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heathenwoods

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Everything posted by heathenwoods

  1. Thanks, guys. I think I struck lucky with the seeing. Tonight's effort isn't quite up to the same standard but I could see in SharpCap the image was wavering a lot more. Working out the problems/solutions and knowing what I'm doing just seems to add to the fun
  2. I think one of the pieces advice that is most off-putting is 'you can't do X with Y'. It's often well-intentioned and intended to prevent people building up false expectations. But it can often be a barrier to just biting the bullet and giving things a go. Sometimes, sure, you can fall on your face and realise that even with the best polar alignment in the world isn't going to help your star tracker turn that £10 135mm lens you got from fleabay into a Samyang rival. But sometimes it's worth the risk. 'Scope: Nexstar 80GTL £30 from Facebook Marketplace Camera: SVBony SV105 £35 during their December sale I knew the 105 got bad reviews when I bought it but I figured it would pair well with telescope - or at least let me mess about with solar system targets until I worked out how to balance the scope with my DSLR. Sharpcap/Registax/Microsoft ICE did the software stuff for free. I messed around with it in PS afterwards but nothing I couldn't have done in Gimp. I know the photo's not great but it's better than I could have imagined being able to produce considering how bad I expected the camera due to it not being 'good enough' and the low-end nature of the scope. Low cost? Low risk. Just give it a go.
  3. That's really helpful, thanks! It saves me a lot of hassle
  4. Yeah! I'd definitely like to see the specs. The Vixen accessory prices are crazy so I'd love to hear about other solutions
  5. Hi, just curious if you worked out a solution for this? I'm....alarmed at the cost of the official polarscope!
  6. Hi Spacehead, it is possible! (But don't expect much!) I've a 6" reflector that I use in my back yard - in a town - and take photos on it using a 1000D. It's on a EQ5 with motors. The 1000D isn't modded. I've got a **** filter on the camera adapter. I've not touched my 'scope for a couple of years but suddenly decided to drag it out of the garage on Monday night. The batteries had some juice in them. I got about 20mins on M42 on Monday and decided to have a go at the horsehead last night - I only managed 20 mins and processed about 17mins worth in DSS. The exposures were 20 secs at ISO800. About 10mins of darks. After stacking I mostly just played with the curves and levels in photoshop. As you can see neither of them are going to win any awards but I can make out the horsehead! When I stopped I felt a bit disgruntled that I wasn't getting great images. I also fly fish and there's a good UK forum dedicated to that. There are some guys on there who post about their great days - catching (and releasing) 100+ trout and grayling. A good day for me is maybe 15. For a while I felt like I was a bad angler until I had a massive reality check and realised that (i) they fish different rivers and mine simply don't hold those numbers. They fish nearly every day and I manage once a fortnight - I was making a comparison that I was never going to come off favourably in. The purpose of my long ramble is: I could get downhearted that my photos aren't great compared to other people's. BUT I give myself a little punch and remind myself I don't have the same equipment or the same quality of light. I don't have the experience. Rather than worrying that my horsehead isn't 'good' I had to remind myself that I have *just produced an image of a dark nebula*!! Give yourself a chance and time to learn a few tricks. Stack. Even 20 subs can make a difference. 50 subs a bigger difference. Check out some of the web/Youtube guides on reducing noise and gradients. You'll get there sooner than you think.
  7. Hi everyone, A friend is involved in an event at the Wirkswirth Stardisc: http://www.stardiscenterprise.co.uk/ The event is mentioned here: http://www.stardiscenterprise.co.uk/future-events.html Dave Sturt* is doing the music for it - a kind of ambient backdrop to the Perseid shower - and would like some images for it for publicity purposes. He wrote the following about it: Obviously I'll give a credit for the photo I use (I'll probably create a Facebook event - but also may get some local newspaper coverage). It's going to be a free event - and it would be great to get some knowledgeable stargazers attending*For those of you who don't know Dave's music, the old and young hippies amongst us may be interested to know that he's the bass player in the current line up of Gong - and fantastic they are too! If you think you can help with an image or images please PM me and I will put you in touch with him. Even if you can't help and can't make the event then do check out the Stardisc - personally I'm always a big fan of public art that draws on science. Cheers, Andrew
  8. Thanks James, I've not encountered PIPP before so that's a really handy tip. Cheers!
  9. Cheers, I hadn't. I thought stacking was for DS. I'll give it a go next chance I get.
  10. Having given up on casual DS photography after a new source of LP has begun shining over my back garden, I've turned my scope & camera to the moon. For now, I'm happy to use my dslr to capture the phases (weather permitting) but soon I'll want to try and take steps in the direction of some of the fantastic close-ups I've seen here. So, I've got a webcam that could be adapted and that will do for a while but in the Summer I might look to get something like the QHY5L-II.... ...anyway, a shot I took with my 1000D (ISO200 & 1/250th) and 150PL: ...uh, I meant to edit the 'where next' out of the subject line. Sorry!
  11. That's great. I've got a similar setup and would love to know what settings you used on 1000d/exposure times for this? Cheers.
  12. Thanks Olly, I gathered as much - it's very useful information thanks.
  13. Thanks for such a useful and informative set of answers. Excellent! I never quite get the time to join EMS - between work and family obligations the chance of being free on the same night as a meeting is a massive long shot. Mind you, if i could pay my dues and have access to the dark site then i'd probably join up. Cheers
  14. Thanks guys and thanks for the Wiki link - it's really useful. I'll have a look for M81 and 82 but, as with M51 and M101, they are currently too close my neighbour's house (although they were a way away when I started looking for them) - I'll have to wait for the skies to turn a little more before trying again.
  15. So far I have struggled against my local LP to find M33, M51, M101 and failed. I've not tried M33 with the same energy as the other two but my failure with them has left me feeling that the LP may be against me until I get to a dark sky site. Is it worth persevering with or are spiral galaxies not worth considering from anywhere urban (M31 excepted)?
  16. That's great - I'm yet to find the blighter!
  17. RIP Sir Patrick. When I was a wee'un his enthusiasm and knowledge planted a seed that is still flourishing and I know for a fact that this is true of many others too. Thank you and godspeed you, SPM.
  18. Hello and welcome! I hope you soon get the chance to explore the universe through a 'scope
  19. Thanks one and all - very useful indeed. My thoughts were inclined toward the idea of running different devices with the mount. As my 'next step' in astronomy is getting away from my back garden and heading to dark site spots I was beginning to think of what my needs might be. Cheers guys :-)
  20. Just wondering aloud what alternatives to the battery pack for the EQ5 there are. Some sort of mains transformer, I guess, and the things that Maplin sell (yes, this is new territory for me and 'things' is the extent of my knowledge). What do people use?
  21. For taking one for the team, I salute you
  22. These two elude me too. LP is the problem. Good luck for the future :-)
  23. Nice-ah telescopes, Jack-ah. Too fast to write
  24. That's a nice image :-) In terms of wanting to go beyond the limits of Elements, have you looked at Gimp? It has most of the functionality of 'full fat photoshop' but doesn't cost anything*. I think you'll find it worth a look... Edit: 8bit limit might mean needing to make sure you save in the correct format from DSS - not sure as I'm a 'FFP' user. *'freely distributed' to be precise
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