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First deep sky with Nikon D40

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Hey all :lol: My first deep sky attempts - ever :lol:

It's been a little while now since my wife gave me a Nikon D40 (for being a top husband :D ) and it's only last evening that I had a chance to give it a go on DSO's. Given that I forgot to take my infrared ML-II shutter remote which would have enabled me to use bulb beyond 30secs, I think that it did pretty well. These images are a little degraded given that I've downsized them for web presentation, but the images still look OK I guess. All are taken at ISO1600 and 30secs at prime focus on a Meade LXD75 SN-10AT 10" Schmidt-Newtonian @f/4 on an unguided Losmandy GM200 EQ mount. Cropped to 800x600

I think that the little camera did OK given that it was limited to 30 sec exposures for the evening...



1) Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellenic Cloud:


2) Triffid Nebula in Sagittarius:


3) 47 Tucanae off the Small Magellenic Cloud:


4) M31 Andromeda and M32


5) M42 Orion Nebula:


6) Eta Carinae


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Dave - where are you going to be when you get here? Do you need help getting around?



Hi Chris

I'm gonna be way over the other side in WA, but thank you very much for the offer, much appreciated.

We have a daughter and family living South of Perth, and we spent all of March and April out there with them. Also went along to a meeting of the Astronomy Group of WA, and met a nice bunch of people there.

The wife and I are going out for another month, before the end of the year,

Was so impressed with the huge dark skies, that you really didn't need to drive too far out of town to find.

BTW, have cousins in Melbourne and Brisbane, but have never visited over that side.


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Thanks heaps for the encouragement fellas... it's MUCHLY appreciated! :D

Here's another version of M42 and Eta Carinae I took that I've used Noel Carboni's Photoshop actions on. I think that they look more natural, if not as spectacular. Learning curve is straight up!





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I love seeing what can be acheived with a DSLR. I have a D40 but have yet to really get to grips with taking proper images like yours. It really give me hope that I can do better.

Great images, especially the Glob!!! :shock:


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I have huge difficulty coming to terms with the fact that these are your FIRST DSO attempts!!

They are very impressive, whether or not they were your first or your 100th, and whether or not they were 30 second or 3 minute subs!

Wonderful 8)


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Chris, these images can only do a great deal for the popularisation of the DSLR camera. They are just so spectacular, and even though your skies are infinitely better than in the UK, but that in no way detract from the splendid sights yours has captured.

Your wife regards you as a top man for her reasons, but you certainly are tops on SGL for giving us images like those.


Ron. :D

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Thanks everyone :D

Here's another form that evening (last Saturday) - the Large Magellanic Cloud

Again - Nikon D40 with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ f/2.8 Single exposure for 30 seconds no guiding. Cleaned up a little using Noel Carboni's Photoshop actions using Photoshop CS3 Extended.

Can't wait for longer exposures - I'll take my remote with me next time...


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