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rocketandroll

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About rocketandroll

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    Sub Dwarf

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  • Website URL
    http://www.rocket-fx.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Astrophotography, amateur rocketry, fantasy/sci-fi modelmaking, (target) rifle shooting
  • Location
    Norwich, Norfolk
  1. I got a reasonable pic of the Rosette using a 340mm or so focal length scope (just about right to fit it all in) with about 2hrs of data in 5min guided subs.... it's a feint object (in comparison with M42 for example) and I doubt you'd get much even at high ISO at 30 sec exposures and at 300mm fl on a tripod you'd get star trails after a second or two.. As has also been said, an hour or two of data would be needed to see much at all... save it for when you have a motorised mount and, even better, when you have guiding. Ben
  2. Hmmm... that looks rather nifty :-) Waiting wise, I'm not buying till the end of this year at the earliest anyway, so that's not an issue.... it's a little shorter focal length than I was aiming for but could certainly be a good cheaper option. Thanks for the link :-)
  3. Cheers both.... James, I assume you mean that having to take multiple channels isn't necessarily going to take longer than capturing the same data with a OSC camera? Obviously I know mono CCD's are more sensitive... it'd be an interesting consideration if the extra sensitivity outweighed the time cost of having to take multiples of each shot for each channel. My biggest concern is having short windows of opportunity and having to accurately guess how long I have so I can get equal numbers of exposures for each channel. I liked the ability to just 'grab a bit more' when I was imaging with a DSLR if I found I had more time. Whereas an extra 20 minutes with the DSLR made a big difference... however with 4 channels and 10 min exposures that'd only get you an extra exposure on two channels. My problem was not having a permanent set up so it was near impossible, and took over an hour of set up to try and get the scope pointing in vaguely the same direction which made images gathered over multiple nights nigh-on-impossible. With a permanent obsy and the proper software it may be far easier this time round. Ben PS: Re; LP on the Veloce... I guess it will collect LP faster too but... S/N ratio will stay the same so that won't make any difference to the data will it? Or was that a joke? :-)
  4. Yeah, I am certainly tempted by the OSC/Ha option to bring out more in neblae before, as mentioned, maybe moving on to full narowband work later, so having a built in filter wheel sounds like a nice option to avoid getting to know a camera then having to change again after a year or two. Ideally I want something with quite a physically large sensor but with small pixels, sub 5nm ideally and at least 6-8mp. Gonna have to do some serious homework on what's out there and what suits my needs best :-)
  5. Actually, Swag... do you have any specific recomendations on CCD's? Or maybe Olly does? Having been 'out of the loop' for a year and a half it seems some new things have come along. I have been quite a big fan of Starlight Xpress cameras and their very good customer support but I'm happy to look at all makes for such a high cost purchase. I am keen to carefully match overall resolution with chip size and pixel size to get what I need for the targets I want to capture. Ben
  6. Cheers mate... Nope, not seen Olly's recent work, but not seen anything bad come from him ever so I certainly trust his opinion on equipment :-) Budget wise, the FSQ106 and Veloce are both about the same sort of price range, around the £4K mark so that is roughly what I was aiming at. Total budget for the rig is about £10K so, assuming a NEQ6 will do as a mount (never had any problems with my HEQ5 and I have no intention of mounting anything heavy enough to warrant a paramount or anything massive like that) and allowing a grand for guiding equipment that leaves about £4K for a CCD though if I could get it for less than that then great. My plan is still currently to go with one shot colour as the next obvious step from DSLR work but may look at going over to narrowband later. I have also considered an astro-modded Eos 5dmk2 but not sure if anyone will commercially astro-mod a higher-end DSLR? The Veloce appeals due to the sheer speed but with the reducer the Tak comes down to f3.9 which is not to be sniffed at and... I don't think I have ever seen a bad image come out of a Tak :-) Ultimately my plan is to add a second longer focal length scope to the rig with a smaller CCD and carefully align both to capture detailed and widefield data on the same subject similtaneously and/or have something more suited to galaxies etc... but that'll be a couple of years further down the line... so long as the mount will handle it we'll be fine. Ben
  7. Hi folks... Well, it's been a while since I've been on here! Having had to sell most of my equipment and not been living anywhere viable for imaging I'm now just a few months away from hopefully moving house and getting a permanent obsy set up. My plan is to get back into deep sky imaging but in a much more serious way. In terms of scope I was veering towards the fastest option I could go for as my imaging time (and innevitably the weather windows) will be short. My plan had been to get an Oficina Stellare Veloce RH200 at f3 but having been looking in more detail I've seen quite a few images from the scope that look a bit 'fuzzy', I am guessing that may be down to the difficulty of achieving focus on such a fast scope? The alternative option is maybe a Tak with a focal reducer as every image I've seen from one is sharp as a pin. That's obviously however not quite as fast. I'm just not sure which will give the best performance as ultimately I'm looking to make images I can hang on the wall at fairly large scale. Anyone got any 1st hand experience that may help make a decision? My other consideration that may affect the decision is that I want a low maintenance option I can leave set up and which needs minimal work to get set up each session. Thoughts? Thanks!! Ben
  8. Thanks all... and I am planning on powering everything off the mains and a 12V converter so it should be fine. I have been talking with Ian at Ian King and been recomended that the SX version of the same camera, although a teensy bit more pricey, may be a better bet as I can use their slimline OAG and my Lodestar directly with it with less hassle than the Atik. Will see but I certainly think that chip is the one for me. Just got to wait till next year when I can afford the OS Veloce it's gonna be attached to and start getting some serious results from it :-) A cooled CCD through a f3 scope should create some wonderful images very fast :-) Ben
  9. I think it's just a result of using a very wide-angle lens... anything below 20mm and it'll really show up the distortion around the edges..... cracking image though!!! I'd just crop it a teensy bit :-)
  10. rocketandroll

    Astrophotography-2012

    My astro-images from 2012
  11. Thanks all for the thoughts.... the physics of CCD operation are not my strong point so it's good to get some extra info. Again, to be honest... I am aware that ultimately better results can be obtained with a mono camera and filters, however, I am also aware there is a lot more work involved in getting that right and there is always the risk of not having enough data for one chanel if an imaging session is cut short. I've been really happy with the results I've got from DSLR imaging the last couple of years and have progressed in my processing of colour deep sky images... and what I am looking for is a SIMPLER rig with a bit more sensitivity so that I can capture images which I feel happy with in a limited amount of time and just expand on my existing knowledge rather than have to start over. It may well be that one day I decide to progress on to mono and filters, but for now, it's not the route I want to go down. I am hoping to get hold of a very fast scope (Officina Stellare Veloce RH200 @F3) next year and that will form the core of a super-fast OSC imaging rig which, coupled with a camera like the Atik 460 should be able to produce some really lovely results in a few hours of imaging on one target. I guess if there wasn't a niche for people who want/need to use OSC cameras then they wouldn't sell them :-) I consider myself to be one of those people. Ben
  12. See above reasons for NOT going mono :-) Without a filter I guess the mono camera is way more sensitive... the moment you put a filter in it though it's throwing away most of the photons so isn't as sensitive any more... isn't it? Tell me... which would produce a better result: 4 X 15 minute exposures on a one-shot colour CCD 1 X 15 minute exposure each of LRGB on a mono CCD I'd be genuinely interested.... I assumed the former? My concern is, given the time I have and our intermittent weather, plus this being one of several time consuming hobbies I have... I don't want to HAVE to comit to capturing four sets of data on one subject just to get an image. If I get 20 10 minute subs on a colour CCD but had planned to get 30 I just get a slightly lower quality copy of the same finished image.... if I have the same failure with a mono using filters I loose a whole data set and end up with no image (or a strangely coloured one at least :-) That's my concern :-) Plus the extra complexity of a filter system. I want 'plug and play' to capture brief windows of opportunity for now. Ben
  13. Helen Many thanks for the link and encouragement..... your 'quick' image of the iris is about all the encouragement I need :-) I assume those pics are through the 123 not the 72? Or a bit of both? The M31 image looks quite wide angle for that chip size and 590mm fl? Out of interest... how recently did you buy the camera and scope? FLO's website is listing the FLT123 as 'Customers also bought this' with that camera :-) I know myself.... and I know my circumstances... and I am unlikely (given this last year and a half's efforts) to be able to commit more than one, maybe two nights to a subject. Being able to set the rig running and capture a few hours on a target during a clear spell... and have something to show for it... is the key thing I'm after. I don't have dillusions of becoming one of the world greats in astro photography, just want to do it for myself and for the joy of capturing this stuff in some detail and hanging some lovely images on the wall. At 6mp or so and sub 5nm pixel size that camera looks about bang on what I need, and is about right price wise too. Anyone else got experience with any other cameras they may want to throw in? Ben
  14. Hi all Ok.... I've made the decision to get a full new imaging rig and go the CCD route having done a year of imaging with a DSLR. I want to go for a colour CCD for the simple reason that I know I will struggle to find the time to capture data to do LRGB or narrowband and will most likely end up with hours of unfinished data sets and no completed images. I will be using the camera with frac's between 350mm and 600mm focal length mainly but would like to be able to get something with a sensor size that allows me to fit reasonable sized targets in such as the whole of M42/running man etc. I am also keen not to drop in resolution from my 550D which means small pixel size, ideally <5nm. My budget is about £2K or so I guess.... would look at second hand cameras if the right one came up but new would be good just for the after-sales support (had a very good experience with Starlight Xpress so far with my guide camera). So.... what would people's recomendations be? Thanks! Ben
  15. the below is with an Eos 500D and a 345mm focal length (Meg72 with reducer) and fits it all in.... well, i say that, I know it is actually much bigger still than this but the outer areas are very feint and don't show up in my pic. Someone told me when I started out that I wouldn't fit it all in with a DSLR unless I went down to 200mm FL.... that was nonsense :-) I tried it with my 200mm lens and it's a bit lost in the middle of the frame.... 300 - 400mm seems about right for DSLR sized sensors. Ben
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