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DSLR Settings for Comet Lovejoy and how do I find it?


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Hi just wondering if anyone can recommend some specific settings for photographing Comet Lovejoy?

I have a Nikon D3200 with a standard 18-55mm lens, a 55-300mm lens and a T-Ring mount for my Skywatcher 114. I also have a remote trigger. 

Should I just stick with the same settings I generally use; ISO 800, f.4.2, Bulb?

Also what should I look for to find it. I understand I need to use Orion's belt as guidance but what exactly am I looking for or will it be obvious?

Thanks!

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Hi

Download stellarium it is free.

Then install the comet plugin.

Then you can find it anytime.

Do you have a motorised tracking mount?

If not then the kit lens day try 15 seconds.

You telescope probably 1 second.

Take loads and stack in DSS.

Have fun :-)

Oh I used binnoculars to get familiar with finding it.

Edited by happy-kat
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Hi

Download stellarium it is free.

Then install the comet plugin.

Then you can find it anytime.

Do you have a motorised tracking mount?

If not then the kit lens day try 15 seconds.

You telescope probably 1 second.

Take loads and stack in DSS.

Have fun :-)

Oh I used binnoculars to get familiar with finding it.

Unfortunately my mount isn't motorised :(

Thanks!

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Unless you can track Lovejoy then you may need to keep the exposure short and use high ISO. How short an exposure depends on the focal length of your lens.

Without tracking I get star trails with a 500mm lens at 0.5 second. Not sure how a comet would look at 15s nor how to track a comet.

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Rule of thumb for maximum exposure time for static tripod is 500 / focal.length (thanks to RichM43 for reminding me)

But if I try 1 second with a 500mm on my micro four thirds on a static tripod I get little trails and have to drop to 1/2 second

so I think it has to be converted to 35mm film field of view i.e. multiply lens by your crop factor  (Canon = x1.6, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm = x1.5, M43 = x2, etc)

hence 500 / 500 = 1 second  (500mm lens)

but 500 / 1000 = 0.5 second  (500mm lens x2 M43 crop factor = 1000mm FoV)

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Hi

Download stellarium it is free.

Then install the comet plugin.

Then you can find it anytime.

Do you have a motorised tracking mount?

If not then the kit lens day try 15 seconds.

You telescope probably 1 second.

Take loads and stack in DSS.

Have fun :-)

Oh I used binnoculars to get familiar with finding it.

Thank you for recommending Stellarium.

Oooo!!! -  Billy$ Windoze 8.1 hates it and protects me from installing it. Fortunately I have Windows 8.1 Pro and can override but I had to "install anyway" and run it as Administrator. Hope that helps anyone arguing with it.

Very nice :grin:

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