Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Comet Lulin: 100mm, f/2.8, ISO3200, 6 seconds

I had planned on calling it quits with Comet Lulin after a few successful attempts (one, two, three), but knowing that in a couple of weeks that this thing will effectively gone forever and that it's just about at its brightest and highest in the sky for me... I had to get one more round of shooting in.

Finding this was no picnic. The goal was to shoot it at 100mm, so I first focused that lens as near to infinity as I could, picking a lit target about 1/4 mile away. I then carefully swapped the lens for my Sigma 30mm f/1.4, making sure to not adjust the 100mm's focus.

It took about 10 minutes of blind shooting to find and center the comet - it's very tiny at 30mm. I then carefully swapped lenses again, back to the 100mm. I needed to make a couple more adjustments to get it just right. Then, I attached my cable shutter release and sat inside behind my sliding glass door, shooting one 6-second shot after another, about 60 in all.

This shot here is a crop from one of those shots with a little bit of post-processing. I plan on spending some time in the next couple of days stacking the images (fully described here) to remove as much noise as possible. I'm optimistic with this set since the comet was much higher in the sky and further from the light pollution.

I'm already impressed with the length of the tail in this shot. More comet goodness should be on the way.

Canon 40D, Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Bogen 190XPROB Legs, 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

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