Ed: It's kinda funny when I think back on things. I never really took note of just what I was doing from one imaging session to another. When I first started, I would take the scope out on ANY clear night and never realized just how important seeing was. Then I tried to push the image scale as far as I could and crossed my fingers that I could get a good image.
I now know that seeing is king
Getting enough light on the camera chip is queen
Focus is the joker or something
I think I have gotten to the point where I know when the seeing is good or if I just have poor focus. And I know the setting limits of the camera. The smaller images above are at f/30, and the larger image is ~f/36. At F/36, I have to set the gain too high and the noise and artifacts creep in.
One of these days I am going to upgrade to a more sensitive chip and be able to get smoother images and maybe push things a bit further, but I really need to consolidate equipment before I do that
BTW...I think I have had the C8 for about 3 years now. I still haven't collimated the scope. I havent really done anything with the scope since I unboxed it
Jason: I guess it is more about going with what is working right now
. My 6" scope for imaging I am having problems with guiding. My CG-5 has sticky DEC, and I am too lazy to tear it apart and clean it. I also have a flexture issue that I haven't nailed down yet (I think it is tube flex in my 6" because everything seems solid).
I really want to sell the CG-5, 6" and 8"SE and replace it with a CGEM + AT8IN or similar to pull double duty as planetary + deep space.
I still have some deep space stuff from 4-5 months ago I still havent fully processed. I have about 200 .avis of jupiter from the past week that I still need to process also
. Its cloudy tonight and looks to be cloudy tomorrow night so I might have time to get through them all.