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Imaging with the 130pds


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Finally finished this - a four-pane mosaic going from the North America Nebula across to the Pelican Nebula. Culmination of the past 8 clear nights, and literally hours and hours of trying to  get it to work. I've never done a mosaic of a nebula before and it was a very steep learning curve (yes, another one).
* 17:39 hours of integration at ISO800 from 120x120s + 37x180s + 177x240s subs, over 8 nights
* Bortle 4 sky, Moon average 60% phase, 27° height
* Calibration: 25 flats, 25 dark flats, 50 darks
* Hardware: Sky-Watcher 130PDS scope (F5), Sky-Watcher NEQ6 mount, Canon EOS1000D DSLR camera with IR filter removed, Sky-Watcher 0.9x coma corrector, Datyson T7C guide camera, Angel Eyes 50mm guide scope
* Software: Polar alignment with SharpCap Pro, guiding with PHD2, capture with Astrophotography Tool (APT), stacking with Deep Sky Stacker (DSS), post-processing with StarTools, Photoshop CS2, Affinity Photo and Topaz Denoise AI

740124745_affinity(1).thumb.jpg.f56b4789cb02bc067441744128e652fc.jpg

Edited by BrendanC
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11 minutes ago, BrendanC said:

Finally finished this - a four-pane mosaic going from the North America Nebula across to the Pelican Nebula. Culmination of the past 8 clear nights, and literally hours and hours of trying to  get it to work. I've never done a mosaic of a nebula before and it was a very steep learning curve (yes, another one).
* 17:39 hours of integration at ISO800 from 120x120s + 37x180s + 177x240s subs, over 8 nights
* Bortle 4 sky, Moon average 60% phase, 27° height
* Calibration: 25 flats, 25 dark flats, 50 darks
* Hardware: Sky-Watcher 130PDS scope (F5), Sky-Watcher NEQ6 mount, Canon EOS1000D DSLR camera with IR filter removed, Sky-Watcher 0.9x coma corrector, Datyson T7C guide camera, Angel Eyes 50mm guide scope
* Software: Polar alignment with SharpCap Pro, guiding with PHD2, capture with Astrophotography Tool (APT), stacking with Deep Sky Stacker (DSS), post-processing with StarTools, Photoshop CS2, Affinity Photo and Topaz Denoise AI

740124745_affinity(1).thumb.jpg.f56b4789cb02bc067441744128e652fc.jpg

OMG! This is the definitely the best North America Nebula I've ever seen! Can I use it as a wallpaper for my tablet and PC? XD

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I’ve just mounted my 130pds onto neq6, I’ve flocked it painted all the shiny bits flat black, changed the focuser to the focuser that came on my Quattro 10cf that now has a moonlite fitted, also changed the focuser thumbscrews and drilled and tapped the m4 to m5 ones that came with the bracket for the evoguide 50 and drilled and tapped a 3rd hole for a 3rd thumbscrew 

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Hi,

I'm new to AP. I've started taking shots of the planets and moon with my DSLR attached to my Skywatcher 200p dob. It's really enjoyable but now I would like to take some shots of galaxies so I'm guessing I need a tracking mount? Does it have to be an equatorial mount or would an alt-azi mount suffice? Would a Skywatcher 250p truss tube dob with goto be suitable?

I'm really considering getting the 130p-ds and eq-3 pro bundle with FLO when it's in stock. Is the eq-3 suitable for the 130p with a DSLR attached or should I be looking for something a little more robust?

Cheers

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A Goto EQ mount is pretty much essential for decent DSO astrophotography. You can do some work with an AZ mount but, from experience, having tried DSO astro with an AZ, I can tell you that EQ is the way to go.

It seems some people can't get enough backfocus with their DSLR and a 200P, but you seem able to, so that's a good start. I notice you refer to the 130P - be careful, if you mean 130PDS then that's ok (the 'DS' bit refers to the Dual Speed focus), but the 130P really doesn't have enough backfocus for prime focus with a DSLR. Believe me, I know: it's the reason I sold mine and got a 130PDS instead!

I would say that an EQ3 might not be stable enough for a 200P however. With astrophotography, it's almost totally the other way around from observing. Instead of a big aperture on an AZ mount, you need a smaller scope on a solid EQ mount, so everything is stable. This includes being able to withstand low breezes etc. So, I have my 130PDS on an NEQ6 mount which is most definitely overkill, but a 130PDS on an EQ3 mount would probably be ok. I wonder whether a big 200P might not be stable, and could suffer in light winds.

The 130PDS is also good because you can use it for both imaging and observing. 

So, if there's a good offer at FLO, you could either get that package and sell the 200P to go towards it, or keep it if you want to swap it out when observing, or you could even see how the EQ3 handles the 200P and if it works out, sell the 130PDS!

Edited by BrendanC
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For DSOs imaging, an EQ mount is definitely better than an AZ mount. 

For the 130pds and EQ3 Pro, I think the 130pds should be fine on a EQ3 Pro. That's also the set up that I'd considered to get before. But after some consideration, I made the final decision to get an EQ5 instead since you'll also have to consider the weight after adding in the camera, guide scope, guide camera, cables etc. 

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16 hours ago, BrendanC said:

A Goto EQ mount is pretty much essential for decent DSO astrophotography. You can do some work with an AZ mount but, from experience, having tried DSO astro with an AZ, I can tell you that EQ is the way to go.

It seems some people can't get enough backfocus with their DSLR and a 200P, but you seem able to, so that's a good start. I notice you refer to the 130P - be careful, if you mean 130PDS then that's ok (the 'DS' bit refers to the Dual Speed focus), but the 130P really doesn't have enough backfocus for prime focus with a DSLR. Believe me, I know: it's the reason I sold mine and got a 130PDS instead!

I would say that an EQ3 might not be stable enough for a 200P however. With astrophotography, it's almost totally the other way around from observing. Instead of a big aperture on an AZ mount, you need a smaller scope on a solid EQ mount, so everything is stable. This includes being able to withstand low breezes etc. So, I have my 130PDS on an NEQ6 mount which is most definitely overkill, but a 130PDS on an EQ3 mount would probably be ok. I wonder whether a big 200P might not be stable, and could suffer in light winds.

The 130PDS is also good because you can use it for both imaging and observing. 

So, if there's a good offer at FLO, you could either get that package and sell the 200P to go towards it, or keep it if you want to swap it out when observing, or you could even see how the EQ3 handles the 200P and if it works out, sell the 130PDS!

Thanks Brendan.

Yeah I was referring to the 130PDS. The plan would be to sell my 200p dob if I can be sure the 130PDS and EQ3 Pro GOTO are a good setup.

 

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On 07/08/2021 at 23:50, Pitch Black Skies said:

eq-3 pro

Hi

To future proof yourself and have a great all round astrophotography setup, you could consider an eq6 which would be great for wide angle with the 130 and have sufficient clout to track your 200 for closer views and galaxies.

Cheers

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Hi everyone

We'd not given the 130 an airing for some while. Shame on us. 

This is 3 hours before the Mediterranean haze caused the EKOS scheduler (and for quite different reasons, us!) to give up.

Thanks for looking.

700d on 130pds @ ISO800

630092573_2-bubble(1)_01.thumb.jpg.909d572440abc9ef0df809d2ff8b0082.jpg

1451541325_1-bubble(1)_01_01.thumb.jpg.5a59b3f11f174e851fd31a43f012e0f3.jpg

Edited by alacant
imagen ausente
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22 minutes ago, alacant said:

Hi everyone

We'd not given the 130 an airing for some while. Shame on us. 

This is 3 hours before the Mediterranean haze caused the EKOS scheduler (and for quite different reasons, us!) to give up.

Thanks for looking.

700d on 130pds @ ISO800

1451541325_1-bubble(1)_01_01.thumb.jpg.5a59b3f11f174e851fd31a43f012e0f3.jpg

Wow beautiful! Wonder what's the name of this target?

Edit: Wondering is your 700d modded? 

Edited by Tan Zhi Qi
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On 07/08/2021 at 22:50, Pitch Black Skies said:

Hi,

I'm new to AP. I've started taking shots of the planets and moon with my DSLR attached to my Skywatcher 200p dob. It's really enjoyable but now I would like to take some shots of galaxies so I'm guessing I need a tracking mount? Does it have to be an equatorial mount or would an alt-azi mount suffice? Would a Skywatcher 250p truss tube dob with goto be suitable?

I'm really considering getting the 130p-ds and eq-3 pro bundle with FLO when it's in stock. Is the eq-3 suitable for the 130p with a DSLR attached or should I be looking for something a little more robust?

Cheers

Hey - it sounds like you're in the exact situation I was in a few years ago. I had the 200P dob that I bought 2nd hand I got hooked trying to take photos with my DSLR on it, which, as you will have experienced, is pretty hard!

I would echo the sentiments of the other comments you have received about using an EQ mount. It's a little more setup, but 100% worthwhile for AP.

I kept my 200P and I also have a Startravel 80 with my 130 PDS so I can comment on my thoughts for these scopes and the mounts. Everything I read told me "get a better mount than you think you need, you won't regret it" and so I jumped to an NEQ6 mount. I have no regrets. You can obviously do some good work with just the 130PDS on an EQ3, but you will almost certainly find yourself limited to shorter subs (probably 60-120 seconds depending on how good your polar alignment is and the local conditions). To get around this you will want to eventually use a guide scope with your 130PDS, which is yet more weight to add to the mount. I use the Startravel 80 to guide with my system and I'm always grateful of the payload capacity of the NEQ6. The other thing I will say is that I have had some success with my 200P dob on the NEQ6 as well. The much larger scope is still carried well by this mount, but there'd be no chance on an EQ3 (if you were considering keeping both scopes).

Overall, my advice would be to go for the most expensive mount that you can reasonably afford! You will never regret it and they always hold a bit of value on the 2nd hand market if you look after them.

 

Hope that helps and good luck!

 

PS. Be prepared to fall down the money pit. Once you've done the DSLR & 130PDS for a while you'll be eyeing up narrowband imaging before you know it :) I've not pulled the trigger on that yet because I don't get my kit out often enough, but I keep always going back to looking at narrowband and dreaming. Haha.

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5 hours ago, sagramore said:

Hey - it sounds like you're in the exact situation I was in a few years ago. I had the 200P dob that I bought 2nd hand I got hooked trying to take photos with my DSLR on it, which, as you will have experienced, is pretty hard!

I would echo the sentiments of the other comments you have received about using an EQ mount. It's a little more setup, but 100% worthwhile for AP.

I kept my 200P and I also have a Startravel 80 with my 130 PDS so I can comment on my thoughts for these scopes and the mounts. Everything I read told me "get a better mount than you think you need, you won't regret it" and so I jumped to an NEQ6 mount. I have no regrets. You can obviously do some good work with just the 130PDS on an EQ3, but you will almost certainly find yourself limited to shorter subs (probably 60-120 seconds depending on how good your polar alignment is and the local conditions). To get around this you will want to eventually use a guide scope with your 130PDS, which is yet more weight to add to the mount. I use the Startravel 80 to guide with my system and I'm always grateful of the payload capacity of the NEQ6. The other thing I will say is that I have had some success with my 200P dob on the NEQ6 as well. The much larger scope is still carried well by this mount, but there'd be no chance on an EQ3 (if you were considering keeping both scopes).

Overall, my advice would be to go for the most expensive mount that you can reasonably afford! You will never regret it and they always hold a bit of value on the 2nd hand market if you look after them.

 

Hope that helps and good luck!

 

PS. Be prepared to fall down the money pit. Once you've done the DSLR & 130PDS for a while you'll be eyeing up narrowband imaging before you know it :) I've not pulled the trigger on that yet because I don't get my kit out often enough, but I keep always going back to looking at narrowband and dreaming. Haha.

Thanks so much, yeah a HEQ5 or 6 would be great it's just the price that's holding me back. Maybe if I could find one second hand.

I've never heard of narrowband imaging.. kind of afraid to find out now too 😆

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I practice EEA with the 130PDS & a cooled ASI 183MM camera. Review of some images of the last month. 

Acquisition: Sharpcap

Alignement: Sharpcap or APP

Image processing: Pixinsight

 

IC5146: Halpha (20x30s) + CLSCCD (Luminance) (20x15s) = 900s, Alignement with APP & finishing with Pixinsight (I am a noob with this soft)

===========================================================================================

It is my first composite image :D

IC5146_PI_Halpha_10x60s_CLSCCD_20x15s.thumb.jpg.d3a781827ccc25f4b493ea806481d9b0.jpg

 

M108 (Surfboard Galaxy): 16x60s=960s, Sharpcap + Pixinsight

=========================================

M108_PI_16x60s_960s_ABE_RedNoise_MMT_HT_CT_Sharpening_TGV_Final.thumb.jpg.3f36ac92c9e1187b7b32bf124699de1b.jpg

 

M51: 19x15s, Sharpacp + Pixinsight

==========================

M51_PI_183MM_19x15_285s_G111_O10_M10C_DBE_HT_HDR_Final.thumb.jpg.c16b7adf414bff62b11312929101aeb9.jpg

 

M101: HDR of 5 images for around 90 mn stacking, sharpcap + APP + Pixinsight

=====================================================

M101_MultiStack_Final4_DBE_MLT_HT_HDRMT_Denoise_Final.thumb.jpg.0906a1e303327740e664ce4d5ceed7d7.jpg

 

A lot of pleasures with this amazing tube :thumbsup:

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On 25/07/2021 at 13:47, BrendanC said:

Finally finished this - a four-pane mosaic going from the North America Nebula across to the Pelican Nebula. Culmination of the past 8 clear nights, and literally hours and hours of trying to  get it to work. I've never done a mosaic of a nebula before and it was a very steep learning curve (yes, another one).
* 17:39 hours of integration at ISO800 from 120x120s + 37x180s + 177x240s subs, over 8 nights
* Bortle 4 sky, Moon average 60% phase, 27° height
* Calibration: 25 flats, 25 dark flats, 50 darks
* Hardware: Sky-Watcher 130PDS scope (F5), Sky-Watcher NEQ6 mount, Canon EOS1000D DSLR camera with IR filter removed, Sky-Watcher 0.9x coma corrector, Datyson T7C guide camera, Angel Eyes 50mm guide scope
* Software: Polar alignment with SharpCap Pro, guiding with PHD2, capture with Astrophotography Tool (APT), stacking with Deep Sky Stacker (DSS), post-processing with StarTools, Photoshop CS2, Affinity Photo and Topaz Denoise AI

740124745_affinity(1).thumb.jpg.f56b4789cb02bc067441744128e652fc.jpg

Wow!  I think that's gorgeous.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi New user of 130PDS, (mounted on new ioptron cem40)having trouble achieving focus :(

Used Nikon D5000 with GSO Coma Corrector, but despite all the inward travel of the focuser couldn't achieve focus.(image attached)

I have seen this great thread and have read that GSO CC works just fine with the 130PDS, hence I bought this scope.

Now do I have to do one of the following:

1. Move the primary upwards?(i really don't want to do this :(

2.Buy a new dslr (if yes which one, I want to learn hence don't want to buy a cooled astro cameras for now)

3. Buy another CC, maybe a 0.9 Skywatcher?

I will appreciate your guidance. This thread was so compelling that I had to buy 130PDS.

TIA

_DSC0789.jpg

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10 hours ago, Astro_by_sona said:

appreciate your guidance

Hi

Try also outward focus. 

The focus position of the 130pds is the same with and without the GPU cc, so the first question has to be, can you achieve focus through the d5000 without the cc? To answer this, simply remove the cc and screw in a m48 thread 2" extension tube to the t ring instead of the cc.

If you can't then maybe you have the 130p rather than the 130pds. 

Please post a photo of the camera attached to the focuser and measure the length of the tube.

Cheers

Edited by alacant
wrong cc
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Hi,

Thank you for responding. I will try without GSO CC.  

Here's an image of my setup, the scope does mentions PDS! And the other image is of GSO CC threaded to the Nikon D5000 with a Nikon T-ring, there's a M48 spacer used to attach the CC with the T-ring. I will post the image of the camera attached to the focuser.

Skies are completely cloudy, will test this at the first instance.

I hope to resolve this soon so that I can commence imaging.

Thanks!

 

WhatsApp Image 2021-08-29 at 11.38.01.jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2021-08-31 at 19.57.00.jpeg

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On 31/08/2021 at 16:42, Astro_by_sona said:

GSO CC

Sorry. I read 'GPU cc'. DUH!

So, it's the opposite. You need 75mm between the cc and the sensor and you'll need to wind the focuser OUTWARD to reach focus. You'll need a 20mm extension tube

Here is the GSO cc with the required extension tube and the typical focus position. 

With the gso cc, you'd be better off with the 130p; sensible focus position, better contrast and it's cheaper.

Cheers

IMG_20161209_191445133.thumb.jpg.7b5bbc44e71989973c4cb8a22a7bc932.jpg   IMG_20161209_191002300.thumb.jpg.14a941e88095c725e87d380bf18f1e8a.jpg

Edited by alacant
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I've been wanting to have a bit of a play with a reflector over the last few months so I've pushed the buy button on a 130P-DS/Baader CC to go alongside my Redcat and 72ED. 650mm focal length at F5 is a bit of a no brainer for £229. Hopefully FLO can get it to me for the weekend although the forecast looks terrible for the next 30 years!!

I'm planning to read this thread from the beginning but I have a couple of quick questions. 

1. Flats: what's the best way of doing them with this scope?

2. Dew prevention: is it a dew magnet and how are people dealing with it? Is a shield sufficient

3. Image framing: what's the best way of rotating the camera to get the framing you want? 

Thanks 

Stu

Some great images in this thread btw 😎

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4 hours ago, Stuf1978 said:

I've been wanting to have a bit of a play with a reflector over the last few months so I've pushed the buy button on a 130P-DS/Baader CC to go alongside my Redcat and 72ED. 650mm focal length at F5 is a bit of a no brainer for £229. Hopefully FLO can get it to me for the weekend although the forecast looks terrible for the next 30 years!!

I'm planning to read this thread from the beginning but I have a couple of quick questions. 

1. Flats: what's the best way of doing them with this scope?

2. Dew prevention: is it a dew magnet and how are people dealing with it? Is a shield sufficient

3. Image framing: what's the best way of rotating the camera to get the framing you want? 

Thanks 

Stu

Some great images in this thread btw 😎

I read this thread from start to finish when I made up my mind to get the 130PDS, while waiting and after owning one. (It took a while to get through)

For Flats, I use an old Tablet sat on the top of the scope. It has worked well for me with DSLR and Dedicated. (It a TV Tablet, slightly larger than the average) You can use what you have at hand though. Laptop/Computer Screen, Light Box, a brightly lit wall, morning sky, etc.

I've rarely had issues with Dew. I have a dew shield on the end and where I position my scope, I have a wall and some bushes around me that seem to help isolate my gear. Once or twice when it has been really cold my old DSLR the CC would dew over a little in the early hours.

Image Framing is down to personal choice I suppose. You could leave the camera attached permanently and do mosaics or rotate. I mostly rotate mine and use Stellarium for the field of view and orientation.

Welcome to the club! 👍

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