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IC 1396 & Sh2-129, Elephant Trunk and Flying Bat Nebula


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Three pane mosaic acquired last weekend (August 30 - 31, 2013) at a dark site in Northern France (Talma, Grandpré, Champagne-Ardenne) with an Epsilon-180ED f/2.8 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR. First light image with this configuration. Just ~1 hour exposure time per pane (clouds and haze prevented acquiring more data). Please visit my website to view the technical details and to explore the mosaic at 6000 x 4000 pixels. Thanks for looking.


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Holy smoke, Maurice, that is quite incredible. I was a bit mysitfied by your going back to DSLR but there is nothing wrong with this. Quite the opposite, it is a glorious image. I spent some time on this with a guest in June and to get this deep so quickly you have done incredibly well.

I hope this post will have more visits because it certainly deserves them. I've linked to it from the imaging discussion board.


Edited by ollypenrice
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This is a beautiful capture. The fact that it is captured with a DSLR is interesting in itself. Is there a reason why you moved to a DSLR? as most people tend to move the other way. Your image is a testament to your processing skills and data capture of that there is no doubt.

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Thanks you all for your kind words.

Is there a reason why you moved to a DSLR?

I still own and use a ST-8300M CCD-camera. Comparing the two cameras with each other is like comparing apples with oranges. The main advantages of the 5D MKII are the larger imaging area, larger pixels and the low-noise sensor. The Kodak 8300 CCD really needs to be cooled to lower dark current to an acceptable level. The CMOS sensor in the 5D MKII can be used uncooled and what I relieve not to hear the noise of a cooling fan at a quite dark site all night long. Another, maybe personal advantage of the 5D MKII (or any DSLR for that matter) is the fact that it can be operated without the need of a laptop. Instead of looking up at the Milky Way, I stare at a monitor most of the time when using a CCD-camera. How does my next sub looks like? Is PHD still guiding? Do I have enough space on my hard rive? Hasn’t Windows decided to shut the computer down? Etc. Every check on the laptop screen ruins the dark adaption. The 5D MKII together with a standalone autoguider (Lacerta MGEN) enable me to pursue, experience and enjoy the hobby the way I did it 15 years ago with an analogue SLR.

The disadvantage of the 5D MKII is that is is not suitable for narrowband imaging. A great combo would be a the 5D MKII for colour (at a dark site) and a 11000 or 16000 CCD for Ha/narrowband (at home or during full moon).

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