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Long exposure star trail photography with the NEX 5N?

Bokeh Face

New to TalkEmount
Nov 24, 2012
I've just brought a NEX 5N and was wondering if anyone has had any success with night sky long exposures? The kind of shot where you get star trails. If so how have you achieved it?

Thanks in advance.


Super Moderator
Oct 28, 2011
Washington State
Real Name
I haven't done one in ages, but if you use fairly short exposures (say 2 minutes) and a lot of them (at least 15) you can stack them with good results. You can search for a LR/Photoshop action that will do the grunt work for you.

Oh yeah, don't forget to turn long exposure noise reduction off or you'll have big gaps in your trails.

Welcome ot the board BTW. :)


TalkEmount All-Pro
Dec 2, 2011
Puebla, Mexico
Hi Freddytto,
How do you lock the shutter open on bulb?

When I use the BULB, used a remote control, so mount the nex in the tripod and set up to BULB, and then the apertura and ISO, so I think you can't lock the shutter open on BULB, so when I'm ready to stop the time of exposure, I mean finish or cut, depending on how many minutes you want, I press the shutter button again without touching the camera from the remote control, (S shutter button ) this way do not shake the camera and do wrong.
An important detail that happened: before shooting, put the focus on manual. If not, the AF will not be able to focus to have the filters almost "opaque". if you use a filter.


TalkEmount Veteran
Oct 17, 2012
Star trails ? Well I've done a few but not with the NEX-C3 I have now. The problem with the C3 is that it has no IR remote input and the BULB mode requires you to hold down the shutter release during the exposure ( which is rubbish, Sony what WERE you thinking ? ). For previous star trails, I used my Canon 500D running an intervalometer script. I took a 20 second exposure every 10 seconds for about an hour then merged all the shots in Starstax. I aligned the camera / tripod to the Pole star using a night sky app on the Iphone - not very scientific but it worked ok. Here's a result :-


Tweaked version of star trail 21/03/12 by markoneswift, on Flickr

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