First timer, focusing (?) problem

Discussions of Electronically Assisted Astronomy using the Live Stacking feature.
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Re: First timer, focusing (?) problem

Post by turfpit » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:02 pm


Where you are now, is where I was at the end of 2016 viewtopic.php?f=16&t=596. The 2 years of elapsed time is because of so few nights to get out and image due to weather. Things do get better if you can stick at it. This was a recent clear night where everything went well viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1199.

The book you need - I am in the process of writing it, hoping to save others from all the stumbling around and wasted time that I went through. My big breakthrough was writing the SharpCap 2.9 docs, which was interesting as I had no background in photography or astronomy.

I think you have a Revolution camera. I started off with an AVS DSO-1 - which is similar technology. Based on my experience, that type of camera is hard to learn with as none of the controls are exposed to SharpCap, leaving the user to control the camera via a set of internal menus. Have a look round for a more conventional astro-imaging camera on somewhere like AstroBuySell.

Here are my own thoughts but YMMV and 10 people will arrive soon to disagree with me:
  • Understanding the histogram is key to progress.
  • Meticulous preparation is key to success - level mount, polar alignment, mount alignment, focusing.
  • Mono cameras are easier to start with as they remove the colour balance hassle.
  • Don't get drawn into guiding too soon - it is just another layer of complexity.
  • Don't get bogged down with darks and flats early on. They are just another level of complexity. As you evolve, then you will naturally want to learn about darks and flats in order to improve your images.
  • It looks like you are interested in the Live Stacking aspect of the hobby. When stacking, save all the frames so you can go away and learn about traditional methods of processing on those rare cloudy nights.
  • Getting involved with the NSN community will be a good help to you. When watching sessions, have a word processor open and capture screens (think settings) into the document for later reference.
  • You will always need to spend £100 on another gizmo which will make your images better :lol:
My stuff is here A mix of SCT & refractor scopes; CMOS, CCD, DSLR & webcam cameras, 4 different capture programs running on Windows & Linux, several different programs for calibration, stacking & processing. I prefer to work in the more traditional ways of image capture, preferring to try to understand the underlying principles but that is a personal choice.

Have a look in the Gallery forum and you will find examples of some really good images which have been produced via the Live Stack process.

Astro-imaging is a tough hobby, both physically and mentally, but if you stick at it then it can be an extremely satisfying experience.

Good luck.


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