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Andromeda, Full Moon


Cobberwebb
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Hi everyone.

Looks like I will get some favourable weather in the coming days, but the moon is out and full. I finally have a car so I can get away from light polluted Weymouth, and tonight I took a drive and found a great spot to shoot (see image).
So to the point, I want to shoot Andromeda during these moonlit nights since the moon will be directly behind me. How much will it still affect my images?
I'm still a beginner, using a Nikon Z50 and the 50-250mm kit lens @250 (F6.3), but I do have a Star Adventurer now, so I'll go out and shoot if nothing for the practice (my polar alignments have been pretty good).

Untitled.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

No moon Friday, but not as many subs as I would have liked due to clouds rolling in. But I'm happy with this M31. This little Nikon Z50 and kit lens really is good. Last night was completely clear, so I thought I'd see what this un-modded camera could do with the Rosette, wow, not a bad 1st attempt.

M31_5.jpg

Rosette V2.jpg

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35 minutes ago, LeeHore7 said:

They are fantastic images, how many subs and settings on both images did you have. The rosette nebula with your unmoded dslr is fantastic 👌

I didn't use any darks, just flats, as the lens produces a heavy vignette. For M31 I only had 36 useable (as I said the clouds rolled in) 90secs @ ISO1600, and I had 70-80 for the Rosette, same exposure settings as M31.
Yeah this mirrorless Nikon Z50 is a gem. Just did a little more processing on M31, using StarNet to do some star reduction, it maybe too much for some, but I like it.
 

M31_5a.jpg

Edited by Cobberwebb
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Here's a shot of my setup.

Nikon Z50, 50-250mm kit lens F4.4-F6.3
Star Adventurer
Benro Mach3 Tripod
Spare mobile phone using qDslrDashboard (USB tethered), a cheapo cycle mount to attach it to the tripod.
COOWOO lens warmer
2 USB power banks (1 to power the star tracker, 1 for the lens warmer)

20210225_221147.jpg

Edited by Cobberwebb
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6 hours ago, Cobberwebb said:

I didn't use any darks, just flats, as the lens produces a heavy vignette. For M31 I only had 36 useable (as I said the clouds rolled in) 90secs @ ISO1600, and I had 70-80 for the Rosette, same exposure settings as M31.
Yeah this mirrorless Nikon Z50 is a gem. Just did a little more processing on M31, using StarNet to do some star reduction, it maybe too much for some, but I like it.
 

M31_5a.jpg

Thank you for sharing your settings, it's interesting you didn't take any darks, that'll bring the taking time of the calibration frames down , I may experiment with this. I often use starnett ++ when processing DSOs as you can alter the nebulosity and dust lanes much easier. Your images aspire me for when my SA will arrive using my dslr and tamron 70-300mm lens. I love your images and your set up in the previous photographs is very portable which is what I'm looking at, so I can walk to dome dark sites around here and a couple of miles to the cliffs for wide field imaging. Hopefully when my evostar 72ed is delivered I can get some nice images. Keep up the good work, clear skies 👍

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37 minutes ago, LeeHore7 said:

Thank you for sharing your settings, it's interesting you didn't take any darks, that'll bring the taking time of the calibration frames down , I may experiment with this. I often use starnett ++ when processing DSOs as you can alter the nebulosity and dust lanes much easier. Your images aspire me for when my SA will arrive using my dslr and tamron 70-300mm lens. I love your images and your set up in the previous photographs is very portable which is what I'm looking at, so I can walk to dome dark sites around here and a couple of miles to the cliffs for wide field imaging. Hopefully when my evostar 72ed is delivered I can get some nice images. Keep up the good work, clear skies 👍

You're welcome and thank you.
It seems that darks and bias frames are only more necessary when you really pump up the ISO and for dedicated astro cameras taking 3+min exposures. Flats are an absolutely must have.
My Nikon Z50 has limited battery life and I've found that not taking darks has made little difference, if any. Plus there are no Z50 spare batteries in stock anywhere at the moment, and they're £50-60 a pop.
I've only just purchased a car, after 6 years without one, to enable me to travel to darker areas. I used to lug this kit around on my electric bicycle, but that can only get you so far. Now I can sit in the car watching YouTube vids while I wait :)

I've been trialing Pixinsight, and it looks like I will be purchasing it soon, it's definitely making a difference. Then next on my list is probably the William Optics Zenithstar 61, unless I see something else. Good bye, money.

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1 minute ago, Cobberwebb said:

It seems that darks and bias frames are only more necessary when you really pump up the ISO and for dedicated astro cameras taking 3+min exposures. Flats are an absolutely must have

I'm definitely going to try this next time as my max iso on my Canon 450d is 1600 so a good experiment by just taking flats along with the lights, I do take darks normally, bias as well as these are only quick as flats. Thanks again. Astrophotography the hobby that just keeps taking 😉, the slippery slope ensues for both of us. 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, great pics!!! I'm seriously looking at getting the Z50 in my beginning astrophotography journey.  I'm also thinking of getting a bigger mount like the HEQ5 but you seem to be getting great shots with the Star Adventurer and no guiding.  Really impressive.  

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On 29/04/2021 at 21:23, Mamm7215 said:

Hi, great pics!!! I'm seriously looking at getting the Z50 in my beginning astrophotography journey.  I'm also thinking of getting a bigger mount like the HEQ5 but you seem to be getting great shots with the Star Adventurer and no guiding.  Really impressive.  

Just see if there are spare batteries available as they don't last that long. I've since sold my Z50 and moved to a Z6.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Whoa, step back in your processing of M31.

956730248_clippedM31.thumb.JPG.d32c99106bf75a389ec6ec3a26701761.JPG

What the histogram in Photoshop's Levels shows is massive black clipping of the data. The histogram peak is jammed up against the left hand side meaning the left hand half of the peak, containing all the faint data, has been discarded. Like every beginner I used to do this myself.

Your earlier process was much healthier. See how you have gentle slopes both sides of the histogram pedestal?  What you should do here is move the black point in on the left till it just meets the flat black data line. If you don't, you won't be exploiting the full range of brightnesses availabe to you. Then take a look at the sky brightness. If it's a bit too light you can bring it in a touch more but the natural sky is far from jet black.

751526648_notclipped.thumb.JPG.2e283f2621a368efe7a28f2bfc232833.JPG

Olly

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On 16/05/2021 at 13:20, ollypenrice said:

Whoa, step back in your processing of M31.

 

What the histogram in Photoshop's Levels shows is massive black clipping of the data. The histogram peak is jammed up against the left hand side meaning the left hand half of the peak, containing all the faint data, has been discarded. Like every beginner I used to do this myself.

Your earlier process was much healthier. See how you have gentle slopes both sides of the histogram pedestal?  What you should do here is move the black point in on the left till it just meets the flat black data line. If you don't, you won't be exploiting the full range of brightnesses availabe to you. Then take a look at the sky brightness. If it's a bit too light you can bring it in a touch more but the natural sky is far from jet black.

 

Olly

Thanks for the tip. I did make the conscious decision to clip the blacks on this occasion (makes for a better home screen on my phone IMO). I didn't post my final image, which brought back the stars, as they were dimmed too much, so here it is.

M31_5b.jpg

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Amazing images. I also have the Z50 & I'm a total newbie to astro photography so forgive my newbie questions. How do you know where to point the camera when the is not really visible to the naked eye? Were you able to get something like that from one image or was stacking involved (which I have no clue how to do)?

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