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About mikey2000

  • Rank
    Star Forming

Profile Information

  • Interests
    DSLR and mirrorless 'terrestrial' photography, space, telescopes and now astrophotograpy
  • Location
    Leighton Buzzard UK
  1. Astrophotography help

    No problem. For moon shots, you might be interested in looking into 'stacking' and 'Drizzling' Stakcking this is where you take a whole load of photos (literally hundreds) then use software to blend them together. With enough pics, you can cancel out the shimmering effects of atmospheric turbulence and average out the camera ISO noise for a cleaner pic. 'Drizzling' is part of the same routine where the computer can enhance the resolution. This might be of interest to you as 300mm isn't long enough for real closeups. There are many ways of achieving this. Plenty of tutorials both on this site and 'out there'
  2. Astrophotography help

    Hi there. I guess it depends on the sort of pics you want to take. I don't see a wide angle lens for the DSLR so I suppose broad milky way photos won't be on the list. (Unless the P600 can go wide) For deep space stuff, a 70-300 might work well. However, I'm sure you will soon be needing to upgrade the sturdy tripod to a proper tracking mount of some description. I started off with a 70-200 lens on a tripod but could only get exposures of a few seconds before getting star trails.... Beware - this is a slippery and expensive slope! (But great fun!)
  3. A choice between three binoculars...

    Well, I had first light on the new bins (the opticron Opticron SR.GA 50mm 10x50s). Bearing in mind, I only have my telescope for comparison... I was very very pleased. A wide enough FOV to find things easily and not too shaky (I will work up a tripod mount eventually). I had an exceptionally clear night (my iPhone Dark Sky Meter registered 21.67, way better than my usual 20-something score) and M31 was an easy find and Hercules' great cluster didn't take long to spot. Then the Pleiades popped up. Very pleasing to view! Easy to focus and no problem viewing with or without glasses. I probably slightly prefer the view with glasses off but it's a pain to try and find things then when not looking through the binoculars - the sky is just a mush until I but my specs back on. So here, glasses-on is a winner down to sheer convenience. I'm going to enjoy these :-)
  4. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    And finally (for now !) M53 and the bubble nebula. It's nice to get two DSOs in one photo :-) 84 mins total exposure (6x 5 mins plus 18x 3mins over two nights)
  5. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    Last year I was too late to see M33 Triangulum as it sank in to the LP of Milton Keynes in the west. Here's an attempt from last week: 16x 5mins
  6. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    Andromeda is rising nicely too. In fact it gets a little to high where I am, by 1am getting near the zenith (and so wrecking my DEC guiding more often than not) It is another object that's a little to large for my scope. 18x3 mins
  7. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    It's amusing how we are all imaging more or less the same parts of the sky. It seems many of these DSOs are those that are rising nicely into the sky as the year marches on and we are grabbing our opportunities as they arise :-) I tried the Heart Nebula, knowing it would be too large to fit it all in my view. Also, the reds are rather elusive for my unmodded camera. But here we go: 18x3 mins. Stretched to pieces to get any red to show. I'm not even sure which way up it should go.... I might try again using a camera 400mm camera lens insteaf of the scope. I might fiti it all in then but I'll have to see how having no LP filter works out.
  8. Olly, my camera isn't supported by any of the astro imaging apps, so I think I can't dither very easly. I'm not sure what dither is for either. Something to do with removing fixed pattern noise and hard-to-budge hot pixels, I think. My pic above has quite a lot of small red pixels but I think I stretched the data to pieces on this one :-)
  9. Good stuff. I found the Groups tab now. do I need to worry about any of the Background Calibration options? I'm not 100% sure what they are for. Is it anything to do with handling the different night sky backgrounds for each set? (With the moon a little bit up, the suns are slightly more grey looking compared to the moonless suns, which appear blacker overall)
  10. Just a quick Q... I have some subs of the Bubble Nebula from two different nights. The first night was with the moon just creeping above the horizon (3 min subs) and the second night was no-moon and 5 min subs. They are nicely aligned as I position the scope with plate-solving. What's the best way to combine these? I use DSS for my raw file stacking then Startools to stretch/process. I also have Photoshop for finishing touches. Thanks!
  11. Alignment and focusing issues

    I'm a bit of a newb using low end equiment but here's my setup routine, and it's now yours for the princely sum of 2p: 1. Get a reasonable polar align with the polarscope. 2. fire up guide cam. Use Sharpcap for polar alignment. Hopefully it's a bit off to allow 'unidirectional dec guiding' as I have a cheap EQ3 mount 3.Make sure the scope/mount is in The Home position. 4. Start eqmod and stellarium. Slew somewhere to a really bright star 5. use a hand controller to center roughly, thene resync eqmod. Use a bhatinov mask to nail then lock focus, THIS IS A KEY STEP - ALL FOCUSING IS DONE NOW. 5. Use stellarium to slew to Tonight's Target. 6. Take a pic and AstroTortlla will platesolve the result and re-sync /reslew via EQMOD for me. 7. That normally gets you *very* close to the target with a DSLR field of view and 150mm scope.. Maybe repeat step 6 to make sure. 8. get the guiding up to speed then start taking pics. 9. Bask in Glory 10. (optional) Curse the Gods of Intergalactic Photography as sometihing goes wrong in any of the above steps. 11. (Optional) Praise the Gods of Intergalactic Photography if nothings goes wrong at all. 12. Post photos here 13. Realise you could have done better with a bit more care. (!!!) 14. Realise there is always someone with a better mount/location/scope/camera etc 15. Realise that you should probablyt not sell your roof to keep up :-) 16. Reflect on all of that the next day and enjoy the ride. I love it! I think #16 is the most important part.
  12. That's an interesting Top Tip, Olly. I will have to give it a try. As the owner of an unmodded Sony A6000, I am often left wondering where my nebula is. (even after startools processing) In the spirit of joining the party, here is my image of that area... I was only aiming at the star cluster, so seeing the red regions magically appear was a real treat. (36m total exposure)
  13. baader cc

    I use a sony E mount camera and a Baader CC and also a Baader 2" pollution filter. I have Camera->Adapter->CC->filter. My assumption was that the CC is an optical piece and the design assumes it is correcting optical abberations to be focused at a certain distance. The 'companion assumption' is that the filter is geometrically neutral but cuts out some unwanted wavelengths. Putting the fillter at the end of the chain should make no differerence to the optical geometery. Putting the filter elsewhere could spoil the geometry and mess things up. That said, I've only got one filter and one CC so what do I know.... When I first used the corrector, my photos still showed a little radial stretching (imagine a mild version of Star Wars hyperspace...) I made my own cardboard spacer to keep the CC from screwing all the way in to the T2 adapter (not even 1mm thick) and see even better correction now. That's why I don't want to mess much with the Sensor/CC distance
  14. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    On another note, I finallly got around to emailing skywatcher about the annoying 19 second periodic error on my mount. I'll report back here when I find out which screw I need to tighten/lubricate/whatever...
  15. The EQ3 DSO Challenge

    Peter - Well, I certainly had a bit of fun searching for the green line. But I spotted it in the end! No idea what it is but it's so hard to see that I wouldn't say it spoils the pic. Does it happen in every pic? The stars all look good and a nice variety of colours. I wonder if you can stretch to 60s+ Certainly when downsizing a pic to post here, it can hide a multitude of issues :-) Nige - please stop posting your red nebula photos. You are going to make me spend money!!!