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Stub Mandrel

The EQ3 DSO Challenge

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I've been finding the 'No EQ DSO Challenge' thread an interesting read as the 30-60 second subs are comparable to the 60-second subs I habitually use with my 130P-DS and EQ3 mount.

Just like ALT/AZ mount users, us EQ3 owners are often told that we can't do astrophotography, or if we do we are limted to wide angle shots or very short exposures. May I start this thread as a place to start busting the myth that you can't do DSOs and other astrophotography using an EQ3 mount?

To make sure I don't disqualify myself can I make it clear that modifying your tripod to make it less flimsy or using a tubular stainless steel tripod is allowed.

Let's see some images at all focal lengths and all sorts of targets to show beginners with deep pockets and short arms what can be achieved on a budget!

Here are a couple to get us started:

M33 Best.png

Veil.png

Andromeda al.png

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Great pictures I knew you could get good results off a eq3-2 I have seen great posts from people using these. 

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Here is my favourite (although common) with my EQ3-2, SW 150p and a canon 1100d

M42 Orion Nebula

 

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I'm experimenting with 2 minute subs on M27 right now! First check showed round stars.

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This was my first proper run with my EQ3, 30 minutes on the Heart & Soul with a 135mm Super-Takumar lens.

15147147820_89347b3d5e_b.jpg

Annoyingly I haven't managed to better the star colours since then, wish I knew what I did to get them.

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Wonderful pictures my first scope was the 150p on the eq3-2 mount I put play sand in the legs until I got heq5 tripod sadly due to medical conditions I needed a goto mount so bought a eq5 fella selling it give me a 200p with it so sold the eq3-2. Thank you for sharing the pictures. 

Edited by wookie1965
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Here's the result of my experiment with 120-second EQ3 subs, 68 minutes RGB on M27:

M27 Dumbell Nebula.png

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This was the best i managed on my eq3-2 with skywatcher ed80. 60 mins of 60 second subs and some shorter for the core at iso 800. Captured with a canon 600d unmodded. I upgraded to an az eq6 as i was throwing out to many subs due to mount error. I'm keeping the eq3 as a portable widefield rig. It's only a 1.8mb jpg as i couldn't find the png.

 

 

noelsorion (2).jpg

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Lots of nice encouraging shots.  Still waiting to first light my eq3-2 which I aquired over a year ago (flippin weather) at this rate I'll have saved up for my heq5.

Dave...

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Here's one of my first ever astro images, M81 and M82

At one time I managed to get only slight star trailing at 300 secs unguided on my EQ3 Pro, with aluminium tripod.

Later I learned that this is supposed to be impossible, so I couldn't repeat it.

Looking at this image now, I realize I should re-process the data.

7 x 300 seconds at ISO 800 unguided

SkyWatcher 150PDS on EQ3 Pro

Camera: Pentax K20D not astromodified

bodes.jpg

Edited by wimvb
found a typo
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Nice images, I like it when you do something that's no possible,  keep it up guy's 

Nige.

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Brilliant thread, hopefully I'll be adding pictures once I get my motors. 

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Great thread. I don't have an eq3 -yet- but I shall be sticking around here for sure. Maybe we can pick up newcomers who've been given different -but of course in good faith- advice as to how to begin. I really wish that someone this time last year had advised me to get an eq3 for what I already had -my dslr- and have a go. Clear skies.

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Here's last night's result, the Pacman Nebula NGC 281.

This picture was a stack in DSS of the best 85% of 96 frames taken last night, then processed in photoshop following advice gleaned on this forum. I took had to lose about 20 others that were badly obscured by cloud.

Each frame was 120 seconds at 800 iso. I used flats, darks and bias frames and no doubt the cold temperature helped keep the noise down.

The telescope is a 130P-DS. My camera is an astro-modded Canon 450D, but this object is bright enough you should be able to image it on most DSLRs.

Pacman Crop.png

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Nice! But there is a line running horizontal across the image. Do you know the cause of this?

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11 minutes ago, wimvb said:

Nice! But there is a line running horizontal across the image. Do you know the cause of this?

I don't know  perhaps it's a flat issue :-(

I've had a go at spot healing it out of the RGB and using horizontal band reduction in the LUM, which seems to have helped:

 

Pacman Crop.png

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That looks better, just a hint left in the right side. You can always have a look at the raw images. Maybe it shows up there as well.

Anyway, your image is another proof that the EQ3, with some TLC, can deliver. The stars are nice and round, and plenty of them. You also have good detail in the nebula. I like your image.

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Thanks Wim,

I've done a stack with no control frames, and it's JUST there. As its a straight, bright lkine I wonder if it's a reflection off an edge inside the camera?:

temp.jpg

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HELLO ALL!

If you image using a 130P-DS on a lighter mount, such as an EQ3, you probably use subs of 30 seconds to a couple of minutes.

The Alt-Az imagers have recognised the need for some more topics to provide places to discuss the equipment and techniques opened up by more sensitive, lower-noise modern cameras.

We also need more showcase threads, like this, so that instead of telling beginners not to bother trying imaging unless they have masses of expensive kit, they can see the possibilities of imaging on light and alt-az mounts.

If you have a view on this, please share it here:

 

 

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On 3/11/2016 at 09:50, Stub Mandrel said:

instead of telling beginners not to bother trying imaging unless they have masses of expensive kit, they can see the possibilities of imaging on light and alt-az mounts

+1. Again and again: have a go with what you have. There's not enough experimentation. Things really have moved on from the EDsomething on an eq6 days. And IMHO for the better.

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Watching this thread with a keen eye as getting dual motors for my eq3-2 soon. 

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Here's a couple of recently reprocessed images taken from my EQ3.

31106203981_0c32fe959c_b.jpg

Comet Catalina passing close to M101 back in January, 14 minutes with a 135mm lens at f3.4. This was taken up in light-polluted Hertfordshire, I've just used Gradient Xterminator on it to sort out the background and vignetting. Can just make out the ion trail pointing to the left.

30749872852_53fc031408_b.jpg

A wide shot of the Hyades, Pleiades, California nebula and Alpha Persei cluster, taken with an old 24mm lens.

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4 minutes ago, Knight of Clear Skies said:

A wide shot of the Hyades, Pleiades, California nebula and Alpha Persei cluster, taken with an old 24mm lens.

That's a smashing shot, you'll excuse me if I try to replicate it!

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