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Hi everyone,

My first post and one of my first DSO images - M101.  I am really happy with this but realise that I have a long way to go to.  I have no background astonomy experience beyond finding Polaris and recognising a couple of constellations.   Any comments/advice would be welcome on how I can improve within the scope of my equipment .  I seem to have settled on Siril for stacking, background extraction and stretching

  • Mount - Fornax Lightrack II with Manfrotto 410 head acting as a wedge (about to be replaced with the Fornax wedge)
  • Camera - Sony A7riii (42MB, full frame at 7952 x 5304 pixels)
  • Lens - Sony 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 GM at 400mm/f5.6, ISO 800
  • 60 x 120sec subs, plus darks, bias and flats
  • Stacked and stretched in Siril, final tweaks in Affinity Photo.

Siril-M101-Pinwheel-layers.thumb.jpg.0ec2d36118d0239f33792697eb33f496.jpg

Thanks for looking.

Edited by Albastars
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Very impressive image. What focal length did you use on the zoom lens? And what F stop? I've tried imaging M101 recently using my Newtonian but plan to borrow a telephoto lens soon and try again - hoping a shorter focal length will allow me to do longer exposures (I don't have any guiding, just tracking motor).

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5 hours ago, KevinPSJ said:

Very impressive image. What focal length did you use on the zoom lens? And what F stop? I've tried imaging M101 recently using my Newtonian but plan to borrow a telephoto lens soon and try again - hoping a shorter focal length will allow me to do longer exposures (I don't have any guiding, just tracking motor).

Thanks.  I've now added the focal length and f stop to my original post but the settings were 400mm/f5.6.  

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That's a very impressive image that you've got and something which any new imager would be proud of, well done, don't know whether I could get to that level! 

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21 hours ago, johnst said:

That's a very impressive image that you've got and something which any new imager would be proud of, well done, don't know whether I could get to that level! 

Thank you.  As long as we enjoy it, I don't think we should worry about levels.  I think my aim is to enjoy the learning and make the best images I can without throwing too much money at it - for now, at least! 

I was out last night and come up against a balancing problem.  I was imaging Bode's Galaxy and hit balance problems as the camera/lens were hanging off the side - too much torque on the tripod head I think.  Hopefully, the new wedge will help but I probably need a counterweight system - £££££😧

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