Can you take a starry night photo with the canon SL1 and the 18-55mm lens?



Technically, yes you can take a starry night photo with the SL1 and the 18-55mm kit lens. The problems is going to the noise that you'll get because your ISO will need to be at least 6,400. Normally, one would use a lens with an aperture of at least f/2.8 or better, a shutter speed of 30 seconds and an ISO of 3200. Because your kit lens at 18mm is f/4, your ISO will need to be 6,400 which means you're going to have to deal with a ton of noise since the SL1 doesn't do well beyond ISO 1,600. If you want to lessen the noise, you can try using ISO 3,200 and a very long shutter speed such a 1-45 minutes. Unlike a 30-second exposure with a wide-angle lens which results in the stars being recorded as pinpoints, once you go beyond 30 seconds the stars will show up as smudges. Use a long exposure like 45 minutes and you will have star trails which can be just as interesting and beautiful as photo with the stars recorded as pinpoints. Go onto and do a keyword search for "Milky Way." This will result in a long list of great photos of the Milky Way. Clicking on one will open the image with a details tab on the right. Click on the details tab and you will see the camera, lens, and exposure settings used to make the photo - providing that the person who uploaded the image entered the data. This will help you determine what you need in terms of exposure and lenses and possibly a better camera if night photography is something that you want to pursue.


Yes. But you’ll need a tripod or maybe a small beanbag to rest the camera on, a high ISO setting on the camera to make it more sensitive to light (try ISO 3200 or maybe 6400), a wide aperture setting (try the one below the maximum aperture for your lens as that will give sharper images, but most lenses are best at about f/5.6 or f/8). Also turn off the autofocus and manually focus the lens to infinity and to activate the shutter it’s best to use a remote shutter release. If you don’t have one then set the self timer function instead. The action of physically pressing the shutter release button causes camera shake. Experiment with shutter speeds but if it’s more than a few seconds the rotation of the Earth will start making the stars look like short lines instead of points. Those are called star trails and if you use a very small aperture (and/or neutral density filters) and a very long exposure of at least 30 minutes or an hour you can make a feature of star trails.

Steve P

Certainly, though you will also need a tripod. There are plenty of tutorials online about night sky photography.




not during daytime