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Thread: Best setup/recommendations for deep sky?

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    Smile Best setup/recommendations for deep sky?



    Hey Guys

    So I've just started getting into deep-sky photography. The first image I got was of the Orion nebula. I didn't use any type of image stacking, it was straight from the camera. I've heard lots of people talking about "Dark/light frames?" or something like that. How many images should I take of the Orion Nebula, and what exposure times would you use? I think I did around 3 to 4 mins using a star tracker and it came out quite well. Obviously, I want to get an image which pops, and doing a few shots here and there will not suffice. Weather has been terrible as of late. Next clear night I have I will be heading into the countryside. Also, if you can recommend a good image stacker, because there are so many out to choose from.

    Kind Regards

    ScottishAstro

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    Default Re: Best setup/recommendations for deep sky?

    Because M42 is such a dynamic target it requires different exposure times.
    From as little a 5 seconds to 3 minutes. So you would need a good mix of these.
    I would recommend you use Deep sky stacker, it's free and does a excellent job at stacking frames.
    Light frames are the images from the camera, dark frames are used to mitigate noise in the light frame.
    To take a dark frame simply cover the front of the scope with its dust cover or put the cap on the lense and shoot using the same exposure lengths you used for the light frames.
    It us important to leave the camera in the scope so you have the same setup when shooting dark frames as the light frames.
    Take as many dark frames as you do light frames and combine them in DSS.
    Last edited by kingclinton; 02-22-2019 at 11:18 AM.
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    Default Re: Best setup/recommendations for deep sky?

    I agree with Clinton about the range of exposure times. M42 is one of the more difficult targets in the sky because of its extreme dynamic range. It needs short exposures to capture the bright details without overexposing them, and long exposures to capture the faint outer nebula.

    I disagree with him about darks. They do not have to be taken on the telescope. The requirements for darks are that they be shot at the same temperature, ISO and exposure time as the lights. Because they are supposed to be dark, the camera doesn't care what is out front. A most convenient way to shoot darks is to dismount the camera from the scope, install its body cap, and shoot them on a table while packing up the rest of your gear.

    Clinton may have been thinking about flats, another type of calibration frame. Flats do need to be taken on the scope. Don't worry about them until you have mastered stacking a series of lights and darks.

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