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vineyard

First ever solar shot

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Hello, newbie member here (also new to AP & solar!).  Thought I'd amuse everyone by sharing my first ever exceedingly amateurish photo of the sun today.  Lunt 50PT Ha, ASI178MC (I know, its colour not mono!), 20 shots stacked in SiriL.  The camera, the software and even the scope (judging by the focus :) ) are all new to me.  Steep learning curves ahead!

Cheers

Sun 31 oct take 2_00001.tif

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A great start :) first images are always such a major triumph, so well done!

The first thing you need to do is bring the exposure right down, a lot. You will then find that focus is much easier. Practice will make perfect so keep up the good work!

Alexandra

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Thanks Alexandra - you're being v kind.  It's a pretty poor photo but everyone starts somewhere :)  Thanks re the over-exposure tip, ok I'm going to dial that down a LOT next time.

I'm also fairly certain that the sun is out of focus.  The ASI instructions say that once focus is achieved in the eyepiece, it just needs to be replaced with the camera - but I reckon that the focal plane for the ASI is not the same as the EP b/c the image was sharper in the EP.  I've subsequently read elsewhere that others have had this problem with this ASI and the Lunt, and there are a couple of work-arounds suggested that I will try.

(And I think I've discovered a problem with the pressure-tuning on the scope: only 1 o-ring in there...?!).

Let's see what the next session brings!

Thank you again for the tip.

Cheers,

Vin

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Congratulations Vin!

Aim for something more like this: See image below:

This is your very own image but with lots of gamma reduction in PhotoFiltre7. [Free software.]

I also resized the image to 600pixels max dimension for easy SGL display and converted it to Jpeg.

Then I just dragged and dropped the Jpeg image into the bottom line of the SGL posting box from my own Pictures folder.

Not trying to be clever! Just helpful. :wink2:

I am extremely grateful to the members of SGL for their infinite patience and endless help. :thumbsup:

Sun 31 oct take 2_00001 vin.jpg

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Hi Rusted, wow that is really kind of you, thank you - I had to do a double take to check it was the same image!  And thank you for the other tips too (will check out PhotoFiltre7 too).

I was playing around some more this morning while the Sun was out.  I think the pressure-tuning is sorted (managed to see some Ha features).  The workarounds I was trying to get the ASI178 to focus still didn't work sadly, although I'll maybe try a few more things next time.  So I ended up just grabbing this shot with my phone through the eyepiece.  There was a prominence (or is it called a flare?) at about the 2 o'clock position on the disc which may just be discernible on this [EDIT: not really b/c of the image reduction!].  There was one surreal moment when the silhouette of an aeroplane went in front of the bottom right hand quarter of the sun but sadly I couldn't click fast enough!

Anyway, thank you again - that is v kind & helpful.

Cheers,

Vin

IMG_2490.jpg

Edited by vineyard
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Now that is real progress! :thumbsup:

Here I have used the same free software. [PhotoFiltre7]
MS Paint may be able to do this too. I haven't tried it.
I simply cropped your image around the sun's disk and resized it to 400pixels.

What is the problem with the ZWO178? Will it not reach focus inwards?
Or outwards? What was your "workaround?" Have you tried a Barlow?

 

IMG_2490.jpg.f774033c938b006f77008bd1eb93012a vin rsz 400.jpg

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On 04/11/2019 at 15:37, vineyard said:

 

(And I think I've discovered a problem with the pressure-tuning on the scope: only 1 o-ring in there...?!).

 

There is only one o-ring on the LS50 so it’s normal. It is very difficult to reattach the piston to the brass section with two o-rings, so you should be fine with one - just make sure it’s properly greased and not leaking

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Cheers Highburymark - yes I intend to keep a close eye on it.  Bresser Germany are kindly also sending out a replacement o-ring just in case.

Rusted, I'm not sure whether its inwards or outwards but in either direction it doesn't reach focus.  The closest it comes is when the graduated dial is at 0 - I lock that in and then try the fine-tuning dial but no joy.  Wrt workarounds, I've tried the followsing:

1) leave the nose piece off on the ASI and thread it into the diagonal directly (ie, with the black cylinder that an EP would normally sit in taken out)

2) leave the nose piece off on the ASI and thread it into the black cylinder directly (from memory this is when it got the closest)

3) lock a generic Barlow into the black cylinder that comes off the diagonal, and then lock the ASI (w nosepiece) into the Barlow

I was running out of time before having to go to work so I couldn't be more systematic than that.  Given (2) I think I will try a couple of additional variations next time

A) pull the telescope side of the diagonal out a bit (instead of having it sit all the way in) and then tighten w the screws

B ) take the optic out of the Barlow, and just thread the black extension of the Barlow to the black cylinder on the EP side of the Lunt diagonal, and then sit the ASI in with a nosepiece

I'll also re-try the options I tried yesterday more methodically.  I suspect I need to extend the light path a bit (but not too much)?  I've also read somewhere that Powermates may be better than Barlows for Ha optical trains?

Btw it seems PhotoFiltre is not for Mac, so I will look at a few other alternatives that can hopefully avoid having to pay for Photoshop!  Still on the learning curve for K-Stars & EKOS right now :)

Cheers all,

Vin

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I was going to suggest trying the low profile ZWO 1.25" nose but you seem to have tried a number of things.
Try to confirm whether you need to reach further inwards or outwards. Trying to focus on the limb is useful. 
I regularly use a 2x WO [William Optics] Barlow nosepiece screwed directly to the 1.25 nose of either of my ZWO cameras.
It seems to be quite a useful GPC [Glass Path Corrector.] Better performing than either of my TS binoviewer GPCs. IMHO.

I feel your pain on paying for Photoshop. I too have avoided it so far. Not to mention the terrifying learning curve as well.

.

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Hi Rusted,

I tried again this morning, and have come to the conclusion that the problem is insufficient inward travel on the stock helical focuser on the Lunt (the focuser only has 1cm of travel).

So I started trying to put a Barlow in to extend the light path to see if that might allow the ASI to find focus - and then the clouds came in :)  The Sun is being coy.

Will have to wait for a sunnier day (next spring at this rate?).  Alternatively, I noticed that there's a spacer between the focuser and the diagonal - so if I can replace that with a shorter spacer maybe that will create the extra inward travel synthetically.  (But will the light path then be too short to find focus w the EP?).  What a palaver!

Still it was nice seeing the orange peel skin on the Sun this morning.

Cheers,

Vin

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