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Posts Made By: Chuck Story

October 4, 2004 07:24 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

My First "Deep Sky" Attempt

Posted By Chuck Story

Hi Everyone,

I'm a long time admirer of all the work that is being presented here on the forum, it is really teriffic stuff.

The photo attached is my first attempt to do a long exposure photo. The camera is a Nikon D70, and I sort of piggy backed it on our club's 16" f8 Newtonian. I don't have a mount of my own yet (11" f5.6 Starmaster) thus the reliance on the club scope. The shot was 2 minutes, ISO 800, 122mm, F5.6 using the Nikon 70-300mm ED lens, noise reduction was turned on.

My question to the group is, what would be the best way to improve the image? Is 2 minutes long enough, or should the exposures be longer? About how many photos would need to stack? I know that typical signal averaging improves the signal to the square root of the number of scans. For example 4 samples doubles the signal to noise, 16 would double it further etc. Does the same sort of statistics apply to staking photos?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts and advice.


December 16, 2004 10:01 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

California Pelican

Posted By Chuck Story

Hi everyone,

I finally have a photo that I felt was worthy of this forum. I am really impressed with the quality of photos from everyone. especially tough are the ones showing birds in flight. I tried to catch the Pelicans flying over the water, and every shot is slightly blurry, I could never seem to get them in focus. Fortunately, this guy was sitting still.

Nikon D70, 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 ED zoom

Thanks for all the great photos.


December 16, 2004 10:06 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Does anyone know what bird this is?

Posted By Chuck Story

Hi Again,

Caught this guy hanging around Palm Desert California. Does anyone know what kind of bird it is?

BTW, what looks like a flash shadow, is really just caused by the low afternoon sun.



June 23, 2003 10:15 AM Forum: Equipment Talk


Posted By Chuck Story

FWIW, last year I purchased the 11" Starmaster ELT that Jeffrey mentioned in the add. At the time I picked up the ELT from him he mentioned that he was building a self designed 8" planetary scope. I found him trustworthy and had a easy time transacting the purchase and pickup of the Starmaster. If you have any questions about the situation, contact Jeff in person, I'm sure he will answer any questions you might have.


May 26, 2004 10:17 AM Forum: Birding Optics and Photos

Osprey in Flight

Posted By Chuck Story


I have been lurking on this site for a while and I wanted to say that I think your photo's are great.

I have a question for you about the 80-400VR lens. I just recently picked up a D70 and am looking for the best lens to get to suppliment the 18-70mm kit lens. I have read that the autofocus of the 80-400 is quite slow and I was wondering about your feelings on the AF speed of that lens. Your images certainly are first rate, so I am guessing it really doesn't cause you any problem.

On an unrelated subject, I will be visiting SLC next month, spending one night in Park City and I was wondering if there was a good place to go to see the Sandhill Cranes and some of the other birds that you photograph.

Thanks in advance,


October 12, 2004 07:13 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Why I love my Starmaster

Posted By Chuck Story


Thanks for sharing that story. As a fellow owner of an 11" F5.4 Zambuto Starmaster, (also second hand) I can relate to the feeling of horror you must have felt as you heard the weight hit that mirror. I would be unconsolable if the same thing had happened to my mirror.

Carl is indeed a wonderful person to have in this hobby and those of us who are lucky enough to have one of his mirrors know how dedicated he is to his craft, and how much time and effort his shop puts into making those fine mirrors. At the same time Carl also makes it a point to tell us how important he feels it is for us to get out there and look through his scopes.

I get my scope out every chance that I get, and am always amazed at the views that I get. The double cluster from a dark sight will literally take your breath away. You have experienced what it means to step up to a premium mirror. Sometimes it's not easy to put into words, but you know it when you see it. With a premium mirror there is a sparkle to the stars, a darker background, more of a diamond on black velvet view that generally seems to be missing in some of the other scopes. In good seeing, the detail on Jupiter really does rival the best photos that you can find. I can't tell you how many times I have had my StarMaster set up at a star party, and have had people look in the eyepiece and say that it's the best view of (fill in the blank) that they have seen. Seasoned observers often are more enthusiastic with their comments, but even novices can see that there is something special there.

I often tell people that the only way that scope is going to leave me, is for them to pry it out of my cold dead hands.

May you have many years with your StarMaster, as I hope to also have many years with mine.

Best Regards,