The following may prove useful starting points to experiment with.

The Moon
Lens – 300mm to 600mm
Set focus to manual
ISO 400 – 800
Shutter 1/500th sec
If your camera has mirror lockup, use it
Use a remote shutter release or self timer
Start with f5.6
You may need to use exposure compensation if the image looks very over exposed on the screen/viewfinder

The Milky Way
Lens – wide and fast – 50mm max
Set focus to manual
ISO 1,600 to 3,200
f1.4 to f2.8
Shutter 10secs to 30 secs (Use calculation to work out your time 600/focal length of your lens e.g.24 mm = 25 secs)
If available on your camera, try out setting High ISO Noise Reduction and Long Exposure Noise Reduction.

Try f2.8 1/30th sec ISO 3,200

Time Lapse Photography
If using Time Lapse, set for 25 images per second for replaying.
Keep your lens warm with a sock and chemical hand warmer. 

Star Trails
Lens – wide angle
Set focus to Manual
ISO 100 or 200 if your camera won’t go down that low
Shutter set to Bulb
Experiment with:
f4 for 15 to 30 mins
f5.6 for 1 hour
f8 for 2 hours
f11 for 4 hours
If your camera has a menu setting for Long-Exposure Noise Reduction – try it with it set to “On”.

The sky at twilight
Lens – wide angle and as fast as possible but also try 80mm
Set focus to manual
ISO 400
Shutter 4 secs @ 80mm and up to 30 secs with very wide angle lenses
Try setting the lens to f4 to start
Be prepared to experiment varying all the settings to find the one that suits you.

Rebekah Nash – Jan 2017

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