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Posts posted by jimmyjamjoejoe

  1. I shoot with an X-t1. I have a couple native lenses, and just got a fuji-M42 adaptor.

    I'm hoping to get a Zenithstar 61 in the near future, but i'm unsure of how to attach the camera. I can't find a Fuji-M48 adaptor ANYWHERE. The next logical option would be to buy a Fuji-canon adaptor and the canon-m48 adaptor from William optics. However, i'm unsure if the spacing would work out right between the flattener and sensor - surely the Fuji-canon adaptor would leave the flange where it needs to be, so for all intents and purposes the sensor will be the right distance from any mounted gear intended for canon, but i'm just not sure if they're manufactured to the tolerances demanded by a field flattener (some m42 adaptors don't allow infinity focus etc). 

    Does anyone else here shoot fuji on a zenithstar? If so, how did you do it?

  2. On 31/08/2018 at 15:13, martin_h said:

    If the flats match both groups, then yes add them to the main group and they will, like the bias, be used for all sets.......... all calibration frames added to the main group will be used by ALL groups, unless a set is added to a specific group, it will then only act on that group. 

    So does that mean you shouldn't use darks in the main group? Bias and flats should be fine, but darks should mirror the exposure of the lights. It's fair enough only putting group 1's darks in group 1, but any darks in the main group would also be applied to group 1?

    If that's the case, is it best to put only bias and flats in the main group, and then each set of matched lights/darks into the numbered groups?



  3. 15 hours ago, frogstar8 said:

    I have also just received a Star Adventurer Pro Pack, however I keep getting a blinking LED motor error (I have a video to demonstrate if interested).  I haven't mounted anything to it yet and have tried multiple batteries and also a USB power block with the same result of boost from the motor but straight to flashing lights after 5 seconds.

    How freely does your mounting platform rotate when you release the clutch as mine is very stiff?



    That doesn't sound right at all. I've never seen a motor error on mine, even when I properly loaded it up to test it's accuracy in a worst case scenario (Normal equipment, plus a 2L bottle of water crudely duct taped to it).

    I've had two, the first one had issues with accuracy. This second one seems to be bang on, but both have "rough patches" when rotating with the clutch loosened. When I felt that on the first one I thought it was an issue, but since they both do it I assume it isnt a problem, especially as the second one passes the 24hr test.

    Hate to say it, but sounds like you got a duff.


  4. 1 hour ago, DonLumioni74 said:

    Hi all


    Thanks for the comments.


    @kirkster501 Only reason I say eq3 is that I don't have the budget at the moment to get HEQ5 or EQ-6 R Pro alongside a ED80 (or similar)


    @JamesF cheers for clarification, I think that confirms that I can't use SA for imaging at least.


    @jimmyjamjoejoe I originally wanted to get a Celestron 8" Edge HD but was recommended the ED80 as a good starting point for astro imaging, the cost of the ED80 makes it very appealing. I'm open to suggestions though..... I've seen the ZS range being quoted quite a bit on these forums so will do some researching.


    I suppose the question is - what is your current kit not doing?

    With that 150-500mm lens, you've covered any focal length of telescope that you could realistically stick on a star adventurer, and probably with a slightly faster focal ratio. Edge performance might not be quite so good, but honestly, if you're just starting out with imaging it's more than enough. There's no reason to rush, or find some botched halfway point between your current setup and the final setup.

    I'd just get to grips with what you have, and milk it until you can afford the big bad setup that you want. Setting up and using the SA with a long lens and guiding the setup will give you plenty of practice so that when you get the bigger setup, you'l know how to get the most from it.


    • Like 1
  5. I had my heart set on a william optics ZenithStar 61 until earlier today, until i found the altair 60 edf. I'd be interested to hear opinions if anybody has used both. 

    A 2kg scope is definitely pushing it for the SA. By the time you've added the scope, camera, finder?, and attached them (ballhead?), and counterweight - You'll be around 4KG, which will already lead to lost subs, that's before you take into account the longer focal length making things tougher. The common wisdom is anything above 300mm will want guiding, which will add even more weight. For that reason, I wouldn't want to try the 70.


    • Like 1
  6. Are you absolutely sold on that scope?

    Plenty of people use a Zenithstar 61 on the star adventurer, and I've even seen good results from ~70mm scopes like the Zenithstar 73 and Skywatcher ed72. I imagine the latter is pushing it, and using a guider too, probably on a darkframe tuned mount to boot.

    The star adventurer is specced for 5KG, but that includes the counterweight, and the general rule of thumb is no more than 60% of the stated limit to be reliably good. The ZS61 is 1.5kg, camera around 0.5kg, counterweight is 1KG - pretty close.

    Ultimately, the ED80 won't gain you much over the ZS61. In fact, the extra weight AND the increase in focal length will be a detrimental double whammy. 

    I'm in the same boat as you. I'm still enjoying using my lenses, but do fancy a small scope too. I'm looking at either the ZS61 or the Altair astro 60edf. Aperture is important for resolution to an extent, but isn't as important as focal ratio when it comes to imaging.



  7. On 17/09/2018 at 01:38, Andywilliams said:

    I sometimes struggle with framing an object with my dslr on my star adventurer.

    I am liking the look of the red dot finder mounted on the dslr hotshoe.

    can anyone please give me a link to a reasonably priced purchase of this gear?

    Do I need just the red dot finder or is there an added mount piece that I need to mount it on my dslr as you guys have done.




    I have an adapter here to attach a standard QR base to a camera hotshoe - https://www.thingiverse.com/Jimmyjamjoejoe/designs

    There are also a couple of arca plate to finder shoe adapters too which other star adventurer users might find useful for finder-guiders etc.


    • Like 1
  8. On 21/09/2018 at 06:29, 8472 said:

    When you say "50mm guidescope" do you mean the standard 50mm SW finder? If so, you may struggle, if used in conjunction with a Synguider to get a guide star. Synguider is better suited to a ST80, or the like.

    To answer your question, you can always make a bracket like this.




    I grabbed one of these - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/263867662245


    I couldn't find what I needed so I knocked up a model and 3D printed it, works a treat. Free for anyone who wants it - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3125622






  9. Found it a nightmare trying to find an adaptor to fix a finder shoe to an Arca style tripod head. I'm not sure how common a problem it is, but it seems that people commonly use finder-guiders on a Star Adventurer - usually sat on a ball head on the other end of the L-bracket dovetail (https://www.cloudynights.com/uploads/monthly_05_2017/post-198673-0-46279600-1495771640.jpg). Some of the more expensive finders (Orion etc) come with an adaptor plate which sits between an Arca plate and a finder shoe.

    I went with a cheap Chinese 50mm finder (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/263867662245), and I doubt it's going to arrive with an adaptor, so I looked for somewhere to buy one. I couldn't find one anywhere, much less for a reasonable price, so I made my own.

    The ballhead I'm using actually uses "mini Arca" style plates, but I made a full size Arca style plate too.

    Feel free to download the 3D files here - 





  10. I just bought a second hand synguider. It powered up fine first time, but since then its stuck in a boot loop.

    It shows firmware version 1.1 etc then flashes the preview screen and restarts. Is there a hard reset or anything i can do?

  11. I've managed to pick up a synguider for a crazy price. About to order a 50mm guidescope too, which i believe has the normal skywatcher shoe on it. 

    Anyone know how i go about attaching that to the mount? I dont use a scope, just camera and lens, and was planning on having the guider on the other end of the L-bracket, probably on another ballhead. I cant find any adapters to go from arca to finder shoe...


  12. 10 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

    Zoomed in those look more like lens aberrations.

    Did you have the lens stopped down.


    I did, think it might have been f8 (from f3.5) because i know the lens isnt the best and it makes focusing less critical. 

    I mean, i'm pretty happy with the images. At 180secs there doesnt seem to be much trailing. At 200mm it might be more apparent but i'm still waiting for another clear night to test.

    I had no reason to suspect a problem until the 24hr test... 

    If it tracks ok for 180secs at 200mm i'll be a happy man. I could even live with 60secs. So long as it does that the longer term shift isnt really an issue - i'll probably dither a bit anyway.

    I'm just concerned that eventually i might end up sitting a zs61 on this, at 360mm... and i dont wanna be using 30sec subs with that... 

  13. 35 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

    Not acceptable, where did you buy it ? bought mine from FLO and they replaced it no problem.

    Do the same test as I did, two images 10 minutes apart and compare them.


    Here's a couple of 180sec subs from the first night out... I was still learning so PA might not have been the best.

    This was just over 30mins apart, but only at 55mm. There is some shift, but not as bad as I was expecting. 




  14. So I got round to doing my 24hr test(s). The first time, I did it with the payload attached - the L-bracket, ball head, fuji x-t1 and 55-200mm lens, and counterweight. After 24 hours it was a way off the mark. I timed just over 30secs at 12x sidereal to reach the mark, which is roughly 6 minutes error over the course of 24hours - that equates to around 0.25 secs per minute, which doesnt sound quite so bad. (Any geniuses out the able to translate that to arcseconds/minutes and estimate exposure times for say, a 200mm lens?)

    I wasnt thrilled at that error though, so decided to try without the payload. That was nearly bang on, about 5 secs on 12x sidereal to hit the mark. I can live with that. :)

    I might try the payload again, as I feel like i might have over tightened the clutch....


    Edit: an online calculator seems to give it as 0.25sec = 3.75 arcseconds. I have no idea if that is good or bad over the course of 1 minute...

  15. On 21/08/2018 at 14:53, Alien 13 said:

    It might be worth running a performance test to put your mind at ease before any heavy use set it horizontal with a stick or similar in the saddle and run it for a sidereal day and see if the stick or whatever returns to its original position.


    I've decided to do mine with the payload in place. I rested a laser pointer along the saddle and marked the point on the wall... Out of interest, what would be an acceptable margin of error over 24 hours? 


    Not looking forward to the upcoming maths, measuring the distance from the centre of the RA axis to the wall, then the distance between the marks (if there is any ;) ), then working out the angle from that... THEN dividing that result to give me a number for the error experienced per 60sec exposure. Ugh...


  16. On 21/08/2018 at 14:53, Alien 13 said:

    It might be worth running a performance test to put your mind at ease before any heavy use set it horizontal with a stick or similar in the saddle and run it for a sidereal day and see if the stick or whatever returns to its original position.


    What a fantastic idea! (coupled with the laser pointer...).


    Had mine a couple of weeks. Going to do this when I get home!


    • Like 1
  17. Had my first light the other night. Went well! Lots learned, mistakes were made, but ultimately a positive experience - even finished up taking 180s subs at 200mm with more than acceptable results.

    The main issue is my lens though - I'm using a fuji x-t1 along with a fuji 55-200mm. Theres no tripod collar so it's tough to balance on the Dec axis. I bought a longer tripod plate which works wonders, but rubs on the lens because it's a fatty - meaning no zooming once the plate is attached. Anyway, the lens uses a motor for focusing, even in manual mode - this is so that it's parfocal. As you zoom, the encoders tell the lens where the elements need to be in order to stay focused where you were etc... also the stars are rubbish, even stopped down to f5.6... only at f8 does it become acceptable

    Bottom line is that the lens is less than ideal. I'm after a cheap manual lens from ebay or the like... Seems SMC takumars are a favourite, but looks like prices have jumped to over £120 or so for them, if there are any. Can anyone recommend anything around £50? Looking for either 200mm or 300mm. F4 or better preferably, f5.6 if it's fairly decent wide open... I'm not after competition level photos, i can deal with abberations so long as they aren't all up in your face.


  18. On 14/08/2018 at 14:58, Jkulin said:

    I did this image June 2017 on my SA unguided Nikon 800 with a Samyang 14mm F2.8 for 450 secs, it wasn't balanced as I forgot my counterbalances and the arm but was PA ISO160....I know it should have been a lot more than that but you live and learn.

    The mount has now been Hypertuned so should produce even better results.



    Whats with the coathanger?

    • Like 1
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