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Lovejoy Camera Settings


groberts
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For the first time in a while it looks like a clear night tonight + no Moon, hooray.  I would like to take a stab at Comet Lovejoy.  

  1. What DSLR camera settings have people found most successful?  
  2. Would video work better?
  3. Do you need to track for best results?
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Well, I'm no expert, but I took loads of 30s subs, ISO 1600, normal tracking + darks and it came out OK. It just took a lot of processing to bring out the tail. It was very windy so I used my 72mm frac on my HEQ5 Pro. I would have liked to have used the 200P but it's a sail. There is quite a long, but faint tail which might have been cut off in the 200P. I used my Canon so the sensor's quite large, so it might have been OK, with correct framing. I also took 45s subs but I haven't stacked them yet.

Some autoguide on the comet to get longer exposures, but the stars will trail, of course. I was hoping to try that but haven't had the chance with this (**(*&^(*^(!!! weather!

Alexxx

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I hope so! And good luck. Let us know how you get on.

Buoyed up by forecasts of clear skies I was set up by 6.30pm but there was 75% cloud - so much for the forecast!

Back out at 7.30pm - the sky was now clear but the wind had got up a lot (hence lack of cloud) and my computer was on the floor.  I persevered for 45 minutes but had to give up, despite there now being clear skies.  This astronomy can be very frustrating.

Not to waste the clear sky I took the binoculars out and have been looking at Lovejoy etc.  

Oh well. Try again another day, if there is one? 

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I don't have a tracking mount, I'm the alt-az kid, and I'm also still learning to do basic imaging, but I found that a crop DSLR with 50mm lens on a tripod can get reasonable results if you take loads of 10 second subs at ISO1600, some some darks, and stack. As others have said you need to push the resulting image hard to get the tail out.

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I don't have a tracking mount, I'm the alt-az kid, and I'm also still learning to do basic imaging, but I found that a crop DSLR with 50mm lens on a tripod can get reasonable results if you take loads of 10 second subs at ISO1600, some some darks, and stack. As others have said you need to push the resulting image hard to get the tail out.

You can get some nice results, just push the exposure to the point where the trailing becomes unacceptable to you. It will not hurt to take a few longer ones as well, just to see what you get.

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I wonder given the comet is moving faster than the surrounding rotation, how far you can you push exposure but keep the comet from trailing. I guess there is an equation in there.

Only if the comet is going in the appropriate direction, if it is going the other way then the comet trailing will be _worse_ than the star trailing.

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Took a couple the other night.

the comet moves quite fast and a three min exposure gives round stars and a trailed comet.

Haven't processed them yet but will try for a shorter sub and higher Iso.

Haven't worked out how to guide on the comet!!

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Took a couple the other night.

the comet moves quite fast and a three min exposure gives round stars and a trailed comet.

Haven't processed them yet but will try for a shorter sub and higher Iso.

Haven't worked out how to guide on the comet!!

I'm having the same trouble :huh:  I tried many different combinations of ISO, exposure, lenses etc. I got the best result from my ED 70, iso 800, 20 s exp. Took 30 subs and stacked but still have a trailing comet although there is a good hint of tail as well :smiley:

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I was hoping to try guiding on the comet, but haven't had a chance. Would you just use the comet core as a guide star in the tracking sw??

I'm also going to try to eliminate the stars in the image I got, normal tracking, to get rid of the annoying star trails after comet stacking mode. If I stacked for comet and stars, I lost the colour.

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I had a go last night after a go at M74, I tried 2 minute and 5 minute exposures at ISO 800 with my 450d whilst guiding, and from what I could see (using DPP on one of the subs) the comet still looked round.  Will have a closer look tonight when I may try again.

Edited by SkyExplorer
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