Longer exposure & lower ISO or shorter exposure & higher ISO – what gives better results when photographing stars?

I’ve been dabbling with night landscapes and star photography with varying levels of success. I know I don’t have the ideal lens (Canon 17-40mm f4 on a Canon 6D body) but I’ve seen some great shots done with the same gear.
I also have a Canon 50mm f1.4 which is great but it’s just not wide enough.

I usually shoot at f4, ISO 800-1600, Long Exposure Noise reduction on, 30 – 40 seconds. I find the results very noisy and the stars not bright enough.

read more

Upgrading EOS 350D or changing to full frame for low-light improvement?

sample picture shot with Canon EOS 350D and Tamron 18-200

My question is as follows: In 2006 I bought a Canon EOS350D with a Tamron 18-200, which was a great choice for shooting pictures on vacations, not having to carry around much, etc. Now, this seems obviously not the best choice for taking low-light pictures without flash. Here is an example with ISO 1600 and quite some noise.

I now think about upgrading my camera/replace it to improve the low-light performance. Two strategies showed up when browsing the web (both quite expensive):

  • Many seem to “Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM” (about 2000€). (Will it be compatible?)
  • Another strategy seems to be bying a full frame like Canon EOS6D (about 1700€). Here my old lenses will not be compatible, so I’ll need a new one, the above one would be perfect, but unfortunately not in my budget. What would be possible then (but already slightly over my budget) is the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (1200€)

What would

read more