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03-12-2013, 12:28 AM   #301
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QuoteOriginally posted by vancmann Quote
Very cool gwar. I recently imaged m51 with a similar scope and camera to yours. It was windy as well so I had to throw out some shots. I will stack and post soon. Not to be picky but your stars on the outer on the image look elongated. I'm curious if I have the same .
Thank you Vancmann! Yeah, I noticed that too. Both of these have been slightly cropped as well. I know it's not a tracking issue cos I have nice points in the middle. I've been told before that I will probably need a field flattener so I'm pretty sure that's the issue. I purchased a .8x focal reducer thinking it would do the job but I think it undid what the APO part was meant to do. I kept getting little halos so I took it off. Next purchase, field flattener.

03-12-2013, 12:52 PM   #302
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Yes agreed. Can't see how it would be tracking because the stars are pin point towards the center. I am curious to see what the field flattener does to your scope. I have just the regular Orion 80ED and am quite pleased with it. I just went through my images and there is slight coma mostly to the top right corner of the images but they are relatively flat compared to yours. Despite that, whenever I look through the K5 viewfinder to focus, the stars all seem to have a slight tail. Don't know if it is the scope yet because the images captured look pretty decent.
03-12-2013, 02:51 PM   #303
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When I purchased it from OPT (optcorp.com Great people there), they told me it would probably distort some at the corners on a DSLR. I didn't care though; I was so excited to get a nice quality scope. I'm hoping to have some more clear weather here and even more pictures! Do you ever use any type of filters with yours? I bought both an O-iii and a UHC in 2" and tried them out and didn't really notice any improvements. I was also a bit impatient and just wanted to see some results. Maybe I was rushing.
03-12-2013, 08:14 PM - 1 Like   #304
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Comet Pan-STARRS & crescent moon tonight
K-5 & A*300/4




Last edited by mattb123; 03-13-2013 at 07:25 AM.
03-12-2013, 08:18 PM   #305
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You nailed this one, Matt. Simply spectacular. The cloud isn't supposed to start clearing until the weekend around here. They have a comet gallery over at spaceweather.com you may wish to contribute to.

Jack
03-12-2013, 11:00 PM   #306
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Good job Matt. I was actually looking to take a pic like this but I had to work. Glad I got to see it and and now I have an idea on the size f lens to use.

GWAR, I will be imaging m101 pinwheel galaxy probably tomorrow if the skies are clear. If we both image the same thing, it will be a great comparison. I may be doing 10-15 min subs if it isn't too windy. Also, filters are great especially in light polluted places. I have the astronomik UHC and I like it. Keep in mind though that most narrowband filters will require to image for atleast 5X longer times.
03-13-2013, 12:22 AM   #307
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Nice one. I was hoping to get something similar but clouds have ruined it so far.
03-13-2013, 09:49 AM   #308
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@mattb123, great shot. I'm going to share the link with my astronomy group. I was dreaming of a similar shot with the top of the Empire State Building in the frame but bad weather spoiled it.


Last edited by DeadJohn; 03-13-2013 at 08:02 PM.
03-13-2013, 09:53 AM   #309
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattb123 Quote
Comet Pan-STARRS & crescent moon tonight
K-5 & A*300/4

How the heck do you do this? Amazing and a shot I dream of taking myself!
03-13-2013, 10:23 AM   #310
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Thanks for all the comments!

QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
How the heck do you do this? Amazing and a shot I dream of taking myself!
Thanks! Not really anything that special.
My wife is out of town so I'm solo dad for a few days. It was pretty cloudy at sunset and I debated not going at all but then the clouds started to thin favorably. I knew that would be my best chance to get the moon and the comet together so I decided I'd better go for it. My son was in his PJs already so I just had him put on his snow pants and jacket over them and told him we are going for a little hike. We drove a short distance to a hill that overlooks our town and hiked up the hill a ways to get away from light pollution.
I set up the tripod and got out my A*300mm f/4 which proved to be almost two long to get both the moon and the comet. At first only the moon was visible but then I saw the little smudge that was the comet peeking through the clouds. I was happy I could fit both in the frame because I wanted to shoot with the best glass I had and I have a big gap below 300mm in the collection as 100mm is my next longest prime. I also have a DA L 55-300 but I didn't want to use it if I could avoid it. Just not sharp enough when wide open. Then I just waited for the clouds to thin and shot wide open, ISO 800, 1.6 or 2 seconds as the moon descended to the horizon. I took maybe 20 shots. I used Live View for getting the focus the best I could on the moon and exposed for the sky and added +1 EV for some of the shots. I also used the 2s timer to reduce vibration.
I kind of wanted to get more foreground interest but having my son with me limited where we could go because I didn't want to keep him up too late, so I settled for this perspective.
I'd love to get out more for better foregrounds but I'm not sure if I will be able to pull that off with my responsibilities at home. We will see...
03-13-2013, 02:54 PM   #311
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I went out looking for the comet but no luck, instead I aimed my K-5 and DA* 300 at Orion to try to maybe finally get any decent star shot, my last night sky attempts were brutal in every way possible.

Well, it went better but not good but weirdly this is once again how my shots looks when I stack them in deepskystacker:
Name:  Orion1.jpg
Views: 745
Size:  263.9 KB

I can't understand why I've searched and searched for an answer.
03-13-2013, 03:57 PM   #312
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I tried the "intersection", or what it was called, stacking instead of the standard and it improved it but not completely.
03-13-2013, 05:22 PM - 1 Like   #313
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I actually realized that I caught my first slightly visible nebula in the pic! Can you see Flame Nebula just beside the left star in Orion?


Now I need to get a better shot, finally something was fun with my sky shots.


Edit: Sorry for spamming but I tried a:
ISO51200
F4
1.6x40
Wow, maybe I shouldn't be afraid of going really high with the ISO and skip perfectly round stars as this image is way more interesting despite being of very crude quality. Any feedback?


Last edited by VisualDarkness; 03-13-2013 at 06:00 PM.
03-14-2013, 04:54 AM   #314
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I tried to see the comet PanSTARRS last night. Left the city behind to get a nice view down to horizon. But I couldn't catch the comet by eye.
Luckily it did shows up very faint on shots taken with my K5IIs!
Hard to recognize on the downscaled image below but larger image sizes are available from here.

Camera: Pentax K-5 IIs
Lens: Pentax SMC-FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited
Exposure: 4 seconds at f/4, ISO 200





You can't find the comet? No problem, here is a 100% crop from the very same image:

03-14-2013, 09:28 AM - 1 Like   #315
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Nice! I tried to find it again last night but we had low clouds to the west and I never spotted it in the sky or in my photos.
So we took a few shots anyway before heading back home.




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