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Everything posted by PorkyB

  1. Bromsgrove Astro have a dark site, only 30 minutes from South Birmingham. They meet 1st and 3rd Monday each month.
  2. I've always had good results from http://dscolourlabs.co.uk/ They're cheap too, £1.15 for 16x12. It took a bit of experimenting to get the image brightness right. I found the prints a bit dark so now I make the images a bit brighter for printing.
  3. Last school year I did talks for 9 year olds and 5 year olds. I took a telescope and lots of photos. The children had clearly been well prepared by their teachers and knew a lot before I spoke to them. Most of the time was taken up with a Q&A session. The older children asked a huge variety of questions, from "have you ever seen a UFO?" to "Do any of the exoplanets found by Kepler have a breathable atmosphere?" (yes, really!). The younger children mostly wanted to know what the sun and planets are made of. It was a hugely enjoyable experience and I have been invited back to do th
  4. There's a list on the front page of the Bromsgrove AS website (about a third of the way down the page). Not surprisingly it is tailored for central England. There is no distinction between easy / difficult or visual / imaging targets, but it's a starting point. http://www.broms-astro.co.uk/
  5. W&W Astro are on ebay as "Dewheater". They sell dew heater bands and cables. I have bought several heater bands from them. All have arrived quickly, worked perfectly and are very competitively priced. My latest purchase is a heater to wrap around the secondary mirror of my Newtonian scopes - it works a treat. It's good to see a small supplier entering the market and doing such a good job.
  6. Cricket bag and a couple of cheap pillows - just right for my 130PDS. I used to use a hockey kit bag for my bins, small scope and tripod.
  7. I could post the eyepiece set at extra cost. I think the size and weight of the HEQ5 would make it uneconomic to post.
  8. ED80 sold. HEQ5 Pro and eyepiece set still available
  9. Skywatcher ED80 DS Pro (dual speed focuser), comes in original metal travel case with the following accessories: 50mm finderscope, 28mm (2”) LES Skywatcher eyepiece, 2” Di-Electric Star Diagonal. Telescope is in excellent condition. All accessories in excellent condition. Travelcase does have some marks and scuffs as would be expected from use. £300 Skywatcher Synscan HEQ5 Pro. Excellent condition, with Maplin’s shockproof, waterproof case. Original tripod £550 Celestron Eye Piece and Filter Kit. Eyepeices and filters in good condition. Travelcase does have marks
  10. I had a bit of a change of plan and ended up buying the Maxvision 16mm and 24mm. I thought the exit pupil of the larger EPs would be too much for my 50+ year old eyes. I am very happy with them, they are my most used eyepieces. I recommend them to anyone, the views are lovely and crisp.
  11. For prints I use http://dscolourlabs.co.uk/ Print prices are cheap enough that you can afford to experiment a bit. I find their Pro service the best (that's where they don't do any adjustments). Make your images quite a bit brighter than you would for display on screen as they always come out darker than you expect. Quality is good and I have had orders back in less than 24 hours(order at lunch time and they arrive in next morning's post). For calendars I use http://www.saxoprint.co.uk/ Don't be fooled by the uk web address, they are in Germany, but they still turn orders round in less th
  12. Photoline http://pl32.com/ is my main image processing tool. It has many features of Photoshop, but at 59 Euros is much cheaper.
  13. Processing is more art than science, I think. Subtlety is not my strong point, so I do sometimes overdo the red. That's why I never process images when I get in and I'm tired, I always have a good sleep first.
  14. I like the dark background, but I do take your point about clipping out the detail. I am surprised I got so much done, I can't remember the last time I had an all-nighter. I don't have an observatory, all my gear gets packed into the car, driven 30 miles into the countryside and setup in a field.
  15. With over 6 hours of clear sky, and a shiny new HEQ5 to try out, I had a busy night. All of these are 30 minutes each (15x120 seconds), unguided. Bubble Nebula (200P / Canon 1100D modded) Iris Nebula (200P / Canon 1200D) Eastern Veil Nebula (200P / Canon 1100D modded) Little Dumbbell Nebula (200P / Canon 1200D) Cocoon Nebula (200P / Canon 1100D modded) Pleiades (130PDS / Canon 1200D) Andromeda Galaxy (130PDS / Canon 1200D)
  16. If you don't want to do it yourself there are a number of people who will do it for you. I used this guy http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/192996-cheapastrophotography/
  17. I agree that all of the targets listed above look great through a small refractor - Kembles Cascade and the Double Cluster are personal favourites. Add to this the Coathanger. For me, the best of the lot is Pleiades. Also, there is the pleasure of simply wandering around the sky and exploring, Cassiopeia and Cygnus are both good areas for this.
  18. What you see at the eyepiece and what you get from long exposure imaging will be very different. A good target this time of year is the Dumbbell Nebula M27. Through the EP it is a barely visible smudge. Take a photo and you will get a beautiful image with vibrant colours. Try 60 seconds at ISO 1600 using your 550D. Take 25 of these and stack them in DSS, then load into your favourite image processing package and adjust the curves and levels to get rid of the orange sky glow. This was taken with very similar kit to yours... Dumbbell Nebula by Andrew Butler, on Flickr Also try M57 Ring Ne
  19. I do still have a 130PDS, I like it a lot. I also have an Altair Astro 70mm ED refractor, which is brilliant. However, the OP was asking about the 200P/EQ5 combo, so all this talk of 130PDS and refractors is a bit off-topic. So back to the original question: can you do imaging with a 200P/EQ5? Yes you can. Other scopes and mounts are available, some are better at some things than others, but if you want to use one scope for imaging and for visual observing then the 200P is hard to beat and worth the inconvenience that comes with its size and weight. If you are lucky enough to be able to ha
  20. I do find it depressing that the same ill-informed rubbish appears so regularly on this forum. The 200P/EQ5 is excellent for imaging. Of course, there are many other options and their relative merits have been discussed many times. However, if anyone thinks a 200P/EQ5 is no good for imaging then they're just not trying hard enough.
  21. I've got both. There's not much to choose between them except that the 1200D has a higher resolution sensor. Either is a perfectly capable camera for astro imaging.
  22. Well, that's a very kind offer. I would definitely be up for that. I know it's not proper dark around there, and for the next three months it won't get fully dark anyway, but it's way better than being in the middle of the city.
  23. I have a NexImage 5. It is good for the Moon - I have done some very nice detailed Moon images and high-resolution mosaics (see gallery link in signature). It is just about ok for very basic planetary imaging and not much use for anything else. This suits me as I only really want to use it for the Moon. If you want to do high quality planetary imaging then you will probably want to buy something better and more expensive.
  24. Occasionally Deep Sky Stacker adds a pattern of dots all over my image. This pattern varies in colour but is always the same pattern within each image but varies from one image to another. This is a small fragment from one of my images to show what I mean. Does anyone know what might be causing this?
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