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Everything posted by MartinB

  1. Sorry I should have said. I was using a Canon 6D with a Sigma 14mm lens wide open at F1.8. Obviously the lens has some coma in the corners wide open but at this focal length the stars are so tiny you really have to pixel peep to see it. Also 30 seconds is too long so there is some star trailing but I think you only really see it if you go looking for it. The stars have had a bit of a battering in processing as well!
  2. Just got back from a 2 week trip in our motorhome. We stopped off at Wells and I was fortunate to have a clear, moonless night. It was great to lie on the beach in the dead of night peering up at the sky whilst the camera clicked away. This was 40x30 secs stacked with sequator and processed mostly in PS. The highlight was meeting up with a group of lads from Fakenham who are going into their 3rd year at uni. They were blown away by the images coming through on the camera. I took a 30 second pic of them standing on the steps of one of the beach huts and will send it to them when processed.
  3. Fabulous! Have you put a light inside the hut? If you have it has worked a treat.
  4. Great image Dave. I've climbed here as well but HVS was my limit for leading.
  5. The results are in! https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/383125-sgl-perseid-challenge-2021/
  6. As expected it was cloudy for many but some of you managed to find some gaps in the cloud and there were some superb images despite the challenges. 1st Zummerzet_leveller https://stargazerslounge.com/uploads/monthly_2021_08/2021_08.10_Perseid_Low.jpg.0cd02dfe2fcdb63a83771d7fc3f62ade.jpg 2nd DaveW https://stargazerslounge.com/uploads/monthly_2021_08/940217248_Allimagesmaskedaligned.jpg.3c12c4afdc141e0fe242e44b0dc6edb2.jpg 3rd Adam1234 https://stargazerslounge.com/uploads/monthly_2021_08/MilkyWay_PNG.png.c16afb9f4fbe5d2c9c79fb1368a09022.png Well done to our winners and to everyone who entered
  7. The results are in! https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/383123-sgl-2021-challenge-5-30-second-exposures/
  8. This challenge has shown that you don't need multiminute sub exposures to achieve stunning results. Modern CMOS cameras certainly appear up to the task. Yet again, the judging was difficult and some divided opinions (always a good sign!) 1st Fegato - The North American Nebula https://stargazerslounge.com/uploads/monthly_2021_07/2096223923_NAmerica210720SHO.png.a494bb6be3d3279b453a4a2704893792.png 2nd Snooze - The Double Cluster https://stargazerslounge.com/uploads/monthly_2021_08/389568138_Doublecluster_rez.jpg.ff881d9af8352bbe9f65d147a9283f52.jpg 3rd Simon Pepper - M31 https://stargazerslounge.com/uploads/monthly_2021_08/769231006_M31copy2.thumb.jpg.b7e4f458caf0e293c216f625ff3ffb7d.jpg Well done to all who entered the challenge.
  9. This challenge is now closed. It has proved very popular with some outstanding images. Results should be announced within the next couple of weeks
  10. The thread is now closed for entries. Well done everyone who posted, the weather didn't help so I am amazed by the high standard of images. The results will be announced within the next couple of weeks.
  11. The theme for the #7 challenge is Supernovae Remnants and Planetary Nebulae! Start Date: 1st September 2021 End Date: 30th November 2021 Here's one for the narrow band deep sky imagers. From the well known targets such as the Veil to the faintest of fuzzies well off the beaten track. Some are huge and some tiny, take your pick of focal lengths! Prize: A personalised mug for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places featuring your image kindly provided by our sponsors FLO and a virtual trophy for your signature. Please post your entries in this thread. Please include details of your capture since this can be helpful to other members. Emojies are welcome but please don't comment on posted images. -- RULES All data must be captured and processed by you (no collaborative entries). Data must be captured during the challenge start & end dates. Multiple entries are allowed. Multiple submissions of the same image, processed differently, will not be accepted.
  12. Only recently spotted this competition and m away now for pretty much the rest of the month so this is a bit of a rush job. This might be a blessing since my redo's rarely help the cause! So I'm seeing the IFN as the most ethereal of chiffon scarves being languidly stroked away to reveal radiant beauty beneath. OK I'll go and have a cup of tea but that notion is what has been in my mind in attempting to process this image. It's been nearly all PS for me. I ran a deconvolution in PI but didn't like the result, it was like giving Salome acne. I just used Starnet and Photometric colour calibration in PI. I used the starless version the swith the screen/inverted mask method along with some small curve tweaks to try to bring out the IFN.
  13. As you will have seen from the above, there is a bewildering array of software available now. The capture software tends to be geared towards full automation including precise pointing using plate solving, control of motorised focusers with auto refocusing to adjust for temperature changes, guiding, and automated meridian flips. Since my old Pulsar observatory can't be PC controlled this level of automation doesn't work for me but outside I use Sequence Generator Pro. The problem with this level of automation is that you have a complex set of commands. When the software works it is wonderful and people rightly wax lyrical whereas other people, like me, have one gremlin after another. KISS can still apply! I upgraded from Maxim v4 to v5 but didn't notice much difference really. I can't remember whether v4 had plate solving, I think it did. I find plate solving very useful for ensuring accurate alignment of the target when imaging over several nights. I have always found Maxim guiding to perform well although PHD2 is significantly more sophisticated now. You might be interested in having a look at NINA. There is a Stargazine talk on this here https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/361708-ep17-youtube-an-overview-of-nina-nighttime-imaging-n-astronomy-by-stefan-berg/ Pixinsight has various stacking routines and I now use the Weighted Batch Processing routine all the way up to image integration. This is pretty neat. Some people have found that PI gives better results than Maxim but I have never been able to discern this from the comparisons I have made. For a long time PI has been a one off payment with lifetime updates. I don't know whether this applies to your version. PI is very sophisticated. The nomenclature is based on statistical terms and, unless you are an advanced statistician, is confusing and unhelpful. There seems to be a certain conceit around using PI and being able to state "Fully processed in PI". It is fantastic software but so is photoshop and having spent a chunk of my life getting to grips with PI (Adam Block's tutorials are excellent but very soporific) I realise that you can use either or both. I use both and do like the deconvolution tool in PI when my data is good enough to stand it
  14. The IMX 533 the more modern CMOS chip with the magical HCG switch at 100gain and zero amp glow (which isn't hype). As always, Vlaiv is spot on re sampling rates.
  15. There is a great deal of wisdom is this response!!
  16. I wrote an article for AstronomyNow! magazine on CMOS cameras if you can get hold of a copy. CMOS chips read much faster than CCD and are therefore better for video applications. As a consequence they became the chips of choice for smart phones. This led to massive investment in CMOS technology. CCD chips still have the edge when it comes to pixel to pixel consistency which is important in scientific applications but much less so for "pretty picture" imaging. The principle advantages of CMOS cameras are cost and low read noise (allowing much shorter sub exposure times). You have adjustable gain settings which is very useful when switching between broad band and narrow band targets. Amp glow is easily managed using time matched darks. Many newer chips have eliminated amp glow. I have 3 ZWO cameras and my old QSI CCD never comes out of it's box! The ZWO ASI 183 MC-Pro is a superb camera and also works extremely well with camera lenses such as the brilliant Samyang 135mm.
  17. Retired 4 years ago Dave but still grinding the bike gears. You're going to notice some astro tech changes such as CMOS cameras, a better range of mounts, software automation using platesolving and some heavy duty processing software.
  18. I still use Sky 6 in my observatory but out in the garden I use Cartes du Ciel. I'm pretty happy with both.
  19. Well this is a blast from the past! Welcome back Dave, there are still quite a few of us old timers still around.
  20. Out on Baslow Edge in the Peak District 2 nights ago taking pics of the Eagle Stone. A very bright Perseid sped across my FOV. Even if it is solid cloud tonight it is worth going on the hunt since the shower does persist for 2 or 3 days either side. If anyone does manage a successful capture don't forget to enter it into this months SGL Perseid challenge.
  21. That's a stunning image Paul! I think, composition wise, I would prefer it either without you or without the windmill!
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