I have Nikon D810 and D800E.Wow! They are amazing! What camera do you have?
Re #2 what method do you use to find the pole location?
Sweet as, been meaning research that after trawling Flickr for night shot inspiration!To find the pole i locate the southern cross, then extend an imaginary line from the top star, through the bottom star extending 4.5x the distance between those 2 stars.