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After some trial and error I'm getting some very good guiding results with PHD2 now. 60mm guidescope and ASI290MM mini camera. The M42 image taken late March was 12 x 15 second exposures taken manually with my dslr / C8 and a stopwatch. Stacked in DSS and played with a bit in GIMP. On the night I couldn't get APT to register the camera - turned out to be the mini USB cable (although later trials point to the socket in the camera being a bit loose too).
Bought an iOPTRON iPOLAR that arrived on Friday and had a play with that which has resulted in near perfect polar alignment. 2 star alignment and an additional 2 calibration stars on my Advanced GT mount means I'm getting very accurate GOTOs now and PHD2 (through the ST4 port on the ASI camera) seems to be guiding very well. Last night after more cable faffing I managed to get everything working together to the point where I felt confident enough to leave it running by itself for an hour and a half (45 minutes of 180 second exposures plus 3 minutes each exposure to save the file - I've since found out I shouldn't have noise reduction switched on in the camera - DOH!) so M51 is 15 x 180 second @ ISO 800 lights and 5 x 180 second darks. A little manipulation in GIMP and I think it's come out very well. Obviously still have a lot to learn and I'm going to have to start taking much longer exposures but I'm quite pleased with these 2 pictures.
This is another finished target for this season.
I (quite) recently bought a TS Photoline 102 ED with FPL53 which performs surprisingly well for a doublet. So I put it to tests and imaging, in parallel with an older FPL51 AstroProfessional 102 ED doublet.
The blue color correction is much better in the newer TS. I shoot luminance often with both and then take the highlights from the better scope.
For this image I also used some older data that I had available, shot with a 130PDS, but that maybe only made my life more difficult. Not that otherwise I shot data through the refractors in a single panel with reducers/correctors, but also in 2 panels with no reducing correctors. Same about the RGB. Some shorter exposures from the backyard, some from a dark site, most of the G data from a dark site, B and R from home (clouds came in at the dark site) and a lot of other adventures.
But in the end I managed to put them all together and made an image out of them.
You can watch it in full resolution and see other details on astrobin: Great Orion Nebula
I've had a Star Adventure since October, but haven't had a chance to use it until Friday night (work and weather limitations). Also, I don't have a car at the moment, so I'm quite limited to how far I can travel on my e-bike and get to dark skies.
Ran into a couple of issues, 1. my Nikon Z50 is limited to 30 second exposures and the wifi connection to my phone so I could use qDslrDashboard was terrible (now found out I can tether directly to the phone via USB, yey!). 2. my lens started to fog (a warmer was ordered as soon as I got home and has now arrived).
Anyway, what I did manage to get was a nice shot of the Orion Nebula.
Nikon Z50. 50-250mm kit lens @250mm. F6.3. 26x30s exposures. ISO640. Sky Watcher Star Adventure.
I want to try the Horsehead or Rosette next, not sure how well the unmodded Z50 is with HA though.
First post since my initial hello message due to a lot of cloudy nights and a small wait until I could afford my very entry level camera. I would like to apologise straight away for my lack of knowledge and the poor quality of my images. The framing is terrible and they're out of focus, but I'm also completely over the moon with them. I'm very eager for you guys to rip them apart and tell me all the ways I went wrong but I will always love these 4 images as they are the very first successful AP images I've taken
My equipment is as follows
skywatcher 150pds on a eq3-2 pro synscan mount
Super coma corrector
I have tuned the motor drives for the mount but haven't stripped down and cleaned and greased the mount itself yet but plan to. Also plan to upgrade to a heq5 Pro asap. I have no guiding other then synscan. Again something else I hope to change as soon as I can but for now its an oppurtunity to learn.
None of the images are stacked, they're single 30 sec exposures. I very slightly adjusted the raw files by placing a slight s curve on the linear channel but will leave any further processing if I bother until after a good nights sleep. I've included both the before and after image.
The first image is just of vega, I took it while star aligning. A awful pic for many reasons, especially the flare coming from the star, but my first so will keep it for sentimental reasons. The second I was very happy to catch some light from the ring nebula, and was equally happy to catch the dumbell nebula a little. The fourth is the globular cluster. All really bad framing but was suprised to catch the nebula on just a 30 sec exp with my light pollution.
Can't wait for your ideas,suggestions and criticisms. My apologies for a very long post but feel very hyped up even after such awful results.
Many thanks and clear skies