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The Moon and Orion Nebula


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Probably my most successful night so far 🙂 I managed to image the Moon and the Orion Nebula and to be honest was amazed at Orion due to the Moon being up whilst I took subs. I figured Orion would be bright enough after my first 60 second image showed some good detail. All taken with an unmodded Canon 60D attached prime onto a Celestron 130SLT on an Advanced VX mount. I do have to use a barlow lens due to not enough 'in' focus, but I have this as close to the sensor as possible.

The Moon:

8 x 1/200sec ; ISO400 ; F5 - Focus stacked and edited in Affinity Photo (AF).

I find I get a better image by using RAW photo's and stacking in AF than I do taking a video and using Registax. Maybe due to the higher resolution?

431227316_20200302Moonage.thumb.jpg.47625e5d77fdd669eb81b974e8b018b7.jpg

 

The Orion Nebula:

71 x 60sec ; ISO 1600 ; F5 - Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and final edits in Affinity Photo. I found that it was best to align RGB in DSS which gave me more detail to play with in AF. I also think the star with the weird light effect on the left is caused by the focuser barrel still sticking inside the tube. Hoping to save for a more astrophotography friendly scope soon 🙂

100160693_20200302Orionscopergbalign.thumb.jpg.929cb460328ee144705845647c6c62ec.jpg

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8 hours ago, Erling G-P said:

Very nice pictures!

Impressed by your moon photo, as I find it surprisingly difficult to image - it's always shimmering like it's liquid, so I never get the whole thing sharp at once.

As you probably know the shimmering is caused by the atmosphere and I do find on the better 'seeing' nights with the least shimmer my pictures do come out better. I am no expert, but there are a few different ways to image the Moon to help combat the shimmer, but before I start imaging the moon, the main things I do are; use a bahtinov mask and a star to get really good focus and for single frames, I set the mirror lock up feature to on! 

For still frames (which I normally find gives me best results), I take 8-10 RAW files as shown in my first post. If you are using a DSLR when you take stills, the mirror lock up feature will help stop any vibration/shake from the camera/telescope. What I do is press the button to take a picture once which locks the mirror up, wait 4 seconds to allow the telescope/camera vibrations to settle, press the button again to take the picture, lock the mirror up again and wait 4 seconds....repeat for the 8 pictures. This way I get a cleaner image that isn't blurred ready for focus stacking in AF.

You can also take video. With a DSLR I usually do 30 frames/sec for 30 seconds giving me 900 frames @1920x1080. As I have a Canon I then use PIPP (free software) to convert the file for use in Registax (free software) to stack the final image. The only thing I find with this is the image is always smaller than 1920 x 1080. Using a CCD could give better/larger resolution ( don't know, never owned one) so may give better results, but for me I prefer the single image focus stacking method.

Hope this helps. Clear skies 🙂

 

 

 

Edited by Bagginsies
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On 05/03/2020 at 09:08, Bagginsies said:

As you probably know the shimmering is caused by the atmosphere and I do find on the better 'seeing' nights with the least shimmer my pictures do come out better. I am no expert, but there are a few different ways to image the Moon to help combat the shimmer, but before I start imaging the moon, the main things I do are; use a bahtinov mask and a star to get really good focus and for single frames, I set the mirror lock up feature to on! 

For still frames (which I normally find gives me best results), I take 8-10 RAW files as shown in my first post. If you are using a DSLR when you take stills, the mirror lock up feature will help stop any vibration/shake from the camera/telescope. What I do is press the button to take a picture once which locks the mirror up, wait 4 seconds to allow the telescope/camera vibrations to settle, press the button again to take the picture, lock the mirror up again and wait 4 seconds....repeat for the 8 pictures. This way I get a cleaner image that isn't blurred ready for focus stacking in AF.

You can also take video. With a DSLR I usually do 30 frames/sec for 30 seconds giving me 900 frames @1920x1080. As I have a Canon I then use PIPP (free software) to convert the file for use in Registax (free software) to stack the final image. The only thing I find with this is the image is always smaller than 1920 x 1080. Using a CCD could give better/larger resolution ( don't know, never owned one) so may give better results, but for me I prefer the single image focus stacking method.

Hope this helps. Clear skies 🙂

 

 

 

Thanks, I am indeed using a DSLR.  When imaging the moon, the shutter speeds have been so fast that I didn't think mirror vibration would be a factor, but I guess it couldn't hurt eliminating it, so will try your method when I get a chance.

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I think you will find it is the other way around. A long 60 second exposure doesn't need the mirror locked up as the first couple of seconds vibration are not noticed due to the other 58 seconds of light gathering. 

On a 1/200 or 1/250 exposure the split second the mirror flips up the camera will shake and this will be the only bit captured. I have read this online on a very informative website, but not sure I am allowed to post the link?

I maybe have an hour or two tonight with no cloud 🤞🙏 so will try a single image with and without to show the difference.

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5 hours ago, Bagginsies said:

I think you will find it is the other way around. A long 60 second exposure doesn't need the mirror locked up as the first couple of seconds vibration are not noticed due to the other 58 seconds of light gathering. 

On a 1/200 or 1/250 exposure the split second the mirror flips up the camera will shake and this will be the only bit captured. I have read this online on a very informative website, but not sure I am allowed to post the link?

I maybe have an hour or two tonight with no cloud 🤞🙏 so will try a single image with and without to show the difference.

The comparison will definitely be interesting so hope you succeed!

Bit sceptical though regarding the camera shake & 1/200 - 1/250 sec exposures - if this is truly a problem, then why aren't non-astro photos shot at these exposure times or even longer ruined by it ?

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Hopefully get a chance tonight 🤞 Below is where I found the info about shorter exposures having mirror lock up, not longer. Whether it will make a difference at 1/200sec exposures, not 100%, but non-astro pictures aren't usually taken at telescope size focal lengths making any movement/vibration more noticable, most non-astro would be less than 300mm. Like I said, no expert, but just a thought. 

Untitled.thumb.jpg.64bb9a1229d8e4ad923fbe56437a405e.jpg

 

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Just read a post on here about Venus being blurry and one possible cause was also the optics not being allowed to cool down enough? Just thoughts to try out? 2 or three factors combined could make it worse i.e. no mirror lock up, not cooled enough and bad seeing means not a great shot?

 

Edited by Bagginsies
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Managed a few pictures tonight, but there were lot's of cloud about which was making most images a little blurry around the edges. At 1/200 on the Moon you couldn't really tell the difference, I thought there was a little, but not enough to completely ruin an image and 'seeing' would be a bigger factor I think. I have added the best of the RAW files for mirror lock up and not. Mainly looking at the right hand edge detail.  

After moving to Alkaid in the Plough constellation, I managed 4 images (had to go to Iso 6400) of the star with the DSLR attached to the scope. At 1/200 with mirror lock up the star was pin sharp and slightly worse with the mirror not locked. At 1/50 there was definitely more movement especially with the mirror slap. I don't think this would be enough to completely ruin your Moon shot's, but does show that at short exposure, mirror lock up can help.

stars.jpg.78017cc14b3677737ce75d5e5bfab408.jpg

No mirror lock up

IMG_9270.CR2

Mirror lock up

IMG_9273.CR2

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On ‎08‎/‎03‎/‎2020 at 23:28, Bagginsies said:

Managed a few pictures tonight, but there were lot's of cloud about which was making most images a little blurry around the edges. At 1/200 on the Moon you couldn't really tell the difference, I thought there was a little, but not enough to completely ruin an image and 'seeing' would be a bigger factor I think. I have added the best of the RAW files for mirror lock up and not. Mainly looking at the right hand edge detail.  

After moving to Alkaid in the Plough constellation, I managed 4 images (had to go to Iso 6400) of the star with the DSLR attached to the scope. At 1/200 with mirror lock up the star was pin sharp and slightly worse with the mirror not locked. At 1/50 there was definitely more movement especially with the mirror slap. I don't think this would be enough to completely ruin your Moon shot's, but does show that at short exposure, mirror lock up can help.

stars.jpg.78017cc14b3677737ce75d5e5bfab408.jpg

No mirror lock up

IMG_9270.CR2 20.5 MB · 2 downloads

Mirror lock up

IMG_9273.CR2 20.62 MB · 0 downloads

That is truly interesting and definitely proves mirror lock should be used!

Thanks for taking the time and effort to test and present this.

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3 hours ago, MarkAR said:

So the advise is always lock up your mirror. Well done @Bagginsies.

I wouldn't say 'always' Short exposures of maybe 3-4 seconds or less down to maybe 1/250 second yes. I think if you can do 1/500 on the moon then you may not need it? 

The other problem with 'always' locking the mirror up is if you use an intervalometer. I found this out when I wanted 45 minutes worth of subs. I set it for 30 x 1 minute 30 second exposures and forgot mirror lock was still active. On first activation it locked the mirror up for 1 minute 30, then took a 1 minute 30 exposure, then locked the mirror up for another 1 minute 30...…… ended up with half the subs I wanted doh! 😅 

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I didn't say before, but when I say 'press the button then wait 4 seconds' that is still using the button on the intervalometer. If you touch the camera after the 4 seconds you will cause vibrations again.

Just found this on the 80D:

Untitled1.thumb.jpg.0ba918df706474f0f6bcb4b74e030242.jpg

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What surprises me how often mirror lock up is not mentioned in many online tutorials, when I studied photgraphy back in the late 80's early 90's any long exposure is benefited by using mirror lock up, it just then stands to reason anything shorter than the reciprocal of the lens would require it on any long exposure, i.e if the focal length is 1,000 mm anything less than 1/1000th would benefit.

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On 11/03/2020 at 07:44, Bagginsies said:

I didn't say before, but when I say 'press the button then wait 4 seconds' that is still using the button on the intervalometer. If you touch the camera after the 4 seconds you will cause vibrations again.

Just found this on the 80D:

Untitled1.thumb.jpg.0ba918df706474f0f6bcb4b74e030242.jpg

That was it, no mirror lock up in live view.

The HDR function might be useful on the moon, getting everything crisp edge to centre.

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53 minutes ago, Nicola Hannah Butterfield said:

What surprises me how often mirror lock up is not mentioned in many online tutorials, 

Probably because they don't realise that some don't know about it. It's presumed you will know when to use mirror lock. 

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1 hour ago, MarkAR said:

Probably because they don't realise that some don't know about it. It's presumed you will know when to use mirror lock. 

On that proviso they  wouldn't need to go on about shutter speed or iso when these are more understandable things about photography, many I have seen give a basic photography lesson and many are good, and I agree with you that if coming from a photographic background you will or should know, but if something is aimed at someone coming into subject from basics as many seem to, I would have thought especially with dslr's as a base camera, again as many teach you  I would have thought it mentioned more than the very few I recall.

Edited by Nicola Hannah Butterfield
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