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RE: [lx90] Absolutely Maddening: Please weigh in

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  • Robin Lauryssen-Mitchell
    Hi Alan, Jim, Tom and anybody else :) ... This is one of those personal preference issues (and a great way to start a flame war, incidently ). IMHO (which
    Message 1 of 26 , Feb 1, 2007
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      Hi Alan, Jim, Tom and anybody else :)

      > They are combined using a program, [which is best?], I'm still learning.

      This is one of those personal preference issues (and a great way to start a
      flame war, incidently<G>).

      IMHO (which don't count for much in these parts<g>) it is tough to beat
      MaxImDL/CCD or MaxDSLR. Both versions of the same application, one
      (primarily) for CCD's and the other for DSLR's. I use MaxImDL/CCD with a
      DSLR plugin most often. See www.cyanogen.com for more details.

      On the other hand a lot of folks swear by ImagesPlus. This is a lot cheaper
      than MaxImDL. It also has fewer features (arguments may follow about
      whether these features are needed, useful, bloatware or not etc. etc.).
      *Very personally* I'd rather have something and not use it than need
      something and not have it; which is one reason why I have MaxImDL AND
      ImagesPlus. I just don’t use ImagesPlus much. See www.mlunsold.com for
      more details.

      Both the above have free trials; so try them out.

      At the lower end of the cost scale (i.e. free) is the VERY respected
      (probably because it is free!) IRIS. This is a slightly odd application.
      Way back when, IRIS (had a different name back then - forgotten now) used to
      be a bunch of command line (i.e. DOS) utilities. To drag it into the modern
      era Christian Buil, the author, bolted a graphical user interface onto the
      front. Now most of the functions can be accessed from menus, dialogue boxes
      etc, but the real power lies in the Command box. This gives you direct
      access to all the internal functionality; very powerful and very awkward to
      use until you have climbed the learning curve. The manual is translated
      from French and provides an occasional moment of amusement! :) See <
      http://www.astrosurf.com/buil/us/iris/iris.htm> for additional details.

      Then there is PixInsight (currently free whilst in Beta test), Photoshop
      (very good for pretty picture making), PaintShopPro, GIMP(free), AstroArt,
      Audela, Mirage, ImageJ, ImageMagick, and loads I've left out for now!!!

      > I "think" luminance is shot without a filter.
      Either without or with a clear glass 'filter'. Whilst there are some
      perfectly valid reasons for using clear glass, I believe most folks don't
      bother and shoot without.


      ***WARNING - PERSONAL OPINION FOLLOWS***!!!
      Polar alignment is overrated (there I said it! :) You can shoot perfectly
      adequate astrophotos without a wedge. With reasonable conditions I have
      managed a 2 minute exposure, without noticeable trailing, of M13. OK it was
      only once so far but it CAN be done. In general, you are better off going
      for shorter exposures and stacking them. IMHO get good Alt/Az imaging under
      your belt first before adding the complications of a wedge. Just get out
      there and give it a go, you might surprise yourself!

      Ok, Ok, a wedge will (usually) reduce field-rotation effects, improve
      tracking etc. etc. BUT, for beginners they are costly, add extra complexity
      to setting up, increase the learning curvature and get in the way of having
      fun at a critical point in the hobby. When you start noticing the effects
      of NOT having a wedge, then is the time to get one. By that time you will
      be experienced, skilled and committed enough to make the investment
      worthwhile.

      Regards
      Robin
      P.S. There is a waiting list for the baseball bat (wife has priority)!
      Otherwise please direct all flames, hand-grenades and sniper-shots to
      'rpehlm at btinternet dot com' :-D

      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: lx90@yahoogroups.com [mailto:lx90@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      > AstronomyW4WMM@...
      > Sent: 01 February 2007 04:47
      > To: lx90@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [lx90] Absolutely Maddening: Please weigh in
      >
      > Jim,
      >
      > 1. "So I still have no wedge. I'm open to suggestions on a good
      > wedge, because I suspect I will need one to align without being able to
      > see
      > North. Yes?"
      >
      > No. In Alt/Az simply level the OTA and point it as close to TRUE North
      > as
      > possible. Use a compass and correct for deviation. Turn on the
      > Autostar,
      > enter date and time, don't align via two star or one star. From the
      > object menu
      > select a star that you can see and goto it. Do a sync on that star after
      > slewing is complete.
      >
      > In polar mode a similar technique will work after putting the scope in
      > the
      > home position.
      >
      > 2. "Darn moon was out tonight. Too much glare. Is there a filter to use
      > or some way to get rid of the glare?"
      >
      > No. Unless you use a Hydrogen-Alpha filter and shoot H-A emitting DSO's.
      >
      > 3. "R: G: B: - are these exposure sequences"
      >
      > Yes. They stand for Red, Green and Blue. There is also "L" for
      > luminance.
      > R, G and B are done with a Black and White camera shooting through R, G
      > and
      > B filters. I "think" luminance is shot without a filter. I'm just
      > learning
      > too. They are combined using a program, [which is best?], I'm still
      > learning. The numbers will describe the number of shots made with that
      > filter color
      > and also indicating how long each exposure was.
      >
      >
      > >>" I would like to figure out how to align while inside the "blinded to
      > the
      > north"<<
      >
      > After you obtain alignment using the above method you can use the drift
      > method to refine the alignment. When finished PARK the scope, it will
      > remember
      > your alignment after the power is turned off.
      >
      > ====================
      > Looking Up,
      > Alan
      > 30.69° N 88.24° W
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group mailto lx90-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
    • Peter Vasey
      Hi, Jim, Alan, Alan, most of what you say echoes my earlier reply. But I have to disagree with you on the alignment instructions. With a near perfect Polar
      Message 2 of 26 , Feb 1, 2007
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        Hi, Jim, Alan,

        Alan, most of what you say echoes my earlier reply. But I have to
        disagree with you on the alignment instructions. With a near perfect
        Polar alignment on a wedge you can dispense with two star (or one star
        which really is still two star, but of course uses Polaris as a datum.)

        But with Alt-Az, even though the mount has been levelled, unless it is
        levelled to a minute or two of arc (most spirit levels are no better
        than a degree or so), and unless your location is accurately entered, a
        two star alignment is necessary for the Autostar to determine the angles
        of the RA and Declination axes with respect to the sky coordinates and
        compensate accordingly.

        Your method will give good GOTOs in the vicinity of the single 'sync'ed
        star, but will need re'sync'ing in other parts of the sky. Yes, level
        and point to approximate true North, but then do a two star alignment.

        Cheers, Peter.

        http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/astroplover/index.html
        Approx. 55ºN, 2ºW (Northumberland, UK)

        AstronomyW4WMM@... wrote:
        > Jim,
        >
        > 1. "So I still have no wedge. I'm open to suggestions on a good
        > wedge, because I suspect I will need one to align without being able to see
        > North. Yes?"
        >
        > No. In Alt/Az simply level the OTA and point it as close to TRUE North as
        > possible. Use a compass and correct for deviation. Turn on the Autostar,
        > enter date and time, don't align via two star or one star. From the object menu
        > select a star that you can see and goto it. Do a sync on that star after
        > slewing is complete.
        >
        > In polar mode a similar technique will work after putting the scope in the
        > home position.
        >
        > 2. "Darn moon was out tonight. Too much glare. Is there a filter to use
        > or some way to get rid of the glare?"
        >
        > No. Unless you use a Hydrogen-Alpha filter and shoot H-A emitting DSO's.
        >
        > 3. "R: G: B: - are these exposure sequences"
        >
        > Yes. They stand for Red, Green and Blue. There is also "L" for luminance.
        > R, G and B are done with a Black and White camera shooting through R, G and
        > B filters. I "think" luminance is shot without a filter. I'm just learning
        > too. They are combined using a program, [which is best?], I'm still
        > learning. The numbers will describe the number of shots made with that filter color
        > and also indicating how long each exposure was.
        >
        >
        >
        >>>" I would like to figure out how to align while inside the "blinded to the
        >
        > north"<<
        >
        > After you obtain alignment using the above method you can use the drift
        > method to refine the alignment. When finished PARK the scope, it will remember
        > your alignment after the power is turned off.
        >
        > ====================
        > Looking Up,
        > Alan
        > 30.69° N 88.24° W
      • turnipfloor308
        ... perfectly ... Thanks,someone had to say it !!! I just purchased PSP. Someone said it is easily adaptable for stacking astronomy pics. As a person who has
        Message 3 of 26 , Feb 1, 2007
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          > ***WARNING - PERSONAL OPINION FOLLOWS***!!!
          > Polar alignment is overrated (there I said it! :) You can shoot
          perfectly
          > adequate astrophotos without a wedge. <<<<<<<<<<<


          Thanks,someone had to say it !!!

          I just purchased PSP. Someone said it is easily adaptable for stacking
          astronomy pics. As a person who has tried most all the store available
          picture software I still must be missing something. I guess my mind
          must not catch the unwritten steps. The tutorials don't help.

          I was a whiz at geometry but a bust at algebra, maybe it's the same
          part of the brain.

          Bill
        • Tom Vilot
          Well, doesn t it depend on the duration of the exposure you are trying to do? If you re trying to do a 5 hour exposure, I can t see how you could do it right
          Message 4 of 26 , Feb 1, 2007
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            Well, doesn't it depend on the duration of the exposure you are trying
            to do? If you're trying to do a 5 hour exposure, I can't see how you
            could do it right without a wedge.
            >
            >
            > > Polar alignment is overrated (there I said it! :) You can shoot
            > perfectly adequate astrophotos without a wedge. <<<<<<<<<<<
            >
          • Todd Freund
            Polar alignment is overrated.. and I just bought a GEM, my luck! Where were you 2 months ago? Seriously, 20x15 second exposures will not produce the same
            Message 5 of 26 , Feb 1, 2007
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              "Polar alignment is overrated.." and I just bought a GEM, my luck!
              Where were you 2 months ago?



              Seriously, 20x15 second exposures will not produce the same result as a
              single 5 minute in my experience. Think I'll keep it around for a
              while. That's not meant to contradict that perfectly acceptable results
              can come from an alt/az mount. It depends on what you consider
              perfectly acceptable. I enjoy getting a basically white image from my
              light polluted skies and raising the black point to where all that
              wonderful detail comes out.



              Enjoy and have fun,

              Todd



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • AstronomyW4WMM@aol.com
              I agree, the best is level everything and do a two star alignment but I was getting the impression that Jim wasn t able to do a two star due to limited sky.
              Message 6 of 26 , Feb 1, 2007
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                I agree, the best is level everything and do a two star alignment but I was
                getting the impression that Jim wasn't able to do a two star due to limited
                sky. If he can find two stars and use them for a two star alignment, that is
                best.

                In a message dated 01-Feb-07 4:20:22 A.M. Central Standard Time,
                Peter@... writes:

                Your method will give good GOTOs in the vicinity of the single 'sync'ed
                star, but will need re'sync'ing in other parts of the sky. Yes, level
                and point to approximate true North, but then do a two star alignment




                ====================
                Looking Up,
                Alan
                30.69° N 88.24° W


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • George Erhart
                I will add my two cents on this one. I have spent almost a year and a half trying to take decent photos via Alt/Az on my 8 LX-90. I acquired an Orion 120ST
                Message 7 of 26 , Feb 2, 2007
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                  I will add my two cents on this one. I have spent almost a year and a half trying to take decent photos via Alt/Az on my 8" LX-90. I acquired an Orion 120ST with an EQ-3 mount. My experience is:
                  Field rotation CAN be compensated for with many stacking tools, free ones include DeepSkyStacker and IRIS. However, The background noise does not derotate well and you will typically see a noise pattern in the stacked image that matches the rotation. A noise reduction step is needed to remove this.
                  Wide field images (50mm lens) are a real challenge from Alt/Az. Basically, the field rotation in the corners will limit the exposure to only a few seconds. I have seen great short exposure wide field shots, but they must be taken from a dark sight and they should be shot with a very fast lens and high ISO to avoid rotation.
                  Equatorial mounts are not that hard to get polar aligned, but failure to get good alignment will result in field rotation. I can regularly get the EQ-3 set up for 1 minute exposures, but 5 minute exposures takes more time (and luck). The ONE time that I got good 5 minute subs, the hard disk crashed on my tablet pc that I was using to control my Canon 350D. (Dang!!!) In my area, a 5 minute sub will be ~50% on the histogram, so it is about the maximum that I can shoot from my house.
                  With both EQ and Alt/Az mounts will show more tracking/alignment errors as the magnification goes higher. I am mainly working with a piggybacked camera at the moment with an 50mm or 85mm lens, so tracking is not much of an issue, but for EQ, polar alignment is.
                  I also agree with Todd ... it is so amazing to see the details show up as you process your evenings efforts ... it just makes me hate the clouds and my travel schedule even more ...

                  Good luck ...

                  George Erhart
                  Loveland, CO, temporarily in Paris, FR.



                  ----- Original Message ----
                  From: Todd Freund <toddfreund@...>
                  To: lx90@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Friday, February 2, 2007 12:03:33 AM
                  Subject: RE: [lx90] Re: Absolutely Maddening: Please weigh in

                  "Polar alignment is overrated.." and I just bought a GEM, my luck!
                  Where were you 2 months ago?

                  Seriously, 20x15 second exposures will not produce the same result as a
                  single 5 minute in my experience. Think I'll keep it around for a
                  while. That's not meant to contradict that perfectly acceptable results
                  can come from an alt/az mount. It depends on what you consider
                  perfectly acceptable. I enjoy getting a basically white image from my
                  light polluted skies and raising the black point to where all that
                  wonderful detail comes out.

                  Enjoy and have fun,

                  Todd

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jim W. Coleman
                  I process all my photos with PSP, terrestrial or otherwise, but do not use it to stack. Jim ... From: lx90@yahoogroups.com [mailto:lx90@yahoogroups.com] On
                  Message 8 of 26 , Feb 2, 2007
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                    I process all my photos with PSP, terrestrial or otherwise, but do not use
                    it to stack.



                    Jim



                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: lx90@yahoogroups.com [mailto:lx90@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                    turnipfloor308
                    Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 2:00 PM
                    To: lx90@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [lx90] Re: Absolutely Maddening: Please weigh in




                    > ***WARNING - PERSONAL OPINION FOLLOWS***!!!
                    > Polar alignment is overrated (there I said it! :) You can shoot
                    perfectly
                    > adequate astrophotos without a wedge. <<<<<<<<<<<

                    Thanks,someone had to say it !!!

                    I just purchased PSP. Someone said it is easily adaptable for stacking
                    astronomy pics. As a person who has tried most all the store available
                    picture software I still must be missing something. I guess my mind
                    must not catch the unwritten steps. The tutorials don't help.

                    I was a whiz at geometry but a bust at algebra, maybe it's the same
                    part of the brain.

                    Bill





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Jim W. Coleman
                    * ***WARNING - PERSONAL OPINION FOLLOWS***!!! ... perfectly ... HOW??? Without having to have a degree in derotation? I can t derotate my images to save
                    Message 9 of 26 , Feb 2, 2007
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                      * ***WARNING - PERSONAL OPINION FOLLOWS***!!!
                      > Polar alignment is overrated (there I said it! :) You can shoot
                      perfectly
                      > adequate astrophotos without a wedge.



                      HOW??? Without having to have a degree in derotation? I can't derotate my
                      images to save my life. I think I"ve only half figured out Registax anyway.
                      When it's not crashing my machine, it's just irritating me. :-)



                      Jim





                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • George Erhart
                      Jim, I highly recommend DeepSkyStacker ... It is free and will derotate for you. (As well as do dark , flat
                      Message 10 of 26 , Feb 4, 2007
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                        Jim,

                        I highly recommend DeepSkyStacker ... <http://deepskystacker.free.fr/english/index.html>

                        It is free and will derotate for you. (As well as do dark , flat and offset/bias subraction. The author has set up a yahoo group for support: DeepSkyStacker.

                        George Erhart
                        Loveland, CO



                        ----- Original Message ----
                        From: Jim W. Coleman <jim3@...>
                        To: lx90@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Friday, February 2, 2007 7:13:31 PM
                        Subject: RE: [lx90] Adequate Astrophotos without a Wedge

                        * ***WARNING - PERSONAL OPINION FOLLOWS***!! !
                        > Polar alignment is overrated (there I said it! :) You can shoot
                        perfectly
                        > adequate astrophotos without a wedge.

                        HOW??? Without having to have a degree in derotation? I can't derotate my
                        images to save my life. I think I"ve only half figured out Registax anyway.
                        When it's not crashing my machine, it's just irritating me. :-)

                        Jim

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Joe Lalumia
                        ... LX90, as ... beg a few ... down to ... experience ... here since ... right ... and start ... layout of ... can t get ... Anacortes ... but the ...
                        Message 11 of 26 , Feb 4, 2007
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                          --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Jim W. Coleman" <jim3@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Greetings friends and mentors,
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Tonight was a monumental bust and I found myself yelling at my 12"
                          LX90, as
                          > if it were intentionally trying to frustrate my imaging. If I may
                          beg a few
                          > moments of your attention, I have narrowed my list of frustrations
                          down to
                          > just a few over the past few months, and maybe someone with more
                          experience
                          > can weigh in and help me get over the last hurdles. Thanks to Edward and
                          > others who have helped off-forum, but I'm going to float this out
                          here since
                          > we're all friends. And maybe Tom Vilot can learn as well since he's
                          right
                          > behind me on the learning curve - I got my LX90 in May and am only now
                          > making serious attempts at photography.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I have several issues.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > 1) It takes about an hour to open the roll off, get set up,
                          and start
                          > imaging. Actually, I did it in 45 minutes tonight. But due to the
                          layout of
                          > my property, I only have a southern view from the observatory - not even
                          > zenith, and certainly not north. I can't track anything because I
                          can't get
                          > alignment. I special ordered a heavy duty Meade Ultra Wedge from
                          Anacortes
                          > Bird and Telescope (where I buy most everything from) back in June,
                          but the
                          > order number was changed or discontinued by Meade and no one at
                          Anacortes
                          > ever told me. So I still have no wedge. I'm open to suggestions on a
                          good
                          > wedge, because I suspect I will need one to align without being able
                          to see
                          > North. Yes? I know that two-star Autostar is only fairly accurate;
                          slewing
                          > and centering is required. I just have to hit enter for each
                          alignment star
                          > and hope for the best. Tonight when I try to image-even for only 15
                          or 20
                          > seconds at prime focus-I get trails. Anyone have anything to
                          contribute on
                          > wedges or aligning without seeing anything but the southern horizon?
                          Most
                          > important to me is being able to align without seeing north, even sans
                          > wedge. I'll get a wedge and appreciate suggestions but as for now, I
                          don't
                          > have one and am stuck in alt-az.
                          >
                          > 2) Darn moon was out tonight. Too much glare. Is there a
                          filter to use
                          > or some way to get rid of the glare? In the Pacific Northwest, we always
                          > have little water droplets in the air. It wasn't bad tonight, but
                          the glare
                          > of the moon limited any exposures I made to very very short, indeed.
                          >
                          > 3) Can someone educate me: I see photos of galaxies where they
                          note
                          > different numbers designated by R: G: B: - are these exposure
                          sequences and
                          > if so, how are they exposing in R only or G only or B only? Is it done
                          > through filters or afterwards in PhotoShop or another image editing
                          program?
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I have gotten some (in my opinion) darn nice photos for a beginner
                          (view at
                          > www.untangledup.com <http://www.untangledup.com/> ) - very close up
                          of the
                          > moon and a beginning image of Andromeda Galaxy. I did this outside
                          of the
                          > observatory by hauling everything out and getting good alignment. I
                          would
                          > like to figure out how to align while inside the "blinded to the north"
                          > observatory, otherwise it's going to become a very expensive telescope
                          > storage building and I will have to lug everything outside every time. I
                          > guess this is what I get for trying to observe on four VERY HEAVILY
                          FORESTED
                          > acres. :-).
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I have learned so much from you all in the past six to eight months
                          and have
                          > purchased every single piece of equipment you've recommended along
                          the way.
                          > I have what it takes and many many years of professional photography
                          > experience to back me up. Just have these issues with alignment,
                          filtration,
                          > etc.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Thank you, as always, for your expertise, your sharing and your patience
                          > with people like me. I will take a deep breath now and make reparations
                          > with my misaligned telescope. :-)
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Also, (proud Daddy doing his thing here), just bought my youngest
                          daughter a
                          > beginners scope, so she can enjoy this with me. The link is even
                          > intentionally misspelled, as that's how Kayla spells it. The telescope
                          > pictured is right out of the box, with an inset of a moon photo taken by
                          > holding a digital camera up to the eyepiece and snapping away. I'll
                          spend
                          > some time with some basic collimation and then let Kayla have at it .
                          >
                          > http://www.jimwcoleman.com/photoblog/012407%20kayla%20telascope.html
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Best regards,
                          >
                          > Jim W. Coleman
                          >
                          > Port Orchard, Washington
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                          Kind of jumped in at the last.......... the day I build my permanent
                          pier it will have a Milburn Wedge on it.
                          http://www.heavenlyview.com/milburn.htm

                          Also the R G B does refer to colored filters in Red Green and
                          Blue......each with a different exposure time. I have been reading
                          about the new Meade CCD camera the Pro II, which seems to be on the
                          leading edge of the low end CCD market.......with excellent pictures
                          posted on the Cloudy Nights forum. It is possible to do 1 second CCD
                          imaging and then stack MULTIPLE images(usually 75-500 images) using a
                          computer. The results can be VERY good once you get the hang of the
                          software. SO>>>>>>>>>>> you might not actually need a wedge!
                        • Lee Zagar
                          Jim, I use ImagesPlus. It comes with a tutorial that very clearly explains, step-by-step, how to stack and derotate images. Here is a sample of 60-30 second
                          Message 12 of 26 , Feb 5, 2007
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                            Jim,

                            I use ImagesPlus. It comes with a tutorial that very clearly
                            explains, step-by-step, how to stack and derotate images. Here is a
                            sample of 60-30 second images taken in ALT-AZ and stacked, derotated
                            and processed with ImagesPlus.

                            http://www.astrohbg.org/gallery2/album02/M42

                            Lee




                            --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Jim W. Coleman" <jim3@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > * ***WARNING - PERSONAL OPINION FOLLOWS***!!!
                            > > Polar alignment is overrated (there I said it! :) You can shoot
                            > perfectly
                            > > adequate astrophotos without a wedge.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > HOW??? Without having to have a degree in derotation? I can't
                            derotate my
                            > images to save my life. I think I"ve only half figured out
                            Registax anyway.
                            > When it's not crashing my machine, it's just irritating me. :-)
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Jim
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                          • i_ween.
                            Awesome shot, Lee! -Derek Java 43°17 54.60 N, 73°39 49.59 W 8 LX90 UHTC But optics sharp it needs, I ween, To see what is not to be seen. -- John Trumbull
                            Message 13 of 26 , Feb 5, 2007
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                              Awesome shot, Lee!

                              -Derek Java
                              43°17'54.60"N, 73°39'49.59"W
                              8" LX90 UHTC
                              But optics sharp it needs, I ween,
                              To see what is not to be seen.
                              -- John Trumbull (American, 1750-1831)

                              ><> -----Original Message-----
                              ><> From: Lee Zagar

                              ><>
                              ><>
                              ><> Jim,
                              ><>
                              ><> I use ImagesPlus. It comes with a tutorial that very clearly
                              ><> explains, step-by-step, how to stack and derotate images. Here is a
                              ><> sample of 60-30 second images taken in ALT-AZ and stacked, derotated
                              ><> and processed with ImagesPlus.
                              ><>
                              ><> http://www.astrohbg.org/gallery2/album02/M42
                              ><>
                              ><> Lee
                              ><>
                              ><>
                              ><>
                              ><>
                            • Tom Vilot
                              ... All I can say is .... WOW ...
                              Message 14 of 26 , Feb 5, 2007
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                                > ><> http://www.astrohbg.org/gallery2/album02/M42

                                All I can say is .... WOW ...
                              • Robin Lauryssen-Mitchell
                                Lee, All I can say is, Nuff said!!! Regards Robin
                                Message 15 of 26 , Feb 5, 2007
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                                  Lee,

                                  All I can say is, 'Nuff said!!!

                                  Regards
                                  Robin

                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > From: lx90@yahoogroups.com [mailto:lx90@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Lee
                                  > Zagar
                                  > Sent: 05 February 2007 21:37
                                  > To: lx90@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Subject: [lx90] Re: Adequate Astrophotos without a Wedge
                                  >
                                  > Jim,
                                  >
                                  > I use ImagesPlus. It comes with a tutorial that very clearly
                                  > explains, step-by-step, how to stack and derotate images. Here is a
                                  > sample of 60-30 second images taken in ALT-AZ and stacked, derotated
                                  > and processed with ImagesPlus.
                                  >
                                  > http://www.astrohbg.org/gallery2/album02/M42
                                  >
                                  > Lee
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Jim W. Coleman" <jim3@...> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > * ***WARNING - PERSONAL OPINION FOLLOWS***!!!
                                  > > > Polar alignment is overrated (there I said it! :) You can shoot
                                  > > perfectly
                                  > > > adequate astrophotos without a wedge.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > HOW??? Without having to have a degree in derotation? I can't
                                  > derotate my
                                  > > images to save my life. I think I"ve only half figured out
                                  > Registax anyway.
                                  > > When it's not crashing my machine, it's just irritating me. :-)
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Jim
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > To unsubscribe from this group mailto lx90-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                • Tom Vilot
                                  ... .... and it s too bad it s a Windows app ;c) But that s okay. Guess I ll have to get busy writing an OS X utility .... ;c)
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Feb 5, 2007
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                                    > All I can say is .... WOW ...

                                    .... and it's too bad it's a Windows app ;c) But that's okay.

                                    Guess I'll have to get busy writing an OS X utility .... ;c)
                                  • googong@ozemail.com.au
                                    Hi Robin, Before people get the wrong impression here, there are parts of the sky where, provided your mount is up to it, 120 second exposures can be done in
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Feb 5, 2007
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                                      Hi Robin,

                                      Before people get the wrong impression here, there are parts of the sky
                                      where, provided your mount is up to it, 120 second exposures can be done in
                                      alt/az without field rotation being a problem. However, as you approach the
                                      zenith, the time that you can image before image rotation becomes a problem
                                      in alt/az decreases. There is a document in the DSI yahoogroups files
                                      section which sets this all out.

                                      >***WARNING - PERSONAL OPINION FOLLOWS***!!!
                                      >Polar alignment is overrated (there I said it! :) You can shoot perfectly
                                      >adequate astrophotos without a wedge. With reasonable conditions I have
                                      >managed a 2 minute exposure, without noticeable trailing, of M13. OK it was
                                      >only once so far but it CAN be done. In general, you are better off going
                                      >for shorter exposures and stacking them. IMHO get good Alt/Az imaging under
                                      >your belt first before adding the complications of a wedge. Just get out
                                      >there and give it a go, you might surprise yourself!
                                      >
                                      >Ok, Ok, a wedge will (usually) reduce field-rotation effects, improve
                                      >tracking etc. etc. BUT, for beginners they are costly, add extra complexity
                                      >to setting up, increase the learning curvature and get in the way of having
                                      >fun at a critical point in the hobby. When you start noticing the effects
                                      >of NOT having a wedge, then is the time to get one. By that time you will
                                      >be experienced, skilled and committed enough to make the investment
                                      >worthwhile.
                                      >
                                      >Regards
                                      >Robin
                                      >P.S. There is a waiting list for the baseball bat (wife has priority)!
                                      >Otherwise please direct all flames, hand-grenades and sniper-shots to
                                      >'rpehlm at btinternet dot com' :-D

                                      Bill Alford,
                                      Little Hartley, Australia
                                    • Robin Lauryssen-Mitchell
                                      Hi Bill, Thanks for the reference. Very useful reading for all alt-az imagers. Here is a TinyURL to the document: http://tinyurl.com/3e46ve. You have to be
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Feb 6, 2007
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                                        Hi Bill,

                                        Thanks for the reference. Very useful reading for all alt-az imagers. Here
                                        is a TinyURL to the document: http://tinyurl.com/3e46ve. You have to be a
                                        member of the Meade_DSI Yahoo group to get at it.

                                        Kind of validates what I was trying to say; you don't HAVE to have a wedge
                                        to take adequate <insert own definition of 'adequate':)> images. I WASN'T
                                        saying you would NEVER need one (well I think I wasn't). What I didn't know
                                        was the details contained in the above documentation - thanks again Bill!

                                        I still believe they are an overrated, expensive, added complexity for
                                        beginners in particular. On the other hand it can be argued that so is
                                        understanding the diagrams in the document referenced above. At least the
                                        above document has the advantage of being cheaper than a wedge! :)

                                        Part of my reasoning behind coming to the conclusion I did about wedges was
                                        creating a road-map for equipment purchases. My road-map included what I
                                        would need to know (or thought I needed to know) in order to make best use
                                        of the equipment at each purchasing step. A wedge came way down the list,
                                        primarily because it improves the ability to take images rather than enables
                                        one to do so in the first place. I would expect that everyone would come up
                                        with a different purchasing plan because, well, everyone is different and
                                        have different requirements and expectations. Another reason for putting
                                        off a wedge was seeing the results of folks working without one.

                                        I expect/hope to become a convert to Wedgie-World around the end of this
                                        year, around my birthday and/or Xmas time (that is a **HINT** oh dearest
                                        beloved wife :-D)

                                        Still havin fun with my alt-az mounted LX90 Classic (even in Luxembourg -
                                        Cloud/Fog Capital of Europe). Hope this is a reasonably balanced view -
                                        better balanced than my scope anyway! <g>

                                        Regards
                                        Robin

                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                        > From: lx90@yahoogroups.com [mailto:lx90@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                                        > googong@...
                                        > Sent: 06 February 2007 07:02
                                        > To: lx90@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Subject: [lx90] RE: Absolutely Maddening: Please weigh in
                                        >
                                        > Hi Robin,
                                        >
                                        > Before people get the wrong impression here, there are parts of the sky
                                        > where, provided your mount is up to it, 120 second exposures can be done
                                        > in
                                        > alt/az without field rotation being a problem. However, as you approach
                                        > the
                                        > zenith, the time that you can image before image rotation becomes a
                                        > problem
                                        > in alt/az decreases. There is a document in the DSI yahoogroups files
                                        > section which sets this all out.
                                        >
                                        > >***WARNING - PERSONAL OPINION FOLLOWS***!!!
                                        > >Polar alignment is overrated (there I said it! :) You can shoot
                                        > perfectly
                                        > >adequate astrophotos without a wedge. With reasonable conditions I have
                                        > >managed a 2 minute exposure, without noticeable trailing, of M13. OK it
                                        > was
                                        > >only once so far but it CAN be done. In general, you are better off
                                        > going
                                        > >for shorter exposures and stacking them. IMHO get good Alt/Az imaging
                                        > under
                                        > >your belt first before adding the complications of a wedge. Just get out
                                        > >there and give it a go, you might surprise yourself!
                                        > >
                                        > >Ok, Ok, a wedge will (usually) reduce field-rotation effects, improve
                                        > >tracking etc. etc. BUT, for beginners they are costly, add extra
                                        > complexity
                                        > >to setting up, increase the learning curvature and get in the way of
                                        > having
                                        > >fun at a critical point in the hobby. When you start noticing the
                                        > effects
                                        > >of NOT having a wedge, then is the time to get one. By that time you
                                        > will
                                        > >be experienced, skilled and committed enough to make the investment
                                        > >worthwhile.
                                        > >
                                        > >Regards
                                        > >Robin
                                        > >P.S. There is a waiting list for the baseball bat (wife has priority)!
                                        > >Otherwise please direct all flames, hand-grenades and sniper-shots to
                                        > >'rpehlm at btinternet dot com' :-D
                                        >
                                        > Bill Alford,
                                        > Little Hartley, Australia
                                      • tempestwizz
                                        ... sky ... done in ... approach the ... problem ... As a fellow Ozzie, I am only too happy to agree with what Bill has said, but, in my (as to yet) limited
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Feb 6, 2007
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                                          --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, googong@... wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Hi Robin,
                                          >
                                          > Before people get the wrong impression here, there are parts of the
                                          sky
                                          > where, provided your mount is up to it, 120 second exposures can be
                                          done in
                                          > alt/az without field rotation being a problem. However, as you
                                          approach the
                                          > zenith, the time that you can image before image rotation becomes a
                                          problem
                                          > in alt/az decreases. There is a document in the DSI yahoogroups files
                                          > section which sets this all out.
                                          >
                                          As a fellow Ozzie, I am only too happy to agree with what Bill has
                                          said, but, in my (as to yet) limited experience with astro-imaging, I
                                          am finding that for depth of image ( 'guts' to australians) there seems
                                          to be no substitute for exposure length.
                                          Agreed, bright stars will quickly saturate, but for nebulosity, there
                                          seems to be no substitue for accumulated time....unfortunately, the
                                          Alt/Az approach just does not lend itself to this.
                                          Yes, there is plenty of room for compromise, but if you want to get
                                          consistently serious, I cannot see how to do it without
                                          equatorial/polar mounting. ( Lets talk 10 minute sub-
                                          exposures, ......Alt/Az?, .....I don't think so!)
                                          I guess it comes down to a balance between compromise and expectation.

                                          Tonight...cloudy Canberra.
                                        • Robin Lauryssen-Mitchell
                                          Hi Tempest, For nebulosity and detail in AltAz mode I ll refer to three recent posts: 1: Wolfgang (sn2005cs) posted 05/02/2007
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Feb 6, 2007
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                                            Hi Tempest,

                                            For nebulosity and detail in AltAz mode I'll refer to three recent posts:

                                            1: Wolfgang (sn2005cs) posted 05/02/2007
                                            http://www.dsi-astronomie.de/NGC6946.htm

                                            2: Lee Zager posted 05/02/2007
                                            http://www.astrohbg.org/gallery2/album02/M42

                                            3: Wolfgang (sn2005cs) posted 29/01/2007
                                            http://www.dsi-astronomie.de/M82.htm

                                            I desperately do not want to turn this into some sort of crusade against
                                            wedges. Darn it - I hope to be getting one myself! However I think these
                                            images amply demonstrate what can be achieved without one. It is NOT a rule
                                            that adequate <insert own definition of 'adequate'> astrophoto images can
                                            ONLY be taken using a wedge. My feeling is that too many beginners are lead
                                            to believe that an expensive (compared to the cost of a scope or camera)
                                            wedge is a must for adequate imaging. I say get out there and see what you
                                            can achieve without one! Only get a wedge when you start to find yourself
                                            limited by the AltAz setup. I guess it's sort of a cost/benefit thing with
                                            me. When inexperienced in imaging, a wedge just seems an awfully expensive
                                            item to add when I'm probably making enough errors in other places to negate
                                            its benefits anyway!

                                            If you really feel the need to flame me (which I do not object to) please do
                                            so off-list. Mail me directly at 'rpehlm at btinternet dot com'.

                                            Still havin' fun - even though I missed a rare clear sky this week!!*^&£@!
                                            Regards
                                            Robin

                                            > -----Original Message-----
                                            > From: lx90@yahoogroups.com [mailto:lx90@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                                            > tempestwizz
                                            > Sent: 06 February 2007 13:32
                                            > To: lx90@yahoogroups.com
                                            > Subject: [lx90] Re: Absolutely Maddening: Please weigh in
                                            >
                                            > STUFF DELETED <
                                            > As a fellow Ozzie, I am only too happy to agree with what Bill has
                                            > said, but, in my (as to yet) limited experience with astro-imaging, I
                                            > am finding that for depth of image ( 'guts' to australians) there seems
                                            > to be no substitute for exposure length.
                                            > Agreed, bright stars will quickly saturate, but for nebulosity, there
                                            > seems to be no substitue for accumulated time....unfortunately, the
                                            > Alt/Az approach just does not lend itself to this.
                                            > Yes, there is plenty of room for compromise, but if you want to get
                                            > consistently serious, I cannot see how to do it without
                                            > equatorial/polar mounting. ( Lets talk 10 minute sub-
                                            > exposures, ......Alt/Az?, .....I don't think so!)
                                            > I guess it comes down to a balance between compromise and expectation.
                                            >
                                            > Tonight...cloudy Canberra.
                                          • Lee Zagar
                                            In addition to the points that Robin has made, there is the issue of light pollution. Where I live, it would be impossible to take exposures longer than about
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Feb 6, 2007
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                                              In addition to the points that Robin has made, there is the issue of
                                              light pollution. Where I live, it would be impossible to take
                                              exposures longer than about one to two minutes. Longer exposures
                                              would result in a washed out image, due to the light polluted sky.

                                              If you are, therefore, limited to maximum exposures of a minute or
                                              so, then stacking exposures is necessary anyway, so the additional
                                              step of derotating does not add much more processing time.

                                              The upside is not having to polar align. In fact, derotating ALT-AZ
                                              images will probably result in better images than less-than-perfect
                                              polar mode images. Here is an example of M13 taken in ALT-AZ mode
                                              (30-60 second images stacked and derotated with ImagesPlus)

                                              http://www.astrohbg.org/gallery2/album02/M13_10_1_05

                                              Although there is probably some smearing of the stars in the
                                              corners, the rest of the image looks pretty good. With the light
                                              polluted skies where I live, I would not have been able to take this
                                              image as a single or even as several 5-10 minute exposures in polar
                                              mode, and, since I have a portable setup, it would have been very
                                              difficult to properly polar align my scope to get a comparable image.

                                              With good image processing software, anyone can take good astro
                                              images in ALT-AZ.

                                              Lee
                                              --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "Robin Lauryssen-Mitchell" <rpehlm@...>
                                              wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Hi Tempest,
                                              >
                                              > For nebulosity and detail in AltAz mode I'll refer to three recent
                                              posts:
                                              >
                                              > 1: Wolfgang (sn2005cs) posted 05/02/2007
                                              > http://www.dsi-astronomie.de/NGC6946.htm
                                              >
                                              > 2: Lee Zager posted 05/02/2007
                                              > http://www.astrohbg.org/gallery2/album02/M42
                                              >
                                              > 3: Wolfgang (sn2005cs) posted 29/01/2007
                                              > http://www.dsi-astronomie.de/M82.htm
                                              >
                                              > I desperately do not want to turn this into some sort of crusade
                                              against
                                              > wedges. Darn it - I hope to be getting one myself! However I
                                              think these
                                              > images amply demonstrate what can be achieved without one. It is
                                              NOT a rule
                                              > that adequate <insert own definition of 'adequate'> astrophoto
                                              images can
                                              > ONLY be taken using a wedge. My feeling is that too many
                                              beginners are lead
                                              > to believe that an expensive (compared to the cost of a scope or
                                              camera)
                                              > wedge is a must for adequate imaging. I say get out there and see
                                              what you
                                              > can achieve without one! Only get a wedge when you start to find
                                              yourself
                                              > limited by the AltAz setup. I guess it's sort of a cost/benefit
                                              thing with
                                              > me. When inexperienced in imaging, a wedge just seems an awfully
                                              expensive
                                              > item to add when I'm probably making enough errors in other places
                                              to negate
                                              > its benefits anyway!
                                              >
                                              > If you really feel the need to flame me (which I do not object to)
                                              please do
                                              > so off-list. Mail me directly at 'rpehlm at btinternet dot com'.
                                              >
                                              > Still havin' fun - even though I missed a rare clear sky this
                                              week!!*^&£@!
                                              > Regards
                                              > Robin
                                              >
                                              > > -----Original Message-----
                                              > > From: lx90@yahoogroups.com [mailto:lx90@yahoogroups.com] On
                                              Behalf Of
                                              > > tempestwizz
                                              > > Sent: 06 February 2007 13:32
                                              > > To: lx90@yahoogroups.com
                                              > > Subject: [lx90] Re: Absolutely Maddening: Please weigh in
                                              > >
                                              > > STUFF DELETED <
                                              > > As a fellow Ozzie, I am only too happy to agree with what Bill
                                              has
                                              > > said, but, in my (as to yet) limited experience with astro-
                                              imaging, I
                                              > > am finding that for depth of image ( 'guts' to australians)
                                              there seems
                                              > > to be no substitute for exposure length.
                                              > > Agreed, bright stars will quickly saturate, but for nebulosity,
                                              there
                                              > > seems to be no substitue for accumulated time....unfortunately,
                                              the
                                              > > Alt/Az approach just does not lend itself to this.
                                              > > Yes, there is plenty of room for compromise, but if you want to
                                              get
                                              > > consistently serious, I cannot see how to do it without
                                              > > equatorial/polar mounting. ( Lets talk 10 minute sub-
                                              > > exposures, ......Alt/Az?, .....I don't think so!)
                                              > > I guess it comes down to a balance between compromise and
                                              expectation.
                                              > >
                                              > > Tonight...cloudy Canberra.
                                              >
                                            • Joe Tannenbaum
                                              Phoenix was no better last night. I couldn t get saturn to focus it was jumping around so much. My backyard is starting to be the pits for telescoping. Joe
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Feb 6, 2007
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                                                Phoenix was no better last night. I couldn't get saturn to focus it was jumping around
                                                so much. My backyard is starting to be the pits for telescoping.

                                                Joe

                                                tempestwizz <clemba@...> wrote:
                                                --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, googong@... wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Hi Robin,
                                                >
                                                > Before people get the wrong impression here, there are parts of the
                                                sky
                                                > where, provided your mount is up to it, 120 second exposures can be
                                                done in
                                                > alt/az without field rotation being a problem. However, as you
                                                approach the
                                                > zenith, the time that you can image before image rotation becomes a
                                                problem
                                                > in alt/az decreases. There is a document in the DSI yahoogroups files
                                                > section which sets this all out.
                                                >
                                                As a fellow Ozzie, I am only too happy to agree with what Bill has
                                                said, but, in my (as to yet) limited experience with astro-imaging, I
                                                am finding that for depth of image ( 'guts' to australians) there seems
                                                to be no substitute for exposure length.
                                                Agreed, bright stars will quickly saturate, but for nebulosity, there
                                                seems to be no substitue for accumulated time....unfortunately, the
                                                Alt/Az approach just does not lend itself to this.
                                                Yes, there is plenty of room for compromise, but if you want to get
                                                consistently serious, I cannot see how to do it without
                                                equatorial/polar mounting. ( Lets talk 10 minute sub-
                                                exposures, ......Alt/Az?, .....I don't think so!)
                                                I guess it comes down to a balance between compromise and expectation.

                                                Tonight...cloudy Canberra.



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