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Author Topic: Hello from Hampshire  (Read 603 times)

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Offline SportsTog

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Hello from Hampshire
« on: 10:25:07, 10 January, 2018 »
Hi everyone

I can't express how excited I am, now that I've finally decided to take a small plunge into astrophotography, an area of photography I've been interested for a very long time. I've not gone mega serious yet, I only have a Sky Watcher Star Adventurer EQ mount that I sit on my manfrotto tripod and basically at the moment use my current photography equipment to shoot with. It was the cheapest way in ... trying to show my better half that this is something I really want to spend some quality time doing.

I'm a freelance sports photographer along with commercial and various other aspect but not weddings!! Do the occasional civil engineering as a fall back (part time) when times are tough and quiet :) Always loved photography and just about everything space! I remember when I was 17yrs young! giving a talk on Black Holes as part of my English exam and projects, I must has seemed like such a geek, but I loved it. So combining two loves, what could be better.

But I am very aware there's so much to do and learn and I really want to, to improve and produce better images.

So that's me intro in a nut shell, below is my first astro image attempt which I am fairly happy with, although I'm sure it'll be full with errors and issues I hope to be able to overcome.
Happy to receive any help/advice on it


(Hoping I attach this right) The image shot on my Sky Watcher Star Adventurer using Canon 5Dmkiii 400mm f/5 ISO 1600 for approx 45 seconds, total number of 10 subs before the clouds rolled in! RAW images edited in Lightroom, exported as TIFF's and then stacked in DSS and finally tweaked in Photoshop! All carried out on Mac (biggest pain in the butt trying to get DSS to work on that, but finally got there)

Look forward to shooting and getting involved.

Jason

Offline chris.bailey

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Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Reply #1 on: 11:04:52, 10 January, 2018 »
Hi Jason and welcome to UKAI.

In my view you have started the right way i.e. Small tracking mount and DSLR/Lens and as a first image that is a good effort, better that my first few! A 400mm prime is pushing it so if you have something nearer 200, you may find it easier. I am playing with a little 135mm prime at present and thats a lot of fun at f2.0! Be warned that once you get started, this hobby is a bottomless money pit!

As you probably know, Lightroom will have carried out the .RAW conversion, done some white balance interpretation and applied a default tone curve, none of which is what you really want to happen, you do want the absolute raw image in its linear state. Unfortunately DSS has not been updated in quite some time so cant read a 5dMkIII raw file directly. One alternative is https://www.astropixelprocessor.com/ and though its not free, there is a trial period and it plays nicely on a mac. I would bet that run-in your raw subs through that would yield quite an improvement.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline SportsTog

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Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Reply #2 on: 11:32:52, 10 January, 2018 »
Thanks Chris

That's really helpful, I did a little research before I set out, there's a huge amount of information out there, but processing the RAW images is where it seems a huge difference can be gained.  I hadn't come across astropixel before so will def give that a try on the free trial and see how it goes. I have a 550D and a soon to be IR/UV converted 30D (taking the IR filter out myself) to play with the differences etc.

I have a 70-200mm lens and variety of other wider lenses, hence going for the cheaper EQ mount first to see what I could get. I knew the 400mm would be pushing it some what, in terms of length and weight. But on a plus its made me focus more on getting a decent polar alignment, which will hopefully reap future benefits.

Thank you for the advice :)

Jason

Offline chris.bailey

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Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Reply #3 on: 12:03:29, 10 January, 2018 »
Jason

The 70-200 f2.8L is pretty good for a zoom though best stopped down a little (step down rings will avoid the starburst flare from the iris leaves) and I found it best at around 160-180mm rather than 200mm. Do turn off image stabilisation as the little gyros do create a bit of vibration. The f4.0: is also supposed to be good though I don't have one to try. Both are a little soft and distorted in the very corners.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline psjshep

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Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Reply #4 on: 13:39:09, 10 January, 2018 »
Welcome along from me, Jason... you will develop this noble art well, I am sure, with the guidance & help of the expert members of this forum :thumbup:

Phil
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Offline Annie

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Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Reply #5 on: 14:14:09, 10 January, 2018 »
I had a 550D given to me - the rubber grip had to be glued back on.  I had it modified and it's been doing a brilliant job ever since!

Annie
Pulsar Observatory; NEQ6/EQ6 wedge; HEQ5 Pro; TS Star 71 Astrograph; Takahashi FSQ 106ed; Skymax 150 Pro; Nikon D600; Canon 550D modified; Canon 5D Mk11; ZWO ASI120 MM-S; Lacerta MGEN stand alone guider.

Offline PaulB

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Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Reply #6 on: 10:44:22, 16 January, 2018 »
Welcome to the forum Jason
Chris is right. You have done the right thing getting a SW Star Adventurer. It's a great little mount that is quite versatile. This time of the year is a good time to get to grips with Astro imaging. There's plenty of targets in our sky that you can photograph.


Good imaging.
Paul.
"Whirlpool Observatory"
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Offline SportsTog

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Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Reply #7 on: 11:20:57, 16 January, 2018 »
Hey

Thanks everyone, I'm looking forward tot his weekend and hopefully some clear skies!

I've been having a little play with some astro software, namely AstroPixel, which I have to say, even though I only have light frames to play with, I kinda like the software and editing process. I'll attach an image below for you to see. Still lots to do and learn, but at the next opportunity I will focus on the same but include some dark, bias and flat frames too, hopefully with a few more images, increase in time and better skies ... hopefully!


Offline chris.bailey

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Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Reply #8 on: 14:42:37, 16 January, 2018 »
That looks a whole heap better Jason. Fingers crossed for some clear skies from this predicted cold spell. Its about time we had a run of cold clear ones.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline clive

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Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Reply #9 on: 20:33:32, 16 January, 2018 »
Very nice


Clive

 

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