Night Sky Panorama Take 2

My second attempt at making a night sky panorama. And second because my first one pretty much failed, because Lightroom couldn’t stitch pictures containing only stars. The main fault most likely was my source material. This time I decided to include more of the ground so the program has something to anchor the image. No problem with lining up the pictures this time.

Still I want to make a bigger panorama to include more of the sky. The next step will be to add exposures of just the stars to this composition. To make sure I will be able to stitch them I will use another lens next time. For this picture I used the standard Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 lens. It’s a great lens but since it is a zoom lens it does cause some distortion that prime lenses shouldn’t have. I will try  with my Fujifilm 23mm F2 lens, it might not be as wide so I will have to shoot more frames. Which should actually be an advantage for panoramas. The larger aperture will anyway give me shorter exposure times so I can compensate that way.

Another potential problem are artifacts such as duplicate stars or eaten stars. For this picture there doesn’t seem to be such problems. I compared my picture to the night sky with the help of Stellarium by seeing  I can find the constellations. They seemed to line up pretty well. If it will work with bigger panoramas as well is a different question though. One might of course question if it is necessary to be this thorough. But I want the stars (and planets) to actually represent their real positions, so I draw the line here. I’m not so interested in swapping skies since most of the fun is being outside and photographing. My goal is to perfect my technique so I wont have to think about it when shooting and to minimize the post-processing required.

Another problem is the somewhat apparent dark lines between the stitched frames. The exposure is the same between all pictures and in the 20 seconds it took for each frame the sky couldn’t have changed much in brightness. It is clearly some processing artifact. Something more I have to find out the reason behind, but solving problems is part of the fun of night sky panoramas! 

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