Astrophotography Thread

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by holdennutta, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    There's gotta be a couple of us kicking about in the forums. I know of at least one other. Might be good for a more southern hemisphere biased place to discuss.

    I have only been dabbling for a few months since I got my gear. It's been pretty disgusting weather since so haven't had too many decent sessions. yet.

    Current hardware setup is:
    • Skywatcher HEQ-5 Pro mount
    • Skywatcher BD ED100 900mm refractor scope
    • 0.85x field flattener and reducer
    • Piggybacked ZWO 280mm guiding scope
    • ZWO ASI 120mm autoguider camera
    • Literally the cheapest Windows 10 laptop I could find with 64gb hdd to run all the control apps (Acer Spin 11 I think it is)
    Current software:
    • Astrophotography tool
    • PHD2 Autoguiding
    • EQMod
    • Stellarium and StellariumScope
    • Pixinsight for all the processing.
    luBwOM1XRrSUqFkflozCTQ.jpg fdx8VfJ4TaWXFfaz5ND%qg.jpg

    I don't really have a decent image to share yet. I've been focusing mainly on Carina Nebula for the time being because it's big and bright. I managed to get about an hours good exposure time one night and then 90min more exposure time a second night but being a noob I forgot to check my field rotation and can't integrate the two sets without losing a fair bit of periphery :(


    Please tell us what you have!
     
  2. die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    Awesome to see you posting!

    We have similar setups as you know Holden. I currently have the following:
    • Skywatcher HEQ-5 Pro mount
    • Skywatcher BD ED80 600mm refractor scope
    • Piggybacked ZWO 280mm guiding scope
    • ZWO ASI120MC-S USB3.0 Colour
    • I am currently hoping to use my Surface Pro 3 to run it all, but with only 1 USB port I'm not sure it will work out unless I use a powered hub (reducing portability)
    I had a lot of trouble getting my guide scope focused, but finally managed to get that sorted...just in time to hurt myself at work. With 3 fractures across both arms, I don't have the strength to play and probably wont be able to for another 3 weeks or so. The concussion I caused myself at the same time has definitely addled me, as I have been struggling to sort out the software while I'm incapacitated and struggling more then I should be!

    Anyway it would be great to see if anyone else is around, post your location if you are too, might be worth a meetup if anyone is relatively close by!

    EDIT: I'm In Liverpool, Sydney
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  3. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    Damn! That's a terrible thing to happen, mate. I hope you heal quickly!

    I was going to PM you and see how you were going but decided I'd just make the thread.

    Surface Pro 3 at least has a USB A style port though yeah? Could be worse and you need to use a USB C hub. I wouldn't trust one of them as far as I could throw it in my experience with the ones on my Macbook Pro.

    I'm in Oxley, Brisbane.
     
  4. Derfman

    Derfman Member

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    Watching this thread with interest, I might be getting a loan of some gear soon...
     
  5. Derfman

    Derfman Member

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    So i picked up some loan gear from a friend, Celestron CPC 1100 - 11inch Cassegrain, Alt Az fork mounted with goto, but with a wedge, so hoping i can still take decent photos!

    So much to learn!
     
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  6. die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    Hey guys, i'm at 90% health now, and starting to play again. The guide camera is completely useless, and I will be getting a replacement in the m,ail over the next week or so (it was broken as I originally thought)

    The wife and I are going for a drive from Sydney down to Mungo National park at the end of the month, so hoping to get my gear sorted by then so I can have a good time in with the dark skies!
     
  7. Derfman

    Derfman Member

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    Good to hear Piggy, let me know how good Mungo is
     
  8. die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    Any thoughts on a ZWO ASIair ? (https://www.bintel.com.au/product/asiair-asi120mm-mini-kit/?v=6cc98ba2045f ) Looks like its about to get polar aligning, and looks pretty compelling to me!

    Only immediate issue for me would be that you would need a ZWO main camera to get the most out of it, although it would solve the issue I have with multiple USB ports on my Surface Pro 3 (Use the SP3 for imaging from my Canon's, control and guide from tablet)...hmm, decisions decisions
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  9. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    I'm not a fan of proprietary all in one solutions. I much prefer my cheapy laptop I bought for just $299 which will let me run any mix of apps and gear I want.

    ASIair is one hell of an expensive raspberry pi.

    It's been months since I've managed to get outside and image :( Towards end of summer I was dewing up really early in the evening and it's been rainy/cloudy as lately.
     
  10. die_piggy

    die_piggy Member

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    I hear you on that, but the fact that it IS a pi makes me feel like it's less proprietary.

    Shame I can't find an image of the OS somewhere to test it out
     
  11. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    Which is one of the problems I have with it.

    I think something like windows laptop + indigo when it's in a usable state will be a better fit for controlling the gear from a tablet/phone.
     
  12. Derfman

    Derfman Member

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    Trying to get Stellerium +Stellerium scope up and running at the moment, it is a bit painful, do you need to have an autoguider for it to work properly?
     
  13. DeathRider_au

    DeathRider_au Member

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    Hi All,

    I go in and out of my interest and its either because of the weather, or how much free time I have to do it. The struggle is also between wanting to do some visual or photography too! I have only ever imaged from my metro backyard.

    My setup is:

    Meade LX-90 8" ACF
    0.66 FR
    2" Diagonal
    Losmandy counterweights
    QHY8L CCD
    Canon 40d on piggyback
    Raspberry Pi running iAstroHub (for remote access/control)

    Cats Eye
    CatsEye.jpg

    I am starting to get the itch again and as the weather warms up I think will be getting back out again.
     
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  14. Derfman

    Derfman Member

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    So with Saturn in opposition last night, did anyone get any good photos?

    Im going to have a crack with the webcam soon
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  15. PAiZley

    PAiZley Member

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    New to Astrophotography here,
    Picked up a Celestron Edge HD 8" with an AVX mount recently.
    tried aligning and tracking but failed and have just used manually since just to get some planetary shots.
    will need to spend some more time aligning and using my dslr for some long exposure shots.
    This is what I've achieved so far with manual use and my Samsung S7
    also used AutoStakkert, PIPP and GIMP

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  16. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    I still haven't finished an image yet... My most complete is my Carina Nebula attempt where I got most of the way through the Pixinsight processing tutorial on Light Vortex Astronomy for. The end result is not bad but really could benefit from more time spent processing I think.

    Carina_2nights.jpg

    It's been so long since I worked on that image I forget how much time exposure time is involved :(

    I had almost 2 months off imaging due to work and weather always getting in the way. Last couple of weeks I tried my hand at M83 and M16.

    M83 despite 4 hours of total exposure time looked like absolute garbage. The light pollution so close to the western horizon just murdered it.
    photo_2019-07-27_14-11-04.jpg
    Not sure how there's so much noise either. 4 hours subs at 2min ISO400. The yellow splotches are from the light pollution I think.

    My comparison the same night I did that I did 30ish min ISO400 2min subs on M16 and did the quickest and nastiest "throw into pixinsight, skip calibration etc" and integrate and got this:

    M16.jpg

    !!!!! So much nicer despite the far shorter exposure time. All thanks to the better seeing from pointing up instead of just above the horizon. This is nothing more than a quick integrate and auto stretch...

    I find I have a love/hate relationship with Pixinsight. It's a ridiculously powerful application. Costs something like $400 and is probably worth every cent. But there's fuck all documentation!!! Except for a few processes all you get are tooltips. The opacity of what I'm doing really kills my enthusiasm after a short time of sitting in front of it. That said - I could not stand using DSS and photoshop when I first began. Just felt wrong.


    I've picked up some dew straps so when it gets a bit more humid I'll be able to image a bit later into the night but I've not decided on how to control them yet. I've got a 3/4 baked idea for a DIY arduino based controller and PSU (though my ambition certainly exceeds my ability) but the Pegasus Pocket Power Box is reasonably priced and does it all out of the box for about the same cost as me building my idea. No electronics education value though.

    I've begun thinking of camera upgrades though no current offerings really stand out to me. I'd really like a cooled monochrome APS-C sized sensor that doesn't have the reflection issues the ASI1600MM Pro supposedly has when using filterwheels.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
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  17. Pbx_Jnr

    Pbx_Jnr Member

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    I feel ASIGN_Baz would have a lot of useful input in this thread with his setup :)
     
  18. ASIGN_Baz

    ASIGN_Baz "Maker of awesome stuff"

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    Thanks mate, but life has put many of my pursuits on hold for quite some time, including astrophotography. My observatory is still open as a community outreach, but there seems to be zero interest, even after years of gratuitous self-promotion. I can't remember the last time I took an astrophoto of any decent length or quality. My software and camera is so outdated now and I can't afford new stuff. Just keeping up is impossible at this stage.

    I will return to it eventually, but the light at the end of that tunnel is distant and dim at this stage.

    I'm very impressed with what I am seeing others do now.

    Baz.
     
  19. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    RGBsplit_DBE_DBE_Recomb_clone_clone_clone_clone.jpg

    Bit more processing on a second attempt at M16. Couldn't utilize the subs I took the other week as I did them as ISO800. Well, I probably could, but I don't yet know how!

    It's a little too red tinged for my liking - I didn't realize in time I should have attempted to mask the stars out on the histogram fiddling and as a result of my pumping the red channel a bit they're also a little too red :(

    Took ages to nuke most of the yellow tinge from moon/light pollution. Had to split the thing into RGB channels and DBE off the red and apply to the other channels. Worked decently after I did that.
     
  20. OP
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    holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    Just picked up a Kendrick Astro Instruments DigiFire FX Pro dew heater doodad for the upcoming more dew prone months. I can also use it to distribute power to the mount.

    I'm still struggling with the processing side of things. I love getting out there and imaging but my motivation to sit in front of PixInsight for hours just doesn't exist. I suspect I'll end up with huge amounts of data I do nothing with lol.

    A friend of mine is coming around tomorrow night for a session and will be using his new snap in light pollution filter for his DSLR. Will be interesting to see the difference.
     

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