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Rudy Pohl

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About Rudy Pohl

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    Astrophotography, wildlife photography, nature walks and hiking, great food, good friends, my wife of 47 years, playing guitar,
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  1. Due to the amazing generosity of a good friend I now am the happy owner of Canon T3i that has been full-spectrum modded and has an IDAS UV/IR cut filter in it to maintain focusing ability on regular photography lenses, which is what I use for AP. All my gear up until now has been Nikon and I have been using an unmodded Nikon D5500 for astrophotography with a Nikon 300/F4 ED IS lens as my main DSO optic. I have just purchased a recommended, good quality Nikon F-mount to Canon EOS lens adapter so I can use my Nikon lenses on the T3i. Here's hoping that it will work out well. QUESTIONS: How should I acquire Ha-rich images with my modded T3i so I can add them to my RGB images taken with my stock Nikon D5500? Should I simply take the Ha images with the modded T3i as it is, or should I additionally add some kind of special Ha filter to to it as well, and if so, which filter? Can I do narrowband astrophotography with this T3i, and if so, how do I do that and what filters, holders, adapters should I get? There is already a clip-in filter in the camera body enabling focusing so I presume any additional filter must be somehow be screwed onto the front of the lens. As you can see, I really don't know very much about this kind of stuff. Thanks very much for your help. Best regards, Rudy
  2. Here in Ottawa we've had endless cloudy nights for weeks on end. Tonight we finally have a few clear spots in parts of the evening and we want to take a shot at getting 46p/Wirtanen near Pleiades. The only problem is that the moon will be present at 65% illumination. In your opinion is it worth bothering trying to do this or do you think the moonlight will wipe out most of the comets glow? One of our group will be using an unmodified Nikon D5500 with a Nikon 85/1.8 lens. Two will be using full spectrum modded Nikon D5300s both with and without IDAS filters. Any thoughts? Thanks, Rudy
  3. Skies are Bortle 4, not light polluted but not really dark either. While the lens does have great contrast and colour much of that comes from the processing. I have used Photoshop professionally in my graphics work for over 25 years and I like lots of colour so I really boost the saturation in all my images from wildlife to landscape to astro.
  4. I'm speechless! I thought it looked pretty darn good at the large size, but then I clicked again and viewed in it at full size and couldn't believe my eyes.... it is simply magnificent... not enough superlatives! I too add my voice to those above who wrote that this is one of the best M31's I've ever seen! Well done! Cheers, Rudy
  5. Hi smr, Yes, the Nikon 300/f4 ED IF is reputedly one of the finest lenses Nikon ever made - it has a classic for wildlife photography for many many years and the reason I bought it year ago. When I started doing astrophotography with a Star Adventurer a couple of years ago I thought I would give it a try for some deep sky target that were large and bright. I found that at f4 virtually every star across the entire field of view had so much coma that the images were unusable, but stopped down to just f5.2 and they were perfect. I use what's called an aperture mask to avoid refraction spike that come when stopping down. You can get one of these lenses used for about $650-$750 US. Cheers, Rudy
  6. D5500 unmodifed, Nikon 300/4 ED IF, 4.5 hours, Star Adventurer guided, DSS, PI and PS This is my first serious attempt at guiding my Star Adventurer and so far I am happy with the early results. Cheers, Rudy
  7. Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae - 4.5 hours Nikon D5500 unmodified Nikon 300/f4 ED IF Star Adventurer guided 50 Darks, 100 Bias, 50 Flats DSS Pixinisght, Photoshop CS5 C&C welcome. Cheers, Rudy
  8. Thanks for your reply and further advice, much appreciated! Rudy
  9. Could you please look over these two diagrams and comment as to whether the balancing principles are correctly depicted here, and if not, could you point out where the error is? I have begun auto-guiding my Star Adventurer and I want to make sure that I am doing the "east heavy" balancing correctly. Thanks very much, Rudy
  10. Lagoon Nebula (M8) and Trifid Nebula (M20) in the Milky Way Galactic Core - Ottawa, 36% moon illumination. (Seen in my Flickr gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rudypohl/41738509660/in/dateposted/ I recently bought a guide scope and guide camera for my Star Adventurer and a few nights ago took my first crack at guiding. It took me almost a hour to get PHD2 working, but I was finally able to do some successful guiding despite the conditions being quite windy. I started with 3 minute exposures and then moved to 5, 6, 7 and decided to end the night by trying for a whopping 10-minute sub which turned out good enough for me to incorporate into the image above. You can see the sub by itself in my Flickr gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rudypohl/28638553447/in/dateposted/ This image is pretty noisy and has a lot of shortcomings, but I was so excited that I can now guide my Star Adventurer that I wanted to share the news and post my first image. Camera: Nikon D5500 unmodified Lens: Nikon 70-300 f4.5-5.6 G VR Hoya Intensifier anti-light pollution filter Focal length: 230mm Aperture: f5.2, ISO: 200 Exposure: 3 x 6-minutes, 1 x 10-minutes = 28 minutes total integration. (The only subs that turned out because of the wind) Mount: Sky Watcher Star Adventurer Guide scope: Starlight 50mm (190mm focal length) Guide Camera: Atair GPCAM2 AR130 mono Guiding software: PHD2 1.6.5 Stacked in DSS Processed in Pixinsight 1.8, Photoshop CS5 Best regards, Rudy
  11. Thanks so much for this crucial caveat based on experience! I appreciate this every much and will certainly heed your warning. I have just started guiding with my Star Adventurer since posting the request above and the results were so positive that I won't be fiddling at all with lubricating it, at least not for a good long while. I've posted a guided image in the widefield forum. Best regards, Rudy
  12. I've had my Star Adventurer for almost a year now so the warranty period is almost up. I have been waiting for this time so I can do a bit of maintenance on my unit just in case I voided the warranty by partially dismantling it. PROBLEM: I find that my RA assembly does not rotate as freely as I would like. Even though the camera/lens side and counterweight side are well balanced it's still a little tight. There are no sticky spots in the 360 degrees of rotation, they are all the same, just a bit tighter than I would prefer. I'm hoping that taking apart the RA assemble/clutch and replacing the manufacturer's grease with a better quality grease will result in some even minor improvement. QUESTIONS: 1. Does anyone have any advice and/or cautions for me before attempting this procedure - what to do and what NOT to do? 2. What kind of grease should I use? Do you know if a similar grease is available here in Canada? 3. How smooth and loose should I expect the RA to be when regreased? Thanks very much, Rudy
  13. Thanks Gorann! A little tip I recently stumbled upon makes this, and I presume every other lens, that much better. For my last session (2.5 hours) of the 3 sessions on this target with this lens, I achieved critical focus by manually focusing in Live View while holding a cheap 10x magnifying glass in my other hand until I had it just right. I could now clearly see the stars in a nice large mode. In my first two sessions I used my Bahtinov mask or just eye-balling it, but in both sessions (5.5 hours total) the stars were still not bang on, plus they had excessive colour fringing, but with the magnifying glass method they were as perfect as I could get them and yielded better overall results. In the upcoming June dark period I hope to do another 8 hours on this target, but this time with all sessions focused this way and with much higher ISOs to give more exposure to the dark areas. We'll see how it goes. Cheers, Rudy
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