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First good image with Star Adventurer

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#1 Greyfox_MT

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 08:24 AM

Finally getting all of it figured out....  D5300 w/ Tamron 70-200mm @ 200mm f/4 - ISO1600 and 30 second exposure.  Next... adding a intravalometer for multiple longer exposures. 

 

Need to find a site to be able to link to the full size image.

 

DSC_0928_02.JPG


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#2 deansjc

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 08:31 AM

The journey starts! You didn't mention the mount? It's tough with a kit lens but focus appears pretty good. While this may be counter-intuitive, try f5.6. Drop ISO to 400 for Nikon. Reduce to 20 seconds for less trailing/rotation and get 15 minutes total exposure and stack. Flats will be your most important addition. It will be better. Great start!
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#3 deansjc

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 08:32 AM

... also, use the built in intervalometer on the D5300 and use shutter delay. They are free$

John
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#4 matt_astro_tx

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 09:14 AM

Congrats!  Looking good.  Keep working to nail that polar alignment so you get tighter star shapes and less trailing.


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#5 Greyfox_MT

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 09:22 AM

... also, use the built in intervalometer on the D5300 and use shutter delay. They are free$

John

Have a Star Adventurer 2i w/ EQ base mounted on a custom 12" extender (3" aluminum tube capped w/ handle for monitor) on top of a Celestron CG-3 tripod and an El-Vid 7" monitor.

 

Oh and the Tamron isn't a kit lens...  it will go to f/2.8 @ 200mm if I wanted to.  I have it the Nikon kit lens (18-55 & 55-300 f/3.6 - 6.3 VR) and a Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8.

 

Already have a remote trigger that I can use with the built in intervalometer, but that only goes up to 30 seconds on the 5300.  Picked up a full unit a while back.

 

IMG_0408_01.JPG


Edited by Greyfox_MT, 24 November 2022 - 09:31 AM.


#6 deansjc

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 10:44 AM

OK!  Just a couple of thoughts (from personal experience).  You have a tracking capable mount so from your picture, I am seeing something else.  The lens creates some coma, and it varies somewhat across the field.  Not that bad though, but it might be masking what I think is field rotation.  I say that because short exposures should not show streaking.

 

From my experience, placement of any mass away from the center of gravity can be a problem.  I dont' think the camera placement is a problem, but your viewer(?) if any weight at all will exert a considerable force and interfere with your PA.  I would try some shots for comparison with it removed.  A 4" - 6" pedestal/extension might help too.

 

Re longer exposures, you can achieve these by connecting the D5300 over USB to a PC.  The latest version of DigicamControl is a cheap and cheerful option to try out.  As for the coma, that is why you should stop down even two stops.  Yes, you lose light by doing so - a lot in fact.  However you can gain it back with two minue stops.  And you might lose the coma.  For sure, you will be able to tease out tracking and PA issues if you then see them and set Snoopy fully alive.

 

John

 

PS - what is your latitude?


Edited by deansjc, 24 November 2022 - 10:44 AM.


#7 Greyfox_MT

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 12:39 PM

OK!  Just a couple of thoughts (from personal experience).  You have a tracking capable mount so from your picture, I am seeing something else.  The lens creates some coma, and it varies somewhat across the field.  Not that bad though, but it might be masking what I think is field rotation.  I say that because short exposures should not show streaking.

 

From my experience, placement of any mass away from the center of gravity can be a problem.  I dont' think the camera placement is a problem, but your viewer(?) if any weight at all will exert a considerable force and interfere with your PA.  I would try some shots for comparison with it removed.  A 4" - 6" pedestal/extension might help too.

 

Re longer exposures, you can achieve these by connecting the D5300 over USB to a PC.  The latest version of DigicamControl is a cheap and cheerful option to try out.  As for the coma, that is why you should stop down even two stops.  Yes, you lose light by doing so - a lot in fact.  However you can gain it back with two minue stops.  And you might lose the coma.  For sure, you will be able to tease out tracking and PA issues if you then see them and set Snoopy fully alive.

 

John

 

PS - what is your latitude?

Tripod was located at 37°53'03.8"N

 

Used both SA Console and PS Align to figure out the position of Polaris in the reticle.  But I'm still trying to understand the date/time dials on the back.

 

I level out the tripod with both the camera and monitor attached and it's very hard ground (ie driveway).

 

When the weather clears up again, I'm going to try my Nikon big lens at 200mm @f/5 and see what happens.


Edited by Greyfox_MT, 24 November 2022 - 12:45 PM.


#8 Tim J Fowler

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 05:31 PM

If you have a laptop you can use, why not try BackyardNIKON instead of a intervalometer. I use the Canon equivalent after using a intervalometer and I would never go back. You're able to name files as they're written, preview images and mark them for deletion so they're easy to find later, not to mention a focusing aid. There's also a 30 day "try before you buy", so you have nothing to lose.



#9 vidrazor

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 06:03 PM

Have a Star Adventurer 2i w/ EQ base mounted on a custom 12" extender (3" aluminum tube capped w/ handle for monitor) on top of a Celestron CG-3 tripod and an El-Vid 7" monitor.

Oh and the Tamron isn't a kit lens...  it will go to f/2.8 @ 200mm if I wanted to.  I have it the Nikon kit lens (18-55 & 55-300 f/3.6 - 6.3 VR) and a Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8.

Already have a remote trigger that I can use with the built in intervalometer, but that only goes up to 30 seconds on the 5300.  Picked up a full unit a while back.

You should get a stone bag for your tripod, the pier tends to add some instability to that setup, the stone bag will help make the rig more stable.

 

I'll assume the image you posted is a single frame. I would not shoot longer than 30 seconds for that target, as you're right at the edge of blowing out the core. You don't need more exposure time, you need to shoot subs, lots of subs, stack 'em and stretch them. You can use the internal intervalometer in the D5300 for now. Instead of getting an external intervalometer, start investing in hardware and software to control your camera and your mount from a laptop.

 

Any cables dangling about should be carefully strapped along the camera, tripod, and peripherals to keep them out of the wind. Make sure they're loose enough to move without binding, but snug enough to stay out of the wind.


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#10 Greyfox_MT

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 06:52 PM

If you have a laptop you can use, why not try BackyardNIKON instead of a intervalometer. I use the Canon equivalent after using a intervalometer and I would never go back. You're able to name files as they're written, preview images and mark them for deletion so they're easy to find later, not to mention a focusing aid. There's also a 30 day "try before you buy", so you have nothing to lose.

One major problem..... from their website.... "BackyardNIKON is Windows only software!"  I have two Macbook Pros.  ;)  And no, I am NOT loading windows onto my Mac.

 

 

You should get a stone bag for your tripod, the pier tends to add some instability to that setup, the stone bag will help make the rig more stable.

 

I'll assume the image you posted is a single frame. I would not shoot longer than 30 seconds for that target, as you're right at the edge of blowing out the core. You don't need more exposure time, you need to shoot subs, lots of subs, stack 'em and stretch them. You can use the internal intervalometer in the D5300 for now. Instead of getting an external intervalometer, start investing in hardware and software to control your camera and your mount from a laptop.

 

Any cables dangling about should be carefully strapped along the camera, tripod, and peripherals to keep them out of the wind. Make sure they're loose enough to move without binding, but snug enough to stay out of the wind.

 

I look about a way to lower the center of gravity and stablize.  I've got some lead ingots that would work nicely. 

 

And as I have stated, I've already picked up a nice intervalometer.  I also have Lynkeos for stacking and NX Studio for editing.

 

Normally everything is strapped together.  I just sat the rig outside to take a quick snap of it.
 



#11 Tim J Fowler

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 07:57 PM

One major problem..... from their website.... "BackyardNIKON is Windows only software!"  I have two Macbook Pros.  wink.gif  And no, I am NOT loading windows onto my Mac.

Oops! Yep, that's a deal breaker. Should have mentioned the Windows only.



#12 Greyfox_MT

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 09:25 PM

Okay... got out just as the clouds were starting to roll in.  Couldn't get Andromeda, but got the Pleiades. I'm going to break out the Tamron lens at some point and see if I didn't have it exactly focused.

 

First image 55mm f/4.5 iso1600 20 seconds.

 

DSC_0936_01.JPG

 

Second image 300mm f/5.6 iso3200 30 seconds... clouds were starting to thicken.

 

DSC_0940_01.JPG


Edited by Greyfox_MT, 24 November 2022 - 09:30 PM.



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