In this short video, travel with Lonely Speck to Alabama Hills, California to demo the SharpStar2 in the field to achieve perfect critical focus on the stars.
It’s been a little while since we started shipping the SharpStar2 in February of 2016. The feedback from our customers since then has been overwhelmingly positive and we’ve shipped SharpStar2s to 37 different countries around the world. When we first made the SharpStar2, we had our hands full with orders and shipping so I never got to finish my video of how the SharpStar2 works in the field, falling back on my old SharpStar video. The operation of the new SharpStar2 is still identical to the original SharpStar but it’s significantly more effective and I really wanted to make a video that showcases the real user experience of the SharpStar2.
Focusing at night can still be a big challenge when photographing at night and the SharpStar2 is a tool that can make a huge difference in the process and boost confidence and reliability of focus. To demonstrate the SharpStar2 for this video, Diana and I traveled out to one of our all time favorite spots: Alabama Hills, California to shoot some photos of the Milky Way and really put the SharpStar2 to the test. Join us in field as we shoot some night photos of the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains and the Alabama Hills with the use of the SharpStar2.
The Resulting Shot
The final shot made that night with the aid of the SharpStar2 was a two-row 12 frame panorama (tutorial) with 4 exposures stacked per frame for a total of 70MP. Detail in the shot is extremely fine tuned as a result of the use of the SharpStar2. I processed it exclusively with my latest premium preset pack: Film Speck Pro. I think it’s one of my favorite shots of Alabama Hills so far!
In this video, we tried out some new equipment, namely the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 and a borrowed a7S body (thanks Rick!) as the “model camera” for the dusk/blue hour shots, filmed with the Mitakon 50mm f/0.95. Some opening shots of our drive up were made with the OnePlus 2 smartphone and the Feiyu G4 Pro Gimbal. The demonstration was filmed with the RX100III and the SharpStar2 was used on the Sony Zeiss FE 55mm f/1.8. I would have loved to have filmed the whole video on the Mitakon f/0.95 but I only had one camera body available by the time we were able to get to the demo. All of the video footage of the focusing process is actual live view recording from the a7S.
I personally buy almost all of my equipment through B&H or Amazon. They have excellent return policies and have the lowest prices anywhere online. If you are considering buying this lens or any equipment for that matter, consider buying through the links on this page (above). You won’t pay anything extra but Lonely Speck will receive a small commission (usually 2-4%) to help run the website.
Get the SharpStar2
The SharpStar2 is now shipping worldwide, exclusively from Lonely Speck. Buy it here:Buy SharpStar2
Video and photos by Ian Norman and Diana Southern.
This video footage is copyright Ian Norman and/or Diana Southern
To use the video content of this work outside the scope of this license, please email us.
Did you enjoy learning about the SharpStar2? Learn more about astrophotography! Astrophotography 101 is completely free for everyone. All of the lessons are available on the Lonely Speck Astrophotography 101 page for you to access at any time. Enter your email and whenever we post a new lesson or blog post, you’ll receive it in your inbox. We won’t spam you and your email will stay secure. Furthermore, updates will be sent out only periodically, usually less than once per week.
If you love our videos also consider subscribing to the Lonely Speck YouTube Channel.
Help us help you!
Believe it or not, Lonely Speck is a full-time job. It’s been an amazing experience for us to see a community develop around learning astrophotography and we’re so happy to be a small part of it. I have learned that amazing things happen when you ask for help so remember that we are always here for you. If you have any questions about photography or just want to share a story, contact us! If you find the articles here helpful, consider helping us out with a donation.Donate
The biggest contribution comes from the use of our affiliate links. When you buy through the merchant links on the articles on Lonely Speck, it costs you nothing extra, but we will receive a small commission to help run the site.
Thanks so much for being a part of our astrophotography adventure.
Latest posts by Ian Norman (see all)
- Lonely Speck’s Ultimate List of Best Astrophotography Lenses - November 28, 2016
- Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Astrophotography Review - November 17, 2016
- Critical Focus at Night with the SharpStar2 - October 18, 2016