I'm very new to deep-sky astrophotography so I have been patiently waiting for opportunities to practice and just get a system down. I'm using a SkyWatcher Esprit 100, SkyWatcher EQ6R Pro, Canon 5dm3 and PoleMaster. Software-wise I am using BYE, Astrotortilla and CdC. So last night, even though there was way too much moonlight so nothing to really show for my efforts, I went out just to see if I could get all of the parts working together. I've been out a few times so I'm comfortable with polar aligning using PoleMaster (great tool!). But last night was the first time I was able to get everything communicating, used CdC to slew to my target and then (finally) successfully use Astrotortilla to plate solve for alignment.
Again, too much moonlight, but I imaged for about 2 hours until my target (flame/horsehead) dipped behind some trees. I did a series of 15", 30", 60", 90" and 120" exposures, really just to check my unguided tracking. Nearly all of the 15", 30" and 60" looked good. About 2/3's of the 90" were good. None of the 120" were acceptable. A little disappointed with that. Tomorrow my ZWO ASI290MM Mini and Orion 50mm mini Guide Scope will arrive so hopefully I will get a chance to practice another time or two during the next week and be ready to capture something worthwhile once the moon gets out of the way.
Thanks for reading!