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Post  pablop Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:14 pm

Whether it is OBS 4 or JPL 9, by the time it gets dark enough it will below the surrounding buildings and trees at my place. So better luck next time.
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Post  adrian ss Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:39 pm

Had a clear view of the sky tonight down to 10 deg alt and a good fix on the supposed locations, ran of several time exps but no deal. No
   Plenty of stars in the pics most of which were not naked eye visible.
Goodbye Neowise. See you in 6800 years.Crying or Very sad

Amazing isn't it that something so small can travel so fast and so far out away from the sun for 3.5 thousand years and then turn around and head back.
It takes one of our rockets 9 months to get to Mars and around 680 years to get to Pluto at jumbo jet speed and 9.5 years at New Horizons speed.
The comet is going a tad faster than new Horizons so in 3.5 thousand years it is going to be a hell of a long way out there man. Why doesn't it keep on going away from us. Makes you wonder if Voyager 1 & 2 will head back here one day??
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Post  4rd Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:20 pm

No Luck this past week with lots of clouds, a neighbour's overgrown conifer bang smack in the area indicated by Stellarium, plus lock-down restrictions in Melbourne which meant you can't move to a better location/view and anything else you can throw into the mix... and as already pointed out by Adrian the darn thing is so much further and dimmer it's now effectively gone.

Did manage to finish building my permanent "pier" for an equatorial goto mount so hopefully better luck with next comet or celestial visitor when it arrives.  Nero, sounds like you might be in the midst of setting up something similar albeit more advanced, I just took delivery of a ZWO camera and scope to help with tracking when taking shots with my DSLR, had to wait several weeks also.  Next project is a custom built LiFePo4 power box to run both DLSR and mount and other accessories. Definitely a steep learning curve (for me at least) however with covid lock-down and little opportunity to do much else, now is a good time if only weather would be a little kinder Smile .

Pier during construction:
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Post  nero_design Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:18 am

4rd wrote:No Luck this past week with lots of clouds, a neighbour's overgrown conifer bang smack in the area indicated by Stellarium, plus lock-down restrictions in Melbourne which meant you can't move to a better location/view and anything else you can throw into the mix... and as already pointed out by Adrian the darn thing is so much further and dimmer it's now effectively gone.

Did manage to finish building my permanent "pier" for an equatorial goto mount so hopefully better luck with next comet or celestial visitor when it arrives.  Nero, sounds like you might be in the midst of setting up something similar albeit more advanced, I just took delivery of a ZWO camera and scope to help with tracking when taking shots with my DSLR, had to wait several weeks also.  Next project is a custom built LiFePo4 power box to run both DLSR and mount and other accessories. Definitely a steep learning curve (for me at least) however with covid lock-down and little opportunity to do much else, now is a good time if only weather would be a little kinder Smile .

Oh man! I wish I could set up a pylon but I live in the Sydney suburbs so aside from the moon, the light pollution here washes out everything else. I also have a very narrow back yard with tall fences and trees around me.  I'm lucky just to see the moon.  If I had clearer skies I would definitely consider getting one and cementing it in place. I thought long and hard about joining the GPZ club but I keep putting off my long lasting efforts to put together a decent scope+mount.  I was hoping to do this back when I worked at the Miner's Den.  I'm still short on the scope! I was keen on a 9.25" HD and then an 8" RASA but my last decision was to get a SkyWatcher 120 ED Super APO ... but of course everyone ran out of those during the Pandemic, the price went up horribly due to the struggling Aussie dollar... and then I ran out of the means to buy one. Hence I'm working on a mount.

That's pretty serious business putting in a pylon.  Are you going to construct a shed or an observatory around it for protection of just sleeve to metal with something for protection?

Since I tend to so a bit of landscape related Astrophotography, I bought one of the Canon EOS Ra Astro-modified model Full Frame mirrorless cameras and instead of buying a telescope and I obtained one of the new native RF 85mm f/1.2L USM lenses.  It has some very unique optical technology that makes is very good for Astrophotography, even at f/1.2.  No noticable Chromatic Aberration and virtually zero Coma. I went straight to the mountains when the Lockdown in Sydney ended and picked a spot about an hour and a half from home that gave me mostly clear skies to test out the camera with older EF lenses.... and then a week later I tested the new RF lens. Coupled with the EOS Ra, I've been able to capture single shots in 6 seconds on a regular tripod (with a self timer to reduce shake) that exceed the image quality from some of the large telescopes on the mountains in Chile.  It's proven to be a bit controversial after I posted a couple of test shots on one of the Astronomy forums. They found it impossible to believe I could get these shots with single JPEGs without stacking or tracking. The strangest thing is that I can see the Milky Way with color on the Live View on the LCD of the camera.  I haven't experienced that before. I certainly can't see the colors with my eyes.  

I'm just taking a few experimental shots without stacking or tracking (I'm limited to 6 second exposures without an EQ Mount with an 85mm lens). You can see the camera and lens below.  It's not a telescope and I'm only shooting in JPEG.  It upset a few people who were used to stacking hundreds of images, sometimes over many tens of hours, to bring out details.   There's a couple of shots below that show the sort of shots I'm taking with it.  I've only just started doing this but we had some clear skies last month so I gave it a go.  The weird thing here is that these are just single exposure JPEG shots, not stacked images.

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Three-image panorama shot with 6 second exposures in JPEG with 85mm (Milky Way core)  The bright area on the left is light pollution from Sydney

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Three-image panorama shot with 6 second exposures in JPEG with 85mm (Carina Nebula)

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EOS Ra Camera + RF 85mm f/1.2L USM lens on a tripod taking these shots.

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Two shots with a 15 second exposure in JPEG with a 24mm lens (Carina Nebula again - Sydney Blue Mountains)

There's not much for Mac users like myself to use for tracking stars without a computer. My best hope is to use a Celestron EQ mount to extend my exposure time without guiding.  I'm hoping I can get more than 6 seconds... hopefully up to 150 seconds.  At least then I could stop down to f/4 or something.  The images above were shot with f/1.2 & f/1.4 at ISO 5000.  I was just talking to the staff at Sydney's BINTEL store where they suggested buying a cheap laptop or similar just to enable a mount to track from longer amounts of time.  I bought one of the LiFePo4 batteries from Celestron to power my lens warmer. I picked it up on sale at the Australian Geographic stores where I found one on sale for half price.  But I need the larger one (the Pro battery) to power the mount I've put together and Celestron tells me they're out of stock due to Covid-19 until at least September.  There's a guy selling one online but I don't know if the battery was used or not and the warranty wouldn't apply with a private sale.  My wife got the 'Protage' Lens Warmer on Ebay.  

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Set up under a burnt out tree in the Sydney Blue Mountains - trying to photograph Comet ATLAS in May with a 135mm lens

I'm trying to mount a 14 inch Vixen plate to the saddle plate on the mount - with a removable camera plate and several accessories including a StarSense for auto alignment.  I should be done later today.  I still need to source a battery to run the thing but it's almost done.  It's strange because I drew a sketch of what I wanted to build back in 2017 and the staff at one of the local astronomy/telescopes talked me out of it.  I tried to buy three different mounts in April/May this year but all the dealers were sold out except one... and he had one left.  So I called the next day to buy it and he'd already sold it.  I phoned the folks at BINTEL (which is a Sydney store) and they had access to some supplies at a different location which weren't showing up on their website.  I'm wary of buying things I don't "need" but I'd like to be able to put a scope on the mount someday and at least I can use my cameras and lenses instead of a telescope until then. I put the mount together in my loungeroom but my wife has insisted that I put it in my home office or outside.  I've just moved it upstairs but it took a few trips to get it apart and reassemble it again.  I'm trying to figure out if I should take it out to the goldfields when the weather starts to warm up because the skies are much clearer out there.  I assume that leaving a mount (with rubber gear treads) and a sensitive camera in a hot car might not be ideal.  But it would be good to combine my interest in astronomy with gold prospecting.  There's also some nice landscapes out there in the Australian bush.  I could probably just leave the EQ Mount at home and bring the camera + a tripod.
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Post  adrian ss Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:15 am

Very nice imaging Nero.
One of my fav pass times is getting great shots from uncomplicated equipment and achieving good single frame night sky shots is one of them.
This stacking bazillions of images has got knobs on it.
Really nice pics mate and definitely puts some of those bazillion dollar rig stacked frame pro shots shame.
A little gadget I intend to try in the near future is one of these.

Can see a few here.
https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/au/buying-guides/best-star-tracker
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Post  4rd Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:24 pm

Finally got our internet back after what Telstra described as a DoS attack impacting multiple cities and states, all Sunday morning for us at least.

Nero, yet another excellent and informative post which has given me much to look forward to as I had expected the only way to capture quality and striking nebula images was by photo stacking hundreds of frames (inlcuding flats, darks, etc) to bring out the detail.  

Your single exposures at 6sec using a tripod with no EQ Mount are very impressive and I'm not surprised if they've caused some consternation especially as many of the astro forums can get a bit heated up about techinques and skill to say the least.

I have no plans for a shed or an observatory, at least not at this early stage as I try to focus (the $'s) on other bits'n'pieces, starting with the purchase of a SkyWatcher AZ-EQ6 Pro (with inbuilt USB) just recently.  Next item hopefully will be an APO triplet refractor - the same SkyWatcher you mentioned however they are pricey so it will have to wait a little longer. I did also look at RASA however my understanding is that they aren't well suited to DSLR's (physical limitations, silouhettes? etc) and I'd like to use (maximise) my existing DSLR equipment for now.

In the meantime I'll be using the mount with my D850 and a mix of f/2.8 and f/1.4 lens which will keep me busy in terms of learning, and if I can get my captures only one tenth of the way to what you've just shared I'll be ten times happier without doubt (that's a differential of 100 times, all relative especially when you starting I guess).  Shame they couldn't come up with a way to enable/disable Ha filters but I guess this all targetted and niche stuff so can't complain too much. I have and old D90 and D610, may think about converting the D90 one day but that's yet another project.... hmmmm, probably more chance of sighting C/2020 Neowise.

The Canon EOS Ra mirrorless FX with a fast f/1.2 native is an impressive bit of astro-photography gear and I can't wait to see some of the images you'll get given what you've already achieved with just a tripod and no tracking.

I noticed the dew heater on your camera, I ordered a thick film heater couple of months back and I'm still waiting on delivery, had to use a hair dryer the one cloudless night I managed to get outside.  I've almost finished my first build of a power box, has most of what I need, waiting on dew heater so I can test a few things before adding a PWM circuit and connectors to drive that also (work in progress, may need to build a version2 next).

The pylon as you called it for my mount is actually a 140mm safety bollard I purchased on fleabay, cut the top off and welded a 6mm plate, bought a discontinued car brake rotor from Repco for $12.50 with just the right size inner diameter and it works well, I welded a 60mm steel rod which runs inside for added strength and if needed I can drill a hole near top and bottom to fill/remove dry sand for additional damping although doesn't seem necessary at this stage. I used stainless steel anchors and bolts/washers as this will sit outside all year round, the anchors are great as I can remove the pylon without having dynabolts sticking up if I decide to move it at any stage.  The powder coating is also a bonus albeit a bit "bright", had a few bees checking it out initially but all good now.

I looked at the celestron powertank however at $369 for a 7AH (86WH) LiFePo4 it seemed a bit pricey, the 12AH version (154WH) is $500 to $600 new.  Hence I decided to build my own using a 12AH LiFePo4 and even tried listing it before deciding to delist (funny if you saw that particular one and how timing is everything sometimes).  The main aim was to power both mount (AZ-EQ6 Pro slew current is ~4A) and camera in remote locations - post covid restrictions of course.  PM me if you like and I can share some further details.

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Nikon battery adapter which runs off 9VDC,  I think Canon also run of 9VDC however the circuit can be adjusted easily to any voltage below battery.

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LiFePo4 Battery nominal voltage is around 12.8VDC

Adrian, that mount (or any mount) with the P900 should be really interesting to see, maybe even videos of the moon with Starlink(s) moving across if that's at all possible(??).
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Post  nero_design Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:08 pm

adrian ss wrote:Very nice imaging Nero.
One of my fav pass times is getting great shots from uncomplicated equipment and achieving good single frame night sky shots is one of them.
This stacking bazillions of images has got knobs on it.
Really nice pics mate and definitely puts some of those bazillion dollar rig stacked frame pro shots  shame.
A little gadget I intend to try in the near future is one of these.

Can see a few here.
https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/au/buying-guides/best-star-tracker

I love these trackers.  Some of them are actually much, much larger than I thought they were when I saw them in real life.  I think the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro versions are physically enormous - but the pictures make them look like they'd fit in a backpack.  I saw one in a city store and from the street I though it was something else.  When I stood next to it, it was easily as tall as the EQ mounts there.

I was originally looking at a Star Tracker (instead of an EQ Mount) because they're portable and are far more practically priced.  The portable aspect is the most important part.  With wide lenses they are fantastic.  I wanted to buy one in the past but they struggle with heavier payloads and the two lenses i'd like to use both weigh over 1.5 kilos without a camera attached - and usually the best of these mounts don't really perform when you exceed the payload.  When calling around, I also found most of the Astronomy/Telescope dealers seem to run out of stock fairly regularly.  But I do worry that as I get older, I'm going to find it harder to move the mount that I've ended up with - and be able to transport it to dark sky sites. There's one guy I saw online who has overloaded his and it stil seems to work okay.  He had an Auto Guider and a very long, heavy lens on there with all sorts of accessories.

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 The single shot I took is on the right. It's kind of strange to see this on the LCD after just 6 seconds of exposure time.

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Playback on the LCD showing a JPEG image taken with a 6 second exposure (with my wife's EF 50mm f/1.2L lens)

For me, I want to be able to put a large-ish scope onto the mount at a later stage and when I added up the weights of typical scopes plus camera gear, the payload weights I was looking at were over 10kg so that forced me to look at a Celestron CGX EQ Mount.  This should give me about 25kg of Payload weight to work with - not including counterweights.  More than enough for what I need. But if I ever throw out my back, I'm never going to be able to move it again.  I might someday need something more portable like the ones in that list on the link you posted.  They all seem to hint at a 3kg limit but sometimes this includes the counterweights.

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I haven't weighed the payload yet but the mount I've used is a Celestron CGX.  The red light is coming from the PowerTank battery.
The cameras are quite heavy but I think I can remove one of the counterweights.


I spoke with a few astronomy groups over the years and almost all of them are heavily interested in Stacking.  If you live in the suburbs, it's a good way of revealing deep sky subject without washing the images out from the city lights. But these stacker folks argue with people who want to use filters, they argue with people who don't stack images, they argue with people for not taking "darks" and "lights" and even "flats" to correct their stacked images with ... and they generally argue with anyone that does something different to what they themselves do.

I was out prospecting earlier in the year the weekend the panic buying hit Sydney and we ran out of water somehow, even though we thought we'd brought more than enough with us.  This was the second time I'd done this in 15 years... the first being when I left my water in the car accidentally when I hand to unpack my gear to find a bandaid.  Both situations resulted in unacceptable risks and I think I was lucky to survive in both instances.  I had a pretty bad scare with COVID-19 in December/January.  It's given me pause to reconsider a few things and decided to spend some effort pursuing my interest in astrophotography.  I definitely feel a bit guilty buying anything non essential at a time when we're facing yet another lockdown and who-knows-what around the corner - with a recession and depression and war with China looming.  I picked up my Koss UR-30 headphones last night as they were hanging on the wall on a hook (which is visible in the image above) ... and the cable just crumbled.  It's been up there for years since I use a speaker when I'm detecting.  I've taped them back together but it just reminds me how nothing seems to last.
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Post  adrian ss Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:38 pm

4rd.
I have tried submitting a few pics for publication but when I say they were single frame taken with an unguided P900 on Auto or Pentax K10 at 6 sec exp they don't trigger any interest. Reckon if I said they were 60 single frames taken over 48 hours,stacked using star tracker app U Beaut Crash hot, they might have at least looked at them. lol!
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Post  nero_design Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:40 pm

That's an AMAZING battery setup you've got there 4rd.  The voltage display is the cherry on top (although i guess you need to know what the voltage is).  I thought the Celestron batteries were more than a bit overpriced and the one I got on sale can't power more than one device at a time and is just 1AMP short of being able to properly power my mount. It works on the Celestron VX mounts and the Sky Watcher HQe5 mounts. It might even work but adding other devices to the AUX ports like the StarSense will drain more power and I was told by Celestron that it's better to carry the right power supply or risk the mount freezing up during use.  There's a power supply for sale for $200 on Amazon that several of the Telescope suppliers also carry... called a "PowerTech Lithium Power Tank".

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PowerTech Lithium Power Tank

I'm sort of at the end of my journey to get the equipment together and now I'm about to find out if I can align the mount without a Polarscope in the Southern Hemisphere as the CGX uses either All Star Alignment or the optional StarSense device... and both are sensitive to user input error.  I've had to install a fairly low powered 532nm laser under the mounting plate to try and nail the basic Southern celestial pole alignment and hopefully the guider in the StarSense will help me to align the mount for basic Sky movement.  I may look into Star Tracking with an Auto-guider way down the track but I don't see a need for one just yet.  I'd just like to be able to do 60 second exposures or even a little more if that's possible. If the mount can do that for me, then I should be okay.  Changes to the laser laws in 2011 means we needed to join an astronomy group to bypass any special restriction for Class 3B lasers (or higher) if battery powered.  I'm told the astro groups hate anyone with lasers these days because it ruins their imaging (makes sense) but I always see them in the public photographs whenever they hold star parties etc.  But any Class 3a laser is allowed without any restrictions.

I wish I could just keep it all very simple.  But longer lenses and the intention of getting a proper telescope someday down the track means I've had to get a larger mount.  My wife thinks the whole thing is ridiculous but some of her friends have partners and husbands that are into astronomy so there's at least some tolerance of what I'm doing, just as long as I don't leave things in the loungeroom.
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Post  adrian ss Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:45 pm

That is a nice rig Nero.

Am very surprised at the colour and contrast in those pics mate. Is the lens filtered or does it have any special coatings?

The Ebay refund I received was for a star tracker....Never arrived.
I will find another seller and go for something that can handle a bit of weight of between 5 and 10 kg
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Post  Mike54 Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:35 pm

Some very nice set ups there 4rd & Nero.  Very Happy


Went out last night and took a few pics of the moon, Jupiter and Saturn with my IPad.  

This one was the best one with all three.  

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Cheers.


Mike.

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Post  nero_design Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:56 pm

adrian ss wrote:
I have tried submitting a few pics for publication but when I say they were single frame taken with an unguided P900  on Auto or Pentax K10 at 6 sec exp they don't trigger any interest. Reckon if I said they were 60 single frames taken over 48 hours,stacked using star tracker app U Beaut Crash hot, they might have at least looked at them. lol!  

Am I imagining things or are the folks on the Astro forums a bit snobby?  I've avoided joining any of the big sites because they seem to go out of their way to pick arguments with folks who do anything different.  It's possible that the astronomers with telescopes dislike the folks with cameras.  I have no idea.

I have to admit that I underwent a similar amount of grief here on the gold forum when I first joined.  It got worse when I was employed by the Miners Den but then it dropped off again when I left the business after about 10 years.  Which is a shame because I was asked not to post too actively when I was working in the industry.  I don't quite understand the level of fire because I started out using really simple entry-level gear and wasn't pulling up any major nuggets in the first few years.  Just little bits (mostly subgrammers) now and then - with a half ouncer once, until I stepped up to a GPX.  I went out of my way to look for gold in difficult to reach locations (extreme slopes, higher gullies, remote locations) and no matter what I found I endured some fire from members here, all of whom now appear to be long gone...

But those astronomy groups are another level of ego that I can't seem to appreciate.  I was arguing for the use of some types of Night Filters on lenses on a completely different forum when someone asked if anyone had used them (I had) ....  and I then had to endure a withering barrage from "self anointed 'expert' astro imagers" until a Professor for Observational Astrophysics at one of America's top astronomy labs came to my defense with his own experiences that mirrored my own ... and then they all turned on that poor guy (the professor) and berated him for mentioning his credentials.  It's like watching rogue dogs fight on the street.  I was later contacted by a few people who said that there's a sort of 'push-back' from people who have been using the same methods for decades, only to find that new technology depressed them and makes their own efforts & processes redundant.

adrian ss wrote:
Am very surprised at the colour and contrast in those pics mate. Is the lens filtered or does it have any special coatings?  

Adrian, the EOS Ra camera has an IR-Cut filter modification by Canon.  It's their first Full Frame and first Mirrorless astro model.  This leaves it more sensitive to Infra Red and the red hues in the 656.3nm range from certain nebula. This should enhance the reds a little but there's a strong argument that these modded sensors aren't necessary.   It's also cheaper to just buy an EOS R or an RP and get the sensor modded.  But the RF 85mm f/1.2L USM lens has some unique properties.  It has what Canon calls "Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics" (BR) which refocuses the blue spectrum to align it with the other colors to all but eliminate Chromatic Aberration. and Purple Fringing.  The lens also has a Fluorine coatings and a special Air Sphere Coating to cut down on flare and to correct contrast.  I know that sounds like a bit of advertising jargon but take a look at one of my tests below to show how well it cancels out CA.

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An illustration from Canon showing how the BR technology in the RF 85mm lens works...

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Same EOS Ra camera with two different f/1.2 lenses that I tested side-by-side... the one of the right has non Purple Fringing due to BR optics.

The colors are a little more subtle until I adjust the saturation in LR or Photoshop but here's an examples of a completely unedited shots that I was creating from a panorama of 3x images.  The Blue Colors tend to be the faintest and yet when I increase the saturation in Photoshop for Cyan, the Blue hues appear in the edited image. You can spot this in the image of the LCD during playback below:

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Live View of the Milky Way before taking a picture (older EF 50mm f/1.2 lens used)

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Playback of a JPEG image of the Milky Way AFTER taking a picture (older EF 50mm f/1.2 lens used)

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Image after contrast and color editing in Photoshop (older EF 50mm f/1.2 lens used). Quite a bit of coma at the sides here. 10 second exposure.

I notice that the forum here compresses the images so they seem a lot softer and many of the stars aren't as sharp when I post the images here.  The original images are very sharp although the shots taken with the older lenses (EF lenses) tend to have less sharpness, coma and more CA.  I'm just using Auto WB but when I tried to nail a custom WB using the Sun at midday, the results later at night were not as appealing to me so I simply switched back to Auto WB.

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The EOS Ra + RF 85mm f/1.2L USM lens... the lens is about 1.2kg.  The camera with grip is probably close to the same.

With the results I got while testing this lens, there's an argument that I should be able to bypass an EQ mount altogether.  But in order to get the sharpest results with the least amount of noise, I think that longer exposure for more color and detail with lower ISO settings and smaller apertures are probably necessary. On top of this, I'd like to be able to take slightly longer exposures of the moon to allow for more light at f/11. I took up Astrophotography around 2013 and it's been something that has grown on me over time.

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A single JPEG image taken with a 6 second exposure.  I've increased blue saturation levels to bring out Rho Ophiuchi and darkened the dust lanes using levels, contrast and curves.  Then I raised the general saturation and exposure slightly.  It's not really ideal but it's okay for an untracked, unstacked image.  Not as over-saturated as the one I did from the 50mm lens (above).  But there's no coma here at f/1.4 with ISO 5000 but I don't think I got the colors right.


That's a frustrating situation with the seller online.  I'm glad you were able to get a refund.  Did you ever hear back from the seller at all?

Mike54 wrote:Went out last night and took a few pics of the moon, Jupiter and Saturn with my IPad.    

How on EARTH did you get that view, Mike?!  Surely you used a spotting scope or a telescope?!
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Post  adrian ss Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:59 pm

Mike54 wrote:Some very nice set ups there 4rd & Nero.  Very Happy


Went out last night and took a few pics of the moon, Jupiter and Saturn with my IPad.  

This one was the best one with all three.  

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Cheers.  


Mike.  

Caught them in nice alignment Mike. Hand held snap shot?
Point the Ipad at the centre of the milky way and see what comes out.
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Post  adrian ss Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:19 pm

Nero.
Yes I keep away from the Astro clubs and Societies now. Egos far surpass their true abilities and their minds are like hard drives, you cannot input anything that is not recognised by the programming. Laughing

No I never received any communication from the seller. he refused to answer my emails and supplied Ebay with a shonky tracking number.


Last edited by adrian ss on Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Mike54 Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:07 pm

G’day Nero,

I just held my IPad up and focused all as close to centre of the screen and took the pic.



G’day Adrian,

Will try to get a picture of the Milky Way when the moon is not so bright, and the skies are clear.



Cheers.

Mike.

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Post  Mike54 Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:53 pm

G’day All,

My brother in law sent me this pic of NEOWISE that he took last night. He used an app called sky guide and he found it with his Binoculars.

Off Topic New Comet  - Page 3 Ecede210


Cheers.

Mike.

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Post  adrian ss Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:17 pm

Good one. Sure is dim.
I do-not recognise any of those stars. Does not look like where I was searching the other night. Maybe my co ords were completely wrong?
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Post  4rd Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:16 pm

Adrian, agreed, you've shared some really good pictures with the P900 especially given the low exposure times to avoid trails and elongated objects. If you do finally end up getting a tracking mount it would still be very interesting see how much more can be achieved including video at that magnification.

Nero, your last post has even more stunning pictures with that camera and lens set-up,  the colours are really amazing especially from live view (I'm guessing an external power source is even more important with live view and mirrorless).  The lens BR technology makes a huge difference, coupled with its fast f/1.2 optics and an FX astro camera.  That camera would couple well with a quality refractor, makes sense as to why you're thinking of going that path.

Mike, last night was a special event in terms of the alignment and you did well to capture it handheld with an iPad, I took a similar handheld of the same three objects last night, probably doing the same thing at the same time Smile  The pic of C/2020 Neowise is also great and your brother in law was lucky to be one of the few to see and capture it on this side of the equator - interested to know which latitude it was taken from?

Off Topic New Comet  - Page 3 Otony_10
Handheld shot of the Moon top left - some scattered thin cloud layer causing light reflecting, Jupiter center, and Saturn bottom right (f/1.4 50mm lens on FX camera)

Off Topic New Comet  - Page 3 Otony_11
Jupiter from above image, you can see at least two Galilean moons as well as "purple fringing" it seems (need a BR lens next  Cool )
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Post  Mike54 Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:51 pm

adrian ss wrote:Good one. Sure is dim.
I do-not recognise any of those stars. Does not look like where I was searching the other night. Maybe my co ords were completely wrong?


G’day Adrian & 4rd,

Thanks for your reply this is what he emailed me.  


The bright star in the upper right is Arcturus. In the lower left-middle is a star cluster called Coma Berenices. The comet Neo Wise is just to the right of the cluster. I have circled it in red. You might have to zoom in to see it. Its only a small blurry blob. But at least I got it. 😁



Cheers.  

Mike.

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Post  nero_design Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:24 am

There's quite a few photographers in here ... and more than a few iPhones, iPads and digital cameras between us. It would be great to see some nightscapes from our goldfields each year. Every time I drive out to the goldfields West of Sydney, the landscapes are sometimes incredibly beautiful. Occasionally I'll stop to take pictures but if someone else is driving they often want to get out of the regional zones before the kangaroos pose a threat on the roads after sundown. I try to remember where I was when I see some old sheds and windmills or dead trees - or just lovely sweeping valley views. Of course, I'm usually too tired after digging holes to want to stay awake and drive around at night.
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Post  adrian ss Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:47 am

Mike54 wrote:
adrian ss wrote:Good one. Sure is dim.
I do-not recognise any of those stars. Does not look like where I was searching the other night. Maybe my co ords were completely wrong?


G’day Adrian & 4rd,

Thanks for your reply this is what he emailed me.  


The bright star in the upper right is Arcturus. In the lower left-middle is a star cluster called Coma Berenices. The comet Neo Wise is just to the right of the cluster. I have circled it in red. You might have to zoom in to see it. Its only a small blurry blob. But at least I got it. 😁



Cheers.  

Mike.

The stars you mentioned is is precisely where my cam was pointed. Maybe I will take a closer look at my pics.

Yes you got it at a time when it is receding fast and very dim, which is a lot more than many others here in Aust can say
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Post  Mike54 Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:43 pm

G’day All,

Went out side again and saw the skies cleared up again after we had some rain earlier.  I looked up and saw the reverse of the other night, so I grabbed my IPad and took some more pics.    


url=https://servimg.com/view/17344077/102]Off Topic New Comet  - Page 3 1f12a510[/url]


Cheers.  

Mike.

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Post  4rd Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:07 pm

doing well Mike,  clear skies for two consecutive nights is a bit of a dream here in Mel at the moment....  in fact if I look up there may be some snow flakes coming soon
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Post  Mike54 Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:19 pm

4rd wrote:doing well Mike,  clear skies for two consecutive nights is a bit of a dream here in Mel at the moment....  in fact if I look up there may be some snow flakes coming soon

G’day 4rd,

Yes I know what you mean it’s been like that here today I don’t think the skies will be very clear tonight. The temp didn’t get over 10*c here today.


Cheers.


Mike.

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