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Posts Made By: Ivan Ong

January 18, 2004 06:33 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

M31 meets Canon Digital Rebel

Posted By Ivan Ong

I was out on Friday night and piggy backed my Digital Rebel on my Eq. drive with Canon's F2.8 80-200mm zoom lens. Exposure was 2 min approx, 400ASA, F2.8.
Here is a much reduced resolution pic. No dark frame subtraction. What a nice camera!
Clear skies to all!

January 22, 2004 07:09 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Anyone with a Digital Rebel-help needed.

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi, those of you with a Canon Digital Rebel, do you have or would you kindly take a dark frame at 4min at the 400ASA setting, (highest res, not raw image)? My friend's Digital Rebel has very low noise-just 4 hot spots and I have way over 30 under those exposure conditions. I am wondering if I got a lemon or is this a natural variation in chip quality. Thank you, Ivan

January 27, 2004 05:56 PM Forum: Celestron

Padded bag for C9.25"

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi All, I'm looking for a soft padded bag for my C9.25" OTA. Anyone with suggestions as to where I can find one?
Thanks in advance, Ivan

February 9, 2004 08:29 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

A change in observing habit

Posted By Ivan Ong

There is a transformation that has occured in how I have approached the hobby. For the last 15-16 years, I have been doing visual astronomy with small scopes (8" or less). The challenge of finding, patiently observing, recording and sketching galaxies and other DSO has been rewarding in more ways than one. It has taught me patience, technical proficiency (e.g. star hopping) and an enjoyment in all things very subtle, as most of these objects rightfully are. forward to these recent months: I have finally got a decent digital camera, guide scope system, great guding eq. mount with GOTO, etc. I have been bitten by the bug of astrophotography. I feel things have changed: I find myself entranced by the pretty images I am capturing and processing and astrophography has sort of taken a life, passion and momemtum of its own. While this is an exciting learning time, I realize that gradually I am observing less real time, and consequently am becoming more careless to the subtle beauty the night sky offers.
Why waste time with dim fuzzies when you can CCD these things in their full color splendor? Indeed, I have met many people at dark sites that never even bother to enjoy their scopes visually. Instead, they spend their whole time with their dizzying array of technical equipment, eyes glued to the computer monitor or a guidescope star. One night, someone said to me, "I never even look through the eyepice anymore, I just CCD everything". It's kind of sad to hear that in a way. Kind of like being a hunter, collecting animal trophies to hang in the den.

So my question is as amateur astronomers, how has your enjoyment of the night sky changed? Are you one of these that itch to rush out with all your astrophotography equip? How do you strike a balance between visual enjoyment and astrophotography?


March 7, 2004 06:32 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Advice needed: Afocal vs Eyepiece Projection

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi All, need your opinion/advice on the following:
I have my C9.25" scope set up to do both of the following:
(a) Afocal via my small Nikon 4300 using ScopeTronix's adapters and (b) Eyepiece projection using Celestron's "deluxe" Teleextender with my digital Rebel.

I have found that the Afocal technique consistently gives better images and is much easier to focus. The EP projection yields very soft digital images and is incredibly hard to focus. EP projection images taken so far are pretty useless for processing.

Am I missing something here or is this the general case?
Thanks in advance,

March 11, 2004 06:08 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Jupiter, the painful way

Posted By Ivan Ong

And, after seeing Rolando's superb pic, let me present Jupiter for the masochists among us. Without a Webcam, I coupled my Nikon 4300 afocally to my C9.25" and took pictures at 30 sec intervals. Here is a resultant 30 frame stack in Registack. This approach is not the greatest. 30 frames takes around 15-20 minutes, and you have to be hyperaccurate in your pole alingment. The Nikon 4300 has excellent optics but it is painfully slow, prone to occasional software hipcups and the hand held remote was designed by a person with nano-sized hands. It is easy to spend 2 hours freezing out there taking a hundred or so pictures manually. Soon I hope to buy a bloody webcam.

Happy observing to all!

March 25, 2004 07:47 PM Forum: Takahashi

Tak Green Paint, a close match

Posted By Ivan Ong

If you have a hobby store close by, try getting a small bottle of Tamiya acrylic paint XF-21 "Sky", it is a close match and good for small area touch ups. This paint is used for plastic model kits.

The white is another story!

April 13, 2004 07:35 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

New Celestron ED spotting scopes

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hey, have you all seen the new line of Celestron spotting scopes on the Anacortes web site? They have a 100mm ED around $570. They have an 80mm version too. Wow! It sure is a good time to be in the hobby!

April 19, 2004 12:19 PM Forum: Takahashi

Eyepiece projection for FS-102

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi All,
I have a FS-102 and I have been taking photos at prime focus of various DSO's through it. However, I am trying to increase the magnification of some of my photos and am considering doing eyepiece projection.

Correct me if I am wrong: I have been told that eyepeice projection leads to a lower image quality as it is highly dependent on the type of eyepiece used and extremely sensitive to focus. Is that right? Or can one take sharp high quality photos of DSO's via ep projection?

Your opinion is appreciated, thanks,

April 20, 2004 06:36 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Summer Preview

Posted By Ivan Ong

Hi All: it was around 5:30am when I took this photo with my Digital Rebel on my Eq mount with a zoom lens. 400ASA and 80-200mm EOS lens. Nice preview of summer!
Clear skies, Ivan