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Everything posted by Crunchard

  1. I found this colour seemed to show the most detail, when I ended up with a monochrome image it just seemed to washout on me. My weakness is definitely processing. When I see what other people produce shooting the same object it shows I have a lot to learn!
  2. I did get a version without the trails, but in a strange way I sort of like this. Shows how busy the sky is!
  3. I have tried, but then processing is not what I would class as a strong point!
  4. Now that the nights are starting to close in it'll be time to spend some outdoor moments getting cold hands ... though not just yet as the evenings are lovely and warm(ish). Milky Way image. 36 x 1min exposures, stacked and processed. Nikon D3200, 14mm, F5. Astrotrac. Quite pleased with the result, especially catching the shooter. Just not sure how I get more colour into it (sure it has to be in there!).
  5. Cheers all. I'm looking into a small APO, as I no longer have the ST80. Possibly a 66mm, as an 80 maybe just a bit too large for the Astrotrac. Will have to wait and see.
  6. Thanks, and yes it is a shame, but I can live with it M31 was 9 mins, 3 x 3mins M42 was a mixture, starting at 20s, and going up to 90 secs mins, came out at 14 mins in total
  7. I have recently become a little (and I do mean a little) better at post-processing, so I tentatively revisited my M31 data. This image is only 3 lights, nothing else, and was taken using an ST80 with an un-modded Canon 1000D. I am very pleased with the M31 pic, despite the distortion. This next pic is a cropped image of M42, the Orion nebula. It is 20 lights, again nothing else, taken using an old (25 years+) 400mm camera lens, modded Canon 1100D, mounted on the Astrotrac. Focus is a little soft, but I now have a microfocuser to assist going forward. Constructive comments always appreciated. Thanks
  8. Thanks Dave ... I won't part with the few hundred quid as a test then
  9. It would be interesting to see how I could connect a violet cut filer to the front of my 4 different camera lenses - as it would involve step up / step down filter connectors of some sort.
  10. I have the Carl Zeiss 135mm Zebra F3.5 - not sure how this compares against the 2 in the original post though. Top of my shopping list is the TS microfocuser, as I am sure that will help me out with the sharpness.
  11. Thanks Steve, I am going to persevere with the 135 and 200mm lenses for now, but will probably look to get a small APO at some point (TS seem to do some nice 50/70 and 80mm APO's which I hope will control affects like this better).
  12. Thanks Jarrod - I have tried stopping down, and, like you, still suffer. I need to test a decent Canon L lens to see if that still suffers really, then I will know if it is just glass related.
  13. I've cropped this one to show the problem, also looks like my focus was a bit off on this too.
  14. I use a mixture of camera lenses for wide-field (and slightly more narrow field) and am having fun and games with star bloat and purple halos. My 50mm F2 Yashinon exhibits almost no star bloat, and yet my 28mm F2, Carl Zeiss 135mm F3.5, and unbranded 200mm F4 show it quite bad. I normally runs these at least one stop down (sometimes more). All these lenses are older lenses with the M42 connection+EOS adapter. My camera is a modded Canon 1100D - note the filter has been replaced with a Badder, and not removed entirely. I've tried a few varying settings, shorter exposure, smaller aperture, but the ISO tends to remain around the 800 (1600 on occasions) setting. My post-processing skills are pretty average to say the least, so removal that way is a pain for me - despite trying to understand the various online tutorials, etc. Any advise? Would a CLS filter help? Almost at the point of stopping use of the longer focal length lenses. Thanks
  15. Ever considered an older 28mm or 35mm M42 connection lens? Whack on a M42 / EOS adapter and you have a fast prime lens without breaking the bank. I have a 28mm, F2, 50mm F1.8, 135M f3.5, 200mm F4.5 and a 300mm F5. The whole lot cost me around £100 I reckon.
  16. Nice work, as I only use my Astrotrac it is camera lenses all the way for me. I'm a big fan of the older M42 prime lenses, and have a decent collection from 28mm up to 200mm (my 300mm just wouldn't cut the mustard so I am experimenting with using it for guiding).
  17. Another awesome image ... I so need to get myself somewhere dark to see what my Astrotrac can do
  18. Nice capture of the X ... I also got the Y (or is it a V?) in my one shot image.
  19. Does anyone have any experience of using this for AP? http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p5632_TS-50mm-f-6-6-APO-Doublet-Refractor---Day-Night-Scope-and-Tele-Objective.html This would be for my Astrotrac, and at 330mm looks good. Polar alignment would need to be spot-on obviously Cheers, Jeff
  20. Much better second light Polar scope now properly focused, was able to get 4 minutes subs at 200mm with no obvious star trailing (focus is another matter ) The RDF in the DSLR hot shoe mount worked a dream. It is necessary to check the polar alignment whenever you do things, such as change the camera lens. When I switched to the 300mm star trails were obvious - quick check and it was out of alignment, so easy to knock, but just as easy to rectify. Once I get somewhere dark(ish) I'll push the exposure times with the shorter lenses (50mm, 28mm), to see what I can get. And who ordered the clouds?
  21. Nice set-up. The geared head is fine, and I've been testing it off and on all day - so it must have been to do with angle/weight or something. Will make a note to polar align before I attach the DSLR with the 300mm lens on it The polar scope was out of focus, but after a quick internet trawl, I have now got it in focus - or at least I can now read the car number plate from down the road, and the bushes on the hills a few miles away no longer look like green blurry sheep! I have now resolved the lack of finding things (or I hope so) as I now have this on top of my camera Made the amendments to my old ST80 RDF at lunchtime. Here is my set-up (pre-RDF and with the stock 18-55mm lens on it), including the dual-mount bar that I intend to use for guiding at some point (just realised I don't have the polar scope in this pic). Going to try again tonight from a darker location, fingers crossed
  22. At last I got a nice clear night and decided to put the Astrotrac through it's paces Astrotrac first-light report (not counting my few minutes the other night)... Overall Set-up - Ridiculously easy! Polar alignment - not easy. I've found the stars in the polar scope are blurred and I cannot get them in to focus (despite turning the focuser). Also stars move dependent on what angle you look in to it - so if my head is slightly to one side then the pole star shifts left/right. Going to ring Astrotract about it. Manfrotto geared head - You don't actually use this much once the whole thing is aligned, but I have found the adjustment in one direction is stiff going one way, and slips going the other. Going to see if I can adjust this somehow, or see if it just new. Manfrotto ball head - initially a real PITA but finally got the hang of it. Astrotrac - smooth, lovely piece of kit. Manfrotto tripod - solid, the only trouble being I found it easy to knock and had to align 4 times owing to this ... must learn to watch my feet! A telescope tripod doesn't move when you knock it - this does. M42 300mm lens - won't quite reach focus owing to the M42-EOS adapter, but stopping down seems to do the trick on focus, as my stars looked pretty good. M42 50mm lens - suffers with lack of flat field (as you would expect) Tracking was good, but with my dodgy alignment I got star trails (albeit very small ones) after 90s at 300mm - not bad for a first attempt, and at 50mm it was fine for 180s (didn't go any longer). The manual mentions drift alignment, so I may have to have a look at that. Now ... finding your targets was an absolute pain! I really need to sort out some sort of finder. Have seen some sort of DSLR hot-shoe mount, so will be looking into that. I also need a lens in between 50mm and 200mm, the jump is just too great. So slightly frustrating, missed all my targets, and had some difficulties with the kit. Hopefully not long-term problems! Any advice greatly appreciated
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