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mikehab

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Everything posted by mikehab

  1. I would have to disagree - I have taken some 'half decent' planetary photos using my trusty little 4SE. Sure, you can spend a lot more money on a scope that would be much better for imaging, but for the price I think the 4SE is an excellent little 'all-rounder'. Mike
  2. I used an old 35mm film canister and hot-glued it to the webcam. Those old 35mm film canisters are perfect as they are nearly the exact same diameter as an eyepiece tube. With the demise of film photography they are getting more difficult to get hold of these days - but if you go into your local film processing store (e.g. Boots in the UK) and ask the guy behing the counter then they are usually quite happy to hand over a few free of charge... ;-)
  3. We received a letter from the local council last week informing us they are about to start doing this in our area too - likewise I was rather worried - but having seen your picture I'm now slightly more encouraged. Fingers crossed....
  4. I'm half way through week 3, and will be away travelling next week - so I'm hoping the material will still be available after the official course end date....
  5. I've just completed week2 and passed the quiz - the good news is that the quiz is a lot easier than the week2 content would suggest - so no need to panic just yet ;-)
  6. Great - thanks for the info - I'll keep an eye out for one....
  7. Hi - I am wondering whether it is possible to image the Rosette nebula without any kind of tracking mount, an un-modded DSLR (60D) and either a standard 250mm lens or 400m scope attached? According to Stellarium the nebula should fit easily into a 250mm f/3.5 lens field of view, and perfectly in a 400mm f/5.6 ST70 scope fov - but without tracking the maximum exposure times are only going to be around ~2" and ~1.25" respectively (roughly). Is it even worth trying with this kind of very basic setup or would I be wasting my time anyway? Would adding some kind of light-polution (or other) filter help - or is this nebula one that specifically requires filters in order to even see anything at all? Thanks in advance, Mike
  8. Congrats! I would quite like to have a go at this myself... >> 58mm f/2 Helios lens off old Zenith camera at one end Check - I have one of those on an olde Zenith camera too, or alternatively an even faster f/1.8 50mm 'nifty fifty' might do also? >>8x magnifier loupe (with bits sanded off) at the other end Check - I have one of those I could 'bodge' >>UHC filter and IR/UV block filter Check(ish) - I have the IR/UV block but would beed to buy a UHC filter >>Olde fashionede profoundely heavie millitarie surplusse 1987 vintage imaege intensyfier tube Errrm... can you provide more details on this please? Having assembled the above, any idea what the effective f-number might be? Thanks, Mike
  9. May thanks ... I've signed up and will see how it goes. Looking forward to it ...
  10. Many thanks for the responses ... I've signed up :-)
  11. I was seriously considering signing up to the MOOC Orion course too - however I'm about to start a new job on Jan 5th - which is the same date the course starts and my new job will require some European travel over the next couple of months .... so I'm wondering whether I will have the time and motivation to do (and complete) the course. Has anyone else done this course before, or any similar MOOC courses? It says 3 hours per week for 4 weeks duration ... do you have to be online at specific times of day/night to join web-casts / webinars, or can to do those 3 hours per week at any time of day/night that suits you? Can you download the course material/videos and view when offline (e.g. when sitting on an airplane??) Are there tests/exams/coursework that needs to be submitted for peer review / marking in order to pass the course and receive your credit & certificate at the end (assuming you want to pay to receive the credit/certificate of course...?) Thanks, Mike
  12. Would this be just for astro widefield use, or would you want something that you can use for 'normal' every-day use too? If you're only planning on using it for astro use then you don't need a modern lens with auto-focus - so you could look for an olde manual focus prime lens on flea-bay and maybe pick up an excellent quality lens at a bargain... Mike
  13. Hi John - wellcome to the forum - and to retirement :-) I was seriously considering signing up to the MOOC Orion course too - however I'm about to start a new job on Jan 5th - which is the same date the course starts and my new job will require some European travel over the next couple of months .... so I'm wondering whether I will have the time and motivation to do (and complete) the course. Has anyone else done this course before, or any similar MOOC courses? It says 3 hours per week for 4 weeks duration ... do you have to be online at specific times of day/night to join web-casts / webinars, or can to do those 3 hours per week at any time of day/night that suits you? Can you download the course material/videos and view when offline (e.g. when sitting on an airplane??) Are there tests/exams/coursework that needs to be submitted for peer review / marking in order to pass the course and receive your credit & certificate at the end (assuming you want to pay to receive the credit/certificate of course...?) Thanks, Mike
  14. I just tried the UsbWebCamera app with a Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet and it doesn't recognise either the SPC900 or Xbox webcams :-( - however it does recognise an old Microsoft VX-5000 webcam. The good thing about this app is that it allows control over white balance, exposure, gamma, saturation, fps etc. etc. ... so could be quite useful for astro vid capture. I have left feedback for the app asking the developer to add support for the SPC900 ... maybe if a few more people do the same then he/she might be persuaded that it's worth doing ;-) Fingers crossed... Mike
  15. Yep - I do - My M42 was taken from a very light polluted North-West London. Mike
  16. Mine doesn't .... but that's another story.... ;-)
  17. Great thread. Only one from me on my trusty little Nexstar 4SE - the obligatory M42...26 x 8 sec @ ISO 6400 with 10 darks and 18 bias frames... I have tried imaging other targets like M81/82, M101, M31, M13 etc. but not had much luck so far. Mike
  18. Hi Arnie - welcome to SGL. I'm in Hatch End - so very close to you & I can relate / sympathise with the woes of light polution from this neck of the woods. Here's hoping for some clear skies... Mike
  19. Thanks - much appreciated. I used DeepSkyStacker to stack the photos. Stacking multiple shots will certainly produce better results - plus the inclusion of darks also makes a huge difference (I used 6x30s lights + 6x30s darks). As to why there's no trails ... I think that's probably because I was pointing quite high in the sky - so the earth's rotation is reduced (relatively speaking). I have another 30s shot which was pointing towards the horizon and there it definitely more noticable trailing in that one. Try taking a 30s shot @18mm pointing at Polaris, and another pointing at the horizon and you should easily see the difference... Cheers, Mike
  20. I took a few widefield milkyway shots recently to compare the standard Canon EOS 18-55 kit lens vs an olde Olympus 50mm prime lens attached with OM-->EOS adapter.... results can be found here ... http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/224350-milkyway-from-the-dordogne-2014/ For starting out in widefield I would agree with other posters that you don't need to fork out on specific wide-angle lenses - first try the lenses you already have and you may be pleasatly surprised. Mike
  21. Fascinating thread :-) Like most other people above - I 'prefer' the second image (no darks) ... but it's a very close run thing. I would also be interested to see an equivalent comparrison between with and without flats and /or bias - i.e. an image stacking just the lights only vs one with lights + bias, vs one with lights + flats + bias. I'm guessing there would be a much more noticable difference in those cases? Mike
  22. Heres another one from the same holiday ... this time 6 x 30sec subs, ISO 6400, using the standard 18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm... Cheers, Mike
  23. Thanks :-) The dark skies in the middle of no-where in the Dordogne certainy helped... easily visible with the naked eye. I did try to get longer exposures with a barn-door tracker but my turning the winder by hand just introduced shaking to the whole setup, so I ditched it and just went for a direct mount, high ISO and short subs.
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