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Found 247 results

  1. Hi, Some old data from last November; before my camera was modded. The original image was processed with DSS and GIMP, the new version with DSS and StarTools. I'm still quite noobish when processing with StarTools. but its a really fun program to learn. On this image I forgot to desaturate the sky background to remove the LP colour glow--when I do a reprocess I will do that. I'm hoping that there will be some clear skies around November-December this year to get some better quality data. The streaky noise is caused by the rather noisy CMOS and no dithering--I didn't start using APT until the New Year. The gradient is caused by the secondary being not quite centred under the camera up/down the tube. Around 1 hour of 2-3 min subs, ISO 800 EQ5 and 130P-DS, guided with PHD2 & 50mm finder/guider EOS 1000d and MPCC Mk 4 + Cheap LP filter Old: (GIMP) New: (StarTools--Still a lot of work needed) John
  2. Hi all! Last night i went out to a friend's place on the outskirts of the city to image jupiter with my 8 incher and my DSLR. Atmospheric conditions were average-ish, just enough to push the scope to F20. I used backyardEOS in planetary mode to control the camera and captured jupiter 2 times about 45 minutes apart with 1700 Frame videos. In one of the images the great red spot is visible and in the other it's not. Please give me your honest feedback and advice, Clear skies!
  3. Hey guys Having been inspired by everyone else's fine images of M81 & M82 recently, i decided to go back and re-process my shallow stack of the same objects. I shot this back in early Feb, and at the time only decided to swing the wee 80mm scope around to it after my main target for the night (the Rosette Nebula) had disappeared behind the neighbour's house, so i wasn't able to go deep on it. I haven't bothered to return to it since, but i was never fully satisfied with the processing on it (even though it can obviously only be taken so far, given the short FL and exposure) so i decided to have another go (plus the weather's been crap recently!). I'm much happier with the star colours and background now (at least to my eye) and i seem to have eeked out a bit more detail in the galaxies themselves, especially in the jets of M82, where i was able to stretch the Ha data a lot more before blending together a mix of it and the Red channel from the RGB data. Although in hindsight i may have gone too far with the sharpening in M82. Be interested to hear what you guys think. If i was going to add more data to this, i would definitely prioritise the RGB over the Ha (i think i need a much bigger scope to properly shoot Ha on this). Oh yes, and try to remember to shoot at ISO 200 next time, and not 800! lol. Here's the new version: And here's the original: And finally, here's a crop of the new version, just to display the galaxies a bit bigger:
  4. Hello fellow gazers... I started shooting this one back on Feb 20, when i grabbed 11 x 1200s of Ha subs. 4 of the 11 were not of great quality, due to some light intermittent clouds, but i included them anyway in the stack (such is the trust i place in APP's 'Quality' algorithm). Then on March 3 i finally got another clear night, so while i waited for the sports facilities floodlights to switch off, i grabbed a short set of 20 x 90s RGB subs (just the D5300 with no filter) so i could use them for RGB stars. Then afterwards managed to grab 12 x 1200s of OIII subs. It's been a busy month (house move coming up) so i've only just got around to looking at it now. Processing this one has been a challenge. I wanted to push it hard, to show up some of the nebulosity that sits between the two nebulae, which meant the sky background became an utter pain to deal with. It was noisier than i would like, and still is, hence the need to use more noise reduction than i would normally. Having the stars in a separate layer is great, makes processing so much simpler. It has also improved my workflow i think, as i now tend to end up with an image that has 3 layers, Luminance, Colour, and Stars, rather than a single layer (which i sometimes would, due to laziness!). So now it's easier to go back and fix something later if i decide i don't like it. Full details: 11 x 1200s Ha (2" Baader mounted) 12 x 1200s OIII (2" Baader mounted) 20 x 90s RGB (for stars only) Nikon D5300 (modded) SW 80ED w FF/FR HEQ5-Pro Captured with SGP, pre-processed in APP, post-processed in PS. Ha assigned to Red, OIII to Blue, and Green was synthesized using one of Noel Carboni's actions in PS. I probably spent a good 10 hrs processing this one. Mostly due to trying to create a starless Ha image that was as clean as possible (which was a major PITA i must say!). Also, while the OIII signal was stronger than i was expecting for the tadpole nebula, it was unbelievably weak in the Flaming Star nebula. All i could get, after extreme stretching, was a small blob around the central section, so i gave up on the idea of using Annie's 'Hubble Palette Creation' Action and just went with a Bi-Colour approach. I might try the Hubble Palette just on the tadpoles at a later date, it should take to it much better. This one felt like a struggle, so i'd be grateful for any C&C, no matter how harsh. I think i have a tendency to go 'too far' in my processing, and i might well have done so here. Let me know what you think! Cheers!
  5. This one is a composite from two of my telescopes : Meade LX200-ACF, FL 1600mm, F7.8 (with reducer) 55x10 min = 9h10m @ iso 800 TS Imaging Star 71, FL 350mm, F5 186x200 sek + 4x300 sek = 10h40m @ iso 400 The two images are aligned with Registar and blended together in PS. The small APO is attached to the CW bar so I can image with both scopes simultaneously. I previously posted the LX200 closeup image here : Ragnar
  6. I finally got a decent image of M1, last year all I managed was a blurry fawn blob that looked like something out of the pocket of a duffelcoat.
  7. A lot of people have asked me about the iso setting and what is going on inside the DSLR camera. I have tried to do a simple tutorial about this on my homepage: http://astrofriend.eu/astronomy/tutorials/tutorial-iso-dslr/tutorial-iso-dslr.html Now when DSLR cameras get better and better it's not that big advantages to use high iso setting. On earlier high noise readout cameras you could raise the signal above the readoutnoise by using a high iso setting (but depends on the camera if the amplifier was good enough), but in the same time you lower the dynamic range. With a better new camera you can lower the iso setting and stretch the data in your imageprocessing software and still have the same (or almost) low signal details. And with that get a higher dynamic range (don't saturate or clip the high levels). With my new Canon 6D I normally use iso800 but also iso 400. Modern Nikon cameras with Sony sensors are even better. Normally you can read about isoless cameras, that's the ones that can take advantage of lover iso setting. Depends on the object what to prefer. One important thing to know, the iso setting doesn't change how many photos the camera detect, just how the camera read out the sensor. Hope I clearify and not confuse with my tutorial. /Lars
  8. Hi to all you members on SGL. I am a novice with 3 months experience with a SW200P dob, having started initially with a pair of Oregon 15 x 70 Bins on a tripod mount. I have referenced some good books and spent some time with Stellarium and I am encouraged by my new learnt ability to navigate the night sky with the 200p. I have connected my Nikon D600 (24mp full frame) DSLR to the scope and produced some satisfying photos of the moon, however I am interested in imaging some DSO's. ( I have caught the bug with no cure in sight!) I intend to get a tracking mount such as a SW HEQ5 Pro Synscan, but for now would like to purchase a wide field refractor and produce some wide field imaging with a basic mount, I understand that subs of around 30 sec can be produced with mediocre results initially until I get a better mount. Also it would be nice to have a grab and go scope which is more convenient than the big DOB. Also this would give me some images to experiment with the software such as DSS and Registax 6. So, I have been researching three achromatic telescopes, The Skywatcher ST80 and ST102 (both come with kit mounts ranging from AZ3 to EQ1 and the Bresser Messier AR-102/600 (which looks stylish and has the Hex focus) However, despite spending somewhere in the region of 4-5 hours so far researching for reviews on the BM102, nothing has been forthcoming>? I am aware of the issues of CA with these small tube Achromats, however the plan is to Purchase one of the three now, save for the HEQ5 mount, then at a later stage use the scope purchased now as a guide scope and but a better APO doublet or triplet scope for the main tube. So, having laid the table so to speak, which of the three would you advice and why please, I have been told by two companies stocking the BM102/600 that mechanically it is far superior to the two Skywatchers, but I am concerned that I cannot find ANY reviews on this OTA for its optical quality ?. I am aware that Synta make a few of these 80 and 100mm scopes for different suppliers but I am let to believe that the BM is a separate manufacturer. Any advice or better still hearing from someone who owns the Bresser Messier AR-102/600 would be amazing, so thank you for reading this long post and thank you in advance of your reply. Regards Graham Side note:- I have a VERY heavy duty pan tilt Manfrotto tripod which I previously used to support my Sinar 5x4 Large format bellows camera so its very steady and has a pan tilt head already fitted, I intend to mount the new scope on this as an AZ to begin with.
  9. As some camera telephoto lenses have smallish f ratio & length, how suitable are they optically for imaging. I am thinking more of fixed fl than zooms. Cameras with spot metering would be ideal theoretically for brighter objects.
  10. beka

    DSLR M22

    Hi Again, Continuing my foray into astrophotography and processing - m22 with my CPC 1100 at f10, Canon 700D, 9 flats and 11 x 30'' lights, stacked in Siril. Curve adjusted, cropped (heavily because image de-rotation effects on the edges) sharpened and scaled in Gimp. Hope you like :-) All the best
  11. Hi all, Last November I imaged the Bubble on a few occations with my Meade LX200-ACF and Nikon D7000 on SW HEQ5 Pro, guided with a standalone Nexguider. I managed some 10 hours under pretty good skies, plus 2 hours with H-alpha filter from my small town backyard. So almost 12 hours together (after rejecting every sub with just the slightest defect like non-circular or diffuse small stars). Registering (aligning) was done in Registar, and stacking & processing in PS. I also used the Straton software that removes (most of) the stars, after initial stretching, then I put them back using the "lighten" blending mode. C & C most welcome Ragnar
  12. Hi All, after years of pressing my smartphone camera to the eyepiece and taking pictures of the moon I tried attaching my DSLR (An old entry level Canon) to my Skywatcher 200 (1200mm focal length) on a dobsonian mount. I could not achieve focus whichever way I went. However, it seemed that what was needed was to be able to move in more than was available. What am I doing wrong? How can I get the camera to focus?
  13. Is there an adapter which goes from a Mak visual back (SW 150 Mak) to T2 to allow an EOS DSLR with an "EOS to T2 ring" to attach directly, or is it best to get a Mak to 2" adapter (which we have) and just get a 2" nose piece for the EOS ring? I want to keep it all 2" and not 1.25". James
  14. So I am not quite total beginner to astro images, but I am not hurrying to get to telescope range due to various factors and I did not find similar topic on several first pages of search, so this topic might be best suitable here. I have a camera that has a possibility to track astro-images up to 5 minutes, which is enough for me to take the Milky Way shots and even some Nebulae, clusters and similar level images. I have moved to the location that is a more light polluted than the one I lived before (from http://darksitefinder.com/maps/world.html : I lived close to the edge of yellow and all the dark orange, the city was light orange, now I live in the middle of red, the city is gray/white). It would be not so bad, as there are some empty fields around, so no very close light sources (same as in previous location), but the Milky Way is now directly above the city with way bigger light pollution opposed to the location where I had the MW in opposite side from the city. As nearest dark location is not for everyday drive (around an hour for a bit darker place), and even in red zone I get some recognizable images, I want to continue working on my technique and started looking to Light Pollution filters (I travel to some darker areas several times a year, but not too often). I found several 100mmx100mm filter brands, and several round ones, but I found no comparisons between them and very little to no sample images or reviews: PureNight Premium Light Pollution Reduction Filter by Lonely Speck – Lonely Speck - Lonelyspeck filter at the moment unavailable NiSi NiSi Natural Night Filter for Nighttime Light NIP-100-NGT Nisi filters Haida 100x100mm/4x4" Nanopro MC Optical Glass/ HD3702 B&H Haida filters IDAS Filters and Accessories IDAS LPS-D1 (round filter) Astronomik CLS Filter (round filter) I would prefer getting 100x100mm filter, as I can use it for multiple lenses (I have 49-86 filter thread lenses), but I could live with 77mm, if it is really worth it and possible to use with step-up/down rings. Any recommendations - is it worth to get any of these, or did I miss some good one, or any reviews? Are they worth buying? Clip-in filters are not an option because of camera brand (Pentax). Also, in the future I am considering modifying this camera after I will get a newer one (http://www.spencerscamera.com/store/store_product_detail.cfm?Product_ID=25&Category_ID=1) - any recommendations which modification type to choose and why (this is totally green part for me)? Also, will the chosen LP filter work with the modification?
  15. Hi, I always struggle imaging globular clusters. I have a DSLR Nikon D90 to a 750mm refractor (non apo), I can track up to 8/10 minutes without problems. Problem is that I struggle not burning globular clusters stars. I'd like to be able to get the faint stars around and still keep the color of the brightest ones in the core. I think probably multiple exposures is the solution? I need to find a good compromise between low ISO/longer exposure so that the brightest stars are not burned out (so I can keep colors and not make them just all white and bigger and reduce as well halos). Any suggestion? Thinking about M13, I never get a satisfying image out of it.
  16. The struggles of a beginner learning how to use the equipment. :-) Pointed mount North and Levelled EQ6 pro mount 8:30 pm Attached wireless release, 2" nose and UHC filter to Nikon DSLR Attached scope and camera, balanced scope for camera use Collimated the telescope -took 40 minutes of messing around Waited until dark. Took the dogs for a walk around the field to pass the time Polar aligned using the mobile app and sighting against Ursa major. Rebalanced DEC for eyepiece rather than camera 3 star alignment. 1st star was way off and took ages to get it in the eyepiece Restarted 3 star alignment. - Selected a star behind a house. Restarted 3 star alignment -complete. Checked collimation using a bright star - perfect (should bloody be after 40 minutes!) Tried to fine adjust polar alignment using a method discovered online (not drift- I don't think I have the patience.) Didn't work. Restarted 3 star alignment then used the polar alignment on SynScan Took a look at Jupiter was great to look at but not what I set out to do, I want DS images... Attached camera Used live view (LV) to try to focus stars Pointed the scope at M3 and took a 2 minute exposure Tried again with a 4 minute exposure SD card failed. Lost some family pics, grrr Now I have to explain to my partner that it wasn't because of Astronomy, these things just happen. Replaced SD card Took some cautious 1 minute exposures of M90 expecting the camera to explode Pictures were faint so moved to 4 minute with a little more confidence telling myself SD card failures can just happen. Noticed star trails Located a bright star Decided to give PEC training a try. Couldn't do it with an eyepiece. Tried with the camera in LV but noticed some gradual movement in the DEC axis. Hoped PEC training would sort this. Moved onto the Spiral Galaxy Took some 2 minute exposures of the whirlpool galaxy. Wireless timer worked flawlessly. Still a little faint so up'd the ISO and took some more. More detail but more noise. Took some darks with the same settings. Packed away while the camera did its thing. Viewed the pics briefly on laptop. There was star trails (DEC axis again and blurring) Went to bed 1:30 am Summary: So what have I learned? Well DEC error was probably due to the balance of the scope being off. I never did re-balance for the camera. I've also learnt today that I should bias the balance slightly East so the gears engage better. PEC training is a waste of time without an illuminated reticule which I don't have the desire to buy. I'd rather save for a guide scope and guide camera. I've learned I can refine the polar alignment after the 3 start alignment process. I've also read on forums that perhaps I should manually move the scope to the first alignment start then continue with the usual process. I've also seen that two star may be the way forward for EQ6. So perhaps next time I'll start with a 2 star, polar align using the SynScan handset then back to 3 star with the first manual adjustment. I should also purchase a few SD cards that are dedicated for Astrophotography and upload them ASAP after the session. The Astronomik UHC Deep Sky Filter worked wonders with the images for where I live. I can now take longer exposures. Assuming I sort out DEC errors and invest in guiding rig.
  17. Hi all I'm taking my next huge step after years of visual observing thru my wee etx 80. I am delving into astrophotography. However I have hit a snag in my research, I am wondering what type of dslr mod is required? I seem to find different mods at different prices. I have just purchased a EQ6 Pro mount and ordered a Orion ED80T CF which is a triple APO , i will be ordering a guidescooe and cam shortly. I have DIYd a 120Ah leisure battery pack consisting of 6 x car charger plugs and 4 × USB. Im an electrician, so it shouldn't blow.... The camera i am planning on buying is a 600d, is this a decent dslr? And as above, what modding does it require? Ill probs buy one used off one of the sites that sell them pre modded. The camera wont be used for daylight photography. Is it worth modding a dslr? Or should i just buy a starshoot G3 or similar priced colour CCD. I will be taking most of my images from the UK dark site at Ennerdale Cumbria as I live about 5 miles away. Hope you guys can help Rob
  18. Guys and Girls, Some basic advice around software please. I dont want to choose software that I spend ages learinng and understanding only to find that there is a much more popular/easier/better software program that does the same thing I want but much better. I have learned in the past that this is as time consuming as it is frustrating. There seems to be so many programs out there I'm almost lost! I am after a software program that allows me to focus my Canon 550D DSLR via my laptop when being used in prime focus, including focusing and controlling the shutter and exposure times. I do have a programmable remote intervelometer but suspect using a laptop will provide me with more control. I am also in the market for a software editing program that allows me to process my images. I am getting the feeling i'll need at least two programs, one for stacking and one for "finishing" the images. Registax is one that I hear about regularly but I get the impression it only work with video recordings from webcams (avi. files) or can I import individual images to stack? I understand webcam footage is simply lots of still images but have heard different answers and wonder if you can import images individually rather than video. Alternatively I'd like to know what other options there are for stacking images please. I am also considering taking a trial for Lightroom, as I continue to hear positive reviews. What I don't want is to get a free program and then find i am restricted in my options, hence the reason I'm considering Lightroom. Is this a better program for editing or are there other suggestions. The monthly subscription isn't an issue but again, if there are free comparable options i'm listening! I have an AVX mount (no guidescope) and plan to use my 550D for some prime focus. So I'm after..... 1) Control my DSLR from the laptop INC live focusing 2) Stacking software for images not video 3) Image procesing software Oh and some clear skies!
  19. Good Day to you all, I just wanted to share my first real attempt at photographing the Moon. This image is the result of a stack of 50 or so photos processed using Registax. I used my Nikon dslr and a telephoto lens. I would gladly welcome your critique. The image has been optimized for web, the original was over 60mb in size. Thank you Ben
  20. Good Morning, Last night I decided to get myself off the sofa and collect moon images for stacking. It was around 01:00 and the Moon was 3 hours after moon - rise. The viability was OK. Not perfect but I wanted data. Nikon d7200, Sigma 150-600mm Sport +1.4TC gave me a focal length of 1260mm. I was limited to f/9 160sec ISO 1OO. I know that the lens is at its sharpest at f/11 but the image seemed too dark at this aperture. I took around 100 exposures and used Asrostakkert for stacking. The image posted here is optimised for web viewing at a reduced resolution. Please let me know what you think ?
  21. frugal

    M51

    Like so many other people on here, I was taking advantage of the clear night on Saturday to get some imaging done. M51 was nice and high in the sky, so I thought I would have a go as I had never tried this particular galaxy before. After a while the guiding was fairly stable (not brilliant, but stable), and there was space on the histogram, so I changed from 5 min subs to 10 min subs in the hope of getting some more faint detail out. The focus was spot on according to the Bahtinov mask, so I am assuming my big soft stars are either seeing, or guiding wobbles. The RMS error for guiding was 0.88" pretty much constantly for the whole session. With the Camera / scope combination I am imaging at 1.74"/pixel, so that means that 3 std dev of guiding error (which is 99% of the distribution) is +- 2.64" which should cover a 3 pixel area (2.64"x2 / 1.74 = 3.03). However the image seems a lot softer than that. M51 by frugal10191, on Flickr Lights: 22 x 300s @ ISO800; 16 @ 600s ISO800 Darks: 112 x 300s Bias: 492 Flats: 23 x 1/8s Integration: Bayer Drizzle (Scale 2, Drop Shrink 1.0) Mount: Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT Imaging Telescope: Skywatcher ED80 DS-Pro with 0.85x FF/FR Imaging Camera: Canon 60D (Unmodified) Guiding Telescope: Skywatcher ST-80 Guiding Camera: Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 Software: Sequence Generator Pro, PHD2, PixInsight
  22. So, did I just manage to flukily capture a satellite alongside the moon tonight?? EOS650D, 55-200mm kit zoom @ 200mm, ISO200 Singleshot. Deconvolved, cropped & processed in LightroomCC & PhotoshopCC.
  23. Finally I had a chance to image this classic "beginner" target. Turns out it wasn´t as easy as I thought Anyway, here is my first version. Will probably try a "harder" edit further on. I know it looks a bit soft but I didn´t hit the noise reduction hard. Might be the result of slight out of focus? However, the stars look sharp enough. Canon EOS 550D (modded) Skywatcher 150-PDS 55*5 minutes at ISO800. Pixinsight and Photoshop for stacking and editing.
  24. I have been wondering, which is the better solution? The A7s and the dedicated ZWO ASI1600mm-cool astrocamera costs roughly the same. Leaving the A7s' Bayer array in place (of course removing the ICF) results that the effective light collecting area for H-alpha is ~1/4th of the total sensor area (~860/4=215mm2). The lucky thing is, that both the Bayer transmission and the cmos sensitivity is great at 656nm. Thanks to the unlucky transmission curves of the green and blue pixels, O-III at 500nm also takes a toll: here we are blessed with 3 pixels of the array (G+B) but both G and B filter components absorb around 50% here! Effectively in O-III, the a7s acts as a 322mm2 area monochrome camera. Considering that the Zwo has better cooling than the a7s can practically ever have (unless one completely disassembles it and sticks a dual-stage peltier on the sensors back), less-than-ideal transmission of the bayer filters AND camera-independent factors, like vignetting (depends on your scope and optical train), I would say the Zwo is at least equivalent if not better than the fullframe a7s. Meaning, that if you want to cover a certain LARGE area, you get there at the same time with mosaicing. However, if you target one object which fits the Zwo's field than it should be clearly superior, delivering the same results at ~1/3 exposure times. Does my line of thinking make sense? Can someone support it with experience? Monochrome modding of the A7s could be another step, however that kills the microlenses and results in a 20-30% light loss + costs a fortune if done professionally or plays Russian roulette with your wallet if you try scraping off the Bayer yourself.
  25. Hi guys, Just a little advice required please. Wanting to try imaging with a dslr. I have the opportunity to snag a mint Canon 50d for a few hundred pounds, 2 batteries, all leads, and original discs and box. Firstly are these used widely in AP and secondly is this a good deal? Feedback and comments welcome.
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