You guys are to be congratulated on turning out some good shots, (above).
Perhaps bear in mind though, that "shooting" is only a lesser part of the overall technique where, if the captured image has potential, processing will pay a very major roll in exploiting this.
In my view, I think the essentials are:
1) Whether you take your shots at prime or a-focus is irrelevant, but try to accumulate a reasonable number of frames for stacking. This will increase your signal to noise ratio and thus produce a smoother, "cleaner" image for processing.
2) If possible, use a software package rather depend purely on any DSLR camera to accumulate your selected number of frames or video. By its use, .you can see now much better the image appears on the "widescreen" before capturing it, (i.e. its brightness, contrast, colour, focus etc.) and thus be in a position to adjust easily, any one or more of these properties should it be necessary.
3) Decide and concentrate upon getting a good image of one perhaps two objects only on any given night. Flitting from object is not to be recommended as I recall to my own cost !
4) Learn the basics associated with stacking and processing.
Registax is an ideal tool for stacking and processing lunar and planetary frames, while DSS, (Deep Sky Stacker), is great for DSOs. Both of these packages are free while to enhance the final, stacked image, Photoshop offer their excellent CS2 version as an equally free download.
Registax and DSS however, do not offer any DSO capture capability unlike Amcap, Sharpcap, Craterlet etc. do for planetary and lunar landscape frames. For this purpose, I personally use "Nebulosity" supplied by Stark Labs. but I gather there are other programs available depending on how much one wants to spend. Nebulosity costs, I believe, about $60 nowadays.
So, exampling Pugsx's lunar landscape above, which includes the crater Tycho, the attached gives some indication of what CS2 alone can do.
I hope it meets with your approval and that the above post may help you to increase your skills in astrophotography.
Best regards and keep 'em coming !
Edited by Tel, 27 November 2015 - 08:20 AM.