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About Gerr

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  1. Nice image. Love the elephant nebula. What camera are you using? I use the optolong filter too and it really enhances the red channel which is maybe why your image looks as it does (I am careful to tune this down if it looks a bit over saturated with the red colour). The stars as mentioned earlier could be due to a bit of dew forming on your lens despite your dew heating strap (maybe make a cardboard dew shield as well?). Astrophotography is a great hobby. I am loving my journey here so far and hope you do too. Gerr.
  2. Thank Mackie, Always wanting to improve and making the most of what I already have. My step-up would be dedicated mono astro cam with RGB filters (plus mount plus bigger refractor / reflector plus second home in Cyprus / Barbados!!!!???) Cheers, Gerr.
  3. I use a Canon 650D (rebel T4i) which is astromodded. I know I need more data time to reduce noise (esp. image 2) and a better camera but for one shot DSLR colour the results aren't too bad I suppose. There is a ceiling here with image data and processing techniques and once I think I'm there I will look to buy a dedicated astro cam (mono plus RGB filters maybe the way to go)!! I use 1600 ISO as it's the camera's sweetspot. Tah, Gerr.
  4. The 6th January was clear and still and so at last a good night for imaging (not perfect as Moon was still waning). My 8" SW 200P Reflector was wanting to be used and so it was carefully mounted onto the HEQ5 and payload maxed out with the imaging train. Yeah I know - this combination is a big ask for the job (but an EQ6 is beyond me at the moment!). Anyway with careful balancing and hardly any wind it was worth trying! Nebula were best targets and again new ones for me. These were the Bubble Nebula, Cave Nebula and Monkey Head Nebula. The Optolong L-eNhance Dual Narrowband Filter was used for all images. Usual calibration frames and dithered instead of Dark's. Other 'Astro Stuff' is in my signature. Any constructive criticism's welcome. Gerr Images: Bubble Nebula (Sharpless 162) 15x240secs (1 hour of data). Cave Nebula (Sh2-155) 7x240secs & 23x300secs (2hrs 23 mins). Monkey Head Nebula (NGC 2174) 44x240secs (just under 3hrs).
  5. Hi Tommohawk, I use 1600 ISO with the 650D - seems to be the sweet spot with this camera. I also use a Optolong L-eNhance Dual band filter to bring out the Ha and a smidge of Oiii - useful in my Bortle 6 skies and nebula targets - especially with a half moon glowing!! Gerr.
  6. First night of the New Year and there appeared a clear patch from above - uncanny! The telescope (ED80 Refractor) was dragged out and I managed to quickly aim it at the Auriga constellation. This is where I found the Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405) and had a go!! It is a reflection and emission nebula which I have never tried to image before. Even though the skies only allowed me 100 minutes of imaging (25x240secs lights) I was pleasantly surprised by the result. Astro stuff in the signature. Hope you like?
  7. Hi All, Thought it would be nice to post your last astrophoto attempt of 2020. The weather being poor is an understatement but night before Christmas Eve the sky was cloudless for a couple of hours and my last target of the year was NGC 6992 - The Eastern Veil Nebula in Cygnus. Equipment: HEQ5 Pro Mount. SW Evostar ED80 Pro Refractor. SW Evoguide 50ED Refractor coupled with ZWO Mini Guide Camera. Canon Rebel 650D Astro Modded camera with Optolong L-enhance dual narrowband filter. Lights: 29 exposures of 4 minute duration (116 mins total). 20 x Bias. 20 x flats. No darks - dithered instead. Image acquisition and processing: APT and PHD2 (EQMOD). DeepSky Stacker and Photoshop CS2. Really hope 2021 is a better year for astronomy and everything else. Happy 2021 to you all!!!
  8. Hi, I also have a HEQ5 Pro mount. I was always forgetting to rotate the Dec Axis 90 degrees (the one which makes your telescope go in the horizontal plane). This is essential before you polar align as telescope/declination axis rotation results in the polar scopes optical tube being 'cleared' so you can see through it properly.
  9. No worries, Note the histogram stretch function is bottom left (not right). Live view will show nothing but noise on maxed out settings unless your target is big enough and of sufficient magnitude to stand out. Live view on a big star with Bahtinov mask attached to front of telescope is a great way to focus and this is seen very well on 10x Live view zoom. Planetary imaging on 5x zoom with APT is worth doing though you won't see detail like you do on the moon!! Gerr.
  10. Hi SStanford, Take a picture of the sky you are aiming at with APT to see if you are in focus first. Something like 10secs at ISO3200. Live view itself will only reveal a star if you are in focus and using 5x or 10x zoom with star in centre of screen. Try and centre to a star like Deneb or Vega size. Check that the image setting is at 1:1 fit (bottom right APT screen) and you can also use APT histogram (bottom right) to do a stretch of the image you take. Hope this helps, Gerr.
  11. Hi Peter, I have a 2x and 3x Barlow. Is Backyard EOS free? Sounds like a decent solution though. Cheers, Ger.
  12. Absolutely gorgeous. I would like that to be my next step up image in AP. Ger.
  13. Hi, I bought a Canon T4i (650D) modded for £220 from this forum last year after being disappointed with my Pentax K10d. I cannot afford the expense or have the time for full CCD dedicated astro camera. Our imaging sessions here in the UK (clouds, rain, wind etc) are usually short so one shot colour (in my opinion) is the way to go for an achievable 'quick' result. As well as the camera I use a HEQ5 pro mount with two telescopes, ED80 pro (for wide field shots - e.g. nebulas) and SW200 reflector (galaxies, clusters, smaller targets). Run through EQMOD , APT and Cartes du Ciel. I also use ZWO mini guide camera to achieve long exposures. I also got my telescopes second hand from this site but other stuff I had to buy new!!££££.! My images are usually achieved with exposures of 3-4 minutes duration and I try and take at least 20 of them. I then stack them in DSS (with bias and flats, darks I don't take - dither instead) and process them in photoshop CS2 (old but still does the job). I'm starting to build a library now (I started AP three years ago) and am pretty pleased with the results I am getting. Astrophotography is an expensive and sometimes frustrating hobby in our climate but can be very rewarding given enough time and opportunity. I would consider mono astro CCD with filters and wheel but not while I live in the UK. Anyway that's my penny worth and check out my images below that I have got with my 'methodology'! P.s. I would like to image planets but am struggling with the 650D (no image crop on this model) - am considering low cost web cam approach, any suggestions?? Ger :)
  14. Post-processing always a learning curve. There are always 'tweaks' and compromises to be had! I managed to learn a bit more about masks and colour channel levels to try and further improve my last image too:-
  15. Nice image of the Veil. I had a go at the Western Veil too last night. Very similar set-up to you. Canon Rebel T4i modded. 48 lights of 210 second duration. Optilong dual band pass filter (Ha and OIII). Guided on HEQ5 Pro Mount using Evostar ED80 Refractor. Stacked in DSS. Processed in Photoshop CS2. Not as much red in my image (but with a modded camera and filter I like to tune that channel down anyway as I sometimes feel it becomes too saturated). Hope you like too. Gerr.
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