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Cassiopeia - 1st try going wide

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Hi All,

Well had my first attempt at widefield with a DSLR the other night. All because of this article in the register... 

Not sure why I felt compelled to image it, perhaps there is something magical about looking at a star and *knowing* it has planets rather than wondering if it does. Anyways I'm glad I did because I had a lot of fun.. its been too long since i last spent some quality time out in the garden.

The set up was a bit precarious to say the least... i set the 3-2 up and polar aligned as usual, then stuck on the dovetail with the tube rings from the ED80 and screwed the DSLR onto the 1/4" which is on one of the rings. Wouldn't make a habit of this but thought... just this once.

Finding the target was a bit strange, nada on liveview ( had it linked up to pc ) then after some test shots i thought the image was somehow upside down because there were bits of tree on the top right of the image... this had me stumped (sorry) :D

Then i realised IT WAS THE TREES AT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GARDEN. Oh my! 18mm is really wide!!

Focus was a bit fiddly without a bahtinov and nothing on liveview,  lots of test shots and tiny tweaks... you know the drill.

Eventually i managed to get the target framed and in focus and a bit of experimentation with exposure.

I opted for 30sec ISO 800, took 20 lights and 11 darks. Was lazy and didnt take bias or flats.

Stacked in dss and processed in PI then some lines etc in gimp and a quite aggressive crop.

Yea i know it not a great image, but it was fun and i guess functional :)

Couple of things i came away with..

1) I really need a LP filter, really really.

2) 18mm on an EF-S 18-55 lens is not very flat! I thought I'd knocked out my pa at first, then i realised it was fine in the middle.

3) Not taking flats was stupid. PI rescued me this time but...

4) I need a better way to attach the camera. ( Just took delivery of a star adventurer today so thats sorted and im now portable )

Anyways I had a hoot out there and can't wait to get back out...

Any suggestions, tips, criticisms welcome on what i should be trying out / doing to make things better always welcome.




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