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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #4825700 - 09/24/11 06:13 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

How bout another go at it

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Uggbits
sage


Reged: 04/28/10

Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #4826286 - 09/25/11 03:43 AM Attachment (64 downloads)

Great shot of the Pleiades Tel. If you keep images of that quality going with a "cheapo" (you said it, the pictures don't reflect it) refractor I'll start wondering why I shelled out for a triplet.

This is my second shot with my new beauty. The night was awful, and a haze covered the sky but I was bound and determined after finally achieving a polar alignment. This is 15 1 minute frames of M31 ( I know, I did it last week) with my SVR90T. Mounted on an HEQ5 pro, shot through a Canon XSi at iso 1600, flats, darks, and bias frames. Despite this it is crazy noisy (the flat field calibration was great though, so I'm bemused) and I'm going to do a cop out and blame it on the night sky, and the fact that I only have 15 minutes of total integration. On a side note I didn't screw with my colour balance - I just trusted the "aponess" of the 'scope and my camera (aka I was lazy and will need to re-process).


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Tel
Postmaster
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Reged: 03/31/06

Loc: Wallingford England
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Uggbits]
      #4826324 - 09/25/11 05:36 AM

That's still a very fine image of Messier 31, Uggs ! Congratulations ! A great basis from which to assess what will be undoubtably achievable from your new refractor given decent conditions !

Talking of which and funnily enough, I set out under clear skies last night to capture the very same object with that 4" (102mm) "Cheapo" of mine but I thought I'd start with trying a 3 minute exposure.

As a result, I think this image of yours has just taught me that longer exposure times can be entirely unnecessary and that just because I can now guide my set-up, it's as well not to get too carried away with this fact !

Back however to my attempt last night. I made several test images at said 3 minute exposures only to find that each was ruined by the PHD tracking system telling me that it was losing guide star alignment half way through the exercise.

As always, I looked for all the technical explanations instead of looking up.

Yep ! Wall to wall cloud cover ! I'll never learn !

Best regards,
Tel


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Arthur Dent
Galactic Hitch-Hiker
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Reged: 10/23/08

Loc: South Yorkshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Tel]
      #4826445 - 09/25/11 08:37 AM

That's a nice image Ugg.


Just curious about part of the image. In the bottom of your image there is what looks like a black frame but it has stars overlaid?



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Skip
Starlifter Driver
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Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Arthur Dent]
      #4826810 - 09/25/11 12:52 PM

Hi Art & Ugg,

That is most likely a stacking error. One way to prevent this effect is to do a crop of the edges of your image before doing any processing. There are almost always some of these "rough edges" due to minor stacking errors. If you look at Levels in PS, these often show up as tattering (dots) along the base on both side of the histogram. Neil Heacock recommends doing a crop to get rid of these artifacts.

Full disclosure - I am no PS guru. But I am sure learning a lot by watching Neil's video walkthroughs on the DSLR imaging Yahoo group. I highly recommend it for anyone trying to get up the processing learning curve.


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Tel]
      #4826833 - 09/25/11 01:00 PM

Quote:

Thanks, Skip ! Is it a "freebie" ?




Hi Tel,

No unfortunately. It costs about $60 US. You dl it, use it for free for 30 days, then you have to pay (online). I haven't bought it yet - I still have about 5 days left on my free trial. But I would say that it is well worth it if you are going to be doing lots of PS processing. Color gradients are probably the toughest thing to deal with in PS. And GTX tackles the problem mathematically rather than by endless trial and error. Huge time saver with consistently better results. Oh, BTW, GTX also does color balancing during its process. That can be another tough nut to crack.


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Smittty692k4
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/05/11

Loc: East Bernard, TX
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Skip]
      #4826902 - 09/25/11 01:47 PM

I was workin on M31 challange this morning Skip. But the Texans are on now, so "school" can wait til later. Haha

But Neil's vids are amazing. I know what yall are talkin about now when you say " levels and curves". Haha


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Tel
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 03/31/06

Loc: Wallingford England
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Skip]
      #4826915 - 09/25/11 02:00 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Thanks, Skip ! Is it a "freebie" ?




Hi Tel,

No unfortunately. It costs about $60 US. You dl it, use it for free for 30 days, then you have to pay (online). I haven't bought it yet - I still have about 5 days left on my free trial. But I would say that it is well worth it if you are going to be doing lots of PS processing. Color gradients are probably the toughest thing to deal with in PS. And GTX tackles the problem mathematically rather than by endless trial and error. Huge time saver with consistently better results. Oh, BTW, GTX also does color balancing during its process. That can be another tough nut to crack.




Hi Skip,

Very many thanks for the "heads-up" on this one. I've found the trial download and have already watched the tutorial. It certainly looks a useful tool. Gradients, as you well know, are the life bane of every astrophotographer !

I just hope I get enough clear nights within the thirty in which to evaluate it fully !

Much appreciated, Skip,
Best regards,
Tel

Edited by Tel (09/25/11 02:01 PM)


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Arthur Dent
Galactic Hitch-Hiker
*****

Reged: 10/23/08

Loc: South Yorkshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Tel]
      #4827104 - 09/25/11 03:46 PM

Thanks Skip.

I thought it looked like a processing artifact and most likely a stacking error and I'm glad to have that confirmed


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Uggbits
sage


Reged: 04/28/10

Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Arthur Dent]
      #4827865 - 09/25/11 11:44 PM Attachment (49 downloads)

The same night I had a gap in which I grabbed 16 minutes of data on M27 with the NP127is the club owns (my own refractor was put away due to cloud at this point).

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Naturlich
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/30/09

Loc: Dukinfield, Cheshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Uggbits]
      #4829028 - 09/26/11 04:52 PM

Hi all,

Thought I'd drop by with my latest wide field view from the 102mm.

Here we have:

M27 Dumbell Nebula
Celestron 102mm WV
Canon 400D
Orion Skyglow Filter
25 x 30 second exposures


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Arthur Dent
Galactic Hitch-Hiker
*****

Reged: 10/23/08

Loc: South Yorkshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Naturlich]
      #4829037 - 09/26/11 04:53 PM

Is that taken through tracing paper again Nat?

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Naturlich
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/30/09

Loc: Dukinfield, Cheshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Uggbits]
      #4829056 - 09/26/11 05:01 PM

And here's another big wide field, M57 Ring Nebula, same setup as above but only 15 exposures this time.



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Naturlich
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/30/09

Loc: Dukinfield, Cheshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Naturlich]
      #4829066 - 09/26/11 05:04 PM

LOL Art, ALWAYS through tracing paper from here, but tonight I'm using the Orion Skyglow filter so the images are coming out dark instead of the usual bright yellow! (although the is a color shift because of the filter) I know there's some really sweet close up shots on here, but I'm enjoying the wide field views, adds a little overall perspective, like how tiny the Ring is compaired to the Dumbell with the same setup, yet overall much brighter.

Nat


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Arthur Dent
Galactic Hitch-Hiker
*****

Reged: 10/23/08

Loc: South Yorkshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Naturlich]
      #4829089 - 09/26/11 05:14 PM

That's a nice shot through the tracing paper Nat!

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Naturlich
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/30/09

Loc: Dukinfield, Cheshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Arthur Dent]
      #4829095 - 09/26/11 05:17 PM

If the weather holds I'll be moving onto some work with the 10" that gives way closer/bigger shots with the Canon, but right now I'm sort of learning how best to use the 102mm since this is the longest I've had clear skies in ages! Taking a few on the west Veil right now with the 102, and for a change I can actually see it in the exposures lol

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Naturlich
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/30/09

Loc: Dukinfield, Cheshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Naturlich]
      #4829099 - 09/26/11 05:18 PM

darn, I had to go mention the clear skies didn't I.. clouds are rolling over as I type!

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Skip
Starlifter Driver
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Naturlich]
      #4829101 - 09/26/11 05:19 PM

Ooo I really like the wide field Ring, Nat! That is about what it looks like in my 25mm EP/6SE.

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Naturlich
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/30/09

Loc: Dukinfield, Cheshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions new [Re: Skip]
      #4829700 - 09/27/11 12:15 AM

I got loads done tonight, excellent night with next to no cloud for the most part. So for my last addition I couldn't help but go for M42, again with the same setup as above.



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Naturlich
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 10/30/09

Loc: Dukinfield, Cheshire, UK
Re: NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions [Re: Naturlich]
      #4829718 - 09/27/11 12:24 AM

Oh, forgot to add the Veil, it's not great, but it's by far the best I've ever managed! The F10 Lx200-10" just can't get it. with the F5 102 it fitted well, but I wasn't sure how much would come through as it was really faint on the exposures, stacking and post processing helped a lot, but its a little grainy with having to push the processing.



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