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Greg Shaw

Hello from Bristol

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Hello 

My name is Greg and I've been on here for a few months but i've not actually introduced myself.

During the lockdown I thought about starting a new hobby and looked initially at getting a telescope but then quite quickly looked at the astrophotography route.

So I started looking around to see what would be a good starting point but at the same time trying to make sure what I get is good and not cheap out which would end up requiring upgrades in a short amount of time. I initially decided on getting a Sky Watcher 150P with EQ3-Pro mount and I placed an order which was on a long waiting list.

Whilst waiting I bought a second hand dSLR (Canon d600) and started playing around with wideangle shots using a camera tripod. What I ended up doing was getting into normal photography as well so whilst the telescope was coming I learnt more about normal photography and did some online course. I then bought a Samyang f/2.8 14mm lens and a IDAS LPS D2 camera body filter so I could take Milky Way shots. With the help of CloudMagnet giving me some tips on how to process out the colour cast of the filter I was able to get some shots of the Milky Way using just a camera tripod in my Bortal class 5 skys and thanks to MarkAR for sending me a piece of opaque plastic so I could create flat frames with my camera lenses.

I then did more research and had saved some more money so I decided to change the scope that was on order to a 150PDS and HEQ5 mount as I learnt that the package I bought was probably not up to the job. Plus there there still little news on when everything will arrive. In the mean time I was able to get a second hand Sky Watcher Adventurer Pro so that I could start to increase my exposure times with my camera and lenses. Wow what a difference my Milky way shots where hugely improved. I also decided to get another camera lens, the Samyang f/2 135mm.

Then the day came when my scope had arrived and the mount had also apparently come in a week before but unfortunately due to a mix up and with my change of order all of the HEQ5 mounts had been sold so I was back to having no mount. After shopping around and look at other options because the next batch of HEQ5's could be 2-3 months away I decided to go all out and get the EQ6-R Pro mount which was in stock. 

Everything has arrived and is set up. I did have to collimate the scope out of the box but it was good to finally learn, it took a few attempts, lots of video guide watching plus AstroBaby's guide. On the weekend in the early morning there was enough of a clear sky for me to do a star test which looked pretty good.

I just need some proper clear nights to really see how the scope is performing.

Here are some pictures taken with the Canon 600d, Samyang 14mm (first 2) and 135mm for the Veil Nebula in the order they were captured and as I have progressed so far.

1647542732_FinishedProcess.thumb.jpg.9098805226f37e5334d3289c6aada0a0.jpg

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575936475_20200822-VeilNebulaStarTracked135mmGarden2020.thumb.jpg.681912a96eeaf6fa10686479c617a457.jpg

 

Edited by Greg Shaw
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Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL. Very nice set of photos.

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Hi Greg and a very warm welcome to the Lounge and welcome to the dark side that is Astro Imaging :)

Steve

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Welcome. Glad you said hello. Hope you have lots of fun and success with the AP. 🙂

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Hi Greg and a warm welcome from me just down the road from you.  Good luck and clear skies!

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Hi Greg - welcome from me a bit to the SW of you at Portishead.

Excellent images so far - look forward to seeing more :smiley:

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Hi Greg, welcome to SGL :smile:

Some nice images you have there.

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I think those images are first rate, especially the veil - really great!

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Hi Greg, welcome to SGL from another Bristolian, also with a 150P-DS. I eventually managed to get my HEQ5 Pro during the recent shortage of equipment coming from China.
A question for you. Just a few minutes ago I posted a new topic on the ‘Getting started in astroimaging’ section. As our setups are very similar, I was wondering if you could take a look, and perhaps point me in the right direction. If I can get anything like the results you have posted I will be well pleased!

Charles.

Edited by Pain in the Neck
Typo
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Hi Charlie

Pleased to meet you and great to see lots of Bristolians on here 🙂

I will go and find the post now. Happy to help with what knowledge I have at the moment. Its nice to be at a similar stage as some others on here so that we can learn together.

Thank you for the kind comments on the pictures I've taken so far.

 

Edited by Greg Shaw

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Greg.

Don’t let my Mother hear you calling me Charlie! 😀 - always was a no-no right from school days. Personally I’ll answer to just about anything...

You definitely flatter me when you say that I’m at a similar stage to you. I have only managed to give my 150 a couple of ‘proper’ outings since I took delivery of it last month. Too much cloud and not enough time I’m afraid. I also suffer from very bad light pollution in my back garden, and haven’t managed to find a suitable (relatively) local location with darker skies yet. I am hoping that in the next few months one or two of the local Astro Clubs will be running properly again, so I can pick people’s brains on good safe places to take my kit.

Charles.

 

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I'm so sorry Charles, I don't know why I put Charlie 🙃

Oh no you are. I've only used my 150 twice as well and i used it for visual work to get used to everything. I have finally got all the different softwares (EQMOD, ASCOM, APT, PHD2, SharpCap) installed and working so that I can now start attempting photos with the scope. All the images you have seen so far were using a Star Adventurer Pro, Canon 600d and two camera lenses Samyang 14mm and 135mm.

I've been using the IDAS LPS D2 in camera filter to combat the light pollution. It puts a green colour cast over everything but this can be process out.

I am in Whitchurch so Bortal 5, I did see there are some dark sky areas around the city too. Are there any astro clubs you have in mind I would like to join one too.

 

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You probably called me Charlie because of a small typo in my post.

I only got my Canon 100D on eBay a few days ago, and have now ordered the necessary attachments from RVO and FLO (one supplier never seems to have everything in stock - double postage!)

I haven’t even started on the software yet (although already have PhotoShop from my ‘ordinary’ photography hobby).

I’m in Longwell Green, but my profile image shows you the level of street lighting outside my back garden! I was looking to join Bristol Astro or Mendip Astro (or possibly both) in due course. Early days!

Charles.

 

Edited by Pain in the Neck

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Hi Greg and welcome to SGL. Great start to your new Astro imaging hobby with those pictures. I think the slow supply chain did you a favour, your R variant comes with belt drive and is an excellent mount for anyone starting Astrophotography. This is a very addictive hobby and before you know it you will be contemplating an observatory. 

 

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Well last night didn't quite go as planned, was supposed to be perfect clear skies the lowest score on the Clear Outside app for sometime.

Was all set up , balanced, polar aligned (was perfect!), collimated, guide scope aligned with main scope, star aligned, focused main scope....Then clouds come over lol.

I was able to try out some features of SharpCap and APT with what stars I could see,  Focusing Aid for the guide scope and the Bahtinov mask tool in APT. Also was able to put the new cover to the test too, so that I can take it all down in the morning.

 

 

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Edited by Greg Shaw

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