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David Smith

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Everything posted by David Smith

  1. Time to go BIG with my images! Tweaked the settings in Autostitch to up the size of my pano's a bit, well quite a bit actually - from roughly 2000 pixels on a side to about 4000! Lots going on today, another new plage area on the on-coming limb which is accompanied by more proms. The off-going limb still has proms showing that were associated with the bright plage area that has just moved out of sight and the plage area that has moved in over the last couple of days still has a nice prom associated with it too! Full disks first, all 6 pane panos. 2k vs 4k - you decide! Click through to get the full res versions. No "Earth to Scale" on the 4k versions as I need to re-scale my mini-earth. Then a colour version of the 4k Then proms, a lot of proms!
  2. Last day in my job of 21 years and 11 months today due to redundancy so needed a bit of solar therapy! I was late getting out though so had to deal with poor seeing. Not much to see in white light, bit of faculae that;s about it. Ca-K has a bit more to offer with some nice plage areas and a decent bright prominence on the on-coming limb. Rest of the day was a bit carp really so am going to sit down with a big glass of wine and read about Quark solar astronomy.
  3. It was just a cheap-ish Revelation achromatic 2x barlow like this one:- https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/revelation-astro-2x-barlow-lens.html
  4. I used to image with my PST connected to a DSLR via a barlow. Not ideal but it worked. EOS M cameras have a shorter focal path (no mirror in the way) but then you have the EOS-M to EF converter in there instead so probably works out very similar.
  5. Awesome Steve. I missed out today as I was busy with other stuff. Back on it tomorrow...hopefully.
  6. As per Freddie's comment above, the combo does not have the barlow built-in, hence including a barlow in my order. Otherwise, good suggestion I'm hoping stopping-down the aperture will mean I can avoid the use of the barlow but if not then the 2x should be more manageable than the 4.2x of the standard Quark. We shall see!
  7. Exactly, so my plan is either stop-down the Evostar 120 to 60mm giving me f/16ish (but still be imaging at 1000mm focal length) or use the Barlow or a 'combo' (pun intended) of the two to get higher f ratio if needed.
  8. Yes, having read what I have I do expect to need one of those. First up though make sure it works and do some visual. Walking before running and all that. Will give my wallet time to come out of hiding too
  9. Ok, decision made. I've been pondering my return to H alpha solar since selling my PST almost a year ago. I have read lots, asked lots of questions and if there is one thing I have learnt it is there is no ideal solution! The Lunt 60 DS would be close to ideal (for me) but £5k is out of my price range, SS at ~£2700 is achievable but leaves me with SS only. I could go external etalon on my Evostar but the Lunts are as expensive as the scopes (if not more so) and the Coronado are thought to be highly variable in quality plus Coronado / Meade customer service is not held in high regard by many! I could go Solarmax scope but the same applies as for their filters above. The Lunt 50 is an option, with good reviews and on offer at the moment so could get DS all in for under £2500 but it's not really an imaging scope and I fear the B600 would limit my options. That leaves the Quarks which are as variable in quality as the Coronado's (if not worse) and Daystar customer service seems hit and miss at best. Overall then each has it's pros and cons and all the possible solutions have their pitfalls so my conclusion on the most important factor in this purchase was that I need a good dealer who I knew I could rely on if I think I have made a mistake or something goes awry. That narrowed the choices to Lunt 50 or Quark really (Lunt 60 was out due to cost / SS limitation) and my thoughts went back and forth for a bit but eventually the flexibility of the Quark (can be used in different scopes, etc) broke the deadlock. So order placed with @FLO today for 1 x Quark Combo 1x ES telenegative 2x barlow lens 1 x Baader 2" 35nm Ha filter 1 x Baader 28mm fine tuning ring and a seperate order with the rainforest-themed multinational conglomerate for 1 of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B085RGZLBP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Anything I have missed? I hope not as my wallet is now in hiding. Lets the mayhem commence....in 10 days time
  10. Clear-ish skies today. A bit of high cloud so took the AR102 out initially and grabbed white light and Ca-K full disks. Conditions seemed to improve a little and the seeing was ok so I grabbed the Evostar for some more fun. Managed to get a full 6 pane FD and some proms so worth the effort. Nothing doing in white light but I had the AR102 on the mount and can do an FD so .... Then on to the Ca-K full disk. The usual 6 pane pano processed with more tone-curve shenanigans for a partially inverted view which just about shows some proms if you look hard. I quite liked the mono version so here are both the mono and false colour versions. After tinkering with Firecapture the other day I can shoot in 16 bit now so this is 6 x 500 frames @ 16bit which equates to about 30GB of data! That took AS!3 a while to process. Not entirely sure 16bit is giving me anything extra so will try and do a 16 vs 8 bit comparison at some point. Lastly some prom, shot binned as is commonly the case at the moment as this seems to work well. Clouded up soon after this session so glad I got on with it!
  11. Nice. I saw the same prom in Ca-K yesterday.
  12. Wow, that prom looks a bit of a monster.
  13. Beautiful clear skies early this morning. Seeing wasn't bad first thing but dropped off quickly after 8 am, seems I need to get my imaging done by 8 in order to get the best of it. Not sure why but my 6 pane full disk wouldn't stitch today, the last 2 panes were very soft looking at them. Never mind, I did manage to get some images of the big prom that's on show, so not a complete loss. Also spent some time playing with Firecaptures RAM buffer options which are now working nicely, allowing me to capture in 16 bit if I so desire without the frame rate dropping intermittently to 1 (whilst the SSD played catch-up) as it did previously!
  14. Clouds cleared late today so had to work quick before the Sun hit the roof tops. Broke out the Bresser AR102xs as I did not believe I had time for a full 6 pane FD from the Evostar. Turned out I had more time than I thought and I managed to get a white light FD as well! Seeing was better than expected too. Pushed the Bresser again trying to bring out proms using tone curve but it clearly isn't really up to the task. I'm guessing the "flaring" is a collimation issue?
  15. Great set Steve. Do you use the ED80 at full aperture for Ca-K?
  16. Nicely done. Cloudy early here (with a little rain) and by the time that had cleared the seeing was appalling.
  17. Thanks Stu. Yeah, being able to see Ca-K visually would be awesome. I could move to a Quark which apparently is better visually than the Lunt (although a slightly different wavelength) but I'm not keen to drop a grand or more on something which at best will see occasional use.
  18. Thanks! You live in Scotland, you should be used to perma-cloud All shot with the ZWO ASI178MM
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