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04-23-2012, 11:01 AM   #271
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Finally got a decent shot of the sun. Snapped a quick one of Saturn too last night.

Took some photos tonight too! Have to do some stacking and work before they get here though. Will be on the way soon!



https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/42662-gwarmachine/albums/3962-ast...cture41861.jpg

04-23-2012, 11:16 AM   #272
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Nice spotty sun, well done. Saturn is cool. You can shoot planets in video and just stack the sharp frames. I think this guy uses a 12" scope and stacks from video. I know he has my interest NASA - Jupiter From the Ground
04-23-2012, 12:26 PM   #273
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I just imaged sun from the other side on the world, looks the same except for the color. 4-23-2012 17:00 UT.
Used a glass filter- 80mm astrotec Ed at 80 iso 1/750 sec on my pentax k5 This camera shows great detail.
Hank
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04-23-2012, 03:52 PM   #274
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QuoteOriginally posted by oneeyedhawk Quote
I just imaged sun from the other side on the world, looks the same except for the color. 4-23-2012 17:00 UT.
Used a glass filter- 80mm astrotec Ed at 80 iso 1/750 sec on my pentax k5 This camera shows great detail.
Hank
AWESOME! Yeah, I have the cheap baader film but for $15 I was completely stunned. Next on my shopping list, an Hα filter. Great shot oneeyedhawk!

04-24-2012, 08:01 AM   #275
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Got out last weekend after some bad weather and captured the Leo Triplet (M65, M66, and NGC 3628).



This is a stack of 13 ten-minute exposures at 200 ISO taken with a full-spectrum modified Pentax K10D.
04-24-2012, 02:16 PM   #276
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Great shot Smigol. If I may ask, where did you get your K10d modified. I am thinking of doing the same, but have read too many horror stories of the companys doing this. Any problems after the mod.?

Thanks, Old Man
04-24-2012, 02:46 PM   #277
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Old Man,

I got mine done at Spencers and asked for the temperature modification as well. I opted for a clear filter so that I would have the advantage of choosing lens-based filters later.

The only problem with the camera afterwards was that the P/TTL function of the flash is no longer working. Flash is now just a dumb trigger. This is fine as I rarely put a flash on the camera without knowing what exposure I'm going to use. Other than the time it took to have the procedure done, it was a great experience.

Something to note if you're going to do this process that I wish I'd done. If you have several bodies to choose from, use the one that has the lowest shutter count and more importantly take a long dark exposure with noise reduction turned off to count hot and dead pixels. This isn't a major issue, but I if I were to do it again, I'd use a different body.

While the smoothness of the image data is great on the K10D, there is unavoidable amp glow. Also, there seems to be a black level cutoff at 100 ISO. This limits the ability to use that setting with Astrophotos. I prefer to run at 200 ISO and will rarely run at 400 ISO.

Hope this helps!

Stephen
04-24-2012, 04:00 PM   #278
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QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
Got out last weekend after some bad weather and captured the Leo Triplet (M65, M66, and NGC 3628).



This is a stack of 13 ten-minute exposures at 200 ISO taken with a full-spectrum modified Pentax K10D.
What other gear was used to take the Leo Triplet photo please? I want to modify my K-x but have had a hard time finding someone that will do it. I think I still owe you some dark frames too. I apologize, things have been a little hectic over here lately.

04-24-2012, 04:29 PM   #279
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GWAR,

Actually, you got those darks to me and I was able to make an informed decision that I'll wait a year before buying any new imaging devices :-)

For reference on how one fellow did their *istD (I bet the KX is similar) check out this webpage: Pentax *ist D IR Mod - Enzo's Home

The rest of the gear in the Leo Triplet shot:
Main scope is a Stellarvue SV4: 650mm f6 apo. Used matched flattener and Baader Moon and Skyglow filter.
Guidescope is a Stellarvue SV 70 ED: 420mm f6 doublet.
Guidecamera is an Orion Starshoot Autoguider.
Mount is a Losmandy GM-8 with the one-piece worm upgrade and the Gemini 2. The system is mainly important for framing and Periodic Error Correction.
Mount head is on the Losmandy HD tripod. Drift polar alignment to give less than 2 arcseconds of drift per minute - easily handled by autoguiding.
Guiding software used was PHD 1.13.5 with 1 sec exposures.
Image control was with the Pentax tether software.

Total of 13 lights and 17 darks. I pulled the darks from a library of pre-recorded darks that I've indexed by temperature.
45 flats, 38 bias/offset frames.

Stacking with DSS 3.3.3 beta 45, Autowhite balance enabled, no cosmetic hot/cold pixel removal as it made the stars bloat. Hot pixel removal was done from the darks tab option. Dark optimization enabled on that tab, too.

Post processing was in Pix Insight where I did the Dynamic Background Extraction to remove the remaining amp glow, masked stretch iterations to a midtone of .18, noise reduction in luminance and colors, then a final curve before exporting to Lightroom 3.6 as 16bit tiff. In LR, I adjusted the color balance and a few cosmetic treatments. From there I uploaded to flickr.

I also ran an annotated version that you can see here: All sizes | Leo Triplet Annotated | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
That link shows the 100% full size view for reference. There are still blemishes from about 2 pixels of shift during the exposures -- possibly caused by flexure in the system.

Hope this helps!

Stephen

Last edited by smigol; 04-24-2012 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Update list of gear
04-24-2012, 04:46 PM   #280
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That is AMAZINGLY helpful! Learning the steps you take and the software you use is also extremely helpful. I know I'm not running the best gear yet but what I've got works well for me and I'm still in the learning phase (which I guess kinda lasts forever?). I finally received my new telescope an Orion ED80mmCF Apo-triplet. The views are absolutely stunning and I'm still a little overwhelmed at the difference from my beginner scope(Orion 130mm Newt). I understand you pay for what you get but now I actually realize that quality glass makes a huge difference.

I've actually been to Enzo's page before and I emailed him once asking if he's ever worked on a K-x. He was very polite and responded right away. Unfortunately he hasn't worked on one before but maybe I'll get the guts one day and take it apart myself. The K-5 does quite well for me now though. I'm glad those dark frames helped you in your decision. Thank you for always responding and helping out; I always appreciate it.
04-24-2012, 05:38 PM   #281
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With that 80 you should be able to get some great widefield shots. Just in time for the summer milkyway!
04-24-2012, 08:08 PM   #282
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YES! I'm very excited to shoot something besides Orion and Andromeda. Here's a shot I got last night thru the haze. First time I've captured this planet.

04-24-2012, 11:06 PM   #283
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Nice work on that - did you use a barlow or eyepiece projection to get the magnification? I haven't done planets in a long time, simply because they require so much magnification and steady seeing.
04-25-2012, 06:43 AM   #284
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QuoteOriginally posted by GWARmachine Quote
YES! I'm very excited to shoot something besides Orion and Andromeda. Here's a shot I got last night thru the haze. First time I've captured this planet.

Congratulations!

And speaking about planets: Saturn reached opposition on 15 April. Did anyone here give it a try?

At my place, April has been very cloudy but on 16 April, clouds spread for a while and while still somewhat hazy, seeing was for once in a while decent for some city-based planetary observing. I believe, Saturn actually looks better as visually observed through a small telescope than as seen on images taken with a DSLR through small instruments (in this case a small 90mm f/10 achromatic reflector and a 2.5X APO Barlow lens).

But capturing its light is fun anyway. Here's first a long-exposure image where we see (almost on a straight line) the moons Titan (lower left), Thetys, Saturn itself, Dione and Rhea (upper right). Next, 17 exposures stacked in Registax and processed a bit further in PhotoImpact.
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05-02-2012, 02:11 PM   #285
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Day and Night

The last days of April and the first of May have been good to me as far as seeing is concerned from my city-based fourth floor balcony "observatory".

All images below were taken with a 90mm f/10 Bresser Messier AR-90 achromatic refractor and Pentax K-5. For the solar images, filter foil from Thousand Oaks were used.

Sun on 1 May around UT = 15:30:


FL = 900mm. 5 images stacked in Registax and contrast enhanced in PhotoImpact. 1/125s at ISO 80.


With a 2.5X apochromatic Barlow Lens; EFL = 2250mm. 12 Images stacked and contrast enhanced. 1/40s at ISO 400.


Crop of above image. A bit additional sharpening and contrast applied in PhotoImpact.

Saturn on 27 April around UT = 22:


FL = 900mm. 9 images stacked in Registax (100% crop). 10s at ISO 1600.
5 of Saturns brighter moons (see below) were captured together with four faint stars.
(The nearest and brightest is SD-06 3850)


Crop of above images with moon names inserted.
Also seen in this crop is the star is SD-06 3850.


With a 2.5X apochromatic Barlow Lens and a 2X Tamron teleconverter stacked. EFL = 4500mm.
15 + 5 images were stacked in Photoimpact and the two stacks merged and contast enhanced in PhotoImpact.
15 x 0.6s and 5 x 0.3s exposures at ISO 1600.

The Bresser Messier is a rather cheapish instrument with (too) much plastic parts. I bought it mostly to be used as a guide scope, but I am actually quite pleasantly surpised with the quality of the achromatic doublet lens itself.
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