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stan26

M51...budget Setup Beyond It's Limit....

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Any chance you could CC me on that please Quatermass? I'd also like to know :) Thanks

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If people say "it can't be done" it's all the more encouragent to do it as I see it :) But that's me! :D I like a challenge :)

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If people say "it can't be done" it's all the more encouragent to do it as I see it :) But that's me! :D I like a challenge :)

I'm so glad you said that Gina, my sentiments exactly. People are so quick to throw stuff out and splurge money on expensive stuff - where's the challenge in that, eh? :D

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Telling me something "can't be done" or that I can't do it is about the most sure-fire way to make me stubborn and pig-headed enough to do it :) Those expressions just seem to be hard-wired to the bit of my brain that responds "No, you're just not willing to put the effort in to work out how". As long as I want to do it in the first place of course. Telling me the lawn mowing can't be done doesn't have quite the same effect :)

James

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Making the most of what you have got is often the first step to becoming better. All I have learned has put me in a good place for when I manage to get the gear I really want and Stans use of his gear is a shining example of how to get the most out of your gear. Also I really enjoy just being out there under the stars and I try not to forget that is the real magic, the wonder of the night sky :icon_biggrin:

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going back to stan's image, i definitely prefer the second version, because the colours feel more natural to me. like quatermass says, it'd be nice to see a composite of the two, to keep the nebulosity from the first shot. it'd be interesting to try a black and white version too. the thing i really like is how nice and round the stars are, even with that long spindly tube. stan - you're using a canon right? does the evostar have a 2" focuser? or, if it's 1.25", does it vignette the canon sensor?

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Yes, a composite of the two would be wonderful IMO. There's a lot more nebulosity in there than I've managed to capture so far and I salute you for that :icon_salut: :icon_salut: I think it's amazing what can be achieved with cheaper equipment in the hands of an enthusiastic and talented astrophotographer. It has always been my aim to squeeze every last bit of performance out of the equipment available. I look forward to your future images, and wish you the best of luck :)

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Thanks for the kind comments guy's.

Right here is a re-work on my last image to try and bring back the dusty stuff without the noise.

I made good use of layers/brush tools in photoshop to touch in the areas as require. As per my first image I stretched the hell out of my bottom layer bringing back the outer nebulosity. But this brought with it loads of noise and it looked a mess, so I had to smooth it over using other tools such as dodge tool. I think this has worked ok. I also used similar techniques on revealing the background fuzzy IC4263..??? I have also done some work to bring back some of the fainter stars. This was done using layers and stretching the curves again, bringing through each single star using the brush tool in layers. Overall I think its a good improvement but still subtle and natural enough.

Stan.

7168704411_caf71b884b_b.jpg

M51 Whirlpool galaxy by James stannard, on Flickr

Edited by stan26
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Wow! That's looking excellent now! I love that extra faint tail that juts out from the top of the smaller galaxy, and the background one is now a treat too! Also I'm glad you've sorted the colour of the general background too, it's made this into one awsome shot!

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Thanks badgerchap.

I have tried to get rid of the background gradient using lots of different methods but in the end I have decided to leave it like this.

As said above, you don't need expensive kit to take images of the night sky, you don't really need to guide either but it does help. The above image was taken with an EV90 that cost me £60! Its all about learning to get the best results out of the gear you have. I have pushed the boundaries here by using a 900mm scope on an EQ3-2, but a shorter FL wider lens/scope is fine with this mount with perfectly respectable results.

Stan

7168838373_2e7f6bbdc1_b.jpg

evo90up by James stannard, on Flickr

Edited by stan26
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going back to stan's image, i definitely prefer the second version, because the colours feel more natural to me. like quatermass says, it'd be nice to see a composite of the two, to keep the nebulosity from the first shot. it'd be interesting to try a black and white version too. the thing i really like is how nice and round the stars are, even with that long spindly tube. stan - you're using a canon right? does the evostar have a 2" focuser? or, if it's 1.25", does it vignette the canon sensor?

The evostar90 has a 1.25" focuser. It does cause quite a bit of vignetting with my 500d. I think it shows in my image, but il live with it. The nice thing about the ev90 is that it's very light. My st102 weighs more. The 90 is a real challenge for the eq3-2 to keep the stars round. 1 min subs would not be possible without guiding and an ultra precise polar alignment.

Stan

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Brilliant processing skills there James, looking really nice with the extra polish.

Thanks Mark, btw congrats on your SGL 'mod' status!

James.

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Excellant reprocess Stan, I see the rig has changed a bit too, really like the home brew side by side mounting bar, must be better for balancing, and is there something different about your pier? I can't quite put my finger on it :icon_scratch:

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Excellant reprocess Stan, I see the rig has changed a bit too, really like the home brew side by side mounting bar, must be better for balancing, and is there something different about your pier? I can't quite put my finger on it :icon_scratch:

Yes, its really my side by side wide field rig which has been modded to accommodate the EV90. It balances up really nice actually. Nothing different about the pier mate, apart from the top cap (wood) has warped over winter/spring.

Here is a pic taken with my phone just before the M51 session all balanced up, focused and ready to roll!

Stan

7169005085_0cfdebfb0c_b.jpg

ev90 rig by James stannard, on Flickr

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I'm delighted to see you getting results with that kind of kit - it's great encouragement for those of us who can't afford the big stuff!

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Great processing Stan :) Brought out the faint stuff but it doesn't look over processed. Many images I've seen suffer from a hard edge on the nebulosity and you can see it's been photoshopped (or whatever). I like your dual mount too - I might do something similar myself if/when I get another scope - I don't think I can have 3 scopes piggy-backed :D

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I cannot see the image-Visio says it is unavailable-any idea what I might be doing wrong?

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Well I have to say I am impressed too. I would like to have a go but my Evostar 120 is too wobbly on the EQ3-2! I think I need a smaller scope and some guiding but not sure how to set up the EQ3-2 - can the drives sold by FLO for the EQ3 be connected to a PC or have you used something different? Can't quite make it out in the picture. I wonder if a little 80mm refractor would be good as it would be reasonable fast? Like the one here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/130709745045?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_1164wt_896 and I think it is the same as the Opticstar AR 80 (saw all this mentioned in another thread). Presumably I could use something like this to dip into imaging and also use it as a guide scope or finder scope too?

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A better idea would be to get a better mount such as the HEQ5 Pro.

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