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HEQ5 - Camera Imaging Non Guided


Penfold
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So I've ordered a Mount :( but no scope yet :) as I'm unsure of which one to get either the Orion 8" f/4.0 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector or the SW 200PDS (and depending on how I get on a perhaps a refractor in the future).

Anyhow in the mean time I want to have a bash at Imaging with my DSLR and Lenses.

So this is my thoughts on how to do it...

Attach Camera/Lens to Mount and then switch on Live view with the grid in place to allow me to Star Align it.

And then using software to control the camera take a series of images...

If this sounds plausible what sort of maximum time could I get for exposure do you think I should aim for as I won't be auto guiding initially just tracking.

Lenses 150 2.8 Macro, 300mm 2.8 + a 1.4 and 2 x converters if needed.

Or am I barking up the wrong tree with my idea.

Edited by Penfold
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You've found the right tree.

Mount the camera and lens on a dovetail bar if you can to balance the Dec axis. I found on mine that the mount didn't balance too well with no counter weight so I used an old ball and socket head bolted to the bar and one weight right up to the shaft. The camera wasn't on the ball head but directly to the plate. ( Does that make sense ?? )

A good target at the moment would be Orion. That way the camera would be just above horizontal and the weight bar would be close to horizontal. A good test.

Aim between the horse and the Neb with the 150mm. You should get them both in. Then you can test the lens with lots of stars at the edge and some Neb in the shot.

How long ? If you're lucky ( ! ) and you've polar aligned as best you can then a few minutes. Keep pushing. Also try the lens wide open then stop down 1 to test. The 300mm is going to run for less time as you know. Just try it. Brand new mount could run well. If you have a 50mm try that too. Maybe 5 mins.

After you've focused, if you use live view, let the camera cool before you shoot.

If you need more info I've done a bit of this stuff as have many others. Just ask.

Dave.

Edited by davew
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Even my EQ3-pro gives me 4 min subs at 180mm unguided (fingers crossed that the imminent fix works) with it being PA'd using the polarscope...

I have a HEQ5-Pro as well but haven't used it much yet... but would expect that with decent PA you should be fine... I have used it guided...

Billy...

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Mount the camera and lens on a dovetail bar if you can to balance the Dec axis. I found on mine that the mount didn't balance too well with no counter weight so I used an old ball and socket head bolted to the bar and one weight right up to the shaft. The camera wasn't on the ball head but directly to the plate. ( Does that make sense ?? )

Not really Dave but my mount hasn't arrived yet... I'm sure it will. :)

Thanks for the info

I've achieved 5 minutes unguided with a 50mm. Looking at the frames, I think I could probably have gone for longer.
Even my EQ3-pro gives me 4 min subs at 180mm unguided (fingers crossed that the imminent fix works) with it being PA'd using the polarscope...

OK that's better than I thought... Cheers

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The periodic error on these mounts tends to be 10's of arcseconds over a 10min cycle. So it just depends what pixels size you have in arcseconds (which is a combination of focal length and true pixel size in microns). Its better the further from the celestial equator you are of course.

NigelM

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I have doubts as to whether a 300mm lens, held only by its camera mount, would be steady enough. Perhaps guidescope rings should be used to hold the lens.

Oh I presumed I'd attach it using the lens mount... Good point I'll have to measure it, especially if I add a converter.

That's a good point. I've only used upto 200mm on mine.

I've attached a photo to show how I mount my camera on a Dovetail. Very sturdy and adjustable.

OK gotcha... Where do I place the biscuit tin. :)

:(

The periodic error on these mounts tends to be 10's of arcseconds over a 10min cycle. So it just depends what pixels size you have in arcseconds (which is a combination of focal length and true pixel size in microns). Its better the further from the celestial equator you are of course.

NigelM

Perhaps I should have kept my 5D as that had a large pixel size.... I think I'll start at 2 mins with the 150 and take it from there.

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It arrived and I'm convinced it's not been used at all so I've ended up with a pro for less than the SynTrek version. ;)

I've no idea what I'm doing when processing these... I will order mepc asap.

So this is one shot done in LR and then just sharpened in PS as anything I did made it worse. I can see that some of the stars are elongated so 240 secs is a bit too long I think, it's f5.6 @ ISO 800 and cropped.

post-23112-133877524581_thumb.jpg

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For a first picture that's great. If you've never used an EQ mount before it's even better.

If you get the chance again, be a devil and open the lens up to at least f4. Does it matter if the edges aren't brilliant ? Do multiple shots in the same area and have a look see if the worm is good all the way round. Shoot around the sky. Orion in the south and Cassiopeia up north may give different results.

Last night, at least round here, wasn't good for blue ! No matter how I tried I couldn't get the blue to focus well. But that in itself was practice. He says ;)

Dave

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Mighty fine effort for a first night with the new mount...

Watch the black level when your processing leave a bit room to the left of the histogram until the very end...

First time ever with a mount :D... I have to say it took ages to locate the Pole star as the instructions are rubbish.

Thanks for the advice ;)

For a first picture that's great. If you've never used an EQ mount before it's even better.

If you get the chance again, be a devil and open the lens up to at least f4. Does it matter if the edges aren't brilliant ? Do multiple shots in the same area and have a look see if the worm is good all the way round. Shoot around the sky. Orion in the south and Cassiopeia up north may give different results.

Last night, at least round here, wasn't good for blue ! No matter how I tried I couldn't get the blue to focus well. But that in itself was practice. He says ;)

Dave

I didn't go down to f4 as for my first attempt I wanted to make sure it was in focus... Next time it'll be f4 :D

I have 20 images at 120 seconds + 5 images at 240 secs

I also have 20 240 + 2 120 second (clouds came in) of Orion and I've read on hear about darks and son took 4 darks after the clouds arrived. By this time my camera was virtually a block of ice. :p

I have to find something to stack them with now.

The skies are clearing so I might try my 300mm tonight.

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