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Hi Guys, I thought I would share with you my first DSO taken with my new Orion 8" Ritchey Chretien F8 Telescope. The frame is made up of 12 x 4min shots, no light or dark frames, using my Sony A7Rii camera. The camera had the long exposure noise reduction switched on, which does help to reduce the total number of stars captured by the camera, as the Sony A7Rii does tend to overdo the number of stars captured. The telescope was mounted on my trusty skywatcher NEQ6 mount and the guiding was via PHD 'of course' via my skywatcher ED50 guide scope. The shots were taken from my back garden in Stowmarket, Suffolk where I believe I am a Bortie 4 location, so the skies are mostly dark, with just a little light pollution from the main town, no filters used. My normal telescope is a Skywatcher ED100 Pro Esprit F5.5, which is an incredibly sharp scope, but with a wide 550mm field of view, great for capturing the whole of Andromeda but a struggle with smaller images like the Iris Nebula. I will say the Orion RC scope did need to be collimated out of the box, which was a little disappointing, and it was not just a little out of collimation, it was a long way out, but with the use of a collimating tool, I soon had it dialled in. First impressions of the Orion Ritchey Chretien 8" Telescope are fair, not super impressed, as it is nowhere near as sharp as my ED100 Esprit, but then this is to be expected based on price and telescope type, however, the pictures it has produced are pretty good, if you downscale the full 42MP from the Sony A7Rii camera, as can be seen in this picture. I purchased this 8" Orion Ritchey Chretien OTA mainly for Planetary work, but as yet I have not had a chance to 'get onto' a planet, fingers crossed some clear nights will arrive soon, so I can try. I welcome comments, many thanks Jamie
Hi Guys/Girls I had a chance to get out in the garden last evening, had a go at capturing NGC 7023 - Iris Nebula, only managed to get 12 good shots, 240sec x 12, combined in Photoshop with Mean Stacking. The dew was super heavy and currently I do not have any dew heaters (next purchase) so lost the battle after around 2 hours. One interesting point is I captured these shots with the long exposure noise reduction switched on with the Sony A7Rii, so each shot took 8 mins to take and save, but as a result the noise levels were next to zero at 800 ISO, and at the end of the day the noise is always our enemy. I need to try a real pro level 'cooled' astro camera just to see how much better it could be, as the Sony A7Rii is just stellar ! I am very happy with the final shot, taken with my Skywatcher 100 ED Pro Esprit Scope on my NEQ6 mount, Skywatcher ED50 Guide Scope and Altair Astro ASI130mm camera, PHD2 of course. The sky was nice and clear with low light pollution, as around 5 miles from major town. I do not take darks or flats or use Deep Sky Stacker, and I do not use filters, plus the camera has not been modified, so I am always delighted with the results I get from my set-up, as I have a deep level of respect for the hard work that most Astrophotographers go through to get the incredible images that we see here in Stargazers. I have read that some people believe that the Sony Alpha cameras have a tendency to 'eat the stars' and not show everything captured, to be honest, I always used a Canon 60Da for many years for my astrophotography, until one day I though, what if my Sony A7Rii could be used, the first time I did this I released that it was time to sell the Canon 60Da, the 'Remote' (free) Sony software is almost as good as BackYardEOS, but the cameras are a decade apart in performance, the noise levels on the Sony are at least 4 maybe even 5 stops better than the Canon, that is the Sony A7Rii at 3200 iso equal to the Canon 60Da at 200 iso, so at 800 iso it is just so impressive. As you can see from the picture only 12 frames, stacked in Photoshop (Mean). Open to comments and welcome a discussion/debate, thanks Jamie