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Hey everyone! Been a while....Whirlpool Galaxy.

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#1 Ryan1776

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 08:12 AM

Hey everyone hope you're all doing well! 
Work and having a 2 year old has kept me busy. Here in Michigan I probably had a handful of decent enough nights to shoot between October and March, which of course I did not exploit. Ah well. 
Finally got my rig back out last night to shoot the Whirlpool. 

 

LXD55 Newt. 

Orion Atlas 
Canon unmod T7i

ZWO 120 guide cam

ZWO ASIAir 

Optolong L-Pro

115 images, taken- used 92.

Deep Sky Stacker-CS6-ProDigital Light pollution removal. 

 

I think I got a little greedy last night, ISO 800 and 120sec subs. Definitely have some hot pixels.

 

I've got a lot to learn. Processing and what not. But I'll keep plugging away at it. I think I'll shoot the same target tonight with less time, 90sec and integrate with these shots.

 

I'm ready to ditch the newt now. I want a good imaging refractor. "Good" for me right now is probably 500 bucks. I think I'll do the scope first and camera second. 

 

 

Whirlpool.jpg

 

Thanks for reading, looking! 

Ryan 

 

 


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#2 the Elf

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 09:08 AM

You missed the imaging challenge by 2 days. Nice image.


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#3 Ryan1776

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 09:44 AM

You missed the imaging challenge by 2 days. Nice image.

Thank you! I appreciate it! I didn't know about the imaging challenge. AH well. There's a LOT of great workers on here. I doubt I would have been competitive.  



#4 the Elf

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 01:10 PM

It is not a competition. It is for fun and to see how others' interpretation of the object is. The winner is selected by random drawing and the price is to choose the next object. Let's see what Phil will pick.


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#5 Ryan1776

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 01:12 PM

It is not a competition. It is for fun and to see how others' interpretation of the object is. The winner is selected by random drawing and the price is to choose the next object. Let's see what Phil will pick.

Oh! That's super cool! 



#6 Ryan1776

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 02:42 PM

WhirlPool.jpg

 

 

Worked a little with it.

It's really amazing how you can "see" it differently depending on the edit. I have an awful "something" around the target that I'm not good enough yet to remove. Removing it, removes a lot of data too, so it's heavily edited. 


Edited by Ryan1776, 02 July 2020 - 02:43 PM.

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#7 BQ Octantis

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 06:11 PM

I'm ready to ditch the newt now. I want a good imaging refractor. "Good" for me right now is probably 500 bucks. I think I'll do the scope first and camera second.

 

I'm shocked to read this…my dream scope is a good imaging Newt! Changing the OTA but keeping the same processing workflow will produce basically the same result. And $500 will not buy a "good" apochromatic refractor, but will buy a "very good" imaging Newt.

 

Are you using a coma corrector? And how good is your collimation? The stars in the upper left look a bit coma-ish.

 

BQ


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#8 the Elf

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 01:38 AM

There is no good imaging refractor below $1000 US or so. While coaching a bunch of noobs I have been digging and digging and checking lists in magazines and basically the result is this:

- there are refractors in the $400-500 range but they lack special glasses so you have huge halos. In any case you need a corrector that adds about $200 plus a bunch of adapters.

- there are newts in the $300 range but they need a coma corrector for the same amount or even one for $600 if you want to get a DSLR into focus. Only few newts are designed to have that much back focus. So you might have to add an astro camera or a mirrorless or you need the expensive Paracorr that pushes focus out by a 1.1 magnification.

- there is a cheap RC6, price changing all the time, assume $500. You need a reducer as the focal length is far too long for a moderate mount and you need off axis guiding as it suffers from extreme internal flex. Some people fail collimating it, some invest hundreds of $$$ for collimation stuff.

- there are cheap SCTs but the focal length is waaaay too long for a beginner even with reducers.

 

All people I know who come up with decent photos either have a triplet refractor with a field flattener or a special photo newt with an expensive coma corrector or an RC 8 inch or larger or the 190mm Mak-Newt or RASAs or CDKs. This is all in the $1500 - $20.000 range. For the newt option check the ONTCs or lacerta newts. I also like the MN190 very much. If you go for a refractor you need an FPL53/lanthan doublet minimum, a FPL53 triplet is better. A flat field astrograph is already corrected and easy to use for a beginner.

The lowest low cost thing near decency level you can do is a 70-80mm aperture FPL53/lanthan doublet and a long spacer to come into focus. The field is curves do you have to crop the image a lot. This works well for small objects like a galaxy. Image small stuff only while saving money for a flattener or flattening reducer and the adaptors you need for that. This would stretch the expenses over time. You need guiding sooner or later. There is no cheap way though some guys who really know what they do sometimes achieve great results with low cost stuff (see Astrobiscuit on youtube). That does not mean anyone can do it.



#9 Ryan1776

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 01:59 PM

I'm shocked to read this…my dream scope is a good imaging Newt! Changing the OTA but keeping the same processing workflow will produce basically the same result. And $500 will not buy a "good" apochromatic refractor, but will buy a "very good" imaging Newt.

 

Are you using a coma corrector? And how good is your collimation? The stars in the upper left look a bit coma-ish.

 

BQ

No corrector. Collimation is OK not great. I know it's not. I agonized over it for a while got it close and decided I want to get lights and learn processing and deal with a bit a coma. Full disclosure, the tube has a dent near the rear mirror. It did not appear to affect the alignment, (I don't know how that's possible) but I checked it again with my laser collimator and didn't really change. And I did use machinist V blocks and aligned the laser first. 

 

hahaha as far as not wanting a Newt. It's funny. My other big hobby is ham radio. My dream radio is an Icom 7700 (or 7610) but for someone else their dream radio is a Kenwood TS-990S both incredible units. Maybe I'm comparing apples to oranges. But that's how I relate. Both will do the job. 

 

 

There is no good imaging refractor below $1000 US or so. While coaching a bunch of noobs I have been digging and digging and checking lists in magazines and basically the result is this:

 

Man, some SOLID info in that response. And much appreciated. 

I guess I should have defined terms. 

Good-for me is going to be different from good for you. You're are FAR more skilled and experienced than I am. To keep on the ham radio comparison. I started my radio work with my dads Kenwood TS-520. Old 1970's tech. Tube radio. Needs tuning for every band change etc. BUT I got good at it. And learned about propagation, SWR and so on..... I upgraded to a solid state radio and love it. I'd like something that's easier to move around mount and work with. (Maybe I'm kidding myself)

And the price point was definitely a used price point. 

 

https://www.cloudyni...ducer-f6-a-apo/

This is exactly what I was thinking, and I missed it by a few hours. 



#10 BQ Octantis

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 06:36 PM

If you look at your full size image, the coma on the stars around the periphery will point the way to the center of collimation. The coma also blurs the image; it gets worse the further you get from the center of collimation. That is simply a "feature" of most apertures, to include refractors. So even a refractor will require an edge flattener. (And an edge flattener for your Newt would be way cheaper than even a cheap imaging refractor.) The advantage of reflectors is that they have no chromatic aberration; even an expensive apo will have CA around bright stars contend with. Just no diffraction spikes.

 

There's nothing wrong with being a connoisseur of apertures (or radios). I own two telescopes—an f/6 Celestron C5/750 and an f/15 Skywatcher 180 Mak. The Celestron was never made for AP, so it has severe, uncorrectable edge coma. And the Mak is great for planetary, but it's too slow for easy DSOs (and my mount isn't up to the tracking task at that focal length). So I mainly use camera lenses for AP. Their speed (all between f/1.8 and f/4) is their advantage. The only AP-specific optics with focal ratios in this range are a RASA and a Newt astrograph. But the RASA is massive—hence my desire for a Newt.

 

BQ



#11 Ryan1776

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 06:15 PM

If you look at your full size image, the coma on the stars around the periphery will point the way to the center of collimation. The coma also blurs the image; it gets worse the further you get from the center of collimation. That is simply a "feature" of most apertures, to include refractors. So even a refractor will require an edge flattener. (And an edge flattener for your Newt would be way cheaper than even a cheap imaging refractor.) The advantage of reflectors is that they have no chromatic aberration; even an expensive apo will have CA around bright stars contend with. Just no diffraction spikes.

 

There's nothing wrong with being a connoisseur of apertures (or radios). I own two telescopes—an f/6 Celestron C5/750 and an f/15 Skywatcher 180 Mak. The Celestron was never made for AP, so it has severe, uncorrectable edge coma. And the Mak is great for planetary, but it's too slow for easy DSOs (and my mount isn't up to the tracking task at that focal length). So I mainly use camera lenses for AP. Their speed (all between f/1.8 and f/4) is their advantage. The only AP-specific optics with focal ratios in this range are a RASA and a Newt astrograph. But the RASA is massive—hence my desire for a Newt.

 

BQ

I checked again with my laser.  

unnamed.jpg

Obviously a bit off. 

 

But I adjusted it. Both times the dot was in the crosshair on the focuser side of the laser. 

unnamed (1).jpg

 

Problem is, who knows where it is after hanging my DSLR; I'm sure it goes out of alignment. 

A good focuser is 3-500bucks. Thinking a Moonlite with the required LXD55 adapter to get the backfocus. Then mounting and re-aligning. Might be easy? I don't know. Can the tube itself support all that weight now? 

 

 

What about the dent?

Using the finest straight edge. 

unnamed (2).jpg

unnamed (3).jpg

 

These things add up to why I'm considering a used Refractor. I've seem some great images with the William Optics refractors for a reasonable price. 

And you're obviously right, both would need correctors. Coma or field flattener. So that's sorta a moot point in the price comparison. Unless the field flatteners are twice the cost. I pretty much refuse to buy new whenever possible. 

 

I guess in the end, I don't really know what to do. The newt is good for visual on the moon when people are over. Seeing the closer planets is fun, too. 

But it just seems I'd spend a lot of effort getting the newt to decent (read-newbie) AP level. 

Again....I'm a very new newb so I appreciate the input and advice. 

 

Thank you.

 

Ryan 




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