I have a Nikon D3300 and I want to do astro-photography. I have a 50mm prime lens and by the 500 Rule, I can click only up to 6.6 seconds without having star trails. Any idea how I can do it without buying any other lens?
Shoot as wide open as possible.
Get into you car and drive as far away from light polluted areas as possible. This will make a huge difference in what you & your camera can see on the sky.
Try shoot on a moonless night if you only want to shoot the stars.
Google tips on post-processing for nightsky photography. A lot of information can be recover from a night-sky shot in post-process
use a shutter release or timer to prevent any shakes made by you.
put a weight on your tripod to make it a bit more stable
try to rent or borrow a lens if you can.
There are amazing lenses for night-sky photography for great value like the rokinon 24mm f/1.4 or Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for example. I used the Tokina on a Canon APSC before and got mine for aroud 350 of ebay.
Taking multiple exposures and stacking them together is another option you can use
The obvious answer is to use a star tracker. Alternatively, you could just accept the star trails and make a virtue of them. One technique is to gradually defocus the camera during the exposure. This enhances the colours of brighter stars since the film/sensor is no longer saturated and bleached out. The astronomer David Malin is a well-known exponent of this technique.
If you don't have the option to buy a wide angle lens, there are a few things you can do:
- Make sure your aperture is open as wide as possible (f/1.8 in this case, I'd assume).
- Use a star tracker. You can build one yourself or buy one (NOTE: I haven't tried that particular one - I just did a search and linked to the first one.)
- Borrow or rent a wide angle lens. There are sites like borrowlenses.com and lensrentals.com where you can rent them for relatively little money. If you have any friends who are also into photography, maybe you could trade for a weekend?