Astro- and Night-Photography
The opportunities for Astro photography have opened up lately with modern full-frame sensors, wide lenses and other technical advances.
Here is the equipment I use for astro-photography.
...and don't forget your WIDE ANGLE LENS
Photographing the Milky Way is a challenge - primarily because optional conditions call for a completely dark sky. You need to leave the shuttler open for longs periods of time in order to capture the details of the Night Sky - but past a certain point (see the 500 Rule) - the stars start to blur. The Solution? Get a Star Tracker - which compensates for the movement of the earth - so your stars stay crisp - regardless of how long you leave the shutter open.
Aligning the Vixen star tracker is critical to keeping the stars crisp (non-blurred) in your image. When you purchase the Vixen, you need to also purchase the Vixen Polar Scope. It's really a requirement - but they are sold separately.
Lighting the foreground during night photography allows you to create some very compelling images. While you are tempted to use your headlamp or laser pointer - DON'T. You can't get professional results with those devices. Their color temp is UNKNOWN at best - and at worst - GREEN.
Want great results? Get an LED light with 1) a variable color temp dial 2) a variable brightness dial and 3) a long lasting battery - and one that is relatively inexpensive of course!
This is an inexpensive WHITE light that is great for night-lighting. Get a few and you can put them around the scene for some cool lighting effects.