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Comet Lovejoy
Posted By: loco, 01-17-2015, 09:22 AM

Here's an image of Comet Lovejoy from last night. Not that this is a particularly great shot, but I'm continually amazed at what you can capture with a DSLR. When I got into photography, I never imagined I'd be out at night trying to take photos of nebulae and galaxies and comets.

This is 11 stacked 10 second exposures taken at ISO 16000 with the K-30 and DA* 300 at f/4.5. I used the O-GPS1 to prevent trailing during the 10sec exposures and Deep Sky Stacker to stack the exposures. Processed in Lightroom 4.

Thanks for looking!



Last edited by loco; 01-25-2015 at 08:07 AM.
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01-23-2015, 07:20 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
Great photo! It's amazing how much of a difference dark skies can make. My same attempts at Lovejoy captured more light pollution and atmospheric moisture. I need to get out to a darker location before the comet is gone. You grabbed a great shot and more detail in the tail than I did.


obin
Thank you, Obin! Yes, I'm blessed with decent dark skies. I suppose that's one advantage of living in the sticks!

01-23-2015, 11:28 AM   #17
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Great photo! You are definately more talented than I am, mine came out so blurry my friends wouldn't even believe it's a photo of the sky.
01-23-2015, 12:21 PM   #18
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It's a nice shot. I tried a wider angle, one shot exposure earlier this week with a lot of processing in LR. The comet showed up ok, but the image isn't nearly as nice and sharp.

Did I read that right that you shot that at ISO 16,000? or is it 1600?

I was trying some shots at 12,800 with my camera, but the results weren't fantastic. I also realized in hindsight I should have stopped my lenses down. The next night I shot a series (at 30 mm) for stacking in DeepSkyStacker, but I've never used the program, and I haven't gotten a chance to sit down and see what I get out of it. I haven't been brave enough to try at 300 mm. It isn't dark enough where I live to see the comet without binoculars, and I'm not confident I could get the camera pointed in the right place.
01-23-2015, 12:45 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ksho0ter Quote
Great photo! You are definately more talented than I am, mine came out so blurry my friends wouldn't even believe it's a photo of the sky.
Thank you, very nice of you to say! Astro photos are very tricky. This is by far the best I've been able to do.

QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
It's a nice shot. I tried a wider angle, one shot exposure earlier this week with a lot of processing in LR. The comet showed up ok, but the image isn't nearly as nice and sharp.

Did I read that right that you shot that at ISO 16,000? or is it 1600?

I was trying some shots at 12,800 with my camera, but the results weren't fantastic. I also realized in hindsight I should have stopped my lenses down. The next night I shot a series (at 30 mm) for stacking in DeepSkyStacker, but I've never used the program, and I haven't gotten a chance to sit down and see what I get out of it. I haven't been brave enough to try at 300 mm. It isn't dark enough where I live to see the comet without binoculars, and I'm not confident I could get the camera pointed in the right place.
Thank you! Yes, ISO 16000! I was originally shooting at 6400, but at the end of my session I decided, what the heck? and started upping the ISO dramatically. After all, the stacking in Deep Sky Stacker is supposed to greatly reduce the noise. Seems to have worked. And I don't really know what I'm doing with DSS. I only used one dark frame, no bias frame. In fact, I don't even know what bias frames are! So, it's all a bit experimental for me. But I was pleased with the result considering.

It is really tricky getting the comet in frame at 300mm. First I found it with binoculars and then once I found it, I was just able to see it with my naked eye using averted vision. One method I have used to point the camera to the correct spot is a laser pointer attached to the lens hood. That gives you a pretty decent idea where the camera is pointed. Of course, never leave the laser pointer on for extended periods and WATCH OUT for planes! The other method that works is to take a relatively quick shot at a very high ISO. This will tell you if the object is in the frame or if you need to adjust the camera a bit.

01-23-2015, 01:55 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
It is really tricky getting the comet in frame at 300mm. First I found it with binoculars and then once I found it, I was just able to see it with my naked eye using averted vision. One method I have used to point the camera to the correct spot is a laser pointer attached to the lens hood. That gives you a pretty decent idea where the camera is pointed. Of course, never leave the laser pointer on for extended periods and WATCH OUT for planes! The other method that works is to take a relatively quick shot at a very high ISO. This will tell you if the object is in the frame or if you need to adjust the camera a bit.
Makes me think I should have tried harder. For DSS I was trying to keep the ISO lower. Although it also seemed that you were perhaps in a darker place than I was. My images at 12,800 ISO were nearly white, likely due to moisture in the air and light pollution. I sometimes wish we had darker skies nearer than they are. I do, but it takes a good hour to get there. Work trumps that.
01-23-2015, 04:13 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
Makes me think I should have tried harder. For DSS I was trying to keep the ISO lower. Although it also seemed that you were perhaps in a darker place than I was. My images at 12,800 ISO were nearly white, likely due to moisture in the air and light pollution. I sometimes wish we had darker skies nearer than they are. I do, but it takes a good hour to get there. Work trumps that.
Yes, my skies are fairly dark. Not as dark as I'd like for Milky Way shots but decent for stuff like this. There is definitely a glow near the horizon, though.

By the way, this is a single exposure taken at 20,000 ISO, f/4.5, 10 seconds, processed in Lightroom....
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01-23-2015, 04:20 PM   #22
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That's not bad at all. I can't do that at my location. But I'm very impressed with the quality of the High ISO shot there.
01-23-2015, 05:29 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
I can't do that at my location.
I am in the same boat. Tried some 30 second shots at high ISO and ended up with "raspberry pudding".

01-23-2015, 08:51 PM   #24
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Try 5 or 10 seconds....
01-25-2015, 06:24 AM   #25
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Great picture!

Was it piggybacked? Did you use some kind of dedicated astronomy mount?
01-25-2015, 07:02 AM   #26
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Well done! None of my photos of the comet show up the tail, sadly.
01-25-2015, 08:06 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by takis63 Quote
Great picture!

Was it piggybacked? Did you use some kind of dedicated astronomy mount?
Thank you! Yes, I used the O-GPS1 to get the 10sec exposures. I'm sorry, I neglected to mention that in the original post. I'll edit it.

QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Well done! None of my photos of the comet show up the tail, sadly.
Thanks very much! It's tricky to catch for sure. Even looking through my telescope I needed to use averted vision to get a good look at the tail.
01-29-2015, 03:44 PM   #28
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Generally love the photos with stars but this one is amazing. Good jobs, congrats!
01-29-2015, 04:00 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by UgurUgurlu Quote
Generally love the photos with stars but this one is amazing. Good jobs, congrats!
Thank you, glad you like it!
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