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Old 09-17-2017, 04:15am   #1
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Default First Space Shots.

Thanks for the info, Triple Black

Not too shabby for a first stab at it, I guess. I'd never gotten anything this good without a little guidance from TripleBlack.
First pic you can just make out a galaxy near top center. Not sure if that is Andromeda or not. I had it pointed in that direction, so maybe.

Cannon Rebel Cannon EOS T4i
f3.5 (as low as I could get it),
ISO 3200
Shutter 25 seconds

These are uncropped and huge.

I learned that if I want to zoom in, I need to lower the shutter speed; all those shots streaked.
Also learned to check the charge on the battery before I start.





Time to break out the Photoshop...
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:45am   #2
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Nice! You can just make out the Milky Way.
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:34am   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwomanC6 View Post
Nice! You can just make out the Milky Way.
Thanks. I'll still have to go further out into mountains to get away from the light wash. The Outer Banks are pretty dark too.
Still have to a lot of tweaking and learning to do. I'd never got this if TripleBlack hadn't told me how to set up the camera.
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:43pm   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OddBall View Post
Thanks for the info, Triple Black

Not too shabby for a first stab at it, I guess. I'd never gotten anything this good without a little guidance from TripleBlack.
First pic you can just make out a galaxy near top center. Not sure if that is Andromeda or not. I had it pointed in that direction, so maybe.

Cannon Rebel Cannon EOS T4i
f3.5 (as low as I could get it),
ISO 3200
Shutter 25 seconds

These are uncropped and huge.

I learned that if I want to zoom in, I need to lower the shutter speed; all those shots streaked.
Also learned to check the charge on the battery before I start.



Time to break out the Photoshop...
Very cool! And the galaxy in that first shot is almost certainly Andromeda based on the size and the angle.

You can upload your photos on this web site and it will identify major objects. Don't know if it will work on a shot this wide, but give it a try. Astrometry.net

You dont' mention, but guessing your f3.5 lens is the Canon 18-55 and if so, the f-stop is 3.5 wide open at 18mm but 5.6 when you zoom to 55mm - double whammy... You lose a stop and a half and at 55mm your going to be limited to 10 secods or so exposure due to streaking.

My most frequent shooting partner has gotten some good shots using an old T1i and a 10-22 lens which is also f3.5 at 10mm. Your T5i should do pretty well with the 18mm if you keep it at 18.

If you happen to have a Canon 50mm 1.8, give it a try wide open for 8-10 seconds.

The larger stars in the second shot have a little 'blip' which looks like either a bump of the tripod or maybe a bit of camera shake when you pressed the button. Most use a remote trigger to avoid having to touch the camera. I just usually use the 2 second delay.

Congrats!! I thing you'll be very pleased with these once you've pulled some details out with LR/PS.

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Old 09-17-2017, 03:26pm   #5
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Thanks!

Those were taken with the Canon EFS 18-135. Yeah, auto focus does tend to wig out.

I have the Canon EF 50 1.8 that you mentioned, so I'll try that tonight.

I also have a Canon EFS 55-250. Would that be of any use?

Light wash wasn't bad, but the mountains or the beach will be better. If next weekend is clear, I may just head out to the Outer Banks and camp out on Pea Island. That's about as far out as I can get.

Oh, I also have a mount for my 4 inch telescope. I might have to give that a try and see what happens.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:19pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OddBall View Post
Thanks!

Those were taken with the Canon EFS 18-135. Yeah, auto focus does tend to wig out.

I have the Canon EF 50 1.8 that you mentioned, so I'll try that tonight.

I also have a Canon EFS 55-250. Would that be of any use?

Light wash wasn't bad, but the mountains or the beach will be better. If next weekend is clear, I may just head out to the Outer Banks and camp out on Pea Island. That's about as far out as I can get.

Oh, I also have a mount for my 4 inch telescope. I might have to give that a try and see what happens.


For me, focus is the hardest part. I always shoot a few shots and review on the LCD zoomed in and adjust accordingly. Once I get focus locked in, I use blue masking tape to tape the focus ring down. Don't ask how a now know to to do this.

You'll be able to get some very nice shots with the 50mm 1.8 though the manual focus ring isn't very precise. You can get sharp focus, but it's difficult to keep locked in. The field of view is limited but you can take multiple shots overlapping by 40-50% and merge to panorama in LR or PS. I used mine to take the attached pano. Probably my best pano todate. Two rows of 11 shots in portrait orientation. It's ~200 degrees and I used a pano head but you can easily take narrower fields of view with just a tripod. Lightroom merged these on the first try.

The 55-250 would be hard to do much with unless your telescope mount is an equatorial motorized mount. If it is, check to see if it's suitable for doing astrophotography. Some mounts are great for viewing but not precise enough for camera work. 250mm on your camera is effectively 400mm. At 250 it's f5.6 so you'd be hard pressed to get much without a good tracking mount.

Use the dark sky finder site to pick your location. A week or so either side of the new moon is ideal. You just have to be mindful of the moon rise and set times.

https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/usa/winston-salem

And where the moon will be if it's above the horizon.

The Photographer's Ephemeris - Web App

And finally where the Milky Way will be. This is the last "good" month until April or so. The core of the Milky Way is the interesting part and it's only visible certain times of the years. Now, it goes below the horizon pretty early... before 1am I think. There are phone apps that help a great deal planning this. Photopills for IOS (and I think maybe Android now) and PlanIT Pro for Android. I use the later but Photopills is more popular. Both have some features the other doesn't. Stellarium is a stand alone PC app that is also useful. I use it a lot for planning. All of these have a substantial learning curve.

Back to the telescope mount. It's likely that it's more sturdy than your tripod so it may be a good choice if you have hardware to mount the camera. And if it's a motorized EQ mount good for photography, look in to getting a T-mount to just mount your camera on the telescope!
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11x2 Ft. Griffing Pano.jpg  

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Old 09-20-2017, 08:33pm   #7
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Those sites are really great.
Thanks for the tip on the EF 50 1.8. The shots I took had, lets say...promise.

I've been playing with the shutter vs the ISO, and there does seem to be a sweetspot for the lens that's being used and the light-wash in the area.

Focus is a real bitch. ( I understand about the tape! ) I hadn't bothered to load up the utility software with the camera, and I should have. Reason being, that I can just go ahead and use the laptop to drive the camera. I'll try that out tonight and hopefully the 17" screen gives me a better idea of how well I'm focused than the little three inch screen on the camera.

Tried to email you the raws, but they got bounced back. Without the focus being spot-on though, they really didn't give me much more than the jpg's, other than just bulk. I'll probably hold off on those till I can start taking decent shots.

You're right about the 55-250 and the telescope, no motorized mount, so just to much to argue with. I got a couple of shots that were mediocre at best. A couple points of light that were never crisp so, meh. The scope can pick up the moons of Jupiter, so I may revisit it later.

Going out a midnight tonight to 36.199957, -80.589806, to give it another whirl. If the weekend is decent, I may might run down to the Outer Banks....or Stone Mountain NC
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:16pm   #8
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Beginning in October or so you can shot Orion with the 50mm 1.8. I just watched a video about it tonight. Guy did it with short exposures and no EQ mount. It's long, but goes step by step on how do the editing

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Old 09-20-2017, 10:01pm   #9
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Wow! That was intense! But not really all that complicated. He used the imaging software to align all the shots by the stars, and then teased out the colors and contrasts into different layers. Enhanced them, and then flattened it all out.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:44pm   #10
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Yeah, that's the Lonely Speck guy. Some cool techniques. He has an outstanding website.

Stacking does a good job of getting rid of noise. There's a free program called deep sky stacker that does the same thing but lets you add "dark frames" which are shots at the exact same exposure taken at the same time you take your regular exposures but with the lens cap on. The software detects stuck/hot pixles and uses the noise patterns in the dark frames to reduce the noise in the stack of normal exposures. Not user friendly but it does work. It has additional editing capabilities but I had zero luck with them. I just took the TIF file it created and put it in Photoshop.

I may go out Friday night if the weather holds and shoot again. Orion isn't visible until like 4am or so but I may try to improve on the Andromeda shot. There's also a cool spiral galaxy, Triangulum, near Andromeda that is pretty bright but much smaller. Don't think I have enough lens tho I might borrow a friends 75-300.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:50am   #11
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Could not find the Triangulum galaxy or if I did, I didn't have enough magnification to distinguish it from a bright fuzzy star.

I did easily find Andromeda this time. My first exposure at 70mm caught just the edge of it. Centered it and and took a series of images at 200mm/ISO1600/f2.8/60 seconds. The shot looks pretty good but close inspection reveals oval stars which are an indication my polar alignment isn't good enough. I suspect my tripod isn't providing enough support. I could set the polar alignment, shoot a series and get poor results, check the alignment and it would be off. Frustrating, but it was only my second outing.

Anyway, I came back with a fairly decent image of Andromeda - better in some ways than my first image - lacking in other aspects.

I also got some shots of M45, the Pleiades cluster, aka the seven sisters. Still working on it but here's the Andromeda shot from the trip.
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:25am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OddBall View Post
Thanks for the info, Triple Black

Not too shabby for a first stab at it, I guess. I'd never gotten anything this good without a little guidance from TripleBlack.
First pic you can just make out a galaxy near top center. Not sure if that is Andromeda or not. I had it pointed in that direction, so maybe.

Cannon Rebel Cannon EOS T4i
f3.5 (as low as I could get it),
ISO 3200
Shutter 25 seconds

These are uncropped and huge.

I learned that if I want to zoom in, I need to lower the shutter speed; all those shots streaked.
Also learned to check the charge on the battery before I start.





Time to break out the Photoshop...
There is a lens I mentioned in another tripleblack thread that would work well for you. The Irix 15mm f2.4. Looking at the large image, I would drop the ISO or get a camera that does better at ISO 3200. A little too much noise. Good shots for a first time though.
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