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About yuklop

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    Southampton - UK
  1. Hi All, I'm considering what software to use in an astrophotography workflow. So many options from free to very expensive. I made this little diagram to try and decide. I don't need no cost, but low cost is nice! Seems like everyone on Astrobin uses PixInsight. Of course there are much more comprehensive lists out there such as: Here I suppose this question is asked fairly often. Do you think the diagram is about right in terms of functionality? I expect I'll start with Stellarium, APT, Deep Sky Stacker and Startools as a low cost option. I guess this will work well, although I know Deep Sky Stacker and its a little long in the tooth now, so perhaps an upgrade to APP or PixInsight will happen soon enough. Any other cheaper stacking tools you would recommend? Many Thanks, Dan
  2. Thanks for the replies. I do use a dslr, which I took the ir filter out of. I think I'll just run some tests and see what the results are. I appreciate I would make things harder by using filters and taking more than one set of images at different focusses. I like the idea of splitting the channels up and processing the blue individually. If we get some clear nights soon, I'll give it a go and post the results.
  3. Dear all, I understand many posts have been written on similar topics. Nevertheless, I have been reading around and not seen this idea: Like many folk, I have a not so expensive f5 refractory. In my case a star travel 150. I like it and have taken a few images with a dslr I would even regard as ok. I would still like to do better. My feeling is that the focus point for red/green is good, just the blue that makes the brighter objects look bloated, and probably blurrs out some fine details. One idea is to use a yellow, wratten 12 filter, with it's transmission starting around 490nm for one set of images, and another, as yet unidentified blue/violet filter which the transmission ends at 490nm. What are your thoughts on this? It is just 2 sets of images per object, rather than the 3 of rgb narrowband, which should save time. Anyone tried it? Thanks, Dan.
  4. I have a ST150. I think its brilliant. The relatively large aperture allows pretty good visual work. It does have some CA but how intrusive this is depends on what you want to image. In my experience the moon is pretty good to look at however Jupiter and Saturn could be better. The CA does wash out some details on these 2. You can still clearly see the main stripes on the disc of jupiter and the rings around saturn with others reporting seeing the Cassini division. However this scope is not really designed for solar system stuff. It is a deep sky scope. With the faint objects the CA is not an issue. It can lead to bloated stars if they are very bright but this can be partially combated with filters. It also depends on how you image. I use a DSLR and get what I feel are pretty good results. But better results can be achieved with RGB imaging where I think each colour can be separately focussed thus avoiding CA all together. This is the next thing I want to try. Basically for any narrowband imaging this is as good as a multi-thousand pound triplet. I believe, bang for buck, this thing can't be beaten and is a great choice for something good for visual and photo. It's not that small though!
  5. As for W H Smiths. I used to work there a little while ago. There we magazine orders where you could order practically anything, whether smiths stocked it in-store or not and it would come for you and be put in a little cabinet to be picked up at your convenience. You would just go to the cabinet and collect the magazine and pay. You could order a one off or have it put back for you every issue and then cancel whenever you wanted. I'd be surprised if they had stopped this as it was a well used and liked service.
  6. Have a look at this thread. Coves the same topic. I have a Microsoft Lifecam Studio which can be fairly easily modded. Its pretty good. Can't do anything deep sky with it as there is limited exposure control. I think the philips can be modded for long exposures. But then again DSLRs are the way to go for deep sky. Or dedicated Astro CCDs. But they are expensive.
  7. I think saying a webcam is better than a dslr is not entirely accurate. I have both a Canon 500D and a Microsoft Lifecam Studio webcam. I use the DSLR much more. For DSO there is no contest, the DSLR wins hands down. For solar system its a little different as you want many frames taken quickly. For that purpose a webcam works well. A webcam also has a smaller chip size which looks at a smaller area of the sky so the object appears larger which is good for planets. That said, even on planets and the moon I use the DSLR and record video from it. So far I have found the "quality" of the recorded video to be higher than that from the webcam. As for motor, I *think* you can get away without for imaging planets as the exposure time is very short and alignment can be done later. It's pretty much a must for longer exposure deep sky stuff though.
  8. I don't think the HD-3000 would fit in the adapter. Its a different shape. You may be able to adapt it yourself though. Here is a link to some instructions for adaption. This method obviously works for the Lifecam Cinema but I have done it with a Lifecam Studio for a little extra resolution. One thing I will say is be REALLY careful not to get dust/dirt/paint on the sensor during the modification. It took me ages to satisfactorily clean mine!
  9. You are right. I can always stop it down. And I have a fringe killer. I guess the biggest problem is really the seeing off the balcony. I should find a decent dark sky site out of town. It is really just a hankering as I'm sure my current scope can perform better with a bit more skill etc... but I find I get that a lot with this hobby!
  10. Mmm. I can also suffer from aperture fever. I'd love a C9.25 but its a large thing. I guess I'd also like to be able to mount it side by side with the other scope then one can guide the other. That would be impossible with a C9.25! I also wonder whether the aperture would really gain me too much since most of my observing is done off a balcony in town. So the seeing/light pollution is generally pretty bad. I'll look out for a second hand C8 mind. If I can get one of those for under €500 it'd be a good buy! Perhaps a C6 is more realistic in that price range. cheers for replies.
  11. Dear All I have a 150mm f5 refractor which is great for deep sky but its having a hard time looking at the planets. So I was thinking of getting a second scope to view/photograph the planets/moon. I can't decide between a longer focal length refractor like here or a small Mak like a skymax 127. As far as I am aware they would both give better colour and larger views. So what would you take if the choice was yours?
  12. Indeed, I saw that review too, which got me thinking... They also look pretty expensive. Probably cheaper to simply get ED refractor these days. However as is often stated aperture is king and a 150mm apo would be pretty great! However I can't realistically afford a 'proper' 150mm apo. Sadly. Also, thanks John, I have been thinking about one of the Schmidt or Maksutov Cassegrain eg a Skywatcher Skymax or C60 / C80 for higher powers. But not yet. Still haven't got close to the limits of my big frac. I do take some images with it as I live in a city and its a nice way of 'seeing' stuff! What are people thoughts on a field flattener... worth it with such an instrument or not? cheers again Dan
  13. Dear All I have a Skywatcher 150mm f5 achro. I have recently read a review about a Chromacor which is supposed bring an achro towards an apo in terms of optical quality. It appears that a Chromacor is now very rare. What is around instead are field flatteners. Does anyone know the difference between these two? Would a field flattener make a marked improvement on a large fast achro or is it a bit of a waste of cash as they are not so cheap? I have looked around but remain confused so any help would be greatly appreciated. cheers Dan
  14. Heh, I can't be dishonest so I simply don't say anything. Then if I get asked or she gets the post, I tell her exactly what it is with lots of enthusiasm, at length, explaining what its for and why I got it. This way she pretty much doesn't ask any more and when she does she wishes she didn't! The fall back plan is to simply get my stuff just after a handbag/shoe purchase. Simples.
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