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First night out with EQ6-R Pro

Astrophotography DSO Imaging Polar Alignment
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#26 Tapio

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Posted 17 August 2022 - 11:54 PM

Okay so will I be able to image anything with the 8SE and the 178MC/174MM ? Or is it that it will just be difficult?


You can image smaller targets with it like planetary nebula, globular clusters, galaxies and of course you can image planets.

#27 gsaramet

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 12:06 AM

Okay so will I be able to image anything with the 8SE and the 178MC/174MM ? Or is it that it will just be difficult?

I am pretty much sure you'll be able to image planets, not too many question asked. 

 

About DSOs, I guess it will range between difficult, frustrating and fiendishly difficult ;)


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#28 bobzeq25

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 12:07 AM

Okay so will I be able to image anything with the 8SE and the 178MC/174MM ? Or is it that it will just be difficult?

You're confusing two very different things.  Imaging and _learning_ imaging.  Many people do that.  Here, on various other websites... 

 

Will you be able to get some DSO images with the 8?  Sure.

 

Will you be able to _learn_ DSO imaging well with the 8?  It's maybe a 20-1 long shot.  That judgment is based on a lot of data I've accumulated over the last five years.  Do you really want to invest your time and money betting on a 20-1 long shot?  Time for a quote.

 

"I tried to learn DSO imaging with the scope I already owned, a Nexstar 6se. I didn't start making real progress until I bought a refractor and EQ mount.  The SCT is difficult to learn on; you'll learn much much much much faster on a short refractor, and have better images to show for your efforts. "

 

I don't give a ---- about your images.  I'm a teacher, to my very core.  A good one.  So I care a lot about whether you learn imaging well.  So, here's the fundamental question.

 

Do you want some DSO images or, do you want to become the best DSO imager you can be, with your budget and your talent?

 

If it's the first, ignore me.  But, do me a favor, please.  Tell me so I can stop trying.  A PM is fine.  Click "bobzeq25" in the upper left of this post.  Click send me a message.

 

If it's the second, I can help you get on that path.  Probably a lot.  I can make the path faster/better/cheaper.  And, most importantly, a lot more fun.

 

Watch this Youtube.  In the first 5 minutes he says how going from trying to learn DSO imaging on an SCT to a small refractor completely changed his experience.  He now loves getting out and imaging, does it at every opportunity.  If you love to do something, you'll automatically learn it better.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=MNQU1hdqz4M

 

The 8 is just the wrong tool for the job of learning imaging.

 

So....


Edited by bobzeq25, 18 August 2022 - 01:54 AM.


#29 rrbailey89

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 02:49 AM

You're confusing two very different things.  Imaging and _learning_ imaging.  Many people do that.  Here, on various other websites... 

 

Will you be able to get some DSO images with the 8?  Sure.

 

Will you be able to _learn_ DSO imaging well with the 8?  It's maybe a 20-1 long shot.  That judgment is based on a lot of data I've accumulated over the last five years.  Do you really want to invest your time and money betting on a 20-1 long shot?  Time for a quote.

 

"I tried to learn DSO imaging with the scope I already owned, a Nexstar 6se. I didn't start making real progress until I bought a refractor and EQ mount.  The SCT is difficult to learn on; you'll learn much much much much faster on a short refractor, and have better images to show for your efforts. "

 

I don't give a ---- about your images.  I'm a teacher, to my very core.  A good one.  So I care a lot about whether you learn imaging well.  So, here's the fundamental question.

 

Do you want some DSO images or, do you want to become the best DSO imager you can be, with your budget and your talent?

 

If it's the first, ignore me.  But, do me a favor, please.  Tell me so I can stop trying.  A PM is fine.  Click "bobzeq25" in the upper left of this post.  Click send me a message.

 

If it's the second, I can help you get on that path.  Probably a lot.  I can make the path faster/better/cheaper.  And, most importantly, a lot more fun.

 

Watch this Youtube.  In the first 5 minutes he says how going from trying to learn DSO imaging on an SCT to a small refractor completely changed his experience.  He now loves getting out and imaging, does it at every opportunity.  If you love to do something, you'll automatically learn it better.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=MNQU1hdqz4M

 

The 8 is just the wrong tool for the job of learning imaging.

 

So....

Thank you for the candid message. My wife and I recently discovered our mutual love for stargazing and things astronomy related to include photographing the night sky. We both want to learn. I will continue this in your inbox.


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#30 gsaramet

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 05:23 AM

You're confusing two very different things.  Imaging and _learning_ imaging.  

I'll add something from my very recent experience - I am also very much a beginner. 

 

I found out that the most pleasant and satisfying and over all best thing to do in astrophotography is: NOTHING. 

 

Not having to spend quite large amounts of time polar aligning while on your knees. Not having to use and align a finding scope. Not having to search for a bright star. Not having to manually focus on that star, either on camera screen or laptop screen (much worse without a focusing mask). Not having to find my  target using the finder scope. Not having to 3-point align the mount. Not having to guess or guesstimate my exposure/ISO combination. Not finding out in the field how big targets are and then decide on a target. Not worry if the ground under the scope will give a bit, because I guide. Not having to closely examine next day each of the hundreds of images I have in order to decide which 25% will be fed to the stacker - which will spit out about one tenth more. 

 

I still do have to do polar alignment and worry about power outages, rain and forgetting to stop the lawn sprinklers. Oh, and birds crapping on my rig - so far they only hit the focuser - or camping in my tube if I park it horizontally.

 

If you learn things properly, in the correct order you won't have to do multivariate analysis to find out what caused problems in your image. You'll know. So thumbs up for bobzeq25 and his approach ;)



#31 mayhem13

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 06:24 AM

Hey rrbailey.....welcome to the wonderful world of AP!

 

So working with long focal lengths is challenging and trying to image at a slow and dark F10 makes it more complicated

FIRST thing is to get the Celestron .63 reducer. This will bring your scope down to an F6.3 and widen your field of view to 1280mm

 

You’re collimation is off in the scope slightly by the image you provided. There’s also quite a bit of coma but the reducer above should be able to deal with most of that. 

 

Next is to get a Tri Bahtinov mask for focusing. This type also aids in collimating your scope. 

 

Your camera is fine and you can shoot at ISO1600 with no real increase in noise or loss of dynamic range. Drop your exposure time to 40-60 seconds and just take more exposures until you are ready to start autoguiding. Guiding is a whole new topic that deserves a separate thread. I think the above reducer,mask and settings changes will get you in the ballpark for now with your existing Sony. 

 

Your rig along with the 178 you have coming would be an excellent planetary photography set up. If that peaks your interest, come on over to the forum and check out what’s possible,....it’s a great year for the planets and the season is peaking!



#32 hyiger

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 03:15 PM

I started off exactly as you did. An 8SE with an ASI178. Bright planets, moon. sunspots were relatively easy. However the mount was so bad that I could only take videos for around 1-2 minutes max. Attempted DSO live stacking but was impossible, the scope focal length was too long, camera sensor was too small and since it's uncooled, very noisy. An EQ6R-Pro improved things dramatically but imaging anything other than planets was too hard. Switched to a ASI071 cooled with an APS-C sensor and things improved a lot. Could do some DSO but guiding was hard even at f/6.3 when using a reducer. It didn't get any easier until I picked up a 81mm refractor with 478mm focal length. I now have the ideal setup for DSO. I've since traded in the 8SE for a C11 which I'll be using mostly for planetary. For that I'm using the new ASI585. 



#33 Ar3s701

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 04:00 PM

I watched lots of videos on YouTube about how to get the mount to communicate with N.I.N.A and boy did I still struggle tonight. EQMOD does not like getting close to that meridian until you get that set up, which was an item I had not even considered on my first night out checklist, nonetheless I believe that I got that set up.

 

If you have issues with EQMOD or find it confusing, there is Green Swamp Server (GSS) which is what I use and love. https://greenswamp.org/

 

Works fine on the meridian flip, but if I remember right you need to check a box in PHD2 to reverse E/W after meridian. I've had no issues with GSS and it even gives a 3d representation of your mount position.



#34 rrbailey89

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Posted 18 August 2022 - 04:20 PM

I'll add something from my very recent experience - I am also very much a beginner. 

 

I found out that the most pleasant and satisfying and over all best thing to do in astrophotography is: NOTHING. 

 

Not having to spend quite large amounts of time polar aligning while on your knees. Not having to use and align a finding scope. Not having to search for a bright star. Not having to manually focus on that star, either on camera screen or laptop screen (much worse without a focusing mask). Not having to find my  target using the finder scope. Not having to 3-point align the mount. Not having to guess or guesstimate my exposure/ISO combination. Not finding out in the field how big targets are and then decide on a target. Not worry if the ground under the scope will give a bit, because I guide. Not having to closely examine next day each of the hundreds of images I have in order to decide which 25% will be fed to the stacker - which will spit out about one tenth more. 

 

I still do have to do polar alignment and worry about power outages, rain and forgetting to stop the lawn sprinklers. Oh, and birds crapping on my rig - so far they only hit the focuser - or camping in my tube if I park it horizontally.

 

If you learn things properly, in the correct order you won't have to do multivariate analysis to find out what caused problems in your image. You'll know. So thumbs up for bobzeq25 and his approach wink.gif

Thanks for the kind words, 

 

I have started conversations with bobzeq25, and I think that they will help get me on that path of what you have mentioned which is Nothing. It is quite frustrating sometimes for me these past few weeks. I really do love taking what I think are great photos of astronomical bodies. So far in my opinion my best photo has been of the moon. But what is frustrating about it right now is that it gets dark around 1945 which means I have to start preparing around 1845 and I am able to start imaging around 2000-2200. I lose so much of the night trying to polar align, etc. Doing things that I feel like should only take about 30min to an hour. But I am pretty proud of that moon photo I got.

 

Moon 3
 

Hey rrbailey.....welcome to the wonderful world of AP!

 

So working with long focal lengths is challenging and trying to image at a slow and dark F10 makes it more complicated

FIRST thing is to get the Celestron .63 reducer. This will bring your scope down to an F6.3 and widen your field of view to 1280mm

 

You’re collimation is off in the scope slightly by the image you provided. There’s also quite a bit of coma but the reducer above should be able to deal with most of that. 

 

Next is to get a Tri Bahtinov mask for focusing. This type also aids in collimating your scope. 

 

Your camera is fine and you can shoot at ISO1600 with no real increase in noise or loss of dynamic range. Drop your exposure time to 40-60 seconds and just take more exposures until you are ready to start autoguiding. Guiding is a whole new topic that deserves a separate thread. I think the above reducer,mask and settings changes will get you in the ballpark for now with your existing Sony. 

 

Your rig along with the 178 you have coming would be an excellent planetary photography set up. If that peaks your interest, come on over to the forum and check out what’s possible,....it’s a great year for the planets and the season is peaking!

Thanks for the suggestion for the Tri-Bahtinov Ill look into it, I think it could help even should I move on to a different OTA. I am looking forward to getting some nice pictures of Jupiter that are not just white blobs.

 

I started off exactly as you did. An 8SE with an ASI178. Bright planets, moon. sunspots were relatively easy. However the mount was so bad that I could only take videos for around 1-2 minutes max. Attempted DSO live stacking but was impossible, the scope focal length was too long, camera sensor was too small and since it's uncooled, very noisy. An EQ6R-Pro improved things dramatically but imaging anything other than planets was too hard. Switched to a ASI071 cooled with an APS-C sensor and things improved a lot. Could do some DSO but guiding was hard even at f/6.3 when using a reducer. It didn't get any easier until I picked up a 81mm refractor with 478mm focal length. I now have the ideal setup for DSO. I've since traded in the 8SE for a C11 which I'll be using mostly for planetary. For that I'm using the new ASI585. 

My goodness that ASI071 is expensive. Yea tracking on the default mount that comes with the 8SE is horrible compared to what I have experienced with the EQ6R-Pro. Its night and day. Even when I know my alignment is not perfect it still outperforms that Celestron fork mount that comes with the 8SE. 

 

If you have issues with EQMOD or find it confusing, there is Green Swamp Server (GSS) which is what I use and love. https://greenswamp.org/

 

Works fine on the meridian flip, but if I remember right you need to check a box in PHD2 to reverse E/W after meridian. I've had no issues with GSS and it even gives a 3d representation of your mount position.

Thanks for the suggestion. Ill give it a try, I was also considering trying out APT. I am unsure if its an EQMOD or N.I.N.A issue but last night I found that EQMOD would move the mount West when I pushed W but N.I.N.A would move it East when I pushed W, I had to toggle the primary and secondary reverse switchs to get it to move correctly which I found odd.




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