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My very first photo - Moon 21st March


Astro Adj
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I recently messed my scope's collimation up quite badly whilst trying to fix something that wasn't actually wrong! Rather than drive to my normal dark site I decided to take the dob out into the garden to see if the remedial adjustments I'd made had done the trick.

The bad news is my collimation was horrible. I couldn't bring a star into focus, and mistook the double star Algieba for Saturn!

The good news is that the moon, whilst not pin-sharp, seemed acceptable. I decided to attach my little 4MP digital camera to the EP via an adapter and take some images! The picture below is the best I could do, I found it hard to focus the image as the camera's screen is tiny and very low resolution.

Nevertheless I was happy that it turned out okay. I'd definitely welcome any advice or tips as I am entirely new to this but would like to improve as I really enjoyed taking the images!

Camera was a Nikon Coolpix 4300 in B&W mode. EP used was a 25mm plossl with a SW LPR filter attached. I used Picasa to tweak the picture (added a tiny bit of sharpness and increased the shadows very slightly) and correct the orientation.

Right, I'm off to use my new colli cap to sort this scope out!

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I think you can feel well satisfied with this image.

In fact it is very good indeed for a hand held Afocal shot.

It is Important that you do correct any problems with the optical alignment of your telescope of course.

Collimation needs to be accurate if you are to get the best results from the optics. Good luck with it.

Ron.:)

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Thanks Ron. Actually I didn't need to hold the camera to the EP, I'm sure I'd never a picture of anything if that was the case! I've got an adapter that lets me attach the camera to the EP, and also a shutter release cable so that I don't send the image wobbling everywhere when I push the button!

I think my scope is now collimated correctly, although won't know for certain until I can get back out there. I can't wait to try again when the scope is performing at its best!

One thing that surprised me was how quickly the moon sped through my FOV, even with tracking on. I wondered if this was due to the speed of the moon being very different to the sidereal rate that the stars follow?

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A number of the nikon coolpix range when they were newish were VERY highly regarded for digiscoping. Do a search in google for coolpix 4300 digiscoping and you will probably find a LOT of info, mostly on birding sites but a lot of the tips are still good.

EDIT

Just looked up your 4300 and it's not one of the coolpixes they were raving about, it's the bendy ones with the joint in them. 900 series and 4500's.

Edited by TopHouse
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hi all, my camera is the samsung nv4 8mp, and when coupled to my 127mm sky watcher via its digi mount, takes acceptable results. depending on the moons phase and hence light input, i set the light exposure accordinly, i use the camera shake option to reduce wobble, then i set the timer to 10 seconds, to reduce any vibration as the shutter is pressed. after the shoot, i use windows picture gallery to enhance contrast, light and rotate the pic to a north south orientation. then i use my on line photo gallery to turn the pic into black/white, then i mirror the image to correct orientation, then sharpen the pic, it seems a lot to do. but its worth it. after all that i post the pic on various boards/sites. hope this helps.

Edited by astropete
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