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Mr TamiyaCowboy

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Everything posted by Mr TamiyaCowboy

  1. go very very cheap. Buy an XBOX webcam , its cheap and dont matter if you brick up a 3 quid camera. mod this, shove into telescope and find saturn / mars / jupiter next is the lunar disk / surface, webcams get close so craters start to pop up once you got the xbox cam running and working you could upgrade to a cinema - studio ( microsoft lifecam) Nikon - Canon - fuji - sony yadda yadda lots of DSLR's to chose from. i seen fantastic pictures from both canon and nikon cameras, and not expensive prosumer DLSR im talking entry level dslr jobs. fantastic pictures , but yours are not so fantastic, we have all been there, and still have those first images many years on. one mans camera settings may not be so good on another mans camera even if they are the same. there are always slight errors and the likes. i found with my 350D i spent ages just working out what buttons did what. and how it affected a picture. its the same for astronomy imaging. take a or two, import and have a look, adjust camera a little and go again. it takes time for you to learn the camera, and are able to look through the finder/liveview and say Yep 12x 120s exposure should work, you set it up take those shots and you were correct. maybe 125s next time at a push.
  2. when those nights are a tad cloudy, the days are raining. these times i spend learning, i will find an old couple of images ( i save a couple to mess with) and load them into my editing software, they maybe of stars or wildlife urban sprawl. the picture really does not matter what does is learning the software, how do you remove gradients, how do you adjust levels and what does a histogram do , how to stretch contrast, how to create a layer mask and or star mask. how to BLEND blending is a key thing, its where we take that nice split star core of Orion nebula and add it to a image of the dustclouds but our dustcloud image is blown out on the core. blending two images to one gives the desired effect. Learning little things like this will cut down time when you come to working with your captured data.
  3. Barlow : if you cannot afford a teleview powermate then your best purchasing a quality barlow. problem is these quality barlows do not last long on the shelf, they sell out as soon as they hit the uk mainland. A cheap barlow is just that, usually a single or doublet lens, with low power eyepieces they do just fine, but start to push them or use them for imaging and you start having problems. color banding in the green and blue is the usual give away, they start to produce more chroma. Teleconverter : these are use with a camera lens, you normaly find these fitted to long camera lenses to double them up, a 400mm F4 L now becomes a 800mm monster at around F7, Teleconverters are chip based, they have contacts and the data between lens and camera is two way, the camera and lens talk to each other. On a scope you need to blank off the contacts with tape sometimes this does not work and errors happen. Teleview powermate : i seen reviews and raves about these units. you dont take a 40s car to a 10s drag race. and a powermate is just that a dragster of the optical world. these units command a price, they can have triplet lens units of the finest quality optically correct lenses , the finest and expensive coatings around. With the price come the knowing you pop one of these suckers in theres not going to be much of a problem and the view /image you get back is near on optically perfect. I cannot afford a nice powermate ( wish i could ) so i run a dual 2x skywatcher barlow setup. its not ideal in the one bit, but low powered eyepieces and the 4x mag is nice, I have doubled up barlows on my ST80 and had it running at 1600mm @ around f20+ and able to resolve prycon with a microsoft hd5000 ( cinema/studio lifecam) webcam modded out. My advice if using a DLSR and wanting to photo the sky, stay away from the barlow its gonna ruin shots in the long run. use the telescope as one giant camera lens
  4. Have a try, looks like tonight maybe worth a go. just practice with eyepiece first get used to using the focus mask. when your camera filter has arrived and you have done the modding, pop camera in and have a play one evening, with and without mask.
  5. realtime streaming , yes realtime image manupitalion and shunting, your going to struggle, you would need a good amount of horsepower at the fingers. your capturing at 30/60fps so USb3 will be required to help keep buffering low, huge ram amounts and massive hard disks. we can capture data in the gb /tbs range not mb's , streaming is possible, if you use something like a CCTV day/night 0.001 lux camera baseboard a small 12v powered 100mw 2.4ghz-5.1ghz sender/receiver ( we use them in model hobby as FPV live feed ) a capture card for the PC and your away, just need a battery to power the TX/RX ends ( mount provides/uses a 12v source) and a cheapy car battery can power the receiver unit and even a secondary monitor. start simple, a cheap'ish webcam, get the basics down, maybe venter to a second hand DSLR and work your way up the ladder.
  6. right heres the settings for a CELESTRON 130 SLT ONLY !!! in the boxes add these numbers , going from top down. Focal length : 650 Apeture : 130 Edge thickness : 10 - 20 now scroll down a little and find Horizontal slot count and put this to 5 now scroll down a little more and find Angle slot count and put this to 5 now scroll all the way to the bottom and click generate. a small box pops up asking you to save, so save this file. now go and double click the file you saved, it will open up in a browser as a picture of a focusing mask, right click and select PRINT. it will now send this image to your printer and print out your mask. cut this mask out and mount it to a stiff card, use a very sharp knife and a straight ruler TAKE YOUR TIME !!! Once finish we will hang this mask over the front of the telescope, we will next start to focus a star. notice the difraction spikes \ I / shape now when your out of focus the line in the middle will move left or right hence \I / or \ I/ only and only when the shape \I/ is formed will the image/star be in focus, remove mask and sure as the star is a shining pinpoint not a wobbly blob. Trust us, just go take the afternoon/evening and carefully construct a focus mask, take time cutting this out, you want those black printed areas to stay. next your going to be careful and pop a couple tabs on this card mask so it stays on the front of your scope. once you have done the above, you can pop out and have a look at the new piece of gear you made for nothing and a focus mask thats going to help you alot. test it out on planets, and bright stars like spica pyrcon and the likes. when those spikes all line up nice and even just slip the mask off and have a look at the now focused image
  7. While your waiting for things to come / save up pennys like we all do. there are other things one can be doing to ready themselves for astro imaging. now a key part to imaging is focusing, if we are just a fraction out we get a not so good image, so a Focus mask is something to work on. i made my bahtinov focus mask from a sheet of thin card, i put my telescope focal length and apeture into the website and in return i was delivered an image to copy/print. an hour later i had what looked like a slip on solar filter but it was a focusing mask. it works wonderful with my microsoft HD5000 webcam and also my canon 350D. so well worth making one, just use a very sharp knife and a good clean ruler. i made one for my 114mm telescope and use the same one to focus my little ST80 travelscope http://astrojargon.net/MaskGenerator.aspx
  8. http://www.scopesnskies.com/prod/astro-engineering/ac582-filters.html its been out of stock for a while now, but i am sure the Guys over at Firstlight Optics could help you out, or maybe even find a nice cheap alternate for the newcomers to webcam modding. i would pop them a phone call or even a email/message on website http://www.firstlightoptics.com/
  9. its upto you, you could buy either, i cannot say yeah buy this one/that one, but i went the cheapest option for me at the time my filtering cost me around £27 for a 1.25" filter its a IR/UV filter once you have a filter, the camera will be like it was before you hacked it, but with a bigger lens ie your telescope. But the new filter will cut out all the IR stuff you dont really need at this time. so checklist would look something like this. Mod camera install camera to new body Install filter to camera, quick camera test /filter test. each time keep camera nice and safe away from dust in a little tub with a lid on. once you have the filter installed you can the be sure NO DUST will enter the chamber leading to the sensor surface.
  10. Noooooooo listen forget what WE humans see, our eyes are tuned to green, digital cameras are tuned to us, because we see green more so do cameras. now in IR anything green and alive like tree leaves , grass bushes and the likes they Soak up/reflect IR ( use it to convert sugars and energy) and these will become WHITE, but at the moment they are pink and this is because of the white balance and the camera thinking in green like you are. pop a soldering iron onto heat, let it warm up, now point a modded camera at the iron and it glows a dark color, this is infact the HEAT or IR wavelength your camera sees, but with your eyes you do not see nothing, ( we poor humans cannot see into the IR band ) a modded camera running in the IR wavelength and given false color looks like this, ( taken with a canon 350D and IR72filtering system)
  11. yes you can use software but ..... your video is say 1gb from the camera, so you import this into your computer software. now you find you have 10,000 images that make up the video, and each one has to be converted from IR to false color. Now thats a very long time at the computer working, you could maybe run a batch script to speed up a few things. more simple is, wait for the filter stick it on, record upload, but you do not need to convert from IR, less time more play more fun..... more work less play just makes you more stressed and unwilling to sit and rinse the images. cleaning a sensor in a webcam is a fairly hard thing to do, they are very small and tend to have sharp edges, cotton buds catch on them and tear leaving strands on the sensor, dust can settle and if damp stick to the sensor. you have gone to a lot of work and effort to gain the camera, tear it down and ready it, the worse thing is the sensor becoming spoilt before you even captured first true dark light. and having to convert thousands of images is not fun to. so my advice would be slow down a little , take your time, have all the required parts to hand then make your move. set out a couple hours alone in a quiet area with your tools. once finished you will be more proud you took the time effort and ended up with a totally differnet product from what it once was.
  12. i think what you need to do is slow down Camera modded , Yes , Camera test works, Yes camera fitted into new Body/housing ? Yes / no Camera has IR filter , NO you stop here and wait, take your camera and a tub with a nice tight seal on it. CAREFULLY place camera INTO tub and seal lid, move this carefully to a place where it will not be moved around. when your filter arrives, find a very clean area, open your filter and have it ready, open your tub, Remove camera and carefully screw filter on , DO NOT, touch. poke, prod, breath, blow, scratch with nail and or rub sensor with a cotton bud. DO NOT touch it !!!!! full stop. any dust getting on that sensor will ruin what you have set out to do. You must keep this sensor dust free and hence stored in a dust free enviroment until needed/used why because i know, i made the same stupid mistakes and paid for it, soon as you have that filter your ok to go, but for time being keep that sensor clear of dust and packed away ready for the filter install.
  13. so you went outside, snapped a shot and the pink image is what was returned ........ is it working right ..... Hell Yeah she is working fine. this camera is now highly IR senestive, it means it will not only focus white light, but it now see's in mild infrared. thats the pink hue you have. the IR blocking filter has been removed and hence its pink hue.... BUT we can remove this in post. open up something like GIMP or paintshop. below is the gimp way to flip the color ( we call it false color IR) open gimp and image. Top of work space hit COLORS roll down and choose COMPONENTS > Channel Mixer now a new box appears. i want you to adjust red channel and the blue channel, we will swap them. where it says output channel select this as red. now below you will see three sliders ( red green blue ). in this red channel move the RED SLIDER to ZERO , and the BLUE SLIDER to 100. now back to the Output channel and change this to blue. in this blue channel move the BLUE SLIDER to ZERO , and the RED SLIDER to 100. click ok. now your image is a false color image, we have swapped the red and blue. now go and click COLORS > Levels, the black gray and white arrow sliders you can adjust these will help contrast brightness. save image and your done. To see the true effect of false color IR, google IR72 Photography, you will notice some images have that pink hue, but others have a white/blue look to them, the tree leaves maybe white and the grass an odd color ( this is IR photography ) Problem is a Modded IR camera still thinks like a color camera it does not adjust the whitebalance correct and hence the pink hue. Same with a DSLR converted to astro, but here they can take a picture of some grass , when the camera is told to use the image as a white balance the DSLR compensates and turns IR to false color. now you have done this, you really want to replace the IR flilter thats removed with a better version Blocking IR filter. this will turn the camera back into a color camera. WITHOUT a filter and pointing at jupiter your just going to be trying to focus two wavelengths now. your camera is seeing both normal light AND infrared , when one band is in focus the second is out of focus, given the face the camera is now 99.4% more sensitive to IR your flooding the sensor and its saturation the pixel wells ( overexposed ) a moon filter or a color filter will help bash that glare away.
  14. 9-10 wildlife photographers would rather run a full frame. and what does everyone always say, try fill the frame with subject, thats kind of hard in full frame bodys. now long range its good you can supercrop, but that depends on lens. for the OP's needs like in the garden out and about, the 18-55 will do fine, flowers, potraits, selfies etc etc. yep autofocus is a bit draggy, but to a newcomer they do not see or feel this in images like those that have upgraded a few times. the 75-300 or even the real cheapy ( £70 new) 90-300 is fine on an APS_C crop body. infact that crop equates the 300mm lens to a 420mm+ in 35mm equiv. thats a nice tight shot and a lot less cropping for a newcomer. tripod up and they go go fairly slow on shutter, ideal for the garden , a bird table is at a set distance from the camera usually. i now own a 400mm F5 prime its awesome but has a mid range focal band to infinity. i looked at a canon 400mm but at a £1000 it was well away from my league as most, but the 400mm @f5 only cost £80 now i can fess up and say its NOT a camera lens its a telescope but all the same its fast and does the job i need, and on my canon 350D it works a dream. in the bright sun i can be shooting at f5 and 1/3000s thats quick Dont go mad and shell out lots, check out Wex as said, they have a second hand area the cameras will be used, so have some war wounds, scrapes and scratches, but look out for a shutter count. the lower the shutter count the less the camera has been used, TRIPOD !!! cannot say how much this was a help , you can set the tripod up plop camera on line it all up and use a remote trigger to fire the camera, no need to get up or move an scare birds. also means you can be near an open window and cut out glare and reflection that sometimes happens. camera as they go up in model change slightly, i am not quite sure on the 450D but some also have a video mode handy when the family is around or your away on a holiday etc etc, so maybe this could factor in to.
  15. for cheap and second hand you cannot really go wrong with a 450D if you can squeeze the extra a 500D . now 450D canon body only your looking at a starting price of around £130 - 180 the 500D your looking at around a starting price of say £180+ Lens units, your going to want a lens so a cheapy 18-55mm kit lens will do you fine, this will give you handy portrait and landscape. for the longer reach you need a slightly bigger lens something like a 75-300mm or the cheaper 90-300mm all these lenses are EF mount , you must make sure a lens has either EF-s or EF at the start ie : EF-S 18-55 mm IS. the 450D came with a SD card slot, so a nice class 6 @ 8gb card should get you going. Canon software is downloadable , i had the same problem a windows system but no optical drive. now im unsure if macs can do registry hacks, but you can fool the canon update software download into thinking its a full installer a google search on canon software registry hack may help, if not i could find a link to the info required. but am not sure it will work with mac's
  16. My front garden faces south, and being on the road i have two of these new fangled lights. so i have no choice to battle the light pollution and shoot at near on zenith. my back garden faces onto a wooded area, full of bluebells and and wildlife. i also have TWO, yes TWO lights , nice tall monsters. the first light shines directly into my garden ( my starwberrys flower all year long because of this ) my whole garden is bathed in the ugly bright harsh energy saving light they installed, Whats more disgusting is they did not remove the OLD concrete pole, they just dug a hole and stuck a new one in right beside it. the light give burglars the ideal houses to burgle , not only do we back onto a woodland, but they installed light so they can see and get away so my front yard facing south is coated in light pollution and my rear garden can grow any type of plant as its 24/7 bathed in nasty bright harsh white light. they the councils complain when we cant pay rent because they keep putting it up, but they can waste thosuands just pumping photons into nothingness and hundreds of pounds on usless retrofittings or complete re-installs.
  17. you need to put the camera into a certain mode. turn on , hit menu in the menu screen cycle along tothe far right icon ( orange with number 2, has a hammer and spanner icon) select the communication area, and change this from Print/ptp and select PC connection. return to main menu, now switch off camera. plug in your usb, and fire up the camera, it should now be talking direct to the PC as a user device and not as a storage device. NOW heres the hard part, i HAVE never been able to get my canon 350D to link to PC. when you fire up EOS capture it will tell you to download a certain driver (**600 ) propbelm is you can install this and it will not work you will be thrown an error. i tried everything to get my pc to see the 350D but nothing worked canon wise.... good luck and hope you can maybe sort those bent pins somehow edit adding to modals post, i dont think the 350D will even run in windows vista ( i run vista basic and nadda at all ) maybe have to make a dual boot system with XP and current OS
  18. STOP at this bit i have picture but they are orange MND ....... do not throw them out, these have i would say light pollution. open them in a editing program like gimp/paintshop (gimp is free) find the levels tool, now adjust the left hand slider up ( the blacks ) move it until it nearrly toucher the start of the black mound/spike. next is the middle slider ( midtones ) move this a little at a time forwards and backwards, notice how the picture changes. camera is working ok and how it should and your pictures are OK, i know they look nothing like you expect but they will dont worry to much. If you pop on a camera lens point cam at sky and take a 20-30s photo you will see roughly the same thing happen ( smaller scale) that same orange/red hue-glow. 200mm is a bit long for static photography. if possible and you have a kit lens ( 18-55mm ) or even a cheap 50mm prime try these settings in camera. ISO1600-3200 - exposure @ 20-30s (go 25s), the F number will be set to 3.6 with the 18-55, or 1.8 on a 50mm lens. put mirror lock up on. NOW click the shutter once ( it flips the mirror ) now click it again and camera takes the shot. mirror lock helps cut down any camera wobble. when you have your picture pop it into editing software and again go and play with levels. it takes a little time, but you ARE on the right track and you ARE doing things right to, just a little tiny touch of computer wizardry and those orange frames will become star loaded images. When the clouds are about at night, grab a torch ( not to bright ) set up camera and lens but drop the exposure to say 15s. Now when you click shutter to take picture, turn on torch and paint some of the garden with the torch beam. (not to much ) view back your image. clever placement you can capture some stars but also light paint trees and garden objects another is a busy road / bridge, same things long exposure 15-30s, but try different ISO's see how this affects the image. also note when you make the f number something like f11 you need to maybe even double you exposure time. to get the same image if it was taken with F3.6
  19. hot sunny days with a clear night, i know there is going to be some not to good seeing, overcast but warm day and then a clear night, the odds are looking better rain/snow etc etc and then a clear night is going to be optimal for imaging. that big sun rules over us, i use it as a kind of weather station for possible viewing, sunny hot days and clear nights, i just tend to use eyepeices low in mag, on cloudy days and clear nights i may break out the camera if it looks still air, then those cold crispy nights i break out everything , dark cold and super clear no stars twinkle in the sky and that means the very best seeing for photography/imaging.
  20. Hello Ben same as DBushell , if you can grab a cheap webcam you will find things get a little bigger scale wise. there comes a point where you make an image worse the harder you push the telescopes optics. and i would say your failry close with the 9mm and a 3x barlow ( makes a 3mm eyepiece equiv) . i have found this myself on my 114 telescope, there is a sweetspot 25mm and 4x barlow is lovely nearlyits stretching but does the job a 10mm on 4x is nasty and just does not work, its pushed the optics just that little to far. in time you will find your sweetspot and a selection of eyepieces that delivery lovely views and yet not push to hard on the optic side. webcams are planet killers i think, if you want awesome deepsky then your wanting maybe a DSLR later, but a humble webcam and a spare couple of hours you get a nice simple planet munching camera.
  21. my first time " ehhh ????? why can i not see anything " checks eyepiece, focuser works, checks finderscope aligned forgot to remove lens cover, Doh we all make mistakes. but i dont think none of us has yet left a scope at home, unless they wont tell lol welcome to SGL and the hobby
  22. blurry can be a number of things, mars is fairly low and a fair distance from us ( orbit wise ) so it becomes that little bit harder to capture. we also have to remember weather and seeing is also a factor. scale is more why you can see saturn somewhat easy and make out its rings. and jupiter looks all cloudy and banded, but because mars is a small planet in terms to saturn or jupiter it is somewhat harder to see and wants the best seeing conditions. being a somewhat newbie myself still, i can honestly say shoot for the bigger planets, those gas giants first. saturns rings and jupiter with those lovely moons, then when you have those lovely clear crisp nights and the stars do not twinkle as much you can go and have a bash at mars, from mars looking at earth, all you would see is a little small Blue dot, because we are slighly bigger than mars itself, we could look back at ourself BUT the image you know as earth will not look like that from mars it will look rather like mars does to us, a blue planet with a slight hint at what wonders it holds. Space is a vastness and size us poor humans have a hard time thinking about we think in miles but planets are huge , if we could park beside saturn it would fill the sky and some more , we are like a tennis ball mars is like a pingpong ball and those gas giants they are like a Zorb
  23. here we go a picture that will show you why mars is one of the harder planets to image poor old mars is smaller than the earth , and saturn is off the scale it is one super huge gas giant this is the reason that mars can be a right pain to photograph
  24. Hi zillah i have a ST80 , its an 80mm scope with a 400mm focal ( same size lens but shorter focal ) was viewing mars last night and that is exactly what i was seeing, a nice round'ish white dot with a pink'ish red hue. it is about right for the power of our telescopes. i must say i had more fun hunting around for clusters , i have also tried to look for M66 and M65 but as yet to find them. i think these are beyond my scopes limits being short and not so big in the lens department.
  25. here is a helpful site for newcomers. http://www.12dstring.me.uk/fov.htm once the site is open, on the left hand dropdown select your telescope. on the right hand dropdown you can select a different number of cameras from DSLR to astro cameras. Below the camera selection is an eyepiece selection, you click this hand select an eyepiece. the object menu is just that solar Messier and caldwell. in the middle is submit. its hand as it gives you a rough idea of what to expect in the field of view when looking for that object/s
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