The Milky Way – By Canon 1100 d(a) & Vixen Polarie

Ever wondered how to get  those very “rich” Milky Way shots? First, you need  a sturdy tripod and a solid ball head; my combo is the Manfrotto tripod 055CXPRO3 with the Manfrotto ballhead 498RC2. Instead of the camera, place the versatile Vixen Polarie Star Tracker onto your camera mounting plate. Though the Polarie only got a 1/4″ thread screw for attaching a second ballhead to the camera mounting block, I add a 1/4″-3/8″ adapter to it, which allows me to use the more versatile ballheads which come with a 3/8″ thread. Then, I put my modified Canon camera (with a fast lens, f 2.8 or higher) onto the mounting plate. Align the Polarie in the direction of Polaris – and that´s it! For more info check this site: .

The Canon 1100 d(a) is a modified camera, especially for photographing the red hydrogen-alpha-nebulae. For more info (german), check this out:, or this one (english): .

Here are some of my favorite images of that combo from my latest sojourn to Austria and Italy during the last New-Moon-phase, November 2012. One thing that amazes me the most is the fact how much information a single RAW file contains. All images has been processed in Lightroom 4 only – so far; with which I was very satisfied – until yesterday. I got hold of the incredible NIK Complete Collection Software : , and what should I say?! After finding the right set-up with the different filters and sliders, the images boosted up like I only could have dreamed of before! Within the first three images, the foreground gets blurred while tracking for the stars. But I don´t mind that – not yet; that will be the next step – making a composite of the tracked stars and a static foreground. See for yourself and let me know what you think of.

I´m not sponsored by any of these companies; I just enjoy their products and find them very helpful to master my hobbies. You might click on the images to get a larger view. Enjoy!


View an update on this story here:


121 sec./16 mm, left: LR 4 only, right: NIK added…

177 sec./20 mm, left: LR 4 only, right: NIK added…

296 sec./20 mm, left: LR 4 only, right: NIK added…

30 sec./115 mm, left: LR 4 only, right: NIK added; by the way: this is the so-called North America Nebula or NGC 7000…

52 sec./10 mm, left: LR 4 only, right: NIK added; notice the reflection of the MW at the lake…


“The Milky Way is a large spiral galaxy, a flattened disk containing billions of stars mixed with dust and gas. Knowledge of what lies at the center of our Milky Way may very well hold the secret to the forces that shape billions of other spiral galaxies throughout the universe.”

(from the book: Treasures of the Southern Sky)


5 thoughts on “The Milky Way – By Canon 1100 d(a) & Vixen Polarie

    1. Werner Priller Post author

      …by using the Vixen Polarie, which is an equatorial mount just in small; the motor-driven Polarie tracks the stars to eliminate star trailing, with adjustable different speeds like Star, Wide-field, Solar and Lunar tracking modes. With a 10mm lens, the foreground won’t blur until 50-60 sec. of exposure. With a 20mm lens about 20-25 sec. and so on. The next step would be to make two different frames, one for the foreground and one for the stars and merge them to one final frame. Hope that helps;)

      Cheers, Werner

      1. photobypawelp

        This is so cool!!!! Thank for your time and your answer to my question. All the best and can’t wait to see your new shots!! 😉

    1. Werner Priller Post author

      I´m right now in Ladakh/India, so I can’t tell you any settings; you might give it a try by mixing/stacking multiple of them like Duplex, Contrast…


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