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James4

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    262
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About James4

  • Rank
    Star Forming

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Visual, Astrophotography, Stargazing
  • Location
    Sechelt, B.C. Canada
  1. I did catch a quick view of Saturn last night with the big rerfractor It was very low in the sky but I did see a reasonable picture of it with natural creamy colour. Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments and yes to the question about bears -there are plenty around luckily I have managed to avoid them. My Canadian friends tend to laugh at me because they're so used to the wildlife they don't even consider it. I
  2. After trying a variety of different scopes - most recent being a C8 then an Explore 152 Refractor, followed by a C9.25, I felt the call to return to Refractor Ville. I started purusing the online ads and forums and digging out the old Meade and Celestron Catalogues looking for my next big gun. I had almost talked myself into the $2,000 Explore 127mm Apo - but at the last minute, noticed some of the accessories becoming optional extras. I also wanted to try the new VX Mount because the CGEM had proven too heavy to easily throw into the car for outings. I saw a package with the VX and The C6R for $1299 and decided that seemed like a pretty nice deal. If the big achro didn't please me, I can move it on and keep the VX. I read some good reviews on the optics of the C6R and reasoned that it had to be just a little more pleasing than the shorter and more CA prone ES152 (which by the way was killer on deep sky) which blotted its copy book on Jupiter. Even with a Baader fringe killer it wasn’t a great view Nothing to be impressed about when unboxing the big achro. No 2” diagonal and a standard rack and pinion focuser. Also very front heavy and in need of counter balance.. Still I knew all this already – some very good information online about this long lived scope. First light saw Vega overhead – I pointed there and saw a very nice picture of the brightest star in my sky. At low power almost no purple halo at all. I pushed up to 236 to look for diffraction rings. Now a definite purple halo, but a stunning view of Vega as a small white disc with faint rings perfectly concentric. Wow I was impressed with that. On The C.925 I was barely ever able to see the Airy Disc, not sure why. Likewise with the ES152 I never did see an Airy disc, The double double – gorgeous little white discs with equally separated dark space between them – all four easily in the same FOV. Really lovely. 2nd and 3rd light saw a stunning view of The Veil – Eastern and Western (I drifted over to find both sections) with an OIII filter. A gorgeous view! Best for last – while looking at M13 and trying to decide how resolved it was (very nicely resolved in fact) I noticed an object down to the left. I looked across and realised I did need to use averted vision – but it was the edge on galaxy which appears in so many astro photos of M13. Now I have looked for that view in many scopes and dismissed it as a photographic only view. But here it was – easy to see with no filtering - using a 32mm Celestron Ultima LX – giving 37.5x and 1.9 degree FOV. I made a few changes to improve the basic nature of the scope. I relocated the heavy metal dew shield to the back of the OTA as a counerweight. I replaced the focuser with a JMI Event Horizon EV3R and used an Orion Flex Dew Shield as a sliding dew shield which is both very light and much longer than the original dew shield. I also put an accessory rail on top to use as a handle when setting up the scope. I’m really liking this scope more and more – but I have not pointed it at a planet! So looking forward to see what the CA is like on Jupiter – it’s the litmus test for a refractor. I don’t mind CA as long as it does not dominate.
  3. Thanks Everyone! Thats really useful advice and thanks for the screen shots of the Wavelets Settings. At least I will know I am in the ball park with that - I can experiment from there. I think I need a bigger Jupiter - and I noticed last time out my widescreen laptop was showing me just a partial image. A lot of video ended up with Jupiter being partially off-screen. Focusing was a Bit** - a big blurry Jupiter with me standing 3 feet away tyring to decide the best focus position. Thanks again for the encouragement, I will try again and see if I can iron things out. It will be easier to make progress once I figure out exactly what is going on with the camera settings. I will look at collimation again, I have heard before how critical that is - so you are right, I need to put an effort in there. Clear skies everyone!
  4. Just for comparison here is a Neximage5 image before trying to hide the poor detail by resizing.
  5. Yikes, was not finished there .... I have shot around 60 GB of video - some not usable - even after trying to repair in VirtualDub - but plenty of usable from the lastest session. With the planet camera the difficulty is with settings, brightness, colour balance, focus, image drift, dust motes and/or light flare (from streetlights and the moon) in the light path. In contrast to this, the DSLR is pretty well plug an play - no cables and if you give it a decent image scale it gets exposure by itself. Here are the two best images I have come up with. They were resized downwards for sharpness from the original larger raw images. First the best image from The Neximage5 Now from the Nikon D5000 I have seen superb images taken with this same equipment but for now this is the best I can produce. I am tempted to ditch the Neximage5 until I can move to a B&W Planet Camera at some time in the future. One good thing though, is having the video store to rework if my processing skills improve at some point. Thanks for reading ... James
  6. OK, my Jupiter images are just not cutting it. So is it the camera?, the telescope?, my local conditions?, me? (my processing techniques). Mmmm? don't know .... I have The C9.25 - with which others are producing great images. I have checked the columation - although I have to admit to struggling a little on this. Its easy to defocus a star and see the doughnut - but I have found it very difficult to fet steady enough seeing to see diffraction rings at high power. whenever I have tried this, the diffraction rings are usually blowing like a flag in a crosswind. Its stone cold here right now - hovering above and below zero - and the scope is stored just above outside temperature, I don't think cooling is an issue. I have played around with pocket digital camera's, had the Meade Lunar Planetary Imager as my first astro-camera and done a fair bit of Deep Sky imaging with my two DSLRs - Canon 300D and now Nikon D5000. I recently picked up the Celestron Neximage5 Planetary Camera - I decided this would sort out any doubts about the DSLR not being up to the task. I have had three outtings with the Planet Camera and tried to shoot DSLR video on the same outtings for comparison. I stack in Registax and finish in Photoshop CS2 (free right now). But there is one area for doubt and that is the infamous 'Wavelets'. I have seen and tried all manner of settings here - it realy does seem to be an area of Black Magic. Here are the results of my new efforts into Planetary Imaging.
  7. Some retries on processing. I think the DSLR is beating my new planet cam because I'm new to the planet cam and still need to learn the best settings. But at least I'm learning a little more about processing in Registax while I am figuring out the camera. Need another clear sky outting with Jupiter - maybe tonight, its looking good.
  8. Wow, nice job! I've not had much luck on my first two outtings with the Neximage 5. My video all appears greeen - also the first batch of video were all at the lowest res setting - even although I had tried various on-screen resolutions. I had to change the file save settings - which were defaulting - regardless of what I set on-screen. Second outting I shot lots of video at higher resolution settings and set my limits at 2,000 frames. But, all the resulting 3.99GB AVI's (there seems to be some kind of limit) was unloadable in Registax, and even Quicktime will only play a few seconds of it. So back to the drawing board. I will try to make a bigger image next time and shoot at 720 x 1080 with a 1200 frame limit. Great image - well done!
  9. Was out last night and shot rafts of video with the Neximage5. I also tried some with my Nikon D5100 DSLR in Video Mode connected via T-Ring to an 8mm Celestron Zoom E.P. I know I don't know the Neximage5 yet, but on the initial results, the DSLR is beating the Planet Cam. I shot lots of higher resolutions with the Planet Cam - I assumed that's how you got such a large Jupiter. The Videos are all green. I can fix them in PS or NEB but this can't be good for quality. Sounds like I need to Barlow up - just got the new Celestron Luminous 2" 2.5x Barlow. But I do already have Jupiter at a reasonable size. Just not seeing any detail in the clouds - and visually too, not seenig the detail. Collimation must be close but perhaps its not optimal. Bought an external drive to run the video onto at the scope - its drop proof, water proof - just as well because I knocked it off my accessory case first time out. I set maximum frames 2000 on the Neximage5 - which resulted in 3.99 GB files. Although Registax can see these files - its warns 'Unknown Frame Count' Then bombs out when I try to Align them. Running into a lot of niggly issues so far. Next time out I will need to drop the resolution, hopefully that will drop the file size into the useable zone, and barlow up with the 2.5x. Will see how that works out. If can close to your example above I would be well pleased! Got some good skies for the next few days here in BC (Canada). Good Seeing
  10. All right Bus_ter - now I'm inspired ....
  11. Holy! OK there goes the theory that we are at the same level of experimenting! That's superb!
  12. James4

    DMK41 still waiting

    Interested to know how The DMK performs. I've got my eye on one of those for when I hit the improvement barrier on the Neximage5. Hope it turns up soon!
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