After scrubbing the launch on Friday, United Launch Alliance got their Atlas V carrying the SBIRS GEO 4 Flight mission into space on Saturday evening.

Rather than going with the wide-angle shot, I pulled out the trust 1963 Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 (which equals 75mm on my cropped sensor) and went for a tighter framing. I knew the star trails wouldn’t be over prominent due to the light pollution this close to the horizon, but that was what I was hoping for.

I started shooting a little before the launch, taking a total of 49 consecutive 30-second exposures at f/2.8 and ISO 250. Any higher on the ISO and the whole scene would start to get blown-out.

I did edit out the airplane trails as there were way too many of them. I usually don’t mind one or two, but there was a plane in almost every frame. I’ll post that pic at the end.

The sharpness of that Nikkor 50mm just kills me every time. I’m tempted to put it on my teleconverter. I could probably shoot at f/1.4 in bright conditions like that.


Speaking of f/1.4... I hardly ever get to use it wide open as it lets sooooo much light in and things start to get hazy around edges. But in shadowed or overcast conditions, it’s just right.

Since I had that lens on, I went out back to snap a few at f/1.4 of the neighborhood cats that lounge on our deck.


I made a GIF of this other guy doing what cats do best.

Here is the rocket launch with all of the airplane trails. It’s a bit much.


I’ve got a black and white roll in the Exa right now and hope to finish it off in a few days or so. It’s Fuji Neopan 100 Acros that I’m pushing to 400. When that’s done, I’ll send it off with the first roll from the Yashica.