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The "No EQ" DSO Challenge!


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4 hours ago, SteveNickolls said:

For many people the choice boils down to either trying low cost imaging solution or not imaging at all.

+1. Very well put. I'm all for having a go with whatever you have. A cheap telescope on a cheap mount is capable of far more now than 10 or so years ago. The telescopes are better for a start. It's great to see threads like this where we push the limits and experiment. Rules are there to be broken. I don't think its a coincidence that this not-an-ed80-on-a-heq5 thread is so popular!

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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 im

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

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

Posted Images

On 28/10/2016 at 20:41, Nigel G said:

forum suggestions,  Alt-AZ and low budget

+1. May that include achromatic refractors? So often rejected out of hand for imaging. They've come a long way since the rule book was written. Cheers and clear skies.

Edited by alacant
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Just now, alacant said:

+1. Very well put. I'm all for having a go with whatever you have. A cheap telescope on a cheap mount is capable of far more now than 10 or so years ago. The telescopes are better for a start. It's great to see threads like this where we push the limits and experiment. Rules are there to be broken. I don't think its a coincidence that this not-an-ed80-on-a-heq5 thread is so popular!

Thanks alacant, I do think you have hit the nerve there. The one thing I have found is everyone on the thread is up for experimenting and making public the results either way. I also think technology is set to pose problems to imagers with the roll out of highly sensitive CMOS chips.

Cheers,
Steve

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1 hour ago, SteveNickolls said:

Hi Nige,

Thanks for all you have done on this. Much appreciated. I take it they won't/can't create a new forum title under which we can have a series of threads? Is it a lot of trouble? When at work I had rights to make new content and it could be done all the time. Don't like a tail wagging a dog even if it's a voluntary tail.

Did admin say why not? Do they feel it is covered by other topics albeit in a piecemeal, shotgun way? Can we make a case for an addition? I understand Video Astronomy had a topic opened for them some while ago. Maybe they don't, respectfully, appreciate the subject and the nuances of Alt-Az imaging and those short exposures that lie between the othodoxy EQ and EAA. 

The alternative, to start a series of threads under a specific forum division like Beginners, or more appropriately Imaging while an option would not be cohesive and runs the obvious risk of being lost as new posts on other threads arise.

The popularity of the 'No EQ Challenge' evidences the interest of the SGL membership and wider public accessing the forum and ought to be weighed by admin in coming to a decision. Nowadays decisions ought to be done in an open and fair way and against open rules and not behind closed doors or reflect the impulse of one or more person with decision making power. No inappropriateness is implied of course just my view of openness, fairness and accountability.

Cheers,

Steve

Steve,  the only answer I got is on the post asking for the new topic.  

If it was backed up by others maybe they might consider it,  maybe admin think it's not suitable? 

I personally can't see an reasons why not. There are 61 following this post and quite a few using it for information on not only Alt-Az imaging but short exposure imaging. 

Having multiple posts amongst several hundred other posts in the imaging topic  trying to cover our topic would be worse than the one post.

A topic in imaging section would keep good information organised for present, new and future user's without getting lost in thousands of posts

I'm a little disappointed to be honest,  but we can only try.

On a lighter note,  the sky's are clear here, hopefully they will stay clear for a few hours, I'm going to attempt Orion with the horse head with the 210mm lens. Extra hour to recover tomorrow  :hello2:

Cheers 

Nige

Edited by Nigel G
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8 hours ago, Nigel G said:

Steve,  the only answer I got is on the post asking for the new topic. 

Well said everyone, and far more eloquently than I could.

It's difficult to know where to go from here without knowing what Admin's response to you was Nige. Nige, I'm not sure if you are aware that all I get in that link is "Sorry, we can't show this content because you do not have permission to see it." I suspect that as it is a private thread that only you can see it. I think you'll have to cut and paste. But I agree with Steve, this needs to be a democratic decision and provided it can comply with the rules of the Board and doesn't cross lines, then I see no reason why our request cannot be granted. At the end of the day, it is our blogging site, and without us it wouldn't exist. But as I said, I do not know why the request was rejected.

Ian

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I suppose it also raises the question about the management structure of this site, and to whom or what any requests for a change should be made. Who is ultimately responsible? I take the view that moderators are there to ensure that Site Rules are followed, deal with conflicts, and to refer back any issues, technical or otherwise. They cannot be dictators of core of policy, surely?

Ian

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Speaking as an Admin on another site, it's amazing how high feeling run about two things - people going 'off topic' and topic bloat. When you have lots of specialist topics some end up very empty and ignored and it can also confuse people trying to find the best place to post.

That's partly why I think a new topic should not be restricted to Alt-Az, but should be wide enough to attract anyone who faces constraints of sub-length (whether because of choice, budget, experience or anything else).

A good example is processing; I have some images I think I could get a bit more out of, trouble is when I go back and reprocess my results are worse rather than better 9 times out of 10. Whenever I ask for advice the response is always 'more data' but this is often not possible. In this thread there have been some examples of people with similar amounts of data (say 30 minutes) 'polishing' images with input and aid from others.

When we are comparing to 10 hours of data with Ha it's clear we are not going to get those results and the same processing approach might not be best, plus there really isn't anywhere you can get an idea of what can be achieved with such data except some of the posts in the 'imaging with the 130P-DS thread'.

I suppose the thing that I personally want is a way to get a bit more criticism and technical advice. If I put up an image it generally either gets likes from people at a similar level of experience to me (I don't share the bad ones) or a suggestion that more data=less noise from more experienced imagers. I particularly would like to get a handle on what balance of detail and noise works best for such images. For example, its possible to make a luminance layer for a faint nebula that brightens it up without noise - but at the expense of detail. I'm sure there is a potential technique that could be developed taht then puts some detail back on top but perhaps it needs other people to try it as well.

 

Sorry to go on, but this is the sort of issue I would raise in a short imaging forum.

 

Looking at the existing Imaging topics they are mostly by SUBJECT rather than technique, except video astronomy, which only has one sub-topic.

Perhaps the High level Video Astronomy topic could be renamed  IMAGING TECHIQUES and move "tips, tricks etc." and "image processing etc." to that  topic, then create sub-topics under that to address our interests and those of others?

 

Edited by Stub Mandrel
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On 28/10/2016 at 09:51, SteveNickolls said:

at source fringe killing ability

Hi. I found by accident that this filter cut the blue halos almost to nothing. It's something to do with uv (or ir?) being recorded as visible by modified canon sensors- I'm sure someone with technical knowledge could explain far better and in more detail. 

I didn't post here because I used an eq mount but just to add support for creating a budget-have-a-go-with-what-you-have-doesn't-need-to-cost-a-fortune section, I think this is the sort of post which would fit in there. I'm gonna post the snaps here anyway in the knowledge I'm off topic for which I apologise in advance. HTH and clear skies.

uvir.jpg

tulip.JPG

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Morning,

I've gone through the code of conduct and no mention of creating new forum divisions or subject headings that I can see. There are two flavours of staff in the staff directory, Administrators (6) and Moderators (40) all of whom are contactable but perhaps the Administrator called 'admin' is the one to PM as it doesn't seem to be a person (might be wrong of course)? 

Regarding sharing things with Video Astronomy I really see three approaches as covering the whole of imaging-mainstream EQ using long exposures not achievable by other equipment, Video imaging using very short exposures and Alt-Az and some EQ imaging placed in between. Each facet has specific technical problems to overcome justifying a separate topic area. It is only very recently that members have taken up Alt-Az and lightweight EQ imaging as a keen body of people keen to experiment and developments in technology have allowed imaging using lightweight mounts possible. I know Joe Ashley faced similar incredulity on the forum he was posting his alt-Az images in as people initially simply didn't believe such images were possible. 

Cheers,
Steve

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11 minutes ago, alacant said:

Hi. I found by accident that this filter cut the blue halos almost to nothing. It's something to do with uv (or ir?) being recorded as visible by modified canon sensors- I'm sure someone with technical knowledge could explain far better and in more detail. 

I didn't post here because I used an eq mount but just to add support for creating a budget-have-a-go-with-what-you-have-doesn't-need-to-cost-a-fortune section, I think this is the sort of post which would fit in there. I'm gonna post the snaps here anyway in the knowledge I'm off topic for which I apologise in advance. HTH and clear skies.

uvir.jpg

tulip.JPG

Thanks for this demonstration of the filter's ability. I'm keen to try out the Semi-apo filter but need the night sky to cooperate :-)

Best Regards,
Steve

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12 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Speaking as an Admin on another site, it's amazing how high feeling run about two things - people going 'off topic' and topic bloat. When you have lots of specialist topics some end up very empty and ignored and it can also confuse people trying to find the best place to post.

That's partly why I think a new topic should not be restricted to Alt-Az, but should be wide enough to attract anyone who faces constraints of sub-length (whether because of choice, budget, experience or anything else).

 

Perhaps the High level Video Astronomy topic could be renamed  IMAGING TECHIQUES and move "tips, tricks etc." and "image processing etc." to that  topic, then create sub-topics under that to address our interests and those of others?

 

Thanks for interesting reply Neil. I'm in a quandary with this, because as a strictly Alt-Az imager I've found the "No EQ" thread to be engaging, but feel that now it's become a bit of a mess, although quite specific in its remit, and it's quite difficult to find the information and images I want. I think it deserves a place on the Lounge in its own right, to (1) allow a more structured approach to the information contained, and (2) because I think it has sufficient profile now, and traction, to make it viable. I understand clearly where you are coming from in suggesting that perhaps it ought to contain matter connected with short exposure EQ imaging, because it poses some of the problems faced by Alt-Az imagers. Alacant has also suggested, again for perfectly good reasons, that perhaps the new thread ought to cater for achromatic refractors, though presumably that would include such refractors mounted on a well aligned EQ mount. And so I fear we are moving away from our original premise to provide a vehicle for Alt-Az imagers with the prospect of opening up the field. You mention "topic bloat" in your reply, but that is just what concerns me.

Anyway, all this may be moot if we can't have a new forum section.

Ian

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Imaging on a Budget  - Imaging using Alt-Az and light EQ mounts using DSLRs, not just for beginners

  • Mounts - overcoming the challenges (individual sub-topics created by users can easily address EQ, Alt-AZ, Barn door etc.)
  • Scopes - achro refractors to budget reflectors (to cover various entry-level scopes, the 130P-DS thread could go here)
  • Accessories - affordable extras to get more out of your imaging time
  • Processing - getting the most from short subs and limited total exposure
  • Help and advice - Ask anything - the one answer you won't get is spend lots of money!
  • Showcase - share your successes
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2 hours ago, The Admiral said:

Well said everyone, and far more eloquently than I could.

It's difficult to know where to go from here without knowing what Admin's response to you was Nige. Nige, I'm not sure if you are aware that all I get in that link is "Sorry, we can't show this content because you do not have permission to see it." I suspect that as it is a private thread that only you can see it. I think you'll have to cut and paste. But I agree with Steve, this needs to be a democratic decision and provided it can comply with the rules of the Board and doesn't cross lines, then I see no reason why our request cannot be granted. At the end of the day, it is our blogging site, and without us it wouldn't exist. But as I said, I do not know why the request was rejected.

Ian

I didn't realise that the post was private.  I wonder why.

here's the posts from me and the reply from admin.

Hello Admin.

There is a thread in getting started with imaging called the No Eq DSO challenge, we have a lot of very useful information which is difficult to find when you want to refer back with 60 pages and almost 1500 posts.

Quite a few people post their info and images now, also someone pointed out that he also refers to the thread for info as its very similar to non guided EQ imaging.

Would it be possible to have a new topic in Imaging called, " Alt-AZ and low budget "   or something along those lines ?

A new topic would be very useful to organise the almost lost good information.

I think a fair few would agree that we could do with a new topic as our imaging information is quite different from guided EQ imaging.

Best regards

Nige.

Reply

You can of course start a new thread yourself.

My reply. 

 

Thanks for your reply Peter,

The trouble with a thread is as we have found with the No EQ thread it becomes to big, to look back on past info it can take hours sifting through many pages of posts.

With a topic specifically for what we do it can be split into threads for easy reference.

I guess the answer is to have a few threads running, to cover the problems we face, shared information and showcase.

Regards

Nigel.

The reply came from Cornelius Varley (staff)

 

Perhaps a PM to site administrator might do it.

I emailed admin too, in fact I emailed admin because nobody replied to the post. I pasted the same question in the email and had no reply by email , just this short reply here.

I think if more ask and quote this discussion it might get admin to consider a new topic.

I'm not entirely happy with the short un interested reply I got, and will push some more, another email or PM. I'll think about it today while I attempt processing last night's data.

Cheers 

Nige.

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11 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Imaging on a Budget  - Imaging using Alt-Az and light EQ mounts using DSLRs, not just for beginners

  • Mounts - overcoming the challenges (individual sub-topics created by users can easily address EQ, Alt-AZ, Barn door etc.)
  • Scopes - achro refractors to budget reflectors (to cover various entry-level scopes, the 130P-DS thread could go here)
  • Accessories - affordable extras to get more out of your imaging time
  • Processing - getting the most from short subs and limited total exposure
  • Help and advice - Ask anything - the one answer you won't get is spend lots of money!
  • Showcase - share your successes

I appreciate the good intentions but this is why I feared suggesting breaking out this thread into multiple threads, even if collected under a sub-forum. By your definition I could no longer post in that entire sub-forum simply because my scope is not considered budget (who's budget do we consider low?) and I've moved from DSLR to a mono-CMOS chip (i.e. the very same technology used by that same DSLR).

Conflating multiple techniques will also confuse. Alt-az suffered from field rotation which limits sub lengths. The solutions to which are very different to the limits placed on EQ mounts. EQ mounts come with their own complications, polar alignment, meridian flips, which do not affect alt-az and their solutions are very different to those used by alt-az mounts even if the effect (limited sub lengths) is the same.

We already have an imaging section where each of these can be discussed. Why should users be partitioned because of budget? You can do guided EQ photography on a lower budget and you can do Alt-Az on a higher budget.

This thread has only a few defining limitations - you image using alt-az and barn door mounts and you image DSOs - there is nothing limiting what scope is used, what camera, what tools to process, what filters are used. It leaves us open to find solutions. As an example, I moved to a mono-camera precisely because it helped me gather more data in 30s that a OSC DSLR. I didn't want to mod my DSLR as it compromises it's main purpose (landscape photography for me) and buying a mono-camera was not too different in price (for me) to buying a second DSLR.

I'd suggest a couple of things:

- create a new thread to discuss this very topic to this thread can stay focused on imaging DSOs with alt-az mounts until a conclusion is reached

- first discuss the objectives and outcomes being sought before reaching to conclusions and solutions

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49 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Imaging on a Budget  - Imaging using Alt-Az

Hi. Nice proposal. My (selfish) reason for being here is to have somewhere to discuss the experimental aspect of AP. Somewhere where we don't expect perfection. If we all stick with what the purists tell us we must all own APOs and those ritchey cretin -or whatever they're called- things and we never go anywhere new. This is the only place which has embraced anything experimental. So +1 for the proposal and thanks for taking the time to categorise it. 

Specifically I'd like to lose the alt-az only constraint; there are good cheap eqs too. So there's one fewer item to the all embracing concern.

May I propose simply 'ap on a budget'? Or, dare I,;'ap under €500' [hides] OK then, €1000. HTH.

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Well I do use an APO, though the mount is a basic Nexstar, and the whole caboodle cost rather more than €1000! I think 'budget' is not really a sufficiently well defined criterion to be honest, and a very personal one at that, and I have my concerns that we should keep the Alt-Az criterion for its own particular demands. It is, after all, a proposal with regards to the "No EQ" thread which we Alt-Az imagers post to, and I wouldn't want it to end up being a catch-all with no particular focus.

Ian

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Th thing that's frustrating me is that, notwithstanding the issues specific to Alt-Az mounts 90% of that's discussed and shared in here is dominated by the short sub lengths and a 'grab what data you can' mentality.

There really seems to be no interest in threads that focus on these issues elsewhere in the forum.

Perhaps as an imager with a light , unguided EQ mount I am in a minority of one?

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2 hours ago, Filroden said:

I'd suggest a couple of things:

- create a new thread to discuss this very topic to this thread can stay focused on imaging DSOs with alt-az mounts until a conclusion is reached

- first discuss the objectives and outcomes being sought before reaching to conclusions and solutions

Thanks so much Ken for this way to discuss the way forward, we can create a new thread just to discuss things and move on from there. Looking at the replies Nige got it's not a definite 'No' from Admin so we need to be sure what we want.

We mustn't get bogged down or misled by lines we  might immediately draw in the sand; Joseph Ashley's book had to make some definitions which suited him but aren't necessarily what we desire. If we can get a new topic heading from Admin then divisions such as EQ and Alt-Az, budget, telescope type, cameras, different software and image galley find their own natural place within the greater scheme of things. 

Cheers,
Steve

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The key point of this thread is the mount. The mount is an altaz. That's it.

Processing is processing, telescope what's ever it is is the telescope, camera what ever it is is the camera, I feel this if drifting and losing what is the key identifying factor.

Eq mount is an eq mount and is not the same as an altaz even if inexpensive and wobbly.

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41 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Perhaps as an imager with a light , unguided EQ mount I am in a minority of one?

I would really hope not Neil, surely the imaging fraternity can't be that polarised. If it is then I would worry about the mindset of astro-imagers. There needs to be space for all approaches to imaging.

Ian

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3 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

The key point of this thread is the mount. The mount is an altaz. That's it.

Processing is processing, telescope what's ever it is is the telescope, camera what ever it is is the camera, I feel this if drifting and losing what is the key identifying factor.

Eq mount is an eq mount and is not the same as an altaz even if inexpensive and wobbly.

I must admit I think that is the direction I'm coming from.

Ian

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55 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Perhaps as an imager with a light , unguided EQ mount I am in a minority of one?

I think Neil we are each somewhat in a minority compared to mainstream EQ imagers but together as one we have made much more than could have ever been imagined-all the posts and the number of views both show the interest of other members (and browsing from the wider public). There is quite obviously an unfilled demand for help from those interested in imaging and who for different individual reasons don't or can't use the mainstream EQ approach to imaging but are looking nonetheless for help much as we all did and still do.

The progress of technology found in new lightweight mounts, CMOS cameras and processing software all work to make what once was impossible possible. It is a great freeing movement and one full of people with the creativity and desire to experiment. Our new topic is well fit for meeting the future and if you will forgive me an apt quote, "O brave new world, that has such people in't!" :-)

Cheers,
Steve

 

 

 

Edited by SteveNickolls
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