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04-01-2014, 04:20 AM   #766
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space is so fsking cool.

04-01-2014, 04:52 AM   #767
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
space is so fsking cool.

This.^^^

---------- Post added 1st Apr 2014 at 10:53 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Iksobarg Quote
Really fine work!!
I'm a little jealous...
gonna catchup someday

Thank you The astrotracer is a really wonderful thing.
04-05-2014, 12:38 PM - 4 Likes   #768
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First light for the Samyang 16mm f/2. My first copy had decentering issues and was returned for another copy. This one looks to be good as it passes the "star test". All images were taken with the Pentax K-5 IIs DSLR. Vignetting was not a problem at f/2.8, but at f/2 was moderately visible. Coma at pixel peeping levels was moderate as well through all the fast apertures. I am pretty happy with the lens, it is very inexpensive and performed like lenses costing twice as much. I am looking forward to using this lens throughout the coming summer season. I hope you enjoy the pics, the weather and sky were very good the other morning and it was good timing as I had just received the lens the evening prior.

This is a single tracked 80 second exposure @ f/2.8 and ISO 1600.




Single tracked 70 seconds f/2.8 ISO 1600





Single tracked 80 seconds f/2.8 ISO 1600

04-05-2014, 01:24 PM   #769
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QuoteOriginally posted by nightfly Quote
I hope you enjoy the pics,
I, for one, do - and very much so. Thanks for showing & congratulations with your new lens.

04-05-2014, 01:53 PM   #770
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QuoteOriginally posted by nightfly Quote
First light for the Samyang 16mm f/2. My first copy had decentering issues and was returned for another copy. This one looks to be good as it passes the "star test". All images were taken with the Pentax K-5 IIs DSLR. Vignetting was not a problem at f/2.8, but at f/2 was moderately visible. Coma at pixel peeping levels was moderate as well through all the fast apertures. I am pretty happy with the lens, it is very inexpensive and performed like lenses costing twice as much. I am looking forward to using this lens throughout the coming summer season. I hope you enjoy the pics, the weather and sky were very good the other morning and it was good timing as I had just received the lens the evening prior.



This is a single tracked 80 second exposure @ f/2.8 and ISO 1600.









Single tracked 70 seconds f/2.8 ISO 1600











Single tracked 80 seconds f/2.8 ISO 1600



Fab pics!
04-09-2014, 12:10 AM - 2 Likes   #771
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Clusters in Coma Berenices

Was doing some testing in the backyard of my astrophoto gear, troubleshooting some flexure issues and gathered some interesting data on a couple of clusters in Coma Berenices.



Standard setup for me: modified and cooled Pentax K10D with a Stellarvue SV4 scope. The photo is from a stack of 52 subexposures for a total of 17 hours of integration. North is to the right.

The annotated version is pretty interesting as it shows the galaxies just at the background. This region of the sky is towards the Virgo supercluster and the region is peppered with galaxies.

04-09-2014, 03:55 AM   #772
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QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
Was doing some testing in the backyard of my astrophoto gear, troubleshooting some flexure issues and gathered some interesting data on a couple of clusters in Coma Berenices.







Standard setup for me: modified and cooled Pentax K10D with a Stellarvue SV4 scope. The photo is from a stack of 52 subexposures for a total of 17 hours of integration. North is to the right.



The annotated version is pretty interesting as it shows the galaxies just at the background. This region of the sky is towards the Virgo supercluster and the region is peppered with galaxies.



Great!
04-10-2014, 03:28 PM - 2 Likes   #773
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That's a lovely image Stephen. I think I will step out tonight to check out the M53 / NGC 5053 pair. Seventeen hours! Yikes! And I thought my one to two hour film exposures were long :-)

Well done.

---------- Post added 04-10-14 at 07:01 PM ----------

From Sunday night. A quick trip to my local national park, Acadia. The waxing Moon provided very subtle light illuminating the coastal headland that is Schoodic Point. The tide was receding and I was able to look towards the cliffs, slightly west of north. The constellations of Cepheus, Cassiopeia and Perseus are seen "in the distance". This place is a wonderful playground, especially in the off-season. I'm often the only soul around all night.

I used the new Samyang 16mm f/2 @ f/3.5 and 46 seconds @ ISO 1600



04-10-2014, 10:07 PM   #774
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Jim,

I think that I like this image better on white vs the way flickr looks on a dark background. The violet of the sky really looks great.

I envy your better results with higher ISO on the newer body. Someday I'll have to get something more recent than this K10D. I keep taking it apart and tweaking the cooling system - someday I'll probably break it and then I'll have to get creative.
04-11-2014, 03:07 AM   #775
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Stephen, there was a bit of twilight left during the exposure, might explain the violet. A bit of LP from Bar Harbor in the upper left as well. I produced a whole series of images on film that produced much better landscapes, but with trails only. I like getting star points for a change although I'm still working on getting as much as I can out of the K-5. So far so good.

Here is E200 with the 67 and 75 f/4.5



I think E200 has a distinctive magenta cast that can be used or reduced in PP. I left it in here. The exposure was rather short, only 30 minutes at f/5.6 with a quarter Moon.

You are getting good images out of the K10D, but I would imagine the latest round of DSLR bodies have great improvement in the noise department.

The K-5IIs is pretty cheap right now. Might be time to snag one.
04-11-2014, 04:19 PM   #776
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You are all making me loath the noise performance of my K10.

Shame on you all!
04-14-2014, 10:58 PM   #777
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I love astrophotography. Although, I'm relatively new at it, accomplishing it was definitely a goal.
I can't get enough when I'm looking at others work, and some out there are truly stellar. Pun intended.
This was my first attempt at capturing the milky way.
It's not that difficult. I hope to go further North later this year to find truly dark skies.
Here's a couple from the same night.
K-30
14mm Pentax
30 seconds
2.8
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
04-17-2014, 05:35 AM   #778
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Tips for first time use of K5II with Celestron Astromaster 90AZ

Hi everyone


Today I have just received adapter kit for Pentax K mount and I am planning to dust off my daughter's Celestron Astromaster 90AZ.
Now we are both total beginners when it comes to astronomy but in few times the thing was taken out of the box, we had a nice view of the Moon and Saturn rings, so I hope I will be able to take a photo or two. However, my experience with the tripod that came with the scope is rather negative; it is too light for the size of the scope and generally feels cheap. Locking on objects of interest is a nightmare as tightening the screws moves the whole thing that is in a delicate balance anyway. Finally, it can do sort of azimuth, but alt is creaky and very imprecise (again, scope too big for tripod).


So, my first question is what would be recommended alternative to default tripod? Bear in mind we are very occasional users (so nothing too expensive), but on the other hand, if it was more comfortable to use, we might have used it more.
Second, in the light of the above, my ambition is to start with the Moon (smaller chance to miss it ). Are there any general pointers, or I should just play with the settings until I get something passable?


I am planning to use a remote for the above reasons, but apart from that I have no idea.


Thanks a lot for reading so far.
04-17-2014, 09:45 AM   #779
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QuoteOriginally posted by cxdoo Quote
Hi everyone


Today I have just received adapter kit for Pentax K mount and I am planning to dust off my daughter's Celestron Astromaster 90AZ.
Now we are both total beginners when it comes to astronomy but in few times the thing was taken out of the box, we had a nice view of the Moon and Saturn rings, so I hope I will be able to take a photo or two. However, my experience with the tripod that came with the scope is rather negative; it is too light for the size of the scope and generally feels cheap. Locking on objects of interest is a nightmare as tightening the screws moves the whole thing that is in a delicate balance anyway. Finally, it can do sort of azimuth, but alt is creaky and very imprecise (again, scope too big for tripod).


So, my first question is what would be recommended alternative to default tripod? Bear in mind we are very occasional users (so nothing too expensive), but on the other hand, if it was more comfortable to use, we might have used it more.
Second, in the light of the above, my ambition is to start with the Moon (smaller chance to miss it ). Are there any general pointers, or I should just play with the settings until I get something passable?


I am planning to use a remote for the above reasons, but apart from that I have no idea.


Thanks a lot for reading so far.
To improve the tripod, I suggest looking for used tripods on the second hand market - astromart.com is common here in the states and there are a fair amount of european users. The scope you have would benefit from a firm platform and would give you some idea if you like the hobby before you get too far along. You may need to invest in an extension tube to be able to bring the image to focus. It will add the extra distance that the mirror diagonal uses.

I'd suggest looking into the Skywatcher series of alt-az mounts. These would be good for the multi-purpose use of visual, photographic, and telephoto use. Would allow you to use the scope to do a bit of birding if you liked as well.
Sky-Watcher Telescopes

An alt-az mount does not track the sky, so you'd be limited to the brightest objects (moon). Still, it gives the idea of what you can do without investing too many funds.
04-17-2014, 01:15 PM   #780
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