Hello guys and gals
wondering if someone can help me out ?
I've got the polar alignment done ,telescope with DSLR attached and balanced, but how does everyone do star alignment with the camera attached (without the use of a computer ) ?
I'm using live view but its so hard to see the stars , I live in a borttle 6 but with a lot lights and the camera I'm using is a Canon rebel T1i.
any hints or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Just another example of the requirements triangle of
money quality result
in AP, where you cannot have all three (often not two). You must lose at least one or two to have the other....
So your camera/gear situation will demand a little more time/effort from you than others experience.
The optics in front of your camera also can make things difficult. (you didn't offer details on such).
With f/1.4 or f/2.8 aperture lenses, it is much easier to quickly detect stars....
I imagine you aren't aware to know how to describe it better, but "its so hard to see the stars" can mean different things.
- Do you mean pointing at various directions makes it difficult to access the back of the camera?
- Do you mean the camera sensitivity+optics make it difficult for the camera to register any stars in live view?
- Do you mean the camera LCD display is so small and far away from where you are standing it is hard to see the little pixel size points of light?
Also have you played around with your camera just hand-held under the stars and are familiar with all the options that could make the situation better? ie: some cameras have better display in video mode...Using the highest ISO setting to see the stars is helpful. There's no requirement that you have to use the same settings when you start taking images...I have though seen somewhat experienced AP'ers struggle with such because they had somehang-up with using high gain that is just silly. Also focus magnifier option as mentioned above is helpful....
If your camera is at least able to see the alignment stars, but seeing is still troubled, you might consider what others without PC connections do:
purchase a portable external monitor to connect via HDMI to camera...
For ~$100 a nice 5-8" display can be had that with a cable to camera can be held in your lap while while you are sitting down and hand controlling the direction of the mount, no contortions to see the small LCD on camera to know where the camera is pointed....
Note for most Canon cameras they've crippled video features so you don't have the option of turning off all the display items on the screen, in order to have a 'clean' "live view" of just the scene output to monitor.
If your issue is camera/optics sensitivity, then you still have the option of taking a longer exposure at the highest ISO to see if you can detect some stars and then slightly move mount control until aligned....
Note with EQ mount, polar alignment determines tracking accuracy,
star alignment determines GOTO pointing accuracy.
You can use a finderscope or larger FOV/smaller focal length optics to center the stars, it may just mean the pointing won't be spot-on with your main optics+camera.
You may be at the limit of your tools' usefulness. It might be either time/effort or spend a little $$ for less time/effort on star alignment.....