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Introductions / Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Last post by psjshep 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:

Introductions / Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Last post by chris.bailey on 12:03:29, 10 January, 2018  »

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.

Introductions / Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Last post by SportsTog 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 :)

Introductions / Re: Hello from Hampshire
« Last post by chris.bailey 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 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.

Introductions / Hello from Hampshire
« Last post by SportsTog 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.

Introductions / Re: G'day from Australia
« Last post by MRPUGH55 on 10:01:42, 10 January, 2018  »
Thanks Rog!  Appreciate the welcome note.

Telescope/Equipment/Accessories / Re: First Setup for Imaging DSO
« Last post by chris.bailey on 09:12:38, 10 January, 2018  »
Hi Tommy and welcome to UKAI.

HEQ5 over EQ5 - very different beasts. Going the extra mile for the HEQ is a definite recommendation from me. The mount is more important in many ways than the scope
GT71 is a nice scope but so is an ED80 and would trim a few £ of your budget. Loads of top quality images taken with an ED80!
Personally I would go with a 60mm guide scope over 50mm. The Altair setups are solid.
Dont forget dew heaters & controller, adapters etc.

Power is a tricky one but don't expect the Celestron power tank type things to last too long when its cold and everything is running. You might just get enough out of one to last as long as your laptop battery. The big Tracer LiFePo batteries are very good but very £££ and when they fail they just stop.

Telescope/Equipment/Accessories / First Setup for Imaging DSO
« Last post by Z3roCool on 23:09:42, 09 January, 2018  »
Hi there everyone - just wanted a bit of advice on first setup for imaging DSO. This will be the primary use for this setup.

Mount   - EQ5 Pro GOTO or HEQ5 Pro GOTO
Have come to the above choices. Not 100% on mount. Would like to go HEQ5 so I can upgrade scope in future and not worry about payload, but budget may force me to go with the EQ5.

Scope   - William Optics GT71 with WO Field Flattener (
Chosen the William Optics GT71 as wanted a small scope to begin with and nearly went with the Orion ED80T CF scope.

Guiding - Altair GPCAM2-130 Mono with 60mm Scope (
Not so sure on Guiding but want something that does a good job. May go with the 50mm scope. Any recommendations on alternatives?

Will be using the setup away from power so will need a good power supply. Any recommendations?

If anyone has any views on the above, I would really appreciate some input, if okay, or what you would do different. Budget needs to be around the £2k mark. Anything  I have missed?

Many thanks for your time,


Introductions / Re: G'day from Australia
« Last post by Roger B on 22:52:22, 09 January, 2018  »
Welcome to the forum Martin

Deep Sky Images / Re: Jan 2018 - Sharpless 248 & 249 - Jellyfish
« Last post by chris.bailey on 22:13:17, 09 January, 2018  »
When are you selling your 110mm ? or the Tak lol

 :scared: It does make you wonder if the Tak is worth 10x as much but then again there are lots of things the little Samyang would not do as well
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