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    Lancashire, UK
  1. I completely agree with your views on the Warren Keller book, I have higher hopes for http://www.deepskycolors.com/mastering-pixinsight.html when it's out. For me, it's just practice and youtube I have learn't the most from. Patience, practice and persevearence has been the key, and I still have a long way to go.
  2. I've never actaully tried planetary photography so I don't feel qualified to answer this, but in theory, to me it sounds easier to get into. @Carbon Brush 's idea about using a smartphone is an excellent idea, you can buy phone mounts that clamp on to your eye piece so that might be worth looking into. You might also want to conside that planets can go long periods below the horizon, but the moon is around a lot more. Observing DSO's in heavy light pollution might be very problomatic. I would have a read of this thread to manage your expectations. Capturing DSO's is narrowband might be the way to go if you pursue that route, but it's expensive.
  3. Photographing planets and DSO's involve very different capture techniques. The best way to capture planets is with a long focal length telescope, such as the c5, with a camera that can take as many frames as possible per scond. Then using software, you pick out the clearest frames to stack together to produce your image, hence having a high framerate camera being advatageous to get more clear images. Photographing DSO's is a lot different. You need to track your target accurately with an equatorial mount, use a camera to take long exposure photographs (which damands accurate tracking or you will get star trails). This is where a wide field, low focal length telescope such as the z61 would come in, which puts less demands on the tracking acurracy. I would suggest you think about which you want to focus on more and pursue that. If you want to go down the DSO route, reading the book "Making Every Photon Count" before spending significant money is wise.
  4. Nice image. I'm curious how you get a Hubble Pallete from a OSC? Did you do this in post processing?
  5. In front of the sensor is an array of small lenses which cause really bright stars to appear with strange artifiacts. A good example here: I've concluded, with the lack of alternatives (The 183MM is one but its pixels are too small) I think its rare enough, and probably easy enough to post process out to be a deal breaker.
  6. I am in the exact same position as yourself, an 80ed owner looking to upgrade. I have decided I will be going down the mono route and have been looking at lots of cameras. I've been unsure about the 1600, with the micro lens diffraction issue putting me off. However, mainly down to the lack of CMOS alternates and the issue being quite rare, I think I will end up going for it.
  7. Yes more data required! I did do flats, the gradients I assume is light pollution, but what are these artefacts you mention?
  8. Here is my latest effort in Deep Sky Astrophotgraphy. I think my processing skills in PixInsight are coming along quite well, but would like to see how far I have come compared to people with more experience, therefore I would like to issue a challenge to anyone willing, to see if they can do better? I have attached the xisf file of the master light file. SoulNebulaLightMaster.xisf
  9. The OPer has a EQ5 Pro, not a HEQ5 Pro, unless you were recommending that as an upgrade?
  10. FLO says the EQ5 Pro is rated at 6.5kg for imaging. The 80ED is 4kgs on its own, together with the guidescope and camera you would probably be getting towards that limit, but I'd say it would probably work. PHD2 will give you an indication of the amount of corrections needed to keep your guidestar in the same spot. The reason behind the drift could be the mount's tracking, or it could be down to the precision of your polar alignment. The Bahtinov mask is a must, to get good images, good focus is essential. I would say get both a small refractor and upgrade the mount, but which you do first is down to you!
  11. You might need to explain what you mean by "image brightness" more... The only thing you need to worry about (at least for now) is that your 1 min exposure's histogram is not clipping on the left. i.e. you see something like this If that is the case, then you can stack and post process to bring out details.
  12. I think you are setting yourself up for a lot of frustrations. Disclaimer: I am not speaking from experience, just what I've read.... The focal length between a guide scope and the 180 is too vast for any meaningful guidance I think, so OAG would be the way to go, and as you say you may find it difficult to find a guide star in your target. I do wonder if you would have significant vignetting too? I don't know. Personally I would be putting money into a more tried as tested astrophotgraphy setup. I wish you luck and would be very interested in your results (as I own a 180 too). EDIT: Having said all the above, this fella https://www.astrobin.com/r3f267/?nc=user looks to have had some success with guiding, doing a lot of 60s exposures on a EQ8.
  13. Using the polar scope on my AZEQ6 has always been good enough with PHD2 for imaging.
  14. How often (if ever) have you run into the micro lens diffraction pattern issue? This is something that really puts me off the 1600MM.
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