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Night Sky Photography - An Equatorial Mount: My lucky day!  Rate Topic 
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Posted by jk: Thu Aug 29th, 2019 22:17 101st Post
Ok probably best to use pack voltage of 7.2 volts made by a pair of cells in series.

I know that the different manufacturers' use different voltages but the worst part is finding ways of connection to these different batteries.  Each seems to have their own proprietary connection mechanisms.



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Posted by Robert: Mon Jul 20th, 2020 09:33 102nd Post
We are currently blessed with Comet Neowise which is just about visible to the naked eye low in the Northern sky, just to the East of Ursa Major.

Last night was the first opportunity to see it due to almost continuous night time cloud cover since I became aware of the Comet.  Neowise is scheduled to peak it's presence about the 25th July.

Here is my first attempt to photograph it, about 2am BST 20 July 2020. Nikon D800, Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 wide open, 15 seconds, ISO 800.



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If the weather permits I would like to try again, it would be nice to include a terrestrial subject as foreground but at lease I have managed one image of our visitor.

Edit: Since posting the image I notice the graduation of light around the comet is poor, I hope to post again with a decent graduation, I exported a JPEG from the TIFF output of Photoshop due to space considerations but perhaps it wasn't high enough quality?



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Posted by Eric: Mon Jul 20th, 2020 13:37 103rd Post
That’s an excellent capture Robert. 
Most of the shots I’ve seen on line have significant terrestrial subject matter included (ie wider angle). As a result, the comet is a small dot and smudge against a large plain sky ...which helps it stand out more I guess.



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Posted by jk: Mon Jul 20th, 2020 15:30 104th Post
This image on the Fuji-X forum (also on her Flickr) is the best I have seen.

Original here... https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50119671932_b637ddfb62_h.jpg



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Posted by Robert: Mon Jul 20th, 2020 16:24 105th Post
Interesting image... No movement in the stars but there are no waves in the water either...  My guess is the stars have been pasted in, if an astro mount had been used the terrestrial highlights would have shown trails.

Is the blue at the lower edge of the comet CA? I am guessing so.  I will reprocess the image but I now wish I had made the exposure as an NEF, I had forgotten I had set the D800 in JPEG mode because I have been doing time-lapse.



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Posted by Robert: Mon Jul 20th, 2020 16:28 106th Post
Eric wrote:
That’s an excellent capture Robert. 
Most of the shots I’ve seen on line have significant terrestrial subject matter included (ie wider angle). As a result, the comet is a small dot and smudge against a large plain sky ...which helps it stand out more I guess.
Thanks Eric, The first one I saw was Stone Henge, that was what alerted me to the presence of the comet.  I usually try to include a terrestrial feature but it isn't always easy.  I wonder what it's like in Wasdale, with Gable and Scafell in the foreground.  It's a fair drag up there to discover it's not high enough in the sky.



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Posted by jk: Mon Jul 20th, 2020 17:25 107th Post
The exposure of the image I posted a link to was ISO1600, f2.8, 8secs.



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Posted by Robert: Mon Jul 20th, 2020 17:58 108th Post
jk wrote:
The exposure of the image I posted a link to was ISO1600, f2.8, 8secs. At 8 seconds I would expect elongated stars, mine was 15 seconds, admittedly with a longer lens...



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Posted by jk: Mon Jul 20th, 2020 18:14 109th Post
Robert wrote:
At 8 seconds I would expect elongated stars, mine was 15 seconds, admittedly with a longer lens... She used a 14mm lens on an APS-C sensor so quite a difference in focal length.



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Posted by Robert: Mon Jul 20th, 2020 20:14 110th Post
jk wrote:
She used a 14mm lens on an APS-C sensor so quite a difference in focal length. Ah, OK I accept that explains it.  It seemed to be closer than an ultra wide and rectilinear thrown in.  Perhaps I should try the 16 fish...

It's looking cloudy again tonight.  :thumbsdown:  I was gearing up to nip up to Wasdale. ☹️



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Posted by Robert: Sun Sep 20th, 2020 21:01 111th Post
Not Wasdale!  This time just yards from home, Christopher persuaded me to get a photo of the Moon setting. It's waxing at present, last night we watched it set a little earlier, soon after the sunset.

Not having used the D800 since May, except for a brief attempt with a comet, I struggled with the settings and couldn't find infinity on the 24-120 f4 lens, it focuses a tad past infinity and that is something of a pain.  After eight attempts to home in on a half decent exposure the Moon was about to disappear below the horizon I had to accept what I had.


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Posted by Eric: Mon Sep 21st, 2020 08:47 112th Post
Robert wrote:
Not Wasdale!  This time just yards from home, Christopher persuaded me to get a photo of the Moon setting. It's waxing at present, last night we watched it set a little earlier, soon after the sunset.

Not having used the D800 since May, except for a brief attempt with a comet, I struggled with the settings and couldn't find infinity on the 24-120 f4 lens, it focuses a tad past infinity and that is something of a pain.  After eight attempts to home in on a half decent exposure the Moon was about to disappear below the horizon I had to accept what I had.


Click here to comment on this image.
Very nice unusual shot.
I would sell that lens to the European Space Agency...they are struggling to see beyond our galaxy let alone beyond infinity. :lol:



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Posted by Eric: Thu Oct 15th, 2020 08:19 113th Post
Moonrise over Byron Bay, NSW.

Location, Location....Lens Length




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Posted by jk: Thu Oct 15th, 2020 09:04 114th Post
Going to have to try this out with my PhotoPils and my 1000mm f11 mirror lens.
I have seen these photos before but never had a chance to use the technique.
I will do stills not video!



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Posted by jk: Thu Oct 15th, 2020 09:08 115th Post
Robert, does the lens get less sharp when you shoot a distant point and use focus past the infinity mark?   
Lens theory says it shouldnt matter as parallel rays are parallel (e.g. notional infinity source).



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Posted by Robert: Fri Oct 16th, 2020 13:37 116th Post
Replying from my iPhone so brief (for once!)

Yes it’s worse when focusing beyond infinity.  I think it’s because of internal focusing. 

My 300f/ 2.8 does something similar.



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Posted by chrisbet: Fri Oct 16th, 2020 16:25 117th Post
jk wrote:
Robert, does the lens get less sharp when you shoot a distant point and use focus past the infinity mark?   
Lens theory says it shouldnt matter as parallel rays are parallel (e.g. notional infinity source).
That does not  sense to me - surely if the lens goes beyond infinity in terms of its focussing, then parallel rays will be focussed to a point which is not in the sensor plane?



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