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michael.h.f.wilkinson last won the day on May 22

michael.h.f.wilkinson had the most liked content!

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About michael.h.f.wilkinson

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    Neutron Star

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    Astronomy, computer science, photography, wildlife, cookery, life the universe and everything
  • Location
    Groningen, The Netherlands
  1. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Noctilucent clouds at last

    Here is the best of the Samyang 10 mm F/2.8 shots: And the three best 50 mm F/1.4 ones: I could make a very short animantion of the last three. Should have aken more shots, I suppose.
  2. Finally got them. First shot with Samyang 10 mm F/2.8 Second shot with Canon 50 mm F/1.4 I shot loads more. Will give them a proper processing tomorrow Chuffed to bits with my first noctilucent clouds shots
  3. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    New (second-hand) toy!

    Cheers, guys. I will probably put it on my EQ3-2 mount for some nice long subs. Looking forward to using this in the south of France this summer. Should also be great for auroras, should I go to Finland next spring
  4. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    New (second-hand) toy!

    The postman just brought a new toy I snapped up on ABS-UK: a Samyang 10 mm F/2.8 ultra-wide-angle lens for Canon EF-S. It has a great reputation optically, and is mainly cheap because it is a manual focus, manual aperture lens. Should be great for Milky Way and other extreme wide-field shots.
  5. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    So, what else?

    I think there will be issues. These focusers are quite long.
  6. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    So, what else?

    Certainly, but that is mainly useful for imaging, I find. When using the scope visually I just use a 2" visual back, when doing planetary imaging I use the 2" rack and pinion focuser I have
  7. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    So, what else?

    The focal reducer can only take in light from an area the size of its 2" aperture, and compresses this into a smaller radius. This is useful if you only have 1.25" EPs, however, the 2" EP I mentioned grabs light fro the same 2" diameter area. If you put a focal reducer in front of a 2" EP you will only see the centre 1.25" or so illuminated, i.e. there will be severe vignetting.
  8. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    So, what else?

    If you are getting a 2" visual back, and a 2" diagonal, don't go for the focal reducer. I have never used mine for visual since I got my 2" visual back. The distance from reducer to EP is wrong with a 2" diagonal. Instead, get something like a 40mm SW Aero (which is a TMB Paragon clone) for wide-field viewing, apart from a 24mm SWA or UWA. I would also not go for a 3x Barlow, but rather use shorter focal length EPs (Vixen SLVs are highly recommended). For dew control, my C8 works fine on almost all nights with just the dew shield, I rarely add a dew band
  9. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Possible bright flare or meteorite to my face

    Could be a head-on meteor. I have spotted that happening at least four times. Two were certainly point meteors: one a Geminid, and one Quadrantid, easily confirmed as point meteors as they appeared at the radiant of the shower. The other two looked similar and I couldn't find any other explanation.
  10. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    A quick M13

    Nice one. Like the star colours
  11. Welcome to SGL! Very nice first image, I would say. I think the contrast stretching has been overdone a bit, but you clearly have captured some good detail there. Less contrast stretch would prevent blowing out the core, and making the background a bit darker will make noise in the background less intrusive. Maybe you could tell a bit more about the equipment and the processing used (did you use dark frames, flats, etc). In that way we can give more sensible advice. I do not know what camera you used, but in many cameras (like my EOS 450D (long gone), 550D, and 700D) I found 800 ISO worked better than 1600. The faint outer regions of M31 need a lot of data to get really well, and my best shot to date used more than three hours of data at F/3.5 (and could still use more). I also have a feeling there is a slight colour gradient across the image, which can be corrected either by flats and darks, or by light pollution removal tools (I use Astro Pixel Processor's tool for that). No doubt others, far more knowledgeable in DSO imaging than me will give more comments soon
  12. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Messier 31

    Very nice result, lots of detail showing and very nice colour. I have been using a 200mm F/2.8 telephoto for this target, and then it fits comfortably, but you don't get your level of detail. I hope to try my 80mm F/6 with 0.8x reducer on it coming fall. This gives 384 mm focal length which should fit the galaxy a bit more easily in the FOV than 420 mm does
  13. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    Focal reducer for SCT, worth it?

    I have a focal reducer, and have used it with 1.25" EPs, but much prefer using a 2" visual back and 2" EPs. For imaging, it lets me get the whole moon in the frame of a crop-sensor camera. I also have done some DSO imaging with it in the distant past. It shows vignetting in a full-frame camera, but is OK on a crop sensor.
  14. Congratulations to all winners. It was indeed a very tough one to judge, so many excellent images submitted. Big thumbs up to all participants!
  15. michael.h.f.wilkinson

    S&T Used my photo!

    Nice, congrats on that

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