Although I shot some (very basic) astrophotos back in the 80s (anybody else remember when Kodak came out with Ektar 1000?!?), I only got back into the hobby 2 years ago. Starting with a NexStar 6SE and a D3400, I was amazed at what stacking and stretching could do - even with short exposures on an alt-az mount. 2 years later, and I've just picked up a AVX mount and started doing some guided shots. So far, I'm VERY happy with the mount, tracking, and guiding. Though, now that I can shoot longer, I'm starting to see amp glow from the DSLR showing up.
With that out of the way, I'll get to the point of this post. I *KNOW* that a CMOS camera is better than an unmodded DSLR. But I've also seen plenty of folks using DSLRs here, on Facebook and Astrobin, so I was expecting there was room to improve my game. I mean, there's even a recent article here on CN about shooting with an unmodded SLR. But then I saw a post on a Facebook group, and it either beggars belief or makes me think all of the "you have to buy a CGEM" folks are getting kickbacks from the vendors.
Attached is an example image, supposedly taken with an SLT 130, on the stock alt-az mount, using a 294MC Pro, under Bortle 6 skies (and with patio lights galore). But the part that I can't get over is the OP claims the mount wasn't tracking well so he had go with 1.8 seconds subs! I can't get this much detail under Bortle 5 using 2 minute exposures! When questioned by somebody else, who was also raising the "not buying it" flag, the OP said that because he's a professional photographer, he really understands Photoshop processing. Maybe so, and I'll admit that getting a decent stretch is tricky, but I keep coming back to 1.8 seconds!!!!
With the AVX, I've been excited to be able to pull more detail out from the skyglow than with the 20 second subs I got with the SE mount. And the 294MC is on my short list as the next bit of kit to add in a year or so (once I recover from the AVX purchase). But if this shot (and others like it) is really that easy with a 294, I'm thinking I screwed the pooch in buying the AVX...
Edited by wumpus, 21 January 2021 - 11:28 PM.