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About Buzzard75

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    Star Forming

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    New Bern, NC
  1. Buzzard75

    Bite Size Milky Way

    Thanks all for the looks and the likes. After editing my last round of images, I've come to a few conclusions and feel the need to invest in some equipment. Top of my list is a better widefield lens. Right now I only have two kit lenses for my Canon 750D. They're not bad, they're just not great. I need something a little better. I'm eyeing the Rokinon 14mm f/2.4. Next on my list is either a monitor or a new laptop or both. I'm running everything on my Surface Pro 4. It works fine and is fantasticly portable for data aquisition, but editing on it is a chore sometimes. It's not extremely powerful, but it's not a snail either. The biggest problem I have with it is the screen. It's pretty small and has a terrible glare on it. There are some artifacts and other areas of concern in this image that I didn't even notice until I looked at it on another screen. The glare I can fix, the size I'd need a monitor to fix. But if I'm going to do that, maybe I just invest in a new laptop all together. If anyone has recommendations on good monitors for photo editing that don't cost an arm and a leg, let me know.
  2. Buzzard75

    Saturn 11-06-18

    Fantastic image. I've come to the conclusion if I want to do any serious planetary imaging, I need make some major equipment upgrades to get crisp details like this.
  3. Technically it only has one, but Io gave it another one as its shadow fell on the surface. I finally had an opportunity to reimage Jupiter after coming to the realization that I hadn't been using BackyardEOS to its full potential. I had no idea that 5X on planetary was so important. Teach me to not read the manual. I struggled with the detail as we had some high level clouds that gave us a pretty poor transparency, so it is what it is.
  4. Buzzard75

    Bite Size Milky Way

    Thanks! I used my iOptron Skyguider Pro and took 10x150s exposures, ISO800, f/4. This was using my Canon 750D and the 18-55mm EF-s lens.
  5. Went out to do some planetary and some widefield imaging last night. I had to crop a significant amount of my widefield image though. I was at our dark site, but I had considerably more light pollution than I had anticipated. I didn't shoot with my CLS filter in like I should have so the edges of my exposures were ruined. It didn't really show up that badly until I started messing with levels and curves. The other reason I had to cut out a good bit of it was because some moron decided to continuously walk back and forth through my shots even after I told him not to. Repeatedly. He was one of those oblivious types that just had no understanding of what was going on. I only had one capture that didn't have him in it and there was a bit of high level clouds which made that image less than stellar. So I just stacked all of my images and cropped as little as possible. This was the result. For a reference point, the bright spot left and below center is Saturn. The one in the upper right edge is Antares. This was last night just before 11:30pm EDT. It's a beautiful bit of the Milky Way and is my first attempt at capturing it.
  6. Buzzard75

    laptop question

    I have a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with an i7, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD with another 256GB microSD card. I use it for both data acquisition and processing. Gathering data is no problem at all. Note that it only has one USB plug though. Right now I'm not using it to run a mount or a guide camera, just capture images from a single camera so one is all I need. It's a little slow at processing the data (stacking, editing, etc.), but it's not painfully slow. I'm sure a higher end laptop with a faster processor and more RAM would chew through it quicker, but it does the job. Best of all it's light weight and extremely portable. The surface pros aren't cheap for what they are, but I really like mine and use it for everything. Well worth the money spent.
  7. Buzzard75

    Mercury as Summer Evening Star

    It will definitely be on my observation list for our July 7 outing.
  8. Buzzard75

    Observing with glasses advice ????

    You should get a monocle. And a top hat.
  9. Buzzard75

    Bubble level

    If I were to use this type of spirit level, I would lay it flat so you can check level in more than just one axis. I personally prefer the bull's eye type as it will level in a plane rather than just the direction of the tubes of a basic spirit level. My two cents.
  10. No problem. I would certainly recommend a finder if it's light enough. I'd really like one to use with my camera and lenses as it would definitely make star hoping easier. Right now my method involves focusing at the zoom level I intend to use for my shoot, zooming out and attempting to locate my object while taking exposure after exposure and increasing the zoom level. Using just a camera and lenses is a pain. If you had a scope, instead of a lense, you could at least center your object using an eyepiece and visual star hopping and then put the camera on. Or if you had a finder in addition to the imaging train, you wouldn't have to remove and replace eyepieces for cameras. Again, it's entirely possible to use this mount for small scopes and cameras with lenses, you just have to understand what's involved and figure out what's best and easiest for you and how best to utilize it. I get frustrated with it sometimes as is. If I had a finder, it would be considerably easier. If I had a GoTo it would be a breeze.
  11. Granted, star hopping is a good skill to acquire. However, the problem I have is I can't really star hop with a DSLR. Sometimes they're too faint to show up in a live view, so it may require the tedious method of taking exposures over and over again and making slight adjustments. Sounds easy enough, but it can be a pain. I spent two hours just trying to get the Rosette Nebula in frame one night because I couldn't see any reference stars in live view. Again, the mount is great for widefield and CAN be used for long telephoto lenses and small scopes. You just have to manage expectations and know that it's not going to necessarily be as easy as it would with a GoTo. And yes, you can slew RA with the slow speed controls, but don't ever touch your declination screw or that will throw off your polar alignment.
  12. I have the iOptron Skyguider Pro which is a very similar mount. I can get 120 second exposures at 300mm with my DSLR, if I have a decent enough polar alignment. It's a very capable mount given how portable it is, which is what also drew me to it. My biggest issue with the mount is how difficult it can be to locate and frame a target with it since it is manual, especially with very faint targets and no bright reference stars. If I had it to do over again I would probably get an EQ mount with GoTo. I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to locate and frame compared to actually capturing data some nights. I will most likely get an EQ mount with GoTo in the near future and this mount will be used for widefield, non-object specific astrophotography.
  13. Buzzard75

    Best star atlas for beginner

    I was going to recommend a planisphere as well for quick reference, but it seems you've already got that covered
  14. Buzzard75

    Jupiter 5/27/2018

    Looks good to me. I wasn't aware of the crop mode when I took my videos the other night. I really wish I had. I'll know better for next time.
  15. I managed to image Jupiter last night and didn't realize that this was even a challenge. I already posted my image in the Imaging board, but I guess I need to post it here too. My first image of Jupiter. I also managed to capture Ganymede, Europa and Io as well. Callisto was just out of frame. This was done using 750 frames of a 1000 frame video from my 12" dob, a 2x barlow and my Canon 750D. I processed the video with PIPP and Registax and did a little bit of editing in Photoshop CC. I was very surprised I was able to get the moons to pop just by using the wavelets in Registax and I didn't even need to use my higher exposure video for them. Given my equipment limitations, I can't complain too much about what I was able to achieve.

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