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Everything posted by DarkKnight

  1. Sorry for the very late reply. The filter arrived with no fitting instructions whatsoever and no help from either the seller or the manufacturer. Fitting it is in no way intuitive and as i didn't want to risk damaging the sensor on a new camera I didn't try. As I'm now changing to a Full Frame D610 I will probably sell it.
  2. Many thanks for taking the time to assist Robin, much appreciated. And of course SC is different to drift alignment. Perhaps we could call it PSPA, an initialism for 'Plate Solving Polar Alignment'. Now all I want is a clear sky. The only clear night we've had recently it was 30°C (86°F) at 2200 and the sky was shimmering like a desert mirage. Today it is grey and drizzling. One thing I have learnt is not to miss an opportunity to shoot when you have good seeing, as those times are rare. Thanks again.
  3. I'm finally ready for first light with my now completed set-up. Completed for the moment anyway. I'm intending to start by imaging with a Nikon D7200. I'm looking for a S/H D600 which I'll get modded. My current lens are Samyang 14mm f2.8 (for the Milky Way etc), Tamron 24-70mm f2.8, Tamron 70-200mm f2.8, Sigma 150mm f2.8 Macro and a Nikon 300mm f4 + 1.4 T/C. I have a HEQ5 Pro with a side-by-side plate to mount the camera, with flash mounted green laser pointer, and my WO 50mm guide scope with ZWO ASI120MM-S to use for drift aligning (?) and when I get into guiding. Initially I'll be doing tracking only till I get the hang of what this astro stuff is about. I have a lap-top with a USB3 port available. I should say at this stage that I'm reasonably competent with terrestrial photography but have only dipped my toe in the water with the astro stuff. I'm pretty enclosed at home but I think I have enough clear view to the South and East to get a reasonable alignment with SharpCap and M42 and M45 are very visible at present. OK, newbie questions: - Do I need to have any other drivers other than what came on the ZWO disc? It has SharpCap V 2.9 and Firecapture V 2.5.10 on it. - The WO 50mm 'scope has a FOV of 5.7°. Is that OK for drift aligning? - So I'll use the guide scope for my drift aligning and then plug in the camera for imaging? - What is a good, easy to follow program for my imaging capture with a DSLR? This has been a twelve month process getting to this point with a dud HEQ5 (returned) an NEQ6, too heavy, and the frustration of finding the bits to mount a DSLR camera. I'm sure I'm over simplifying the whole process so any tips would be most appreciated.
  4. I was googling for someone to do an astro conversion on a Nikon D5300 camera. I was looking at the D5300 because I believe it has a Sony sensor as opposed to the Toshiba variant used in a lot of it's siblings. From my ramblings it seems that the Sony produces less noise than the Toshiba. Anyway I came across this mob in the USA and was interested to read their list of recommended DSLR's for astro conversion. http://www.spencerscamera.com/recommended-cameras-astro.cfm It seems that they have done some work for NASA so one could assume that they know their stuff. As a result of their recommendations I'm now looking for a D600/D610, a camera that I've owned but moved on to make funds available for a D800, not one of my better decisions.
  5. Personally I'd firstly be investigating the capabilities of your current set-up. The shot you posted is not at all shabby for 10 secs. You have a capable tracking mount so why not try tracking and stacking to see what can be achieved with the gear you already have.
  6. If you want to try Photoshop I think CS2 is now available for FREE.
  7. If you don't have it DSS ( http://deepskystacker.free.fr/english/index.html ) is a free stacking program. Open a copy of the final image in Photoshop for PP.
  8. Cheers Tony. I eventually got confirmation from Nikon that the D7200 shared the same filter and light-box as the D7100 and as a result I went ahead and ordered the Optolong UHC Cilp-in filter. Should arrive this week so I will post some pics with and without it.
  9. Hutech have replied that if the D7200 has the same mirror box it will fit. I eventually managed to talk to someone at Nikon Australia Technical Support today, a nice lady whose first language was not English and who I suspect was not even in Australia. I understood most, or maybe that should be some of what she said. Anyway the gist of it appeared to be that the D7200 and the D7100 do in fact share the same sensor, and hopefully the same mirror box. The difference in the megapixels is due to a different algorithm for the D7200 plus the EXPEED 4 processor. I'll bite the bullet and order the Optolong model and see how we go.
  10. Cheers Mike. Astronomik only seem to make their filters for Canon so it looks like either Optolong or Hutech. I emailed Optolong on June 22 about suitability for the D7200 but have received no reply. Must have gone in the too hard basket. I've just emailed Hutech so fingers crossed for a better outcome.
  11. Hi, My interest is photographing the night sky with a terrestrial foreground using a DSLR. My prime night sky subject is the Milky Way. Unfortunately, between me and the Milky Way are about 750,000 people and the associated light pollution, see pic below. As my main lens is a 14mm with no filter thread I'm stuck with a clip-in filter. Ive asked in another thread for some help with availability for my Nikon D7200. Would something like the Optolong CLS filter help with the sky glow in the shot below? Thanks Kev
  12. Hi, I've recently acquired a Nikon D7200, mainly for the lack of an OLPF and reasonably good high ISO capability. As I live in an area with moderate light pollution I'd like to get a clip-in LPF as my 14mm lens has no front filter thread. Now these are available for the D7000/D7100 but no specific mention is made of suitability for the D7200, possibly due only to websites not being updated. I've tried to get confirmation from two manufacturers with no reply, and the sellers I've contacted could only come up with 'Should fit'. I strongly suspect that the sensors are the same Toshiba unit although Nikon state the D7200 has 24.2MP's and EXPEED 4 image processing and the D7100 24.1MP's and EXPEED 3 processor, just enough difference to create a niggling doubt in my mind. Anyone done this mod?
  13. There is a Star Party coming up and they have no stock for a month or more.
  14. After looking into this cable a bit deeper it seems that all DB9 to USB cables are not equal. I don't want to fry the mounts mobo for the sake of 30 odd bucks. To that end I've decided on a HitecAstro EQMOD Direct Adaptor from Rother Valley Optics as FLO wont post to the antipodes. Cheers
  15. Hi, I know what you mean about the SkyWatcher manual. It just seems to skip all the salient bits that a newbie needs. I spent a couple of frustrating days trying to align the polar scope and in my quest for more info came across the Orion mounts. These come from the same factory (Synta) as the SkyWatcher mounts and the main difference seems to be a bit of badge engineering, although there are probably some software differences. Their HEQ5 is called 'Sirius' and their NEQ6 (which I have) is called 'Atlas'. Here is a link to the Orion Sirius Manual ..... http://www.telescope.com/assets/product_files/instructions/29280_07-10.pdf I found it much easier to follow and it seems to be more up to date. I don't have a scope yet so will leave the balancing problems to those better qualified. Hope this helps. Cheers
  16. I've had a look on Shoestring and they suggest a DB9 to USB, bypassing the handset. It's pretty exxy but I can get one locally for a lot less. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/171726439637?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT Thanks again for the help.
  17. Thanks for the replies. Julian was spot on. The port on the laptop is RJ45. I'm still confused as to what the auto guider jack on the mount is for. Skywatcher don't appear to have updated their manual sine the original EQ6 however I've just downloaded the Orion Atlas manual which shows the auto guider port although it doesn't seem to mention what it is for.
  18. I've downloaded and installed EQASCOM and I'm now wading through the multiple connection options for my EQ6 mount with V4 SynScan upgrade. I received a Female RS232 DB9 to RJ12 cable with my upgrade kit and it seems the easiest way to hook it up to my laptop is to get a Male RS232 DB9 to USB adapter. So where do I connect it? The mount has an Auto Guider port that accepts a RJ12 plug as does the SynScan hand controller. My laptop has a RJ12 port plus 1 X 3.0 and 2 x 2.0 USB ports. Is it also an option to use a straight RJ12 to RJ12 cable from either the Auto Guider port on the mount or the RJ12 port on the SynScan handset to the RJ12 port on the laptop. In my newbiness (is that even a word) I am probably missing the obvious here. Any help much apprediated. Thanks
  19. Thanks Paul. As you have probably worked out I'm an old fart who wouldn't know an X box from an Ipad.
  20. In the quest for a better alignment routine I've downloaded EQMOD. Reading thru the blurb it recommends using a gamepad for controlling. OK, over to fleaBay, but none of the gamepads seem to have a plug that I can insert into my laptop so I figure there must be some sort of adapter needed to plug it into one of my laptop's USB ports. Can someone please tell me what I need. Thanks PS: I'm seriously wondering if this old dude may have bitten off more than he can chew with his desire to do some astro imaging.
  21. Hi Rob, I actually have a fair selection of lens, from the Samyang 14mm f2.8 up to the Nikon 300mm f4 + 1.4 T/C. This is one of my earlier shots with the 14mm, not spot on for focus and too long on the shutter, but it gave me enough encouragement to go further. (ISO4000, 30secs at f2.8) PS: There is a general photography consensus that there is more recoverable detail in an overexposed shot than an underexposed one. Does this apply in astro photography?
  22. Hi Rob, I have another thread running about setting up a 130P-DS scope, and one on my concerns was how the mount would handle the D800 with grip, which is about half as heavy again as your D5300.
  23. Thank you sidelight, Knight of Clear Skies and Uranium. I did a quick refresher course on Bayer filters and it all makes sense now, sort of. Sidelight, an interesting observation on debayering. Knight of Clear Skies, shame you are too far away for a shooting session. With your clear skies and my darkness, we would have perfect conditions. And I agree that with lens, cheap doesn't necessarily mean crappy. One of my favourite shots was taken with a Pentax M 50mm f1.7 from the 70's. I still have it even though I switched to Nikon about five years back. And yes, I've been doing some testing with the camera on the mount with mixed, but encouraging, results. Rob, it's scary to think that some of what we see in the sky is no longer there, and ceased to exist eons ago. At the moment I'm like a kid in a lolly shop, so many temptations, and absolutely no idea of what anything tastes like. I think, as the Knight suggested, I'll continue with my camera on my mount till I've come to grips with that set of challenges, exacerbated by no view of the SCP, and when I feel I'm ready for a scope probably start with a modded DSLR. Thank you all for taking the time to help a newbie trying to find his feet in this rather daunting photographic genre.
  24. Another dumb question. As as photographer I generally prefer natural colour to monochrome, and I was surprised to see that mono CCD's were generally dearer than the colour CCD's. Doesn't seem logical to me as the colour sensor also captures black and white plus red, green and blue. Do I need to do a crash course on CCD sensors, or is there a simple explanation?
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