Recently I enjoyed my holidays in Vandans, Austria. Just before this holiday I could pick up a Nikon D810a from Nikon HQ to try it out for 3 weeks. Of course I don’t say no to that. This is a brand new camera that was handpicked and calibrated manually by Nikon (a so-called QC model).
Two nights ago it was clear and I wanted to try out the camera. I doubted what to do, put it on my scope (knowing I have some trouble with the flatness of the field, and need some calibration time) or trying to do the Milky Way. Until now I never made really nice Milky Way images, so I decided to go for this challenge.
Also I took my new Skywatcher Star Adventurer, so I could work nicely stand-alone, without any further equipment. I decided to go for wide field with a Nikon 14-24mm that I got with the camera.
So I started with the polar alignment of the Star Adventurer. That goes really well, but I did find out you need to do this for every image series as it is moved very easily when changing the camera position.
After focussing I started with 60s images at ISO800 to see what the D810a showed. I was very impressed. The Milky Way just jumped into view and was very well visible. Now I have to say it’s quite dark here with only some lights at the horizon.
I took about an hour of imagery, 60 images. After processing, alignment, stacking and putting back the background (that was lost by the stacking) and stretching I got the following result. I had never seen the Milky Way like this, and so I enjoyed the full night…
Camera: Nikon D810a
Mount: Skywatcher Star Adventurer
Exposure: 50x60s ISO800 14mm f/3.5 + 8x300s ISO800
And here is just the Milky Way image: