Last night was warm and as clear as could be. I was out watching the rocket launch from my front yard and realized that it was a perfect night for some star photography. I set up the tripod, set the D600 to manual (5.6 at 10 seconds ISO 1600) and tried a few shots. I was disappointed with the results. It is next to impossible to focus on stars in the dark through the view finder. So tonight being just as clear just about 20 degrees cooler I was back for a second time. I thought that I might be able to use live view to get the stars in focus. That didn’t work either. What ended up working was using a flashlight to make sure that I was focused at infinity and then started shooting.
This image was taken with a 13 second exposure with the 24-85mm zoom at 80mm. You can see some trailing of the stars. If you look at the bottom of the image you can see Orion’s sword with the middle star that is the Orion Nebula. As a second effort I’m please with the image. For the next time I think I should wait until a little later at night this one was about 1 hour after sunset. I could have waited a little longer. I think I will also try using a wider angle like 50mm or so to get more sky in. I should also try 24mm for a wide view of the sky.