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Everything posted by Welrod50

  1. I agree. Watch the footy on highlights and get the scope out. Football = 90 minutes. Astronomy = several hours??? You know what you have to do!!
  2. Hi Gav I'm by no means an expert, but I have to say, this final image looks pretty fine to me and I would be most happy to have it on my wall. I'm sure some of the more ardent imagers may notice the odd bit or bob and offer some advice if needed, but in all fairness, to my eye it looks very nice indeed. Well worth the obvious effort I wish I could have just one clear night here when I'm not working to actually get out and do a bit myself. Good stuff And fingers crossed for Rosetta!!!!
  3. Ok, basics first - eliminate the obvious to start with. 1. Is camera in manual focus mode? 2. Is the tripod, mount and all other bits that need to be absolutely solid tightened up? 3. Are you using a remote shutter release or timed release in-camera with mirror lock? 4. Are you focusing on the moon to start with then trying to capture more distant objects afterwards? 5. Is the scope suitably cooled before you begin? The reason I suggest these is as follows; 1. If the camera is auto focusing even if you're on manual capture setting, every image you take it may be trying to re-focus each time and as the moon is bright but far away, each time it may be different - hit and miss. Also, if you're using live view this may have phase detect autofocus and when not live view, may be contrast detect (or vice versa). Ultimately this will and does affect focus speed and accuracy each shot. 2. A solid base and imaging train as a must. One weak link anywhere in that chain and every shot will be blurred - this can look like poor focus if it is only a very slight blur! 3. You either cannot touch the camera to open and close the shutter (remote release) or must use the in-camera timer. Ideally you need mirror lock to discount shutter/mirror vibration when taking the picture. This to be fair isn't so crucial so long as everything else is sorted, but it is better to use mirror lock than not use it. 4. If the moon is in focus and you then go for stars the focus difference is very slight, but ultimately the moon is closer, so you will find that stars tend to be ever so slightly defocused afterwards - better or worse depending on your focal length. I use 420mm FL with my refractor but I can see a tiny change doing this. 5. You're using a Mak which takes longer to cool than other scopes and if going from a warm house to cold garden can take over an hour to settle. All that while your optics are changing position a tiny bit, but enough to affect focus. Finally, I'm willing to bet that your live view focus point shifts a little compared to using the viewfinder (for some reason). I would suggest printing off a Bahtinov mask and cutting it out to fit the front of your scope and forget live view for now - use the mask and focus with trial and error to start of and just review each shot on screen afterwards to get a crisp shot. But only after you've checked/addressed the points I suggest here. Keep at it, you'll get there
  4. Sound advice, thanks guys. I will be having a bit of a re-think with regards to my filter usage I reckon. It is very much trial and error at the mo with the new optics and so on and I have to keep detailed notes of what works and what doesn't as it is often weeks between shoots what with cloud, work and more cloud
  5. Hi guys, OK, my filter is a Teleskop Service 2" UV/IR cut. Its a good quality filter. As for the exposure, I generally try to make the subs bright to pick out the fainter nebulosity. It's worked for me so far with galaxies and I got some good detail in the Rosette earlier in the year but I guess this may not work for everything. I had used my SW 2" LP filter screwed onto the UV/IR filter before but my subs were much darker than without the LP and my fear was they were cutting out a lot of detail. Although there were no internal reflections, so that was a pleasant surprise. I agree the subs are red and the histogram sees the red channel much further to the right than the green and blue - I assume this is normal given the sensor is now full spectrum. It was even further to the right before with the 130PDS when I didn't use the blocking filter. As for the iso, I have done a lot of testing with the Canon and although 800iso is ok, 400 iso is so much cleaner, I decided to use the lower iso and double the sub length. Even with a lot of darks 800 iso images appear that bit grainier. Any thoughts? Appreciate the input folks!
  6. https://www.dropbox.com/s/mgc0hzi53cmc3t3/AHD%20Debayered%20third.TIF?m= https://www.dropbox.com/s/0p5tay73v4fwmgg/LIGHT_600s_400iso_%2B20c_00689stdev_20140805-01h05m10s184ms.CR2?m= These two links should work (hopefully). First one is the unaltered output from DSS. Second one is an original RAW file from the Eos 500d. All my subs were like this. Good luck!! (see what you think). Thanks...... Scott.
  7. For now, here is a straight jpg conversion of what my DSS output is, along with a processed version I've just finished in Photoshop. I will see if I can figure out how to upload the original TIFF to Dropbox. Thanks guys.....
  8. I have always processed images in DSS to at least introduce some contrast and colour and then finish the last 50% processing in Photoshop. When I was using the 130 PDS I just had a 2" LP filter screwed into the nosepiece but now have to use a UV/IR cut filter due to having a refractor. I was thinking of removing this filter as I'm sure it is cutting a bit of the Ha out but I'm not sure even the quadruplet will handle this and star bloat will be just as bad as a lack of detail. I'm currently trying Bilinear interpolation as opposed to AHD debayering with other adjustments in DSS. As for Dropbox, tell me what you need and I can oblige. (never used Dropbox). Do you want the unprocessed TIFF after stacking before any adjustments? Thanks for the help!!!
  9. Guys, I'm wondering if anyone can assist me please?? I have recently 'upgraded' from a rather brill 130 PDS with Baader MPCC to a TS 65mm Quadruplet refractor which is smaller, lighter (just) and is a beautiful instrument to use. However, I have a full spectrum Canon EOS 500D which before went straight into the 130 PDS and captured a good amount of light with 5 minute subs. However, I now use a UV/IR blocking filter with the 'frac via a 2" nosepiece. The camera and scope work well enough, but I have just last night taken 2 hrs worth of 600 sec guided subs with my rig and am in the process of stacking these for a third time in DSS as I'm struggling to drag any detail whatsoever out of the images, other than a rather nice looking star field! My guiding was spot on, the framing spot on (I can just make out the trunk just off centre in the stacked images after I've fettled with them for ages) and my subs were (on the face of it) good. x12 600 sec subs at iso 400 each with a histogram just right of centre and nice and bright when stacked, I just cannot tease any real detail, colour or filaments out of the stack. I am most puzzled by the whole thing. Seeing was excellent and I was shooting almost straight up, so LP not much of an issue (and this isn't bad anyway where we are). When DSS has finished again I will upload a single CR2 sub and also a straight jpg from the autosaved Tiff from DSS, but in the meantime am I missing something?? Is IC 1396 a particularly faint object? Are 10 minute subs inadequate? Are there any good 'default' settings to use in DSS with full spectrum CR2 files from my Eos? Any advice gang???
  10. I'm in St Ives on holds at the mo and was out last night hoping to do a nice harbour star trail or something, but the clouds rolled in from the west so I could only manage half a dozen milky way shots inbetween. But I have to say, what a mesmerising sight the milky way was. I stayed out until 1am when it clouded over completely. Dust lanes were nicely visible and the stars were superb. Cracking seeing considering how hot it's been in the daytime.
  11. Never used Light room, but I would imagine you can edit jpegs in it. If not, save your image as a Tiff file then use Gimp or similar to edit the tiff file and then save as a jpg. The files you speak of will be pixelated as they don't contain the info in the first place. You can up size the picture (interpolate) and sharpen it as already suggested, but there is a limit on what you can achieve.
  12. 130 PDS rule! I sold mine to put funds towards the 65mm Quad and although I'm pleased with it, I do miss the old 130 PDS. Cracking stuff!
  13. You will always generate internal heat with the battery, but depending on the internal structure of the camera itself this may not have a significant effect. Some older Canons exhibit thermal noise from the battery, but I have not seen this myself with my 500D. That said, I use an AC adapter anyway just so I don't need to fiddle with the rig once it's running by changing batteries. You will find that the images are noisier in the summer months simply because the sensor itself warms up during exposures. Warmer sensor = more noise. With a DSLR, unless it has been specifically modified, there is no getting away from this.
  14. I really wouldn't bother with anything like the one you've seen on Ebay. They are so deep, you have to zoom in slightly to avoid severe vignetting around the edges which defeats the object. Also, although optically they aren't too bad, they will degrade the image to some extent and you also risk internal reflections with longer exposures. I've experimented with screw-in type converters of various sorts over the years and can say from experience, if you want the optical quality and a decent end result, you will need the proper lens to start with. Have a go with the kit lens to start with and stop down to f3.5 or f4 to sharpen things up a bit. I did some trails and a few milky way shots from St Ives in Cornwall last year with a Sigma 10-20mm lens and although cut short by wispy cloud after a short while, the few shots I got were pretty good. HTH
  15. O Rayt Sue Welcome aboard from another Meir Park Stokie. I haven't been to Keele yet, but it is a good suggestion and I plan on having a nosey when the nights draw back out. As for the back garden observing, there are lots of apps and/or books you could consider to help you. I started out with 'manual' star hopping to learn the skies before going down the synscan route later. Now I spend the vast majority of my time doing astrophotography when I'm not at work and when the skies clear (so not much then). PM me if you wish and I can assist you if needs be. Maybe a bit of a Stokie get together to Keele later in the year if there are enough of us interested?? Scott
  16. Life on earth exists due to a lucky set of circumstances and the correct chemical balances of various elements which enable carbon based life to generate. There are only two possibilities: Life exists elsewhere or life doesn't. Reddoss makes a superb point regarding timescales of life here on earth. What if life elsewhere does exist but has been around for much longer because the circumstances allowed it? Would it automatically dictate that this life must be intelligent? I think not. If that asteroid had not been the catalyst for the extinction of the dinosaurs then earth could very probably still be inhabited by warm blooded lizards wandering about, unconcerned with this argument or the implications of it. I am not a theorist or a mathematician but as a reasonably intelligent individual I can suggest that the laws of probability must lend weight to the fact that if these random circumstances can allow life to exist here, then just like winning the lottery, it must surely have occurred somewhere else too. If not in this galaxy then the next, or the next one after that. I think it is fairly safe to suggest that there is life throughout the universe in some form or other - probably many, and made up of differing elements in a way that we cannot hope yet to fathom - maybe because carbon is unheard of and life has found another way? We will find it one day, perhaps in our own solar system. The big question should be, what will it be like and where? And when we do find it, what comes next?
  17. Quite, But it is staggering how much one is compelled to spend to get the best light sabres, and still be unable to wield it properly. If getting hooked on AP and then trying to progress in the dark art were anything like being a Jedi, despite my best efforts, I think I would qualify as a 'youngling' who has almost cut his own arm off a few times
  18. I've been today myself and got back couple of hours ago. Spent a few hours wandering about like a kid in a sweet shop. Although I love my Mrs and my lad greatly, not having to think about anything other than me, the telescopes and the wallet is pretty cool Put a few faces to names on the stalls too which was also cool. Bit of a trek from sunny Stoke-on-Trent, but well worth it and a lot closer than London, so will probably be going every year now. I went last year on the Saturday but today seemed slightly quieter so it was easier to chat to folks and get some advice on stuff. I saw quite a few 10% and the odd 20% discounts, but resisted the urge. I got an IAS Show T shirt and a DSLR piggyback bracket. Next year, I shall be selling my house and purchasing a shed to live in before I go, so I may afford one of those Moonrakers and also one of those lovely Bressers. Sigh
  19. I went on the Saturday last year and was near the front of the queue when the doors opened. I only spent a bit on SSAG kit. I'm off again tomorrow and am hoping to grab a bargain of some sort or other. Don't particularly need anything, but I'm sure I will find something I want when I have a wander about. Brill show and highly recommended, if only for a nosey to see all those wonderful scopes. I've allowed myself a hundred quid, so will see what takes my fancy I think the £45k frac may be a bit out of my price range. Those Moonrakers were beautiful too I agree, but again a bit beyond me (until I retire in about 20 years time ).
  20. I haven't, but when I next do, it will only be to somewhere with a good southerly view.
  21. I used a cheaper unit (£15 off fleabay) which would power my eos 500 D, but anything longer than about 4o seconds, it didn't seem to have the power to close the shutter at the end of a longer exposure (?). Sent it back and got a similar unit (same price - different manufacturer) from Amazon. It would power the camera, but wouldn't even allow the shutter to open in the first place. Both ran off the 240v mains. I concluded they were cheap rubbish and have just ordered the proper Canon adapter. Much more expensive, but I imagine it should actually work when it arrives next week. Just something to take into account
  22. I'm so glad I've raised this here. It seems I've been doing myself a serious disservice before now! Had a play earlier with manual settings of 1/30th, 1/60th and 1/200th sec exposures all mounted up at iso 400 (same as my subs as 800 iso is pretty noisy on the Eos 500d). To get flats which look like Ole's the 1/60th sec is the one which appears best. 1/200th is way too dark and 1/30th again looks a bit too bright. Olly, I haven't been able to replicate what yours come out like, although I suspect this is just down to different imaging rigs? I will have another go at my recent IC 434 session later with new flats I've shot and see how they turn out. Thank you very much guys
  23. Camera mounted onto OTA in position, 2" LP fitted - basically just as if I was about to use it for astro. Then white pillow case (thin) stretched over the end of the OTA and click away. I was always under the impression a flat frame should be evenly lit and pure white (or as near to), to allow software to 'realise' how evenly rendered the final stacked output should be. Obviously not Could someone please post a jpg flat frame example of what yours look like? I take it if I expose correctly, the histogram should be peaking to the left, a third of the way from shadow to highlight then? Maybe even look a little grey due to the exposure? Thanks all
  24. https://www.dropbox.com/s/oxk3ocrm7eaguwb/IMG_8420.CR2 Apologies for the late reply Ole, had a lot on last 24hrs. Here is the link for a single 1/8th sec iso 400 flat. Taken in Av mode. I hope it works ok, as I have never used Dropbox before and don't really know what I'm doing with it. Let me know what you find if you will Again, thanks for the input !!! Warm regards, Scott
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