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Found 15 results

  1. 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!
  2. Hi Guys, been a member for ages but new to posting so hope this is okay. I have a canon 550D but it seems unable to shoot video without a lens, obviously stills are fine without one, anyone know of an upgrade or work around please. KR. Mart.
  3. Hello all I just had a go at the cone nebula NGC 2264 on my unmodified Canon 550d and a Skywatcher 150pds I managed 31 subs and 20 darks. No flats! To come God willing. Anyone know what is sufficient for darks? I tend to stop at 20 but do not do bias as I hear from Craig Stark that it's not necessary if you do darks. Anyway here is my attempt. http://www.astrobin.com/full/287624/0/ Look forward to comments and any advice. Thanks Gerry
  4. Hello all I just had 2 sessions where I tried the horse head Nebula and also the Iris Nebula. I think the Iris needed longer exposures to get the darker detail but I'm not guiding. Let me know your thoughts. I was a little dissatisfied with Iris http://www.astrobin.com/full/274255/D/ http://www.astrobin.com/full/278508/0/ Cheers Gerry
  5. Hello all My first attempt. No guiding on a Skywatcher 150pds and Canon 550d. I wanted more frames but the moon was out and didn't set till late! Anyway there are only 6 frames of 180 with 9 darks. I haven't checked what others have done but please post yours too. http://www.astrobin.com/full/275591/0/ Let me know your thoughts and comments Gerry
  6. Hi All. Looks like lunar mosaics are flavour of the month, so here's my offering. I haven't done much lunar stuff - more of a DSOer - but clear sky seems to be at a premium so thought I'd give it a go. I'm pretty sure I get blurring at the edges of my full disc lunar shots due to coma, so I wanted to do a mosaic with the SW CC + 3x barlow. But I cant find a way of attaching the barlow to the CC. Any thought welcome. So instead I used crop mode with no barlow and did a 24 pane mosaic. DSLR settings: .MOV files of 60sec duration, ISO100, 1/800th sec exposures. Processed with PIPP, MS ICE for mosaic composite (bit of fun getting it to align - did it in 2 sub-sections) then Autostakkert (best 10%) , Avistack for wavelets (bit overdone maybe) and PS for autolevels. Mext move is to repeat with the barlow - so thats 16 panes to each one of the 24 .... ummm, that'll be 16x24 = 384. Maybe not then! Hope you like it - looks quite nice full size! ... and the colour corrected one:
  7. Hello all My M31 I did yesterday evening. Processed in Lightroom. Let me know your thoughts. No guiding by the way! http://www.astrobin.com/full/276805/0/?nc=user Gerry
  8. Hi Guys, Off late I had been trying to find ways to fire my DSLR from my laptop and downloaded a couple softwares. Yesterday i felt like doing astronomy while it was raining cats and dogs outside, so to make up for it I simply opened nebulosity v3 and found that my camera is listed. Additionally I found that it could be binned 2x2 and 1x1. I hope to make use of this feature after skies clear. Down here the southern milky way is quite high up in the sky during the summer months. Has anyone used the bin feature through any such software? Any advice would be good. Thanks and Regards,
  9. I really hope that I need a single more night to complete my belt to sword 4 panels mosaic in O3 so I can finally put the ASI1600 on my new Esprit 80. Meanwhile, I carried where I traveled last 2 weeks the EQ5, the Esprit and a Canon 550D. I also had a chance yesterday to shoot some images with the same setup from home, where the sky is light polluted. First image is a total of about 30 mins of 30s unguided exposures with some moon too, but under dark skies + about 30 mins of 90s exposures from home, guided. Some 10s exposures too for the core. Perhaps the focus was not always spot on, the scope is more sensitive than I expected and it shifts quite a lot due to temperature drop. Second image contains Ha and O3 data I'm collecting for the mosaic above mentioned, added in a rather small amount. Even if I need much more data and the result is far of what I want, I'm pretty pleased with my improvements in time. The third image was taken at Christmas, 2 years ago, at my first or second astrophoto sessions. 102/500 achromat on an Alt-Az mount. Clear skies! Alex
  10. Hello Maybe this is a silly question but I'm not sure and I thought I would ask you first. I have. Canon 550d which has movie crop mode 640 x 480 but what I wanted to know is can I use this option via APT or do I need to use that manually only. I know on the screen I can select it and then go into planetary mode on APT but does this then default back to the normal video mode and not crop? I'm sure there is a simple answer. Thanks Gerry
  11. Yesterday evening was clear and I just bought a Canon 300 F4 L sh a week ago. Didn't want to take out all the heavy mount, power supplies, camera, etc. and it would even have been impossible perhaps to set it up in time. So I took the EQ5 with RA tracking (powered from an USB power bank), the lens and the Canon 550D. Went somewhere outside, the galaxy was just visible, but much, much better than city lights. Had a look before at Venus and at Orion's nebula with the 100 F5 achro then I put the camera. I also recently bought a polar scope for the EQ5 and it was the first time when I aligned a/the mount using the polar scope. The circles were much darker than I would have expected. I tested then the tracking with 30s exposures and it seemed to track without trailings, but I was a little afraid so I set the exposures to 20s. I don't have an intervalometer so I couldn't even try longer than 30s with just the camera. I made a manual trigger though so I could fire it up with the camera set on continuous shooting. During the night tracking seemed to stay on spot, I had to refocus once. It was pretty cold, about 5C maybe and I stayed inside the car. So I took more than 200 exposures of 20s at ISO1600 and aperture wide open at F/4. I used about 220 of them. I also took about 60 5s exposures to use for the stars. I'm pretty impressed by the lens' resolution, though I suspect that stopping it down it could help even more. For comparison, I'll attach another try from early October, but taken with 2 Tair 3s lenses stopped down at F/5.6, put on a Canon 550D and a Canon 450D. If I remember well, I exposed then almost half an hour before the batteries went flat. So the total light acquired yesterday was more than double. But the sky was not as good. I also added about 2 hours of noisy Ha to the image, taken from the city with the ASI 1600 MMC also with the Tair 3s and Optolong 7nm Ha filter. I don't think I can make it look much better. Enough writing so here are the images. The colour ones with many spikes are the old ones taken with the Tair lenses. Clear skies, Alex
  12. 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
  13. Hi all I've been fiddling around putting a compact imaging setup together (just for fun - I love to tinker!). It's based on the Samyang 500mm, f6.3 Mirror lens. I've basically just put it on a newly acquired Mono, cooled 550d which I've wanted to test. It's been a terrible 6 months with the weather here :(. Still, last night it was clear-ish so took the opportunity to try the above out. Not first light but hadn't done much with it. Here is a pic of the setup on an AVX: The guide scope is a TS deluxe 50mm, guide cam is a qhy5l-ii mono. Only filter used was a cls-ccd clip filter. The tube rings are really just a means to mount the guide scope :). The camera was modded by Luis Campos. The cooler has a delta of about 18 deg C and I set it to be +4 deg. The camera and tube rings are bolted to a couple of dovetails which are in turn mounted on an aluminium bar. The reason for the latter was the need for a flat area to go on the mount. Anyway, amongst other stuff, I managed the following last night (All 180s subs at ISO 800). Transparency wasn't good - could only see a few stars with the naked eye. Luckily, cameras seem to be able to do magic! M13 13 x 180s: M56 17 x 180s: NGC 6885 14 x 180s: I did try processing in Pixinsight (which allows dslr images to be set to pure raw monochrome) but something went wrong - I'll have to have another look and try again . So the images have just been treated as colour ones converted to b+w. I would expect PI to process them better and, of course, it has a gradient removal capability :). The plan is to see if I can add a filter drawyer to do some narrowband. If I add the filter drawyer and can still achieve infinity focus, I'll give it a go. Otherwise the lens might still be useful. Still, I'm quite pleased with the performance of the lens - bearing in mind it was only £114 on Amazon. The setup has pros and cons... The lens doesn't weigh much so overall the setup is quite light. It would be a bit lighter with a standard dslr. Focussing is tricky (I used a Bahtinov mask and APT) because virtually the whole lens is the focussing part! However, once set, it seems to keep focus quite well. The lens does require about 20mins cooldown. Probably there is a diy solution to make focussing easier. I'm not sure if there is enough room to fit microfocussing rings - maybe, maybe not! Anyway, it was good to get a 'fix' last night! Imaging opportunities have been few and far between for a long time. Louise
  14. Hello all I had a attempt again at the Rosette Nebula with my unmodded 550d and when computing the stars on DSS was getting over 1500 stars in the count. In fact I thought it was a mistake! Anyway here is my modest attempt no autoguider and just modest processing in Lightroom. Im very pleased with it please let me know your thoughts http://www.astrobin.com/full/275591/0/?nc=user By the way wishing all a happy and Blessed Christmas to all Gerry
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