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Posts posted by Daf1983

  1. I used my new minitrack lx2 for the first time last night. Managed to get a decent shot o Pleiades, using my Canon 600d and a pentax 40-80mm zoom lens at 80mm. Took 25 exposures at 45 seconds each, and stacked them in deep sky stacker.

    I was impressed how well tracking was, even though I found polar alignment very hard with just a tube!(I think I might have fluked it this time) I think i might invest in a laser to make pa easier.


    • Like 3
  2. 9 hours ago, Chris33benoit said:

    I wish you a happy birthday.  I heard too about the Takumar lens.  My problem is that my tracker (NYX) is a barn door design.  I cannot go more than 18 seconds of exposure (2500 divided by 135mm, rule of 500) if longer star trailing begins.  That is why I need a fast lens...if that make sense :)  But if at F/3.5 is what I supposed to get I will start my hunt for that as well.  F/3.5 at 135mm is better than F/5.6 at 300mm (for my 70-300mm Sigma lens).   Ebay here I come!  

    I'm in the process of building a barn door tracker. Why do you use 2500 in your calculation for exposure time?(as opposed to 500). 

  3. 2 hours ago, Chris33benoit said:

    I am shopping for a 135mm myself these days.  I have the 50mm f1.8 prime and a 70-300mm f/5.6.  I found that a lower fstop is better (light wise) for images.  I wonder if the 135mm f2.8 (any brand) would be a chellenge.  Any thoughts anyone?  Thanks!

    I have been wondering the same. I have very little experience with camera lenses, but have done a bit of research online. From what I've read, the super takumar f3.5 is pretty decent wide open, whereas if you went for something faster and cheaper like a pentacon f2.8, you would have to stop that down a fair bit to have any decent images, and therefore defeats the object of getting a faster lens.

    There is a super takumer f2.5, but it's much more expensive and harder to get hold of.

    I still haven't made a purchase yet, but it's my birthday next month, so my dear wife has promised me a new lens for the occasion😁

    At the moment, I'm set on either the super takumar f3.5 or a carl zeiss 135 f3.5, unless somebody can convince me otherwise

  4. 20 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

    I have a few vintage lenses and some are fine for AP but even those that dont make the grade like my 50mm Takumar (cost an arm and leg as it was a mint early model) are very good for general video use..


    Thanks for your reply.

    Which vintage lenses have you found are good for astro?


  5. 22 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

    you get the feel of it as you do it, practice beats theory when it comes to local conditions. ISO 800 or ISO1600, any higher too noisy.

    to control the camera I use Android app DSLR Controller on my mobile phone with a OTG cable to the camera USB lead.

    Do you have a tracking mount?

  6. 40 minutes ago, alacant said:


    The f2.5 isn't available within (the £50 ?) budget and IMHO, isn't going to buy you much more speed. Both will give chromatic aberration wide open anyway. Never used a Zeiss but I've a feeling they go for quite a bit more.

    The 3.5 reduced to f5.6 is probably the best trade off.


    That's what I thought. Thanks for the help👍

  7. 4 minutes ago, M40 said:

    Hello Gents, great pictures 👍 Another novice here with a similar camera, I have a Canon EOS100D. Never tried or downloaded either Gimp or DSS so I will stalk you two to see how you get on 😜 Another thread I posted on was talking about using DSS with a video shot from the camera, have you tried that at all?

    Hi. I have taken a video of jupiter and saturn with my dob and stacked the frames in registax, which worked fairly well. It's hard work with a non tracking telescope though😏

  8. 11 minutes ago, Kon said:

    Yes single shot. Yours shows more features. I could try with stacking.


    As I said, I'm no expert, but I would give that a go. Like you, I did the processing in gimp, but I mainly just stretched the image with curves and levels.

    The quality of your skies might also have an impact. I took mine from my garden which is bortle 4/5

    • Like 1
  9. 23 minutes ago, alacant said:

    With their tiny apertures, they are all very slow. You need several hours to get anything reasonable. Takumar wise, just get one which looks decent perhaps.


    Fair enough, so going from f3.5 to f2.8 won't make much difference? I think those are the two most common versions

  10. Thanks everyone for the advice, very much appreciated! I have one adapter pentax lenses already, but I thinks it for the k mount rather than the m42, so I will probably need another adaper.

    From the comments, it seems like a decent option at the price. However, there seems to be a lot of different versions of this lens, does anyone know if some are more suitable than others for astro? Is it just a case of the faster the better?

  11. I was wondering if anyone on here has some experience of using vintage lenses with a dslr?

    I've been experimenting with my canon 600d and a tripod with moderate success. At present, I only have two zoom lenses (the kit 18-55mm and a pentax 40-80mm), and want to see how I get on with a longer focal length prime lens, probably a 135mm.

    I'm not really in a position to be spending hundred of pounds on a new lens, so have been looking into vintage lenses. 

    I have heard good things about the Super takumer 135mm f3.5 and the carl zeiss jena 135mm, which can be picked up for about £50 on ebay. Does anyone have experience using these lenses for astrophotography, or are there better alternatives in the same price range?

    I understand that I'm limited to pretty short exposures at this focal length untracked, but I want to see what I can achieve before investing in a tracking mount.



  12. Hello. I'm a complete novice aswell, so I'm not sure how much I can help you. However, I did something similar this week with similar equipment(canon 600d and the 18-55mm lens). I shot 10 seconds exposures at iso3200 and stacked 30 frames in deep sky stacker, along with 15 dark and bias frames. Not sure if my results are any better to be honest, and some cloud have crept into the shot. Was yours a single exposure? 

    milky way.jpeg

    • Like 2
  13. 8 minutes ago, Marvin Jenkins said:

    Great first time effort. I know I had a couple of bites at the Andromeda cherry before I got a useable image.

    I am not going to say anything to do with doing anything wrong, you have already proved you can get focus and frame your target which is the main battle.

    I would suggest you try slightly longer exposure lengths. Try a test shot at ten seconds and see if you have star trailing. I may not be right of course but I would be tempted to lower the ISO a tad and try for ten or so longer exposures. No trailing, get a few more subs.

    You have captured M101 perfectly out on the edge and have shown that you can get something out of stacking software and Gimp, took me months. Keep up the good work DSO imager.


    Thanks for the advice. I was wondering if I could push the exposure a little longer, but opted for 3 seconds after inputting my camera model/lens/target etc into the NPF formula on this website.


    Not sure if there's any merit to this formula, but a tutorial on youtube suggested it.


  14. This is my first attempt imaging M31, with a Canon 600d, tripod, and a cheap old pentax 40-80mm lens I picked up on ebay for £15. I took 300 light frames,  3 second exposures at an iso of 3200. I also took 100 dark frames and about 50 bias. Stacked in DSS and edited in GIMP.

    This is my first attempt at astrophotography and also at using software such as GIMP, so it's a steep learning curve. I plan on getting a star tracker eventually, but wanted to see what I could achieve with this simple set up first. 

    I understand that it's nowhere near as impressive as most images posted on here, but I'm quite happy with it as a first attempt, considering the obvious limitations of my equipment. 

    Any constructive criticism would be welcome, as I don't really have an idea what I'm doing when it comes to post-processing. 😬

    m31 final.jpeg

    • Like 8
  15. Hi rory. I'm neither looking for a first scope, nor a wise head I'm afraid.😉 Only started this hobby this year and have a 200p dob which I'm really happy with. Your videos are great, and I have tried taking videos of the planets (with varying success) after watching your one of them. Anyway, thanks for the great content👍



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