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Luis Campos

M51 and M66 with ASI 120MM (lucky imaging)

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I know this is a bit late but I'm interested in trying this out with my 120mc and a 50mm 1.8 lens. Could the OP or anybody else give capture settings and software? I only use this camera for guiding and do my imaging with a dslr so I don't have any capture software as of right now.

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Depends on many things, and also a lot on the 50mm lens. Most likely you'll need to step it down, probably to around 2.8 or so to get a decent sharpness, maybe more. The canon FE 50 f1.4 lens i use only give acceptable stars at f2.8, and is optimally sharp at f4.
Also depends on the camera temp, as this sensor is really noisy over 0-5c. I find it hard to use for imaging over 10c. At -10c it's good, and at -20c it's excellent. I found that calibration frames really can't save you with this sensor when it's warm.

To get started, set gain to 100/max,and expose 1-5 sec. Make sure to expose long enough so you have something to align with, either it being stars or the core of galaxies. Shorter exposures will give less deep image but increased sharpness. Less gain will lead to less burned out stars (if you have very bright stars in the FOV), but sensor will not have as high sensitivity. For fainter targets where there are no brights stars that needs to be protected from burning out, i found gain 80-100 usually gave best result. If you only have 1 or 2 stars to protect it might be worth ignoring them, but if you're imaging a cluster it might be better with a lower gain.

I've came to like FireCapture the most for high FPS (less then 5 sec) work with the QHY5L-II, and APT when doing long exposures. Sharpcap is a good alternative as well, especially for exposures under a couple of minutes.

That's my experience at least, but i hope someone correct me if i'm wrong... :)

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