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Everything posted by mbalkham

  1. So any suggestions on a cheap MS Laptop? What sort of specs will I need? Cheers Matt
  2. All, I'm still pretty new to this astro stuff. To date been running all the software on my work PC Laptop. I'm leaving the company soon and handing that laptop back so the question is do I buy a cheap (ish) PC Laptop to run everything or do I try to switch over to running everything on my MacBook pro (which I use for all my normal photography work and is pretty high spec)? I'm leaning towards buying a PC specifically to run the scope etc. One that I'd be happy to leave in the garden! Plus I know what I'm doing with the software on the PC. Any suggestions on a reasonably priced outfit? Any other ideas? (Barebones PC and remote desktop to the MAC?) Thanks in advance Matt
  3. That was kinda the point of the question. The article suggests that this one lens could replace all those primes. I am interested in a fast wide prime (perhaps the Sigma 24mm F1.4 Art http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-sigma-24mm-f1-4-dg-hsm-a-lens-canon-fit/p1569051) or the sigma 35mm f1.4 Art (http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-sigma-35mm-f1-4-dg-hsm-lens-canon-fit/p1533946) ahead of the Canon see comparison here (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=4092). That said I still shoot canon 17-40 f4 L (http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-canon-ef-17-40mm-f4-l-usm-lens/p12832) and get on alright.
  4. As someone who shoots with a Canon 6D and loves my sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens this certainly looks like it could be a worthwhile upgrade for wide shots. What do people think? https://fstoppers.com/gear/sigma-announces-worlds-fastest-zoom-lens-full-frames-24-35mm-f2-art-series-74046
  5. I got a cheapo from tescos recently. not sure of the brand but just a simple wired USB gampad and it works pretty well.
  6. Thanks for the pointers so far. I had no idea about import duty but luckily looks like it'll not be payable given my visa. Looked up a few clubs over there already and given we're likely to be sending a container of stuff I'm sure 'll fit in the astro gear. Other thoughts welcomed. Thanks again Matt
  7. Right so after a brief foray into astrophotography I'm up sticks and off to New Zealand in September. Work opportunity predominantly but I'm sure the stargazing won't be harmed. Few questions, thus: 1) anyone shipped there beloved set-up half way around the world? Ideas on packing, insurance, shipping companies, etc. would be welcomed. 2) having just (about) figured out polar alignment and basic set-up of my gear what do I need to relearn and can anyone suggest good southern hemisphere reading? 3) what am I going to see?! 4) any good astronomy online or with shop retailers near Wellington, NZ? Any other general observations/comments/suggestions welcomed
  8. Upgraded to NEQ6 and only had a couple of chances to use it, come on clear skies!

  9. The trouble with that is I need to open them or import to Lightroom as Windows can't build a preview of cr2 raw files (as far as I know). Just thought apt would have thought about this and made it super simple. Might email them.
  10. Quick question, is it possible to auto setup a dark plan based on the current light plan? It then prefixes the file numbers with D (which is great help for post) but I end up setting up a duplicate dark plan and editing the exposure and ISO to the same as my light plan and it would be great if I could just copy it all across! Thanks in advance
  11. I feel like I've dived straight in. No research already upgraded the mount (after less than 6 weeks!) now trying guiding, FITS liberating, OSC rgb separating, photoshop stretching and loads more to boot! Learnt more in 2 months AP than I've needed to in years of photography!! Trying to piece together all the tips and advice has been a nightmare. So many books, blogs, youtube vids, thank god for forums! I must make some notes and compile an idiots guide at some point!
  12. Wow!! I think we should all give up and wait till you've finished the rest of the sky!!
  13. All, Just a quick one. I'm currently keeping my set-up indoor and decamping to the patio every clear night we're afforded! I have a partially obscured view of polaris through the trees but to date have been able to polar align and then improve the alignment using 2/3 star alignment with Alignmaster (one slight issue is the most open view of the sky is South/East and nearly all of the suggested 2 star alignments require at least one star in an area of the sky I cannot see!). The other issue I have is in seeing the alignment star on my main camera due to a fairly limited field of view with the Canon 6D on the scope (albeit much wider than CCD users!), often the star is just out of the frame on the first pass of the 2 star alignment process. Anyway the main question is what do I do once the leave on the trees obscure the polaris view completely? Keen to hear any tips/tricks to get the initial alignment as close as possible prior to the 2/3 star alignment (which will still be possible noting the above issues throughout the year). Thanks in advance Matt
  14. Next edit. This time FITS Liberator to stretch and then process rgb tiffs in photoshop.
  15. mbalkham

    Deep Space

    Various recent deep space photos
  16. mbalkham

    M51 V8

    From the album: Deep Space

  17. Can you open fits file in photoshop? Found out how to do it in liberator now. Initial results look good
  18. I have sane issue with grey output files so will watch for pointers. Not using pixinsight but DSS output are really grey. Massively increasing saturation in post can recover some colour but isn't great. Also tried adding an original raw file to the top in photoshop and blending in colour mode but sure there's a better way!
  19. I'm trying to improve my colour processing and have seen some material online suggesting I spilt my fits file from DSS into 3 no. rgb fits files before recombining in photoshop. Only trouble is they suggested using nebulosity to achieve this and I don't have it! Seams ott to buy it just for that (happy with apt for capture, DSS for stacking, fits liberator for initial stretch and photoshop and Lightroom for rest of processing). Any other ideas?
  20. That would be great!! Here's the link to the stacked .tiff unprocessed (other than stacking in DSS). I would have sent it earlier but we have internet issues at the moment and it's taken 2 hours to upload! https://www.dropbox.com/s/cbnboy6d7abi72i/m51%20day%202%20kappa%20sigma%20stack%20%28inc%20darks%20%26%20bias%29.tif?dl=0
  21. I tried again last night! No barlow this time. 43 no. 240s subs, 15 no. darks and 20 no. bias. I've done a quick median stack (not kappa sigma) and 1 no. linear stretch and a 3 no. curve stretches little colour work in Photoshop. Final noise reduction in Lightroom. still learning and long way to go on processing but I'll hopefully have a bit longer to play with it later. Happy to share the raw stacked TIFF if anyone else wants a go at processing!!
  22. From the album: Deep Space

    43 no. 200s subs (just under 3 hrs) 15 no. darks 20 no. bias Processing still needs work!
  23. Thanks for the pointers. I've been watching those videos (several times! ) they're great! Will drop the barlow next time! Been shooting at 1600 or 2000. Will be much better if I can avoid darks and maximise light frames for any given session. I'll keep trying!
  24. It was taken on the skywatcher 200p as listed only with a Badder barlow in the train (perhaps a mistake but I was trying to increase the size of the image on the sensor). What settings do I need to change to dither? I've read about it and used kappa sigma stacking as I thought I was dithering!! Also losing al colour in DSS, again prob got some option ticked incorrectly! Love you're image btw!
  25. Here's the link to the unprocessed file. Really keen to see how it comes up with people that know what they're doing!! https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bdsv4w5u1hipgqq/AADHcFGytZdDB9_bW2DSUiO0a?dl=0
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