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My first deep sky photographs


Tadakun
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these were a series of test photos i took trying to capture the Orion Nebula. I'm limited by my equipment so i can't get what i want but I'm happy with the outcome. I shot these with a unmodified canon 30D w/ 70-200mm IS L lens and mannfroto tripod.

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On of the better photos. I had and issue trying to find the right focus. i think i shot this with aperture set at 5.0 and 15sec exposure. Used photoshop to reduce/remove trails.

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same settings i believe but zoom pulled back.

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This was the first exposure at 2.0 @ 30seconds. As you can see i realized afterwards my aperture was too open and messed up my focus.

these are my first attempts at this astrophotography so if anyone has any advice for obtaining proper focus it would be much appreciated. Also any suggestions what i should shoot next? i would like to shoot andromeda if i can but i dont know if its possible with my set up.:)

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Hi Tadakun,

Congrats on your first DSO's! Particularly like the last one :)

Does look like you were slightly out of focus, I haven't tried focusing using a lens yet (just through the scope) but without live view i think it will just be a case of trail and error. To make it a bit easier you could try focusing on somthing brighter, like Jupiter or cappela or somthing? then zoom in on the screen to see how your focus looks. Perhaps someone else can inform you better here..i'm just speculating.

As for Andromeda...i think you might find without a tracking mount you might not get a great image out of it, as although its a big one it is not very bright. Nothing compared to M42 in brightness.

This probably goes for most DSO's as they are FAR away. So again without tracking you are probably best for now to stick to wide field stuff....full constelations and the like. This tends to be most forgiving when taking longer exposures.

Not sure if that helps you any?

Good luck and keep them coming!

Michael

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Hi,

I had a very short clear sky window a few days ago and tried the very same shot as yours with the same setup except the camera was a 550d. I had similar issues with focus even with live view and didn't get any shots worth keeping. I hope to try again soon with my laptop hooked up to the camera and using the Canon control software so I've got live view on screen instead of trying to peer into the eyepiece in the dark.

Good luck with your imaging. I'll look forward to seeing the next attempt.

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I have found that a Bahtinov mask is excellent for focusing. There are templates on the net if you want to make your own. I bought mine ready made off evilbay (search and a company called Morris engraving will come up) and it's brilliant. Focusing is done with liveview and the mask in less than 30 seconds and is spot on.

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I have found that a Bahtinov mask is excellent for focusing. There are templates on the net if you want to make your own. I bought mine ready made off evilbay (search and a company called Morris engraving will come up) and it's brilliant. Focusing is done with liveview and the mask in less than 30 seconds and is spot on.

Was that using a zoom camera lens though?

Michael

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Can still be done spacing wont be optimal across the entire FL range but it is possible..

I Just "ran the numbers" using the spreadsheet i used to use when I used to make them...

For a 70-200 1mm slots would be 3rd Order at 70 mm and 1st Order at 200mm time to hit the cad again and see if I can get onee laser cut as a favour...

Edited by Psychobilly
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Excellent first astros...

Remember to disable the IS when shoioting form the tripod...

Try taking lots of shorter exposures and stack them in DeepSkyStacker (DSS)

Billy...

that i did do, thank you though cause i wasnt sure if i did the right thing. Also I'm a Mac user and DSS isnt available to be, aside from installing windows onto my mac. Do you have any suggestions for stackers that i can run?

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Hi Tadakun,

Congrats on your first DSO's! Particularly like the last one :)

Does look like you were slightly out of focus, I haven't tried focusing using a lens yet (just through the scope) but without live view i think it will just be a case of trail and error. To make it a bit easier you could try focusing on somthing brighter, like Jupiter or cappela or somthing? then zoom in on the screen to see how your focus looks. Perhaps someone else can inform you better here..i'm just speculating.

As for Andromeda...i think you might find without a tracking mount you might not get a great image out of it, as although its a big one it is not very bright. Nothing compared to M42 in brightness.

This probably goes for most DSO's as they are FAR away. So again without tracking you are probably best for now to stick to wide field stuff....full constelations and the like. This tends to be most forgiving when taking longer exposures.

Not sure if that helps you any?

Good luck and keep them coming!

Michael

last night i tried again with better results I took someones idea of focusing on betelgeuse. And how does tracking work? what gear is available?

I took some shots of orion, peleidas, and other random spots in the sky.

this picture is really rough so ignore the star trails but i believe i barely started to get some of ngc 2024

5418026443_cfda55aa03_z.jpg

Edited by Tadakun
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I think you achieved good focus on that one! Just the tracking part now.

A tracking mount is one which has a motor atached to counter the earths rotaion.

There are two types...a EQ mount or an Alt/az. EQ mounts are more popular due to the fact that once calibrated to the earths pole, there is only need for the one motor to track...thus less room for error.

An Alt/az mount has two axis's that need constant adjustment to track...more room for error.

So for using your camera tripod without any motors the earths spin is casing your star trails. Thats why for now you are probably best to stick to the lowest focal legnth/zoom as possible, this is more forgiving on untracked mounts.

Billy- I remember reading somwhere that a bahnitov mask is pritty useless when using just a dslr and lens. Due to the fact that you couldn't make out the Bahnitov pattern on the screen and small adjustments to the lens was difficult? Perhaps if using a laptop might solve this, i'm not sure?

Michael

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I think you achieved good focus on that one! Just the tracking part now.

A tracking mount is one which has a motor atached to counter the earths rotaion.

There are two types...a EQ mount or an Alt/az. EQ mounts are more popular due to the fact that once calibrated to the earths pole, there is only need for the one motor to track...thus less room for error.

An Alt/az mount has two axis's that need constant adjustment to track...more room for error.

So for using your camera tripod without any motors the earths spin is casing your star trails. Thats why for now you are probably best to stick to the lowest focal legnth/zoom as possible, this is more forgiving on untracked mounts.

Billy- I remember reading somwhere that a bahnitov mask is pritty useless when using just a dslr and lens. Due to the fact that you couldn't make out the Bahnitov pattern on the screen and small adjustments to the lens was difficult? Perhaps if using a laptop might solve this, i'm not sure?

Michael

and are those motors something that can be attached to a camera tripod or what? I need to go a little more research on this stuff.

I'll have to stick to shorter exposures, another guy on here shot using my same lens and he said zoomed in to 200mm 2sec exposures keep the stars still.

thank you for your insight :)

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hmmm....I can't say I have come across one my self.

You are really looking for somthing like this: Skywatcher - Skywatcher EQ3-2 Deluxe and then with the added motors: Skywatcher - Single-Axis D.C. Motor Drive for EQ3-2

Now that is realy the bare minimum, but I have seen on here some good astro photos taken with them. But they have a limit to how much you can get out of them so if you were truly serious about getting into astrophotography then it might be better to save your money and go for a better mount all togeather something like this Skywatcher - Skywatcher HEQ5 SynTrek of course you can go better still...but it all depends on what other equipment you would be thinking about purchasing i.e scopes and the like.

HTH

Michael

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hmmm....I can't say I have come across one my self.

You are really looking for somthing like this: Skywatcher - Skywatcher EQ3-2 Deluxe and then with the added motors: Skywatcher - Single-Axis D.C. Motor Drive for EQ3-2

Now that is realy the bare minimum, but I have seen on here some good astro photos taken with them. But they have a limit to how much you can get out of them so if you were truly serious about getting into astrophotography then it might be better to save your money and go for a better mount all togeather something like this Skywatcher - Skywatcher HEQ5 SynTrek of course you can go better still...but it all depends on what other equipment you would be thinking about purchasing i.e scopes and the like.

HTH

Michael

ok, much thanks! I currently just got done moving with my wife and 3 month old back to Vermont. So spending money on the stuff i would love to have is certainly not an option for me at the moment. I'll do what I can with what I have. Really I just enjoy trying for these things. I have some celestron skymaster 15x70 binos which will entertain me for awhile.

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Yea thats what its all about, i seen the post you were talking about...he certainly did get a good result un-tracked, but using 2sec exposures and stacking them. So if you can do that for now it will give you a good head start on the processing side of things as well.

Good luck and keep at it! :)

Michael

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keith's image stacker will run on a mac

Keith's Image Stacker

you know I had a try with that program and my god it was terribly confusing to use with no tutorial. I caved and bought Nebulosity and read/did the tutorial and it was great. We had a nasty snow storm last night so next clear night I'll be doing a test run with Nebulosity and orion nebula. thanks for the tip though!

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Yea thats what its all about, i seen the post you were talking about...he certainly did get a good result un-tracked, but using 2sec exposures and stacking them. So if you can do that for now it will give you a good head start on the processing side of things as well.

Good luck and keep at it! :)

Michael

thanks! I really appreciate the help.

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