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TAK FSQ106 vs. SW ESPRIT 100

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#26 Konihlav

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 10:55 AM

jerry10137: big applause and hands up for your GREAT work! I truly appreciate your effort! It's impossible to figure out what is better for given particular task except of purchasing both scopes and selling the other one later... but we all know how that approach is pricey!

 

I also like to find out the truth about astro equipment (as seen on my blog page), because the "Advertisement" is nice, spec sheet is nice, but understanding how it really affects final image (based on billion variables different from each other's preferences) is simply the most important.

 

All best and do not give up helping the community !


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#27 andysea

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 11:40 AM

It would be great to see a similar comparison with the FSQED!



#28 jerry10137

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 11:47 AM

It would be great to see a similar comparison with the FSQED!

Send me yours and I will make it happen :D .....I know you got one sitting next to that AT6RC  :grin:


Edited by jerry10137, 03 November 2014 - 11:49 AM.


#29 andysea

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 12:18 PM

LOL they are not far from each other :)

I think i will personally deliver it and bring down a bunch of imaging equipment too.....problem is I will get spoiled by your skies!



#30 Starhawk

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 12:19 PM

I was thinking the closer similarity is between the Esprit 100ED and the NP-101. 

 

-Rich



#31 mikeyL

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 02:12 AM

Jerry,

 

Absolutely fantastic info that is seemingly very fair and not available in this sort of 'instant gratification' visual way anywhere else I have seen. The 2 comparisons I have seen you do have the Esprit scopes now on my radar. Wondering if you have thought of and/or have access to the other competitor to the FSQ-106, the Stellarvue SVQ-100? Not as cheap as the Esprit 100, but certainly cheaper than the current incarnation of the Tak FSQ-106, and with a truly built in flattener optic, a very fair comparison scope that is also supposed to be full frame sensor capable (although not with as large an imaging circle as the Tak.)

 

Not sure if you have the ability or interest in such a comparison, but if you do would love to see that side by side test :)

 

Best Regards and thanks for all the work,

 

ML


Edited by mikeyL, 19 November 2014 - 02:12 AM.

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#32 jerry10137

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 11:23 AM

Thanks Mikey for the kind words.  I'm glad you found some use and good information from these tests.  I currently do not own or have access to an SVQ100 for any testing.  Wish I did!  I'd love to test that scope against an Esprit 100 or even an FSQ106 because I almost owned one myself.  Last year when I was searching for personal equipment, I actually considered the SVQ100 and almost pulled the trigger on one.  However, there was just not enough information or test results available for me to justify buying one.  One of the reasons I have been doing some testing like you see here is because I got very frustrated when I bought some equipment I thought would be ideal and it was anything but ideal for what I wanted to do.  So I ended up selling it all and kind of starting from scratch.  I take delivery today of a new Hutech modified Canon 6D but still will only have one of them and not two for some further full frame testing side by side.  Stellarvue makes some really nice equipment and I've actually owned and SVR90T as well and an SVR105T with the field flattener and was somewhat shocked and unhappy with the results I was getting photographically.  Visually the scopes were really nice but their flattener does not flatten the field very well and it was additional cost.  I never did replace the 105 or 90 because I was too undecided but I absolutely love this Esprit.  It would take me 6 months to save for an FSQ106 EDX.  The Esprit, IMO is not lacking much at all when you look at the 50% or more cost difference.

 

In my own personal opinion, it would be very helpful for manufacturers of these awesome scopes we use to provide raw data samples when a new scope is released that is designed to be used photographically.  That way, those of us who are really shopping around and trying to find the very best bang for the buck can analyze some raw subs on our own to see things like how flat the field is......how good or bad the CA is and of course color correction or sharpness.  I have yet to see any data like this made available by a manufacturer but of course we see processed pictures all the time.  RAW uncropped subs tell a lot of stories about the quality of astrograph optics.  This is why I have made mine available.  So the community can judge for themselves.  I don't want to go around guessing what optics will suit my needs and which ones will not.......just so I can be displeased and then sell.  I'm not going to go buy the best of the best just because someone tells me it's the best and that's why it costs so much!  I work too hard for my money to just be a "seat of the pants" spender.  I want to purchase the best bang for the buck that will suit my needs.  My testing has proved to me (and others hopefully) that you absolutley do not need the best to make a quality photo if you are wanting to get into astrophotography.


Edited by jerry10137, 19 November 2014 - 11:27 AM.

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#33 jaymocha

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 09:08 PM

This is a great report and I am glad you conducted it the way you did in a side-by-side image shoot-out competition.  I think I am going to have to keep a tighter reign on my wallet as I have spent too much money on telescope "stuff" lately, a Tak TSA-102S being the latest purchase. 

 

I think this just shows that there are a lot of really good scopes out there... not sure if that is good enough to cure Takitis thought :)



#34 jaymocha

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 09:24 PM

It looks like the Skywatcher image is just a touch over stretched and bringing out the noise and grain a bit too much.  I think if you weren't trying to go for an equal exposure length comparison you'd have exposed that one just a bit longer and gotten the nice smooth nebulosity seen in the FSQ image, but since the Skywatcher is slightly slower at f/5.5 it just didn't quite get there with this exposure length and it shows in the processed result.

 

Perhaps this isn't the right place to open this can of worms, but given the "same" aperture, how does the f ratio affect exposure length?  I thought f/ratio was important to camera lenses that changed their aperture to affect f/ratio and light exposure... i just don't see how it's applicable to a telescope whose aperture will not change to affect the "speed" of the exposure.  I can definitely see how it would be slightly slower at 100mm aperture vs 106mm aperture, and if that is the discrepancy in the image differences, then perhaps a slightly longer exposure on the Esprit side would have helped. 

 

I think what would be good is to change the non-common denominator in this experiment and run it again and switch the camera's to allow the SW to use the other 60Da and see how the images come out.  That might give us some insight as to why the SW image does seem a bit warmer/noisier in appearance than the image from the FSQ106. 



#35 jzeiders

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 01:22 AM

For photography, telescope f-ratio affects exposure just like a lens f-ratio. A f/4 system is 1 stop faster than a f/5.6 system. To reach equal image density the f/5.6 system needs twice the exposure time of the f/4 system.F-ratio is simply the aperture divided into the focal length.  A 100mm aperture with a 1,000mm focal length is f/10, where a 200mm aperture with the same focal length is f/5.

 

Where a lens is usually adjustable via an iris placed behind the front lament(s), most telescopes are not unless you use an aperture stop. In either the aperture is defined by the size of the primary element. In telescopes the focal length is the actual length of the light path from primary to image plane. With lenses there ware moving elements which may change the effective focal length and field of view as is the case for zoom lenses. Not to add confusion, but SCTs and MCTs that use a moving mirror to focus also vary the focal length, Just FYI.

 

Traditional camera stops follow the sequence,  f/1.4, f/1.8. f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8. f/11. f/16 etc. Each step is one stop slower. Each slower stop needs twice the exposure of the previous to collect the same amount of light.

 

Hope this helps,

 

jack



#36 jaymocha

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 05:48 AM

For photography, telescope f-ratio affects exposure just like a lens f-ratio. A f/4 system is 1 stop faster than a f/5.6 system. To reach equal image density the f/5.6 system needs twice the exposure time of the f/4 system.F-ratio is simply the aperture divided into the focal length.  A 100mm aperture with a 1,000mm focal length is f/10, where a 200mm aperture with the same focal length is f/5.

 

Where a lens is usually adjustable via an iris placed behind the front lament(s), most telescopes are not unless you use an aperture stop. In either the aperture is defined by the size of the primary element. In telescopes the focal length is the actual length of the light path from primary to image plane. With lenses there ware moving elements which may change the effective focal length and field of view as is the case for zoom lenses. Not to add confusion, but SCTs and MCTs that use a moving mirror to focus also vary the focal length, Just FYI.

 

Traditional camera stops follow the sequence,  f/1.4, f/1.8. f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8. f/11. f/16 etc. Each step is one stop slower. Each slower stop needs twice the exposure of the previous to collect the same amount of light.

 

Hope this helps,

 

jack

 

I guess I'm still a little confused about how the telescope  f/ratio affects exposure like a camera lens f/ratio does.  I only say that because a camera lens has an adjustable aperture.  The iris controlling the effective aperture is what is controlling the f/ratio (because f/ratio is just a ratio), so the REAL culprit here in determining exposure length is aperture.  When you decrease the aperture with the iris to increase the focal length, you decrease the number of photons entering through the aperture and thereby increasing the amount of time to have the "same" exposure as the same lens wide open.  But with a telescope, a 10" aperture f/4 will have the same number of photons passing through it as a 10" f/10.  Both of these systems should have the same exposure times regardless of f/ratio.  If my thinking is off, then I completely don't understand what's going on.  But to me (and maybe i'm just crazy), the f/ratio thingy is only applicable to the SAME lens system and relative only to the other f/stops of that lens system.

 

Am I nuts?


Edited by jaymocha, 20 November 2014 - 05:51 AM.


#37 neptun2

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 08:18 AM

Well jack explained it and is correct. Aperture is not the parameter that affects exposure time but f-ratio is. I can assure you that 100mm f5 refractor will definitely need less time than 8" f8 SCT for example despite the bigger aperture of the SCT. You can also put a barlow lens in any optical system and see yourself that exposure needed will be much longer than without barlow (apereture did not change). 



#38 neptun2

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 08:35 AM

You can think of it this way. Focal length determines the field of view of the system and aperture determines the opening from where the light is coming. If you have two telescopes with same aperture and different focal lengths the telescope with longer focal length will have narrower and dimmer field of view. It is the same like visual in this respect - you put higher power eyepiece and you get bigger magnification but narrower and dimmer picture. If you get two telescopes with same focal length they will have same field of view but the telescope with faster f-ratio will have bigger aperture and so better resolution and will also accumulate light quicker. For example 100mm f10 refractor and 200mm f5 reflector will have same focal length and field of view but the f5 telescope will need much shorter exposure to achieve same level of captured data.   



#39 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 08:46 AM

Jerry - excellent work with both tests done. The 150 and 100. Shows they are quite capable for dslr AP. Too bad to see the hackles get raised on the fanboi's, but is to be expected. Particularly when all the tests show is exactly what has been stated thousands of times in this forum - the more expensive the scope, the more diminishing the returns. There will always be folks that just want the best of everything, but for those that would like a close second, the options are rather good with the Esprit line.

 

I think it is very similar to my other hobby's forum arguments. Music. Argument comes up frequently on Analog vs Digital or Virtual Analog in regards to synthesizers. Examples of side by side comparisons in raw wav files for all the members to examine how they wish and the fact remains that 98% of the average population won't be able to hear differences. Just like here. I'm not an AP'er and I see no discernible differences in the photos. I didn't zoom way in 300x because I like to view AP shots, not inspect them. 


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#40 jaymocha

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 09:52 AM

Well jack explained it and is correct. Aperture is not the parameter that affects exposure time but f-ratio is. I can assure you that 100mm f5 refractor will definitely need less time than 8" f8 SCT for example despite the bigger aperture of the SCT. You can also put a barlow lens in any optical system and see yourself that exposure needed will be much longer than without barlow (apereture did not change). 

 

Perhaps, but this statement by Jack, "Traditional camera stops follow the sequence,  f/1.4, f/1.8. f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8. f/11. f/16 etc. Each step is one stop slower. Each slower stop needs twice the exposure of the previous to collect the same amount of light."  is only true because each "stop" reduces the size of the aperture which is THE single factor affecting the "slower" f/ratio.  A f/1.4 is a wide open lens.  f/1.8 stops the lens enough to change the focal length by reducing aperture size, thereby allowing fewer photons through and increasing exposure time.  And since it is the aperture that is the changing variable here, this leads me to believe that it is the aperture that controls the exposure time.  f/ratio just seems to be a convenient way of stating the "speed."

 

I did a bit of googling on this and came up with many results, some of which are talked about in these forums.  it appears there are others just as confused as me. :)

 

http://www.cloudynig...th#entry6061012

http://www.cloudynig...th#entry6036946

http://www.cloudynig...th#entry5975159

http://www.stanmoore..._ratio_myth.htm

http://www.stark-lab...tioAperture.php

 

I got some reading to do.   :)



#41 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 10:21 AM

 

Well jack explained it and is correct. Aperture is not the parameter that affects exposure time but f-ratio is. I can assure you that 100mm f5 refractor will definitely need less time than 8" f8 SCT for example despite the bigger aperture of the SCT. You can also put a barlow lens in any optical system and see yourself that exposure needed will be much longer than without barlow (apereture did not change). 

 

Perhaps, but this statement by Jack, "Traditional camera stops follow the sequence,  f/1.4, f/1.8. f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8. f/11. f/16 etc. Each step is one stop slower. Each slower stop needs twice the exposure of the previous to collect the same amount of light."  is only true because each "stop" reduces the size of the aperture which is THE single factor affecting the "slower" f/ratio.  A f/1.4 is a wide open lens.  f/1.8 stops the lens enough to change the focal length by reducing aperture size, thereby allowing fewer photons through and increasing exposure time.  And since it is the aperture that is the changing variable here, this leads me to believe that it is the aperture that controls the exposure time.  f/ratio just seems to be a convenient way of stating the "speed."

 

I did a bit of googling on this and came up with many results, some of which are talked about in these forums.  it appears there are others just as confused as me. :)

 

http://www.cloudynig...th#entry6061012

http://www.cloudynig...th#entry6036946

http://www.cloudynig...th#entry5975159

http://www.stanmoore..._ratio_myth.htm

http://www.stark-lab...tioAperture.php

 

I got some reading to do.   :)

 

The best way to think about it is there is no SINGLE factor for this. Aperture, focal length, and focal ratio are intrinsically linked. An easy example of this is a standard telescope (pick any type, any F ratio) and stop it down with an aperture mask. The aperture is reduced, but the focal length is constant. The focal ratio has changed though. The slower focal ratio now requires the longer exposure.



#42 jerry10137

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 10:49 AM

Go do a search and hunt down some astrophotos taken with a Canon 200mm F1.8L lens......there are some out there.  Then, you will see why faster systems are desirable for some photographers.  You can simply pull in a huge amount of faint detail for little exposure time.  The crappy part is that in most cases, the really fast systems usually have a cost associated with them that is very high.  It would take forever to make an image like that at 200mm F7 or F8.  However, this is why we have such differences in lens types/scopes.  Exposing a brighter galaxy at 200mm F8 can also be desirable because you need the depth to pull that galaxy in.  You exposure time increases dramatically but this is usually okay because a really fast system capable of deep galaxy exposures would cost much more than I could afford.



#43 BillP

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 10:59 AM

Jerry,

 

WoW...you do such excellent comparison work with DSLR imaging...you definitely set the standard for others :bow:  :waytogo:

 

There are subtle differences between the two, and many are nothing of consequence as they can be adjusted to equalize with slight tone and sharpening settings.  What can't be post processed though is the spikes in the light path on the Tak, and the outer bright ring on the halo around the brightest stars in the frame.  Because of these two items, overall I felt the SW picture would be the best one to hang on the wall.  Again...fantastic work!


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#44 jerry10137

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 11:11 AM

Jerry - excellent work with both tests done. The 150 and 100. Shows they are quite capable for dslr AP. Too bad to see the hackles get raised on the fanboi's, but is to be expected. Particularly when all the tests show is exactly what has been stated thousands of times in this forum - the more expensive the scope, the more diminishing the returns. There will always be folks that just want the best of everything, but for those that would like a close second, the options are rather good with the Esprit line.

 

I think it is very similar to my other hobby's forum arguments. Music. Argument comes up frequently on Analog vs Digital or Virtual Analog in regards to synthesizers. Examples of side by side comparisons in raw wav files for all the members to examine how they wish and the fact remains that 98% of the average population won't be able to hear differences. Just like here. I'm not an AP'er and I see no discernible differences in the photos. I didn't zoom way in 300x because I like to view AP shots, not inspect them. 

Thanks a bunch!  And I completely agree with all that you are saying.  For some, it just simply isn't a good optic unless it's a Tak or an AP.  However, a large majority of us would rather have the close second so we can apply additional funds to a nice camera!  I take my photos to see what looks best on the wall in my home.  I can even give you a super example of this right now.......take a look at the below picture....

 

M8_M20_HaLRGB_FINAL_Small.jpg

 

Not bad for a DSLR photo.  I don't have a ton of time in exposure or processing but think it came out fairly nice....

 

BUT.....

 

If you zoom in on the fullsize .jpg (I do not have one availble right this second) you will see that the stars are not round at all.  They are oblonged with some pretty ugly spikes and the CA is absolutley terrible.  The stars here have more CA than I have seen even with a cheap Canon lens....lol  And I took this picture with an FSQ106.  The reason it looks terrible zoomed in is because I was using a UV/IR Astronomik clip in filter and didn't realize it was not perfectly flush with the sensor.  This caused some major light spreading.  I noticed this as I was processing the image and with huge disappointment, went ahead and finished processing it.  I now have an 18x24 of this hanging above my bed in a matted frame.  Even though to the eye it looks decent.....I'm certainly not going to show off the full sizw .jpg as my best shot ever.  Instead, I will chalk up what I learned from the experience and enjoy the photo with my family.  My point is I didn't trash this one simply because it looks bad if you zoom in.  It looks good hanging on my wall.


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#45 jerry10137

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 11:33 AM



Jerry,

 

WoW...you do such excellent comparison work with DSLR imaging...you definitely set the standard for others :bow:  :waytogo:

 

There are subtle differences between the two, and many are nothing of consequence as they can be adjusted to equalize with slight tone and sharpening settings.  What can't be post processed though is the spikes in the light path on the Tak, and the outer bright ring on the halo around the brightest stars in the frame.  Because of these two items, overall I felt the SW picture would be the best one to hang on the wall.  Again...fantastic work!

Thanks Bill....and thanks for the support you have shown while I do these comparisons!  My only comment on these pictures in general is that the sky wasn't the best but it was decent.  Maybe a dark bortle 3 or a bortle 2.  I was fighting a light gradient to the east from a friday night football game about 30 miles away for some of these exposures as well as a nice amount of moisture in the air.  So, I did what I could to make processing as even and fair as possible.  In the end, I am happy with the way they turned out.  In my personal opinion, I agree with you.  I think the SW picture has some cleaner stars overall.  Although I can personally deal with shadows very simply because I see these in more optics than none.  While the Tak may have some ever so slightly tighter stars and a bit more sharpness within Merope (possibly due to the F5 vs. F5.5), I am still very pleased with the SW version.  I will tell you this though......I am extremely glad I took flats for this comparison and applied them.  That little time and effort could have completely ruined this test.......(FYI flats were not applied to the AP160 test).  The FSQ has a hot spot in it the size of mount ranier.....when I processed the result to see the outcome without flats, it was absolutley terrible coming from the FSQ and the two "non-flat" versions were nothing alike at all.  So the flats really did work here.  My point is that I used to be somewhat against flats and the time needed to take them.  I now believe that flats can absolutely help the photo depending on the lens design.  To show you exactly how the sky quality and camera setup can affect a picture, I took this one solo with th esprit and a different camera a month prior under a dark borlte 1 sky.

 

http://www.keith-eng...AL_MODIFIED.jpg


Edited by jerry10137, 20 November 2014 - 11:34 AM.


#46 Peter in Reno

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 11:47 AM

I would have like to see the comparison if mono Sony ICX-694 CCDs were used. This CCD has very high QE especially at low end of the blue spectrum which could pass violet light. TAK FSQ is supposed to have the best color correction (more like wide spectrum) in the refractor market. My TEC 140 APO does not correct below 430nm and FSQ can correct below 400nm. My TEC 140 is showing star bloats when taken with Astrodon blue filter and FSQ should not show star bloats for blue filter. I wonder how well SW Esprit 100 would perform with this CCD and blue filter.

 

See this thread: http://www.cloudynig...my-tec140trius/

 

Peter



#47 SandyHouTex

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 02:13 PM

 

Jerry - excellent work with both tests done. The 150 and 100. Shows they are quite capable for dslr AP. Too bad to see the hackles get raised on the fanboi's, but is to be expected. Particularly when all the tests show is exactly what has been stated thousands of times in this forum - the more expensive the scope, the more diminishing the returns. There will always be folks that just want the best of everything, but for those that would like a close second, the options are rather good with the Esprit line.

 

I think it is very similar to my other hobby's forum arguments. Music. Argument comes up frequently on Analog vs Digital or Virtual Analog in regards to synthesizers. Examples of side by side comparisons in raw wav files for all the members to examine how they wish and the fact remains that 98% of the average population won't be able to hear differences. Just like here. I'm not an AP'er and I see no discernible differences in the photos. I didn't zoom way in 300x because I like to view AP shots, not inspect them. 

Thanks a bunch!  And I completely agree with all that you are saying.  For some, it just simply isn't a good optic unless it's a Tak or an AP.  However, a large majority of us would rather have the close second so we can apply additional funds to a nice camera!  I take my photos to see what looks best on the wall in my home.  I can even give you a super example of this right now.......take a look at the below picture....

 

M8_M20_HaLRGB_FINAL_Small.jpg

 

Not bad for a DSLR photo.  I don't have a ton of time in exposure or processing but think it came out fairly nice....

 

BUT.....

 

If you zoom in on the fullsize .jpg (I do not have one availble right this second) you will see that the stars are not round at all.  They are oblonged with some pretty ugly spikes and the CA is absolutley terrible.  The stars here have more CA than I have seen even with a cheap Canon lens....lol  And I took this picture with an FSQ106.  The reason it looks terrible zoomed in is because I was using a UV/IR Astronomik clip in filter and didn't realize it was not perfectly flush with the sensor.  This caused some major light spreading.  I noticed this as I was processing the image and with huge disappointment, went ahead and finished processing it.  I now have an 18x24 of this hanging above my bed in a matted frame.  Even though to the eye it looks decent.....I'm certainly not going to show off the full sizw .jpg as my best shot ever.  Instead, I will chalk up what I learned from the experience and enjoy the photo with my family.  My point is I didn't trash this one simply because it looks bad if you zoom in.  It looks good hanging on my wall.

 

 

Where did you find an 18X24 printer and paper?


Edited by RodgerHouTex, 20 November 2014 - 02:13 PM.


#48 jerry10137

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 02:25 PM

Wal-Mart Photo Center  :D



#49 jerry10137

jerry10137

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  • Loc: Texas, USA

Posted 20 November 2014 - 02:28 PM

This place also offers some nice printing options.  They do a metallic print that will give an h-alpha photo a really nice chrome feel to it!

 

http://www.nationsph....com/index.aspx



#50 jaymocha

jaymocha

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  • Loc: Seoul, KR

Posted 20 November 2014 - 08:29 PM

Wow!  I'm very impressed with your images jerry, regardless of f/ratio or scope you used... you obviously have a talent that supersedes a mere scopes ability to collect light.  I may have some questions for you when my TSA-102 arrives.  I would love to take a picture as nice as yours to put on my wall too.




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