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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,129
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Suggestions for a new replacement camera

The above photo was just a test shot.  Normally there are more exposures involved.

 

You can get a lot of good tips & tutorials at either

- photographingspace.com

- dslr-astrophotography.com

 

This next part is going to sound a bit complicated but once it "clicks" it'll be obvious and easy.  Basically there are a number of common issues that astrophotographers have to deal with (noise being very high on that list) and there is automated software that will take care of most of it ... provided you shoot all the required types of frames and feed them into the software. 

 

While it's not entirely necessary to understand what the software does... I found that it's a huge mystery if you don't understand it... but if you do understand it then it all makes sense and frankly it helps you do a better job capturing the input data (since you finally understand why you are supposed to capture all those different types of input data.)

 

 

Since this is getting a bit off-topic from your original quesiton, it would probably be better to address questions in a different thread (that way anyone searching the forums would be more likely to find it.)

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,798
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Suggestions for a new replacement camera


UncleJoe wrote:
Is the equatorial mount the wedge that you are referring to? I have seen it listed as the wedge on one web site yet on others it is only listed as the equatorial mount, does $69 dollars sound right?
I like using B&H unfortunately living in New York grants me the wonderful distinction of having to pay sales tax when purchasing from them. In some situations such as this I can use the sales tax amount to pay for overnight shipping and still walk away with some savings. If you know of another vendor that is as reputable as B&H I would greatly appreciate the foresight!

Unfortunately (for you), some of the best-stocked and most reputable stores are in New York. But if I were you, I sure wouldn't pay extra for shipping from a NY store. I live almost 200 miles from NYC and never pay extra for fast shipping. But my B&H orders often arrive the next day, and almost always by the second day.

 

Whether the speedy service continues after B&H moves their shipping operation to southern New Jersey remains to be seen.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,129
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Suggestions for a new replacement camera


UncleJoe wrote:
Is the equatorial mount the wedge that you are referring to? I have seen it listed as the wedge on one web site yet on others it is only listed as the equatorial mount, does $69 dollars sound right?
I like using B&H unfortunately living in New York grants me the wonderful distinction of having to pay sales tax when purchasing from them. In some situations such as this I can use the sales tax amount to pay for overnight shipping and still walk away with some savings. If you know of another vendor that is as reputable as B&H I would greatly appreciate the foresight!

Yes, that's the device.  The "wedge" is the generic astronomy term.  Basically it tilts the whole head over on angle to match your latitude on Earth.    Basically if your camera tripod was sitting on the north pole... then the axis of rotation would already be aligned with the Earth's axis.  As you move away from the north pole, your "level" tripod's azimuth rotation (if you think of your tripod like a gun-turret) no longer has an axis of rotation that is parallel to Earth's axis of rotation.  But if you were to tilt it on an angle... you could make it parallel.  The farther away you are from the North pole... the greater amount of til you'll need (if you were at the equator then you'd need a 90º tilt).

 

This is sometimes called an "equatorial wedge" or "equatorial mount" because the rotation "plane" is parallel to Earth's equator. But it's also sometimes called a "polar mount" or "polar wedge" because the "axis" is parallel to Earth's polar axis.  They are all different names referring to the same general type of thing.

 

There are telescope mounts that are called "equatorial mounts" because the concept of the "wedge" is built-in to the mount (it's not a separate device - it's part of the mount).

 

 

As for other vendors...

 

B&H Photo is possibly (probably) the largest camera store on the planet and they seem to have everything you could possibly imagine for photography.  For astronomy, however, they have a more limited seletion (they do carry some products ... just not as many).

 

The equivalent in the astronomy world is Oceanside Photo & Telescope (OPTcorp.com) ... but the downside is that they are located in Oceanside California ... so the shipping times are a lot longer unless you expedite and expediting is expensive.  But in the same way that B&H has "everything" that has to do with photography ... OPT seems to have "everything" to do with astronomy.

 

There are number of other stores and possibly one of the closer stores to use (east coast) that I've used is Skies Unlimited.  Unlike OPT, they don't necessarily carry "everything" (they handle several brand names... but not every brand name).  But they  DO handle both Sky Watcher brand and iOptron brand.   They are located in Pennsylvania (near Philly) so you'd probably get relatively fast delivery (you are likely within the 1-day shipping radius even for "ground") and you wouldn't have to pay sales tax.  

 

I've used them several times... they've been good to deal with an I've had no issues.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎09-24-2017

Re: Suggestions for a new replacement camera

Thank you both once more! As TCampbell had mentioned I have gotten a bit off the original topic and it would be a crime for someone to miss out on all of this wonderful information, so I will discontinue with the questions on the astrophotography in this thread to honor all of your wisdom! I believe that I have come close to resolution on the basics anyway, at this point. So much more to learn but elsewhere.
To finish this out, I purchased both items from a Jersey firm named High Point Scientific they appeared to be reputable. The pricing was comparable and there was no sales tax. I am expecting to see the items before Thursday. Robert, B&H is typically a day away for myself as well, so I typically go with the free shipping option with them when I purchase through them. With B&H moving into Jersey perhaps I will be able to work around the sales tax issue.
I think that I am especially sensitive to the tax situation having had to pay my local school taxes today which have just reached the point of insanity! I apologize for that last statement, I believe that I just needed to vent! Thank you once again!
VIP
Posts: 8,242
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Suggestions for a new replacement camera

"There is no reason not to start out with Canons software..."

 

Maybe but I see it as wasted time and effort.  The best thing about DPP4 is, it is free.  If you are truly going to be involved in this 'hobby' you will end up with LR and/or PS or PSE.  If you get into astro-photography you most definitely will use other software than DPP4.

 

In my heyday I routinely developed color film.  Both negatives and chrome.  I had a color analyzer that did most of the guessing.  Burn and dodge are still words used in PS.  If you want to learn PS there is no better than the classes of Ben WIlmore (google it).  It is unreal what he can create and do in PS!

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎09-24-2017

Re: Suggestions for a new replacement camera

Thank you! I took a Photo Shop class seven or eight years ago at the local 2 year school Cayuga Community College, I do not recall what version of the software it was, I am sure that it has changed a good deal since then. I am certain that I can climb back on that horse with out much difficulty. I have downloaded DPP4 it is pretty basic I could see where it might be lacking in some tools that might come into play especially with my desire to delve into the astrophotography.
I had forgotten that Burn and Dodge were still tools used in this software, although it is not done in the manual fashion that perhaps you and I originally learned them (the physical passing of ones fingers or hand between the light source and the photopaper) as opposed to a mouse pointer! I remeber using the color analyzer as well on Fort Hood directly across the street from the Post Command Center we had a full lab, I spent many days and nights in that facility! I am feeling very nostalgic! Thank you it has made me smile! I will look into this Mr Wilmore.
VIP
Posts: 8,242
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Suggestions for a new replacement camera

"... it is not done in the manual fashion that perhaps you and I originally learned them (the physical passing of ones fingers or hand between the light source and the photopaper)"

 

Actually it is still done the same way.  Or at least almost. Smiley Happy  In PS you have a circle on the screen that you can make any size you want.  You simply wave it over the part of the photo you want to burn or dodge.  Don't worry, 2 years and PS is still nearly the same GUI.

 

I had a full darkroom and lab in the basement for several decades.  I had one in each of the three houses we have lived in.  It has become a storage room and the formerly stop bath stained walls are now light blue.  The enlarger gave it up to PS and some large format photo printers. Its all good.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
VIP
Posts: 8,242
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Suggestions for a new replacement camera

"I will look into this Mr Wilmore."

 

You will not regret that.  He is fantastic.  Almost unbelievable what he can do with PS.

A lot of Canon stuff. Along with, a lot of other stuff.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,798
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Suggestions for a new replacement camera


ebiggs1 wrote:

"... it is not done in the manual fashion that perhaps you and I originally learned them (the physical passing of ones fingers or hand between the light source and the photopaper)"

 

Actually it is still done the same way.  Or at least almost. Smiley Happy  In PS you have a circle on the screen that you can make any size you want.  You simply wave it over the part of the photo you want to burn or dodge.  Don't worry, 2 years and PS is still nearly the same GUI.

 

I had a full darkroom and lab in the basement for several decades.  I had one in each of the three houses we have lived in.  It has become a storage room and the formerly stop bath stained walls are now light blue.  The enlarger gave it up to PS and some large format photo printers. Its all good.


You and Ansel Adams, Ernie. I'm firmly convinced that if Adams were alive today, he'd be one of the world's foremost Photoshop enthusiasts.

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎09-24-2017

Re: Suggestions for a new replacement camera

I am once again left in awe! After reading both of your last posts I find my thoughts spinning. Looking into the Adobe Photoshop program I see one choice after the next of which segment to choose. Then out of the blue I remember the words of someone saying (please forgive the misquote) "just go out and take some pictures"! I am sure that it will all click for me soon. I will take many photographs, shooting in the "P" setting, I will keep a journal and learn one day at a time. I promise that not a single word that has been shared here will be disregarded or forgotten. I will use this post for years to come as a guide to keep me moving forward, avoiding many stumbling blocks.
I have to say that I feel most honored! I feel as though I have, to my great fortune, stumbled into a class being taught by the Einstein, Da Vinvi and Democratus of the digital photographic world! In no way do I mean to detract from or diminish your predigital abilities, I am certain that your accomplishments there were just as great! It is just that this is the new media after all and there is just such a great deal to learn!
Three darkrooms is quite the accomplishment, I can tell that you devoted a great deal of time into your joy and then to have put it all behind you and transform your art form into the digital world shows your flexibility and obvious intellect! I don't mean for my praise to sound patronizing. I truly mean it as admiration for your accomplishments. And of course the same goes to all of you who helped a stranger on his path to realize a dream! Thank you, thank you so very much!
I hope that this does not sound odd but I find myself in hopes that this thread can continue, I have learned so incredibly much!
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