Nikon D3s and D300 for Astrophotography

Here are some more photos taken far away from city lights but unfortunately there are several different light pollution sources in the immediate area of the adjacent resort. My telescope is in desperate need of an upgrade so I used my wide angle lenses to show the low light high ISO capabilities of both the Nikon D3s and the Nikon D300 cameras.

The first is a single thirty second exposure using the D3s at ISO 3200 with a 17-35mm lens at 17mm and f/5.6. The subject is the Milky Way. There is substantial light pollution showing strong yellow, green, and magenta showing up in the haze and fog forming. The camera was mounted on an equatorial mount with a 110V AC syncro clock motor drive:

Here is a version with a few constellations and prominent stars highlighted:
milky way const

Next is a similar shot taken with a Nikon D300 also at ISO 3200 and thirty second exposure using a 10.5mm fisheye lens at f/2.8 This image was lightly color corrected to minimize the effects from the light pollution. The camera was also mounted on an equatorial mount:

The next photo shows what are called star trails. This happens when a camera is mounted on a normal photographic tripod for a long exposure while the Earth rotates. In this case a total of fifty-two minutes. Actually there are a total of thirteen separate images stacked together to form the final image. Note the high levels of both magenta and green light pollution as well as the yellow showing in the light cast upon the trees. The few wondering green streaks are fireflies that insisted on being photographed. Each image was taken with a Nikon D3s at an ISO setting of 100 and exposed for four minutes each using a 17-35mm lens at 17mm at f/2.8

The last image here is also a stacked set of ten separate images of the Milky Way. The camera was mounted on an equatorial mount so the camera follows the stars. Note how the trees move in the shot in contrast with the stars moving in the previous shot. These were taken with a Nikon D3s ISO 800 exposed for one minute at 17mm and f/2.8 and also some color corrections were performed to attempt to remove as much of the light pollution as possible:
milky way stack

The images were manually stacked using the lighten mode in photoshop. NO dark frame subtractions were necessary for processing any of the above shots since the noise in the dark frame exposures showed NO appreciable noise or hot pixels. No High ISO nor Long Exposure Noise Reductions were used and the Active D-Lighting was turned OFF.