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Captured by
Peter Bresler

Lagoon Nebula,M8, LRGB

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Posts Made By: Sam Pitts

January 14, 2008 03:54 PM Forum: Refractors

Whats the best 80mm refractor for astrophotography

Posted By Sam Pitts

I am very happy with a TMB 80mm f/6 CNC triplet with Feather touch and televue .08 reducer flattener for larger flat field when needed. I also got good results with an Orion ED80 but the triplet is better. You can see some images at I am still in the process of getting images processed through the TMB. You might also consider the TMB 90mm signature series as it will give a similar FOX of most F/6.5 - 7 80's.

My opinion only, I have not tried all the various scopes out there in this size. I do recommend Two speed Feather Touch focuser on any scope.

I have used FS 78, ED 80 & TMB 80mm f/6 Triplet


January 2, 2009 10:53 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

IC 2169/IC 447

Posted By Sam Pitts

Nice image for faint subject very nice color.


January 14, 2009 12:56 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

M1 But With An Equipment Question

Posted By Sam Pitts

It appears as field rotation. The center of the ST8 imaging chip is of center a little (almost 2/3 down from the top) and the guide chip is above the imaging chip. The image will rotate around the star that is being used to guide with. Should the star selected for guiding is in the upper portion of the guide chip it will be a long way from the FOV center. The center of the rotation would not appear on the imaging chip. See the attached image which will show where the FOV is on an ST8/ST7 SBIG camera.

I also use my CCD to collimate my C11 and to do a quick drift alignment. To collimate you must find the center of the imaging chip to center the out of focus star.

These techniques seem to work for me, hope this helps.


February 6, 2009 03:08 PM Forum: Digital SLR AstroPhotography

Sky90 first light - M42

Posted By Sam Pitts

Nice shot lots of data. You may want to try AIP4Win or CCDStack to getthe LRGB chnanels and tweak the red. You can also do some in Photoshop. I use a standard 20d and standard white balance and get some decent color. Again nice shot showing nice detail with central stars.


February 11, 2009 10:37 AM Forum: Digital SLR AstroPhotography

M36 Region and Milky Way (very wide field)

Posted By Sam Pitts

Nice WF shot with good star colors. Did you stop the lens down any?


March 2, 2009 06:36 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

M81/82 Again!

Posted By Sam Pitts

Really nice shot.


April 19, 2009 08:57 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

First light with ST-10 - questions

Posted By Sam Pitts

Real nice start Jeff!

I went from a ST8xme to the 10xme because of the pixel size for shorter focal lengths. I like CCDStack for stacking and some bloom removal. I use Photoshop for additional bloom removal and refection spikes if they bother me. Photoshop may take longer than other programs but I have it and it works. I don't mind the spikes that much, some like them some don't. Since we are doing pretty pictures, how they look is up to you. There are some creative parameters in how the final aesthetics are processed.

I always pre-plan exposures with The Sky by choosing the imaging field and guide stars ahead of time. I try and place bright stars so the blooms don't take data away from the main target. I try and judge the exposure times with the brightest stars in the field. I don’t like to have long blooms or very many. Around bright stars I usually opt for shorter exposures so I don’t over saturate but take enough images to get a good S/N ratio.

My real advice, collect as much data as possible. I did some LRGB with a total of 60-90 minutes and now I usually get 60-90 minuets of RGB and a least a couple hour or more of luminous. In my case I see a big difference when there are several hours of data collected. I now like to get 4-5 hours for each subject.

Remember not to get to bogged down in all of this and have fun.

Again that is a nice start and hope you will continue to enjoy you camera.


April 27, 2009 09:25 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

TEC140 - first light - M3 and M101

Posted By Sam Pitts

Great Shots! The TEC140 is a great scope for imaging and viewing. I don't think any other scope comes close based on price and performance. I am amazed at the resolution for 5.5" scope. When I got mine it really improved my images.

Looking forward to more great shots.


May 6, 2009 07:43 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

Splinter or Knife Edge Galaxy

Posted By Sam Pitts

Nice shot Jim, good detail and color with an 8" SCT. So many targets and not enough time or clear (moon-less) nights.!


May 10, 2009 10:24 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

M13 in Hercules

Posted By Sam Pitts

Nice image of M13 with even stars and no core-burnout.

Nice web site with lots of good pictures.