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And so the hobby begins


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So have started my new hobby, am using my old Canon 500d and have bought to go with it a Star Adventurer, although haven’t started to try and learn how it works/polar align just yet.

So these are just using a tripod and starting to learn the manual settings of the camera.

Am looking forward to learning how to take better shots and learning exactly what stacking is as time goes on and will be good to keep these as where it all begun 🙏

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  • 3 weeks later...

Really happy with the colours I managed to get tonight (such as a clear night) Whilst I did manage a successful stacked image too (woo Hoo), this one is an crop and edit of a single frame :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh dear, you've fallen through the Dark Side event horizon, There's no going back now, you'll find your hard drives full, and your bank balance empty 🤣.

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Looks like you're enjoying this! It seems a bit freaky that we have clear skies whilst many of us are furloughed/out of action.  

This week should be good for lunar images. 

Not sure how you are focussing - generally it looks good although  image #3 looks a bit defocussed - or maybe its just enlarged/cropped?

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41 minutes ago, Tommohawk said:

Looks like you're enjoying this! It seems a bit freaky that we have clear skies whilst many of us are furloughed/out of action.  

This week should be good for lunar images. 

Not sure how you are focussing - generally it looks good although  image #3 looks a bit defocussed - or maybe its just enlarged/cropped?

Yeah has been so clear the past week 🙏

Am just manually focusing through the viewfinder at present (using kit 17mm and 300 lenses) sometimes use the laptop but on the whole just by eye.

Yeah the moon was very nearly in focus, but has been cropped a wee bit too :) 

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Keep it going, and as others have said, keep experimenting and be patient. It will bear fruit!

One tip in terms of the focus you can try, to get it more consistent. Try using the camera in daytime, and focus on something in the wast distance/horizon. Then mark where that point actually is. That'll give you a baseline of where "infinity" is on the camera.

That, or you can try making your own Bahtinov mask. If you don't already know, it is a mask that you put in front of the camera/telescope, that will help you focus. There is plenty of templates online that you can print, and cut out yourself if you don't want to buy one. I've been using my own homemade one for my 150PDS for the last 3 years now, and it works wonders :)

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if you are using a laptop, invest a modest amount in a copy of Astrophotography Tools (APT) https://astrophotography.app or Backyard EOS https://www.otelescope.com/store/category/2-backyardeos/. They are programs for managing your Canon DSLR for astrophotography. They include very useful tools for focusing and for collecting your stacks, making flats etc.

I have only used APT and find it to be superb. It revolutionised my imaging. Others speak highly of BYEOS. Both have a free trial I think. Makes life much easier.

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Not sure what camera settings you're using, but for lunar work try taking multiple images and stacking. If you do this you can use much higher ISO and the noise will reduce in the stack. You can then use faster shutter speed or even reduce the aperture. Kit lenses are a bit iffy on full aperture especially zoom lenses.  You want some kind of remote shutter release - I think the Star adventurer has a built in shutter release. Then you can take tens or even hundreds of images. Also shoot and stack in CR2 (RAW) format.

Maybe you've already worked this out - hope you find some of it useful! 

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On 05/04/2020 at 11:03, Tommohawk said:

Not sure what camera settings you're using, but for lunar work try taking multiple images and stacking. If you do this you can use much higher ISO and the noise will reduce in the stack. You can then use faster shutter speed or even reduce the aperture. Kit lenses are a bit iffy on full aperture especially zoom lenses.  You want some kind of remote shutter release - I think the Star adventurer has a built in shutter release. Then you can take tens or even hundreds of images. Also shoot and stack in CR2 (RAW) format.

Maybe you've already worked this out - hope you find some of it useful! 

So far my attempts at stacking haven’t been too marvellous....but haven’t tried lunar ones yet :) 

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On 05/04/2020 at 05:59, Nova2000 said:

Instead of focusing from view finder use the live screen display ,zoom in and then focus on star . If you plan on shooting for long use some tape and lock your focus 😉.

Interestingly hadn’t tried live view on lunar until last night....was awesome :) 

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On 05/04/2020 at 05:04, old_eyes said:

if you are using a laptop, invest a modest amount in a copy of Astrophotography Tools (APT) https://astrophotography.app or Backyard EOS https://www.otelescope.com/store/category/2-backyardeos/. They are programs for managing your Canon DSLR for astrophotography. They include very useful tools for focusing and for collecting your stacks, making flats etc.

I have only used APT and find it to be superb. It revolutionised my imaging. Others speak highly of BYEOS. Both have a free trial I think. Makes life much easier.

Do need to get something like this soon, will be a good reference

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