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M Astronomy

Imaging with a Star Adventurer

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This is my Andromeda attempt last year just before it got too cold. Star Adventurer with Orion ST80 at prime focus. 30x60 second exposures at 400mm. Taken on a Rebel XS that I removed the IR Cut filter on and fitted a clip in CLS filter. I am glad that I started out with the Star Adventurer since it gave me the groundwork that I needed to upgrade to a solid mount. If I didn't go this route, moving straight to an Orion Sirus would have been overwhelming.

37832445611_601fc93ffe_z.jpg

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This is my most recent capture using the Star Adventurer. I have found that this tracking mount is probably one of my better investments into astrophotography. 240sec x8, 3.2 at 800iso, 35mm. Foreground was shot separate and blended in PS.

Final.jpg

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That's a beauty, what lens ? Lovely pin sharp in the middle but edge iffy ? 

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22 minutes ago, knobby said:

That's a beauty, what lens ? Lovely pin sharp in the middle but edge iffy ? 

Thanks, I used the Canon 16-35 2.8 lens. The distortion was actually worse, I tried to repair them some in Startools which helped but still not as sharp as the center. Other than buying a prime lens, I'm not sure what else to do.

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It wasn't meant as a criticism, the tracking looks spot on ! I was just intrigued about which lens it was.

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50 minutes ago, knobby said:

It wasn't meant as a criticism, the tracking looks spot on ! I was just intrigued about which lens it was.

Sorry, I didn't mean for my response to sound that way. ? The 16-35 2.8 is a great lens but it has so much distortion around the edges. Now that I'm thinking more about it, an overlapping pano may be the best direction to go in. If the weather cooperates with me tonight then I will give it a go. The tracking on the SA has been amazing so far and very portable. Thank you for the reply.

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you will get pin sharp stars at the edge if you drop the f-ratio down i would get the same effect with the canon 50mm f1.8 but when i dropped it to f7.1 that sorted it out, so you just need to experiment to find the sweet spot on your lens 

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Also focusing on a star where a third intersects can help spread focus.

15285326512692.jpg.9a4425b3747f0ff99154d88fa8aded0d.jpg

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Trial and error ... It's a beautiful thing ?

Still a lovely image though !

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Thanks for the replies. Next chance I get I will try a pano. You are right Knobby, trial and error can make you pull your hair out but when it all comes together, its a beautiful thing.?

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Hi guys, 
I am a bit out of topic, but was not able to find examples on any other places and this topic has lots of photographers in on place.

So I do apologise in advance.

I recently tried to make some "Longer" exposures with my Canon Kit Lens and was struggling to take flats after ...
The camera is fitted piggyback on 130PDS, I tried to shoot Flats at daytime at the sky, but cam catches some little clouds, so tried to place my white T-shirt on the lens, in this case, it catches the pattern of the shirt

It was much more easier with the scope than with kit lens! :) 

Any advice? 
 

P.S. I do need flats (as I noticed on other forums, some say they are not needed for Ap without the scope), I have strong vignetting and even some dust bunnies.

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Flats are needed the kit lens shows noticeable vignetting. If have a tablet use app lightbox. I just ballance the tablet on the lens.

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24 minutes ago, RolandKol said:

Hi guys, 
I am a bit out of topic, but was not able to find examples on any other places and this topic has lots of photographers in on place.

So I do apologise in advance.

I recently tried to make some "Longer" exposures with my Canon Kit Lens and was struggling to take flats after ...
The camera is fitted piggyback on 130PDS, I tried to shoot Flats at daytime at the sky, but cam catches some little clouds, so tried to place my white T-shirt on the lens, in this case, it catches the pattern of the shirt

It was much more easier with the scope than with kit lens! :) 

Any advice? 
 

P.S. I do need flats (as I noticed on other forums, some say they are not needed for Ap without the scope), I have strong vignetting and even some dust bunnies.

It can be fixed in lightroom, it really fix, but....you will need flats if you really have dust bunnies :)

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44 minutes ago, RolandKol said:

I tried to shoot Flats at daytime at the sky, but cam catches some little clouds, so tried to place my white T-shirt on the lens, in this case, it catches the pattern of the shirt

Are you sure it's the shirt, it should be out of focus, it may be the Bayer matrix.

Dave

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7 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Are you sure it's the shirt, it should be out of focus, it may be the Bayer matrix.

Dave

Yep, quite a nice notice, have not thought about it... But a Bayer Matrix grid usually (at least once taken via telescope) is much smaller in comparison to a cotton pattern- my pattern was as expected to be from the shirt, odd...

Unfortunately, I have deleted these flats as I was not happy with them... will double check again.

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The tee shirt should be way out of focus ... strange

 

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i used the cotton pillow case because i found the t shirt being so close to the camera lens had an issue with the weave when pulled tight, the pillow case was tighter weave and looked better

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Sorry, of topic

If i shot flats with lens what is the best method? And do i need to be in focus? Becouse if i stretch tshirt over lens i moove the focus..

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19 minutes ago, serbiadarksky said:

Sorry, of topic

If i shot flats with lens what is the best method? And do i need to be in focus? Becouse if i stretch tshirt over lens i moove the focus..

Yes, don't move the focus, try sticking a bit of blue tack on it to hold the focus.

Dave

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22 minutes ago, serbiadarksky said:

Sorry, of topic

If i shot flats with lens what is the best method? And do i need to be in focus? Becouse if i stretch tshirt over lens i moove the focus..

thats why i used a cut out section of squash bottle. stretched pillow case over and slid it over the lens

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And aim it to the sky or where? I dont have any lightbox..if i aim it to pc display where i open white paper in fullscreen than i have to center so onyl thw monitr will be visible?

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1 minute ago, serbiadarksky said:

And aim it to the sky or where? I dont have any lightbox..if i aim it to pc display where i open white paper in fullscreen than i have to center so onyl thw monitr will be visible?

you're probably over thinking this. anywhere it will get even illumination will be fine. 

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I've been trying to create a travelling astro imaging setup using a Star Adventurer and an Altair 70ED refractor (not the APO unfortunately). I've not been having much luck with it until now, but after getting a QHY Mini Guide scope and camera to add to the setup things have improved considerably. I'm not sure if it's the better polar alignment I get by using the guide camera and sharp cap pro, or if it's the guiding, but I've been able to do pretty reasonable 10 minute exposures with a 420mm scope on a cropped frame Nikon D7500, so around 630mm equivalent. 

This is my first successful image at deep sky imaging and is a combination of 30 x 60s, 10 x 90s, 10 x 120s, 5 x 240s and 2 x 600s @IS0 1600. I wish I'd done more longer exposures, but I didn't entirely trust the mount. The graph in PHD2 showed a lot of work being done to keep things on track. 

But you can definitely mount a 70mm scope and DSLR on a Star Adventurer and get usable images from it. I've not modified or tuned the mount in any way, but I have added an additional counterweight to make the payload balance.

m31.jpg

Edited by JimothyC
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Keep tinkering with this impressive little mount and decided to push it way beyond it's operational envelope. 

Here's my work-in-progress Western Veil at an amazing 720mm focal length, unguided, and without a Polemaster. 

y4mZPTIueTF7JGUv8DIaOv4BdR-kzwXLSftuMV52

Definitely not something I'd attempt on a regular basis, though. 

Edited by 8472
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