Anyway, the first image is entitled, “And lo, three wise men cane from afar.”
With reference to Andy’s comment about the L-bracket, I decided to get one after my first Milky Way shoot at Birling Gap and Beachy Head with a very small MeetUp group a few years ago. The organiser used one, and I was in awe of how easy it was to get the camera on the tripod, and to rotate it between landscape and portrait view. And in the dark, too. Probably the best small investment in my gear. I just leave the L-bracket on both cameras pretty much permanently.
I was shooting with 2 cameras, both Fujis – an XT-2 and an XT-3. This was taken with the 10-24 lens at f4, which is the widest aperture on that lens.
The difficulties of focusing on a bright star in the dark are fairly obvious, I think. However, I’ve probably increased the issue of lack of focus by not turning off image stabilisation on the lens, which apparently needs to be done for long exposures on a tripod.
So, my starting points for settings are:
Use the brightest wide lens you have. I also used my 16mm f1.4 which gave brighter shots, but didn’t get the whole of the Milky Way in.
ISO: 3200 or higher
SS: Start at 10 seconds, and vary it to see what you get.
IBIS or IS: off
Long exposure noise reduction: off
White balance: Alyn Wallace recommends using tungsten or fluorescent WB. I used auto, but it can be adjusted in post. If my laptop plays ball!!