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Using What I Have!

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(Reposted, from Imaging Discussions).

Hi everyone,

All I seem to do is to keep teasing myself, I see all of these lovely DS imagers on the net, and TBH, I can not afford them.

I suppose I will have to face up to using what I have for the moment, until I can afford it.

Soon, I will have my scope on Goto, either on my EQ5, but hopefully a HEQ5.

Its about time I started to ask more about photography, I have used both my Sony DSLR and my NexImager. Not very impressed with the NexImager, but maybe that will change when I have synscan, stack more images.

I suppose I am wondering is, whats the best way to utilise the equipment I have?

I have heard alot of people talking about flats, dark and bias, what are these? Will they affect me at the moment?

Is my neximager any good for anything? Black and white on saturn was okay but nothing special. Colour mode was useless. Is this where i would use filters, or is this not possible on the neximage?

What is the best way to capture DSO with what I have?

I have bought a 70mm meade frac', and I was going to use this as a guide, anybody know of the cheapest way to do this?

I have made my scope rings for it so that I can piggy back of the 200p. Will post pics when it is 100% completed.

I am also considering using this scope for white light solar, with some baadar film that I bought, but thats just a matter of putting on the film and taking it off.

It was suggested that I use a QHY6 for the guide, but this new is almost £300, and this is a better cam for imaging than I already have. Unless anybody know of one going really really cheap.

I think that is all for now but if i think of any more I will post them, thank you for your help....again...


Edited by Keiran
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before anything else, I'd get hold of a copy of Steve Richard's 'Making Every Photon Count' (our very own Steppenwolf). You can get it from FLO or by PMing Steppenwolf directly.

This is by far the best book for imaging and really explains the whole process in a clear and concise manner (it's worth the cover price alone just to see Steve's fantastic images!)

That'll sort out your queries on Darks/flats/bias and equipment setting etc.


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For planets/moon the Neximage is more than adequate. I've had some amazing results from the very first night I tried to image with it. Capturing more frames while being able to track is definitely the way to go.

For DSO's the DSLR would be required. I've seen some good results by people using 100 or so short exposures (10s - 15s) and stacking them. Since the exposures are short you won't need to guide the scope.

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Something you can do that will not put any undue load on whatever mount you are using. Take the scopes off, put the camera with a lens on instead and run at between 50 and 100mm. This will get some cracking widefield images, allowing for subs that ought to be able to hit 2 or 3 minutes (I hit 90 seconds with a 50 mm lens, with my eq1, polar aligned by looking around the axis, so not very well at all), tracking errors are far less of a problem at short focal lengths.

This will get you experience of longer exposure imaging, and stacking and processing. Bear in mind that there is a lot of interesting stuff that 50mm will capture... Have a look for my Orion widefield, or Psychobilly's Cygnus as examples.

This also negates the need for a goto upgrade... you just point the camera at a region of the sky... the fov is so wide it's quite easy to aim it where you want it.

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