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Old 02-04-2019, 10:44 PM   #1
ATX Tyler
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Default Big Bend Astrophotography?

Heading to Big Bend to do a little backpacking in a couple of weeks, and I've always heard that it's just about the best for astrophotography. Anyone tried getting some milky way shots out there or just generally starry skies, and any advice on lenses to toss on a Canon 5D Mark III?
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:48 PM   #2
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If I were going with you, I'd have my 16-35 f2.8L on my camera for astrophotography.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:35 AM   #3
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Yea I always run my Sigma 16mm 1.4 for stars and Milky Way shots
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:50 AM   #4
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These were at beavers bend with my 80D and 50mm 1.4. It was my first time trying astrophotography, be prepared for a LOT of waiting (bring coffee and a chair lol).






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Old 02-05-2019, 09:26 AM   #5
ATX Tyler
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Yea I always run my Sigma 16mm 1.4 for stars and Milky Way shots
Wow! Very cool shot, I'll have to look at that Sigma and the 16-35 mentioned above.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:54 AM   #6
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Awesome how cameras can capture that!
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:27 PM   #7
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Was just in Big Bend! Clouds were predominant most the time except for the start of our first night there so that was a bummer. Tripod is the biggest need when shooting astro shots. I used my 28-70 sony kit lens and came up with this shot on that first night.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:56 PM   #8
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What time of the year is the most comfortable to visit Big Bend? Are there good places to stay with a 5th wheel camper?


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Old 02-06-2019, 04:06 PM   #9
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Some of those are out.standing photos!
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:49 PM   #10
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Some of those are out.standing photos!
You mean art work. Because these "photos" are so doctored that Ansel Adams is rolling over in his grave.
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:56 PM   #11
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What time of the year is the most comfortable to visit Big Bend? Are there good places to stay with a 5th wheel camper?


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We go November-March. We tent camp. There is one campground with RV hookups in the park. There is also the Stillwell Store near the North end of the park. They have RV sites. Terlingua also has a few RV parks and it is only a few miles to the West gate. Everything is far away out there so potentially you could have a 1.5 hour drive every morning to your destination
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
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What time of the year is the most comfortable to visit Big Bend? Are there good places to stay with a 5th wheel camper?


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How long is your 5th wheel Mike? You can also leave it at home and stay at Terilinqa Ranch outside the park. There is too much exploring to do to have to haul a large camper and maintain it IMO. Unless you are staying and extended time.

My favorite camping is a nice cot in the open air. I have been in the heat of July and the cold of winter.

July is fine if you camp at the right elevation, then when day starts jump in the truck with the ac and drive all day taking in all the scenes. Really cant be beat.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:41 PM   #13
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Keep an eye out for Mt lions if you are on the trails!
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:11 AM   #14
ATX Tyler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stickslinger92 View Post
Was just in Big Bend! Clouds were predominant most the time except for the start of our first night there so that was a bummer. Tripod is the biggest need when shooting astro shots. I used my 28-70 sony kit lens and came up with this shot on that first night.
Cool shot! I'll definitely have my tripod, cable release etc. Is that lens a f3.5 on the Sony? My problem is that I typically do a lot of daytime landscapes that don't require a very fast lens, so my main workhorse lens is only f/4. The only "fast" one I've got is the 70-200 2.8 which won't do me much good lol.

I may need to rent/borrow a faster lens is what I'm thinking.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:25 PM   #15
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Cool shot! I'll definitely have my tripod, cable release etc. Is that lens a f3.5 on the Sony? My problem is that I typically do a lot of daytime landscapes that don't require a very fast lens, so my main workhorse lens is only f/4. The only "fast" one I've got is the 70-200 2.8 which won't do me much good lol.

I may need to rent/borrow a faster lens is what I'm thinking.
Yeah the Sony is a 3.5 lens and that's what the picture was shot at. I had to have shutter open longer than I would have liked (25 seconds) and ISO was a little high (3200) If you can get your hands on a fast lens it would definitely help!
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:57 PM   #16
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Check out the Rokinon 24mm 1.4 or the Rokinon 14mm 2.8. It's $500 & $300 respectively, on Amazon, M focus but you're not using auto when shooting astro anyway. I'm really really tempted to pick one up to add to my kit.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:27 PM   #17
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These pictures tell a story, just look at how beautiful the sky is at night.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:27 AM   #18
ATX Tyler
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Check out the Rokinon 24mm 1.4 or the Rokinon 14mm 2.8. It's $500 & $300 respectively, on Amazon, M focus but you're not using auto when shooting astro anyway. I'm really really tempted to pick one up to add to my kit.
That 14mm is really intriguing at that price point. May see if I can track down a used one on the cheap. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:33 AM   #19
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I’ve got a place out in the Solitario, north of terlingua. The stars at night are like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s unbelievable how vast the night sky is. At night, we sit around a low burning fire and just watch. It’s pretty dang cool!
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:46 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ATX Tyler View Post
That 14mm is really intriguing at that price point. May see if I can track down a used one on the cheap. Thanks for the tip!
My thoughts as well, for the price its worth a shot. I found one here in Dallas that I'm waiting on a response from the seller. I'll let you know my thoughts if I am able to pick it up in the next few days.

I took this photo south of Sonora last year with an 80D and Tokina 11-20 f/2.8

Sonora Tx Milky Way by Chris Jeans, on Flickr

I'm really anxious to give it another go since moving to FF.

Last edited by chongo; 02-08-2019 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:19 AM   #21
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These are some great photos y'all! I haven't had a chance to try out astrophotography yet, but I'm hoping to experiment at GRXH 2019!

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Old 02-08-2019, 12:45 PM   #22
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You mean art work. Because these "photos" are so doctored that Ansel Adams is rolling over in his grave.
This is funny because Ansel Adams doctored to everliving crap out of his work in the dark room.

Astrophotography is more about working exposure time than post processing so most of these are likely LESS doctored than Adam's works. lol
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:06 PM   #23
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These are some great photos y'all! I haven't had a chance to try out astrophotography yet, but I'm hoping to experiment at GRXH 2019!

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Should be able to get some good views of the sky behind the camp site.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:10 PM   #24
Mike D
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We go November-March. We tent camp. There is one campground with RV hookups in the park. There is also the Stillwell Store near the North end of the park. They have RV sites. Terlingua also has a few RV parks and it is only a few miles to the West gate. Everything is far away out there so potentially you could have a 1.5 hour drive every morning to your destination


Thanks thatís about the time frame I figured.

Iím out on the tent camping. Iíve spent more than my fair time in a tent when I was younger so I enjoy comfort these days.

I donít mind driving, heck I drive that far to work every day. Terlingua would be pretty cool. Weíve never visited that part of the state.


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Old 02-08-2019, 01:13 PM   #25
Mike D
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Default Big Bend Astrophotography?

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Originally Posted by Dirtymike View Post
How long is your 5th wheel Mike? You can also leave it at home and stay at Terilinqa Ranch outside the park. There is too much exploring to do to have to haul a large camper and maintain it IMO. Unless you are staying and extended time.



My favorite camping is a nice cot in the open air. I have been in the heat of July and the cold of winter.



July is fine if you camp at the right elevation, then when day starts jump in the truck with the ac and drive all day taking in all the scenes. Really cant be beat.
Itís 34í. I certainly wouldnít be dragging the camper around. Iíd park in a site and drive the truck where we wanted to go. Weíd probably make it at least a week long trip when we went.

I canít stand hot weather so Iíd definitely go in the milder parts of the year.





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Last edited by Mike D; 02-08-2019 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:20 PM   #26
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You guys mind sharing a few locations or spots that we would definitely need to check out for some photos!? We are going for 2 days next month
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:53 PM   #27
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You guys mind sharing a few locations or spots that we would definitely need to check out for some photos!? We are going for 2 days next month
Thereís photo ops everywhere to be honest! Pictures I most often see are from Chisos Basin (inside the park) the ďWindow ViewĒ is there and you can get some great sunset shots. If you get up early before sunrise and start a hike do the lost mine trial. Itís 2.4 miles to the peak but after about a mile there are some great views. The morning light shines down into the canyons and will provide great shots. The ghost town of Terlingua is awesome as well. Thereís a OLD cemetery that lots of people go and take pictures of. As far as Astro shots go anywhere is a good location. If you are in the park it is dark as can be. Terlingua is also extremely dark even though it is in the town. They observe that itís a great spot for night sky viewing and most residents have minimal lighting around their houses.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:33 PM   #28
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The South Rim is a good view if the haze is down. You can see satellites go over at night from anywhere in the Southwest. Honestly, I think Fort Davis has better viewing, it's further away from Mexico.

You can park your trailer at the river campground.

The window is uphill all the way back. I don't recommend it for young'uns but the view is great.

We take the 8th and 9th grade down there. Next trip is first of April. My favorite time is September.

One time coming back from the South Rim we passed a lone hiker going up. I said to our party "Hey, that's John". I called back and said "hey John!" It was John Denver.

If you ever get the hankering for a serious trip, check out the big loop. Start at the basin, take the pinacles trail to boot spring trail. Take that to the juniper trail. Take juniper to the dodsen trail. Camp here and pick up your cached water. The next ten miles are dry. Take dodsen to homer Wilson ranch, night 2 here and pick up your second water cache. Take the blue creek trail back up into the basin and then the Laguna meadow trail back to the truck. About 30 miles. The Dodsen trail is the tricky one. If you get lost you may get a little thirsty.

Have fun!
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