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About A4Andromeda

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    Planetary and DSO astrophotography
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  1. Over the last few years, I have accumulated many pieces of what I considered at the time to be "essential" equipment, whether to see better, guide better or take better images. This year I decided enough was enough, no more expensive purchases, make do with what I've got, even cut back to the bare essentials. Initial results over the last couple of months observing and imaging Jupiter, Saturn and even Mars have been positive. Battling with my off-axis guider, trying to find stars that PHD2 won't reject: did I really need to astromodify my DSLR?: do I really see planets better with my binoviewer? Is that 2" diagonal and set of 2" eyepieces a step forward? Does my star tracker really give me pin-point stars? Do all those filters give me better images? One thing I don't regret spending money on is a dew controller: not only does it power several dew bands but my DSLR as well, via an adapter. I suspect the answer lies somewhere in the middle and I am not using the equipment to its full potential. But nothing can beat just looking up at the sky on a clear night with a sense of wonder: the constellations, the Milky Way, the odd Perseid; they're all there waiting. Celestron 9.25 SCT: AVX mount. Kendrick DigiFire 8 Dew Controller. Baader Crayford focuser: Celestron 1.25” diagonal, CrossAim 12.5mm illuminated reticule eyepiece. 32mm, 20mm, 15mm eyepieces. Baader single polarising filter, neodymium and I/R cut filter, moon filter. 2x Barlow. Celestron f6.3 reducer/corrector. Altair 2’ star diagonal: Omegon 32 and 22mm 2” eyepieces. Vixen Polarie star tracker: Canon 18-55mm lens, Sigma 70-300mm lens. 2’’ moon and sky-glow filter, 2” variable polarising filter. William Optics Binoviewers, 20mm eyepieces. Astro-modded Canon EOS 550D. Celestron off-axis guider. Altair GP-cam CCD camera.
  2. York Astro. soc as well; no meetings in August, starting again in September, every other Friday evening in York. Public observing on the Knavesmire and in the process of relocating our observatory to Murton. You will be given a warm welcome. andrew
  3. That's a great image, sharper than I've achieved lately, even after focusing on a nearby star (Aldebaran) and using a Bahtinov mask. I have found that when using movie crop, any filter I have used reduces the amount of light to an unacceptable level. On the other hand, if I do standard Bulb shots in BYE I need filters otherwise all I get is a featureless bright disc no matter what the setting. That is what confused me in the first place (being confused seems to be my default position). Just getting the hang of PIPP, couple of useful features: it centres the final .AVI movie in the frame, and restores white balance where a modded DSLR has been used.
  4. Chris, You're right, no need to rename .MVI, PIPP accepts the files and changes them to .MOV. Thank you, Andrew
  5. I think it was the filters I was using on the eyepiece: cut out too much light. I tried the camera out tonight without the filters and got a good image at ISO 800, so-so at 400.
  6. Thank you Dave, that worked, although not quite so simple.... Rename clip: .MVI to .MOV Open clip file in PIPP: Open Source File Optimise options for (bottom of screen): select Planetary Animation (AVI) Select Output Options: ensure format is AVI. Select output directory (your choice). Change output file name to .avi Do Processing: don't be fooled as I was by "status: COMPLETE". Click on: Start Processing. Should start running, runtime depends on number of frames, obviously. When done, click on Open Output Folder and hey presto! your clip should be there as an .avi, under a pipp_ prefix I'm sure there is more to the program than that, but that's how I did it. Andrew
  7. I've just started using movie crop for planetary imaging, there are references in SGL to using PIPP to convert .mvi files to .avi for processing in Registax (which I have used before) or Autostakkert (which I haven't). I have looked on here for a tutorial or guidance on how you actually do it but I can't find any practical advice. Anything I google leads me to sites which sell conversion software. Can anyone point me to the steps needed to do the conversion: it's probably very simple, but then so am I. Thank you Celestron 9.25 SCT, AVX mount, Canon EOS 550D (modded). EP projection: telextender, 20mm eyepiece, 2xBarlow, neodymium filter, optimism
  8. My 500D is modded as well, so I don't think it's the IR. I will play about with settings and filters and see what I get. There must be an obvious solution, professor....
  9. I guess that could be it. Celestron 9.25 SCT and EOS 550D. I'm using eyepiece projection, Celestron telextender with 20mm eyepiece and neodymium light pollution filter. I did consider adding a single polarising filter if the image was too bright. I started off with a 2x Barlow as well, but found that my images were too large and grainy so removed it.
  10. Thanks Dave, but I can't find that in my EOS 550 D menu: where should I look? Andrew
  11. Nice image! I assume you are using movie crop: I have started to try this, still getting used to it. What ISO setting are you using? The received wisdom is ISO 400-800 but I can't get an image in live view unless I set my DSLR to 6400. Any other setting, and it disappears: any ideas why?
  12. Thanks for the comments. I may be missing something here, but when I set the camera to movie mode, I get the message: "Ensure a lens is attached" How do I get round that, if I'm shooting through a scope?
  13. Thanks, very useful. I assumed flats were flats and that was all there was to it. Ho, hum....
  14. So there I was, perfect night for imaging Jupiter, scope focused, EOS 550D set to RAW + high quality JPEG, BYE to 1000 frames at ISO 200. BTW, I found that, in order to get decent detail, I had to use eyepiece projection, otherwise all I got was a featureless bright ball, no matter how low the ISO. But every time I started imaging, my DSLR reverted to low-quality JPEG only. The results, even when tweaking in Registax and Digital Photo Professional, were below expectations, given the setup and conditions. Then I found a post from 2015 by Guyroch that in order for BYE to keep the same image quality, go to Settings>set to "in-camera", otherwise it will default from RAW to JPEG. I have never had this problem before, and wonder why the program is written that way. Spoilt the session.
  15. I had a perfect night for imaging Jupiter, modded Canon EOS 550D, Celestron 9.25 SCT, AVX mount, BYE ready to do its stuff, set to 1000 frames at ISO 200, DSLR set to capture RAW+L-JPEG. I could't understand why the camera kept defaulting to low quality S-JPEG, until I came across the above quote. So the result is a rather disappointing image, given the conditions and equipment, and the best Registax could do.
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