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Photography Question 
Erik Rasmussen

Star trails w/Nikon D70

I'm wanting to try and get some good star trail pictures, what is the minimum shutter time to achieve good star trails? I've seen technical data of 4 hours, and am wondering how long I can get away with the battery life on a D70 during shot and processing.(havent gone out and bought the ac adapter yet). I've got to assume its a long processing time with NR turned on, so any help to avoid a wasted night would be great! Thanks!

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7/19/2005 3:17:14 PM

David A. Bliss   In my portfolio is a picture with star trails which had an exposure of 21 minutes, and it has fairly long star trails. I use a Canon 10D, I cannot comment on the battery life of the D70, but I didn't use a lot of my battery. A digital camera is using more power than just keeping the shutter open (the sensor is converting light into pixels), but what really kills your battery is LCD use.

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7/19/2005 3:25:52 PM

Erik Rasmussen   Great shot! So would it be safe to assume that a 4 hour exposure would be too long for star trails? I have to think trails would be too long, if you can get the trail lenght you got in 21 minutes. Thanks for the info!

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7/19/2005 3:38:06 PM

David A. Bliss   No, 4 hours would be fine, you just have to think about how you want it framed. The shots that have the stars circling the sky were probably that long. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about astronomy to tell you which part of the sky to focus on to get the round star trails with the center star (is that the north star?) I should learn, because I would really like to get a shot like that!

BTW, thanks for your compliment!

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7/19/2005 4:00:37 PM

Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  You do need the northern star in the center to have the star trails go circular in the frame. The north star is at the end of the little dipper's handle.

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7/19/2005 5:47:09 PM

David A. Bliss   Thanks Sharon, I thought so. I know I always had trouble finding the north star. You follow the line of two stars in the big dipper and it is in the tail of the little dipper... Maybe glasses would help ;-)

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7/20/2005 4:17:04 PM

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