1. Location: choose a shooting place out of cities / airport areas (whatever camera you own).
2. Tripod: buy a sturdy tripod. It will be heavy, but the D800 is heavy too. You want a tripod stable whatever wind strength / terrain. I bought a Manfrotto 055XPROB (2.9 Kg!)
3. Tripod Head: choose a smooth and precise “move and shoot” head with a quick release usable also by night (i.e. easy to mount/ dismount). I chose the awesome Manfrotto 054 Q2 Head. The head can stand more Kg than the tripod, but I love how easy is to point and shoot with this supersmooth head.
4. Sensor: full frame! You own the D800 or another Full Frame camera, you’ll get as much light as you can even with fast esposure time. Fast times are preferrable to avoid airplane / star trails.
5. Zoom Lenses: as fast as the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II . Open down to f/2.8 at 200mm this lens is excellent for astrophotography – unless you have > 4,000 euros to spend on other awesome prime long Nikkor lenses.
6. Manual focusing: the 70-200 VRII is sharp and fast (and heavy) and its manual focus is amazingly accurate. AF for comets and similar weak objects by night mostly fails.Read More