Any Views

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Cepheus42
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:01 pm
Location: South London UK
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Any Views

Post by Cepheus42 »

Hi Guys,

I've never had any experience with astrophotography so am looking for any advice in terms of a new set up. I have a LS 8" ACF and am looking to pair it with an Orion G3 Star Shoot Colour system. Does anyone have any experience with the Star Shoot system. Given that the LS has all the modern computer control alignment system it's all about the CCD. Looking forward to some interesting replies. Many thanks in anticipation.
Peter Hutton.
Scopes Owned :
Meade LX50 10", Skywatcher Skymax 180Pro, Meade ETX 90, Skywatcher ST80(guidescope),
Skywatcher ED80 Pro, Skywatcher Equinox ED100 Pro, Coronado PST.
Mounts: HEQ5 Pro Synscan, NEQ6 Synscan
Cameras': Orion StarShoot 5MP, Orion G3 CCD, Canon 1100D (DSLR), DMK21.
Keeper of the Sacred Knitted Fingerless Gloves of Darkess and sometime comedy writer and stand up performer.
M54
Posts: 205
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: Cambs
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Re: Any Views

Post by M54 »

All your scopes seem to be SCT's or Mak's, and on Alt/Az mounts.
These are OK for planetary imaging, but not for the longer exposure DSO imaging aspect.

In simplest terms you put a webcam in where the eyepiece goes, get it to focus the object on the webcam and that take a movie of the planet. This is a .avi file.
You then feed this .avi file into something like Registax, tell it to use the best 10% and it will determine the best 10% and stack them one on another to produce a final image.

There are some additional settings but that is the guts of it.

For DSO imaging you need a driven equitorial mount and a fast scope, many use an ED80. Camera is a ccd or DSLR. Can be made more complex by getting a goto mount (good idea anyway) and adding a guide scope and guide camera to drive the system via a laptop. With this you take 20 30 second exposures that stack these, in something like Deep Sky Stacker.

Problem with astrophotography is that it is different to visual astronomy in more aspects then at first expected. It is also very often more expensive.
Cepheus42
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:01 pm
Location: South London UK
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Re: Any Views

Post by Cepheus42 »

Thanks for the input, I should add that the LS is a fully automated and driven scope. It has an inbuilt CCD chip which it uses to orient, align and level itself but it can also be used for wide field images. When I purchased it a couple of months ago at Broadhurst Clarkson and Fuller, they said that because of its fully automatic features it would be excellent for both planetary and DSO imaging. The LX 50 isn't fully automated. I'm in the process of sourcing an Orion Star Shoot G3 colour CCD camera which I'm told is the perfect partner. I was hoping a few people had some experience of that system.
Peter Hutton.
Scopes Owned :
Meade LX50 10", Skywatcher Skymax 180Pro, Meade ETX 90, Skywatcher ST80(guidescope),
Skywatcher ED80 Pro, Skywatcher Equinox ED100 Pro, Coronado PST.
Mounts: HEQ5 Pro Synscan, NEQ6 Synscan
Cameras': Orion StarShoot 5MP, Orion G3 CCD, Canon 1100D (DSLR), DMK21.
Keeper of the Sacred Knitted Fingerless Gloves of Darkess and sometime comedy writer and stand up performer.
M54
Posts: 205
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:59 pm
Location: Cambs
Contact:

Re: Any Views

Post by M54 »

I know the LS8, I have access to an LS6 and own 3 other Meades.
The problem is that they are in an Alt/Az mount - basically they move horizontally and vertically, the sky does not. The sky moves about an axis of rotation.

If the first star of a constellation appears in the East it will be in effect at the top, by the time it gets to the West it is at the bottom. The scensor on your scope does not follow this rotation. In effect any image taken for what is a reasonably time will suffer what is called field rotation and become blurred.

For DSO imaging you need long exposure images so on an Alt/Az mount they suffer field rotation and are no use.

A small ccd camera is good but the mount is presently your limiting factor.

You need an equitorial, you also need a faster scope then f/10 that is the LS, something down at f/5 is normal. If Broadhurst Clarkson and Fuller said it is excellent for DSO imaging then I think they should know better.

If you go imaging Jupiter by taking an .avi movie file then limit exposure time to 90 sec, Jupiter rotates fast enough that the images of Jupiter will have moved too much for available software to stack accurately. Simple example is that the GRS will no longer be at the same place in the last image as it was in the first so stacking first on last means a blurred image, wrt the GRS.

One other thing about Jupiter, if you expose for Jupiter then you will not get moons, if you expose for the moons Jupiter will be over exposed. No great problem, everyone just goes for Jupiter, but be aware.

You may also need a 3x or 5x barlow to expand the planets also.
Brian
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Wellingborough
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Re: Any Views

Post by Brian »

Hi Peter.

M54 makes some very valid points and I agree with them in general. However, I'll point out that it's worth looking in the Gallery section for images posted by forum member "Smerral" to see what is possible with alt/az mountings and a range of optical tubes,

Regards,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
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Cepheus42
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:01 pm
Location: South London UK
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Re: Any Views

Post by Cepheus42 »

Many thanks for your comments guys. I have to say that I'm a little disappointed about the advice I received from BCF in that it's not the perfect set up. I've already received my Orion Planetary Video camera and the Orion G3 Colour Star Shoot is on its way. I'm wondering if I'm going to be disappointed with my results. Given that this is very much entry level stuff for me, I'm hoping that my expectations don't outstrip results. I may well give some feedback on what I get and how much bad language I use getting to grips with the set up.

Looking forward to the convention tomorrow and the weekend course in November.
Peter Hutton.
Scopes Owned :
Meade LX50 10", Skywatcher Skymax 180Pro, Meade ETX 90, Skywatcher ST80(guidescope),
Skywatcher ED80 Pro, Skywatcher Equinox ED100 Pro, Coronado PST.
Mounts: HEQ5 Pro Synscan, NEQ6 Synscan
Cameras': Orion StarShoot 5MP, Orion G3 CCD, Canon 1100D (DSLR), DMK21.
Keeper of the Sacred Knitted Fingerless Gloves of Darkess and sometime comedy writer and stand up performer.
brian livesey
Posts: 5490
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire
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Re: Any Views

Post by brian livesey »

Does anyone know if the SKYWATCHER "Merlin", motorised, alt-az mount is good enough for imaging with a small 'scope?
brian
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