It is currently Sun May 27, 2018 1:47 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 154 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread 
Author Message
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Im going to be ordering up a Canon 60D a week from friday. I love nikon, but canon does astro stuff better, nikons have the star-eater algorythm where they tend to consider small stars noise and eliminate them, even in Raw. The D7000 is the first nikon that does not support that "feature"

Nikon also has a stonger filter on a specific light spectrum that nebulas emit, meaning some nebulas are very hard to shoot with a nikon sensor.

here is some info regarding nikon vs canon for astrophotography
http://www.astropix.com/HTML/I_ASTROP/NIK_CAN.HTM

The moon is easy to shoot, just shoot like it is day. if you use spot metering you can generally get the exposure about right, then a little tweaking.

This was from that Lunar Eclipse last year.
Image

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:21 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:01 am
Posts: 13
Location: Trinidad
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
good article...,canon seems to have a slight edge for astronomy..

You moon shot looks great.....mine is nowhere close...

i took normal moon shots before, its just the eclipse and the longer exposure that troubled me,
what were the settings you used ?


Attachments:
eclipse2.jpg [22.92 KiB]
Downloaded 888 times
eclipse.jpg [41.65 KiB]
Downloaded 888 times
File comment: 1/320sec @f8 300mm
moon1.jpg [49.53 KiB]
Downloaded 888 times
Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:34 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
i had to keep adjusting through the process as the moon darkened, that is actually a composite of 3 moon images.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:56 am
Profile

Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:33 am
Posts: 4
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Hi guys!
I am new to astrophotography and I started really recently after reading this tips & tricks thread. I have to say that Jack made amazing work.
Your tips really work and therefore I was able to achieve nice results at the first time. Thank You Jack!

This is my best shot of summer Milky Way so far from August:
Image
EXIF is following:
ISO3200, f=50mm, 6sec, F/1.6, WB 5300K (NR off, long exposure NR off)
Stacked from 30 light and 15 dark frames.

I have also make an wideangle shot but it is crep...the previouse image came out od DSS very bright and colorful so I had to make only a few edits.
This wide shot was initialy very dark and i had to do a lot of curves and levels.
Here is the bad result:
Image
EXIF is following:
ISO3200, f=17, 13sec, F/4, WB 5300K (NR off, long exposure NR off)
Stacked from 25 light and 10 dark frames.

My question is if You know where I possibly made a mistake.
You can see liderly lines from noise on this image I do not know if it depands on some settings in DSS or I have used short time of exposure...
I'd like to achieve some wide agle shot as was shown earlier in this topic but I don't know how and what I should change...

Greetings from Czech Republic and clear skies,
Mikel


Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:19 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:13 am
Posts: 35
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Jack Ripper wrote:
The moon is easy to shoot, just shoot like it is day. if you use spot metering you can generally get the exposure about right, then a little tweaking.

This was from that Lunar Eclipse last year.
Image


Good advice. I tried with the same settings I was using for wide field and i got a really bright blog. That picture is amazing. The depth is astounding. Almost looks like you could grab it off the screen. I suppose I could practice shooting the moon waiting for it to slide around the other side of the planet so I can shoot more wide field.


Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:10 am
Profile

Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:48 am
Posts: 7
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Jack Ripper wrote:
Got my tracker up and working, new ardunio board, im running an easydriver v 4.2 (red board) for the stepper. The laser is 100mw and shoiots a glorious very visable beam of light into the sky for alignment. Tonight if the skys remain clear imj going to take it outside and set it up then work on getting the system aligned, then working on the speedy of the motor. My goal is to get 2 minutes at 200mm and have dot shaped stars.
here are some pics

If anyone is interested i could put together a list of parts and prices, anyone is welcome to use my ardunio sketch as well once i get it nailed down.


Can you tell me what did you use for making that ? List of parts, ... What Manfrotto did you use ? Because, I want to build the same tracker as you. Because the AstroTrac cost for me in Switzerland ~815£. That's very expensive ! So, I think to buy :

http://www.manfrotto.fr/product/0/410/_ ... L%28RC4%29
http://www.manfrotto.fr/product/0/498RC ... HEAD_W_RC2
I have already a tripod
And follow the link for making myself

Thanks !


Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:42 am
Profile

Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:03 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Jack Ripper wrote:
Im going to be ordering up a Canon 60D a week from friday. I love nikon, but canon does astro stuff better, nikons have the star-eater algorythm where they tend to consider small stars noise and eliminate them, even in Raw. The D7000 is the first nikon that does not support that "feature"

Nikon also has a stonger filter on a specific light spectrum that nebulas emit, meaning some nebulas are very hard to shoot with a nikon sensor.

here is some info regarding nikon vs canon for astrophotography
http://www.astropix.com/HTML/I_ASTROP/NIK_CAN.HTM

The moon is easy to shoot, just shoot like it is day. if you use spot metering you can generally get the exposure about right, then a little tweaking.

This was from that Lunar Eclipse last year.
Image



great photo and thanks for the link of the comparison betwen nikon vs canon. i may get my hands on a canon eos 600D, mostly for astrophotography (nothing exeptional ofcourse, since im just a beginner), and i was wondering if it would be usefull for this matter. the link is older than this model of canon, so it doesnt mention it, but im guessing its a good option, right?


Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:44 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:57 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Hey Jack,

What are your thoughts on using Long Exposure Noise Reduction (Canon) instead of taking black frames? This setting will cancel hot pixels automatically for you. Is it to save time or do you think you achieve better results with separate dark exposures?

Thanks and keep up the amazing shots!

Christopher


Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:02 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Stacking does more than reduce noise, it also extrapolates more information out of the image. For that purpose you want non-edited images direct from camera, applying the noise reduction wont do a whole lot of good for the image detail. As far as noise is concerned using a bunch of dark images gets a better sensor profile than using a single one in the camera. Plus, a 1 min exposure now becomes a 2 min exposure, so it nearly doubles the time needed to get the images.

there seems to be sort of a point of diminishing returns. as in 2 images = twice the clarity, then you need 4 images to double that, and then 8, 16, 32 64, 128, on and on.

but stacking 4 lights and 2 darks will give you a lot better results than the in camera NR. and if you use the in camera NR it may eliminate out information about the image you are trying to expand on.

so the best bet is just to keep NR off.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:55 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:57 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Awesome, thanks for the clarification! BTW... did you ever get a Canon?


Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:59 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Yep, got the canon 60d. I have not gone out shooting astro with it except once. Been so busy

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:47 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:57 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Forgot to ask, do you use NR for your time-lapse shots? What about mirror lock?


Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:32 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
I generally never use nr on anything, it works well but I feel I get better results with noise reduction in cs5 acr. As for mirror lockup, yes I do for astrophotography and astro timelapse, but not for daytime timelapse.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:41 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:29 am
Posts: 75
Location: NY
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
instead of making a new topic, i thought it'd be a good idea to incorporate it into this topic.

can you achieve similar results from photoshop as with deep sky stacker?

i'd like to try to stack some images but i don't have a tracker so the earth would all line up nice but the sky would be blurry, or vice versa depending on if i align the sky instead.

i know my way around photoshop (to some degree) to assume that i'd import the photos, stack them on to each other, align the important parts, erase the non-important parts (the section that would be blurry) and then use a blending mode for the layer (color dodge, overlay or screen, etc...) and then use multiply for the dark frames.

_________________
Canon 60D w/18-135mm
GoPro Hero HD 2 outdoor package w/suction cup mount :D


Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:48 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Focal wrote:
Jack Ripper,

As I have been browsing the forums as a newbie, I have seen a lot of your work. It is really cool. This is one of my favorites right here. It looks like you got a perfect night for it without a cloud in the sky. The detail and light you captured is intense. I'm getting a lot of inspiration to stay on my craft at this site.



Thank you Focal!

I really have a passion for technical photography like this, it is quite a challange, the image with the milkyway behind all the trees was over a year worth of education and prepping, so when i finally got the image i was looking for it was a very sweet success for me :)
Anytime i pick up a venture like that i try to document it everywhere i can to get as much information out there, sometimes it is hard learning to do something because there are no real guides for it. There are two MASSIVE threads at Nikoncafe.com in the night photography section (whatever its called) that i had started about building tracking systems and techniques, plenty of very experienced shooters have contributed quite a bit and they have some remarkable images. If you get a chance you should go check it out.


Brontobyte, sorry, i just saw your message. stacking can be done in photoshop, there are some tutorials on how to do it on youtube.com, but honestly it is much much easier to use a program like DSS.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:04 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:14 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Italy
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Hi Jack,
your tutorial is really well done! I've read it as an astrophotographer and I can testify it is a great introduction that I'll share with friends starting in the hobby. I admire your very fast learning curve: I needed years before taking decent images...

I can add that, as you know, many other cheap solutions are available for tracking stars. A small motorized equatorial mount can cost less or similar to astrotrac and can support many kilograms of cameras and telescopes. Solutions like Kenko NES or Vixen GP2 are available on the used marked for few hundreds of dollars/euros.

Lorenzo


Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:07 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
You know it is honestly good to hear from somebody with experience on this that i did not totally screw it up. ;) i had to do a lot of searching and digging to learn this stuff, i figured it would be nice to consolidate what i had learned to make it easier on others. :)

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:14 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:35 pm
Posts: 74
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Jack Ripper wrote:
Got my tracker up and working, new ardunio board, im running an easydriver v 4.2 (red board) for the stepper. The laser is 100mw and shoiots a glorious very visable beam of light into the sky for alignment. Tonight if the skys remain clear imj going to take it outside and set it up then work on getting the system aligned, then working on the speedy of the motor. My goal is to get 2 minutes at 200mm and have dot shaped stars.
here are some pics

If anyone is interested i could put together a list of parts and prices, anyone is welcome to use my ardunio sketch as well once i get it nailed down.


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image




Can the eMotimo do this?


Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:15 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
wow i forgot how ugly my old tracker is, maybe ill get some updated pics up tonight. lol

there are 2 challanges for the eMotimo, one would be reaching the movement of one rotation per day, the second woulld be astro alignment.

1600 steps x 50 = 75,000 steps.
75000 / 24 = 3125 steps per hour
3125 steps per hour = 52 steps per minute = .86 steps per second.
I suppose theroretically it has the ability to move slow enough for wide starfield work, when it comes to movement the difference between the tracker an the eMotimo is that the tracker moves continuously whereas the eMotimo would have to move less than 1 step per second, or one step every 1.2seconds or something. Meaning for telephoto work you will see that movement, but it may be ok for wide angle.

the second challange would be the alignment. People spend lots of time trying to get thier systems aligned up using various techniques, i can get my tracker aligned in the matter of a few seconds because of the geared head i use with it, and the high powered lazer which basically gives me a straight edge into nearly infinity, and it is clearly visable at night. So you woulld have to mount some sort of an alignment scope or laser to the eMotimo. Then i suppose you could have the eMotimo arc perpendicular from that alignment, but you would still need a method to repoint the camera so you can aim it anywhere while the eMotimo tracks, which causes another problem, for astrophotography you want a good solid base. Adding a 1lb tripod, a DSLR, and a lens to the eMotimo might be taking it near its weight limit. ANY sag cause by weight on the armature of that bad boy is going to cause problems.

I dont have any exprience with the eMotimo im sort of just talking out of my butt with the various tracking designs i have built, however it looks like a top notch design, but it is not build for heavy loads. If you plan to do wide angle work you dont even need a tracker if you just take lots of 30 second images with aide angle and stack them. You dont much need a tracker if you are shooting wide angle starfields.

however i am fairly confidant that using a 200 - 400 mm telephoto lens, DSLR, and ball head on the eMotimo is going to max it out.

I bet you probably could get it to work, but i think it would be quite challange and would have limited use.

I can throw 50lbs of gear on that old wooden tracker or my newer lexan tracker.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:03 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:35 pm
Posts: 74
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Makes sense. BTW that chronos design is f*cking sick!


Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:45 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Fpena06 wrote:
Makes sense. BTW that chronos design is f*cking sick!



Thanks! i cant believe you found that video on Vimeo already. I put them up just last night. I have 3 more videos to add, the inctructions on building the control head, and a video walkthrough, but i only get 500mb a week with vimeo, so i have to wait.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:11 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:35 pm
Posts: 74
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Jack Ripper wrote:
Fpena06 wrote:
Makes sense. BTW that chronos design is f*cking sick!



Thanks! i cant believe you found that video on Vimeo already. I put them up just last night. I have 3 more videos to add, the inctructions on building the control head, and a video walkthrough, but i only get 500mb a week with vimeo, so i have to wait.


Yeah man I've been following you very closely. You have been the guy that has answered 95% of my questions on this forum, so why not? :)

Unfortunately vimeo doesn't have a "I FUCKING LOVE BUTTON" so I could only click like. Sorry :(


Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:19 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
im glad to know the work i put into this stuff isnt a waste. ;)

I have basically dropped the idea of project Zeus to a backburner for now, next progect is going to be a modular moco system. sort of a simple gadget that can be used alone or combined together to create various effects. Should be compatable with every system out there that features camera control.

keep an eye out for Project Clover in the next month or so.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:28 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:35 pm
Posts: 74
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Jack Ripper wrote:
wow i forgot how ugly my old tracker is, maybe ill get some updated pics up tonight. lol

there are 2 challanges for the eMotimo, one would be reaching the movement of one rotation per day, the second woulld be astro alignment.

1600 steps x 50 = 75,000 steps.
75000 / 24 = 3125 steps per hour
3125 steps per hour = 52 steps per minute = .86 steps per second.
I suppose theroretically it has the ability to move slow enough for wide starfield work, when it comes to movement the difference between the tracker an the eMotimo is that the tracker moves continuously whereas the eMotimo would have to move less than 1 step per second, or one step every 1.2seconds or something. Meaning for telephoto work you will see that movement, but it may be ok for wide angle.

the second challange would be the alignment. People spend lots of time trying to get thier systems aligned up using various techniques, i can get my tracker aligned in the matter of a few seconds because of the geared head i use with it, and the high powered lazer which basically gives me a straight edge into nearly infinity, and it is clearly visable at night. So you woulld have to mount some sort of an alignment scope or laser to the eMotimo. Then i suppose you could have the eMotimo arc perpendicular from that alignment, but you would still need a method to repoint the camera so you can aim it anywhere while the eMotimo tracks, which causes another problem, for astrophotography you want a good solid base. Adding a 1lb tripod, a DSLR, and a lens to the eMotimo might be taking it near its weight limit. ANY sag cause by weight on the armature of that bad boy is going to cause problems.

I dont have any exprience with the eMotimo im sort of just talking out of my butt with the various tracking designs i have built, however it looks like a top notch design, but it is not build for heavy loads. If you plan to do wide angle work you dont even need a tracker if you just take lots of 30 second images with aide angle and stack them. You dont much need a tracker if you are shooting wide angle starfields.

however i am fairly confidant that using a 200 - 400 mm telephoto lens, DSLR, and ball head on the eMotimo is going to max it out.

I bet you probably could get it to work, but i think it would be quite challange and would have limited use.

I can throw 50lbs of gear on that old wooden tracker or my newer lexan tracker.


I'm not a build it yourself kind a guy. Can I buy this and it will work? Do I have better Options? Should i go with something openmoco to integrate with other devices? If so which one?

Thanks.


Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:24 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
as for the eMotimo, you gotta talk to Brian who designed it.

as for buying a tracker, it depends on how much money you have, and how long you are willing to wait.

They guy i build this stuff with has the CNC mill, and he has been loaded up working 12 hour days and has not had time to do much of anything, however we have a design we want to try out and possibly commercialize for astro tracking, we hope for better than astrotrac performance for under $400. However, to be clear ive been saying this for a year now, it was the first project we worked on and the design we were trying was fundamentally flawed, we wanted to try a new design but ran into some issues with the gears, then we started working on Project Chronos, and the tracker (project orion) was put on the back burner and has been there for a while. The last few months my partner has been really busy and we have made no progress. Once we get over the hump with the gears (which is not a big deal we just havent had time to look at it) we should be good to go to star making these.

as for the one i have, i just refitted the electronics so it works with Chronos to extend nighttime shots. I still need to rework the code though.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:04 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:35 pm
Posts: 74
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Sorry Chris,

I was actually referring to this little guy and didn't post the link. I would definitely love to check out the tracker your friend can build. I would buy it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003YL ... amp=211189


Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:56 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:20 pm
Posts: 283
Location: Genk, Belgium
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Jack Ripper wrote:
I dont have any exprience with the eMotimo im sort of just talking out of my butt with the various tracking designs i have built, however it looks like a top notch design, but it is not build for heavy loads. If you plan to do wide angle work you dont even need a tracker if you just take lots of 30 second images with aide angle and stack them. You dont much need a tracker if you are shooting wide angle starfields.


Brian designed a new PT, made for heavier loads. He announced it a couple of days ago.
He has some pictures with a RED camera on it and stuff, looks promising.
It's a little more expensive compared to the normal PT, but people who have heavier setups will find this very interesting.
Compared to the normal PT it also has an additional powered stepper output + IO port.
I like the last part, you can hook it up to your own DIY dolly and let the PT run all your movements.

Image

Image

Link: eMotimo TB3

_________________
thisisfraa.be


Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:07 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:35 pm
Posts: 74
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Fraa wrote:
Jack Ripper wrote:
I dont have any exprience with the eMotimo im sort of just talking out of my butt with the various tracking designs i have built, however it looks like a top notch design, but it is not build for heavy loads. If you plan to do wide angle work you dont even need a tracker if you just take lots of 30 second images with aide angle and stack them. You dont much need a tracker if you are shooting wide angle starfields.


Brian designed a new PT, made for heavier loads. He announced it a couple of days ago.
He has some pictures with a RED camera on it and stuff, looks promising.
It's a little more expensive compared to the normal PT, but people who have heavier setups will find this very interesting.
Compared to the normal PT it also has an additional powered stepper output + IO port.
I like the last part, you can hook it up to your own DIY dolly and let the PT run all your movements.

Image

Image

Link: eMotimo TB3


I did see this. But I personally think the price is a little too high.


Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:35 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:20 pm
Posts: 283
Location: Genk, Belgium
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Fpena06 wrote:
I did see this. But I personally think the price is a little too high.


Too high? Based on what?

You have to remember, you want something that acts like a tracker.
The PT is a Pan/Tilt head for timelapse, if you want something that does everything you want it to do, you'll probably have to build it yourself.

But about the PT:

I bought my PT in december and I absolutely love it. It was 500$, but compared to other devices, it's a steal.
Especially if you compare the feature-set of this device to more high end devices that cost A LOT more.
I honestly don't think you can find a similar device for the same price, cause when you think of it... you're getting a device that:

- Controls your whole sequence
- Is well built
- Has open source software
- Is updated regularly
- Has a lot of advanced features like ramping, post-frames, shoot-move-shoot, move repeatability, very accurate motors which allow you to do 444 shots per degree, etc...
- Is extremely compact
- Works very intuitively with the Wii controller
- Can control other rigs/dollies/setups (like the Stage Zero dolly for example)

Another big plus is that Brian is a very nice guy who actually listens to his customers and always tries to give hem the best service he can.
Improvements are considered on the forums and if possible implemented in a future update. He actually made custom firmware once for someone who needed a specific type of shot with his PT, I don't think there are a lot of companies out there that are willing to do that for you.

In the end it's not really fair to call it overpriced, because for the right group people it does everything they want and more, for a fair price.
I just think you just need something cheap that does everything YOU want, but chances are you won't find it.

_________________
thisisfraa.be


Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:30 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Looking at the eMotimo PT or the new heavy duty version,...... for astrophotography??.... honestly the only problem i see with it is nearly everything.

lol

That looks like a great P&T, but using it for astrophotography is like pounding a nail in with a screwdriver


First off for it to be any good for this work, it would need a method of aligning with the axis of the earth. This sounds simple, and a quick and dirty job is fine for wide angle, but modern sensors and stacking techniques mean tracking is not needed for wide angle work. However for telephoto you have to be VERY precise in alignment.

You can either manually align it, or have it align itself. Right now it understands its space relevant to itself, but not the rest of the world. So the inclusion of a GPS would be almost mandatory, or to have a "return to normal" state and some sort of a alignment scope to use for that alignment, with the tilt being used for rotational compensation.

Using the GPS route would be the best. Then it could understand its position in space, however how will it twist the camera when aiming north or south? It would require another axis of movement to twist the camera, which requires more hardware, more programming, more weight, No go.

Using manual alignment would therefor be the best decision, where you align the box with the earth and use the tilt function to compensate. That eliminates the need for a vertical rotational axis. However this causes 2 more problems. 1) emotimo itself would be off-axis. I have to hold my tracker at a 40 degree angle because im at a 40 degree latitude. I suppose at the equator it would work fine, but not north or south. To further expand on that off-axis weight and torque, im sure you want to aim the camera around, so you need a ball head between the emotimo and camera, when aiming up you throw it further off axis. So imagine that new emotimo, at a 40 degree tilt, with an additional ball head on it, with 4-5 lbs of camera on it, even with a 7.5lb capacity there is extra torque being exerted when it is sitting at such an angle.

I like the eMotimo, i think it is a great system, but i have done a lot of research into building tracking mechanisms, and i have built several of them. I think the eMotimo is a lousy design for this purpose and would have far too much work to overcome newfound shortcomings for a purpose it was not built for.

Im sure if Brian put his mind to it and sat down he could very well develop an excellent tracker, maybe even incorperate it into another design, but with eMotimo he was building a lightweight pan and tilt head. Not an equatorial mount. they are two very different tools.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:47 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:20 pm
Posts: 283
Location: Genk, Belgium
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Jack Ripper wrote:
they are two very different tools.


Yep, that was my point exactly.

_________________
thisisfraa.be


Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:14 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:53 pm
Posts: 5
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Hi guys. I am a newbie and starting to get interested in the Milky Way, for starters. I have a 550D, that's all
To find the Milky Way, I bought a planisphere for my latitude by David Chandler. I tried finding it, but I think I missed it. Due to too much pollution in Florida? Took a photo of where I thought it was, was shooting with 18-55 at 18 mm and I couldn't see that many stars. The stacking of 8 photos without darks didn't come out well with Lynkeos (Macintosh stacker). First timer in all the areas.

Do I need a wider angle lens; ---once I resolve the issue of finding a good seeing night -- like 11-20 or similar? Which one?

Image
Good Astro Night by Walkiria_50, on Flickr


Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:58 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:20 pm
Posts: 283
Location: Genk, Belgium
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Walky wrote:
Hi guys. I am a newbie and starting to get interested in the Milky Way, for starters. I have a 550D, that's all
To find the Milky Way, I bought a planisphere for my latitude by David Chandler. I tried finding it, but I think I missed it. Due to too much pollution in Florida? Took a photo of where I thought it was, was shooting with 18-55 at 18 mm and I couldn't see that many stars. The stacking of 8 photos without darks didn't come out well with Lynkeos (Macintosh stacker). First timer in all the areas.

Do I need a wider angle lens; ---once I resolve the issue of finding a good seeing night -- like 11-20 or similar? Which one?


A wider lens will give a slower speed, if you use the rule of 600 to calculate your maximum shutterspeed for stars.
For your 18mm that would be: 18*1.6=28.8 -> 600/28.8=20.83 seconds.

About light pollution, you should always try to go to the darkest location possible (near you).
Less light pollution will reveal more stars and you'll be able to see the milky way more easily.
So yeah, I would first try that ;)

PS: When I look at your stills, the focus seems off. Try to focus around infinity.
Put liveview on if you need to, zoom in and manually adjust the focus very slightly around infinity so it's tack sharp.

_________________
thisisfraa.be


Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:00 am
Profile

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:07 pm
Posts: 3
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Hi quick question

Im shooting with a canon 7D lens 24-105mm f4
so my settings would be

lens 24mm
aperture f4
exposure 15 second
interval 7 seconds ( what is the recommendation)
Iso 3200
raw files

or


Im shooting with a canon 7D lens 50mm f1.8
so my settings would be

lens 50mn
aperture f1.8
exposure 7-8 seconds
interval 7 seconds ( what is the recommendation)
Iso 3200
raw files

is this correct??? thanks


Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:17 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Sounds about right, I would set tthe interval to a few seconds longer than the shutter.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:43 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:07 pm
Posts: 3
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Ok thanks - cloudy day today plus some snow. I'm looking forward to this. thanks for all the help

Ed


Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:49 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:58 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Denver, Colorado
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Be sure to turn off long exposure and high ISO noise reduction.

_________________
http://www.BioLapse.com
http://www.TheChronosProject.com


Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:33 pm
Profile

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:07 pm
Posts: 3
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
oh yeah thanks for that. Clear sky hope to get my first try out tomorrow


Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:56 pm
Profile

Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 5
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
Hello,

First of all, this is a very nice thread, I actually learned lots of new stuff just by reading it.
I started with astrophotography last week, just out of curiosity.

I read that there is a stacking software (DSS) and if I use it, I can get very nice shots of our sky.

So far, I've tried shooting only one image - RAW, with all kinds of NR turned off.
Settings usually are:
Nikon D7000
11mm (Tokina 11-16mm lens)
f/2.8
Focus at infinity
ISO 2500~3200 (was afraid of going higher and getting too much noise, but now I know the 1-dark, 3-lights trick for stacking)
Exposure 30s

One of the images I liked most was the one attached below.

So, I ask:

1) If I use stacking, I can get much better results, right?
2) If I don't track or don't use any tracking way is still possible to get images for stacking? I shouldn't move the camera at all, right?

I was thinking on a next try (on a weekend), would be something like:

1) 3 shot at 20s / ISO 3200 / f/2.8
2) put the cap on, take one shot in same settings
3) remove the cap, take 3 more shots at the same settings
4) put the cap on, take one shot... and so on

All of this without moving the tripod or the camera. Would that work or I really must track? If I don't track, can DSS take care of the alignment without problems?


Thank you and regards,


Attachments:
D7K_4952_r.jpg [545.1 KiB]
Downloaded 201 times
Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:53 am
Profile

Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:25 pm
Posts: 19
Post Re: ULTIMATE Astrophotography Resource Thread
One of the things DSS does is to track stars, so your stacked picture will be correct. You do not move the camera.
If you are tracking, that just means you could have a lot longer shutter times, I just did 30 seconds with 400mm (2x and Nikon 70-200) without any stars trailing at all on a Astrotrack.
Could probably do longer also, havent gotten that far yet :)

Take a lot of pictures with as long shutter you can, before stars start to trail, then take a lot of blacks, I do not think you need to take them 3+1+3+1 etc
just go for a lot of light, then a lot of black, and for better stacking, add bias and flat files too.

Jon O (also astro-newbie, this thread has helped me a _lot_ Thanks! )

_________________
--

Jon Ottar Runde
http://foto.rundeconsult.no
http://vimeo.com/jonorunde


Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:42 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 154 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forums/DivisionCore. pozycjonowanie