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  1. #1
    ogdogg's Avatar
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    Default HELP - My 1st Astrophotography Attempt



    I've got a 6" Orion Dobsonian and am using a 5mm eyepiece. I just put it together last night and took a test picture (attached). I can see bands with my naked eye, but the camera only pics up a white circle. I REALLY want to get a good shot of the bands. Anyone have any advice for me or can point me in the right direction on what I'm doing wrong. I've read a few amateur guides and have tried to take their advice, but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Maybe the iso setting is too high? My camera has iso settings from 80-1600.

    Also, is a 5mm eyepiece enough magnification (scope is 1200mm length) for good planetary viewing, or should I invest in a x2 or x3 barlow?

    Besides Jupiter & Saturn, can someone recommend other good targets that I can view with my 5mm or 25mm eyepiece that will look like more than a white dot?
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  2. #2
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    Can you tell us what ISO setting you were at? and how long did you expose for?
    Dobs are not the best for astrophotography.
    It looks over exposed for a single shot.
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  3. #3
    ghswen's Avatar
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    Hi ogdogg.

    Welcome to the forum!

    I agree with Declan. It looks over exposed.

    Try setting your camera to take a short exposure (shortest it will do) then work up if the image is too dark.
    Gordon
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  4. #4
    ogdogg's Avatar
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    I thought it looked overexposed as well, which is why I thought maybe the iso setting was too high? I used the auto iso feature, this weekend I'll do some experimenting with settings, but I'd like to have a basic idea of where to start. The exposure time was only a fraction of a second, as I don't think my camera has settings to adjust this. I was using a point and shoot camera (a good one, but still no DSLR). I plan to do the whole webcam thing in the near future, but for now I'd just like to get a decent shot with my point and shoot to show off my new telescope. Anyone have any tips or settings advice for getting a good image with a point and shoot with a Dobsonian? I'm aware that these are far from optimal conditions. :-) But this is my first telescope and first time ever taking a picture through a telescope.

  5. #5
    ghswen's Avatar
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    Try a shot of the moon.

    Folks seem to get better results with images of the moon with the methods your using.
    Gordon
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  6. #6
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    After studying your photo's hidden data (EXIF) I found you used Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W290 camera. It will be seriously hard to take a successful Jupiter photo with this one. The only chance is to use Program Auto mode and spot metering. ISO sensitivity must be set to a minimum. ISO 3200 your camera used for this shot is a certain overkill. To take at least a half-decent Jupiter shot you will need a camera with full manual control. Many superzooms have it, point-and-shooters do not. Here's the photo of Jupiter from my profile's image album. It was taken afocal with a Panasonic Lumix superzoom

    Last edited by mplanet62; 01-07-2011 at 07:15 PM.

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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghswen View Post
    Try a shot of the moon.

    Folks seem to get better results with images of the moon with the methods your using.
    Thanks. I know I'd get a better shot of the Moon. Hopefully I get some opportunities later on in the month to get some Moon shots. I was just hoping that I'd be able to show the bands on Jupiter with my point and shoot. Perhaps that is a pipe dream?


    NEW QUESTION! (I should probably start another thread, but here goes)

    I keep reading about people using webcams for better pictures. While I don't have a webcam, I have a few different HD camcorders. Could I use that technique with an HD movie (.mov file)? I'm sure I could Google the answer, but I'm hoping someone is already using this technique and could give me some software recommendations as well.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mplanet62 View Post
    After studying your photo's hidden data (EXIF) I found you used Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W290 camera. It will be seriously hard to take a successful Jupiter photo with this one. The only chance is to use Program Auto mode and spot metering. ISO sensitivity must be set to a minimum. ISO 3200 your camera used for this shot is a certain overkill. To take at least a half-decent Jupiter shot you will need a camera with full manual control. Many superzooms have it, point-and-shooters do not. Here's the photo of Jupiter from my profile's image album. It was taken afocal with a Panasonic Lumix superzoom

    Coudnt have said it much better. Spot metering, a low set ISO, shutter control is what you will need. If you can manually under expose they you might get lucky.

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  11. #9
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    Not that I have much experience in AP, but it seems to me that one of the issues with this photo is movement. Either the sky, or the camera or both, moved during the exposure. You might want to consider reducing the exposure by using a faster shutter speed instead of (or as well as) reducing the ISO.

    Unless the camera has a setting that tells it that it is looking at the night sky (some cameras have a night sky or fireworks setting), there is no way it is going to guess the exposure correctly. Left to its own devices, it tries to make everything look medium gray. If most of what it sees is black, it will overexpose, trying to make the black look gray. Your best bet is not to let it do anything automatically. Use manual settings and bracket with several exposures with different settings. It's not like you were shooting film - bytes are cheap.

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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mplanet62 View Post
    After studying your photo's hidden data (EXIF) I found you used Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W290 camera. It will be seriously hard to take a successful Jupiter photo with this one. The only chance is to use Program Auto mode and spot metering. ISO sensitivity must be set to a minimum. ISO 3200 your camera used for this shot is a certain overkill. To take at least a half-decent Jupiter shot you will need a camera with full manual control.
    Thank you for this response. I don't know how to check camera data so it was good to have you confirm my suspicions of too high of an ISO setting. You've given me some hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by PackingMyBags View Post
    Coudnt have said it much better. Spot metering, a low set ISO, shutter control is what you will need. If you can manually under expose they you might get lucky.
    Thanks. This was my thinking. I'm pretty good at getting lucky so we'll see this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithBC View Post
    Unless the camera has a setting that tells it that it is looking at the night sky (some cameras have a night sky or fireworks setting), there is no way it is going to guess the exposure correctly. Left to its own devices, it tries to make everything look medium gray. If most of what it sees is black, it will overexpose, trying to make the black look gray. Your best bet is not to let it do anything automatically. Use manual settings and bracket with several exposures with different settings. It's not like you were shooting film - bytes are cheap.
    Thanks. I actually think it does have a fireworks setting. I'll add that into things to try with my testing.

    With any luck, I'll have a much improved photo to post soon. If I can figure out how to get my neighbors to keep their backyard lights off or pointed away from my yard that is! Anyone have any ideas for this issue other than relocating?

 

 

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