Canon 6D Astrophotography Settings & Recommended Gear

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Setting Up The Canon 6D

Here are my basic settings when I shoot astrophotography. Feel free to change them as you see fit.

  • Use a manual or bulb mode.
  • Set the drive mode to 2-sec or 10-second delay.
  • Always shoot in RAW format. This is non-negotiable.
  • Turn off Long Exposure Noise Reduction
  • Turn off High ISO Speed Noise Reduction
  • Set your shutter speed to 15-30 seconds.
  • Use a lens with a wide/fast aperture. Having an f/1.8 as a minimum is highly recommended.
  • Select your lens’s widest possible aperture.
  • Use an ISO of 400-3200 (higher if you have a slower lens).
  • Select Auto or Daylight white balance.
  • Turn off the lens AF function. Use manual focus.

These settings is what I recommend for the best results. If you want to get more creative, however, I suggest experimenting with different settings.

Is the Canon EOS 6D good for Astrophotography?

The Canon 6D is a fantastic gear for Astro. The low-light capabilities of the camera allow for shooting in a variety of conditions. The 6D has a full-frame camera that offers high resolution and a large sensor, which is nice for cropping images later in the post.

With this camera, I can go above ISO 3200 without too many issues. I have been using this camera for Astrophotography and have been pleased with its performance.

Its form factor is also smaller and lighter than most full-frame DSLRs, which is really great for traveling. I’m a petite lady and I don’t want to carry heavy gear when I’m out there chasing stars.

Its weight is perfect for me and I can easily pack it in my camera bag.

Essential Gear

canon eos 6d with ef lens

I usually don’t bring a lot with me when I’m doing Astrophotography. 1-2 lenses and a tripod are all I need to get started. The lenses that I usually bring with me are a wide-angle lens and a zoom lens. The wide-angle lens is great for capturing landscapes and the zoom lens is great for getting close-up shots of the moon.

Here are some of my favorite lenses and tripods for shooting Astro and nightscapes.

SIRUI AM-254 Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod

All I can say is, that the SIRUI AM-254 Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod is amazing! It’s pretty stable and sturdy. I didn’t have any issues with it while shooting.

And because of its carbon fiber construction, this tripod is lightweight and easy to carry around. It’s also easy to set up and I can even use it on tabletop mode to get a low-angle shot. I highly recommend checking out this tripod if you’re looking for something lightweight but reliable tripod.

Other tripods that I have used include the Peak Design Travel Tripod and Geekoto 77’’ Tripod, Camera Tripod for DSLR. Both are great tripods for shooting nightscapes and landscapes.

The Peak Design Travel Tripod is a really durable and compact tripod that is made with weather and impact-resistant materials. But it is also pricier than the Sirui and Geekoto.

While the Geekoto 77″ Tripod is an affordable option and it’s great for beginners and casual users.

aurora borealis

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II Lens

As I’ve already said in my previous Canon RP for Astrophotography article, this wonderful 35mm from Canon is one of the most loved and used lenses for astrophotography. It’s a fast, wide-angle prime lens that has an amazing image quality even wide open.

Its colors and contrast are amazing, and the ability to shoot in low light is just incredible. The known downsides of this lens are, first, it has no image stabilization and second, it is so darn expensive!

However, with a focal length like this and the fact that Astrophotography shooters usually use tripods anyway and thus don’t need image stabilization. So, this lens is an excellent choice for astrophotography.

If you don’t want to spend a ton for an L lens, the Samyang SY14M-C 14mm F/2.8 is a great alternative. Its focal length is wider than the Canon EF 35mm L, but it also has a slower aperture of f/2.8. The good news is, that the Samyang 14mm offers great image quality without the high price tag of an L lens.

Does the Canon 6D have a built-in Intervalometer?

No, the Canon 6D doesn’t have this feature. You need to get an external intervalometer to use for time-lapse photography. The best option is to go for a cheaper model like the Neewer Timer Remote.

A man holding a canon 6d camera

Best ISO for Canon 6D astrophotography

When it comes to ISO, the lower the better. Generally, ISO 400- 800 is a good starting point. The best option is to use a prime lens that has an aperture of f/1.8 or faster so you can use a lower ISO. This will let in more light and result in cleaner shots with less noise and grain.

What is the best shutter speed for night photography?

Generally, the longer the exposure, the better. If you’re using a prime lens, set your shutter speed to 30 seconds or more depending on how much light pollution there is around you. For example, if it’s really dark out then don’t go beyond 30 seconds.

What is the best aperture for astrophotography?

I highly recommend at least using an aperture of f/2.8. Overall, the faster the better. By having a faster aperture, the lens will let more light in and create cleaner images with less noise.

northern lights

What white balance should I use at night?

Because it’s dark outside, the color temperature is going to be much cooler than during the day. Kelvin 3200 is a good starting point that can give you that cooler tone and it can eliminate city lights and other sources of light pollution.

Can I use a 35mm lens for astrophotography?

Yes, you can use a 35mm lens for astrophotography. In fact, one of the most popular lenses for Astrophotography is the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II lens. This focal length is wide enough for capturing the night sky and stars but not so wide that you get too much distortion.

Is 24mm wide enough for astrophotography?

Definitely! 24mm is a fantastic focal length for Astro and nightscapes. It allows you to capture an amazing amount of detail in both the sky and landscape. It’s also easier to compose with a wide lens and it’s a great focal length for doing panoramic shots.

Just be aware of the amount of distortion this focal length can produce. However, it can be fixed in post-processing.