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About mackiedlm

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  • Interests
    Astro-imaging, scuba diving, travel.
  • Location
    Galway, Ireland
  1. So, my second night out with StarAdventurer mount, Canon Eos1100d, Kit 18-55 EFS F3.5 lens at about 24mm and F4.6. Clouds were tormenting me again so 9 X 90 second ISO1600 darks and bias applied (no flats because I screwed them up !) Stacked in DSS (first image) and Sequator (second) and minimally processed in photoshop - curves, levels some Carbonis actions. I feel that there is more in the data than I'm getting out (please tell me if you think thats not the case). So, some questions Is there anything i can do in DSS to get a better output - I tried all permutations of White balance, black point etc but this is the best I could get to Can I do anything to reduce the blue in the sequator one (M39 looks ridiculous :crazyeyes: ).... .....and pump up the red without making the noise even worse Any tricks for doing flats on such a small lens - i used the same as i do on a larger scope (white T LED panel) but it came out with a horrible criss/cross pattern (the weave of the T) Any other suggestions on how to make this better. Anyway, here y'go, enjoy! Thanks for any assistance. David
  2. I have just got a wedge for my LX200 GPS and have read up the manual on how to polar align. I think I get most of it but would appreciate if anyone could help clarify a couple of things I'm uncertain of; Once it s in "Polar Home" is it going to turn the scope around so I can use the finder? Once I've centred Polaris is it going to slow to another star to complete goto alignment or is that centering on Polaris going to be good enough. Should I do another 2 star align at this stage or is that one star polar going to give accurate enough goto's If I want to then do precise polar align, probably with PHD2 or Sharpcap, at which point in the process should I do that Also, I've been reading about polar alignment so understand that you need to have Polaris off centre in a polar scope. So how is centering on Polaris going to work? Is it just that its "close enough" for visual and subsequent precise align (drift or other) is needed for astro photography. Thanks in advance. I just want to have it all clear in my head so that if I ever get another clear sky I can hopefully get the wedge set up with minimal trauma. David
  3. I'm planning to try some first time planetary with 8" Meade LX200 GPS, Canon EOS 1100D Backyard eos and a New 2X barlow. Setting up today during daylight hours to practice set up and check out connections I find that on BYE frame and focus there is a definite lighter patch in the center of the FOV. The target is in focus. The light patch does not seem to be there when I visually use a 40mm eyepiece instead of the Camera. Also camera seems fine using other lenses or even my f 6.3 focal reducer Is this just an artifact of using the set up during the day or does it indicate a problem with the barlow or incompatibility with my system. Really appreciate any comments as Clear outside is predicting my first clear night in 3 months!! thanks David.
  4. I hear ya! And I agree that its actually not that expensive when taken in context and considered on a monthly basis - thats why I've taken it out and I am glad I did. Its just the principle of paying a subscription for software that I struggle with. But maybe thats just the dinosaur in me!
  5. My tuppnce on the software thing - I'm really new at this and went around the houses looking at various software. I tried GIMP, and while its free there is nowhere near the level of tutorials etc which I needed (I really had no clue what I was doing). I tried startools and found it to be a bit hit and miss - I did not really understand what the programme was doing to the image so somtimes it came out good (very good even) but others were awful. I could just not consistency or steady progress. I tried Paintshop pro and again could not find my way around to do the functions needed for AP (I'm sure they are there I just could not find them). All this because I HATE the thought of recurring payments on software. But, after months of struggling with various cheaper or free options, I finaly bit the bullet and took out the PS subscription. And I can honestly say I've not really looked back or regretted it. There is so much available in terms of guidance online and in books that its easy to find various work flow examples and step by steps so its makes the learning thing that much more possible. On top of that there are the plug-ins which are also very useful. I still REALLY HATE the subscription idea though. HATE IT! David
  6. So, my very first (M104) and second (M13) DSO's. Taken earlier this year; Meade 8" LX200 GPS, Standard forked alt-az mount - autostar GoTo, f6.3 focal reducer Unmodded Canon 1100D M104 was 21 X 60s @ ISO1600 (Low in the west so minimal field rotation) M13 was 30 X 30s @ ISO1600 (relatively low in the east for the same reason) Full sets of calibration frames applied to both Stacked in DSS, processed in Photoshop. 
  7. I use Stellarium. I find it simple and intuitive to use and the FOV calculators are really helpful
  8. Hi and welcome. You'll find this a great place for help and advice. I sure do. David
  9. There is a short reference article in this months Practical Photography magazine about a Photoshop plug-in called "Astro Panel 2" The aricle is pretty short and deals in a fairly cursory way with adjustments to a Milky Way image. I'm wondering if anyone has used this plug in, what for (DSO?) and what your thoughts about it are. I'm pretty new at image processing so am interested to hear if it may be wort the I £30 price tag. Rgds David.
  10. Thanks Michael - I'll have a bit of a play with the Antibacklash setting.
  11. Hi Michael thanks for this, but, as I said at the start of the post, I found this while I was retraining the drives and it was still there after I finished doing the retraining. Do you think there is value in doing it again? Rgds David
  12. Hi and thanks. I'm planning to try some planetary imaging myself. Jade the scope ot last weekend to show daughters boyfriend Jupiter and Saturn. Remarkably good views considering the moon and the time of year. Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome. David
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