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Very first shot of orion (tips for improvement)

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#1 KingPieter


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Posted 18 January 2020 - 08:21 AM

Hey everyone, 



Yesterday I shot orion for the first time through my 4 inch reflector telescope (celestron 114LCM). Although I found the result quite stunning because I can see some purple and blue color, I noticed some starttrailing due to the heavy wait of the telescope, DSLR and starsense camera. The standard mount isn't capable of holding such weights I guess, hence the startrailing in the image. 


I stacked 2x 30 seconds exposure (iso 800) shots, which I know isn't quite the best but I just wanted to try to shoot my first astrophotography image lol.gif



Do you guys have any tips for me to improve the image? Do I need a larger scope, a better mount, ...? 





Thanks in advence for your advice. 



With kind regards, 


#2 Baskevo


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Posted 18 January 2020 - 09:10 AM

Good for you! My first image changed my life, and it wasn't as pretty as this one :D


With your current setup, unfortunately, you probably won't be able to do much more in terms of imaging. You can try to reduce the exposure time, maybe 10 - 15 seconds, and see if you still get star trailing. Does your DSLR have live view? I used to turn on live view and use the hand controller to center the object in the middle of the frame before I'd start shooting.


While you are practicing with that, start saving for some AP equipment! :) Great job keep it up!!

#3 TelescopeGreg



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Posted 18 January 2020 - 01:55 PM

Pretty sure that's an Alt/Az mount, which means that long exposures (even 30 seconds) will have problems with field rotation.  Shorten the exposures as much as you can, raising the ISO on the camera to compensate, and note that individual images ("subs") will tend to be kind of dark and not show all the detail.  That will come with better processing.  Higher ISO will result in more noise and lower dynamic range, but you can take more exposures (total time is what counts) and do some bracketing of the exposures (needed for Orion in any case) to feed HDR processing.  Try to accumulate tens to hundreds of subs that will get stacked together with a program such as Deep Sky Stacker (a free astro imaging tool).


Investments.  Better imaging will come from a "GEM" (German Equatorial Mount), which has the main rotation axis mechanically adjusted to be the same as that of the Earth (angled up at your latitude).  That should be your first investment.  Then I'd look to an autoguiding solution (guide scope, camera, and some compute platform).  That will provide a closed-loop tracking of the sky, and give you the ability to drop the ISO back down and raise the exposure times, so you can go after a much larger set of deep sky targets.  The scope and camera, actually, aren't as important as getting a really stable lock on the sky's motion.


The GEM mounts also have a much wider range of adjustments for balancing the telescope, camera, and accessories, which will greatly improve your tracking.  In this hobby, microns count.  You need to adopt a zen-like focus on stability and precision in all things, and making sure nothing moves that shouldn't be moving, even in the slightest.  I find it it's freaking amazing what this equipment can do when properly configured and used.

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