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motiv

New AP setup - First light! - M8 Lagoon nebula

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Hi all,

 

After recently finalizing my new AP setup - I had the opportunity to give it a whirl - Mainly to ensure the optics are in good order and to measure the mounts tracking ability.

 

So, without further ado, I would like to share my first light experience / AP details

 

Edit: image updated/PS editing done with levels/curves from another person

 

Posted Image

 

Camera: Nikon D5000 (unmodified) Filters: Ba'adar UHC-S

Scope: SW BD ED80

Guide camera/scope: QHY5/Meade 50mm Finder

Mount: HEQ5

Subs: 16x6min (total 1h36m) + 6x6min Dark Frames

Location: Light pollution central

 

Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker, RGB calibrated in DSS. Image then adjusted in PS (levels, B/C and finally colour balanced, Filtered with Unsharp Masking and Noise reduction)

 

 

P.S For my own comments, I definitely need to try stretching out the subs to +8 mins due to the IR cutoff filter in the D5000 and light pollution.

 

Regards,

Robert

Edited by motiv

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Hmm, by my calculation I think you spent almost $3000 on this setup. (Telescope about $800, filter about $100, Finder about $400USD, mount between $1600 - $2400). Then the camera.

I think AP is going to cost me too much :(

 

I don't think my wife would approve. Might be a long term project for me.

 

As many of us are new to AP (Astrophotography) , I thought I would add some comments for others reading this post so that we all know what the deal is.

 

The Baadar UHC-S Filter is for filtering out the crappy street lighting and allowing the light you want. These are often referred to as light pollution rejection filters. The UHC-S filter is a multi bandpass filter made so that only some portions of light in the visual the spectrum are transmitted. This UHC-S will pass a total of about 100 nanometers within the 400 to 700 nm range.

 

The scope (SW BD ED80) is a Apochromatic refractor 80mm x 600mm Telescope.

I have played with loads of Reflex Mirror lenses on my Canon EOS body and these can turn out great images. Great way to get long focal lengths, but take up only a small amount of space. I might look at a low cost Mirror telescope when I give this a go :)

 

The Guide camera/scope: QHY5/Meade 50mm Finder is to prevent the little tails you can get in night star photos due to the earths movement. It moves the lens in time with the earths rotation. If you have a long focal length a and long time exposure, this is important.

 

Mount: HEQ5 - The tripod/head unit to hold all this.

 

I am not sure how Motiv has mounted the actual camera to the system. T Adaptor ?

 

With the word subs, do you mean sub frames ? I.E taking lots of shots at 6 minutes for stacking later ?

 

Now comes the free stuff, Deep Sky Stacker (DSS). Just downloaded it. Looks very cool.

 

With the Photoshop (PS) comment .. with regards to B/C do you mean someone changed the Blue/Cyan levels ?

 

I hope Motiv does not mind me extending on his comments. I did this to help work it out in my own mind :)

 

Being new to AP, can be confusing. The results .. refer Motiv photo .. are awesome !

Edited by michael.jenkin

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Here is another reprocess with the TIFF to maintain quality

 

MJ, You pretty much hit the nail on the head there.

 

B/C refered to the Brightness/contrast.

 

But with the below adjustments I added a few editing extras - Curve adjustment on the histogram - Then clipped the Blue and Green channels to bring out the Red (hydrogen) nebulosity.

 

Posted Image

Edited by motiv

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Here is another reprocess with the TIFF to maintain quality

 

Such a learning curve!

 

Posted Image

I am wiping drool off my keyboard. Did you use a t ring and t adaptor to attach your camera to the telescope ?

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sure did, Standard Nikon T adapter with m42 thread, Then m42 thread to standard 2" adapter coupled to a 50mm extention tube to obtain focus.

 

I'll take some pics of my setup and upload soon.

 

Rob

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Very nice!

 

 

I'll be going for M8 tonight if the clouds stay away. *fingers crossed* It will be the first attempt at guiding so hopefully I can get something decent.

 

Do you have to do any white balance adjustment with the filter? I have the CLS-CCD clip in for my EOS 500D and it would be interesting to see the differences.

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Very nice!

 

 

I'll be going for M8 tonight if the clouds stay away. *fingers crossed* It will be the first attempt at guiding so hopefully I can get something decent.

 

Do you have to do any white balance adjustment with the filter? I have the CLS-CCD clip in for my EOS 500D and it would be interesting to see the differences.

Hey Chancellor,

 

No custom WB on the camera - just used the standard "Sunlight" setting - Played around with it all in PS anyway.

 

With the CLS - Is there a Bandwith chart for this filter?. I will be going down the Canon modified route soon and would be interested to see your results. - Otherwise I'll stick to using this UHC-S. It's a might fine filter and next to no cost

 

Tonight I'll be doing 3x10 mins and 4 x 1 mins (no filter) of M8 so I can try get back some star colour. Then I'll slew to NGC 253 and hit up my first galaxy

 

MJ:

With the word subs, do you mean sub frames ? I.E taking lots of shots at 6 minutes for stacking later ?

Correct sir, When stacking images, you need to increase the Signal/noise ratio - I forgot the formula to back this up, but as signal increases (stack) in effect, it will reduce your Noise,(unwanted hot pixels) - Therefore will increase your detail further

 

I hope Motiv does not mind me extending on his comments. I did this to help work it out in my own mind :)

Not at all, Makes my life much easier, but you have got it down pat.

 

Just to add, AP is not a cheap hobby - All up, I have spent $2400 excluding the camera which I already had. - But now I am adding on a further $500 for a modded canon DSLR

 

Rob

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The CLS-CCD would have a broader band of light compared to the UHC-S (from what I can see). I am probably using it more a light pollution filter than specifically as a nebula filter, though will be going down that track later on.

 

The specs on the CLS-CCD are at http://www.astronomik.com/en/astronomik_cls-ccd_filter.html

 

I have however read that longer frames are needed to correct the colour balance, so hopefully I can get something decent tonight. Going for 6 minute exposures which is much longer than the 2 minutes I have attempted before with only tracking.

 

Are you using PHD for your guiding? And what are you using to control the mount?

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Are you using PHD for your guiding? And what are you using to control the mount?

Yup, using PHD with a QHY5 directly connected to the ST-4 - I prefer to use the hand controller - EQmod gets a little cumbersome for me.

 

For those that don't know - ST-4 is the standard created by a US company called SBIG - This is a standard RJ12 interface port which directs +/- commands to the mount to accurately guide on any selected star through PHD guiding (press here dummy)

 

The CLS-CCD would have a broader band of light compared to the UHC-S (from what I can see).

you are correct - the Baadar filter is slightly more narrow but still concentrates on the same emission lines.

 

 

Good luck for tonight, and cant wait to see your results.

 

Rob

Edited by motiv

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I managed to get an hour of data for M8 last night, first attempt at guiding. (Overall guiding was easier than I thought, though I would like to do a little more scope control remotely at some point)

 

Posted Image

Larger image at http://completelyserious.com/pics/astro/m8...M8-110910v1.jpg (Warning 1.2MB)

 

Imaging setup:

Camera: Unmodified Canon EOS 500D

Scope: Skywatcher BlackDiamond ED100

Mount: EQ6-Pro

Guiding: Orion ST80 piggybacked off main scope, 2x barlow, Orion Starshoot autoguider,

Accessories: Orion ED100 0.85x focal reducer, Astronomik CLS-CCD EOS Clip-in filter

 

Location: Forster NSW (Look up and you can see the dust of the milky way. Damn I love the sky here and will curse going back to Sydney)

 

Subs: 10x 6 minute light frames

5x 6 minute dark frames

 

Stacked using DSS

Curves adjusted in Photoshop CS3

 

I know there is still more data there however I'm not too upset for a first attempt.

Edited by Chancellor

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Top stuff!!!

 

Love the image mate, looks like the CLS did it's job well

 

I need to ftp my image last night so I can post it - I took just over an hours worth of M17 last night, when I had thought I was on M16 - FAIL - Either way - still got it checked off the 'Project M' list.

 

Edit: wow, you moved up to Forster? Didn't you live in Sydney metro? - I wouldn't mind living there. - too much light pollution in homebush

 

Rob

Edited by motiv

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Nice setup you have there. The HEQ5 must be just a little easier to carry than the EQ6.

How do you find the Hartman mask? Is it any easier / harder to use compared to a Bahtinov mask? (I used the Bahtinov mask for the first time the other day and was surprised how well it went)

 

Edit: wow, you moved up to Forster? Didn't you live in Sydney metro? - I wouldn't mind living there. - too much light pollution in homebush

No, I still live in western Sydney, just on holidays in Forster for two weeks. We have a 12" dob here too, so have been taking every possible advantage to do some observing. I'd love to have these skies at home though.

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There you go Michael, another astro setup for you.

 

Posted Image

Revisiting this old post. drooling yet again. Has anyone else got into AP and can post images of their setup ?

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Hello there, this is my first post here!

 

I know this is an old post but if i saw it i figured some else will as well. I'm new to the astronomy and astrophotography (about 2 years from my first telescope) and i wanted to share my setup.Posted Image

Orion Alas EQ-G

William Optics 81GT-F 5 element flat field

Orion starshoot autoguider attached to the DEC of the mount so when i change telescopes i don't have to worry about the autoguider using space or switching it from telescope to telescope.

so far i have been using the canon 550d

 

Posted Image

 

Orion 8" astrograph F3.9 <--- very hard to collimate for some reason.

I use the astro-tech coma corrector but i'm still having issues on the corners.. may be spacing?

 

There you go Michael, another astro setup for you.

 

Posted Image

Revisiting this old post. drooling yet again. Has anyone else got into AP and can post images of their setup ?

 

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Didn't expect AP to come up on this forum. I don't have any photos of the current setup however here's a link to how it was before updating the mount, camera and guide scope:

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11730783@N06/...157628166323917

 

I'm currently using a Losmandy G11 mount, 10" f5 Newt, QSI683-ws8, Borg mini 50 guidescope and DSI II pro guide camera.

 

Also here's a link to my image gallery:

 

http://www.astrobin.com/users/peter_4059/

 

Peter

Edited by peter_4059

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Awesome setup man! congrats!

also i really like your gallery i'm just hoping to take pic like that :D pretty cool

 

 

 

Didn't expect AP to come up on this forum. I don't have any photos of the current setup however here's a link to how it was before updating the mount, camera and guide scope:

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/11730783@N06/...157628166323917

 

I'm currently using a Losmandy G11 mount, 10" f5 Newt, QSI683-ws8, Borg mini 50 guidescope and DSI II pro guide camera.

 

Also here's a link to my image gallery:

 

http://www.astrobin.com/users/peter_4059/

 

Peter

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man all you's got some pretty cool rigs

Yeah, but still learning how to use it.

I have used my Solar scope to image the sun without tracking and I have put together the Telescope with tracking but have yet to align it and get it all working :)

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