Posts Tagged Deep sky objects

Wide Field Pictures at Joshua Tree, CA – October 2009

I recently bought a used Soligor Teleobjective lens on eBay for about $40 (!) and tried it out for Wide field astrophotography with my Canon Digital Rebel XTi (unmodified camera).

The Soligor is a 200mm F/D 3.5 Lens for 35mm SLR cameras. The Teleobjetive is lightweight – but gives impression of being very solid.

To use it with a Canon EOS Digital Camera you need an adapter that includes a lens.

Using an FD to EOS adapter usually extends the focal – in my case by 25% from 200mm to 250mm.

I took the following pictures at Joshua Tree, CA – under quite a dark sky on the 25th of October 2009.

The Lens was stopped at F/D 4. The Camera and Teleobjective were mounted on an Orion Onyx 72ED and an Orion Atlas M0unt.

Coma is still visible at the edge of the field.  However, I am quite happy with the result given the cost of the lens, especially comparing it to the cost of a brand new Canon teleobjective …

Processing:  MaxIm DL 5, Photoshop CS4, and Neat Image.

M31 – on 10/25/2009 – Soligor 200mm at F/D 4 – Digital rebel: 9 exposures of 104 sec.

M42 – 10 exposures of 104 sec – Soligor 200mm

Pleiades – 8 exposures of 104 sec – Soligor 200mm and Digital Rebel XTi

Jupiter and a Joshua Tree after Sunset – 18/50mm Zoom – Canon XTi10302009_jupiter_under palms

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Astrophotos with Orion 72ED Onyx – Winter 2008

I bought the Orion 72ED on the 2008 black Friday at Orion, at a bargain price.  Overall I would recommend this scope for its portability and overall quality/price ratio.

These pictures were taken without auto guiding, relying on the Mount polar alignment.  I used a Celestron focus reducer for the M31 shot. Images have to be cropped – to hide coma on the edge.

DSLR: Non modified Canon XTi Rebel. Images processed with Max DSLR and Paintshop pro.

M33 – 5  exposures of 2 minutes each – 11/29/2008  – San Bruno – Orion 72ED

Pleiades – 11/30/2008 – 7 exposures of 2 min

M42 – 12 exposures of 2 min – 11/30/2008


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Pictures of Messier 42 object under light polluted site

Astrophotography of deep sky objects is quite challenging in a highly light polluted area. The nearest dark site from where I live is a two-hour drive and I cannot really make it very often. That’s why I try out techniques to take Deep Sky Object pictures in light polluted site …  Fortunately with DSLR cameras, light pollution Filters, and Image processing, there are some ways of making some interesting pictures.  I’ll post my experiment and findings…

Given the name of this Blog, the place of honor should come to M42 – the “Great Nebula”.  It is also a very easy object to work with. Even in a light polluted site it is (almost) visible with the naked eye.

I took Pictures of M42 with the Orion Eon 72mm and Orion 102ED. The pictures were taken from San Bruno, CA (near the San Francisco  airport) and I used  a light pollution filter (Orion SkyGlow Imaging Telescope Filters 2″) for the 102ED shots.

Orion M42, M43 and NGC1977 with Orion Eon 72mm

Taken on 11/30/2008 at 11.30pm PST: stack of 12 frames of 120sec each with Canon XTi – 400 asa – processed with  Max DSLR and Corel Paintshop. With Corel Paintshop I used the “Histogram adjustment” and “Unsharp Mask” tools to increase contrast and brightness. The picture had to be cropped as the Eon 72mm shows some serious coma at the edge of the image…  But for a $350 scope the result is not bad (black friday’s promotion at Orion). I am thinking of using it as a grab-and-go scope, a wide field astrophotography scope, and even for taking daylight pictures.


I used the mount tracking (Sirius EQ-G) – no guidescope. With such a short focal and short exposure time, guided scopes are not a hard requirement, if you do a great polar alignment of your telescope mount.

Orion M42, M43, and NGC1977 with Orion 102ED

Taken on 12/07/2008 at 2.45am – San Bruno, CA.

This picture was taken using the Orion SkyGlow Imaging Telescope Filters 2″. The background was definitely darker with the filter. Even though there are less pictures stacked than above with the Eon 72mm, the final result looks Ok and with more details than the shot taken with the Eon 72mm.

The picture is a stack of 4 frames of 164sec each with Canon XTi – 400 asa – processed with  Max DSLR and Corel Paintshop. With Corel I used the “Histogram adjustment” and “Unsharp Mask” tools to increase contrast and brightness. The picture had to be slightly cropped but did not exhibit as much coma as with the Eon 72mm. I used the “Lasso” tool to selectively increase the brightness and contract of  NGC 1977.  I used the mount tracking (using a Sirius EQ-G) – no guidescope. I had to scrap 4 pictures out of 8 because either the tracking was not great or the focus was not good enough. The polar alignment has to be carefully done to take exposure of +160 seconds and does not guarantee well tracked images if you don’t use (as I did) a guidescope.

M42, M43 and NGC 1977 – Orion ED102


Same picture cropped –  more details on M42 and M43.


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