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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: Escher]
      #5710383 - 03/03/13 11:00 AM

I'd love to try AP; but I don't have the money required for a setup for it. Even if I did; I highly doubt I'd abandon visual; as it brings such joy and relaxation to me, as I visually see things, first hand.

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kansas skies
sage


Reged: 12/02/12

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5710740 - 03/03/13 02:24 PM

Quote:

Visual can be a hike on a trail in the mountains, AP is like photographing a single vista point.

Jon




That's an interesting thought, and for some reason, I've never looked at it quite that way. I find that living in Kansas, there's really not much to see. I will qualify that by saying that there are certain times of the year, mostly having to do with certain aspects of farming or ranching, that the scenery can be somewhat picturesque, but usually the scenery's pretty drab. For that reason, anytime I go anywhere touristy, my impulse is to take a million pictures so that I can remember my experience later on. At the end of one such trip, after taking the million pictures (an exaggeration), I realized that I somehow missed it all. So now, when I go somewhere new, I try to remember to put the camera away once in awhile and simply enjoy the experience.

Bill


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Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: kansas skies]
      #5711035 - 03/03/13 05:15 PM

I did the opposite. I started with astrophotography then went just visually as I felt I was missing the sky. So what if the Cigar galaxy has more color in a photograph. Locating and staring at a selected object is far more rewarding to me. And my fourteen incher actually does bring in a tad of pink or red so seen in M-42 and M-82.

Tonight, the Horse Head. The skies in Middle-Georgia are clear. Temperature is 44F and relative humidity is 48%.


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NeilMac
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/25/10

Loc: MedHat, AB, Canada
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5711093 - 03/03/13 05:47 PM

Quote:

I'd love to try AP; but I don't have the money required for a setup for it. Even if I did; I highly doubt I'd abandon visual; as it brings such joy and relaxation to me, as I visually see things, first hand.




?? use a Point and shoot with a steadypix, $50.


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skinnyonce
super member
*****

Reged: 03/23/11

Loc: ohio
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: NeilMac]
      #5713893 - 03/05/13 05:55 AM

what makes the difference how we gather photons as long as we gather them,,Im not sharing mine youll have to get your own

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: NeilMac]
      #5714039 - 03/05/13 09:32 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I'd love to try AP; but I don't have the money required for a setup for it. Even if I did; I highly doubt I'd abandon visual; as it brings such joy and relaxation to me, as I visually see things, first hand.




?? use a Point and shoot with a steadypix, $50.




I've tried that; I was disappointed. When I said AP, I meant the more specialized (say expensive) equipment.


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ensign
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/16/08

Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: A. Viegas]
      #5714107 - 03/05/13 10:16 AM

Quote:

I agree with Dwight. video astronomy is a nice blend of "live" viewing without the painstaking post processing... Then again I sometimes set up two telescopes, one with Mallincam and video monitor and then another one with binoviewer or eyepiece for visual. This allows for the best combination... Of course first things first... We need CLEAR SKIES! It's been 4 weeks and I in serious withdrawal...




I, too, have indulged in video observing but am surprised that some others who do so talk about abandoning their eyepiece collection. Video observing is enjoyable, but it is a different (and I thnk, complementary) activity when compared to through-the-eyepiece observing. FWIW, I actually enjoy through-the-eyepiece observing more than video.

I often observe at a site where astrophotographers do their thing as well. Some have shown me the results of their efforts and I have to acknowledge that many of these are beautiful works of art.

However, the activity of astrophotography seems to involve setting up your gear, pointing it at a particular object and having a snooze (sometimes for several hours) while your gear collects photons. This is followed by hours and hours of painstaing work at a computer refining and enhancing the raw data you collect in the field.

As such, astrophotography and manual observing are two very different but related activities. Depending on your interests, skills and temperament, one or the other may appeal to you. Neither is inherently superior or inferior to the other. But they sure are different.

For us here in Southwestern Ontario, it's been more like four months of cloudy skies. So I feel your pain . . . and then some.


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: Dave74]
      #5714267 - 03/05/13 11:40 AM

I enjoy both, but there are times like when planes fly through the field or clouds come in or the mount hits the meridian that I want to do visual and then some pictures come out great that I am happy doing ap.

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Javier1978
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 02/12/09

Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5714497 - 03/05/13 01:31 PM

Just like Kraus, I gave up AP because I felt I was missing the sky and there was no joy for me in it any more. I have been doing pure visual for a year now. The more I learn, the more involved I become, I love it!

Plus, I have one 8" dob, three chinese plossls and a shorty 2x barlow and I donīt feel that I need more than these. It would be nice for sure, but I have plenty to enjoy and learn with me gear. I hated the object dependency from AP.


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Mike7Mak
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: Javier1978]
      #5714606 - 03/05/13 02:36 PM

I've got a Meade 102ed on a LXD650 set up in the obs beside the imaging rig. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've fired it up in the last 5 years, usually to peek at Jupiter or Saturn. I'm thinking of turning it into a portable imaging rig.

Visual just doesn't do it for me. It 'was' fun for a while but there are only so many things in the sky you can 'see' well. Even some of the Messiers are simply 'oh yeah, I can tell it's there'. That got old real quick. Being barely able to tell it's there ain't 'seeing' it in my book.

Maybe if I had a 36" dob on a mountain top in AZ I'd feel different, but most likely I'd just put a camera on it.


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Mr. Bill
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/09/05

Loc: Northeastern Cal
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5714700 - 03/05/13 03:29 PM

Another option is video imaging...kinda combines both.

I'm strictly visual (tried my hand back in the day with hypersensatized emulsion film) but last year at the Golden State SP we were camped next to a fellow with a video rig on a C8. Very impressive images in 30 seconds and in color!

This may be in my future when my eyes start going.



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Matt Wallin
member
*****

Reged: 01/29/12

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: Mr. Bill]
      #5715052 - 03/05/13 06:31 PM

I have so much fun learning the sky and exploring it with my 10" dob visually, I love navigating the stars. I also really geek out on the physiology aspect of human vision, exploring my sense of sight and wringing maximum detail out of my 'equipment'. Though it can be tiring, I find relearing how to see with averted vision to be an interesting *inner* space exploration that complements my outer space explorations. Really, *really* focusing on something while not looking directly at it is so at odds with everyday experience, I feel like I'm really stretching out my brain! I'd love to acquire a Canon DSLR and start playing with AP, but I don't think it would be my primary activity on my observing nights.

Edited by Matt Wallin (03/05/13 06:35 PM)


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kansas skies
sage


Reged: 12/02/12

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: Matt Wallin]
      #5715158 - 03/05/13 07:15 PM

Quote:

I also really geek out on the physiology aspect of human vision, exploring my sense of sight and wringing maximum detail out of my 'equipment'. Though it can be tiring, I find relearing how to see with averted vision to be an interesting *inner* space exploration that complements my outer space explorations. Really, *really* focusing on something while not looking directly at it is so at odds with everyday experience, I feel like I'm really stretching out my brain!




Very well said!

Bill


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Jb32828
sage
*****

Reged: 08/01/10

Loc: Orlando, FL USA
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: kansas skies]
      #5715308 - 03/05/13 08:37 PM

I do both. Primarily imaging though. I tell you what I like best about AP is also having a pier out back and literally being up and running in 15 minutes, and then sitting in the house sleeping while the camera and mount are doing their thing. I also like getting a great result and having that sucker printed and placed on the trophy wall in the office.

Now, if we could get some cooperative weather when my work schedule permits it would be a great help.


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tecmageModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/13/10

Loc: Glenview, IL
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5715370 - 03/05/13 09:09 PM

Quote:

I'd love to try AP; but I don't have the money required for a setup for it. Even if I did; I highly doubt I'd abandon visual; as it brings such joy and relaxation to me, as I visually see things, first hand.




Same here. I've sometimes thought of building a Barndoor Tracker and buying a used DSLR. The only other things required are a tripod and camera mount. It's just a matter of time before I try it.


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shawnhar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: tecmage]
      #5717347 - 03/06/13 09:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I'd love to try AP; but I don't have the money required for a setup for it. Even if I did; I highly doubt I'd abandon visual; as it brings such joy and relaxation to me, as I visually see things, first hand.




Same here. I've sometimes thought of building a Barndoor Tracker and buying a used DSLR. The only other things required are a tripod and camera mount. It's just a matter of time before I try it.



Don't do it, don't go down the rabbit hole, therin lies madness!

Used DSLR-125
Old Used 10" Fork mount SCT - 550
The pic I took of M81 (even though it sucks compared to Hubble) - Priceless.
And I'll tell you why... Because I discovered a new object I didn't even know existed. There is a little dwarf galaxy beside M81, Holmberg IX, it's basically M81's Magellanic cloud. As a difuse object of Mag 16.5, there are no amateur scopes you are going to look at that with. (Well maybe 2)
The point I want to make is I don't understand the separation, I use imaging to enhance my astronomy experience, I try to find out what all the extra stuff is the camera picks up. I know they aren't masterpieces but I learn new stuff all the time because of it.
I image about 80% now, but i am kind of the odd ball on this, I got no go to or setting circles, so I star hop to all my imaging targets, I gotta find it 1st.
The biggest thing is, I think, my backyard kinda sucks for visual, oh sure, M13 looks awesome and the bright objects are fun, but M74 is at the very limit of human perception in my 10", and M101? forget it, ain't gonna happen.
But I have had several dark sky trips.....ohhhh....THAT's the way it's supposed to be. M33 naked eye, no problem seeing M101, oooo that galaxy in sculptor is cool.
I didn't abandon visual, I changed it to a treat, something to be savored like a good bottle of spirits you save for a special occasion. If I lived in a dark site I would be all over visual, and don't get me wrong, when the weather is not freezing I image with one and visual the other, but when it's cold out it's nice to tell the camera to take 100 exposures while I go be nice n warm inside, then finding out what you got is kinda half the fun.
Guess I'm kinda weird, most folks seem polarized visual/AP, I couldn't find jack squat when I started visual and my 1st pics looked like garbage...both skills have since improved and both are enjoyed.
But I do see the calm contemplation thing at the eyepiece, kind of like sitting beside a calm lake in the afternoon on a pleasant day with a cork and a hook, I also see the AP version of that, which is like zooming down the lake in a bass boat at 50 mph. (Look at those chumps on the shore, they don't even have a boat!)


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5719978 - 03/08/13 08:01 AM

Seems I've been trying AP ever since about 1956 or so. Even before I had a telescope. Of course, it was a hopeless task for a 12 year old back then. I didn't even get star trails before dew formed.
When I finally got a telescope, I was thrilled to see things like the moon and Saturn. But, in reality, I was disappointed in most everything else.

That hasn't changed for me. I've used my own telescopes visually and those of others too. Up to 22 inches. The visual experience just isn't that exciting for me.

AP has reached the point where a mere camera lens and a so-so mount can rival or beat the best professional images taken in the 50s with instruments like the 48" Schmidt on Palomar Mountain.

Still, AP is difficult and demands a range of skills to tease the most out of the data. That it is very challenging is its allure.

So, yes, since the advent of digital photography, I have totally abandoned visual for AP. And I have some fancy new EP's and a binoviewer that will likely be hitting the classifieds soon. They just don't get used. I have done HUNDREDS of hours of AP in the past two years. My C11 has only been mounted a couple of times and that is usually for the benefit of others.


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Widespread
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? [Re: dawziecat]
      #5720140 - 03/08/13 09:46 AM

Bob Berman had an interesting article in Astronomy a few months back where he contrasted the fun, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere of visual observers at star parties with the intense, focused and stay-away-from-my-rig vibe of imagers.

I think he categorized them as different tribes, although, as evidenced by above posts, the two groups are not discrete.


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careysub
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/18/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? [Re: Escher]
      #5720240 - 03/08/13 10:41 AM

I was always fascinated by the night sky even as a very small child - my attraction to astronomy is the wonder and amazement that fills me when looking up at a dark sky, even with the naked eye - a feeling that has never left me.

Unless you are quite wealthy and persistent any AP image you produce will be far inferior to the work of thousands of others, easily obtained over the web, and even those pale next to the work of professional instruments.

But you can only see the sky with your own eyes, sharing the experiences of Galileo, Messier, and Herschel.

It is a lot like the difference between going on a trip to see an unspoiled part of nature for yourself, and simply looking at photographs of the same thing.

With a visual telescope you are seeing the very same photons produced tens and hundreds of millions of years ago (even billions of years if you go quasar hunting).

I will never forget seeing the Whirlpool Galaxy for the first time in a 17.5" Coulter homemade Dob in 1982, it was a magical experience no image could ever match.

(BTW - I am a software engineer and I spend my professional life in front of a computer screen, and much of my private life as well. I am eager for the chance to get away from it.)


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Mr. Bill
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/09/05

Loc: Northeastern Cal
Re: Anyone else abandon visual for AP? [Re: Widespread]
      #5720246 - 03/08/13 10:44 AM

That's been my experience at star parties....sometimes it can lead to real conflict with bad feelings.

The majority of problems IMO are due to the computer screens used by imagers, even with red filters, casting light either directly or indirectly and won't allow total dark adaptation that visual observers need in order to see subtle contrast detail.

It doesn't take much light to keep you in a semi dark adapted state.



Edited by Mr. Bill (03/08/13 10:58 AM)


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