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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

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Louietheflyisme
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/17/13

Loc: Australia
Webcam AP
      #6173010 - 11/03/13 01:30 AM

Hello Everyone,

After more looking around, it seems as if I can do a little bit of AP with my webcam. However, I have absolutely no idea how to do it . This is the webcam I have: Logitech QuickCam Express (V-UAP41). I have no idea whether or not it is good for AP. My telescope is in my signature. Does anyone know what I need to do and how to do it?

Thanks,

Louis


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Mr Greybush
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/16/13

Loc: Virginia
Re: Webcam AP new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6173131 - 11/03/13 04:12 AM

Louis, I'm not sure about the webcam I'm sure others will be able to tell you. The scope you have will work with lunar shots and you can use your smartphone. Put the phone up to the ep and take a snapshot. They do have eyepiece adapters if you want to spend a few dollars http://www.telescope.com/Orion-SteadyPix-Universal-Smartphone-Telescope-Photo...

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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: Webcam AP new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6173215 - 11/03/13 07:36 AM Attachment (4 downloads)

Louis:

To save you some time, money and frustration I'm going to be blunt: Your current hardware configuration (telescope, camera, and mount/tripod) is totally inadequate.

Do yourself a favor. Enjoy doing what this gear was designed for: Visual observations.

While you're doing that, learn the sky. Use something like Stellarium to help find and identify objects.

Find a local astronomy club and pay them a visit. Talk to them about what it takes to get into AP.

Start saving your money.

The point is, AP is not for the faint of heart. Being successful takes knowledge, perseverance, and money.

I'm not saying you have to go into debt, but you do get what you pay for, and typically the biggest expense is on the mount. With that said, you don't necessarily have to buy brand new, but I do recommend buying gear that is "purpose built" for the task.

I've attached a picture of my "kit".

Now pardon me while I put on my fire suit, I'm about to get flamed....


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Al8236
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/18/10

Loc: 48.9173N 122.1390W
Re: Webcam AP new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #6173414 - 11/03/13 10:16 AM

Quote:

I've attached a picture of my "kit".

Now pardon me while I put on my fire suit, I'm about to get flamed....



Your probably right, I think the framed pic in your shot says enough about you.


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Al8236
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/18/10

Loc: 48.9173N 122.1390W
Re: Webcam AP new [Re: Al8236]
      #6173429 - 11/03/13 10:23 AM

@ The OP, you might try over in the solar system imaging thread. A lot of those guys started out with webcams.

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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: Webcam AP new [Re: Al8236]
      #6173552 - 11/03/13 11:24 AM Attachment (1 downloads)

Quote:


Your probably right, I think the framed pic in your shot says enough about you.




You're a funny guy. That picture of "The Gunny" is not framed. The "frame" you see in the background is actually the corner of my shadow box.


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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: Webcam AP new [Re: Al8236]
      #6173585 - 11/03/13 11:41 AM

Actually I know I'm right, and you just proved it.

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WarmWeatherGuy
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/27/11

Loc: Orlando, FL 28° N, 81° W
Re: Webcam AP new [Re: Louietheflyisme]
      #6173614 - 11/03/13 12:01 PM

Quote:

Hello Everyone,

After more looking around, it seems as if I can do a little bit of AP with my webcam. However, I have absolutely no idea how to do it . This is the webcam I have: Logitech QuickCam Express (V-UAP41). I have no idea whether or not it is good for AP. My telescope is in my signature. Does anyone know what I need to do and how to do it?

Thanks,

Louis




I have modified a Logitech QuickCam (Pro 4000) to use for astrophotography. It was a lot of work and the results aren't that great. You have to remove the lens from the webcam, your telescope becomes the lens. Here are 3 images of Saturn that I took with my NexStar 5SE



The top image was taken with the NexImage 5 webcam without any Barlow / Powermate.

The bottom left image was taken with the original NexImage and a 2.5x Powermate.

The bottom right image was taken with the modified Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000 using a 2x Barlow.

I recommend the new NexImage 5 webcam, depending on how much time, money, and effort you want to spend and how nice you expect your final images to be.

Imaging with your mount will be difficult, especially if you don't have a motor to drive the R.A. axis. It can be done though. Click here to see how I did it with a 4" refractor on an unmotorized CG-4 mount.

There are lots of things to learn and problems to overcome. If your hand is touching the mount then the planet will be blurry. If you don't have a motor to drive the mount then you can place the planet at the far corner of the screen and let go. Soon the vibration will dampen out and the planet will not be blurry, but it will rapidly drift across the screen. You can use the frames that are not blurry and throw out the blurry ones.

I have made some videos (click here) that will show you how to overcome some of the problems. In the videos I show you how to use RegiStax 6 but that will only work if you have a motorized mount. For images moving all the way across the screen you will need to use AutoStakkert!2 (aka AS!2). All this software is free to download but you still have to take the time to learn to use it.

It is WAY better to have a motorized mount. If you don't have a motorized mount then you must at least have an equatorial mount. It will be all but impossible to get any good planetary images with an alt/az mount that is not motorized.


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