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M51 Whirpool first attempt


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That’s a nice M51, good framing, focus, slightly eggy stars indicating the tracking was maybe a bit off, but dust lane detail is clearly visible. I don’t have details of how many subs or total integration time, but more data (make that lots more) will certainly improve it.👍

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I like that - you can tell what it is, you can see dust lanes etc and you've processed as very small amount of data well.  I have a just over an hour's worth of data on M51 and my effort isn't that much better.  Sure there's more colour but I am not convinced there is much more actual detail.  My subs were also 5 minutes so definitely more data and you will start getting some really nice results.  Do you guide?  Guiding made one of the biggest differences to what I was able to do and really isn't complicated.

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Thanks Danny. It took a while to get my head around processing with initial attempts being very dark and showing little data. Had a book on Photoshop processing (The R. Scott Ireland one) that gave a great tutorial on setting black and white points which transformed the image! I dont guide as yet... I have been accumulating the various bits of kit to do so, so this is something I will do in the coming weeks when I have worked out how to set up PhD 2 etc... Also keen to get out to darker sky sites too. 

 

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6 hours ago, Richard Wesson said:

It took a while to get my head around processing with initial attempts being very dark and showing little data. Had a book on Photoshop processing

I bit the bullet and got PixInsight and have found I can tease more detail out than using any other package.  It's not the cheapest route and it takes some learning but I just couldn't get the results I wanted using anything else.  I'd love to get to darker skies too - Bortle 8 here - and am slowly getting the bits together to go portable but that's then another layer of complexity so am going to give my portable set up a good few tries at home before going out and about so I can iron out any issues.

PHD is pretty straightforward.  I just leave everything as default on the basis I can guide to 5 minutes without issues so don't really care whether the guiding graph could be better etc.  I am also transitioning across to a Raspberry Pi4 and KStars to control the show as this will be better when I go portable I think.

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Sorry about the delay in replying - I should have provided details earlier!

I am using a recently acquired Skywatcher 130pds, Eq3-2 mount driven by a Simple Dream  kit. The Eq3 is mounted on an EQ5 tripod and I use a Canon EOS 750D, unmodified. It has been a bit of an evolutionary process - I have been fascinated by astronomy and space in general since childhood, partially inspired by the Apollo Missions which I have early memories of. I bought a Skywatcher 130P some years ago which saw little use 'til earlier this year. I realised that if I wanted to photograph stuff, the kit I had wouldnt cut it - tried eyepiece projection on the moon etc with the stock lenses which did not give good results. I had bought the mount second hand earlier in the year too... Camera I have had for years! 

 

Thank you everybody for your encouraging comments. I have, I realise, a huge amount to learn, but I am really enjoying the process. 

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Love it. 

Your now about to go down the same path as everyone on here.

Couple of grand later.......... lol

Nice start tho.

 

Look at guiding. Decent affordable camera. Decent affordable mount.

Cut out the middle man.... ie don't buy something that'll do for now.  Either wait or break the bank.

If u buy justll do stuff you will spend most your life on here asking why its pardon the French... crap.

 

In fact don't buy anything until you've researched your future lol.

 

Just trying to help.

And your bank balance 🙂

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2 hours ago, dannybgoode said:

I bit the bullet and got PixInsight and have found I can tease more detail out than using any other package.  It's not the cheapest route and it takes some learning but I just couldn't get the results I wanted using anything else.  I'd love to get to darker skies too - Bortle 8 here - and am slowly getting the bits together to go portable but that's then another layer of complexity so am going to give my portable set up a good few tries at home before going out and about so I can iron out any issues.

PHD is pretty straightforward.  I just leave everything as default on the basis I can guide to 5 minutes without issues so don't really care whether the guiding graph could be better etc.  I am also transitioning across to a Raspberry Pi4 and KStars to control the show as this will be better when I go portable I think.

Hi Danny, have looked at Pixinsight, but the budget wont stretch to that at present.... My gear is fairly portable, although yet to fully test that! I have got the various bits of guiding kit together and bought a windows tablet that I can use for PhD II etc so should still be portable... will try out on my patio first I think though as dont want to be messing about with unfamiliar software and kit for the first time far from home! 

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5 minutes ago, Stu Wilson said:

Love it. 

Your now about to go down the same path as everyone on here.

Couple of grand later.......... lol

Nice start tho.

 

Look at guiding. Decent affordable camera. Decent affordable mount.

Cut out the middle man.... ie don't buy something that'll do for now.  Either wait or break the bank.

If u buy justll do stuff you will spend most your life on here asking why its pardon the French... crap.

 

In fact don't buy anything until you've researched your future lol.

 

Just trying to help.

And your bank balance 🙂

Appreciated Stu! Had bought EQ3-2 earlier in year on the basis that I would use my old 130P on there... The kit works OK and there are people on the EQ3 thread getting good results so will stick with for now! I do realise that expennditure is likely to increase exponentially however... 

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