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Posts posted by JKB

  1. The HEQ5 is certainly not overkill. For DSO astrophotography, it's very much entry level and the least you need to get reliably good images (you can manage with cheaper mounts, but with a lot of skill, effort and probably frustration).

    Agreed. HEQ5 Pro is my mount of choice with the 150P. Never had a problem with focussing using a Canon 30D and MPCC. As for focuser yes the PDS has 10:1 but again never had a problem. Always use a Bhatinov mask anyway. My set up is the 150P, with ST80 on top and 50mm Finder. This has the 30D and MPCC with webcam in the ST80. Heavy kit but the HEQ5 does the job.



  2. The startrailing errors are also dependent on where in the sky the object is located. I know it sounds daft but true.Objects higher will rotate more but trail more so you can get longer exposures.  Also the focal length of lens used will add. A nice 35mm lens stopped down a bit will show less trailing than a 300mm due to the apparent field of view.

    I would start somewhere high around polaris say, ISO to 800 and test the time before trails appear. Start say 15sec and check. Then take loads of them and stack in DSS.



  3. Hello Miranda!

    You PM'ed me recently, I live outside Exeter and work in exeter. I plan to go to the NLO soon and am a friend of JKB's, would be cool if we could all takea trip to NLO would be fun :)

    feel free PM to try and co-ordinate a trip to sidmouth!!

     I'm up for that  :laugh:


    • Like 1
  4. Today is the 2nd Christmas for my children, first with their mum then today with me. 4 children and lots of presents except one for my 10yr old eldest girl. Should have been delivered on the 24th but Citylink didn't play ball. I explained that she would be getting a lovely present and it was delayed, thankfully the parcel arrived at 10am.

    Her first scope. a Celestron 76mm Dob. She was very very happy. Now it became complicated as we had to wait for dark skies and more importantly no cloud but it has happened! After all the horrendous weather we have had lately it was clear. First light for her and she was blown away. Venus, Jupiter, M42 and M45 plus random stargazing. I have never felt so happy  :smiley:

    I have to admit that scope actually surprised me too! Less than £50 and it really does work. Views were really good, small yes but really good and so easy to use (I don't like Dob's BTW!)

    I am such a happy father. Wish I had bought the other 3 something as quiet rather than the cacophony of musical instruments or mechanical whirring machines they had!



    • Like 8
  5. Hi and welcome.

    Sadly as previously mentioned this is a really tough decision. My main scope for both visual and AP is the 150P and I really do love it. It is portable enough and doesn't stretch the mount to much. (I started with the EQ3-2) and upgraded to the HEQ5 Pro.

     As to your last question (in simple terms) the f ratio has nothing to do with 'magnification' but how much light is allowed in (the speed of the scope; lower better for AP). Magnification is calculated from the focal length (ie 750mm divided with the eyepiece size. For example a 750mm scope with a 10mm eyepiece yields 75x magnification.

    Hope that helps a bit more? the Evostar 120 is 1000mm fl at f8.3 so slower than f5



  6. With either of those mount the most common mount would be the HEQ5. You can get them for a pretty decent price second hand. 

    Yes +1 for the HEQ5 Pro

    Its what I use with the 150P. Decent, reliable and solid. As said can be picked up for good prices secondhand. Although I started with the EQ3-2 and got some OK images it is not really good enough and you will get frustrated by it's limitations as I did.



  7. Hi and welcome

    As mentioned before buying a telescope can be hard as one scope will not serve all purposes. It does really depend on what you want to see. I use a SW150p on HEQ5 mount for photography and a SW127Mak for planetary viewing. I would try to have a look through a scope before taking the plunge and see what it feels like.

    There are just so many variables involved.

    Sorry if thats not much help but have a trawl through the forum and ask more questions



  8. That is a dramatic difference. Great image. Is it purely knowledge in both acquisition and processing that has changed, or has the equipment also changed over the two years?

    Thanks for the comments.

    No same equipment as 2yrs ago but a lot more knowledge gained over the time.  I now take more time in focussing, guiding and getting the right balance of images: Also many hours with Photoshop over the years has helped get the best out of the images.



  9. Well 2 years and lots of practice I managed M42 again. Didn't even get a chance last year due to clouds and placement.

    This is a combination of 15, 30, 45, 60, 180 and 300s exposures with dark, flat and bias frames. All using the EOS 30D, SW 150p guided with PHD.

    2yrs ago


    And now........


    As always all comments welcome



    • Like 9
  10. Hi

    Thanks for all the positive comments. It was only a quick play: What I did:

    Drop Levels, duplicated layer for later.

    then upped the curves dropped levels x3

    Individual curves for major colours dropped (i.e. Red with the LP)

    When happy used colour picker for general background colour. Filled new layer with that colour.

    On original used magic wand (2) and copied background-paste

    Merge copy and blank fill

    Add gaussian blur (50ish) to layer and use subtract layer and drop opacity

    Merge all layers

    Dropped saturation by a little

    Add Unsharp mask to all (not to much)

    The original layer I copied I made into a layer mask. Applied dust and scratches. This allows the core to be not over exposed.

    Hope that helps??!!

    As the OP has said some of the noise will probably be better removed with Pixinsight 

    Also a good lens. I love my 1970's 135mm f1.8 M42 Prime I bought for mere pennies compared to the modern equivalent.



    • Like 1
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