My setup for shooting the Milky Way

I recently captured the Milky Way on a climb up Mt Lassen in California. Here’s the picture I got, in the brief time window between the Sun going down and the Moon coming up.

Milky Way with rising Moon near Mt Lassen in California

I used to have a Canon 6D for many years and did all my astrophotography using that. But a few months ago, it tumbled down a cliff while I was shooting this in Norway. It destroyed the camera but I was still stuck with all these Canon lenses.

Northern Lights in Norway

I decided to give the new Sony camera a try as it has an amazing sensor and I saw reviews that claimed that it truly could be used with Canon lenses with an almost-native performance.

SONY A7R-II
Rokinon 14mm f2.8

My equipment consisted of:

My settings were:

  • Shutter Speed 6s
  • Aperture 2.8 (Wide Open)
  • ISO 6400

In comparison, this is what I have been able to capture on a Sony 6D with a Canon 35mm/f2.0

Milky Way over Mt Rainier in Washington

I don’t shoot RAW. And for such pictures, it often comes down to the right settings and the right postprocessing. But in general, I am very satisfied with the quality of the images I got on my Sony. The thing I absolutely didn’t like is that it’s a pain to use in below freezing temperatures. Even with my gloves off, it just doesn’t have enough tactile response to know what you are doing with you frozen fingers, in the dark. The body feels like a consumer camera, but the sensor is amazing.

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