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About Biglewey

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  1. I'm probably being slow here but cannot understand the FITS image format (well I understand it) but use it. Everybody says FITs and SER are the formats to use. My problem, camera is Altair Astro GPCAM2 IMX224 Colour on SkyMax 127 MAC.. Using avi format and bmp on my first attempt some very passable images of the moon, Jupiter (attached) and even M13 (didn't bother at this stage with flats, darks or bias - just trying to get a useable picture - one step at a time)using video for moon/Jupiter and stacking and about 20 images in bmp for M13. As I say quite pleased as this was my first night with the camera. As I say these were from avi and bmps. I did some capture in FITS and SER but cannot for the life of me do anything with them. Please some help with FITS first. FITS liberator shows the 3 planes (which I think) are the Red Green and Blue. I can do all the stretch and stuff but (and I'm probably being thick here) how do I get them into a colour TIFF or JPG to put into Photoshop Elements. I can save and load each plane but they are just black and white representations of each of RG and B. What do I do with them to get a colour photo? Any help appreciated.
  2. AS seemed to like the video files more than registax and AS is easier for starters like me.
  3. Eric, Captured video with Altair software in avi format. Processed with autostakkert (AS) with stock settings and tried settings for using best 25%, 50% and 75% frames but couldn't see much difference between them - quality must have been consistent across all frames?. I used the option to sharpen in AS as produces 2 tif files, one as is and one sharpened. Just converted them to jpg with Photoshop Elements. Tried a bit of improving but to be honest they came out pretty well as is (well for me that is). As I'm new to this I used camera and camera plus focal reducer to make things easy - might stick on the barlow to get a bigger image next time. I used AS software in default settings as again it worked well and fiddling around with what works well anyway seemed not worth it for my first try. I also got some good moon shots and managed to catch M13 as my first DSO but an easy one to try out. Actually, I'm surprised how well they came out as a first attempt.
  4. Set Up - Skywatcher 127 MAC, GPCAM2 colour camera and using altair astro software to capture. These photos are my "first light" with the GPCAM and quite pleased but looking to get better. Any comments appreciated but I was interested in what is the bluish clouds on the opposite side to the red spot - I was out a couple of hours and it was definitely there and moving round with the red spot so I'm sure its not an error of my technique??? Did a wider shot to catch moons they are there but too faint ....more work for another day on that. Any comments please.
  5. Thanks for the advice and correction... However, I do understand that magnification really has no real meaning in astrophotography that's why I said " know that you cant compare really but its just an indication". Ive done the calculations and got roughly the same figures as you. I guess it comes down to the long focal length of the scope but its my first scope and fits my needs in other ways so need to match the ccd camera up better. I was just looking for experience of reasonably priced reducers to ease my early attempts since with the current set up positioning, guidance and focus are all very critical - the same as it is with my 10 mm eyepiece (no apology for the comparison). I find the scope easier with the 25mm eyepiece in all respects so looking for a 0.5 x reducer would similarly ease things and give easier exposure. So far ive seen Revelation 0.5x (£20 ish), Anteres (£40 ish) vs Celestron and Meade units at circa £95. Anybody got the Revelation or Anteres units to comment pls.
  6. Set-up is Skywatcher Skymax 127 MAK and altair astro Altair GPCAM2 IMX224 Colour. I've just had the first look with it in the scope and some questions I'm sure you can help me with. 1. The magnification - which I suspected from the calculations I've done on the scope and ccd size - is very high. From comparison the view on my laptop looks about the same as with a 10mm eyepiece. Which I calculate to be 150 X (I know that you cant compare really but its just an indication). so quite high and indeed too high for a lot of stuff since at that mag focus and aiming is not easy. So, lower mag is required. I guess a focal reducer is need probably 0.5 to give 75x. Any recommendations for a reasonably priced but good quality one based on experience please. 2. I assume that since the scope is f11 as is that the focal reducer will halve the focal length from 1500mm to 750 mm - will this make it in effect f5.5 and therefore provide a brighter image? 3. What is the max focal reduction I can use to capture bigger (more difficult and for later) stuff like Andromeda.... and I assume its not good to "stack" multiple focal reducers?? Thanks for any guidance and information for a keen to learn newbie.
  7. How are getting with this camera - still looking and considering. .Thanks for any info.
  8. Good stuff Interested to see how you get on with "more challenging" targets!
  9. Let me know how you get on please................I too have not been out over the last few weeks...
  10. Temped by Altair GPCAM V2 IMX224 Colour . Any comments on suitability for my needs. Planets, moon and "easy" DSOs bearing in mind its my first camera.
  11. Just had a look - yes there is an adjustment and locking ring not very obvious and nothing in the instruction manual. Cant try it at the moment as its windy and raining but will sort it out next time the scope is out. Thanks for the advice...will be so much easier.
  12. My poor old eyes mean that I need glasses for distance and now for close up. Its a real pain when lining up the scope during setup of goto that I can "eye up" the scope roughly (glasses on) since guidescope has no focus control and set for somebody with good distance vision I have to leave glasses on - not very good . Obviously main scope use glasses off but can focus for my eyesight so that's not a problem. What would be helpful would be a dioptre correction lens so I can see through guidescope without specs. Tried with contact lens can sees distance but then need glasses for reading synscan or star maps grrrr. So, where can I get dioptre correctors for guidescope pls.
  13. One thing I used rather than swapping eyepieces is use my 25mm (Skywatcher 127 F/11). Use 2 star, find the first star and steadily de-focus until large bright disk in eyepiece almost fills the view - its then easy to find the centre position rather than having a very small dot in the middle of a black circle. Then re-focus before moving to next star and do the same again. This assumes that as the star goes out of focus it doesn't shift from centre just gets bigger. Being a Mat-Cas I cant imagine there being any offset from being out of focus but I don't know for a Newt where 2nd mirror is at 45Deg. I'm new to this so somebody tell me if that's the wrong thing to do...
  14. I'm 61 and just taken up this wonderful hobby and being semi-retired got the time for late nights and early mornings. kit includes skywatcher skymax 127, 10x50 binos, 32mm and 7.5 mm extra eye pieces and light pollution filter. Really enjoy viewing objects but want to show other people so credit card itching to buy me a usb camera ZWO ASI 224 MC seems temping. thinking about diy dew shields as an easy project. the hobby is addictive and gets you wanting more kit.
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