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Everything posted by MattJenko

  1. Been a while since I picked this lens up from @Lockie - sorry its taken so long to use it properly. Quick test with a rather battered 450d on a StarAdventurer last night. The double cluster and Perseus area. This lens fits in a vast area of sky, and is pretty sharp across whole field of view. Pretty awesome for a lens which has seen more life than most living beings! Once I get some better framing opportunities and nice nights, this should produce some cracking images. 20 x 2 mins. Scaled down to a sensible jpg size, so original is much crisper actually.
  2. Image is pretty flat, with some slight curvature at the edges, mainly the left and lower hand side. I suggest, as others have, that the less than round are from tracking/guiding drift.
  3. Methinks that gathering data on an imaging run is pretty boring. Setting up, fiddling with everything is fun and a challenge, but the run itself is simply about gathering data, nothing more and once running, I want as little to do with it as possible. The real fun comes in after the data is gathered. Olly used the word mechanical, and I completely agree. Not touching it and being as far away unless something goes wrong is my imaging default position. I have a dob for enjoying the night sky, and set that up as far away from the imaging setup as I can. VNC/teamcity are great ways of keeping tabs without bumping into things just to check that guiding is still working...
  4. I have PixInsight and Photoshop. I fear another imaging program may cause my consciousness to implode! Here is a Photoshop version. Wow am I rusty with this. I managed another 4 hours (12 subs) last week, of dubious worth but data is data for me at the moment. I think the bright bits of nebula are coming on at the expense of the not so bright. In what was a surprise, it is easier to minimize the impact of processing on stars in PS. Maybe a dual PS/PI future does await me...
  5. Nice report. I have this scope and think it is excellent too. I haven't had lots of opportunity, but it has delivered in both imaging and visual so far. Glad you are as happy with yours as I am with mine.
  6. Some lightweight rings and bar should be fine, weight wise. If your scope is anything like the ST80, it is light. Attaching the rings directly to the rings of the 130pds is an option to save a bit of weight as an option, although a bar across the top of both 130pds rings is significantly more secure and flex free.
  7. I want to set up a semi permanent garden rig. I can't put a permanent pier in, as the site is above a septic tank, so I am after setting up a tripod based rig and leaving for a few days at a time. Given it is a grass installation, and this is an HEQ5 based setup, would the standard tripod be ok? I have a feeling the tripod would sink into the ground on its own over time, and also wondered if the HEQ5 pier would be a better bet? All ideas welcome. Cheers Matt
  8. This thread is a literal eye opener. I absolutely had this down as a camera only object, given my experience of observing being strictly limited to tens of miles around London and hardly seeing any nebula, ever. Thank you.
  9. I know a labour of love when I see one. Excellent work.
  10. Thanks all. Had a decent session with it after the original post and things looking pretty ok, although I manually focused with a mask. ST80s rock. Might not need a tilt adaptor with my tiny 414ex. Probably would with a larger chip.
  11. +1 for an addition to the finderscope. I use a Telrad and find it the best thing I bought for my 250px.
  12. I am making assumptions, but if the curvature of a system is severe, then a certain degree of tilt would push the furthest edges out of the flat zone (or area of even curvature) and subject one edge to a greater degree of curvature than other parts of the image. Given the level of tilt in a typical system to be in the order of millimeters from edge to edge in bad cases, then I would expect curvature differences to be induced thinking about it... Would have to be pretty bad tilt and large chip though unless we are talking uber critical spacings like hyperstar or really bad curvature like my Mewlon
  13. There is noise reduction, a TGVDenoise, although I did Lum mask it beforehand, as LHE is pretty bad for noise, even masked and needed something afterwards. I used only a bias for these as well in terms of calibration, so a little noisy to start with. I think I need to experiment with my workflows and it does seem that a switch to PS for a couple of actions might benefit me too.
  14. Thanks - I had a feeling I would need to dust off some PS skills, or more likely learn new ones It does look a bit soft and I think my guiding for some of the subs is not optimal either which might have contributed. This appears to be when the scope was pointing straight up, so think my little HEQ5 wobbled a bit between gear cogs for about an hour or so. Hopefully more data and being more choosey with the stacked subs (plus better processing) will crispen it all up! Not going to get a chance for a few days, so will ponder my shortcomings...
  15. It is indeed CCDInspector. If you are doing lots of fiddling about with flatteners, spacing, focuser changes, collimation etc etc it saves a LOT of time and effort.
  16. Thanks Neil. I admit to being a little dependent on HDR and LHE in PixInsight. Must broaden my horizons for this I feel.
  17. Nice. Not sure I even have a telescope that can cover this camera
  18. Its probably more my slapshot processing as opposed to focus (I certainly hope so). I have had difficulty getting autofocus routines to work with this setup, so eventually I used a Bhatinov Mask. Given I am going to try and get lots of data, there won't be much need for non manual focusing anyway. Thanks - one of the hopes of this thread is for me to pick up some pointers on the processing side, as I an RUSTY! I currently only use PixInsight, but want to know if I am missing a trick with my processing here, as I think I am in a bit of a rut when it comes to PI. I have Warrens book and should probably explore more and this project should give me ample practice. As a wise man said perfection only comes from perfect practice, and I am far from that.
  19. I have decided to take a close look at the Bubble Nebula. I have a secluded spot near the house which has a decent view of North, so using that area for now. I plan on updating this thread as more data gets added, so I can track my progress, as I intend to get as much data as I possibly can on this over the next few months, or until it drives me mad. First session was one of those where everything was a struggle. Guiding, focusing, everything and then just as I finally managed my first sub, clouds rolled in. Couple of nights later, I managed to get setup in twilight and despite a disaster of a meridian flip, managed a good solid set of 20 min Ha subs. So here it is to date. 17 x 20 min Ha. Planning on a lot more Ha and a whole host of LRGB as well, as I am thinking natural colour image, but who knows where this will end up. RC6, Atik 414ex, HEQ5. Chroma 3nm Ha. Comments and suggestions welcome.
  20. just basing this off your uploaded jpg, but in addition to some tilt, there is a good degree of curvature offset from the edge compounding the issue:
  21. Chania is at the northern end and all along the north coast there are lots of holiday places, and that mean lights. If you can get inland in the mountainous areas, you will see some stunning skies. I went to Crete a few years ago and stayed down the south east coast side where it is less populated and it was spectacular. I managed to take a little StarAdventurer for my DSLR to take some milky way pictures and they came out amazing (to me). 2 weeks and not a single cloud. Setting up in shorts and t-shirt - epic.
  22. Refractor/cassegrain telescopes will generate an image that is upside down when used without a diagonal. When a diagonal is used the image will be the right way up, but backwards from left to right, so not rotated, more like a mirrored image. A newtonian will show things upside down, something which caused endless amusement out camping when looking at a field of cows on the opposite side of a valley once. This information can be plugged into Stellarium when you enter in the details of the telescope for the Occular plugin.
  23. What I do is platesolve. You can connect something like Stellarium to the ASCOM simulator telescope and then use something like APT or AstroTortilla to do the platesolve, with nthem connected to the simulator as well. This tells you where in the sky you are pointing and you can fine tune knowing exactly where it is you are and how far away from your target you want. I also use a ball/socket to make things easier sometimes, but find I don't often have to. Not quite your #5, but a manual variant. Matt
  24. Thanks, been mightily impressed by John's work with his. I do have one of the CCDT67 reducer/flatteners, but don't fancy using it with this particular scope. I have other setups which hit the focal length that would give me, and I am more interested in 1m+ imaging with this one. Also, I am saving up for a high res spectroscope, which will end up on this scope for starters and yet more learning, so want to master it as a full mirror system first. I do think it has a lot of potential for all kinds of imaging uses, just find the amount of time I get to spend trying things out to be limited, with health and other circumstances, so hoping to get some tips on pushing the pace of improvement
  25. I am making some rather slow but steady progress with my 6" RC I think. Having gone a few iterations of various collimation processes, I think things are close enough that other considerations are now the ones that need addressing. I do not use a focal reducer, so this is native. I am struggling with focus, in terms of attempting autofocussing, where I think I keep getting step size and exposure time wrong and autofocus routines struggle with consistency. Maybe an up close and personal OC is not a good option, but I thought it would be. Also, I have some tilt which needs addressing, but with such a tiny chip (Atik 414ex), I was hoping to dodge most of the curvature/title issues, but think those beasts needs confronting. For those RC users out there - how do you guide? I am using an ST80 top mounted which has worked for refractors for me before, but a mirror based long FL system? Another question to you all, a bit more philosophical. How do you know when you are approaching the best you can do, when you just have to admit that you can't do any more and maybe time would be best spent on something else? M52 : 15 x 2 mins RGB. RC6, HEQ5, Atik 414ex. PixInsight.
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