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JGM1971

The "No EQ" DSO Challenge!

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I'm still fairly new to imaging, but have had a good start with Planetary and Wide Field images.

Obviously, like most of us, it's the Deep Sky stuff I'd like to glimpse, but time, location and more importantly budget are limiting factors.

I currently use an Alt Az platform (Nexstar 6SE) paired with either a webcam (ZWO ASI120 on the Xmas list) or a Canon 600D DSLR and have found SGL forums to be a great source of info and inspiration, but do get a little exasperated when scrolling through threads posted by people in a similar equipment position to me to constantly advised to "just buy an EQ mount". I will, but for the moment, the £1,000 has alternate requirements.

I loved the thread started by Stevie P below (30 minute Challenge) so thought I'd see what we, the lowly Alt Az community, could assemble.

Please post images and setting data, as a way to assist others. I know they won't be Hubble quality, I know EQ users can do much better, I know it's going to be flooded with M31 grainy attempts, but who knows, a few of us might have squeezed a few more photons out of the sky with our limited kit.

Rules:

1: Please don't post planetary / lunar images, as we know we can do these just as good as the EQ big boys.

2: You must have used an Alt Az mount (No EQ, Polarie, AstroTrak, etc) but a fixed camera tripod is fine too as I've seen some REALLY good images taken this way - 500 x 1sec subs, is just as good as 1x 500sec sub (ok, field rotation aside).

3: Give as much settings info as you can, so others can copy/learn the tricks.

4: Don't post advise saying "hey, that's great but you can do this... with a £50,000 observatory class set up, perfect dark skies from Antarctica, etc" as we know it already! :-)

Look forward to the posts and learning to do things a little better myself (my main reason in posting this).

Finally, don't feel 2nd class as an Alt Az user, remember we can drop the kit and observe / image in seconds some nights - very handy when clouds roll out, then back most nights. Try getting an EQ set up, polar / drift aligned, guider tracking in that time!

Only kidding, no fighting please.

John

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this was taken a couple years ago on my AZGOTO mount with 130p...... about 50 x 5 sec subs, no calibration frames

post-23929-0-47907000-1414075700_thumb.j

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I'll play... these are all early, I've now gone HEQ5 or Astrotrac... but... 

These were all shot using a NexStar SLT with an ST80 clone, and an unmodded  Canon 450d. The mount and scope, in total cost £100. Shot settings are in the borders

m42.jpg

m38adj3.jpg

m52bubble.jpg

63x61 seconds ISO1600

m33.jpg

m27-1.jpg

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M81 / 82 image taken from light polluted Newcastle garden.

Overlay of 2 x 25 second images, as I had each galaxy centralised in the field of view to help with the vignetting caused by using f6.3 focal reducer.

post-19412-0-28073700-1414075845_thumb.j

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I'll play... these are all early, I've now gone HEQ5 or Astrotrac... but... 

These were all shot using a NexStar SLT with an ST80 clone, and an unmodded  Canon 450d. The mount and scope, in total cost £100. Shot settings are in the borders

m42.jpg

m38adj3.jpg

m52bubble.jpg

63x61 seconds ISO1600

m33.jpg

m27-1.jpg

Thanks for being the first to post.

Now this is EXACTLY what I wanted to see.

It can be done.

:-)

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Great idea. Everything I do is in alt-az, mainly in short exposures for "near-live" observing (none of these are for hanging in your gallery). All taken with the SX Lodestar-C guide camera using SW Quattro CF 8" f/4, no filters unless mentioned nor coma correctors. All are saved screenshots from Paul81's wonderful free LodestarLive application with no further manipulation. I mainly post on the video forum but these are as yet unseen shots.

BTW alt-az induced field rotation is not much of an issue with live stacking + shortish subs. I mainly limit myself to 60s with my 80mm f/6 refractor and 30s with the Quattro.

NGC 6946 Fireworks galaxy 1 x 30s

post-11492-0-58630900-1414080558.png

M1 Crab (rather low at 23 deg at the time) 4 x 30s

post-11492-0-46143700-1414080597.png

M101 4 x 30s

post-11492-0-62855100-1414080636.png

B33 Horsehead + NGC2023 (stupidly low at 16 deg and with out-of-date darks but irresistible and a proof that I'm mainly an observer and not an imager :smiley: ) 4 x 30s

post-11492-0-27319800-1414080513.png

Part of the Veil with O-III filter 3 x 30s

post-11492-0-61697100-1414080783.png

NGC7635 Bubble 4 x 30s

post-11492-0-35307000-1414080721.png

M27 1 x 30s

post-11492-0-24139300-1414081105.png

Cheers

Martin

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Great thread.   Only one from me on my trusty little Nexstar 4SE - the obligatory M42...26 x 8 sec @ ISO 6400 with 10 darks and 18 bias frames...

M42_small.jpg

I have tried imaging other targets like M81/82, M101, M31, M13 etc. but not had much luck so far.

Mike

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Great thread.   Only one from me on my trusty little Nexstar 4SE - the obligatory M42...26 x 8 sec @ ISO 6400 with 10 darks and 18 bias frames...

M42_small.jpg

I have tried imaging other targets like M81/82, M101, M31, M13 etc. but not had much luck so far.

Mike

nice!

im amazed how the core can still be blown out even with 8sec subs! this target really is bright, I can not wait to try this one later on in the year, after I finish my M31 project

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I'd have to say no to Barn Doors too, as they still track equatorially. Sorry.

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Are manual barn door trackers eligible to add to this thread?

"2: You must have used an Alt Az mount (No EQ,"

and

" AstroTrak, etc) "

An AstroTrak is basically a barn door that has been put through a bacon slicer !

ie. an AstroTrack is a 2D version of a 3D barndoor

Very interesting thread.

Lots of good images.

Edited by Ptarmigan

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Quick M31 tonight.

DSLR piggy backed on Nexstar 6SE.

34 x 30sec subs, no darks, 20 bias (was intending to to 100 subs, but battery ran out - school boy error!)

post-19412-0-41081600-1414188820_thumb.j

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I'd have to say no to Barn Doors too, as they still track equatorially. Sorry.

Mine doesn't .... but that's another story.... ;-)

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M31 with a Skyliner 200px Flextube with Goto. 15 x 15sec at ISO 1600.

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Cool thread idea and some really nice images already. That lodestar looks to be one sensitive camera!

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Assorted shots with a Nexstar 102SLT and a Canon 1000D. 30sec subs at ISO1600. Total exposures range from 5 mins (M20)  to ~1hr (M31).

slt_examples.jpg

NigelM

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What a superb thread, very enjoyable read.

Making me think I wasted my money buying a small tracking mount.

Keep them images coming.

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this was taken with my old skywatcher skymax 127 with an eos 10d sorry but i foget the amount of subs and no darks flats ar any of that stuff just didnt know i had just joined here to find out what the heck i was doing and no body warned me about what i was getting myself into .

early 2012 its m42 just incase you cant make out what it is.

post-12098-0-04651100-1414616347_thumb.j

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These are beautiful pictures. I especially like dph1nm's image of the Pleiades. Do you guys live in light-polluted areas? 

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I would add the Tarantula Nebula (at the bottom of the Large Magellanic Cloud) to the collection. Pentax K-30, 55-300DAL zoom (@300mm) 30x10sec ISO6400, 5x10sec dark frames. Shot last night after 2 weeks of clouds :smiley: . 

post-39098-0-96377300-1414633868_thumb.j

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These are beautiful pictures. I especially like dph1nm's image of the Pleiades. Do you guys live in light-polluted areas?

I do. Newcastle, UK. It was part of the reason I started this thread, as I wanted to see just what targets were potentially possible when not tracking EQ - I presumed that if you were an Alt As user, then part of your reason was that due to location, light pollution would rule out having a much higher spec set up.

I generally look to see if it's clear, then quickly set up in the back garden, using part of my house to block as much of the lamp posts in the street. Hence, I have no views West!

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These are beautiful pictures. I especially like dph1nm's image of the Pleiades. Do you guys live in light-polluted areas?

The Pleiades shot was taken from my very light polluted back garden in Durham (maybe without an LP filter as well!?) - most of the others are from holidays  at dark sites  around the UK.

NigelM

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These are beautiful pictures. I especially like dph1nm's image of the Pleiades. Do you guys live in light-polluted areas? 

Yep - I do - My M42 was taken from a very light polluted North-West London.

Mike

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