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Everything posted by oldannie

  1. Some really helpful info here - thanks for taking the time to respond.. Fortunately it seems that the Nikon D600 is not one of those cameras that 'eats up' stars. On reflection I would like to try and take flats as D4N does, straight after a session so I do after all need to think about a suitable light source other than the twilight sky. From reading other stuff I also gather that if I take flats I need to take bias frames otherwise the maths don't add up - but dont ask me to explain that! Thanks again - upgraded bolts arrived today so no excuses for any further prevarication! Annie
  2. Was assuming I would use the twilight skies Nigel - thanks for reinforcing that. Annie
  3. Thanks for your replies and D4N - once I know exactly what you mean by ' star eating ' I'll be able to tell you whether the D600 is afflicted by it - got to get used to all these terms yet! Cheers Annie
  4. First of all hope I've posted this on the right forum - not sure! Hope to set up a newly received HEQ5 pro synscan in the next week (as soon as I receive the upgraded bolts I've ordered) and am intending to use it with my Nikon D600 and various lenses. Am wanting to get into the habit of taking darks, bias and flat frames. For the flat frames am thinking on the lines of a piece of foam cor board but am going to have to buy it on-line I think. The most commonly available size is A1 (approx 23"x33") - will this be okay? I've downloaded Carte du Ciel, Stellarium and DSS. Bearing in mind am not going to be linking my set up to a computer is there anything else I should consider? For my general photography I use Lightroom for post processing - will this suffice, Photoshop is expensive! Cheers Annie
  5. HEQ5 mount arrived and replacement upgrade bolts on their way - hope to be up and running soon! Thanks all Annie
  6. Thanks for that Dave - a modded Canon camera does seem a sensible way forward and when I come to choose a scope it's very likely that I will go down that road! Cheers Annie
  7. A very big thank you to everyone who patiently responded to my ramblings about which mount to buy. Am just about to order an HEQ5 Pro Synscan. Was tempted to go for the 6 but wanted something I could readily manage on my own and move in and out of the house. Am initially intending to just use my DSLR and various lenses to build up some know-how and confidence - then I can think about which scope. Thanks again. Annie
  8. Hi Lizie - am also a newbie with aspirations of doing some astrophotography in spite of the complexities and expense having had 'ordinary' photography as my main hobby for a number of years. It's taken me an age just to decide which equitorial mount to buy and a great deal of research. I can also recommend Steve Richards book but also bought another book (on CD Rom) - Jerry Lodriguss, 'A Beginner's Guide to DSLR Astrophotography and think this is also excellent, though again that's from a beginners perspective, others my have a different view. Good luck Annie
  9. It's also been suggested that I look at the iOptron CEM60 - think I'll just go and sit in a dark room for a while! Annie
  10. The Celestron is quite tempting Louise - it will be interesting to hear how you get on with. I was initially thinking about a mount, scope and camera but have now moved on to thinking about just getting the best mount I can afford and cope with. Am beginning to feel quite fickle as am now looking at the Losmandy Gm8 mount - it gets good reviews, looks to be nicely engineered, is okay weightwise for me to readily manage on my own and it's marketed as something suitable for beginners and the more experienced. The Gemini GoTo system is a tad expensive if I decide I want it but I could afford it so why not? Annie
  11. Am also wanting to have a go at t stacking so have downloaded DSS and notice a 'quick-start' guide is included which at first glance looks quite useful. Annie
  12. Well folks am beginning to think I should bite the bullet and get a decent equitorial mount - next question! is there anything else other than the heq5 pro syntrek or synscan that I could look at as a first mount? I don't have a particularly tight budget just want something of good quality that works as it should but don't want anything heavier than the heq5.
  13. Hi Louise - I may have got the wrong impression about the setting up of a mount such as the heq5 pro! Some of the posts I've read imply that there's quite a lot of fiddling about to do to get each part to work as it should so I've been a bit hesitant - whilst that process might be a bit frustrating at the end of it I guess I would have the basis that would enable me to do the kind of imaging I want to. I guess its the sort of hobby that'll present lots of opportunities to fiddle about!! The advice from the astrotrac group is to buy an astrotrac if i just want to use my DSLR and lenses and to buy the heq5 if I want to use a telescope. Thanks for taking the time to respond Louise - much appreciated. Annie
  14. Another question I'm afraid!! Steve Richards book was my first purchase followed by Jerry Lodriguss. To image Deep Space Objects is my ambition but am not very technically minded (but capable of learning I think!) so thought that an Astrotrac would be a gentle introduction. I'm still not clear about a basic point - I have a full frame Nikon D600 and an f/2.8 17-35mm lens which is good with the Milky Way, an f/1.4 50mm lens also good for wide field work, an f/4 24-120mm and an f/2.8 70-200mm which is compatible with my teleconverters. Weight wise I imagine I would be able to use these with an Astrotrac without a wedge or guiding? What should I be able to target with this set up and some stacking? I also have an f/2.8 300mm lens but think at 4 kilos with camera I wouldn't use this with an astrotrac. Am grateful for all your comments- thanks. Annie
  15. Will do that Louise -thanks again. It's not the money (well up to a point!) just wanting to make a gentle start and not wanting to be overwhelmed by a heavy mount so thought the astrotrac might be a short term answer - perhaps I'm being too wimpish about it all! Annie
  16. Hi - have looked at the iOptron and whilst it's tempting I think for me the weight capacity would be too limiting so am still moving towards the astrotrac. Thanks for the extremely useful link Louise which suggests that even with a heavy lens - such as my Nikon f/2.8 300mm a wedge is recommended. If I do eventually make up my mind ( gonna have to do so quickly as frustration is beginning to set in!) and go for an astrotrac I had been minded to try it with the WO Zenithstar ZS71 - is an autoguiding set up a must with this?
  17. Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply. Whilst I accept the arguments about the heq5 pro mount I've decided that for me the astrotrac is the way forward at this point especially as my budget will allow me to buy a mount at any stage. I wonder if I can ask another couple of questions before I finally buy. Am intending to buy either the WO Zenithstar Z S71 or the SW Evostar ED 80 Pro. Does it matter which? I have two cameras at the moment a Nikon D300 and NIkon D600 the latter is a full frame DSLR - does a full frame camera pose any difficulties if I want to attach it to a telescope and finally I may well decide to buy a Canon as I have the opportunity of buying a Canon 600D in mint condition very cheaply. If I then have it modified do I need anything more than the filter removed?
  18. Thanks for the replies. In so far as the astrotrac is concerned I think it's just a way of avoiding the task of setting up a motorised mount such as the HEQ5 Pro mount with GoTo - perhaps I should just dive in and have a go! Thanks again Annie
  19. Hi everyone - after using my general photography stuff to image the Milky Way and Moon have been looking for a gentle next step into astrophotography and wondered whether this set up would work. An astrotrac (easy to use and to set up for a non-technically minded enthusuast?) - I have a suitable lithium tracer battery already as I don't want to use lots of small batteries and a couple of tripod heads that will connect astrotrac to tripod and astrotrac to camera. I had intended to just use my camera and wide angle lens but can't resist the idea of a small scope and wondered if this would be okay on the astrotrac: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/william-optics/william-optics-zenithstar-zs71-ed-2013-reducer-bundle.html The astrotrac has a weight capacity of 15 kilos and the scope tube weighs 2.7kilos. If I'm going to use a modded DSLR with the scope what accessories are a must? My thinking is that if I don't get anymore serious I could have some fun with this set up and if I do get more serious this set up would still be useful. What do you think - I've been thinking for so long now I really feel I need to take the plunge and buy something Thanks for reading! Annie
  20. Too much of a beginner to proffer advice but love the post! Annie
  21. I'm also thinking about a Star Adventurer - the payload is given as 5 kilos. If I use my f/2.8 300mm Nikon lens with teleconverter and full frame camera I'm going to get to around the 4 kilo mark. Do astrotracs generally function well near their maximum payload?
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