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Help! Upgraded my $350 rig to a $3500 rig and I am very disappointed

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#1 timt1971

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Posted 18 January 2021 - 11:05 PM

First, I want to say the cloudy nights forums have been very helpful. I am very thankful for all the posts that answered my questions up to this point.

 

Now, for my issue.  I purchased a Celestron NexStar 127SLT for $313 during Amazon Prime Days.  I later purchased a ZWO ASI224MC with intension of doing some lunar and planetary imaging.  Considering they are both labeled as "planetary" equipment.  Then, one night I decided to go through the DSO menu on the GOTO mount. Surprisingly, I could see nebulosity on even 1 second exposures from the preview mode.  I then took a series of 10 second exposures, stacked them and was blown away.  The image below is a stack of a minute and a half of 10 second exposures with only minor post-production.  That image was taken from a Bortle 6 Zone shooting into a Bortle 7 Zone with a near full moon just to left of target.  No black, flat, or bias frames. And no filters.

 

So, I was hooked.  I began searching for better DSO equipment and landed on the Explore Scientific 127ed and the Skywatcher EQ-6R Pro mount.  And after several clear nights and many, many hours of imaging, I have nothing to show for the new equipment.  I would attach an image, but all I have are blown out, over-produced images with no nebulosity.

 

Any help would be very appreciated. I've tried to figure out what could be going on and what my next move should be.  I may be way off-based, but this is what I've come up with:

1. Perhaps the ES127ed is just more susceptible to the light pollution and I need to invest in some filters.

2. Perhaps the Celestron NexStar127SLT and the ZWO ASI224MC are just a very good match. And although they are both labeled "planetary", they are far exceeding DSO imaging expectations.  And perhaps the ES127ed and the ZWO ASI224MC are a very bad match and underperforming.  I already had plans of upgrading to the ZWO ASI294 MC Pro cooled.  Maybe that should be my next move.  I just hate to spend another $1000, and get no results without a light pollution filter.

3. I haven't ruled out a problem with the ES127ed.  The 2 extensions that came with it were not close to enough back-focus.  I had to rig another 2 inches of back-spacing to achieve focus.  Well, I guess another 1 1/2 inches.  The 2 inches gives me enough space to not be fully extended at focus. However, I have been able to get pinpoint stars with what I've done. So I'm really not sure that could be the issue.

 

Thanks for reading.  And I appreciate any input.

 

On a side note.  Anybody looking for an inexpensive rig to get started with DSO imaging, I would definitely recommend the Celestron NexStar 127SLT and the ZWO ASI224MC.  Contrary to them both being labeled as "planetary."

 

 

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#2 Mitrovarr

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Posted 18 January 2021 - 11:20 PM

If you have trouble getting the scope into focus or recognizing if you've got the scope in focus, you should look into getting a Bahtinov mask. You'll want one for planetary photography anyway, and they're cheap.

 

The refractor should be a far better scope for DSO imaging (for one thing, it's much, much faster) so I think if it's not working there's just a technical issue to work out. Although the ZWO ASI224MC is not really suitable for serious deep sky imaging, just EAA (it doesn't have the resolution for it). Fantastic planetary camera, though, and a good EAA camera.


Edited by Mitrovarr, 18 January 2021 - 11:21 PM.

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#3 ylin

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Posted 18 January 2021 - 11:57 PM

I am also a newbie started only few months ago. So I still remember what I have been through. You have a good scope and a good mount. But I think that camera is not for DSO. It has a sensitive chip but too small. Also you may not reach foucs. Maybe you can try a DSLR? It has larger chip, easy to operate, can do focusing with live view, I think it is probably easier for beginners. A used modified Cannon T3i is around 350.

Currently I am using Redcat, AT60ED, 102F8 APO and C9.25 with 0.63 FF on Orion Sirius EQ mount and a DSLR. I use PHD2 and 60mmF4 (need to add a Barlow when guide C9.25) guide scope and my ASI462 as guide camera. Your ASI224 can be used as guide camera too.


Edited by ylin, 19 January 2021 - 01:25 AM.

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#4 bobzeq25

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 12:16 AM

You asked for "any input".  You may not appreciate my input, but it's honest, and solidly based, it comes from extensive study of what works for beginners, and what doesn't.  It's crisp, sugar coating this would be doing you no favors.  Note that you've had 152 views, and 3 replies.  Most have sadly shook their heads, and moved on.  My main reason for being on CN is to help beginners get started, so...

 

You're correct about being off base.

 

The most important point.  You're aggravated because you spent a lot of money and didn't get good results right away.  The BIG mistake you're making is focusing on the equipment.  The relevant point is that Dustin Johnson's clubs would not put you on the PGA tour.  This business is very unintuitive.  The antidote is knowledge, which takes research.  More research than reading short posts here.  I've suggested two good books below.

 

The following is a distillation of 6 years of research (my bookshelf is extensive) and practice in doing DSO AP.  My credentials are the astrobin site listed below.

 

The 127 is too big a scope to start with, it creates all sorts of problems.  You'd do a lot better with a 51-72. Or a camera lens.  Did I mention this is unintuitive?

 

So called "light pollution filters" are not a magic cure for light pollution.  There are better methods.  One is gradient reduction in processing, which almost all serious imagers use on every image.  Pretty much all astro specific processing programs have a good gradient reduction tool, my recommendation is Astro Pixel Processor.  It's not free.  The "free" alternatives are inferior, they're not free in terms of your time, frustration, and image quality.

 

Look at my astrobin referenced below.  Red Zone, Bortle 7, mag per arc sec squared low 18s.  Very little use of light pollution filters, some narrowband.

 

It's a bad idea to not take the camera calibration frames; bias, flats, darks.  The minor point is that they'll improve your images.  The major one is that, without them, you're about guaranteed to learn bad habits in processing.  Processing is hard enough without having to unlearn bad habits.

 

Your total imaging time guarantees failure.  Rule of thumb.  One hour minimum, two is better, four good.  Gathering a lot of data is one of two things that makes this work.  The other is good processing.  The scope is not that important, except that too big will _really_  mess up learning this complicated hobby.  Neither is the camera, although a small chip makes learning hard.  You'd be better off with a DSLR.  The cooled 294 could also work well.

 

The 127/224 is a terrible rig to get started in DSO AP with.  Scroll down to the picture of this very experienced author.  That's a $500 70mm refractor on a $1200 Sirius (aka HEQ5Pro) mount.  He didn't choose those because he had them lying around.  <smile>  For $1700 + camera, it's an ideal setup to start DSO imaging with.  A bigger scope would _not_ be better.  The DSLR shown is fine, a _cooled_ astro specific camera like the 294 would be a bit better.  But that's not very important.

 

https://www.astropix...bgda/index.html

 

That'll do for now.  Get the book above.  Also get this.  Those will be an excellent start.  They've been carefully chosen from that bookshelf, just for you.  <smile>

 

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

 

Did I mention this was unintuitive?  <smile>


Edited by bobzeq25, 19 January 2021 - 12:49 AM.

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#5 Voska

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 12:19 AM

First and foremost... welcome to the rabbit hole.

Now

1. are you guiding (if no... you REALLY will want to) this will require a guide scope and guide camera

2. Go ahead and post 1 light frame so we can see what you got (unless it is just pure white)

3. Did you take your calibration frames (Darks, Bias/Dark Flats, Flats)

4. What software did you use to stack?

Now that the questions are out of the way.

1. Don't get discouraged this will take time to learn and understand results so you can adjust accordingly

2. Bahtinov Mask (they are cheap and work amazingly for focusing) 

3. There are people that take great DSO images from Tokyo, Chicago, London so while some targets will not be "great" it is still possible. You just have to understand the basics, then adjust Gain/exposure time accordingly. 
4. Capturing is the easy part... editing/processing is where you make your images come alive. Plenty of Youtube tutorials for all levels and a Plethora of books out there from beginner to pro.

Clear Skies!


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#6 ppg677

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 12:45 AM

You're far better equipped than I am :-).  

 

Try using a DSLR.  I'm using a Canon XSI that can be picked up used for $100.   Without a guidescope/guidecam you can take 30-second exposures with a decent polar alignment.

 

Even better-- get a guidescope/guidecam. Then you can take multi-minute exposures.

 

I'm kind of a beginner too. I'm using a crappy mount way way worse than yours. Recently got a Skywatcher 80ed after starting with a $80 cheap refractor.  Guiding with a cheap webcam and a 50mm guidescope. Using StarTools.  Took this the other night...but getting here took me hours and hours of practice and dealing with my fiddly $120 mount with OnStep modifications.  If I only had your mount!!

 

m42~2.jpg

 

 

 

 


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#7 james7ca

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 12:54 AM

I would attach an image, but all I have are blown out, over-produced images with no nebulosity.

Well, on extended objects (i.e. nebulae and galaxies) the 127ED should only require about 40% of the exposure time as your 127SLT. So, have you tried like subjects on both scopes? Other than that the only significant difference will be the image scale (how large the object appears and the field coverage of your camera). Objects will appear smaller in the 127ED but you will also get a larger field of view (when using the same camera on both scopes).

 

As for your camera (ZWO ASI224MC), there is nothing particularly "wrong" with that even for DSO imaging. Except that it is a small sensor and you won't get much field coverage. I have a high-end, 127mm aperture refractor that I use for DSO imaging and with that I produced some pretty good DSO images using both a color QHY5III-178C and a mono ZWO ASI178MM. The color camera was uncooled (like your ASI224MC) but the mono was cooled and used with both RGB and narrow band filters. However, the sensor in both of those cameras (a Sony IMX178) is somewhat larger than what you have in the ASI224MC and the IMX178 has more but smaller pixels. Plus, I generally used faster optics than you have (ranging from f/4.2 to f/6, different scopes and some with reducers/flatteners).

 

In terms of sensor size, the IMX178 is 7.4x5mm while the ASI224 is 4.9x3.7mm with diagonals of 8.9mm and 6.1mm (respectively). That means the IMX178 has about 1.5X the field coverage of the ASI224.

 

Bottom line, although you field will be fairly small with your new setup that shouldn't prevent you from using it to take good images. Try imaging some small and bright targets, like planetary nebulae, or the core of the Orion nebula (as shown in your image taken with the 127SLT), or even a globular cluster.


Edited by james7ca, 19 January 2021 - 01:06 AM.


#8 timt1971

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 01:11 AM

Thanks for the replies. I guess the real cause of my dilemma is that I had zero expectations with the Celestron and got the posted image.  As compared to having very high expectations with the Explore Scientific and got zero.  The image posted is not from the ES 127ed.  It's from the Celestron.   The impression I had from everything I had read and watched regarding DSO imaging that shouldn't have been possible.  Especially under the conditions I was imaging in and the minimum imaging time.  And with the ES127ed I have used black, flat, and bias frames.  And still gotten nothing to show, but some nice and colorful stars.  And thanks for the book suggestion.  And just to add, I originally ordered the Explore Scientific ED80.  And it was cancelled by Explore Scientific because I guess they are so far behind in production due to COVID-19.  I then went with the ED102 which was supposed to be shipped in 2-4 weeks.  I then ended up with the ED127, because it was the only one available for shipment after waiting 2 months for the ED102. I guess that may not have been the wisest route to go, but the availability of quality telescopes is very low right now. I do have a guide scope and camera, but the mount alone has been sufficient for even multi-minute exposures.  And with the light pollution, the longer exposures have been counter-productive. I will try to add some unprocessed light frames soon.  Thanks again for the replies.


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#9 james7ca

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 01:21 AM

...I do have a guide scope and camera, but the mount alone has been sufficient for even multi-minute exposures...

This could be one of your problems. You should definitely be guiding when using that small of a chip at f/7.5 and with a focal length of 952mm.

 

That combination of scope and camera will produce an image scale of 0.81 arc seconds per pixel which will require good guiding for anything over about a 30 second exposure (YMMV, and it depends upon your mount and how closely you look at the results). Trying to go unguided for "multi-minutes" at that kind of image scale is a recipe for poor results. In fact, even with guiding you're going to be facing some challenges to get sharp and good looking results (unless you keep your base exposure time pretty short).


Edited by james7ca, 19 January 2021 - 01:39 AM.

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#10 bobzeq25

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 01:35 AM

Thanks for the replies. I guess the real cause of my dilemma is that I had zero expectations with the Celestron and got the posted image.  As compared to having very high expectations with the Explore Scientific and got zero.  The image posted is not from the ES 127ed.  It's from the Celestron.   The impression I had from everything I had read and watched regarding DSO imaging that shouldn't have been possible.  Especially under the conditions I was imaging in and the minimum imaging time.  And with the ES127ed I have used black, flat, and bias frames.  And still gotten nothing to show, but some nice and colorful stars.  And thanks for the book suggestion.  And just to add, I originally ordered the Explore Scientific ED80.  And it was cancelled by Explore Scientific because I guess they are so far behind in production due to COVID-19.  I then went with the ED102 which was supposed to be shipped in 2-4 weeks.  I then ended up with the ED127, because it was the only one available for shipment after waiting 2 months for the ED102. I guess that may not have been the wisest route to go, but the availability of quality telescopes is very low right now. I do have a guide scope and camera, but the mount alone has been sufficient for even multi-minute exposures.  And with the light pollution, the longer exposures have been counter-productive. I will try to add some unprocessed light frames soon.  Thanks again for the replies.

Camera and lens is a _far_ better way to go.  What you can get with that.  Did I mention this was not intuitive?  <smile>

 

https://www.astrobin...ptron skyguider

 

Short exposures are fine, you just have to do a _lot_ of them.

 

Total imaging time is what counts, how you break it into subs is _far_ less important, provided you're anywhere in the (rather large) ballpark.  Yet another nonintuitive thing.

 

Example, image below.  This is an extreme case (because it's Bortle 7 and F2), but it illustrates the principle.  662 (not a typo, six hundred sixty two <smile> ) X10 seconds.  100 bias, 30 flats, 30 darks.  Better version than the crummy (required) CN jpg here.

 

https://www.astrobin.com/t5173s

 

Again.  Camera plus lens is an _excellent_ way to get into this, learn the complicated procedures.  It's a good tool for the job.

 

Here's Orion with a camera lens.  And 1.8 hours.

 

https://www.astrobin.../full/390627/0/

 

Pleadies 2019 V3 small.jpg


Edited by bobzeq25, 19 January 2021 - 01:52 AM.


#11 TrustyChords

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 01:35 AM

You have a great rig to start your journey into imaging DSO's. From experience, the ES127ed pairs very nicely with the EQ6.

 

Another option I might suggest is to get a used DSLR and really learn your system.

 

You are right that eventually you will want to upgrade your DSLR, but there are many more options there and it might be getting ahead of yourself to pile all of the variables on at once.

 

Adding equipment piece-by-piece has its own value, in that you really get to isolate and learn each piece of equipment as you go. If you just tacked on, say, an ASI294 onto your currently inexperienced setup you more than likely will get results eventually (many people have success with this setup), but it may not end up being the results you were imagining.


Edited by TrustyChords, 19 January 2021 - 01:37 AM.


#12 TrustyChords

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 01:40 AM

Camera and lens.

 

Short exposures are fine, you just have to do a _lot_ of them.

 

Total imaging time is what counts, how you break it into subs is _far_ less important, provided you're anywhere in the (rather large) ballpark.

 

Example.  This is an extreme case (because it's Bortle 7 and F2), but it illustrates the principle.  662 (not a typo, six hundred sixty two <smile> ) X10 seconds.  100 bias, 30 flats, 30 darks.  Better version than the crummy (required) CN jpg here.

 

https://www.astrobin.com/t5173s

 

attachicon.gifPleadies 2019 V3 small.jpg

 

attachicon.gifPleadies 2019 V3 small.jpg

Yup. That's what I've been doing from Bortle 8 @f4.9. 300-500 20" exposures is pretty much the par for my course these days.


Edited by TrustyChords, 19 January 2021 - 01:41 AM.

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#13 sharkmelley

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 01:58 AM

As others have already said, you have a tiny sensor on a long focal length scope.  Your field of view is just over one quarter of a degree.  Which DSO objects will fit in that field of view?  Planetary nebulae - that's about all.

 

Mark


Edited by sharkmelley, 19 January 2021 - 01:59 AM.

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#14 james7ca

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 03:04 AM

You could image some of the medium sized galaxies and spring is galaxy season so that should keep you busy for the next six months (the late evening and mornings now and the early evenings in the spring). But, you're going to need several hours of total integration time to image these types of objects. Below is how the galaxy M51 would look when framed (blue rectangle, created in SkySafari) with the OP's setup.

 

You can check out other objects and how they would be framed with you camera and scope at the following website:

 

  https://telescopius....scope-simulator

 

Globular clusters would also be okay and would require less exposure time. Planetary nebulae, well, some of those can be done in just a few minutes (most of the best known have very high surface brightness).

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  • M51 with ASI224 at 952mm Focal Length.jpg

Edited by james7ca, 19 January 2021 - 03:04 AM.

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#15 happylimpet

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 03:26 AM

Funny, thats pretty much exactly how I got into DSO imaging. Bought the ASI120MC for planetary in 2013 and tried it on M42 with 2 second exposures - OMG!!!!!!!

 

And it went from there.

 

Yours is (and mine was) a good setup for a very limited type of imaging - not the standard type you mostly see on CN. If you want to do short exposures of small bright objects (potentially very many) you can do so and get cool results. But ultimately its the wrong kind of camera for what you're probably trying to do - the sensor is too small. Great scope and mount though.



#16 Rasfahan

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 05:47 AM

You really should upload a single exposure, either in FIT or stretched here. Also, what settings are you using (exposure, gain, etc.). It is really difficult to say anything without seeing one of your subs. I am quite sure it is something in your workflow that is going awry. What software do you use for stacking? You are stacking, right?

 

I am not in the camp that says the 127mm refractor with the EQ6 cannot be used for starting. It might not be as easy as a 60mm scope, but it will work. The camera, I think, is fine for starters, too. Not optimal, of course. Just select your targets appropriately, there are plenty small ones around. Many of them are dim. You need 4 hours exposure minimum for a decent image.

 

You need guiding, the scope is too slow to get good short unguided exposures, the EQ6-R cannot do long unguided exposures at that image scale. 


Edited by Rasfahan, 19 January 2021 - 05:48 AM.

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#17 Mike in Rancho

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 06:33 AM

That picture looks strangely familiar.  hmm.gif  The Stellarium post?

 

Anyway, cool deal on the new equipment!  You just have to grow into it now.  And that camera will probably have to to be put on the shelf for now.  As a fellow beginner who just got started this summer, I second (third?) getting a DSLR and a T-ring.  Or just the T-ring, if you already have a camera.

 

We would need a more detailed explanation of your acquisition and processing, possibly with samples posted here or to Dropbox/Drive, to figure out why things are going sideways for you - if there's anything beyond the big scope and small camera FOV issues.

 

I've seen the ES127 mentioned quite a few times around here, so one thing you might do is search out those threads or ask about for good focal reducer and field flattener solutions.  That will widen your FOV, shorten your focal length, and give you a bit of a buffer zone on just how precisely you need to be tracking.

 

Then, I'd pick a beginner target and just work on that, over and over, all the way through, until you come up with something reasonably resembling a DSO.  Ultimately you might try the beginner challenge.  That has been a great source of mistake-making for me - and hence lots of learning - each and every month.

 

Now, as for that NexStar and tiny camera being recommended for starting DSO...  Ummm.  I dunno.  You kind of dropped it like a rock yourself, didn't you?  Keep it as your planetary rig, perhaps.  There'll be another great conjunction in, well, eventually. grin.gif

 

And as to the Trapezium.  Oddly enough, I was playing with some old data earlier today, and was thinking to myself: we always hear about the Trapezium, but rarely ever see much of it.  My crop is still a bit bigger than your field of view, and it's not even really that good, but even so.  100mm scope, 900mm focal length, DSLR, no guiding, and an HEQ5 that had some issues I have since fixed.  Did it on a lark in the middle of other tests I was doing, maybe 20 minutes total.  Your ES127 and EQ6 are better (but not the NexStar).  I figure the next time I try a close-up of the Trapezium, I'll improve over this by a good bit.  Which is kind of how this whole hobby works when starting off.

 

Trap Crop 3 800px.jpg


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#18 jerr

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 07:41 AM

Hi Tim,

 

Welcome to CN!

Reading your post I had a smile on my face. Years ago I went your path starting with some planetary imaging using Bader's electronic eyepiece and f6 newtonian on EQ3 manual mount. I got good pics of Saturn and Jupiter and decided to jump onto deep waters buying a clone of ES APO127ED, SW NEQ6 mount and QHY5 camera. How ignorant I was!

A lesson was learnt hard way but I did not give up and progressed steady achieving pretty good results. It took me around 12 months though. In the mean time I acquired cooled camera dedicated to DSOs, I went for a guide scope and switched QHY5 to be a guide camera. All worked just fine and has been and is still working for me.

So, good news is that your set up is a keeper if you only decide so. You will need to upgrade it with time to achieve more. I would see priorities as follow:

  • guide scope,
  • guiding camera (your ZWO will do just fine here),
  • main camera (DSLR could be a first step but if your spend desire is itching then dedicated cooled CMOS or CCD would be even better choice),
  • supporting software (ie. PHD, Nebulosity, some planetarium etc).
  • and software for developing your pics (ie. Photoshop, Pixinsight etc.but there are also cost free options)

and you will be all set to further develop your skills smile.gif

 

Another goods news is that CN is a great site when looking for help and learn so I'm convinced that you will succeed.


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#19 copper280z

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:03 AM

You should be able to produce images of some things with the 224 and that scope, it'll be a small FoV but still you should get something. Why don't you post a few of the raw fits files along with all of the camera settings so we can help troubleshoot? The process of using the 224 and of using a DSLR will be similar for calibration, picking exposure, gain, focusing, etc.

 

On the topic of inadvisable equipment and the trapezium, how about a C6 SCT on a star adventurer? lol.gif This required some work in processing/frame selection.

get.jpg?insecure


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#20 Mike in Rancho

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 02:54 PM

You should be able to produce images of some things with the 224 and that scope, it'll be a small FoV but still you should get something. Why don't you post a few of the raw fits files along with all of the camera settings so we can help troubleshoot? The process of using the 224 and of using a DSLR will be similar for calibration, picking exposure, gain, focusing, etc.

 

On the topic of inadvisable equipment and the trapezium, how about a C6 SCT on a star adventurer? lol.gif This required some work in processing/frame selection.

get.jpg?insecure

I like it!  Probably a fine example of backyard engineering to make it work with what ya got.  But the tracker was probably key to making that work.  Any pictures of that fat tube on that little tracker?

 

"Wrong" equipment can be harder, but can also amplify errors, forcing some fast heavy learning and needing higher precision.  All good I say, if early expectations are kept in check.  And anyway, my first images were downright awful, even using just a DSLR and lens on a tracking mount - which is supposed to be good for taking those first steps.  It's all just a part of it I think.



#21 NikonMike

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 06:17 PM

I would have to agree with several of the previous posts your camera/scope combo is not beginner friendly and probably root of the frustration. 

if it were me I would pick up the 0.7X reducer and 294MC camera that would give you a much wider field of view and you could capture images without tracking but would be beneficial if you did get a guide scope and use the 224 as your guide camera.  One great thing about this hobby is youll never run out of stuff to buy :-)



#22 timt1971

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:43 PM

Thanks for all the advice and encouragement.  I have been tempted to throw my DSLR on the back of it a few times. But it's a standard Canon T5.  I thought adding an IR filtered camera into the mix may just send me further down the rabbit hole. Or down a completely different rabbit hole.  I know the larger chip would be a big benefit.  But the filter might cause even more problems.  I do have a William Optics 50mm guide scope and a ZWO ASI120S for guiding.  I also have a 0.5X focal reducer.  But the way I had to rig the additional extension for focus cut that out of the loop until I get some more adapters.  Or I have to run the camera through the diagonal.  I have been using Deep Sky Stacker and Photoshop with the astronomy tools add-on for post-processing. I do agree with you NikonMike on both points.  It seems that the reducer paired with the 294MC is probably the way to go at this point.  I think the much wider FOV will be a big help. I know a lot of other people also made the point of changing cameras as well.  And to the other point. It seems everything I buy that I need an adapter, a plug, or some other power source.  I definitely don't seem to run out of  stuff to buy.  Ok.  Now let me see if I can find some light frames from the ES127ED. Well, I may have been wrong about getting zero from the new setup.  I did come across a set that had not even been stacked yet.  It seems there may be some dark purple nebulae from that session.  I will stack them and do some editing, then upload the end result.



#23 ppg677

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Posted 19 January 2021 - 11:48 PM

Nothing wrong with a standard T5 dSLR. I followed these instructions to remove the IR Cut filter from my XSI (I did not replace it with clear glass thus killed autofocus). I suspect they would apply to the T5 as well.

http://dslrmodificat...elmod450d1.html

Edited by ppg677, 19 January 2021 - 11:55 PM.


#24 NikonMike

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 08:46 AM

I also wanted to mention website astronomy.tools where you can you use a FOV (Filed of View) calculator against a target and see what your image area will be. 

 

I attached a pic of your current setup (red) 224/ES127 vs the ES127 with the 294 (yellow) and then also 294 with 0.7x reducer (Red).  This should give you a pretty visual reference to what your up against using the 224 for long exposure DSO.

 

However,  the 224/ES127 setup would thrive for planetary and lunar imaging as that takes short video bursts,  as you can see in the image posted you could zoom in on the moon and pick up great detail. 

 

I also attached a pic of M42 I just took using my Tak fs78/0.65x reducer which gets me down to 413mm,  a lot of these winter targets you'll want a wide field and some you will want every bit of the 952mm with the ES127

so target selection is also a factor in what camera/scope combo you will want.  I recently sold my astrotech 130 (which i now regret) as I found myself going after more wide field targets,  I will be looking to pickup

one of the ES127's down the road since they produce very nice results.

 

Hope this helps,

Mike

Attached Thumbnails

  • astronomy_tools_127.JPG
  • 224_127_moon.JPG
  • M42 (Large).jpg

Edited by NikonMike, 20 January 2021 - 09:06 AM.

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#25 NikonMike

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 09:20 AM

So I inputed in the T5 specs and here is the FOV you will get using your T5 on the 127 vs zwo224,  I would say using the T5 will definitely increase your chances of success

On M42 you can easily use 30 sec or less subs without guiding assuming you get your polar alignment pretty close

Attached Thumbnails

  • T5_ES127.JPG

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