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Photography meteor showers


  1. Introduction
  2. Make a map of the sky
  3. Equipment
  4. Camera, lens and intervalo meter setting

4: Camera and intervalo meter setting

This is how I set up my equipment, your setup could be different. It depends on equipment and darkness of the place among other things.


  • Setup the display to only light up a short time or nothing after every photo:

    It will drain your battery if not limit the display time.

  • "B" exposure mode:

    I control my exposure time from an external intervalo meter.

  • Image quality, both RAW and jpg in highest quality:

    If you plan to do a time lapse movie it could sometimes be easier to have it direct in jpg format, maybe even lower resolution.

  • ISO set to 800 *:

    Even maybe ISO 1600 in very dark places.

  • No mirror lock:

    It's not possible in my case with an intervalo meter to control it.

  • No noise reduction:

    You loose a lot of time if you you use this, dark frame subtraction in camera. I don't have it enabled.

  • Block the viewer:

    In a DSLR camera it can enter light from backside into the sensor: With most cameras there is a piece of rubber to block the viewer with (the optic viewer).


  • Aperture set to f/2.8 *:

    My fisheye lens is not sharp at f/2.8, I set it to f/4.

  • Manual focus mode;

    My lens is already only a manual focus lens, if you have an automatic focus lens, set it to manual mode. Set the focus to a bright star.

  • Use a air blower to clean it from dust:

    Even the camera house.

It's the aperture and ISO setting that give the brightness of the meteors, not the exposure time. Because the meteors only last a part of a second.

Intervalo meter

  • Set the intervalo meter to 20 seconds exposures:

    You will not want to have the exposure time to short because the you lose a lot of time between each photo. To long is not very good to with a digital camera. test values from 10 to 60 seconds and see the difference. If you later want to make a time lapse movie of it 20 seconds could be good for a 16mm lens, a 32mm lens maybe 10 seconds is better, increase the ISO or the aperture.

  • Set the delay between each photo to 7 seconds:

    You must have a delay between each image to let the camera download it to memory card, but not to long. Some cameras can be set to take series of photos very fast. Then maybe the delay between every photo will be less then a asecond.

Direction of the camera:

  • In my case I often have the direction 40 to 90 degrees east or west of the radiant point:

    If pointed against the radiant point they just show up as points, sideways they have long trails.

  • With my 180 degree fish eye lens I point it about 40 to 60 degrees above horizon:

    But sometimes also towards Zenith.

Total exposure time:

Let the camera go as long there is something to see, maybe from 23 to 03 (11 pm to 3 am). But you must know that many cameras maybe only have a life time of 100,000 exposures. Three hours will give about 400 exposures of twenty seconds.

When you have decided what setting of the camera you will use. Take at least 30 dark images, that's images that had equal setting in exposure time and ISO and at the same temperature as when the photos was taken. The lid (lens cover) should be on the lens because this is dark images!

If you find some astronomy words hard to understand, visit my Astronomical Dictionary and you maybe find an answer:

The Lyrid comet shower night 2017:

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