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About Somerled7

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  1. Here's my second attempt at the North American Nebula. 25*300s exposures at ISO400:- - 300mm F4 Canon lens - EOS80D + Astronomik CLS filter - HEQ5 Mount - QHY-5LII guide camera + Skywatcher 50mm finderscope used as the guide scope I finished taking lights as the sun was coming up, so I went to bed and left the camera taking darks, but the battery ran out after the first 6.....doh! Processed in Photoshop, I've experimented using the Screen blend mode and luminosity masks to bring out the detail whilst preserving the star colour. This seems more repeatable than applying arbitrary curve stretches., but I'm still experimenting with the processing.
  2. It's on a crop frame (EOS80D). ED80 was due for delivery by end of this month, but who knows - I'm expecting it will probably be delayed.
  3. I've seen reports that the Sigma lens can be a bit soft at 600mm, but I've found it acceptably sharp for wildlife images at full focal length and it's a lot of lens for the money, so no complaints from me. The hardest thing is holding the weight of the lens, so I get more poor images because I shook the camera rather than due to optical limitations of the lens. For astro work, there's a little bit of distortion on the stars and a bit of chromatic aberration, so not ideal. That's why I've ordered an ED80 - it gives a similar focal length/aperture to the Sigma, but I'm hoping the simpler optical path will give sharper stars.
  4. I'm already finding that there's probably no such thing as a 'do-it-all' scope. I was observing visually and picked up a second hand 200mm Newtonian at a good price. Great for observing, but not so good for the steep learning curve of astro-photography. I think if photography is something you are interested in pursuing, the advice is always to start small. You can still do visual observations with an ED80 and adding a larger Newtonian for observing later is not that expensive (in the context of astronomical prices !!)
  5. 600mm. The image is also cropped in a bit.
  6. I might give it a go. I tried a couple of years ago, but found it difficult to get a good focus as I don't have a 10:1 focuser and star images bounce around on the screen at the slightest touch. Then I lost interest a bit.
  7. Looks better than mine (no surprise there!!). I have a 200P that I use for visual observing so I could try that for imaging, but I am guessing that would be too much scope for my HEQ5 mount.
  8. Whilst waiting for delivery of a Skywatcher ED80 , I'm trying out some camera lenses, partly to start learning about guiding and also to give me a few images to practice processing. Here's my first attempt at a galaxy - M101. 1hr 40mins total exposure time, made up of 15x 400s exposures (plus darks, flats and bias). Taken with a Sigma 150-600mm zoom lens and EOS80D mounted on an HEQ5. I know it's not brilliant and it really requires more exposure time, but I'm just pleased to be able to see some spiral structure.
  9. Well I've had a quick go and answered my own question - it doesn't work!! It's surprising how quickly the camera warms up - 1st image at +5degC, 2nd at +9degC, so there is probably quite a temperature difference in each frame. So, if the important thing is to get stable ambient conditions, I have a conservatory which gets quite cold at night. I can safely leave the camera to run over-night without having to monitor it. It won't quite match the outside temperature, but a cold night in the conservatory might match a warmer night outside. Incidentally, I don't see a problem with putting the camera in a fridge - I've shot landscape photographs down to -17degC, which is well below my fridge temperature!
  10. I've only tried a couple of imaging sessions so far, but already I'm thinking that taking dark frames at the end of each imaging session is eating into useful imaging time (or sleeping time!!) especially in the summer when nights are short. So, what if I put my camera in a fridge, then take a series of dark frames as the camera warms up? I'm using a Canon EOS80D and Backyard EOS which records the sensor temperature, so I could build up a library of different exposure/ISO/temperature combinations. I assume that as the frames are supposed to be dark, the camera does not have to be connected to any lens/telescope, so taking them with the body cap on is OK? If this is a viable approach, two questions:- 1) Would there be an 'expiry date' on the Dark Frames - I can imagine that pixels may fail from time to time giving a different hot/dead pixel array. 2) What would be a sensible temperature range that could be used when processing an image? Any advice welcome.
  11. Thanks guys. I should have looked more closely at the instructions. I've had a quick look now and I see the blinking arrows but I missed them in the dark.
  12. I recently bought the Synscan WiFi for my Heq5 mount. Managed to get everything connected OK and then tried a star alignment. When I chose a 1-star alignment on Vega, it slewed to about the right place, I then manually centered the scope and tried to tap on the icon to accept the alignment, but this did nothing, as if the icon was inactive. When I tried a 2-star alignment (Vega and Arcturus) it accepted my first alignment on Vega OK, but then wouldn't accept the second alignment on Arcturus. It seems as if it will not accept the final alignment command. I've tried on a few different nights and given up and gone back to the handset, which works no problem. Anyone else had this experience? I'm using the Android version of the synscan app.
  13. Thanks Olly, I tried that adjustment and it enhances the reds a bit, so one to remember.
  14. Thanks Rick, I'll look into it. In stretching out the image, I did try masking off the stars in Photoshop at various stages, but maybe not enough to preserve the colour.
  15. Thanks Olly, I used Deep Sky Stacker with everything on default settings, then processed in Photoshop. I'm quite familiar with Photoshop as I do a fair bit of photography, but using it for astro images is something new for me.
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