Sierra Starfield with Moonlight

Taken looking west at 9:30 PM. Light over the ridge of the Sierra is moonlight off to the west. Nikon D810 Sigma 24 mm f/1.4 lens 4 sec @ F/1.4, ISO 3200. Extensive use of DeNoise to bring out the hidden stars in the background. The Nikon D810 and the Sigma 24 mm ART make for a killer low light system.


Try using a much longer exposure - with that good a starfield you should get many more stars showing. I would suspect that your camera has a bulb setting and if you use a remote shutter release then you should be able to get 30 secs with no problem. There will be a slight movement in the stars at that length but at lower resolutions it will not notice. Good luck - exciting stuff!

Super image …

The D810’s max native shutter release time is 30 sec. With the Sigma f/1.4 and an ISO of 3200, the sky looks like daylight.

I would suspect that you could reduce the ISO to half at least of what you have. My own attempts in this area have certainly not produced ‘daylight’ - nowhere near. There is good advice here

and I think that Star fields are one area where you need not really worry about noise. Using the f1/4 may be perhaps too wide. My own settings were f3.5, 41 secs, ISO 250.

I used a light meter app on my iPhone to provide a place to start with chosen f/stop and ISO.

I would guess that there may be a few problems with using a light meter app for a Nikon Dslr camera. First off - how good is the app? Secondly what did you meter for? There are no highlights large enough to enable an iPhone to meter accurately so you metered for the dark. Which is why you get daylight if you use the settings from the iPhone. You would do much better if you use the meter within the camera itself. An explanation of your camera’s metering system is here

That is nice.

Very nice capture, and very nice job on the processing.

With a 24 mm lens on a full frame camera, I would not go above 20 seconds to avoid star trails.

At a lower resolution Ken I have found that the star trails are unnoticeable. Of course it depends whether or not you want to print and at what size. But for my purposes a 40 second exposure worked fine.

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