New Toys and Veste Otzberg at Night

30 March 2018

Within the last week several packets arrived that contained new toys that I can use for shooting. These were:

  • A battery adapter that can be plugged into a powerbank
  • A USB powered lens heater
  • A 22.000 mAh powerbank
  • A Bahtinov mask

As the - nearly full moon - moon is out quite a long time I went out for a shooting without the goal of capturing stars or even deep sky objects. Instead I opted to put some of my new gear to the test and try the timelapse mode of the Star Adventurer which I have never used so far. So I packed my tripod, the 11-20mm lens and the Star Adventurer along with some accessories and headed for the Veste Otzberg which is quite near to see if I can come up with some nice timelapses.

Instead of flashing the advanced firmware I decided to give the original one a shot, knowing that I would have to use quite a short exposure time to get images with an acceptable motion blur. After some tests I came up with the following settings:

  • 3 sec | f/2.8 | 11mm (APS-C) | ISO 1250
  • 5 sec | f/2.8 | 11mm (APS-C) | ISO 800

Using the first set of settings the Star Adventurer was set to 12x speed, with the second set I was using 6x. Looking at the images back at home I did notice some motion blur with either of the two settings but I think that this isn't an issue for the videos as there is nothing really noticeable. However for exposures longer than 5 seconds I either have to use an even slower speed or I have to flash the advanced firmware and let the Star Adventurer take control over the camera so that it doesn't move while exposing an image.

As mentioned before I wanted to test as much of my new gear as possible and the only thing which I couldn't use - or rather didn't need to use - was the Bahtinov mask. Both of my energy consuming pieces of equipment, the camera as well as the Star Adventurer, were powered using the powerbank. I even took the risk and left all of my camera batteries or AA batteries for the mount at home - and I got away with it. Everything worked perfect. The only thing I had to remember was that the powerbank will cut of all power if not enough power is consumed, so it won't suffice to turn on the mount but with the camera constantly taking pictures for the timelapse there was no problem at all. And the best thing is: After about 2 hours constantly shooting and powering the mount the powerbank still is more than 75% charged. This is a luxury I never want to miss again.

So without further ado: Enjoy the little video I came up with and I guess I'll have to talk about the Bahtinov mask another time.