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About sagramore

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    Didcot, England
  1. Welcome to the club For what it's worth I have that LP filter and I found it helped me squeeze a bit more time out of my subs in a town-based location using an unmodded Canon APS-C chip (550D) so it might not have been a bad choice. Best way to find out is to try it! Good luck & clear skies.
  2. I hope this counts because I've done almost nothing with this lovely scope in recent times (hopefully more to come now the nights are darker). It's not really a "planet killer" scope, but sometimes the sun helps out. You're probably all bored to death of Mercury transit shots by now, but I haven't posted in a while and I don't see any others in this thread at the moment so..... One short gif showing 3 consecutive frames, 5 minutes apart, to show some motion. To get the full solar disc in them I used my Canon 550D. Then just two simple stills from stacked video taken on the ASI120MC-S. Yellow version is colourised in Photoshop. I still can't tell if I prefer solar shots to be colourised or left "natural". All pretty quick processes and I took a lot more data so hopefully I can get something even better out of it. There's also a (quite large, ~45mb) 30 second gif of first / second contact, very zoomed in, here: http://www.cavaye.com/stuff/astro/2019-11-11/Untitled-4.gif Thanks!
  3. I wish my nights of "getting things a bit wrong" still ended in such a lovely image! Usually I just have cold hands and frustration to take to bed with me....
  4. I would add that you can avoid cutting the draw tube if you are willing to modify the scope to move the primary mirror up the tube a little. There are a couple of us in this thread that did it - it's a reversible modification and works perfectly to bring the focal plane out so the draw tube doesn't protrude into the aperture too much. Sorry I can't find the exact posts but if you are able to search (or scroll through!?!) this thread then at least 2 of us have photos and descriptions of how we did it. Just a thought!
  5. I very much like the right-hand image (harder stretch) as the extra detail for me is worth a lot more than the slight changes in colour. They are both lovely though!
  6. So I hope this kind of post is allowed and I'm not seen to be spamming! I have recently done a lot of re-processing of old data using the advice of people in here. The main difference is having obtained Astronomy Tools v1.6 for Photoshop and matt_baker's advice to touch up in Lightroom as a final step. I think it shows quite a leap in the quality of the images and also made me realise just how much skill there is involved in the post-processing of the data (even more so when the data is as dodgy as mine often is... haha). Anyway, these are all taken using the 130PDS and an unmodified Canon 550D DSLR. They are all using 300 s guided subs (with dithering) via APT and PHD. I hope you like them. I'm quietly pleased with myself M31 Before: M31 After (also with a bit more data added, so not perhaps a 100% direct processing comparison): M42 Before: M42 After: M51 Before: M51 After: EDIT TO ADD: I also have some old data of M1 and of M81/M82 however the new processing hasn't been quite as successful yet. I still need some more attempts at those before I share again!
  7. Here you go! I am not an expert at all but once everything's guiding with PHD2 I have these settings in APT and set it to dither every 2 images. It seems to work for me at least. I also use a 60 second gap between exposures in APT because I used to have some problems with the dither step taking a while, but I'm not sure if that's overkill or not. It usually doesn't make too much difference when I'm on 300 second subs though so I've left it that way.
  8. Hi Susaron - I'm at work at the moment but I'll try and get the settings from my laptop when I get home tonight.
  9. So, I added some more time and had about 5 different attempts at stacking & processing various combinations of my data. I also got hold of Astronomy Tools v1.6 for Photoshop and took matt_baker's advice on final tweaks in Lightroom. All in all I'm quite pleased with this considering my inexperience and the (I think) quite poor raw data I had (lots of LP, high cloud, etc.). Thanks for the encouragement and help on this forum guys! Messier 31 (Andromeda Galaxy) with Messiers 32 and 110 2018-10-30 & 2018-11-02, Didcot, England Gear: Skywatcher 130-PDS with 0.9x coma corrector (585 mm, f/4.5) Skywatcher NEQ6-Pro Synscan Canon EOS 550D (unmodified) and Skywatcher 2" LP filter ZWO ASI120-MC guide camera Skywatcher Startravel 80 guide scope Acquisition & Processing: - AstrophotographyTools (APT) and PHD2 guiding with dithering - 34 x 300s = total 170 minutes @ ISO 800 - 2x20 flats, 16 library darks, library bias - Stacked in DeepSkyStacker and post-processed in Photoshop CC 2018 (with Gradient Xterminator + Astronomy Tools v1.6)
  10. Well, I had another try. It seems that my poor framing and high level clouds caused me problems when processing again. I will have to keep persevering. What I will say is that I have at least improved upon the first try! This is now a total of 120 minutes (30 from previously, and 90 from tonight) and the tutorial & tools helped a lot. I think I might've overdone it a bit to try and get more dust though.... I also tried with just 90 minutes from tonight and I think I really overprocessed this one but there is more detail in the extremities. These are both stacked without darks, so I might try again with the darks sometime this weekend and see if it helps or not.
  11. Amazing results! Also, I just watched that tutorial/walkthrough and have immediately bought Noel Carboni's PS actions (can't believe I didn't have them before!) and once I have (hopefully) more data from tonight, I will be giving my data a full reprocessing using the help there. Thanks again!
  12. Thanks, I will take a look! I did a test with this data actually - one stack with darks from my darks library, and one without darks. I actually found little to no difference, and possibly even lower noise (very slightly) in the stack without darks. I do dither quite hard after every second sub though, so that's probably why. I am starting to lean away from worrying much about darks at ISO800, although perhaps they're more important at higher ISOs?
  13. Yeah, I basically did similar. Everything was set up and working perfectly and the clouds finally went away. I left it to do it's thing thinking it would auto-meridian flip, I came back after 1hr to find it was just stuck at the maximum of the meridian and hadn't flipped, so I lost bout 1 hr of acquisition! I sorted it out, did like you said - reframed as best I could without taking ages over it (I am still awful at framing, something to improve on) - and then after another few subs my secondary fogged up..... I would say I don't know why we put ourselves through it, but I was still quite happy with what I got out of 60 mins of data.... I will share it actually, but hopefully so I can show the improvements later tonight! EDIT TO ADD: I think my colour balance is totally off, and I think this comes from my stacking settings. So that's something I need to work out. I either end up with something that's got a strong hue across the whole image, or I get something with a lack of any colour at all (like this one above). More practice I guess!
  14. Very nice!! A really nice shot that one, I think you've done it justice. I just saw your post from Wednesday and I was about to post my attempts from the same evening but I was plagued by clouds, a failed meridian flip, and then dew so I only managed 1 hr of exposures. I also think my processing is bad so I will hold off posting my poor attempt for now as it is way worse than yours We have really similar equipment by the looks of it. I am hoping to grab a couple more hours on it tonight if the weather holds out though, so watch this space! EDIT: Can I ask what your stacking parameters in DSS are for this? I am shooting the same length subs with a Canon 550D (T2i) and I think my stacking isn't optimal either. Any advice is appreciated.
  15. I've not needed one for the 130-PDS yet! I am sure it'll happen one day though and I will be unprepared....
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