Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Brand new to astrophotography my 1st rig coming during the week. Comments?

  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 brndnpnt

brndnpnt

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:05 AM

Hello, I hope I am at the right place and this is my fist post so please go easy on me smile.gif

 

I am really new and worried and hope yall can get me on the path to taking picture because if not my wife will give me that look. I also have no idea what software to use to edit photos if needed. From watching videos this ASI AIR thing seems to have a lot of built in software but I still don't know what else I might need. My rig will get to me mid week in the mail.

 

I wanted to share my rig with yall so I know if Im on the right track

 

 Telescope Stellarvue sv80st Triplet refractor system f/6

 

                  Stellarvue 0.8 focal reducer field flattener <-- ???

                 

                  ZWO F/4 guide scope

                  ZWO ASI071 Pro cooled Color

                  ZWO ASI120 super speed Color for guide scope

                  ZWO ASI AIR camera controller 

 

                  Also 1x Solar Filter 

  

                  Celestron CGX german equatorial mount with goto upto 50lbs

 

                   ADM 7" dovetail universal plate


Edited by brndnpnt, 17 June 2019 - 12:06 AM.

  • eros312, elmiko and Merk like this

#2 Christian-UAE

Christian-UAE

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 194
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Abu Dhabi

Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:38 AM

You did not mentioned for what the solar filter but make yourself very much aware about the danger when it comes to solar observation or imaging. A filter on the ocular or camera side is not enough !!!

#3 pgs/sdg

pgs/sdg

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 410
  • Joined: 18 Jul 2014
  • Loc: 36°N, 92°W Ozark Mountains on the White River

Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:46 AM

Wecome to CN!

A very nice list ...congrats! 

good quality and good choices...others (who know more ) will add what they think about your camera choices...but looks good to me. 

Your going to need PHD2 for guiding - its free.

Most of the time a mono camera is recommended for guiding

didn't see dew strips in there - don't know where you're located - but those can really be important/necessary along with a controller.

all that should get you off to a good start.

on the software end there are MANY choices. Many use Deep Sky stacker and then Photoshop, but there's also Nebulosity, Pixinsight and lots of others.

check out Charles Bracken's book Deep Sky Imaging Primer...its on Amazon.

This forum is great...you'll get great advice here.

good luck 


Edited by pgs/sdg, 17 June 2019 - 12:48 AM.


#4 scadvice

scadvice

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1355
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Lodi, California

Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:53 AM

Great set up... accept for the the solar filter and the ZWO ASI120 super speed Color for the guide scope.

 

I'm a little concerned as to your intention for the solar filter and it's proper use? Tell use how you plan to use it?

 

Guide cameras should be the mono version. Like any of these ZWO's 

 

ASI120mm Mono

or any of these in this link

https://astronomy-im...guiding-cameras

 

Welcome...the Stellarvue sv80st Triplet is a very nice scope. I have two Stellarvue scopes.


Edited by scadvice, 17 June 2019 - 12:57 AM.


#5 brndnpnt

brndnpnt

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:59 AM

You did not mentioned for what the solar filter but make yourself very much aware about the danger when it comes to solar observation or imaging. A filter on the ocular or camera side is not enough !!!

Danger huh, good to know. idk it fits on the end of telescope. I just picked it up because I had some credit on my account.



#6 brndnpnt

brndnpnt

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:04 AM

Wecome to CN!

A very nice list ...congrats! 

good quality and good choices...others (who know more ) will add what they think about your camera choices...but looks good to me. 

Your going to need PHD2 for guiding - its free.

Most of the time a mono camera is recommended for guiding

didn't see dew strips in there - don't know where you're located - but those can really be important/necessary along with a controller.

all that should get you off to a good start.

on the software end there are MANY choices. Many use Deep Sky stacker and then Photoshop, but there's also Nebulosity, Pixinsight and lots of others.

check out Charles Bracken's book Deep Sky Imaging Primer...its on Amazon.

This forum is great...you'll get great advice here.

good luck 

 

Will the guide camera work? Dang.. I just wasn't sure. also, I did ready about the dew strips and just forgot to grab that to so next time I'm shopping ill pick that up.. I had planned on some sun spots but I wanted to check here before I set my rig on fire. Its a filter that goes on the end of the scope not a filter at the camera. 



#7 Christian-UAE

Christian-UAE

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 194
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Abu Dhabi

Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:26 AM

Danger huh, good to know. idk it fits on the end of telescope. I just picked it up because I had some credit on my account.


Yes. You can loose your eyesight in a split of a second. Or damge your scope and camera. You need a proper solar set-up if you intend to observe. This includes the part of the scope which is directed to the sun. Not the end where you look into...

Please have a good search in the internet or post a question about safe usage in the solar observation section in this forum

Have fun with your gear...youvare going in the right direction

Regards
Christian

Edited by Christian-UAE, 17 June 2019 - 01:35 AM.


#8 sg6

sg6

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5906
  • Joined: 14 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Norfolk, UK.

Posted 17 June 2019 - 02:03 AM

Seems a nice sensible setup.

Solar filter needs to be a front aperture one - but as all the rest is well chosen I expect that to be also. If it is an imaging filter then suggest you don't look at the sun through it. They are different strengths and an imaging one lets more through.

 

Imaging ones tend to be around ND3 (1/1000 transmission) whereas visual tend to be ND5 (100,000 transmission). So a factor of 100 different. So likely to depend if you have asked for imaging or visual = find out first.

 

Stacking is DSS (Deep Sky Stacker) and it is free. Bit unsure what processing software will be best. You tend to have to find what suits the way, weird or otherwise, that your brain works.

 

PixInSight is one, Photoshop another - both cost. Gimp is free. All those are sort of big.

Seems MS Paint is said to be reasonable, think that is free.

Could look at Affinity, know people that use it happily.

Look for AstroArt and IRIS. There is also one called something like Seril (will have a look).

Easier option: http://www.astropix....p/software.html

 

Also: http://astronomyonli...tronomySoftware

 

Look up Startools as well.

Just throw "astro imaging software" in to Google, you will get lots, even reference to this forum - maybe check out the pinned topics at the top.

 

Start simple, suggest you go get say 40 second images unguided initially, then add the guiding and get familiar with that.

 

By the way Why the solar filter? It will be white light so no real granularity and flares.



#9 futuneral

futuneral

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1004
  • Joined: 27 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Phoenix, AZ

Posted 17 June 2019 - 02:18 AM

As others said, very nice setup to be starting with, I wish I was that smart when I started.

 

As for the 120MC - if you can return it without opening, do it and buy a mono one (even 120MM is better). However, it's not impossible - I used ASI120MC for guiding for a bit, it works just fine, but more difficult to find a star suitable for guiding. 

 

Aside from that, you don't need it right away at all, there is a lot of stuff to connect together and make it work. So it's better to do it gradually and the guiding scope/camera could be the last thing you will need on your setup. Try imaging unguided. With your scope/mount combo you should be able to get nice 1 minute subs. That's enough for starters - processing is the underwater part of the iceberg. Once you become comfortable with that, you can proceed to increasing sub lengths and adding the autoguider.


  • okiedrifter and happylimpet like this

#10 Sven_Bortle5

Sven_Bortle5

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 64
  • Joined: 08 Feb 2019
  • Loc: Düsseldorf, Germany

Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:34 AM

Please rethink doing solar observation. There‘s a good reason why you can buy highly specialized telescopes for that.

 

I remember I had a really cheap Newtonian as a kid, with a few oculars and a moon and a solar filter. Tried it once and the whole system got so hot, that I didn‘t want to touch the focuser after a minute.

 

Additionally, I simply wouldn‘t put a good and not specialized refractor under that kind of stress. And don‘t put your eyesight in danger.

 

Focus on your observation / astrophotography routines first and please, read yourself deep into solar observation before trying it.

 

Regards,

Sven



#11 brndnpnt

brndnpnt

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 17 June 2019 - 07:51 AM

Hey, thanks for the heads up on the solar advice everyone. I'll hold off on that. I've read through all the good replies so far.. Thanks everyone.. 



#12 brndnpnt

brndnpnt

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 17 June 2019 - 08:39 AM

Due to the many responses on the solar filter here is the one I purchased. Says image or viewing to answer another question. It did also have me questioning before I purchased, What about protection for the guide scope... scratching head.  

 

Do I have to buy zwo 120mm monochrome guide scope? I'm kinda upset if I threw money away on the color one......

 

https://optcorp.com/...79mm-3-3-8-86mm

 

Thanks everyone.

 

Location New Orleans



#13 ImNewHere

ImNewHere

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2164
  • Joined: 29 Mar 2017
  • Loc: Nashville, IN

Posted 17 June 2019 - 09:27 AM

That filter will be fine for normal white light use. Also, yes, get a flattener for your scope. You will need it.

#14 brndnpnt

brndnpnt

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 17 June 2019 - 09:38 AM

I think I listed that at the top and what does that do and and how do I use it? So the filter I have would be to look at the moon during the day then?

That filter will be fine for normal white light use . Also, yes, get a flattener for your scope. You will need it.



#15 CharlesW

CharlesW

    Long time member

  • ***--
  • Posts: 3659
  • Joined: 01 Nov 2012
  • Loc: Chula Vista, CA

Posted 17 June 2019 - 09:40 AM

I would add that you should be in this hobby for the long haul. Just like anything, you are going to have to practice. No night is a failure, it’s an opportunity to learn what didn’t work. I’ve been through lots of those. Persevere. 



#16 Sven_Bortle5

Sven_Bortle5

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 64
  • Joined: 08 Feb 2019
  • Loc: Düsseldorf, Germany

Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:39 AM

For the guide scope one would normally buy a monochrome camera as these are more sensitive. Especially when you use a small guidescope a sensitive camera will simply "see more" and thus provide a more stabile guiding.

 

If you stick with ZWO because if the ASI AIR, the ASI 120 MM mini mono is what you're looking for. Maybe you can exchange it.

The ASI 290 MM mini is even more sensitive, but so it's way more expensive.

 

The field-flattener / reducer does 2 things:

  • it reduces the focal length by 0.8, what increases the f-ratio of your system (= better signal-to-noise ratio and faster/better imaging)
    … and it reduces the magnification (try here with M42) ...
     
  • it flattens the field of view (= prevents the effect that stars at the borders of your image become oval)

Regards,

Sven


Edited by Sven_Bortle5, 17 June 2019 - 10:43 AM.


#17 bobzeq25

bobzeq25

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16931
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2014

Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:48 AM

Due to the many responses on the solar filter here is the one I purchased. Says image or viewing to answer another question. It did also have me questioning before I purchased, What about protection for the guide scope... scratching head.  

 

Do I have to buy zwo 120mm monochrome guide scope? I'm kinda upset if I threw money away on the color one......

 

https://optcorp.com/...79mm-3-3-8-86mm

 

Thanks everyone.

 

Location New Orleans

You're doing fine.

 

That solar filter will let you view or take pictures of sunspots, it's excellent for that purpose.  Don't expect the kind of fine detail people using very expensive specialized solar equipment get.

 

You just cover the finder with something opaque.

 

The color camera was not the best purchase, not awful.  Most of the time it will work fine, occasionally you may have a bit of difficulty finding a good guide star.   If you can exchange it do so, if not, don't worry about it in advance.

 

I'll join the chorus recommending a reducer/flattener.  Be sure to get the one Stellarvue recommends.


Edited by bobzeq25, 17 June 2019 - 10:49 AM.


#18 brndnpnt

brndnpnt

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:55 AM

my nerves are bad, this hobby cost alot to get started am I still going to be able to make a pretty picture with what I have?😭

Edited by brndnpnt, 17 June 2019 - 11:55 AM.


#19 futuneral

futuneral

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1004
  • Joined: 27 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Phoenix, AZ

Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:04 PM

Yes. Definitely. Just don't give up.

 

How dark are the skies where you are at? 



#20 TelescopeGreg

TelescopeGreg

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1062
  • Joined: 16 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Auburn, California, USA

Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:10 PM

my nerves are bad, this hobby cost alot to get started am I still going to be able to make a pretty picture with what I have?

You're doing fine.  My recommendation would be to put the credit card away for now, take a breath, and start playing with what you have.  Start with the minimum.  Scope, mount, camera.  Hold the autoguider and such until you have an image.  Practice polar alignment, sky alignment (they're different), focus, exposure.  Try to make a stack of more than one image.  Then add things and processes.  There is no perfect setup, and you can get images with practically anything.  Better equipment, and especially more practice, will improve the images you get, but it's most important that you actually get outside, point the thing at the night sky, and open the shutter. 

 

Your first image won't be magazine-cover quality; probably neither will your second.  But you will get something.  With every image you will become more familiar with what you and your equipment are capable of, and you can begin to understand many of the nuances of astro imaging, and work on incremental improvements in both.  Getting a really good image is more dependent on you than it is on the equipment, especially when you consider that the processing of the image (search for "DSO AP image processing") can be more than half the work.  There is no such thing as an "Instamatic" astro camera. 

 

There's also no such thing as a stupid question.  You will have (we all have had) some puzzles that just confound the whole process.  Very normal, very much expected.  Please allow us to help.  This is a hobby of a bazillion little details.  It may appear to be daunting, but if you take it one step at a time you will come to find that none of the details are all that hard to understand.  No degree in astrophysics is required.  You're building a skyscraper, one little rivet at a time.  Each rivet is no big deal.  Do the rivet.  Before you know it, you'll be lounging in the penthouse suite.


  • pgs/sdg likes this

#21 brndnpnt

brndnpnt

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:21 PM

I live in new Orleans... But there is a park not from from me that has better skies. they also have a public observatory called the gretna telescope at the park.

 

maybe i can go there sometimes

 

Yes. Definitely. Just don't give up.

 

How dark are the skies where you are at? 

 



#22 Stelios

Stelios

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 7698
  • Joined: 04 Oct 2003
  • Loc: West Hills, CA

Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:54 PM

Comments on your equipment:

 

0) Excellent choices:

  • The Stellarvue scope.
  • The ASI071MC-Pro
  • The reducer/flattener (although just a reducer would've been OK)
  • The guide scope.

1) Mediocre choices

  • The CGX mount. Heavy and unwieldy, and not the best tracking mount. Better options in descending $$$: iOptron CEM60, iOptron CEM40, EQ6R-Pro.
  • The ASIAir. Jack of all trades and master of none. Imaging with a tablet on occasion may be fun, but the form factor is limiting, and you are locked into a single system and software set.

2) Poor choices

 

  • The ASI120MC (it doesn't even work with the ASIAir). Get the ASI120MM-mini instead.
  • The solar filter. Others have stressed that, and I agree.


#23 Pauls72

Pauls72

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2496
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2007
  • Loc: LaPorte, IN USA

Posted 17 June 2019 - 01:57 PM

Here is the light pollution map for Greta, LA. I doubt the Greta Observatory will be too much different than your house. Light pollution is your enemy and it travels a long way. Ideally, you want to be in a dark gray or even light gray area. There isn't much of it in the eastern US. But even getting to a yellow or green are will help greatly.

https://www.lightpol...rs=B0FFFFFTFFFF

 

 

This is something called a sun funnel. It shows you the same thing as what you will see with your white light solar filter. You will see sunspots.  During a period of low solar activity, like now, there isn't a lot to see. The type of solar filter you are getting is safe to use. Just be sure to inspect it for scratches and knicks before each use.

SunSpots2.JPG


Edited by Pauls72, 17 June 2019 - 03:05 PM.


#24 bobzeq25

bobzeq25

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16931
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2014

Posted 17 June 2019 - 02:11 PM

my nerves are bad, this hobby cost alot to get started am I still going to be able to make a pretty picture with what I have?

Absolutely.  You have the basics just about perfect, way above average for a beginner.  CGX, SV80ST, ASI071.

 

One thing to really watch out for here.  Experienced imagers posting about experienced imager concerns, or about personal preferences.  I cannot possibly overemphasize the need to not let those concern you.  CN is wonderful, that's its weakness where beginner advice is concerned.

 

Next.  Beginners often overemphasize equipment.  A favorite saying of mine:

 

Dustin Johnson's clubs will not put you on the PGA tour.  <smile>

 

Forget the equipment quibbles.  Here's what's really important.  _To you_.

 

Processing is more than half the game, and takes a long time to learn to do well.  An astro specific processing program is much superior to a terrestrial one.  I like Astro Pixel Processor for beginners.  Very competent, inexpensive, relatively easy to learn, has a fine gradient reduction tool, very important for reducing the effects of light pollution.

 

But, have reasonable expectations.  Processing is never easy, I have several hundred hours invested in learning and doing it.  You can make some nice images with far less of course.

 

Important assists.  This book has the best explanation of processing I've ever seen.  You can ignore the specific directions, it's the theory that counts right now.  The book has much more useful information, it will build your essential knowledge base better than any number of short posts here.

 

https://www.amazon.c...d/dp/0999470906

 

Take the calibration frames (bias, flats, darks) from the very start.  Otherwise you're very likely to learn bad habits in processing, and you really don't want to do that.

 

Come back with your questions.  We love to help.  Just watch out for people fussing over details that are not all that useful to you.

 

My personal thoughts.  Consider getting a Hydrogen alpha filter for your 071, and doing some black and white imaging.  That will greatly simplify the processing, and let you get your feet on the ground before folding in color.  You will need to do longer exposures, 5 minutes is a good place to start.

 

Big bright targets.  Even a random part of the Milky Way is a fine place to start.


Edited by bobzeq25, 17 June 2019 - 02:14 PM.

  • pgs/sdg likes this

#25 Sven_Bortle5

Sven_Bortle5

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 64
  • Joined: 08 Feb 2019
  • Loc: Düsseldorf, Germany

Posted 18 June 2019 - 01:29 PM

my nerves are bad, this hobby cost alot to get started am I still going to be able to make a pretty picture with what I have?

You will make pretty pictures in any case. As bobzeq25 said, your equipment is above average, but it's all about what you make of it.

 

I'd like to share some additional experiences:

 

  • Take your time and enjoy especially that: Your going into a scientific hobby, so focus on all - the little - things you learn. I have e.g. chosen M81 as one of my first targets. Collected 1.5 hours of exposure with flats, darks, bias…. processed… first amazing image. Added 2 hours of exposure, again with flats, darks, bias… better processing… way better image. Got greedy and added another 5 hours of exposure (plus correction frames)… processed... and had a grin up to my ears.  smile.gif 

    Then I took shots of the Orion Nebula and saw something in processing. Thought it was dust, but found out later that I "discovered" NGC1999. It's a journey and there are a lot of surprises around every corner. 

    And being on your way, upgrading equipment from time to time will give you a boost. Reserve this.
     
  • Secondly, there's a spiritual side, which did hit me more than I expected: Having set everything up, sitting there when the night falls, seeing more and more stars coming out. Knowing them by name. Your start to live by the pulse of nature. I did receive a new, closer and very personal connection to it.

 

So, just start and try - taking many small steps is the best way to have many moments fun and only little disappointments. wink.gif

 

 

… and cheers to your 7000th post, Stelois. wink.gif


Edited by Sven_Bortle5, 18 June 2019 - 01:35 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics