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First light with L-Extreme.


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My home location is Bortle 5 and the night sky quality is pretty good, when the evil led street lights go out at 1am. At this time of year it only leaves me with about 1 hour before the dawn sky comes. There are two of these lights one at the end of my garden, the other is 3 houses down, because of the slope of the ground it’s lower down and less of an issue. 
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In comes my new tool, the L-Extreme. The plan is it will allow me to make more use of my clear skies from home while the lights are on or the moon is out. It always seems like the moon knows when the sky is clear and makes a special appearance just to make things more awkward. 

My test target was the veil nebula which at midnight should have been clearing my neighbours tree at 40 degrees. This was also going to be a good test for my 600d I have just had modified by Andy Ellis at Astronomiser. 
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Clear outside predicted clear skies from midnight, so I was all prepped by 10:30 ready to drift align when the clouds clear. Typical British weather, never cleared till 01:20 am. Besides the clouds causing me issues, I had a glitch with APT. My first time using APT and after framing and focusing the veil with 30 second exposures (I knew it would be harder than no filter but didn’t expect this long just to see 52 Cygni for framing and focus). I then started to take increasingly longer exposures to bring out the nebula and histogram off the left. I reached 5 minutes and saw nothing……… confused I disconnected my 600d and checked the images on the camera lcd and sure enough there was the veil in as short as 2 mins. I settled on 4 mins to try and get the red channel off the left, green and blue were pretty good but red less so. 
 

I reconnected my camera to APT and ran the 4 min exposures at ISO1600. Due to the time wasted by clouds and APT seeming to be stuck with an image from 30secs, newer images were not updating to the APT screen. I only managed 7 x 4 min exposures before the sky was lit up. While packing up I took 4 darks, 15 x 1 sec flats and 15 x 1 second dark flats( another first, I never done these before but I read they are better than bias if your flats are 1 sec or more)

after all my issues I experienced with my first try with this filter, I am mega impressed. Only 28 mins of data and I have an image I could never have expected. While stacking in DSS the recommendations said I should have bias frames, I thought from what I read that dark flats replaced bias frames. If any one knows for sure let me know. Anyway here is what 28 minutes in a bortle 5 sky with 90% moon looks like. 

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I can’t wait to actually get a whole night of data for this, when the weather and computer issues allow me. 
 

regards

Danny. 

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Great description and workflow. I'm pleased you got some imaging time in with all the issues and the evenings will only get longer soon 😊

Your set up is really going well and your image for only 28 mins and a big ole moony up is fantastic. Well done 👍

When I used to image with my 600D though an unmodded one I never used darks as they didn't make any difference to me. I used bias and flats only but, it would of been good to test no bias and adding flat darks when I was using it. 

Good luck in the future and clear skies. 

 

Lee 

Edited by AstroNebulee
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Thanks, this filter is going to be a big game changer when the moon is out. Money well spent in my eyes, I was looking at dedicated cams and found myself getting run away. If I go a bit further I can get this, then what If I go mono. Before I knew it in my head I had spent over £2000 on an asi294mm pro filters and a wheel. So I dailed it back and thought go slow and take the next step with the l-extreme for my dslr and even my asi462 for small DSO's. Enjoy what I have and make the most of it first, I've only been doing this 12 months and still have lots to learn. 

Eventually I'll take the leap into dedicated, be it colour or mono. This filter will still have a place in my setup for large objects that won't frame on sensors smaller than aps-c. It's that or a shorter OTA/refractor to get target on a smaller sensor. 

Regards 

Danny

 

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Thanks for the write-up Danny.

I have just got an L-Enhance which I have been using with my modded 600D. It has been a real step change in reducing light noise and makes processing so much easier with better results. It would seem that these filters are a really worthwhile investment.

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I was tempted by the l-enhance as its cheaper, I did have to Google is hydrogen beta was needed for any DSO as I had no idea. Didnt have much luck with result but someone saying Hb is good for looking at comets. I decided on th extreme based on people's comments on how much  more light pollution  and moon light is cut by being narrower. 

I found the green channel so much cleaner than red or blue, probably the double amount of green pixels in the sensor, also the Oiii seems stronger than Ha. I don't know if this is the light source is stronger or where I only did astro mod not full spectrum that maybe some Ha is still blocked. Hopefully more data will clean up that red channel. 

I'm glad I chose the extreme, especially with the street lights on my road. I have access to a bortle 4 site only 10 miles away, but I'm working on a power box so I can use the mini pc I use, I have a laptop but it's a gaming one and battery lasts 40 mins with no lead. Also don't fancy a £1300 laptop being dropped or soaked in dew. 

Regards 

Danny

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Quick update, my 2nd try at the veil nebula, in reality my 4th but I discounted the middle 2. One I managed 1 hour 40 mins of lights but in processing the background was very red and the veil was washed out. It turned out Sahara sand was blowing over, the next time it clouded over after my first two 5 min exposures. 
 

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this is my latest attempt, 26x 300s at iso 1600 lights, 24x 300s darks, 20 x flats, 20 x dark flats and 50 x bias. It’s not as clear as I’d hoped with 2 hours 10 mins compared to my first 20 min try out. But I think it’s the heatwave in the uk. APT reported camera temps of 32-37c during the session. 
 

regards

Danny

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  • 5 weeks later...

I like this a lot Danny, I just had my canon 6d astro modded by Andy too last week and received my l- enhance from RVO, as yet not had chance to get out and test so was a good to see what a difference it will make

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On 11/07/2022 at 14:00, Enceladus Dan said:

Quick update, my 2nd try at the veil nebula, in reality my 4th but I discounted the middle 2. One I managed 1 hour 40 mins of lights but in processing the background was very red and the veil was washed out. It turned out Sahara sand was blowing over, the next time it clouded over after my first two 5 min exposures. 
 

A0665CD9-E9B7-40A5-B023-92188434611F.thumb.jpeg.2c98208e1873b5b10887ac3a1974d49f.jpeg

this is my latest attempt, 26x 300s at iso 1600 lights, 24x 300s darks, 20 x flats, 20 x dark flats and 50 x bias. It’s not as clear as I’d hoped with 2 hours 10 mins compared to my first 20 min try out. But I think it’s the heatwave in the uk. APT reported camera temps of 32-37c during the session. 
 

regards

Danny

Great image 👍🏼
but just an FYI, you should not use dark flats and bias frames, just pick one or the other….👍🏼

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