, with another 30min of in camera noise reduction.

yourboylloyd

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Re: Total newbie to ML - seeking advice for star trail stills photography
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2020, 12:27:09 AM »
Hello Matikir.

It may be worth it to know that there is a module specifically for Astrophotography for the 550D(not sure if it works on EOS M): https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=18515.0

Also, you can probably do the extreme long exposure route instead of stacking in photoshop. ML's bulb timer lets you take a pic for 30 minutes if you want to.

I also remember there was a ML build that someone was working on that turned the entire global draw screen RED so that it could be easy on your eyes during the dark nights and won't leak into the long exposure. I couldn't find it again anywhere though. You could also try to shoot RAW video and have the framerate painfully slow too. I know the guys at planet 5D did this: https://www.redsharknews.com/production/item/1515-magic-lantern-captures-saturn-moon-in-same-frame



1) what's the best practice (setting wise) to be able to zoom at night on the stars?


Is this to make sure that you are in focus? I don't really know of any other way besides pressing the x10 button and making sure it's in focus.


3) From your experience with the EOS-M, any recommendations of do and don'ts for such shots (like max ISO etc) ? nights will be cold if it makes any difference.


I think the only way of knowing is to test this one. Just keep your lens cap on and do a long exposure at each iso and see what kind of noise you get.


4) intervalometer: - how to I stop it once it started (without taking out the battery) ? is there a way to set it to where the there's absolutely no gap between pictures taken (not even 1 sec)


I just usually push every button and shutter until it stops and open the menu to turn it off lololololl. I'm sure there is an actual way though.


6) I was reading some on Dual ISO and ETTR, but is seems like it is not something I should use for long exposures, am I correct?


Probably not for long exposures. I think that's more for portrait and RAW video.


Sorry I couldn't be of more help. I don't actually own an EOS M and I haven't taken astro pics in a while. But I do love my samyang 14mm for it :D


Join the ML discord! https://discord.gg/H7h6rfq

Luther

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Re: Total newbie to ML - seeking advice for star trail stills photography
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2020, 01:43:41 AM »
1) what's the best practice (setting wise) to be able to zoom at night on the stars?
On the "Prefs" menu, you can turn on the "Increase SharpContrast" inside "LiveView zoom tweaks". This will make it easier to see if your image is on focus or not. Also, on the "Overlay" menu, there's the option called "Magic Zoom" which you can play with.
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2) Any suggestions (ML setting wise) for the actual shoot?
You can automate nearly everything using ML. On the "Shoot" menu, see the Intervalometer, bulb timer, advanced bracket, etc.
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3) From your experience with the EOS-M, any recommendations of do and don'ts for such shots (like max ISO etc) ? nights will be cold if it makes any difference.
I don't own a EOS-M, but Canon ISO usually just go up to 1600. I wouldn't go beyond that.
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4) intervalometer: - how to I stop it once it started (without taking out the battery) ? is there a way to set it to where the there's absolutely no gap between pictures taken (not even 1 sec)
About stopping, dunno. But you can set no gap. On the Canon menu, put the photo mode ("Drive mode") to "continuous shooting". Then on ML menu, set the Intervalometer to "Start after: 0s".
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5) I enabled the "Global Draw" and really like the fact I can see the focusing distance , but is there a way to control the camera settings, or the X10 zoom while at that window? Iat the moment I need to switch to 1 of the regular displays by hitting the INFO button
See the LiveView zoom tweaks menu.
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6) I was reading some on Dual ISO and ETTR, but is seems like it is not something I should use for long exposures, am I correct?
Dual_ISO won't help, but ETTR is important for any photo. The more light you capture, the better will be the SNR (less noise, more information). Also, in your case, you could make multiple exposures and combine them (HDR). This would reduce noise and keep everything within the dynamic range. I aways use and recommend HDRMerge.

Walter Schulz

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Re: Total newbie to ML - seeking advice for star trail stills photography
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2020, 02:03:13 AM »
May I suggest to contact user escho and ask him how to make best use of ML for Astro photography?
English is not his first language and you may need deepl.com for assistance.
Be prepared for a steep learning curve. ;-)

Here are some incomplete notes about intervalometer: https://wiki.magiclantern.fm/camera_help#intervalometer
ā€¯Shoot like crazy" is what you may want but turning it off may be tricky. It's called crazy for a reason...
Power off should work, though.

Danne

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Matikr

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Re: Total newbie to ML - seeking advice for star trail stills photography
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2020, 07:57:37 PM »
Thank you all! some very interesting idea on here i'll need to try out.

Sorry for the late reply, the "notify me of replies" option didn't work...

Cheers !