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04-26-2015, 09:57 AM   #811
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QuoteOriginally posted by XLXW Quote
The scope was built by Celestron in 1979-1980 for film astrophotography for a guy who worked for Eastman Kodak. His co-worker, a retiree from Eastman Kodak, who used to sell me Pentax camera stuff at the Torrance swapmeet got the telescope for me years ago from his astrophotographer friend who was likewise retired from Eastman Kodak. Celestron has twice offered to buy that telescope back from me when I have taken it in for cleaning. It is a marvelous instrument unlike any which are commercially built and sold today. I've actually seen the central star in M57 (The Ring Nebula in Lyra) on several occasions with that telescope and a Pentax 5 mm XW eyepiece. I didn't even know that it was difficult to see that particular star until I read in astronomy magazines about just how difficult it actually is to see that star. I've tried film astrophotography several times with it without much success -- usually black film when trying eyepiece projection photography with the camera mounted on an eyepiece. I'm going to try it with my Pentax digital camera the next time I get out to the desert to play with it. It's the main reasons why I've been asking for some "pointers" here on this astrophotography thread. I'm not much of a photographer and the learning curve is still pretty steep for me but I'll get there.
So you got a great t-scope, a dark desert to go and a long time experience on propperly handling the scope. That are great preconditions (better than mine ) to show us phantastic photographic results in a while

The possibility of watching technical tutorials for astrophotography and postprocessing via Youtube can lead to a high-angle learning curve. I did my first astrophoto in Oct. 2014 and thanks to the guys at Youtube I get amazing results by now with my tiny equipment - at least in my eyes

04-26-2015, 11:31 AM   #812
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete_XL Quote
So you got a great t-scope, a dark desert to go and a long time experience on propperly handling the scope. That are great preconditions (better than mine ) to show us phantastic photographic results in a while

The possibility of watching technical tutorials for astrophotography and postprocessing via Youtube can lead to a high-angle learning curve. I did my first astrophoto in Oct. 2014 and thanks to the guys at Youtube I get amazing results by now with my tiny equipment - at least in my eyes
Hi Pete:
You succeed quite well. That photograph of M51 is quite impressive. Of course, the camera captures far more than the human eye sees via the telescope. If my schedule permits I am going to try to get out to the desert this weekend to give it a go -- the problem, of course, will be the brightness of the Moon -- so I may wait. The weather is also an issue as there has been a forecast for possible clouds and rain.
04-26-2015, 03:31 PM   #813
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QuoteOriginally posted by XLXW Quote
Hi Pete:
You succeed quite well. That photograph of M51 is quite impressive. Of course, the camera captures far more than the human eye sees via the telescope. If my schedule permits I am going to try to get out to the desert this weekend to give it a go -- the problem, of course, will be the brightness of the Moon -- so I may wait. The weather is also an issue as there has been a forecast for possible clouds and rain.
From my very short experience as an astrophotographer, but from my very old experience as a moderator of an astronomy forum, I can tell you this. First, try your skills from your background, whatever it is, Learn the very fastidious PP of the astrophoto, and then, go to a good site. Otherwise, you could be much disappointed.

I also have a C8 from Celestron, but my location is far from good.
04-26-2015, 04:46 PM   #814
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimmyDranox Quote
From my very short experience as an astrophotographer, but from my very old experience as a moderator of an astronomy forum, I can tell you this. First, try your skills from your background, whatever it is, Learn the very fastidious PP of the astrophoto, and then, go to a good site. Otherwise, you could be much disappointed.

I also have a C8 from Celestron, but my location is far from good.
Jimmy:
What do you mean by the words: "fastidious PP of the astrophoto?" I don't understand what "PP" means. Thanks. I like the kitty.

04-26-2015, 05:55 PM   #815
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'PP' post production.....fiddling wit the pic on the puter......photoshop, etc.........
04-26-2015, 07:32 PM   #816
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
'PP' post production.....fiddling wit the pic on the puter......photoshop, etc.........
Thanks, Aaron. You're in Huntsville -- you must know Uncle Rod?
04-26-2015, 07:35 PM   #817
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yes in huntsville.....no I don't know uncle rod.....he a user on here? there are 1 or 2 users on here from the area (north Alabama) but I don't know them either....just some of the locations their pictures were taken
04-26-2015, 08:08 PM   #818
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Rod Molise is an amateur astronomer and dabbles in astrophotography. He's published a couple of books on various astro subjects. He participates on the astronomy forums on CloudyNights and AstroMart. He is a friend of mine. He is on Facebook. He has a blog: Uncle Rod's Astro Blog Check it out. He is quite knowledgeable. I can't make out your avatar photo very clearly but I was wondering whether or not it was a telescope?

---------- Post added 04-26-15 at 08:09 PM ----------

There is a current article on Rod's blog about "shooting the planets" which may have some useful information in it. I have not read it yet but I will sometime this week.

04-26-2015, 08:13 PM   #819
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ok neat......so he is local? sorry my avatar is my boston terrier! image taken with a kiddie toy spy camera
04-26-2015, 08:25 PM   #820
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You're right -- I had to get closer to the screen to see it. I think that Rod lives in or around the Mobile area but I am not sure. Next time I get down to New Orleans I'm going to try to meet up with him.
04-26-2015, 08:33 PM   #821
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I checked out the blog link....possum swamp....maybe in Mississippi......
yeh the avatars are indeed tiny!
05-07-2015, 03:29 PM   #822
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Milky Way Arc

Here is a shot I did in March that I finally did more post on. A panorama of the Milky Way Arc. The glow at the bottom center is Salt Lake City

Larger can be found here
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05-07-2015, 03:38 PM   #823
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nice!
05-07-2015, 03:41 PM   #824
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QuoteOriginally posted by XLXW Quote
Nice photograph of M51. I have a 8 inch Celestron Orange SCT and I've been thinking about trying astrophotography with it this coming summer. How long did you expose the shot of M51? Is there somewhere or someplace here or on the internet where there is a listing of exposure times and shutter speeds for the Pentax camera for Galaxies such as M51; M81; M82; Globular Clusters like M13 and M5 as well as the planets: Jupiter; Saturn; and, Mars? Thanks.
Thanks!

For this shot I took thirty 200" exposures at iso800. For dso's you want the longest exposure you can achieve until you hit the sky fog limit. So when the leftmost part of your histogram is squarely off the left edge. all things being equal lower iso's with longer exposure lengths are better. I really shouldve been at iso400 with 400" exposures (live and learn). Also longer exposures require more demanding mount and good guiding.

Planets are a different beast. Really i wouldnt recommend a dslr for planets. You want small pixels and quick frame rate to beat seeing. For planetary i use a zwo asi120mm but have seen some decent results with dslr in movie capture mode.

Hope this helps!
05-07-2015, 03:42 PM   #825
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Very nice photograph. What is the bright star in the center? Is it a planet? Jupiter or Saturn? There are an interesting alignment of small dots around it which can be seen when the photograph is enlarged. I counted 4 on the right side and initially thought that it might be Jupiter but then I saw a few others and thought possibly Saturn.

---------- Post added 05-07-15 at 03:48 PM ----------

I tried astrophotography this past weekend in the desert at Joshua Tree here in California with the C8 and my Pentax DSLR. I forgot the remote control so I had no success whatsoever. I did manage to image Jupiter and her 4 Moons but I shot the image through the eyepiece with the camera hand held. The camera was set to the "green mode" in the automatic format. The sensors misread the exposure and totally over-exposed the shot -- but I did get the planet and the 4 moons although they were washed out in white and a bit blurred. I counted it as a success because it is more than I ever got before trying it with film years ago. I'm going to give it a go in a couple of weeks. The "seeing" was terrible due to a low pressure system replacing the high pressure system and a very bright full Moon.
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