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Andromeda with Sigma 150-600mm + Stock Sony A7RIII

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#1 gabebalazs

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Posted 23 September 2022 - 08:50 AM

While I was working on my primary project, NGC7822, I thought I would also set up my Sigma 150-600mm lens + stock Sony A7RIII + Skyguider Pro out of nostalgia I guess and shoot Andromeda.

 

It came out better then expected. Star shapes are a little weird (always have been with my birding lens), but no big deal smile.gif

 

ISO 3200, 30 sec subs, Bortle 5-6, 2h 30 min integration time. No filter. Unguided.

 

DSS, Photoshop, Camera Raw, Starnet. Diffraction spikes are added in PS.

 

Click for nicer larger version.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Andromeda Sigma 150-600mm Small2.jpg

Edited by gabebalazs, 23 September 2022 - 10:15 AM.

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#2 Alen K

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Posted 23 September 2022 - 09:35 AM

Nice. (But it is a mirror image.)
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#3 gabebalazs

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Posted 23 September 2022 - 10:15 AM

Nice. (But it is a mirror image.)

Oh, true! Thanks. Corrected.



#4 DanMiller

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Posted 23 September 2022 - 12:24 PM

This is not meant to be snarky, just laughing at myself.  But you just put my m31 picture I took with the Sigma 150-600 to shame.  Dang, that is really nice.  Like that. What focal length did you use if you don't mind me asking. I did 1 minute subs, but I used 1600 iso. You got a heck of a lot more data than I did.  

 

Sorry if this is coming out wrong. I am sitting here trying to learn from what you did, and I am typing out my thoughts as I note what you did right and I did wrong.  I was lucky to get an hour in though due to a storm rolling in. I was going to let things go till my battery died, but the clouds were almost completely over head.

 

Again, I am just talking to myself about what you did way better then me so that next time I hopefully can do better.


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#5 gabebalazs

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Posted 23 September 2022 - 01:54 PM

This is not meant to be snarky, just laughing at myself.  But you just put my m31 picture I took with the Sigma 150-600 to shame.  Dang, that is really nice.  Like that. What focal length did you use if you don't mind me asking. I did 1 minute subs, but I used 1600 iso. You got a heck of a lot more data than I did.  

 

Sorry if this is coming out wrong. I am sitting here trying to learn from what you did, and I am typing out my thoughts as I note what you did right and I did wrong.  I was lucky to get an hour in though due to a storm rolling in. I was going to let things go till my battery died, but the clouds were almost completely over head.

 

Again, I am just talking to myself about what you did way better then me so that next time I hopefully can do better.

I shot at 600mm, f/6.3. I haven't done photo lens AP for such a long time that I actually forgot to list focal length and aperture :)

Well, I have a very very good copy of that Sigma lens first of all. I was a bird photographer for about 10 year and went through 8-10 copies of various similar lenses, often multiple copies of specific lenses. This Sigma is the best of all of them, and I refuse to sell it even though it's a Canon mount lens and I've been shooting with Sony for years now :) So I use it via an adapter.

 

2.5 hours is significantly more than 1 hour integration time; I'm sure that's part of the reason. Also, the Sony A7RIII is a great camera even by today's standards, excellent sensor. I do have a crop A6000 and my wife has a Canon 80D, but this full-frame Sony is significantly better than them as far as sensor performance.

 

Also, the weather was great yesterday here; technically, according to charts, seeing was bad but transparency was excellent with low humidity (50-60% is low here at the Great Lakes at night).

 

The photo actually could have been even better but I had a slight drift in tracking perhaps due to polar alignment issues, plus it's impossible to lock focus on these lenses and I can't and don't want to check focus after every 50 images or so, there aren't bright stars in the field of view near Andromeda, and I don't want to reset and reframe every 20 minutes. So my focus by the end of the 2.5 hours was a bit off.

 

Then there is processing. I've been a professional photographer for almost 15 years, and while astro-photography is a completely different genre, I learned to adapt my skills to AP.


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#6 DanMiller

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Posted 23 September 2022 - 03:31 PM

This makes me think about what I did and what you just explained. My contemporary will lock at various focal lengths(which I didn't do), but I never thought about the focus drifting on me over the data collection time.   This was my first DSO, and i was just happy I was able to get it in the frame. Forget about centering it.  How I finally framed it is easily repeatable, so I can fine tune that with practice.  Even though I don't think my focus was terrible, I know it definitely can be improved.  Same with my balance. I don't see no tails or trails(someone should make that a song), I am not happy with how the stars appear.

 

I like how you used a higher ISO, but shortened the exposure time.  Interesting, have to try that.  Someone else provided a chart in another post I had going that actually covered that. You just gave a great example that backed it up.

 

Thank you for the response.  I will  say this,  because i finally see progress. I don't dread going back out. I am sure I will have more failures, but just getting something finally does make it less painful.


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#7 gabebalazs

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Posted 23 September 2022 - 03:44 PM

There is so much to learn about astro photography. Even a relatively simple way of doing it can be complex smile.gif I mean we can run into all kinds of problems... Tracking error, battery dead, dew, focus drifting etc.

It's one thing to read about these and keeping them in mind but I've also learned just as much from my own faults...

 

I focus with a Bahtinov mask. It's great for focusing precisely. But of course if it won't hold long then that's a problem smile.gif

 

DSLR cameras have an ideal ISO range for astro photography. Lower ISO is not always good for a DSLR in this genre. My A7RIII is great at 1600 and 3200. And shorter subs result in less tracking errors. They say that predominantly the total imaging time is what matters the most, not necessarily the length of the subs, although extreme cases cause problems and will not produce great results (for example having 120 x 30 sec subs for an hour of shooting will look better than having 3600 x 1 sec subs.)


Edited by gabebalazs, 23 September 2022 - 03:46 PM.


#8 DanMiller

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Posted 23 September 2022 - 08:39 PM

I just seen you are in Ohio.  I just moved from Cleveland in January and now am in P.A. Yes, the Browns beat the Steelers. Don't care, Indians/Guardians are going to take their division.

 

Ok,back on track.  My birthday is coming up and i was going to buy another lens. Even posted a topic here about it. Still will get it, but just not yet. Looking at a used canon 300mm prime. 

 

After thinking about your picture and mine. Especially the focus, I am going to get a Bahtinov filter.  B&H is closed right now for their religious holiday, but when they open I am ordering it. Also picking up a dummy battery.  It takes me so long right now to acquire and frame a target that I kill my battery.  A/nd I do have a power pack  that isn't going to die.

 

Now, I have to think about wires and more wires.  There has to be a method applied to that madness.

 

Seriously, thank you for the feed back.  It made me think about how I can improve.

 

I have what I absolutely need right now to capture DSO's with lenes, cameras, mounts, and editing software. It is now time to concentrate on my weakness which is focus, accusation of target, and framing. The filter will help with focusing, which will do wonders with what I capture.  Accusation of target is getting more knowledgeable with how to move the ra and dec on the mount.  Which also address's the framing of my target.  I decided to go with the filter because quite obviously my method is not working. And the filter is a proven method.

 

Thanks again.

 

Clear skies, and go Indians/Guardians. That is one thing I miss about Ohio.  Going to watch them play.


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#9 gabebalazs

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Posted 23 September 2022 - 11:25 PM

Used to watch a lot of football but for some reason I don't follow it much these days. I of course still route for the Browns, or any pro Cleveland sports team.

 

You'll find the Bahtinov mask very useful.

 

Another help is plate solving, which I don't do (I should); that helps with finding the target and framing it. Look into it there are some MvGyver methods to do it even if you're not capturing with a computer/software.



#10 DanMiller

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Posted Yesterday, 07:03 AM

Used to watch a lot of football but for some reason I don't follow it much these days. I of course still route for the Browns, or any pro Cleveland sports team.

 

You'll find the Bahtinov mask very useful.

 

Another help is plate solving, which I don't do (I should); that helps with finding the target and framing it. Look into it there are some MvGyver methods to do it even if you're not capturing with a computer/software.

I am kind of plate solving.  What I have found that works for me, at this point anyway.  I get the az/alt from stellarium and set up in general area.  Take a picture and then upload it to nova.astronomy.net, and then acquire the central ra/dec from them.  Use ra/dec just acquired and input that into stellarium to find out where I am in the sky, and then adjust from there.  It takes me some time, but at least I am not just pointing someplace in the sky and hunting and pecking.



#11 chanrobi

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Posted Yesterday, 03:14 PM

Great photo man! Fake diffraction spikes I feel meh about


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#12 gabebalazs

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Posted Yesterday, 07:19 PM

Great photo man! Fake diffraction spikes I feel meh about

Thanks! Yeah, I know the fake spikes are a matter of taste...




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