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Found 152 results

  1. OK, so i am considering a long term move from my trusty DSLR to a pure astro cam. I sort of figured out the following things (just my opinion!): A DSLR like my Canon EOS 550D gives a large, decent sensor at an affordable price - zero (if you already own one). In order to really step things remarkably up, i'll probably have to go Mono and cooled - it does not make sense to shell out 4 figures for a small change. I would also like to go for the hubble palette- lets do it right the first try... This means that the investment for me will be at least camera + computer controlled filter wheel + 3 narrow band filters + who knows what else! If i go for the ASI 1600 cool, it looks like the total investment would be positively north of 2200 EUR/GBP- right? I'd love to have feedback from the community! PS.: lots of thanks to the SGL community- since i have started reading SGL, my astro malinvestments have gone down to zero (so far). Thanks again!
  2. Here goes one of the summer targets! M45 was shot from the top of mountain Parnon, which is really dark. Lx10 1x1 300secs RGBx22 2x2 80 secs Still learning pixinsight and this was my first try on LRGB (i usually go for just RGB) Full resolution and annotation here Looking forward for your critique! Thanks
  3. Hi all! I'm looking for any recommendations for a good little refractor as a companion for my Star Adventurer for astrophotography. Little (in weight) being the operative word given the 5kg payload capacity of the mount! Currently I am shooting with an Sony A7S and guiding with an Orion Starshoot and Orion 50mm guide scope. So there's a little bit of weight on there already. Looking at refractors with a focal length of 400-600mm which are proven performers for imaging. So far contenders are: Stellarvue 80mm ED TS-Optics ED 70mm f/6 William Optics Gran Turismo 71 APO Refractor Any advice/images of rigs/example images/etc would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance :-)
  4. Hi everyone I am totally new to imaging and my set up is as follows Skywatchers 200p Dual axis motor drive Bresser Mikrokular HD Eyepiece Using Sharpcap capture programme My question is that as I am looking looking to image the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn, what are the settings I need on Sharpcap to get the best results. I have never done imaging before don’t understand gamma, sharpness, saturation, etc, etc. Any advice would be great, Thanks Martyn
  5. I have a Canon 5D Mark III with a 400mm lens and wanted to see if I captured a photo of the Andromeda Galaxy if I could print it as a 24"x18" print @ 200 PPI (pixels per inch). Since Andromeda is about 3.17 degrees x 1.03 degrees that translates into 11,412 ArcSeconds x 3,708 ArcSeconds. The Canon full frame sensor is 5784 x 3861 pixels with each pixel being 6.25 uM in size. For best-case atmospheric seeing of 2 ArcSeconds and a 2:1 Nyquist sampling, I think we want 1 ArcSecond of sky to map to one pixel of size 6.25 uM. Using the Image scale equation of Image Scale = (206.265 X pixel size)/ focal length I get Image Size = (206.265 x 6.25)/400 = 3.2 Arc Seconds per pixel. 11,412: (11,414 Arc Seconds) x (pixels/3.2 Arc Seconds) x (1 inch/200 pixels) = 17" (so the wide part of the Andromeda galaxy would print at 200 PPI for 17" 3,708: (3,708 Arc Seconds) x (pixels/3.2 Arc Seconds) x ( 1 inch/200 pixels) = 5.8" (so the narrow part of the Andromeda galaxy would print at 200 PPI for 5.8" Can anyone confirm that these calculations are correct or give some suggestions on how to correct? Thanks, Lloyd Linnell
  6. I've been thinking about upgrading my SW 127 Mak for a long time now and have been looking into going for a used Celestron C8 recently. My main interest is in imaging DSOs for which I use a SW 150pds with an Atik 314L+ on a HEQ5 mount. However all too often the only clear nights are during full (or nearly full) moons and on these occasions I like to image the moon or the planets. This is why I bought the 127 mak to try and improve on what the 150pds gives me when imaging lunar/planetary. I use my guide camera a ZWO ASI120mm to capture video for this type of imaging. On a few evenings I've compared both my scopes for lunar and planetary and while the mak gives better results on Jupiter there's very little in it when it comes to lunar imaging. On the Mak I can't use a barlow for lunar as it gives a ghost image (like the mysterons circle) but the 150pds performs quite well barlowed when lunar imaging. In essence the difference between the two scopes isn't enough to warrant owning the 127mak. So my question is will there be a significant improvement if I upgrade from a SW 127 mak to a C8 for lunar and planetary imaging? I know I'll gain about 35% in focal length and I'm hoping I'll be able to use a barlow to increase that. I'm also hoping the extra aperture will make a big difference. There's also the added bonus of using the C8 with a reducer to image the smaller DSOs like M57 if I ever get my guiding good enough. I guess I'd just like some confirmation that a C8 is the right scope before I take the plunge.
  7. Can someone explain the optical reason why deep-sky astrophography only seems possible with an SCT or Maksutov arrangement and not with Newtonians? I assume it has something to do with the relatively long focal lengths of those vs a Newtonian, but I'm sure that's simplistic. Thank you.
  8. Excellent seeing on the 16/17th which allowed the use of a 5xbarlow on my 200p Got the best jupiter image so far, pleased with the result
  9. After one or two failled attempts I finally managed to image Jupiter plus its Great Red Spot, Ganymede and its shadow. Taken using an unmodded Toucam and an IR blocking filter attatched to a 200 mm Skywatcher Explorer with a 3x barlow and 1227 images stacked. I had the added problem of Jupiter going behind the trees during imaging, where I am there's trees everywhere and I only had a small area to place my telescope, I just can't avoid them so I was having to deal with an image that was darkening then brightening for most of the time, but one good thing about winter is all the leaves have fallen so I can see through the trees. Also I couldn't see the northern sky so it was just a case of pointing the mount what I reckoned was north, so constantly having to press the direction button to keep the image in the centre of the field
  10. Hello, *Touch Wood* the weather looks like I'll have a shot at Saturn tomorrow, although my faith in weather forecasts is dead. Anyway I've realised that after waiting so long I'm not sure how many times I will be able to have a go at Saturn so I'm asking for some advice on a couple of the camera/webcam settings: I use a Point grey firefly monochrome camera and flycap 2 software. 1. Currently I use "Pixel / Resolution format" Y8. This allows me to shoot up to 60fps. However I can also set it to Y16 (16 bit i assume), which limits me to 30fps. Would 30fps and Y16 be the way to go or is Y8 and up to 60fps better? 2. Also I currently don't use the histogram, I just sort of judge it by eye. However I had a sneaky look at it with Jupiter. On the y axis is percentage and the x axis a load of very large numbers. On Jupiter the other day it was peaking around 50% on the y axis, a very sharp peak. This about right? I've heard more than 50% but surely this will introduce a lot of noise? Thanks, Dan
  11. Hi, never posted in the imaging section before but heres a Moon shot taken on a 150p dob with a Nikon D300 at iso 800 1/320 second. Mirror lock up and timer delay. D300 was attached with a 2 x Barlow so had to take a piccie of the bottom and then the top half of the Moon as it was too big ( and no I couldn't have moved back a bit !) and then stitched in photoshop
  12. Hi, Folks I am only a few weeks into astronomy and started off with a Celestron 9.25" Evo on the standard AZ mount. I guess with hindsight this wasn't the best place to start and also with hindsight I would have done better to have bought a GEM mount. Anyway, lesson learned and at 71 years old I have to speed up the learning process compared to younger enthusiasts I have 2 issues. 1/ Its a pain dragging the scope out into the garden and setting it up every time I think the fickled weather might be obliging. 2/ I now know that the mount I have is useless for long exposures and a wedge is fiddly to get polar aligned. My question is, though I gather wedges are a PITA to setup etc is if I was to build or buy a pier for the backyard and use my existing mount + a wedge is this a reasonable way to go? Though it's fiddly to set the thing up once set I could leave the mount, wedge, etc covered up and would just need to drop the OTA on when I wanted to use it. Is this reasonable or am I missing something fundamental down near the bottom end of my learning curve Any advice much appreciated and don't feel you have to spare my feelings
  13. Hi I have recently purchased a ZWO ASI120MC-S webcam from FLO. I wanted to try it the other night so I decided to get some test images for the moon. I was using Sharpcap for this. I manged to get the video and was using Autostakkert to stack it. On the final stacked image I can see that there are some strange vertical lines. I have attached a picture of that. There is also a zoomed in image of a region and I can see some small squares almost resembling the pixels on the sensor. Below are my capture settings as given by SharpCap. [ZWO ASI120MC-S] Debayer Preview=On Pan=0 Tilt=0 Output Format=AVI files (*.avi) Binning=1 Capture Area=1280x960 Colour Space=RAW8 Temperature=19.2 High Speed Mode=Off Overclock=0 Turbo USB=86(Auto) Flip=Both Frame Rate Limit=60 fps Gain=50(Auto) Exposure=0.001993 Timestamp Frames=Off White Bal (B)=95 White Bal (R)=52 Brightness=0 Auto Exp Max Gain=50 Auto Exp Max Exp M S=30000 Auto Exp Target Brightness=100 Mono Bin=Off Apply Flat=None Subtract Dark=None #Black Point Display Black Point=0 #MidTone Point Display MidTone Point=0.5 #White Point Display White Point=1 TimeStamp=2018-06-25T23:13:22.6772909Z SharpCapVersion=3.1.5214.0 For Autostakkert (v2.6.8 ) I was not doing anything fancy. Pressed analyze and then used 50% of the frames to stack. Used 200 as the AP size. Also, had the drizzle as 1.5x My camera was mounted to a skywatcher 200pds and HEQ5 mount. I am failing to understand what is going wrong here. Is the camera a problem or stacking is an issue ? Please let me know if there is any more information that you need. Thanks and Regards, Yogesh moon_25062018_1min_00_13_20_g4_ap35_Drizzle15.tif moon_25062018_1min_00_13_20_g4_ap35_Drizzle15_ZOOM.tif
  14. Hi, here's my first go at imaging with my recently accuired Nexstar 11 GPS, i've used a 6.3 reducer and my Sony Alpha 6300, the second shot is a single frame using the digital zoom on the camera.
  15. Guys, I have an order in for a Starizona Hyperstar for my 8” EdgeHD. What sub-1k camera would you pair with this kit? Also what is the learning curve involved, bear in mind I have no imaging experience? I have been looking at the Altair Astro Hypercam Pro TEC 183c, which seems to be getting some favourable comments. My intention is to use an INDI based platform, probably a StellarMate for image and focuser control. Paul.
  16. I have an old StarlightXpress Frame store that hasn't been used for years. After the order from "on-high" to de-clutter I was going to take it to the skip along with other old astro stuff, but thought I'd just check to see if it was working. It appears to work fine so if any use can be found for it I would rather donate it to someone than take it to the skip. For those not familiar with the SX original Framestore it is self contained and only needed a PC to save images. To do that there was rudimentary software and a card to insert into the PC. Of course, being the late 1990's it was designed for use with Windows 98. To save images would require an old desktop with Windowa 98 or maybe Windows 2000 on it. However, for taking short or long exposure images and displaying them on a screen no PC is needed. I did use it at a star party to do just that. Showing a group of people objects they couldn't see well, if at all, through the scope directly collected quite a crowd. In the spirit of reducing landfill, if it can be of any use to anyone who is prepared to collect it from Maidenhead I will happily give it away. I attach images of the setup taken last week. Ian B
  17. Hi All, this morning i made my first attempt taking a picture of Jupiter. The hardware i used: Skywatcher Skymax 127 SW AZ GTI mount Sony A6300 T2 adapter (about 40mm long) 1,25" nosepiece on the adaptor. So camera in prime focus with no barlow, filters,... First photo: Camera settings in manual mode : AWB; Shutter 2,5sec; ISO1600 Second photo AWB; 1/3sec ISO100 So, as you can see not that good, a Barlow probably would have been better, but i guess there's more to be done here... Some tips ? Thank you
  18. Hie all. I currently have an 8" GSO reflector newtonian(1200mm focal length, f/6 focal ratio) and i have spent a year observing and manually tracking planets and deep space objects. I recently purchased a nikon d5500, a t ring, uhc broadband filter and a 32mm telephoto projection superview eyepiece. I have a few doubts though. I connect my eyepiece to my dslr directly using the t ring. As this eyepiece doesnt need and extra adaptors. I recently calculated the amount of time a star or deep space object would take to go out of my FOV. It takes about 4.8 mins. So what if i take 8 to 15 sec exposures with manual tracking?? Will there be any very visible srar trails in my image...?? I will be stacking 500 to 600 light frames along with dark frames in DSS and edit it in lightroom. And use a shutter remote to take exposures without shake...is this possible...??? Can someone please help me out with this..???
  19. On July 12, 2017 (2017-07-12) my friends Atik Infinity arrived on an extended loan to me. He also extended an offer I cannot refuse to purchase this camera from him. I set to imaging as much as I could in the past month. Which has been considerable because of my location. The very first night, the very first target, was a smashing success. And it has gotten better and better as I learned how to operate the Infinity. So today I thought I'd make a video to share. I simply cannot express my gratitude enough, nor my shear delight in the Atik Infinity OSC camera. If you have hopes of Astro Imaging, I would heartily recommend the Infinity... Less than 1 month with the Infinity...
  20. Hi, I am planning on my 1st autoguiding session tonight , I wondered if anyone could help me with a few questions. My setup is 9x50 guidescope, ASI guidecam, EQ5, 130-PDS, and EOS 1000d with CC and LP Filter. I have a good view of the north, west, south, and south-southeast. 1. Polar Alignment. Should I use PolarFinder and my polar scope, or should I use Sharp-Cap to do polar alignment using the guidescope and camera?1. Considering the moon and my limited view of the west , what is a good target I can attempt an imaging run on? 2. Things I should prioritize in testing and mastering, and the best way to do this? 3. Considering the moon and my limited view of the west , what is a good target I can attempt an imaging run on? (M31???) I have reasonably clear skies, with a bit of higher cloud forecast later (1-2am) on Clear Outside, BBC and satellite images are more optimistic though. (Streetlights go off at 12 midnight ) P.S. Tips on keeping awake until early hours also appreciated . Thanks for looking, John
  21. Hey Everyone, I bought a new laptop two days ago. Even though I do have the standard software like APT, PHD1,2, CdC, Stellarium, DSS, ASCOM, EQMOD etc. etc, Anyone have any other software in mind I could install? I'll admit that I kind of hoard them on the PC and not really use them.
  22. I had a bash at imaging a couple of years ago, but found that an 8inch reflector with ST80 was too big for my Celestron CG5-GT mount. The trials and tribulations of that are here : I thought I would tell you what has happened now that I have swapped the reflector for a Skywatcher Evostar ED80. Basically, it now tracks! I am using a QHY5II- C camera in a ST80 as the autoguider. I have a Nikon 5300 attached to the ED80 and the ST80 is piggy backed. My routine is: 1. Polar align the Celestron CG5-GT mount 2. Align it using 3 stars (e.g. at the moment, Arcturus, Mizar and Deneb) 3. Using a bahtinov mask to focus. 4. On the laptop, use ASCOM to link the scopes/cameras to Cartes du Ciel and PHD (the autoguiding software) 5. Choose a guding star, spend around 60 seconds calibrating PHD. 6. Start imaging! 7. Take darks, flats (i use a white screen app on a tablet) and bias. I know the quality is no where near what people get with cooled CCD's and filters, but I do feel I am finally making progress. This is last nights effort, before the clouds rolled in (so, 9 x 180 seconds, with UHC filter):
  23. Hey guys it is getting really cold and this is the first time I'm using laptop in the field for imaging, so I have no idea how to use the laptop in subzero temperatures. Last year when i was checking something in Stellarium, my screen just froze and did not work until i had it warmed. I get that it is Liquid Crystal, and will freeze in subzero temps. So how can i use it in the filed, all night long, without freezing it to death? Sorry for bad English Regards
  24. The noctilucent cloud is in the upper right of the image, hovering over some beautiful pink and purple-tinged lower level clouds just after sunset during last year's autumnal equinox. A single 1/1250s exposure at f/5, 155mm, shot with a Nikon D50. No processing. One of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen! Reggie
  25. Well its been a long time since I came on here having moved house and done a lot of fishing after I sold all my imaging gear. Just wanted to say hello to those that may remember me and thank you to all of you who kept reading my blog that I left up to help others as most of what I learned came from you all on this forum anyway. Hoping to get back into it all again starting right from scratch again just like I did 5 years ago and yes I will probably still go for another skywatcher 200p and eq5 mount just loved that scope to bits. This is the best forum on the net for stargazers and I am really glad its still going strong. Clear skys everyone. QM ;-)
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