Wanna catch the Milky Way but what’s wrong

like this one

I’m newbie in photography. I’ve been trying to catch the Milky Way it stars trials.

But I always end up with dark noisy picture with blurred stars and even faint ones. Unlike the second picture I’m trying to achieve.

I had entry level canon eos. ISO set at max. Maximum shutter speed was 60 seconds. And lens was I think f1/8

What am I doing wrong? What do I need to adjust?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to Photo.SE, user. This site functions as a Question and Answer site - so duplicate questions are closed as dupes. Please read the linked question that mattdm is referring to. If you have additional questions that are not solved by that question, feel free to ask them. We do have a ton of questions on night shooting - I also suggest you search existing questions under the Astrophotography tag. Cheers, \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 16:56
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I highly doubt that your example of the type of image you wish to produce is the result of a single exposure. The terrestrial parts of the images may be a single frame, but the sky is likely the result of multiple stacked frames. There's also a lot of work with the raw data in post-processing to make the sky look like that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


To increase the brightness, use high ISO (like maybe ISO 3200) and wide open lens, like f/2.8. Depth of Field is not an issue for stars at distance of infinity.

You of course also need the seconds of exposure, and 30 to 60 seconds may normally be enough for ISO 3200 f/2.8, but the Earth will rotate 1/4 degree in 60 seconds, which will cause a trailed blur for a camera on a fixed mount. A very short lens focal length (wide angle view) will minimize that trail, and any longer lens will emphasize it.

There is an old rule of thumb (for 35 mm film size) called 500 Rule that says

Seconds = 500 / focal length

will be acceptable blur (but probably not sufficient exposure time). This 500 Rule is for 35 mm film size. Smaller sensor frames will be worse blur (longer trails) than larger 35 mm frame size (only because smaller frames must be enlarged more for viewing).

My site at https://scantips.com/lights/stars.html offers some calculation help with this in regard to actual sensor size and focal length.

An astronomy motorized mount can solve the motion issue.

But also see Google for https://www.google.com/search?q=star+tracking+camera+mount

which is a very simple DIY "barn door" tracker where you can manually turn a screw a bit maybe every 10 or 15 seconds to also track the rotation, giving blur results like only 10 or 15 seconds. The dimensions calibrate the screw thread pitch to the Earths rotation speed. General design is one 360 degree turn of screw follows 60 seconds of sky rotation. Fancy designs put a 1 RPM motor on the screw, but the entire duration might be only about 1 minute, so manual turning can work too (don't shake the camera though). The links there show many versions of it.


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