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  1. I thought I did, but I'll triple check it next time. The only problem about using the bigger lenses and such is that it gets in the way of the polar scope. I'll monkey with it! I'll been on quite the buzz since I got Pixinsight with my new camera!! I actually can't wait for fall and winter now. Jake
  2. Good afternoon gents! I'm settling down with the Nikon D750 I got for my birthday and went out to my dark sky spot to take some pictures. I got some great ones with the camera and a 105mm lens on my iOptron skytracker. I had great alignment, that is until I swapped the 105mm out for the 200mm. I noticed I had some trailing going on even though my alignment was good. I was able to use the 200mm and my other camera (same body basically and not that much lighter) to get great shots of Orion last winter. I'm under the 7 lb threshold; could it be balance? How could I overcome this without dishing out a ton of money? Thanks! Jake
  3. Good morning gents. I got to get out and experience a warm evening in Minnesota with my new Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 on the Nikon d7100 on my iOptron Skytracker. I was pretty impressed by the quality of the lens but did bump up the aperture to 3.2 to try eliminate some coma prevalent at 2.8. Some still existed but it was passable. Anyways, I was using my Hutec LP clip in filter for my Nikon and was curious about eliminating the blue hue that it gives the images. Any thoughts... on what temperature to edit the photos with? It does make it much easier to contend with LP since I'm right outside a red zone, but I don't want to over color correct the blue to kill off the actual colors of the night sky. Any thoughts? Additionally, does anyone ever have any difficulty focusing on stars with the filter in? Sometimes I feel like it's harder for me to train in and achieve proper focus with the filter in. Thanks in advance! All the best, Jake
  4. Hey guys, Thanks for all of the great feedback. I have it all set out now, I think. Before I had posted, I did find a good spot near our hotel for some great view points of the Milky Way. I plugged in the coords along with the date and time for Kauai and I nailed the “sweet spot” for viewing. Just about 1:00 – 1:30 AM on April 13th , the Milky Way will be horizontal to the horizon above the Pacific Ocean from us! I asked her about getting such a great shot at such an early time in the morning and she’s all for it, she just doesn’t know what’s really going to happen *cackle*. Brittney did pull a fast one on me though…guess what I have arriving today? A light pollution clip-in filter for my D7100! She did give it away since she was nervous about it working with my camera or not and I said it should since I know how to make the lenses work with the clip in filter. She was torn between the 77mm filter or the clip-in so she called Hutec up herself and got information. It’ll be here tonight so we’ll have plenty of time to try it out and plenty of time for me to practice! Thanks for all of the wonderful feedback. I’ll be sure to post some pictures up here when I get a chance!! I just really hope that it’s clear that night/ morning. All the best, Jake
  5. Good morning guys, I’d like to get some feedback on an idea that I have. In April, I’m going to Kauai with the girlfriend and we plan on doing lots of photography as well as astrophotography. It’s going to be very exciting and we plan on getting some great shots. I’ve read the light pollution around the Sheraton in Poipu (where we’re staying) is relatively mild and you can get some decent shots of the Milky Way. Brittney really wants to get a photo of us silhouetted with the Milky Way in the background along the beach. That feat shouldn’t be hard at all as I’ve had my hand at it a bit now and love getting good shots of the Milky Way, but I have a twist…I’m planning proposing at the same time. I have three questions: I’m trying to save money but I could buy a Hutec Light Pollution Filter for my Nikon D7100 to get rid of any light pollution I could be contending with. I’m not sure if that internal filter would be compatible with my 12-24mm wide angle lens, but I could always switch out and use a different one, say a prime 50mm, if I needed to. Would using a light pollution filter really help with such a photo? I know how to edit out light pollution effectively enough for this kind of photo, but I’m just curious. I normally use my iOptron Skytracker for shots of the sky. Should I still use it for such as shot? Last, should I actually compose the image to get us in a reasonable focus first, and then taken another shot for the sky itself and simply combine the two images? What can I say? I’m pretty excited about this and just want to get the shot correct. She’ll love it if I got it on an image like that; I just want to get it right! Aside from getting the shot right, I'm really contemplating on finding the best way to hide the ring...perhaps in my Pelican photography case as a carry on... Thanks in advance, Jake
  6. Hello! I’m getting ready to pull the trigger on getting a Hutec Light Pollution filter for my Nikon D7100. For now, it’s the most viable option in my pursuit for astrophotography. I read on the website that while the filter will install nicely, “*Nikon lenses which protrude more than 8.7 mm into the camera body are not compatible with front filters.” Does anyone have any experience with a Hutec filter for a Nikon and which lenses were deemed incompatible due to the aperture pin that protrudes down? I have a feeling my 12-24mm lens will not work due to the pin being too long, but I have hope with my 80-200mm lens. I do, however; have a 1.4x teleconverter that does not have the pins to worry about, yet wouldn’t the use of the teleconverter harm my image quality? Alternatively, if it doesn’t work, couldn’t I use a Nikon AF-1 gel filter holder or a Nikon F-Bayonet mount extension ring to create the room needed? Sorry for all of the questions, but I’m anxious to find a solution to killing the light pollution I contend with even 40 miles away from the metro area in my dark sky location. Thoughts? Thanks in advance! Jake
  7. Ahhh, you're right. Dang. I'm going to email them and ask if they have any reference on which lenses will and won't work. I have a mixture of lenses, but primarily use a 12-24mm lens and an older 80-200mm lens for AP. I'll see what they say; I'd hate to get it and then not have it work. I did find this though: http://www.lumicon.com/store/p/89-77mm-Night-Sky-Hydrogen-Alpha-Filter.aspx Perhaps I'm too tired, but wouldn't it make the images B&W then or do I need to head back to bed? Jake
  8. Thank you very much for getting back to me, Matthias. I did some looking around at the types of filters you mentioned and came up with this site for the Hutec filters: http://www.sciencecenter.net/hutech/prices/filters.htm . If you go to the very bottom, you'll see that they make one for the D7000 which is nearly identical to my D7100. Would it be wiser to go for the Nebula Filter or the Light Pollution filter? I think I might make the plunge and go for one of the filters that I can drop in and out of my camera for when I want to use it for AP. I think eventually I would like to get a scope and do some stuff that way, but for now, getting the drop in will allow me to use what I currently have with my tracker and save a little bit of money. Even with my humble setup, I did manage to get a decent shot of Lovejoy while it was here: http://www.captureminnesota.com/photos/1655678 Your feedback and advice is really appreciated. Now I just need to get better about reducing coma, improve my stacking, and my processing. I've been wavering between Pixinsight and Nebulosity. Thanks again! Jake
  9. Good morning everyone, I've been dabbling in astrophotography for about two months now with my Nikon D7100 that I normally use for more terrestrial subjects. I've had some issues with the RAW (NEF) formatting from the camera into stacking programs and what not, but I think I have stuff figured out for the time being. (Here's the thread on that endeavor: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/234995-working-with-star-tools-–-from-nikon-d7100-to-dss-to-star-tools-–-advice/) I live in a metro area in Minnesota. The nearest "good" dark sky spot is about 40 miles from my house. Even from there, I have to compete with a little bit of light pollution in the distance. Can anyone recommend a good light pollution filter for my 77mm lens? I'd really appreciate any feedback on the topic and if a filter like that would be worth it. To my understanding, it'd filter out the LP while keeping the colors of the actual objects I am shooting, am I correct? Secondly, I've been doing some thinking about moving from my DSLR to a CCD. My only concern is the cost of doing so. I've already invested a bit of money for astrophotography with getting a Skytracker, some lenses and what not and would hate to have blown money on things that I won't use anymore. However, moving to a CCD camera and a scope would allow me to shoot in different formats more suitable for stacking programs and development. Could I get good results from mounting my camera to a scope and if so, which one? Or should I save up for a CCD and a scope? I'm currently saving for a wedding and also paying off one hell of an engagement ring that will be deployed in April so I'm trying to mind the funds atop my photography hobby. Any feedback is greatly appreciated! Jake
  10. True! Hence my frustration. I looked at my Nikon's settings and am running at the same as yours (raw, uncompressed, 14bit).
  11. That's true. I'm running on a 64 bit 8gig mulitcore. I'll have to mess with the settings or take the images into stacking in smaller chunks.
  12. I don't mind learning at all as I've had to do the same with PS and learning the various functions needed for processing photos. I enjoy learning new things; I just want to make the most of what I currently have. I'll keep looking at it! Jake
  13. Good morning guys! This post has been wonderful in helping me with addressing the issues I’ve been having. I know I’ve been talking to William back and forth through messages, but again thank you so much for going into such detail with that post! After reading it, I’m very tempted to give Pixinsight a run, especially since I can take the images straight from my camera and dump them into the program to be stacked and then processed. My main point of contention is would it be worth it though? And furthermore, would the program struggle with my NEF images if I imported dozens of them in there at a time? As I’m only a couple months into this hobby, and I’m not sure if I’d ever dive in and get a full on scope with a CCD camera. I think eventually I’d like to, but for now I’m bound to using my camera for both terrestrial footage and whatever I can get with my tripod and tracker. (I just bought an engagement ring –wow, did my wallet cry and am getting ready for the trip to Hawaii where I plan on popping the question and get some great photos!) I’m considering PI because it appears to be a one stop shop for my needs. Upon waking up after being in my medicine induced slumber, I did some research regarding other file converters and I couldn’t land any that didn’t have some sort of compression that it ran. As much as I’m gritting my teeth to spend over $200 on a processing software, if it works with what I currently have and I can also expand on it, I think it might be worth it. I did try Nebulosity a little bit last night and it seemed to do alright, although I’ve heard/read that PI is a bit harder to learn but much better. I guess I’ll have to give the PI a trial run and see what I can do with it. This thread has been a big help. I really need to improve on my capturing methods. I have a Bahtinov mask coming in today for my lens and I’m looking around for a good light pollution filter on my 77mm lens. In the meantime, what could I do with my Nikon to improve my odds of getting decent captures? Keep the exposures shorter? Could I take my light frames or would be adding more than 40 or so be diminishing returns? I live in a metro area but I can get to a decent spot about 35-45 minutes away and to an even better spot about an hour away. I will be looking at the PS information that Chris provided to make the most of what I currently have. Thank you guys so much! Jake
  14. Thanks for the replies guys; I really appreciate them. I'm going to keep on messing with ST a bit even though I'm not able to get good "virgin data"; I still need to convert the files to a Tiff and then also resize the file for it to be stacked correctly (at least with DSS). The funny part is that I already own "normal" photography processing programs so I'm pretty familiar with PS and how to edit "normal" portraits, landscapes, ect. I can light a whole photography shoot, give readings out the wazoo and create dynamic images, but the process of capturing a celestial object thousands of light years away from us and then processing it is a completely new learning experience. I almost want to stay in PS and editing my photos that way, but from what I've read of AP processing programs, PS is mainly meant for normal photos; specialized programs are much more sensitive to the data in an AP photo. Thankfully there are trial versions out there for me to try, but as you've said, the learning curve is pretty steep with some. Through formatting my images ahead of upload, DSS does work, but I've thought about trying out Nebulosity. I've noticed the usage/learning curve is a bit higher with that program as well. So many programs, so little time! I'll keep tinkering around. I've been under the weather the past few days due to a serious sinus infection...argh. Jake
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