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FaB-Bo-Peep

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Everything posted by FaB-Bo-Peep

  1. Thanks Tony, Your response is very much appreciated. The above along with your images, (which speak for themselves), have convinced me that going for the much cheaper CLS filter would in the end be a false economy. I do like my coloured stars and the fact that your images have retained this has convinced me. I compared your M13 to my recent attempt and could absolutely live with the colours you have captured. Right so that's me convinced, now just need buy a bottle of wine and convince my wife!
  2. That's a very impressive image! How are you getting on with the Optolong L-Pro filter please? I am considering buying one over a CLS because it's reported as being less harsh and does not have as much of a colour balance shift, but it is significantly more expensive so hearing your views would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance Ian
  3. Hi everyone, Over the years I have been amazed by what I can capture from my severely light polluted back garden but some targets really suffer with lack of contrast and details are just lost in a sea of light pollution. In an attempt to at least partially combat this issue I am thinking of buying either a SVBony CLS or Optolong L-Pro light pollution filter. It is my understanding that the CLS is stronger in the amount of light pollution it blocks but also blocks some good light in the yellow / orange range of the spectrum making it more tricky or even impossible to achieve natural looking results during processing. My scope is a Skywatcher 250PDS which obviously gathers a lot of light so I'm not too concerned about needing longer exposures, (especially as I've just started guiding), but while the extra light pollution blocking power of the CLS is appealing I'm a bit concerned that with my very limited processing skills I simply won't be able to get back the yellow / orange in my images and if this is the case would probably regret not going for the Optolong L-Pro. I would be going for the 2" threaded version to attach to my coma corrector rather than the Canon clip in variant as this way I can continue to use it should I ever change my camera. What are your thoughts / experiences with the above mentioned filters please? Thanks in advance.
  4. Stick at it, the scopes ability to grab light is significant and I'm constantly amazed that pleasing images can be achieved in such a shot time. Shout if you need any help, (but be warned I'm no expert).
  5. Thanks and correct, darks but no flats. At the end of the imaging session I just put the cap on the end of the telescope and take 8 - 10 exposures of the same length as I've been imaging at then load the light and dark frames into Deep Sky Stacker. I've yet to do flats as I have no suitable white shirt to stretch over the end of the scope but really must do so soon as I'm sure they will significantly help. It's my understanding that darks help with hot / dead pixels and flats help with abnormalities in the imaging chain such as vignetting. The 250PDS is hard work at times because of it's size but it's ability to grab so much light in such a shot time perfectly suits my bang for buck approach to astro photography You should give M27 a go, it's a very nice looking object and is fairly large and bright which helps.
  6. Hi everyone, The attached image is the result of just 32 mins worth of RAW subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), and processed in StarTools and Paint Shop Pro, (I really have no idea of what I am doing though). Scope is a Skywatcher 250PDS and camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D). In terms of my processing in StarTools I'm not sure my technique is any better than last years attempt but one thing that is obvious is that even though my subs were longer this year, (75 secs), the stars are rounder and that is thanks to the fact that I am now guiding using a ZWO ASI 120MC camera attached to my Skywatcher finderscope. My next purchase is going to be a CLS filter as to say the light pollution in my back garden is bad would be an understatement!
  7. Ring nebula (M57), Dumbbell nebula (M27) and the great globular cluster in Hercules (M13). Whirlpool galaxy (M51).
  8. Be careful, it's always hard knowing when enough is enough in terms of tweaking an image, you could easily lose many hours, trust me I know! If you haven't already done so, be sure to also check out M27 - Dumbbell Nebula which is in the same area as the Ring, it's much larger and a very impressive sight. I had a crack at it last night and will be posting the resulting attempt at an image later this evening
  9. I won't even attempt to comment on processing techniques as I'm still very much learning and half the time have no idea what I've done when I manage to achieve a pleasing result with my imaging but all I will say is that there's a lovely amount of detail in that Ring and you should indeed be excited by it, especially as it's your first attempt. Well done!
  10. Hi everyone, The attached image is the result of just 22 mins 15 secs worth of RAW subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), and processed in StarTools and Paint Shop Pro, (I really have no idea of what I am doing though). Scope is a Skywatcher 250PDS and camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D). While it won't win any competitions I think this is my best attempt so far and as long as each attempt is better than the previous then I'm happy. I think my next purchase will have to be some sort of light pollution filter as the lights in my area are severely hindering further progress.
  11. Hi everyone, Last night I setup my gear for the first time this year, primarily to test it's functionality prior to the arrival of my guide camera. Thankfully everything worked as it should and I found myself hoping from target to target checking the goto accuracy. I also managed to gather a few subs of M81 and had a crack at processing them in StarTools. The attached image is the result of 28 x 40 second subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden by my Canon Rebel XS, (1000D), scope is a Skywatcher 250PDS mounted on a n AZ-EQ6 GT. No darks, flats or anything like that. While it wont win any competitions it's still my best M81 to date and is credit to the power of StarTools, (with which I don't really know what I'm doing), and the 250PDS for gathering so much light in such a short time. m81-dss-startools-bmp.bmp
  12. Ok so following fireballxl5's lead, (thanks for the ideas ), I had another play in Startools to try and take similar actions and here is the resulting version 2. I took more time with the "wipe" module applying it a couple of times with different parameters in an attempt to eliminate more of the vignetting / gradient and then found the "isolate" feature in the Life module which, (with the help of a mask over the nebula itself), did an amazing job of darkening the background and reducing the visible noise without adversely affecting the stars. I also tried to make the nebula a bit more colourful as I felt the original could do with a boost. Then a few other tweaks that I had applied to the original version finished off with the final noise reduction and voila! I much prefer this version over the original but what do you think?
  13. I cannot possibly offer any constructive criticism as I'm very much just chipping away at the giant iceberg of a hobby that is astro photography but I'm a sucker for Globular Clusters and I like the above a lot so for what it's worth, nice one
  14. No I don't mind at all thank's as feedback is a very good way to learn P.S. I've now added the original FITS file if anyone would like to have a play with the source data.
  15. I was becoming very frustrated with the lack of clear skies recently so when yesterday's forecast showed a 5 hour window from 10 - 3 I was understandably excited and eagerly setup my equipment in anticipation. 10pm came but there was no break in the cloud to be seen A further refresh of the forecast showed that the clear period had now moved and shrunk and was now anticipated to be between 12 - 2. Having gone to the trouble of setting everything up I could not admit defeat and pack up with nothing to show so I thought I'd simply wait. 12 came and a refresh of the forecast now showed that the clear period had disappeared completely! AAARrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh the joys of British Weather!!! Even so I thought I'd wait just a little longer just in case. Shortly after I went outside expecting to bring everything back in but to my surprize I could see stars! I quickly polar aligned, did a 2 star alignment and headed straight for M27. 30 seconds appeared to be the maximum I could go to and it was not long before I realized my subs were getting lighter and lighter and the birds were getting louder and louder, yes it was dawn but at least I had something to show for my efforts. The attached image is the result of a mere 14 minutes worth of 30 second, (RAW), subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), and processed in StarTools. Although I would obviously have liked to capture for longer, as with my other recent targets this version is still by far the best I've managed of this target to date. I absolutely love the Skywatcher 250PDS and what it can achieve is so little time. StarTools also keeps impressing me, making complex processing easy for novices like me and I'm sure I'm still not using it to its full potential. Camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D). **** P.S. I've now added the original FITS file if anyone would like to have a play with the source data **** ******P.P.S. I've now added a re-processed version taking a bit more time and learning as I go****** M27-FITS-32-INTEGER.fits.FTS
  16. Large aperture Newtonians are a challenge to handle, (I know as I have a Skywatcher 250PDS), but I would not change mine for anything. The amount of light they gather in such a short period of time is amazing and suits my bang for buck imaging style perfectly
  17. The attached image is the result of around 25 minutes worth of (RAW), subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), processed in StarTools and curves tweaked in Paintshop Pro. I could tell right from the start that this was going to be a real challenge! As the subs rolled in I could clearly see that the contrast between the galaxy and the light polluted sky was poor to say the least. I will undoubtedly re-visit this target again in the near future but while the result this time around is certainly not mind-blowing it's definitely better than I anticipated from the poor contrast subs and at least I have an image that i feel is worth showing so I am again pleased. Scope is the Skywatcher 250PDS and the camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D).
  18. The attached image, (and cropped version), is the result of just over 14 minutes worth of 25 second, (RAW), subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), and processed in StarTools. Again I might have gone a little over the top making the most of the new found colour that RAW files appear to contain but again this version is by far the best I've managed of this target to date. I am so pleased with my 250PDS and StarTools Scope is the Skywatcher 250PDS and the camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D).
  19. Constructive criticism is always welcome so thanks for your comments. My early images with this scope suffered from coma but I believe that manifests itself with elongated stars around the edges of the image and has become much better now that I use a coma corrector. Light pollution is sever from my back garden location and the fact that I've still not got to grips with flats does not help with the central colour cast. Also what you describe is almost certainly partly down to me trying to find my way with StarTools, (only been using it for about a week), and maybe getting carried away with some of the colour / processing settings, (probably a case of less is more).
  20. The attached image is credit to my scope and the amazing power of StarTools. It's the result of just over 12 minutes worth of 25 second subs captured from my severely light polluted back garden, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker, (with darks but no flats), and processed in StarTools. Given the short total exposure time and the light polluted conditions I'm again amazed it came out as well as it did. Scope is the Skywatcher 250PDS and the camera is a Canon Rebel XS, (1000D).
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