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Everything posted by {CP}-Brooker

  1. Hi Does anyone have any suggestions from experience for a 2" diagonal and 2" eyepiece that match well to a 102mm Skywatcher/Celestron F5 Achromat Refractor (basically a Stratravel 102)? Looking for good widefield views but preferably medium magnifaction. (I already have a 32mm SWA 2"). Main target is clusters/brighter DSOs. Budget c £50 for diagonal and £80 for EP. Cheers CP
  2. Hi I have a Celecstron C90 Mak as a grab and go but am finding it a little dim (but great on planetary). I am considering swapping for a refractor (F5 vs F15 currently) as it is mostly clusters/dsos/widefield I wish to observe rather than planetary. Plan would be buy new refractor then sell C90. I m looking at Startravel 102 at £150 (only need OTA). Does anyone have any pointers/advice for a good quality refractor or any comments on the difference swapping C90 for a 102? Top end budget is £150 and only need OTA. I m going off the differences I see using a pair of 15x70 binoculars compared to the C90 in terms of brightness. (PS I need a scope rather than binocs as my left eye is shot so need single vision). Any advice appreciated. I already have a 8" SCT so just a widefield convenient quick look I m after. Cheers CP
  3. Hi I m currently planning to invest in a new Atrotrac bud overall budget is an issue as I also need to fund lenses and PC for image manipulation. I have an AZ-3 tripod which I m currently using with a spotting scope. If I use this what other mounting pieces do I need? I m assuming this could substitute for both the tripod and geared head? Would this leave me just needing to purchase the Astrotrac, polar finder and a ball head? If so would prefer to use this money to go towards a small scope/autoguider setup. Experience or advice from any current users much appreciated. Regards CP
  4. Just seen it pass through a crystal clear sky in Nottingham. Zoomed over the top of Betelgeuse and then dove under Mars, exceptionally bright. Nice to have it back again. CP
  5. Hi Guys I screwed up and took a (albeit new and unused) microfibre cloth to the corrector on my C8 after one too many. The result is a horribly smeared mess. I have the Baader Wonderfluid and just wanted to double check that its compatible with any coatings on the corrector of a Nexstar 8SE before attacking it. Any words of warning or thumbs up? Cheers CP
  6. Hi Whats the best "low cost" imaging software for basic post capture manipulation. I m considering Adobe Elements 7 which I can get for about £60 but have seen comments that lack of layer and curves ability makes it very weak. Currently I m just using the google freebie Picasa to do basic crop and zoom but want something a little more capable. Max budget is £60. Cheers CP
  7. Hi I managed to grab these two images using a Canon 450D at prime focus in a C8 Nexstar 8SE. Taken from my very chilly back garden in Nottingham. Shots taken between breaks in the clouds and as it was the first session of the year half of the scope movement was by hand as I had an empty powertank. Single shots with no clean up. Any advice on how to improve much appreciated. I m really pleased with this straight wall/rupes recta image. Thebit has been likened to a diamond ring due to the crater/crater positioning. On the same theme you could say that rupes recta looks like a single rose with the lighting like this. (click to enlarge) (click to enlarge) Vallis Alpes is the valley structure cutting through the mountains. The Appolo 15 landing site is to the NorthNorthWest of the Cassini craters in this image towards the upper edge. Cheers CP
  8. Hi According to Starry Night on the next pass just before midnight it looks as though a satellite (ALOS-Daichi Mag 2.0) and the ISS pass very close to Arcturus at pretty much 23.51.00. Its going to be a little low and lost in the orange murk from where I am but could be an interesting capture . CP
  9. Hi Well almost, it managed to miss it at the last moment. Capture of tonights first pass, cracking clear skies for once :hello1: . (click to enlarge) Canon EOS 450D at 18mm, ISO 200 to allow for 30s exposure. Cheers CP
  10. Hi I managed to capture these "sundogs" over the garden in Nottingham this evening. Quite pleased with it as I d only read about them in the Sky At Night "50 things to see" article the day before. Managed to persuade my wife to provide sunblocking duties in one and you can see the clear colour grading from red on the inside. On the first you can see the two bright spots either side of the tripod which is obscuring the solar disc. There was some high wispy cloud around which is required to give this phenomena. Images were captured using a Canon EOS450D with a circular polarising filter, ISO100. (click to enlarge) (click to enlarge) Cheers CP
  11. Hi I have a Celestron C90 Mak mounted on an Az3. The scope itself its great but I m finding it really difficult to use for anything above 30 degrees as the finder is of the straight through variety and the AZ3 is such a low mount. Spend al my time on my knees trying to peer through the finder. I ve been searching for a small RACI or 90 degree finder with no luck so if anyone has any suggestions please let me know. One issue is that the finder bracket on the C90 is moulded so looks to only take specific brackets. A small 8x21 that would fit the exisiting holder or a mod to the exisiting finder would be best?? Cheers CP
  12. Hi I ve got a C8 which I ve had for 14 months and never collimated :? . When I look at the diffraction pattern on a defocused star it seems "ok" but possibly a little off center. As I can now point my DSLR down the C8 it occured to me, would a defocused image of a star give me a pattern that could be checked by someone with more experience than me i.e a helpful forum member if I posted the image. I m so cack handed :oops: I really don t want to start messing with it unless I really have to....... Cheers CP
  13. Hi Rawhead/Cloudwatcher Thanks for showing me what can be brought out of the image :shock: , I m barely starting to get to grips with some of the processing software. Fingers crossed its a fine night tonight (forecast seems ok) and I can try on a more full crescent without the Focal Reducer In line. Also want to try to catch the Saturn/Regulus conjunction as a regular widefield. The only downside of removing the reducer is that the image may be larger than a single frame cap and then I m going to have to learn mosaics!. I m going to leave the diagonal in line as the straight through position puts the camera too close to hitting the mount (its a Nexstar 8SE not an EQ). Rawhead where can I find more info on the Focus Magic and Noiseware apps/software? Love the effect its had. Cheers CP
  14. Hi Ant Thanks for the speedy reply. Nice n straightforwards... should have looked harder :oops: :oops: . Cheers CP
  15. Hi This is the best of a series of images captured last night using an EOS450D and C8 on a Nexstar mount. Relatively happy but would have preferred a sharper focus, either that or need to work out how to stack multiple images in Photoshop. Used a 6.3 focal reducer and had the 45 degree diagonal in place. ISO800 for 1/30 sec. (click to enlarge) Cheers CP
  16. Hi Is there a primer on how to upload and prepare images. I have some JPEGs I want to share but I m noit clear how to upload them for review? Also they are quite meaty bfiles at 4Mb, do I need to reduce the image size? Cheers CP
  17. Hi I have a Canon EOS450d on order and want to use it with my Nexstar 8SE. I thought this was straightforwards until I saw options for either a 1.25" barrel t adapter or one that fits directly onto the rear cell othn a SCT. If I just get the 1.2hat 5" barrel style will this work ok and allow me to achieve focus? What do other C8 users have? Regards CP PS Has anyone tried the piggy back bracket on a C8. The holes on my tube would have it hanging off the side rather than off the top of the tube and I m worried about the stress on my single arm mount. Is there any easy way just to "velcro" the camera onto the top of the tube?
  18. Hi I got through my bonus and I m pretty close to pulling the trigger on a Canon Eos 400D. The range of lenses is bewildering and I have fairly limited funds. Can anyone share experience on the best lenses to consider that are suitable for wide field astrophotography. I guess I need a low F ratio... Is the image stabilisation a good thing to have. Looking for something that will be good on widefields, otherwise I ll use the camera at prime focus on my C8. I m looking to mount the camera piggy back on my Nexstar8SE for some short exposure wide field shots. Budget for the lens is in the £200-300 range absolute tops and it needs to be a good all rounder. Cheers CP
  19. Hi I recently bought a C90 Mak spotter from FLO as a quick grab-n-go :saturn:. I m really pleased with the size and optics but trying to use it on a standard photo tripod is impossible due to lack of control. I ve read about the AZ-3 and Celestron heavy Duty but can t decide which would be the better solution. Both are the same price wise. Any real world experience of this scope on these mounts? Which would you go for? Cheers CP
  20. Hey Rus Thanks for the quick comeback. If at a later date I wanted to swap out the rack n pinion focuser for a crayford is this an easy upgrade? I only get to spend my money once so wanted to go for optics first with the option to upgrade the niceties later on...... CP
  21. Hi I have both a Nexstar 130 and a Nexstar 8SE on the go-to mounts. They make some noise, especially when slewing fast (no noise at all when tracking) and I spent ages being totally paranoid my neighbours would be pee d off. I mentioned it to them one time and they didn t even know I had a scope let alone hearing it. I think these things just seem loud after you ve been outside trying to sneak around like a mouse, but to anyone else over 20ft away they re not even something you notice... CP
  22. Hi Guys I ve been looking at getting a refractor as a quick grab n go for some time and have seen that the C80-EDR has come down by £200 as its been continued. Does anyone have experience with these? Would I see a significant visual advantage over say a St-80 or St-102 from Skywatcher. I know there are other OTAs by WO etc similar price but I also need a mount and this comes with a CG-5. Additionally bit of a newb question but once aligned does an eq -mount only need moving on one axis to catch back up to an object which has moved? Cheers CP
  23. Hi I m trying to figure out the lowest tech approach to a quick grab and go outside the kitchen door. I already have a Nexstar 8SE which is great for a evenings observing but for those moments when the cloud clears and I can t get an "official evening off :whip2:" I want something I can mount and be using quickly. I used to use 15 x 70 binoculars, however due to a worsening eye condition I can now only use one eye for observing so it has to be a scope. My idea is to make a homemade pier, literally a piece of wooden 3" x 3" emebdded in a heavy concrete bucket that can sit on the patio and be permanently ready to take a small refractor (currently looking at something like a Skywatcher Short tube ST102). Alternately I might just permanently install it in the corner of the flower bed. What I can t work out, is what mechanism/bracket I have mounted to the pier that then allows me to attached the scope?? I m thinking a basic camera/tripod thread set up for speed. Any suggestions? Budget for scope and bracket is about £250. Cheers CP
  24. Hi I d been waiting for ages to see if a replacement for the 400D was coming out as I really wanted LiveView as I ve seen several articles saying how much easier it is to use for focusing in Astrophotography. Anyway yesterday new 450D was announced, only downside is its about £100 more expensive than I was hoping http://www.canon.co.uk/For_Home/Product_Finder/Cameras/Digital_SLR/EOS_450D/index.asp Cheers CP
  25. Hi Guys From recollection the Hyperions have a 1.25" bottom tube, does this unscrew when used in a 2" diagonal? Also I have a 6.3 reducer, have any of you used the combination of a reducer and 2" EP to get the most out of DSOs? Cheers CP
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