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How to photograph the 5 planet align with a 55-200 lens?

edited January 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
These two weeks are going to be special for astronomy with a five planet align in the horizon in the morning twilight.

I would like to photograph it, but how?


  • edited January 2016
    I am not familiar with your camera, but please be advised that with your lens, the planets will only appear as points of light in the crowded night sky as it is simply not powerful enough.
  • Alas, @PBKED is right, but it might be fun to try anyway. One thing you need to keep in mind is that these AF lenses usually focus past infinity, so you can't just put it on manual focus and crank the focus to the end. You will have to try to find a true infinity or distant focus point and not go past it. If you can find a distant house, street light, or the like, to focus on, use that. Depth of field is abundant at high distances. If you focus a little this side of infinity, it will still probably by sharp, but if you focus past it, nothing will be.

    Also, keep in mind that you must keep your shutter speed fairly high in order to avoid movement of the celestial bodies, but high ISO will result in noisy blacks. You can activate a high ISO noise reduction in the menu, but be prepared for the fact that it will double the apparent exposure time for each shot. It actually takes a second picture with the shutter closed, and subtracts the noise in that one from the image.

    If you can, you might experiment beforehand shooting at stars, to discover just what is needed to get a sharp shot. You will also need to figure out what exposure works. Auto exposure might wash out your image, as the meter tries to turn the black sky to gray, so you will likely need to go fully manual.
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