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#126 milby

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:11 PM

Thanks, Ben!

#127 ohioalfa64

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:55 PM

Milby, you must be processing images every night. Your quality is fantastic. That Indiana sky must be wonderful.

#128 Last Frontier

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 10:36 AM

Milby,

Great pics and hope to get there myself soon. I just retired and getting back into the astro bit. Just ordered the EdgeHD9.25 with Hyperstar and the Nightscape 8300. Leaving a SN 8 with DSI III. Hope to see an improvement in quality.

#129 Alfredo Beltran  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 12:13 PM

I also received a month ago the C9.25 EdgeHD plus hyperstar. It is a powerful combo even with a DSLR as you can see here which is my first image with this setup.

I'm very glad I purchased it.

Best regards

Alfredo

#130 rockstarbill

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 06:09 PM

I found a Horsehead shot I did a while back with my C8 Hyperstar.

Posted Image


Holy cow! That is one of the best HH's I have seen. You did that with a C8 and Hyperstar!? What is the learning curve like for Hyperstar imaging? I bookmarked your post-processing tutorials for future reference, so thanks for those as well.

In all of the images you have posted, the spikes on your stars are so crisp. Is there a secret to that? :)

-Bill

#131 SilverSilk

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 01:40 AM

Aloha ALL!!! I am brand new to the hobby of Astrophotography (although I have been playing with scopes and looking at the heavens since I was about 8). I am to the point where I am ready to see more than I can see with my little NexStar 4Se.

I have been looking and am thinking about getting a Celestron Advanced VX 8" EdgeHD and a
HyperStar lense with Atik 314E (combo deal on starizona.com)

Any thoughts / suggestions on this setup?

I live in Hawaii and the quality of the skies here are some of the best in the world (from what I understand) so I feel I have a great opportunity to get some great data.

Some questions I have:
1. will 8" aperture be enough "clearance" (for lack of a better word) for the hyperstar with Atik 314E on the front of the scope? The diameter of the Atik is 4" so feels like I am losing a lot of light.

2. I have spent some time reading around and see great tutorials about post processing (on this thread there are a few links to some great resources). But if it's one thing I have learned with my little getup (old DSLR camera and a 4" scope with a poor mount) it's that no matter how good you are at post processing you have to start with good data first. I understand the concept of multiple images and stacking but am a little fuzzy on the Dark and Bias concept. Anyone have a good link to a beginners guide to that whole concept and do I even need to worry about that with hyperstar?

3. Lastly I have not seen a lot of info on how to determine how you setup the actual capturing of the images (ISO, Length, Number of Images to stack). I am sure it depends on what you are imaging. I know hyperstar shortens the amount of time you need to keep the shutter open but does anyone have a standard rule of thumb to start me on the right track with ISO and other settings ect...

Sorry for the long post but have a lot more questions than answers at this point and considering its a healthy investment to get started (around $3500 for the equipment above) I want to make sure I do my research first. Thanks in advance for all your wisdom!!!

#132 Tel

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 06:38 AM

Hi SilverSilk,

Welcome to CN and to this particular forum. :bow::bow::bow:

To try to answer the questions you've posed:

1) Use of an Atik 314E on a Celestron 8" Edge will reduce the latter's potential light gathering surface area to approximately 38 square inches from a maximum of around 45 square inches: the obscured area caused by the secondary mirror cell having been taken into account.

Thus, in my opinion, it would be more advantageous to use something like the 55mm (2.2") Atik 428EX but, bearing in mind the large cost difference between the 314E and the 428EX, I still think you will be able to use your 314E with impunity.

2) The taking of "Darks" is a means whereby electronic "Noise" generated by CCD and CMSO camera chips may be reduced if not eliminated from your images altogether.

You may have noticed such "Noise" when using your 4SE/DSLR combination; particularly when using a high ISO number. Essentially, it produces an unwanted speckled effect on the image which may be accompanied by a selection of hot pixels.

"Noise" is almost invariably an accompaniment to an uncooled camera. With however, a cooled camera such as the Atik 314E, "Noise" should be held to a minimum. Indeed, if the ambient temperature is low enough, the taking of "Darks" may well be unnecessary.

3) Not so perhaps when it comes to taking "Flats". These serve to eliminate lightness/darkness gradients within your image. They are simple enough to obtain: one merely covers the 'scope's objective lens, (corrector plate in this instance), with a white cloth, ("T" Shirt ?), and takes a few shots at the same exposure time as was used for the image itself. (The same goes by the way for taking "Darks", only with this particular issue, the corrector plate will be covered with its protective cover plate).

As to Bias(s) frame taking, I wouldn't concern yourself with them. In my opinion they are of little or no value when operating a CCD camera.

Finally, (for now), but just to add, I trust you will be using the Atik software to capture and process your images. (?) If so, I'm afraid I have no experience of this software although I operate an Atik 314L; preferring to use Stark Lab. "Nebulosity" software with which to capture, subtract "Darks" and "Flats", stack and partially process my images.

Out of interest, I take it that your 314E is a "one shot" colour camera in contrast to my 314L which is a monochrome. (?)

Hoping these few comments help a little. If you require more detail I'll be happy to provide if I can. Note that for now, I have made no comment regarding the 'scope/mount set-up but no doubt others will chip in on the topic.

Best regards,
Tel

#133 Midnight Dan

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 11:01 AM

Hi SilverSilk:

I'd suggest taking a look at this website:
http://www.astropix.com

Lots of great information on the site itself, but the books on CD that he sells are well worth the money too. Easy to understand, brief and to the point. They don't go on and on, but instead give you just information you need to understand darks, flats, bias, and much more.

The author, Jerry Lodriguss, is also a member of Cloudy Nights and will often respond to questions in the imaging forums.

-Dan

#134 Alfredo Beltran  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 11:15 AM

Hi SilverSilk

I think you could contact Dean at Starizona and he will guide you in your decision. If you want to keep the DSLR you will need to go for a C9.25 or higher. That's what I did (Edge version) and I don't regret it since it is a very capable scope. You can see here the first two images taken with that setup: M08 and M16

On the other hand if you want to go for the C8 plus hyperstar, you will need a camera with narrow profile. Any of the Atik 4 series will do, the Starlight Xpress or something as the QHY. Those cover a huge range of options and prices, going from the Atik 420 to the SXVR-M25C or M26C. Here you will find what are the cameras compatible with hyperstar on the C8.

I'm sure you will find one combination that fits what you're looking for!

Let us know if you need more help.

Best regards,

Alfredo

#135 Tel

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 12:00 PM

Hyperstar is a great piece of kit for producing superb images using very short exposure times. However, perhaps its use should be put a little more into perspective ? :idea:

While Hyperstar can likely produce a complete image of the entire Andromeda Galaxy and encompass both Bode's Galaxy, (M81) and the "Cigar" (M82) easily within the same field of view, this advantage is of little use for imaging a good proportion, (for example), of the Messier Catalogue where many of the objects are only a few arc-minutes across. Thus detail within these objects through use of Hyperstar is generally lost in a sea of background stars.

Consequently, (and I speak from no personal experience of Hyperstar" whatsoever), I can imagine that one would have to set one's sights on any particular evening, to concentrate on imaging "wide field " objects only; suggesting that to contemplate swapping back, (and perhaps forth), to the standard secondary mirror system "on the hoof" might not be easy; invoking perhaps even re-collimation, (or at least a check).

On the other hand, I read that the 314E is compatible with f/3.3 focal reducers/field flatteners, (Meade ?). If this is so, isn't this far cheaper route to wide field imaging worth considering ? If this IS a possible alternative, it's certainly a more flexible one in terms of what might be imaged on any particular night. (?)

BUT, what do you guys think ? :idea:

Best regards,
Tel

#136 rockstarbill

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:52 PM

From my perspective, Hyperstar is a tool that allows you to do ultra fast wide imaging. In the event that you want narrower imaging, you can always put the secondary back in, and image via prime focus. Since the secondary is indexed, it goes back in the exact same position it came out of - thus collimation should not be necessary. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes.

Now this is all in theory. My Hyperstar lens showed up yesterday and provided things stay clear in the area I will be out testing it tonight on M13, and possibly M31. I may even take a few cracks at the NA Neb and other items of interest in Cygnus.

As for the Meade FR/FF - I have no clue. :)

#137 SilverSilk

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:48 AM

First of all, you are all awesome to take your time to share you experience with me. It is much appreciated.

Thanks to Tel for the info on Light / Dark / Bias frames. And as for the camera I would love to get one of the nicer, smaller profile CCD's but the price difference is pretty steep and not sure I can justify the price at the moment along with the scope. Maybe I can graduate to one of those later on. The 314e is a one shot color which I thought would simplify things for a beginner staying away needing to add a color wheel to the mix. I understand that my field of view will be different using hyperstar and that I can always go back to the secondary miror setup if needed but also wanted to avoid having to purchase an auto guider which I understand is highly recommended if not using a hyperstar due to the FOV and length of exposures needed. Is that a correct assumption?

Midnight Dan, I will have a look at the link you posted thank you for your input. I think the CD's sound like just what I need.

Alfredo, I actually think the DSLR (Cannon Rebel XTi) is having some issues. It was a hand me down from a relative because she said the sensor needed some cleaning or maintenance. I also understand (correct me if I am wrong) that the CCD cameras designed for astrophotography have a chip that is geared at a different band (spectrum) of light than a normal DSLR camera correct? And since my main goal is to really just use it for astrophotography going with CCD seemed like a smarter place to put my money.

Thanks again for everyones input. I am really excited to get started in the hobby once I have a good base to jump in from (and can convince my wife that I really need to spend the 4k to get setup :)

#138 Tel

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:02 AM

Hi SilverSilk,

In addition to the information I gave you referring to "Darks, Flats and Bias", I've since come across this article which may explain them better than I and, at the same time, give you an indication of how to use them.

http://www.astrophot...calibration.php

Secondly, I certainly appreciate the cost issues of getting into astrophotography, but with a little application, the outlay doesn't have to be excessive in order to produce very pleasing images. Indeed, most of the "stuff" I'm generating these days is via a "Cheapo" 4" (102mm) f/5.9 achromatic refractor and a monochromatic Atik 314L+ employing both Hydrogen alpha and Oxygen lll filters.

True, this limits me to emission nebulae and artificial colouring of the image, (if required), by means of "paletting" but, if I wish to image other objects, (e.g. globular clusters, galaxies etc.), then I can either use the Atik combined with a RGB filter wheel or use my DSLR camera. Field size increase, (if required) is controlled by focal reducers.

My 4" refractor is in fact paired, (set in parallel), with my old Nexstar 8i's OTA and the whole arrangement sits on a Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro with a 'scope and accessory load capacity of 16Kg (35lbs). The 'scope and accessory load is counterbalanced by 3 X 5kg (11lbs) counterweights.

By this means, I an able to image with either 'scope (depending on the choice of target), using the non-imaging 'scope to act as the guide 'scope on the night. For guiding, I use an old Meade DSI Mk.1.

But in answer to your question:

Because of the large reduction in the focal ratio of the f/10 "Edge", (to ca. f/2), by means of a Hyperstar unit, exposure times are indeed dramatically reduced, obviating the otherwise probable need to guide and thus a guide 'scope/camera set-up.

However, before committing yourself, compare perhaps the relative costs and flexibility in image choice in the use of the "Edge" with such a guide system, (e.g. Orion Auto-guider package ?) and a focal reducer, with equipping the "Edge" with a Hyperstar ?

Please accept that I am not anti-Hyperstar: it certainly has its place in astrophotography. I do however think it is an expensive item given the single and limited facet to imaging, (wide field shots) it is capable of delivering, particularly when, to get the maximum from it, an appropriately dimensioned CCD camera is ideally required adding even more cost; cost which, in my humble opinion, could be better spent on building a more general purpose imaging set-up.

I'm sure other opinions will differ and rightly so ! :waytogo:

Best regards,
Tel

P.S. I would add that the cost of my set-up has essentially been spread over the last seven years.

P.S.S. One last thought on this issue.

Talking of short, and thus unguided exposure times, if the Advanced VX mount is appropriately polar aligned, 60-90 second unguided exposures should easily be feasible without image drift from a standard f/10 "Edge" reduced to f/6.3 by means of a f/6.3 FR/FF.

#139 Alfredo Beltran  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:22 AM

Hi SilverSilk

Stock DSLRs have a filter that ensures the camera can mimic human vision and thus Ha sensitivity is dropped to around 8%. That's why a lot of astroimagers modify them.

CCD cameras obviously have advantages by being a purpose built device.


Don't want to begin the DSLR vs CCD discussion since they both can produce good astroimages and the purpose of this thread is to discuss hyperstar imaging.

With hyperstar and DSLR or CCD cameras very good images can be produced.

Best regards

Alfredo

#140 rockstarbill

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 03:13 AM

First of all, you are all awesome to take your time to share you experience with me. It is much appreciated.

Thanks to Tel for the info on Light / Dark / Bias frames. And as for the camera I would love to get one of the nicer, smaller profile CCD's but the price difference is pretty steep and not sure I can justify the price at the moment along with the scope. Maybe I can graduate to one of those later on. The 314e is a one shot color which I thought would simplify things for a beginner staying away needing to add a color wheel to the mix. I understand that my field of view will be different using hyperstar and that I can always go back to the secondary miror setup if needed but also wanted to avoid having to purchase an auto guider which I understand is highly recommended if not using a hyperstar due to the FOV and length of exposures needed. Is that a correct assumption?

Midnight Dan, I will have a look at the link you posted thank you for your input. I think the CD's sound like just what I need.

Alfredo, I actually think the DSLR (Cannon Rebel XTi) is having some issues. It was a hand me down from a relative because she said the sensor needed some cleaning or maintenance. I also understand (correct me if I am wrong) that the CCD cameras designed for astrophotography have a chip that is geared at a different band (spectrum) of light than a normal DSLR camera correct? And since my main goal is to really just use it for astrophotography going with CCD seemed like a smarter place to put my money.

Thanks again for everyones input. I am really excited to get started in the hobby once I have a good base to jump in from (and can convince my wife that I really need to spend the 4k to get setup :)


Look at the QHY8L, it is a very good CCD camera for the price. Note its pitfalls though (really good for long exposures, not so hot for short ones). Starizona supports this camera via the adapter included with the Hyperstar setup. I got mine from Astrofactors.

https://www.astrofac...olor/qhy8l.html

In terms of guiding, yes it is better for longer exposures but you can still get great data without it.

#141 boandpokey

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:17 AM

HI

where are your tutorials located?

#142 milby

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 08:01 PM

M33 last week. 50 subs of 100s w/Hyperstar. Processed with PI, no noise reduction.

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#143 CWHughes

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 04:22 PM

Hi guys…

My first post on CN although I've been a lurker for over a year. I just bought a Hyperstar system last fall and living here in Tucson, it has been a great help to be able to go down to Starizona on the weekends for help. Scott and Dean are incredibly helpful and eager to help you get the results you are trying to get.

My system is a Celestron Edge HD 1100, CGEM DX mount, Atik 460EX OSC camera, a Celestron 80mm guide scope and STX Lodestar for guiding. I use Maxim DL and Photoshop CS6 for image processing but am just getting started with PS.

I also bought the filter slider adapter for my Hyperstar and recently purchased a Ha filter but haven't used it yet.

I thought I'd share a few of my photos here as well and I hope the thread sees a bit more activity. This one is NGC 7023 (Iris Nebula) in Cepheus from a week ago.

Curt

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#144 Alfredo Beltran  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:03 PM

Wonderful image Curt!

How long were your subs and how many did you use?

Regards

Alfredo

#145 CWHughes

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:09 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Alfredo…

They were 12 subs, each 240 seconds.

Curt

#146 CWHughes

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:10 PM

Here is my M27. 20 subs, 30 seconds each.

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#147 CWHughes

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:11 PM

My Sombrero Galaxy, M104. 18, 240 second subs.

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#148 CWHughes

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:15 PM

Elephant Trunk, part of IC1396 in Cepheus. 10 subs, 300 seconds each.

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#149 CWHughes

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:17 PM

M42 with a composite of 10 second and 60 second stacked images.

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#150 CWHughes

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:23 PM

Eagle Nebula… 12 subs, 300 seconds.

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