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Found 32 results

  1. From the album: Pillars of Creation

    Modified Canon 1100D with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens @ ISO1600. AstroTrac TT320 Mount. 25x 60 second lights 20x Darks 20x Flats 20x Bias Stacked in DSS and processed in PS. Taken on holiday in Fuerteventura.
  2. From the album: Deep Sky Objects

    Modified Canon 1100D with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens @ ISO1600. AstroTrac TT320 Mount. 25x 60 second lights 20x Darks 20x Flats 20x Bias Stacked in DSS and processed in PS. Taken on holiday in Fuerteventura.
  3. I was wondering, is there an alternative to the ATTH3010 declination unit one could use with the Astrotrac? Counterweight is important, because I'd use a 90/600 APO.
  4. Here's my latest imaging attempt using the AstroTrac 320AG. M45 imaged from Ag Nik in Crete with a gibbous waxing moon. 18 x 165 second subs, Nikon D40, ISO 800 with 55-200mm kit lens @200mm, f 5.6.
  5. Evening SGL, though i would share my first astro mosaic. Taking on this little project was a spur of the moment decision, i made no plans for it until i imaged M8+M20 and thought "hmmmm, a galactic centre mosaic would look pretty tasty!". I then planned to create a 3x5 mosaic of the area totaling in 15 panels. But like i said, without planning it out properly i was left with the Milky Way dropping too low in my sky for me to get anywhere near what i wanted. So i only managed 4 panels... Each panel was around 70-80 minutes exposure time except one which i lost a lot of frames on because of cloud, leaving me with one panel of which the exposure time totaled 45 minutes. The processing and creating a seamless image was hard but this 'dud' panel caused more problems. I had to stretch it first and then bring the rest up to the same levels, if i had managed 70 minutes on this panel, i could of stretched the whole image a bit more without any problems. Each panel was made up of 120 second exposures at f3.2, ISO 800. And here is a couple of the single images... M8+M20, the Lagoon and Trifid And a part of the Pipe nebula, i call this area Barnard City I will be better prepared next year and will hopefully get to finish what i've started! All images were taken with a Canon 1100D and a EF200L on a Astrotrac TT320X-AG Clear skies!
  6. I took this shot a week ago but we're had a fair few clear nights so the processing has lagged behind a bit (not complaining) Having shot PanSTARRS as it passed M31 last month I checked on Sky Safari to see if was going to pass by anything else interesting. I'd imaged Cederblad 214 before but this time it was as low in the sky as it can be so I travelled out to where I had a reasonable north horizon, this is a stack of 41 150sec frames taken with a 200mmL lens on a modded Canon 600D all mounted on my Astrotrac. Lots of Photoshop on this one to remove gradients due to the low altitude but I think it was worth the effort Mel
  7. Hello everyone, Last wednesday, I tried my first shot with an Astrotrac, which I borrowed from a friend before making the jump and buy one. And I must say that I'm quite amazed by its tracking capabilities, even without an autoguider. I know that the lens I used has only 85mm of focal length, but I only got a 5 pixels drift during 45 minutes of imaging : that's quite impressive Enough chitchat, here are the images : 5DmkII, Astrotrac, 85mm f/4.0, ISO 800, 14 x 60 seconds exposures, 15 darks, 50 bias, no flats, PixInsight for everything except the colors/saturation. From the Southern Cross to Eta Carina 5DmkII, Astrotrac, 85mm f/2.8, ISO 800, 9 x 60 seconds exposures, 15 darks, 50 bias, no flats, PixInsight for everything except the colors/saturation. Pipe, Trifid and Lagon nebulas, with some Barnard 5DmkII, Astrotrac, 85mm f/2.8, ISO 800, 30 x 60 seconds exposures, 15 darks, 50 bias, no flats, PixInsight for everything except the colors/saturation. Rho Ophiuchi A mosaic of the last two images Click on the pictures for a larger version I hope you liked them ! And if you're on the fence to buy an Astrotrac, just do it, it's an excellent piece of gear. Clear Skies
  8. From the album: Pillars of Creation

    Modified Canon 1100D with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens @ ISO1600. AstroTrac TT320 Mount. 25x 60 second lights 20x Darks 20x Flats 20x Bias Stacked in DSS and processed in PS. Taken on holiday in Fuerteventura.
  9. From the album: Nothing Special

    Modified Canon 1100D with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens @ ISO1600. AstroTrac TT320 Mount. 25x 60 second lights 20x Darks 20x Flats 20x Bias Stacked in DSS and processed in PS. Taken on holiday in Fuerteventura.
  10. Hi So this thread will cover in fact PoleMaster, Astrotrac and GiroMini because this is my setup.I bought the PM (PoleMaster) since the Astrotrac has a fail polar scope (no matter how you fiddle about it), and of course the dedicated adapter to mount PM on the AT (Astrotrac) arm. PM is a real joy to use, but somehow I suspect the AT polar arm has some "issues", so I bought another PM adapter for AZEQ5 and mount it right on the GM (GiroMini).It was based on another suggestion I made to a fellow astronomer, but nobody did it. Long story short, below the new adapter in place. I am certain this is as close to the rotation axis as it can be. The plan is to replace those M3 screws with M3 thumb screws in the future for easy setup and not to have the PM there when I don't use it. I will post more pictures "in the wild" and on site results ,but now the clouds are here because my new ES 82° eyepieces also arrived
  11. I'm off to Kelling Heath Star Party again in a few weeks and I'm having a sort out of stuff to sell at the event. I'll be on pitch 167 (the new area behind the loos on the yellow field) from Wednesday 20th September. Amongst possibly a few other things, I'm planning to have the following items for sale Astrotrac (Mk1) with custom polar scope and battery pack. This has given me years of faithful service, but I've realised that, taking only 5 minutes subs with a 50mm lens, I just don't need the accuracy this lovely bit of kit can deliver. I've downgraded to a secondhand iOptron Skytracker which can be mounted on my existing birdwatching/camera tripod and hence take up less room when we go away. This is the early Mk1 version of the Astrotrac. I works really well and comes with a custom-made polar scope consisting of a EQ5 polar scope mounted in a custom adaptor. It also comes with a plastic box for housing 10 x 1.2v rechargeable AA batteries and the original power lead. The latest version of the Astrotrac costs >£400 + >£100 for the polar scope. I'm asking £295. Books Lunar and planetary webcam user guide - Martin Mobberley - £4 Norton Star Atlas (18th Edition) - Ian Ridpath - £4 Magazines A selection of Sky at Night and Astronomy Now magazines from the last two years - FREE to a good home
  12. An AstroTrac and a Red Dot Finder I have been looking for something like this for a few years. Finally found it - so thought I would share. It's an adapter that allows you to mount a Red Dot Finder "firmly" on a camera Hot Shoe. From Geopitik via Teleskop-express. It has a screw (with a nylon tip) that you can use to clamp it down (clamp it up to be more accurate) so it does not move. Happy I found it! Cheers Ian PS - Yes - that's a PoleMaster lower left. ;-) PPS - And a guide scope upper right. PPPS - Dying to see if this lot works! ;-)
  13. Had a lovely imaging session on Suday morning in "runoffshed's" back garden with the PST and DMK41, this is my fourth outing with this equipment and the first time with a barlow added. The atmosphere was very steady with the only interuptions coming from Sybil the very curious cat and by John generously providing tea and bacon butty's, this sure beats messing around in the cold and dark The second image is an inverted close-up which to my eye looks like a distant church with a spire next to a tree on top of a hill, needless to say I'm very pleased with the results I'm getting from the little PST. Mel The Tree and the church
  14. From the album: Deep Sky Objects

    Since the skies are not playing along, might as well learn how to process these images better, so old data but reprocessed. Canon 7D with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS @ f/4, ISO 1600. Astrotrac TT320 mount. 35 x 60 second Lights 25 x Bias 25 x Darks 25 x Flats Taken near Horncastle in Lincolnshire
  15. For those struggling to collimate there Astrotrac Polarscope (as I was), check the tube housed in the main body of the scope for flex and ensure it is the right way round. today I removed the tube and swapped it around, this made ALL the difference, collimation was a breeze after this. I have already swapped out the grub screws for thumb screws and remember to make tiny adjustments each time.
  16. Took these last week. The first is a wide field of the area around the constellation Aquila. I did not intend to image Barnards E, i never even knew it was there! I just pointed the camera at that area as i knew there would be some nice dusty stuff floating around was quite surprised when the first exposure came in showing the 'E'. I used the Canon 50mm 1.8 for this image with a Canon 1100D unmodded. I now intend to for this to be the first panel of a mosaic i hope to crack on with. The second image is again of Barnard's E but shot with the 200mm for a closer look! I had a lot of trouble with the second image. I was getting a blurry result from Deep Sky Stacker which was very frustrating! But thanks to some fellow imagers the problem was sorted. Too many stars, DSS was finding over 30,000! So i had to move the slider (which i hadn't touched in months) up to 70%. Also, the stars are a bit trailed also due to polar scope collimation issues. And i may as well throw in this image of Cassiopeia which was also shot with the nifty fifty! The more i use this lens the more i love it Thanks for looking Clear skies
  17. Details of a modification i carried out on my Atrotrac to reduce play in the pivot bearing. Item had been returned to Astrotrac but was found to be working correctly in line with expectations.
  18. Hi After years of failing to get a decent solar image with a DSLR on my PST I finally bit the bullet and bought a secondhand DMK41. WOW what a difference, I was beginning to think I had a dodgy PST but now I'm as pleased as punch. I've learnt a lot from looking at the superb images in this section and getting tips on which stacking software is best to use, I settled on AutoStakkert!2 for stacking and Registax 6 for sharpening plus a bit of Photoshop to finish it off. This image was shot on 11-11-2012 with the PST mounted on my Astrotrac. Mel
  19. From the album: Pillars of Creation

    Modified Canon 1100D with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens @ ISO1600. AstroTrac TT320 Mount. 25x 60 second lights 20x Darks 20x Flats 20x Bias Stacked in DSS and processed in PS. Taken on holiday in Fuerteventura.
  20. From the album: Nothing Special

    Modified Canon 1100D with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens @ ISO1600. AstroTrac TT320 Mount. 25x 60 second lights 20x Darks 20x Flats 20x Bias Stacked in DSS and processed in PS. Taken on holiday in Fuerteventura.
  21. From the album: Ha - Widefield

    A shot of the Cygnus area at 50mm in Ha

    © Stephen Lloyd 2014

  22. Ok, some of you know that I have an AstroTrac (hereto referred to as AT) which I plan to use as a more portable, easier to set up, imaging rig. What you might not know is that, whilst the AT is a superb piece of engineering, like many other astro items on the market, there is always room for fine tuning. With the AT this is particularly true of the polarscope alignment, or collimation. This is something which I am aiming to undertake over the next week or so and thought it might benefit the members of SGL if this process were documented. Firstly, Id like to thank StuartJPP who intially brought the need for collimation to my attention in this thread. For further reading I would highly recommend this: Rotating Polar Scope Arm Messes Up Alignment - Yahoo Discussion and this: Fred Miranda Polar Scope Collimation PDF So how do you begin to collimate the polar scope? The answer is two fold. The first step is to ensure that the polar scope is collimated within the holder i.e. about its own axis. The second step is to ensure that the holder is centred about the AT 'polar' axis. Step One - Polarscope Reticule Centring The initial step is to ensure that the polar scope is centred about its own axis. To do this you need to first set up your AT and aim the polarscope on a distant object such as a pylon, telegraph pole or any other distant, stationary object Once you have chosen your object align your polar scope so that the centre (the intersection of all markings) is aligned to the top, or other definable point, of your object. Once aligned you can rotate your polarscope through 360 degrees. A correctly collimated or centred polar scope will keep its place when rotated. If your polar scope is badly collimated you will see the centre move around and off your definable point as you rotate. I chose a distant radio mast with a conveniently placed light ontop. The following set of photos show how the light is covered, but then emerges as I rotate the polar scope around through 360 degrees: This clearly shows that the polar scope is in need of collimation. Here is where the fun begins! To collimate the scope you need to adjust the 3no grub screws that are located around the barrel near where the illuminator sits: To make this easier, the Fred Miranda paper suggest replacing these with 3mm thumbscrews. I have currently ordered some thumbscrews from here: Kustom PCs - Black Metric Thumbscrews You can also order Thumbscrews from 365 Astronomy, they are labelled eyepiece fixings. Once they arrive I can see if they are long enough. And here is where the story, temporarily ends........
  23. This is second light with my AstroTrac. Andromeda Galaxy from Ag Nik in Crete. 10 x 120s subs, Nikon D40, ISO 800 with 85-200mm kit lens @ 200mm. Stacked and with small stretch in DSS. Won't win any prizes, but I'm really happy to be doing some imaging on hgoliday! When I get home I'll try to clean up the egg shaped stars.
  24. A very enjoyable imaging session last night at the Rollrights with Astrosurf (http://stargazerslou...ing-worked-m51/) and while she was muttering to her autoguider I set up my Astrotrac. The wind had died down by now so I thought I would try out my new 300mm lens on the modded Canon 550D, target was the Crescent Nebula in hydrogen alpha and I managed to get 25 usable 4 minute subs within the 2 hour run of the Astrotrac. All processing done in Photoshop and I must say I'm very pleased with this image as a first attempt with this combination. Mel
  25. I'm pondering investing in an Astrotrac based system, purely for photography and not for observing. I've found that Telescope Service sell an Astrotrac travel package that substitutes the Manfrotto tripod, geared head and ball head for a 'Triton' branded tripod, with a 3D head and a ball head: http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p3812_Astrotrac-travelset---complete-set-with-tripod-and-ball-head.html It's considerably cheaper than the Manfrotto equipped package (~£590 versus ~£900) - just wondered if anybody had tried the Triton gear? Searching the forums has shown a couple of positive reports from people with Triton branded gear, but not specifically the stuff in question. Many thanks.
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