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About Buzzard75

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    Star Forming

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    New Bern, NC
  1. I have two, the 14mm and the 30mm. Optically and quality wise, they are excellent. I would caution that wide FOV eyepieces are not everyone's cup of tea and you may want to try one before buying. Some find 68-72 degrees to be a more comfortable range. At 82, my eye can't even take in the full view. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, if that's what you're going for.
  2. I love my 12" dob and it's fantastic to use for public outreach. It has that wow factor of being a giant telescope and the views are crystal clear with my higher end eyepieces. However, sometimes I just want something smaller that I can grab and go. I have a small spotting scope that I use for target shooting, but it's not great for astronomy. It works, but it's not great. I have a small set of binos that are also great for hunting, but they are very small aperture, so again, not great for astronomy. I backed the Unistellar eVscope last year and should see my scope in May and I'm really excited about that, especially after seeing the clip from The Gadget Show Season 28 Episode 4 that just aired. I think that will become my new grab and go when I get it. It's an amazing piece of EAA gear all packaged into one with some other unique features. I'd still like a nice set of astro binos and a dedicated solar scope like the Lunt 80mm. It's definitely not a cheap hobby, but as said, it's an interesting one. Everything I have and everything I would like to have serves a slightly different purpose, but it all advances my enjoyment of the hobby and that's the most important thing.
  3. Buzzard75

    Which Canon camera

    As mentioned, if you're not doing tracking using some type of mount, 300mm is a bit too much. I personally use a Canon 750D, a Canon EF 75-300mm lens, on an iOptron Skyguider Pro and an iOptron tripod. At 300mm, I am really pushing the capabilities of the mount and the kit lens itself. However, I am on a budget and know that I am not going to get images that are even close to what some people produce using higher end optics and mounts. I also go for minimalism when processing my images. Just enough to bring out some details. My whole purpose is to show people at our public outreach events what they can do with a very small amount of equipment and very basic skills. I would advise you that you really have to know what you want to accomplish and buy the best that you can afford to accomplish that goal. If your goal is nightscapes, you can get some pretty good images with a camera and a widefield lens on a stationary tripod using short exposures. If your goal is deep sky, then you're going to need a tracking mount of some type, preferably an EQ, and I would also recommend a high quality prime focus lens or a small APO refractor. You can go the budget route and buy lesser equipment like a kit lens or a mini tracking mount like I have, but you have to manage your expectations.
  4. What were you using to take the images and what were your settings, if you don't mind? I've never tried to capture a comet to animate it, but I might try something easier in the future like 46p/Wirtanen later this year to give it a go.
  5. Buzzard75

    Getting entire lunar image

    I couldn't get prime focus on my 12" dob without using a Barlow, as is often the case. The method I used to image the moon was to take multiple frames and stitch them together in a mosaic. If you can't get prime focus, using the same method with eyepiece projection or a Barlow may be your only option, without modifying your scope that is.
  6. Buzzard75

    300p flexi dob and DSLR

    I use my 12" Orion with fairly good success to caputre images of the moon and the planets, but that's about it. Rather than moving your mirror as previously suggested, I recommend using a Barlow lens. I use a 2x Barlow with mine and it works quite well. The moon images I have captured end up being close-ups or combining them to create mosaics. For planetary imaging, you're going to need to use the Barlow and a bit of capture software like BackyardEOS or APT and use the 5x view to get a 1:1 pixel scale and capture video so the planets aren't microscopic. I use a Canon t6i/750D for all my imaging. You would also need a t-ring and adapter/nosepiece for your camera to fit it to your Barlow or focuser.
  7. Buzzard75

    My First M31

    I feel like this has been a long time coming. I've only been doing amateur astronomy and a member of a local club for a little over a year. I just started doing photography back in March, well after Andromeda was out of position, but it's been on my list of targets since then. Recently, the weather has been pretty poor with the hurricane, the heat, and just lots of overcast nights on the weekends closest to the new moon. Fortunately, we had a few hours of gorgeous weather last night until the humidity almost reached 100% and started hazing everything out. This is the result of about 50 120-second frames at ISO800, f/6.3 using a Canon 750D and a 75-300mm EF lens at 300mm, mounted on an iOptron Skyguider Pro. Skies here are a Bortle 5. Frames stacked in DSS using calibration frames and minimally processed in Photoshop.
  8. As has been suggested, you could build your own solution. If you don't want to build your own, contact Kendrick with the measurements of your secondary and they may be able to make a suggestion in regards to their products. I had questions about my setup as well and they were very helpful. Not that you need it, but I can vouch for their products. I have one on my primary and secondary of my dob. I also have one for my Telrad and my eyepieces. They work really well.
  9. I'm currently finishing up The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel. It's an account of how they categorized stars by spectrum lines, magnitude, classified them, and discovered variable stars as well as all their other accomplishments and the use of the glass plates to do all their research. It's all stuff I've heard before, but there are a lot of first hand accounts and stories that are also included.
  10. No problem. Sunglasses would give you the same effect as a polarizing filter and is something you probably already have. They make non-variable filters as well in varying degress of light transmission. I went with the variable as the "one size, fits all" option. Love my planisphere and enjoy showing it to people who have never seen one before. For the SkySafari app, you may need to calibrate your phone/tablet sensors and compass. You can do so by spinning your device around the three axies a few times each. When you hold it up again, it may take a second for it to reorient and realign. It may still not be perfect, but it should be considerably closer than it was previously. SkySafari is hands down the best app I've found and I recommend it to everyone who asks at our astronomy club events.
  11. I think it's camera and connection dependent. I get around 30 with my 750D. As was mentioned, the software is just better at capturing uncompressed video than a DSLR is.
  12. APT (Astrophotography Tool) and BYE (BackyardEOS) are capture software that you run on your computer. I use them myself. I do not believe there is a native Mac version of either.
  13. I have the Orion Variable Polarizing moon filter. It will transmit anywhere from 1-40% of the light just by twisting the filter. When we have our lunar viewing events people complain about how bright it is when looking through other telescopes that don't have a filter, not so when looking through mine. You can buy other filters that transmit a specific percentage, but this variable one works great for anything from crescent to full moon to magnified views of surface details. I have a 12" dob so views can be extremely bright. Highly recommend it if you have a larger scope and don't want to be blinded. I've even used it with my white light filter when solar viewing. Even wstopping down the aperture with a mask and solar film, it can be fairly bright and uncomfortable to look at for an extended period.
  14. Buzzard75

    Focussing A DSLR

    I've used the magnified live view and manual focus method with some success. I've also used BackyardEOS and APT. Both have a feature that's been mentioned called FWHM. I find I prefer APT because I can control my camera lens focuser with it and don't have to physically touch the camera to focus. I don't believe BackyardEOS has that feature, or at least I haven't found it. Both programs are worth the money as they are relatively inexpensive. I'm sure there are other free options out there though, if that's what you're looking for.
  15. Not sure it makes a huge difference in this particular case, but the first step should be to make sure that the secondary is centered in the tube assembly itself. Measure the length of the spider vanes from the inside of the tube to the center of the secondary stalk screw. Tighten or loosen the vane screws as necessary so they are equal in length, yet firmly holding the vanes in place. Then continue as you did to center the secondary in the focuser, adjust it for tilt, get the three clips on the primary, align the primary. If it looks like it's collimated then it's collimated. If you're getting fuzzy stars there's something else going on. As suggested, it could just be thermals. Also recommend you attempt to focus during daytime on distant objects. I used a combination of collimation cap, Cheshire and laser for my initial collimation. After that I use the laser and check with the collimation cap during setup for the night and fine tuning. I only ever do a major recollimation when it's absolutely necessary. Most times I just have to adjust the secondary slightly and the primary as I have a truss type that gets disassembled every time. Astro Baby's guide: http://www.astro-baby.com/astrobaby/help/collimation-guide-newtonian-reflector/

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