Hello all, as some of you may have seen, I just finished a 7hr HaLRGB integration on m101 recently. Well it just so happens to be about a year since my first attempt at this target back when I had only a month or two AP experience, or any astronomy experience for that matter. So I decided to do a side by side comparison of my latest version of m101 using an asi2600mm pro, TS Photoline 130/910, and my trusty cem70. Guided with the zwo m68 oag/asi120mm mini vs my first attempt almost a year ago using a cpc1100 on HD pro wedge at prime focus f/10, canon 5dmkii unmodded, and an Orion ct80 guidescope with SSAG pro guide cam(between 3-3.5hrs integration). I think the images speak for themselves.
My whole reason for this post is simple. If you really have the desire to research best practices in this hobby, follow the advice of those who have succeeded, and also willing to be patient enough to let yourself progress in steps and solve things one at a time, you’ll be amazed at how your images will get better and better over time. So if you really love imaging the night sky and get stuck in a rut from time to time, don’t give up! Trust me, there’s been times I’ve wanted to throw my gear out the window, sell it, etc. But after a brief cool down and some research I found my way out and every bit of this hobby good and bad has been worth it to me so far.
So with all that said, here’s my before and after. I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to tell which image is which I’m hoping I can get some of you more experienced imagers to post some similar comparison images and/or some encouraging stories of how you overcame some of the beginner challenges that can plague a lot of us in this hobby, especially at first.
I know as a beginner every bit of encouragement can help so this post basically revolves around that. And remember, there are members here willing to really go above and beyond to help someone that’s struggling. So don’t hesitate to ask for help, no matter how “dumb” you may think your question is. Remember there are no such things as stupid questions, the only thing stupid is not asking in the first place!