All times listed below are based on ISO 50, and aperture of f2.8 or f3.5
- For ISO 100, the exposure times are shorter but not 1/2 of the
time for ISO 50 like you would expect, use about 1/3 less
- An aperture of f2.8 or f3.5 is needed to get the most amount of
stars to show on film, the weakest ones won't show up with a smaller aperture
- Using Kodachrome 64, with a full moon, use f4 for 20 minutes
Points of Light
- no moon - 1 1/2 hrs minimum is needed for enough
light to give a landscape silhouette with star trails
- crescent moon - at least an hour to show color and
detail in the foreground
- 1/2 moon - 30 mins to 1 hr (30 mins if clear, 1 hr if there are clouds)
- within a day or 2 after 1/2 moon - 20 to 45 mins
- 3-4 days before and up to full moon
- 10 to 20 mins for softness of night and deep, rich blue sky
- With Kodachrome 64, use f4 for 20 minutes
- In order to get points of light instead of star trails, you will
obviously need a much shorter shutter speed. So, you will also need to
use a faster film to allow for a faster shutter speed.
- And, if you want some of the landscape to show up as a silhouette, you
will need the light of the full moon, and flash for lightable objects
in the foreground.
- To determine the longest shutter speed useable before star movement
shows, use the formula :
600 / focal length
- With lighting by the full moon, using f2.8, ISO400 film:
21mm lense 29 seconds
35mm 17 sec
50mm 12 sec
- Set up the camera before dark to get the focus and
composition right while you can still see.
- If setting up after dark, use a flashlight or your car's headlights to focus on near objects.
- Use a level on your camera to get straight horizons.
- If you have the North Star in the composition, all other star trails will circle around it
- On nights with no moon, leave the shutter open for several hours to get really long star trails