If Astrophotography is your passion, you are at the right place. In this article you will know about the 500 Rule, an essential technique to click stunning night sky photos. It is an easy-to-use, and effective method that never fails to produce results. You will know about the basics of the 500 Rule, how it works, why should you apply it in astrophotography, and how to use it. So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading this article till the end to learn about the technique fully, and apply this knowledge into practice, and nothing can stop you from clicking the best astrophotographs.
Everything You Should Know About The 500 Rule In Astrophotography
What is the 500 Rule?
500 Rule is the technique to click stars in a highly precise manner. You just need to calculate which will be the longest possible shutter speed to use to click the sharp stars. As stars streak with low shutter speeds, if you absolutely don’t want to capture star trails, you need a really fast shutter speed. But you also need to keep the exposure a bit longer. As you are shooting at night, and light is not adequate. By calculating which shutter speed you can use at maximum with the help of this 500 rule, you can maintain the balance between shutter speed and exposure.
How To Apply The 500 Rule?
It is much easier to apply the 500 rule than you might think. To calculate the maximum shutter speed, divide 500 by the focal length of your lens. For example, if the focal length of your lens is 50 mm, by dividing 500 by it, you get the maximum shutter speed of 10 seconds. When you use this rule, you can calculate the approximate shutter speed each time in keeping with the focal length. However, this rule is not hundred percent accurate all the time. What you can expect, is that even if you get star trails, that will be the minimum.
When Should You Use The 500 Rule?
As you might have already guessed, the best time to use this formula is while shooting the static stars of the night sky. It is because at this time, the light condition is very low and you will have the requirement to adjust the shutter speed and exposure. This rule will help you to find out the maximum shutter speed that you can use to have a sharp, rightly exposed image, free of noise. You can even calculate these exposure times ahead of shooting, to save time. For example, suppose you use 24mm, and 50mm focal length lenses in astrophotography. Before shooting, you should know that the exposure times should be 500/24 = 20 seconds for the former one and 500/50 = 10 seconds for the latter.
When You Should Not Use The 500 Rule?
As mentioned earlier, this rule does not always work accurately. Suppose you use a shorter focal length, and by applying the 500 rule, the maximum exposure time turns out to be really high. It will definitely show the star trail in your photos, no matter what. If you actually want to click star trails, it is needless to use this rule. Just use a very long shutter speed, and it will be captured.
Written By Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC.