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Oh dear...


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...what a disaster. I tried this apparently tried-and-tested method of pointing my digital camera at the eyepiece and pressing the button, and from start to finish I had no success. Firstly it was very tricky to get the camera pointing exactly in the middle of my new 15mm Plossl. secondly, it wouldn't focus from the telescope. Thirdly it wouldn't focus on the camera. Fourthly the exposure was tricky. Fifthly the cameras batteries were consistently out of battery. And finally all my results were pants!

[glow=red,2,300]Help![/glow]

1st one, and probably the best focussed and worst exposed:

image.jpg

image.jpg

I loved the look of this crater, like a little lump on the edge of the terminator, but 4 images revealed nothing like what I could see in the scope:

image.jpg

image.jpg

So as not to be hippocritical, I have rotated them all 180*!

Andrew

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What camera is it Andrew??

I've seen a lot worse...

ie. People who've spent £2500 on astro photography equipment getting worse than that.

2,3 and 4 have the potential if you have Photoshop.

1 is over exposed and the rest are a bit out of focus. Did you have the camera right up to the eyepiece..

Do you mind if I play with the images in Photoshop?

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What camera is it Andrew??

Canon Powershot A540. I zoomed right in (4x optical) so as to try to get rid of the edges of the EP.

I've seen a lot worse...

ie. People who've spent £2500 on astro photography equipment getting worse than that.

A satisfying statement, if it's true.

2,3 and 4 have the potential if you have Photoshop.

1 is over exposed and the rest are a bit out of focus. Did you have the camera right up to the eyepiece..

Do you mind if I play with the images in Photoshop?

Of course. I don't think that question should be asked anymore!

Try setting your cameras focus to infinity and have another bash. If the image at the eyepiece is in focus you should be ok. Dont give up though, those are better than my first go's at afocal!!

Thanks. I'll give that a go, if my camera can do that, and if I have batteries! It only needs AAs

Andrew

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2,3 and 4 have the potential if you have Photoshop.

1 is over exposed and the rest are a bit out of focus. Did you have the camera right up to the eyepiece..

yes i did. At least as close as I could get it. It was mounted on a tripod, because the exposures were too long for handheld. It made it rather tricky to line up, so as Gordon says, an adaptor would do me well.

Andrew

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:shock: whatwhatwhatwhat?!?

Phattire just posted something, then it quite promptly disappeared when I clicked reply.

I'll give that a go Phattire, thanks. But the problem is still that I am 100% out of battery, so taking any, let alone many, might be very tricky.

Appreciate all the advice.

@$&=#£ Jessops!!! I'll phone them about my T2 ring tomorrow. If they don't have it, I'll write a full-fledged complaint

Andrew

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Whataa I doo...

I posted a reply then It went!

Right,

No zoom, focus the eyepiece then focus the camera take some shots on auto then some on manual, bracketing either side.

Take about 20-30 shots at the biggest size you can, download Deepsky stacker (Free) And stack 15 of the best images. Let DSS Stack them on auto Then twiddle them in Photoshop.

THEN POST THEM :D

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I wish.

How.... infuriating.

I searched around everywhere. Located 10 or so batteries from various sources. Put them in, 2 at a time, and the camera dies every blumming time as soon as I press the shutter! Often before.

I'll recharge some batteries. Plan these things in advance. I can see it happening now. Finally I've got my barlow to focus and I could see a clear image in on the camera screen. Hopeful. So near, and yet so bleeding far because of bleeding batteries :D

Andrew

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Andrew

We all have problems starting astrophotography - you are not alone !

When I was using the afocal system I never zoomed in to cut off the vignetting. Do it later in Photoshop.

As Gordon said use the infinity setting for focussing.

I see that you wear glasses. Do you keep them on when you focus through the eyeypiece ?

I you don't and correct your vision with the focusser, the camera (with perfect vision) will not be in focus.

For exposure set the camera to spot metering (presuming it will) and put the spot over the brightest part of the image.

This will give you slightly darker images which will hold more detail.

If you have problems with batteries try to use the mains adaptor if you are not too far from an electric socket.

Keep trying - you'll get there.

8)

MD

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Put them in, 2 at a time, and the camera dies every blumming time as soon as I press the shutter! Often before.

Get yourself some good NiMh rechargeable batteries with a rating of at least 2000 milliamphours. NB, Check that you are using a charger intended for NiMh and not the old-style NiCd batt's. Check also that the charger is up-to-date (some older/cheaper chargers work on a timer designed to charge the batts supplied with it). A good charger will 'monitor' the battery as it charges and cut-off when fully charged. Finally, unless you are in a hurry it is best to use a charger that trickle-charges (needs 10+ hours to charge). Fast chargers have a tendency to 'cook' the batt, reducing its life.

Here's an example of a good charger: http://tinyurl.com/y2zt6o

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Okay. I have a few plans for next attempt:

1 bring batteries (that camera just munches them up) (BTW steve I have good NiMh batteries, but it has an express charger. I'll surely consider that charger. Or I'll figure out a way to get mains power (I think that will need a 50m extension cable though!))

2 focus with glasses

3 work out how my focussing system works on my camera

4 don't zoom

5 underexpose

6 snap like there's no tomorrow

7 try again and again until successful

8 post.

how does that sound?

Andrew

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Keep tryin Andrew - you'll get there. Out of interest; have you got a filter on the nose of your eyepiece? Try a neutral grey. Once the camera is mounted - not handheld - and the bright lunar light saturation is filtered out I bet your images'll be absolutely superb. My knowledge heh :D is restricted to camera phones so I don't know how DSLRs cope with the light and I might be spouting utter rubbish :?

I also read somewhere (probly SGL) that lunar imaging is best with a band filter but can't for the life of me remember which one - something like an Oiii or some such for detail - the proper knowledgable folks here'll probly know. Hope you get the batteries sorted - my phone kept dyin last night. The colour screens are REAL thirsty.

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Things that I learnt when starting afocul shots.

1) A rubber eye guard works great in keeping stray light out! This can be more of a problem during the say (solar shots) but if your using a reflector and the moon is bright - this tip might be usefull.

2) Use maximum optical zoom - sorry guys but this is important IMO.

3) If your using a tripod to steady the camera it isn't going to move with the scope... So line up the camera to the EP after getting everything else sorted.

4) Increase the ISO to maximum and try to get the exposure to 1/60th then you might be able to hold the camera by hand - till you get the seting sorted etc.

5) get one of the following...

http://www.scsastro.co.uk/it130006.htm This one is better but more expensive and specific to certain EP's and your current camera - change camera and you need to change part of this adapter.

http://www.scsastro.co.uk/it210003.htm This one is more fiddly to use but is ALMOST universal.

Regards

Ant

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Well, I had a little more luck with batteries today, and much more luck with photographing the moon handheld.

For some reason I've got a haze, but otherwise got a bit more detail. Grain from using ISO 800 can probably be removed, but here are the results:

my first image, overexposed:

image.jpg

better exposed:

image.jpg

optical zoomed:

image.jpg

maybe my best success:

image.jpg

hope you magical editors can make something better out of these. Quite pleased, but again, longer battery life wouldn't go down at all badly. For these I managed to find some more half- full batteries, but my goodness, is that camera thirsty!

Andrew

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