This is an amazing video of night sky time lapse, which was shot with the following equipment:

  • Canon 60D and T2i
  • Tokina 11-16 ,Sigma 20mm F1.8, Tamron 17-50

According to Wikipedia , South Dakota is about 2,200 ft to 7,244 ft above sea-level. I'm planning to get a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 to do night sky time lapse photography. I'd like to capture the movement of the Milky Way also. My location is 216.898m (711.607 feet) above the sea, and my camera is a Canon 60D.

I'm planning to shoot in RAW format, 30 seconds exposures F2.8 or F1.8 with 3 second interval between shots and ISO 1600.

I'm not sure if I'm able to capture Milky Way or stars well. Given the location elevation, camera, lens and the previously described settings, will I be able to capture Milky Way? Please give suggestions and comments as to whether the settings or lens are correct or not.


1 Answer 1


Aperture: Use the maximum aperture (F1.8 if possible)
Shutter Speed: Use the 600/(focal length * crop Factor)rule so as to not see star trails (Refer here in section 3. Camera settings).
ISO: Highest possible for your camera that you find acceptable.
Milky Way? You can use the application: Stellarium to find out if you are in the right time / place to view the milky way.
Also you can use the Magic Lantern firmware to setup timelapse photography. I've used MagicLantern before but I did not test that feature.

I did do a capture of the arm of the Milky Way while I was in Chile. Milky Way

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you expand on the 600/focal length rule? Or provide a link to more information? It would improve the answer a bit. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Added a reference to the 600/focal length rule \$\endgroup\$
    – Viv
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 23:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vivek: Does 600 rule apply to the lens with crop sensor? I mean, should I take normal focal length or 1.6 times focal length? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 1:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should apply the crop factor. Sorry, I updated the answer but not the comment, 600/(focal length * crop Factor). \$\endgroup\$
    – Viv
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 1:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, I used a 5D Mark II at ISO 6400 for 30 seconds. The lense was a Samyang 14mm at f2.8. It is a manual focus lense so I set the focus around 3 meters as everything would then be in focus. \$\endgroup\$
    – Viv
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 13:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.