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andyhulme1966

Mak 180 pro + ZWO ASI 120MC Is this the best I can hope for ?

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Hello every one.

After a hiatus of 4 years I'm just getting back into imaging.

The question I would like to ask is this .. 

Is the image of Mars here the best I can hope for using my Mak 180 together with the ZWO ASI 120MC, sat on top of a HEQ5 mount ?

I must admit its a lot better than the image I took 5 years ago which was pity much a reddish blob, but I'm still not happy.

I've had 3 nights of, I would say average seeing, to image Mars and I can't better my images.

All I've learnt has come from here or YouTube, as none of my friends own a telescope or have much interest in the hobby so I'm a little short of feedback.

So any feedback from my peers would be very much appreciated. 

Also cash is an issue so please don't recommend a C11 Edge as an upgrade as I would have to sell one of my kidneys to pay for it !!!

Capture 17_04_2014 23_13_08z.png

Mars Best so far.jpg

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Yes, I would say that is pretty much it with 180mm of aperture, and I think you have some excellent detail captured there.

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Many thanks. I feared as much, but I was hoping there might be more to come from the scope and it was due to my lack of knowledge and experience.

Thanks again for the complement.

I'm going to keep the scope anyway as it gives great views of the moon, something that always puts a grin on my face.

😀😀 

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Just now, andyhulme1966 said:

Many thanks. I feared as much, but I was hoping there might be more to come from the scope and it was due to my lack of knowledge and experience.

Thanks again for the complement.

I'm going to keep the scope anyway as it gives great views of the moon, something that always puts a grin on my face.

😀😀 

If you look at other images of planets - you will often see much larger planet but not additional detail. You can get the same by simply enlarging this image - but why do that?

I prefer images that are smaller in scale but sharp - like your image.

Also, do bare in mind that Mars is rather small - it has less than 23" of angular diameter at the moment - that is a half of Jupiter in favorable position or a bit lager than Saturn without rings (only the planet itself).

This telescope will resolve up to about 0.29"/px, and this means that image needs to be only 23" / 0.29"/px = ~80px across to be able to show all there is to be shown. Your Mars has exactly this diameter - no wonder it is very sharp looking.

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Never tried planets with a camera but I would say that was very good.

Alan

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The camera is the old USB 2 version, cheap as chips but I was still able to get 109 frames ps with it.

It's worth a go if you ever get the chance ! Great fun also !

Not sure if I should have dropped the gain down from 42 to sub 30s ? 🤔

I will have another crack at it soon weather permitting. 

I'll keep you posted .

Many thanks Andy

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8 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

If you look at other images of planets - you will often see much larger planet but not additional detail. You can get the same by simply enlarging this image - but why do that?

I prefer images that are smaller in scale but sharp - like your image.

Also, do bare in mind that Mars is rather small - it has less than 23" of angular diameter at the moment - that is a half of Jupiter in favorable position or a bit lager than Saturn without rings (only the planet itself).

This telescope will resolve up to about 0.29"/px, and this means that image needs to be only 23" / 0.29"/px = ~80px across to be able to show all there is to be shown. Your Mars has exactly this diameter - no wonder it is very sharp looking.

I have seen much bigger images here some good some bad.

At least I seem to be heading in the right direction from what you have said. I feel a lot better knowing this.

I will keep them small and not over large the images.

I have tried using a 2 x Barlow lens during imaging but this only seems to increase the fuzzy ball and not give a better image.

I will stick at it.

Many thanks Andy

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Looks very impressive to me :smile:

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Looks good to me.

Maybe a high quality Barlow could help getting a larger picture (1.5x to 2x at most). I am waiting for my ASI462 myself, to try as well.

 

N.F.

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I think you have excellent results

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On 06/10/2020 at 15:20, andyhulme1966 said:

Is the image of Mars here the best I can hope for

I can't offer any thoughts on whether it's possible to get a better image, but it's pretty good to my eye.

I'm a little confused though, there are two images, one showing apparently more detail than the other. What is the difference in processing? It would be nice to know for each how many subs you gathered, what percentage of those that you stacked, and what you used to process?

Ian

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15 minutes ago, The Admiral said:

I can't offer any thoughts on whether it's possible to get a better image, but it's pretty good to my eye.

I'm a little confused though, there are two images, one showing apparently more detail than the other. What is the difference in processing? It would be nice to know for each how many subs you gathered, what percentage of those that you stacked, and what you used to process?

Ian

I had the same dilemma, but image names solved it for me.

Top, blurry one, ends with "Capture17_04_201423_13_08z.png" and there is mention of previous result of about 5 years ago.

Bottom sharp one is titled MarsBestsofar.jpg - I figured that must be recent image we are talking about.

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I would say it is nearly as sharp as you can get with the 180 Mak. I found I got a slight increase in sharpness by barlowing to about f24. Nice image though.

Chris

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I’m definitely no planet imager, but the bottom one looks pretty darn good to me.

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Your first image is not dissimilar to my last Mars image 2010.  I havent taken an image of Mars since then but I am ready to go for tonight.  I can tell you I really hope it's half as good as your recent one, as that is IMO pretty fantastic.

 

Adam

post-15548-133877426125.jpg

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I would be well pleased with the first and amazed at the most recent, very nice 👍

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With respect to your gear, that second picture is pretty much flawless. I have a 180Mak too and I'd be thrilled to get a shot like that.

 

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6 hours ago, The Admiral said:

I can't offer any thoughts on whether it's possible to get a better image, but it's pretty good to my eye.

I'm a little confused though, there are two images, one showing apparently more detail than the other. What is the difference in processing? It would be nice to know for each how many subs you gathered, what percentage of those that you stacked, and what you used to process?

Ian

Hi sorry for the confusion. 

Yes the top image was taken some years ago 2014.

The bottom image was taken the beginning of October this year. 

I took 2 minute and 30 second, and 2 minute 45 second videos at around 109 frames per second giving me roughly 16-18 thousand frames. These were stacked in Autostalkert. I find this much better than Registax, as I seem to get better results, I then used wavelets to sharpen the final image. 

I'm still learning how to correct the colour balance in the images so the image above might look a little off. 

I'm glad I'm getting some positive feedback (thank you) as I've seen such cracking images here it can get a little disheartening when you spend ages collecting video only to process them and they look rubbish. 

I'm fairly happy with my recent results, but I would like to squeeze a little more from the equipment I've got. 

Fingers crossed for some clear sky's so I can try a couple of other things out to maximise my results. 

I've read here that I've been using the wrong colour mode. I've had my camera set to Rgb when I should have been using Raw8. Also I should have tried dropping the gain lower. I had it set to 42-44 at 109 frames per second. Low 30s might have been better which might have given me a smidgen more detail ? 

But less frames per second ? 

Just one word of advice. Don't show your Mars images to your mother in law. I did and she said it looked like a Turtle!! 

I was a little crushed 😜

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5 hours ago, chiltonstar said:

I would say it is nearly as sharp as you can get with the 180 Mak. I found I got a slight increase in sharpness by barlowing to about f24. Nice image though.

Chris

Can you please tell me what Barlow lens you use? 

Mine is a fairly cheap one I got some years ago from a local shop that has sadly closed now. 

I was hoping to go to the Astronomy show this year as I like meeting people/sellers face to face to get advice from, but sadly due to this ghastly virus it's been cancelled. 

The one I've got only seems to make the image worse. 

Kind regards Andrew 

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4 hours ago, tooth_dr said:

Your first image is not dissimilar to my last Mars image 2010.  I havent taken an image of Mars since then but I am ready to go for tonight.  I can tell you I really hope it's half as good as your recent one, as that is IMO pretty fantastic.

 

Adam

post-15548-133877426125.jpg

Thank you for your kind words. 

I'm so glad I posted the photos as its given me the incentive to carry on. Some times it can feel like I'm just fumbling around in the dark collecting video and processing the data ! No pun intended! 

Focusing is a problem for me as well. It seems like a bit of pot luck. Last time I tried focusing on a bright star then slewing to Mars. I've seen a Bahtinov mask for £20 so I might have a bash using one of them. What do you think ? 

I hope you get chance to get some imaging done.  Kind regards Andrew 

 

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3 hours ago, M40 said:

I would be well pleased with the first and amazed at the most recent, very nice 👍

Many thanks. That's very kind of you. 😀

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17 minutes ago, andyhulme1966 said:

Can you please tell me what Barlow lens you use? 

Mine is a fairly cheap one I got some years ago from a local shop that has sadly closed now. 

I was hoping to go to the Astronomy show this year as I like meeting people/sellers face to face to get advice from, but sadly due to this ghastly virus it's been cancelled. 

The one I've got only seems to make the image worse. 

Kind regards Andrew 

I am using a Baader Classic Q barlow (First Light Optics). It is nominally 2.25x but you can unscrew the lens part and screw it into the nosepiece of your camera, giving about x1.5 or so (If you aren't using a 31.7mm nosepiece on the camera, I am not sure how you can attach the barlow).

Chris

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10 hours ago, andyhulme1966 said:

Hi sorry for the confusion. 

Thanks for the clarification and the added information.

I'm not a planetry imager but I'd be very pleased to get something like your latest image. I guess the quality of seeing is going to be critical in determining final image quality, lucky imaging or not.

Ian

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11 hours ago, andyhulme1966 said:

I’ve seen a Bahtinov mask for £20 so I might have a bash using one of them. What do you think ? 

A mask is very useful Andrew, I wouldnt be without one.  For some reason I took a screen shot of using the mask last night, must have had a premonition 😆
 

53F2DD52-EA81-46DD-ADC6-F1282B80E3CA.thumb.jpeg.dffd7026add8571d34ae8843c74de5c1.jpeg

 

Last night didn’t really work out as the cloud wouldn’t go away long enough to get RGB data.

 

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