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Everything posted by DarkKnight

  1. Very impressive Ohan. Is your D800 modded? How did you go with your SynScan kit? Mine should arrive by the end of next week. I'm looking forward to using my Nikon D800 with my 300mm f4 and the 1.4T/C, and also trying two T/C's stacked, which I've done with some success for bird shots.
  2. It is possible that Nikon may have made some improvements in that area since 2006, when the D80 was released.
  3. You didn't mention your budget. Olly alluded to Nikon's new D810A. If you don't have budget constraints that camera, for me, would be a no-brainer. Some Nikon blurb from their website: Nikon's first full-frame DSLR dedicated to astrophotographySpecialized IR cut filter captures the red tones of H-alpha emission nebulae36.3MP FX-format CMOS image sensor with no optical low-pass filter captures staggering detailShoot ultra-long exposures up to 900 seconds (15 minutes)Built-in Time-Lapse, Interval Shooting and unlimited continuous shootingOK, I'm using a D800, but I'm not a Nikon fanboy. I use a Canon P&S and still have about ten 'A' series SLR's, and I went to Nikon via Pentax. What pees me off with Canon is their habit of changing their lens mounts. With Pentax and Nikon you can mount any lens from the last 50 years on their current models, albeit with some loss of function in the lower end models. Like you, I'm just getting into AP so you can take my thoughts with a grain of salt. From my internet wanderings there does seem a lot more legacy support for Canon, but it seems like the gap to Nikon is narrowing. If you are going the budget route (I am) look for something without an optical low pass filter, and be prepared to experiment with things like the Hoya Intensifier Enhancing Didymium Glass Filter. To this end I'm looking at the D5300 as I obviously have a collection of Nikon lens. Initially I'll be using my D800, and I am still on a steep learning curve re the end results I can expect with a DSLR v a telescope. Good luck with your deliberations.
  4. I went through the same exercise recently. My brief was to find a suitable method to mount my Camera/lens combo, about 4kg, on my EQ6. I immediately thought of a ball-head for the range of adjustment it would allow for me to align my camera with the mount. To this end I bought an iOptron ball-head, rated to 20lbs. First up, it dropped past 90° and when set to 90° it wouldn't support the weight and drooped, and the ball twisted in the socket. I have a Markins Q10 which would do the job but I wanted a dedicated set-up for the EQ6. While heading back to the drawing board I had a light-bulb moment. I had a Kirk monopod head which drops to precisely 90° and no further. OK, no adjustment available, but it was always my intention to use my Wimberley Sidekick and that gives me heaps of finesse in the DEC plane and I can release the clutch on the RA axis for lateral adjustment. It's just tacked onto the plate for the pic at this stage while I wait for the correct socket head screws and SynScan kit to arrive. Pretty happy with the result and it seems very solid with no flex or movement. I guess it's just another way to skin the cat.
  5. I've done a test balance and it balances with the 5kg weight about 1/2 way up the shaft.
  6. It was more about fine tuning the alignment of the camera and the mount. I guess I wasn't optimistic enough to think that I could attach the camera directly to the dovetail plate and have my sensor perfectly aligned with the mount.
  7. Hi, The camera and lens, which weigh close to 4kgs, are mounted on a ball head via a Wimberley Sidekick, and then onto the Dovetail plate. I chose to use the Sidekick because it gives me an easy way to adjust the vertical alignment of my camera to the mount. I already had the ball head and the Sidekick so I only had to buy the dovetail plate. The counterweight was just fitted for the picture and sits a bit higher when balanced. I don't have any pictures yet as I'm waiting on the SynScan upgrade kit to arrive, hopefully in a fortnight. Cheers
  8. I'm doing some groundwork for my SynScan upgrade so next question. Looking at pics of the EQ6 motherboard I can see both motor connectors and a LED connector. Is the LED connector where I plug the Polar Scope illuminator control in ? I can't seem to find a pic of the back of the mobo.
  9. Hi Ohan, I've also just bought an EQ6. Mine is an unused old stock item and looks about the same vintage as yours with the Illuminator control knob on the panel. And I too am awaiting delivery of the SynScan upgrade kit, about ten days away. Initially I'm going to use the mount for imaging with my camera and various lens up to 600mm. I'll be following your progress with interest. Cheers
  10. With the Aussie dollar, AKA the Pacific Peso, in free-fall, I bit the bullet today and paid a deposit on the SynScan upgrade kit. Must have been old stock at the equivalent of £300.00
  11. Tidy piece of innovation. And glad to see someone else with a very smart black and white set-up. Almost as nice as your view.
  12. I've got it, just didn't put it on for the pic.
  13. Here it is in all it's BLACK, WHITE and CHROME beauty. I actually don't mind it at all.
  14. Only one of the two counterweights arrived today, no surprise there. Anyway here is a pic of it set-up and one of the camera mounted on a Wimberley Sidekick and a Kirk monopod head. Oh and I changed the old original puck to the later one. And apologies Mods, I seem to have two overlapping threads going.
  15. Only one of the two missing counterweights arrived today, I wasn't surprised with that at all. Anyway it gave me the chance to see how it all looked together. Below is a quick pic of the whole set-up and another of my camera mount. The camera has a Wimberley Sidekick sitting in a Kirk monopod ball head, a perfect solution (I think) because the ball head drops to exactly 90°. With the Sidekick's up and down adjustment I believe this will assist greatly with aligning my camera to the mount. The camera is only 'tacked' onto the plate at present as I'm waiting for the correct socket head screws to arrive. I think I can see a small glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
  16. The mount appears brand new and unused, and I guesstimate 7 or 8 years old, pre NEQ6, so it would have originally been shipped with the 11/2" tripod legs. It was in the original packing and I guess the seller opened the box to cobble a few bits. The mount seems to operate as it should. and I have a strip-down and SynScan upgrade on the drawing board. Oh, and the price was reasonable, a tad over 400 of your pounds.
  17. Well it arrived with a BLACK mount and a WHITE tripod, no counterweights, and one saddle mounting plate lock knob missing. I've changed the original saddle puck to the later SkyWatcher one and the dealer is sending me the missing counterweights, in WHITE. On the plus side the tripod was the later version with the 2" S/Steel legs. It looks like something from the set of the Black & White Minstrel Show but I must admit it is growing on me. I'll post a pic when it all arrives.
  18. Another couple of pluses is that the sensor has no anti-aliasing filter which enables it to better resolve detail than those with an optical low pass filter, and the LCD screen is on a vari-angle bracket.
  19. Thanks to Ollie and Zakalwe I've had a rethink, particularly about the plate length, and I've decided that I really do need the peace of mind that a longer plate with the facility to fit retaining screws gives. To that end I've now ordered a replacement SkyWatcher saddle and Farpoint Bread Board Dovetail. Thanks for the help guys. Most appreciated
  20. I've gone for a Losmandy 4" plate and I'll look at doing indents where the lock knob screw heads meet the plate face to eliminate any slippage. I'm no engineer but it seems like a pretty ordinary bit of designing where you only get part of the screw head making contact with the clamping face.
  21. I'm obviously missing something here. The pic below is of a Lunt Vixen style dovetail plate, other brands seem the same. The EQ6 mounting clamp has one vertical face and one sloping face, yet the plates all seem to have a slope on both clamping faces. Coming from a DSLR camera background, and using all Arca Swiss plates and clamps, it just doesn't seem very secure to me.
  22. OK, my EQ6 has arrived with a few surprises. A BLACK mount and a WHITE tripod, Huh ????, not a problem for me, looks quite smart, and the tripod is the heavier 2" model. Also missing were the counterweights and one mounting plate lock knob. A call to the dealer got some replacements sorted. Now all I need is some sort of a plate to mount my camera gear on. Being new to this stuff I'm still learning all the terminology so I don't really know what to look for. Most of the plates I've seen on the net don't seem to fit the profile of the head but then I'm probably not looking for the correct thing. Here is a pic of the mount and I'd appreciate it if someone could tell me what type of plate fits it. The head has one vertical face and one slightly diagonal face whereas most of the plates I've seen seem to have both faces on a diagonal plane. Thanks
  23. Oh, and my polar scope definitely doesn't have a lady's handbag stuffed in it. See Rik, I am paying attention. Just found out that a reticule is a lady's handbag whereas the cross-hairs in my polar scope are known as a reticle.
  24. Firstly, thank you to all who have offered advice. The manual that Peter linked me to has been a HUGE help. It answered all my questions. Phil (Phil-lost!) was spot-on with his comment. The N/S switch is also the On/Off switch, and when activated the mount starts tracking at the set sidereal rate. Phew, I don't have to stand there with my finger on the button. And yes Rik, I'll have to learn 'Astrospeak' and re-train my old brain to think in astronomical terminology. There seems to have been many iterations of this mount since inception and mine is different again to any pics or illustrations that I've seen in that it has an illuminated polar scope with a brightness control on the motor panel. No shining a red flashlight down the front end of the polar finder to illuminate the reticule as per the Atlas manual. Next is to align the polar scope and chase up a suitable dovetail plate to mount my camera on. I'll just be doing basic tracking at this stage till I save up the readies for the GoTo upgrade kit. I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing what you are working with sure helps.
  25. The Orion Atlas Manual is so much easier to follow than the SkyWatcher mish-mash.
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