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Astrophoto: Markarian’s Chain, Clear Sky 16

At CS number 16 started something completely new. I shot with a piggyback camera. This evening was a horrortrip, at least i came out with something to show.

The Clear Sky Evening

Astrophoto Markarian’s Chain Clear Sky 16.
A very special evening for me, but lets start at the beginning …
I thought it could be nice to shoot with a 2nd camera with a shorter focal length to get a larger view. I found, that legacy objectives can be nice for astrophotography. Some of them are from the 70s or 80s.

Fast i found the Olympus Zuiko MC 200mm. I believe this one is from the 70s. They are all made for fullformat and this MC model got very few color problems. I found a very nice one on ebay and got it for less than 100 EUR.

I used it as a piggyback on top of the Vixen at my old CANON EOS 1000D and controlled the camera with a 2nd notebook.

My target was the Markarian’s Chain and to get some nice overview picture with the Zuiko.

Markarian’s Chain

I had to stack the Chain out of only 7! 🙁 photos. I was really frustrated. This was not a good evening in “mastering the technical things”.

But still, here is the high resolution Astrophoto on Flickr:

Markarian’s Chain

Virgo Cluster

Also the widefield picture had to be stacked out of less photos than usual. It were only 13. This evening was nothing for my nerves.

In the end, there was still a Picture:

Virgo Cluster
The first image with a legacy objective. not that bad for a bad evening.

Lessons Learned

The most important thing was, beside all the problems, it works! But i have to master the technical things. I still had the problem finding the objects after slewing to them.

Using a 2nd notebook is also damn annoying. I will find a solution for that! Because the Zuiko MC is a really nice new tool. At least when you look ar the price.

On the main optic, the Vixen, i did exposures between 30s and 600s at ISO between 200 and 3200.

What i learnd this evening and killed this evining: Long exposures with the CANON EOS M100 are not possible with EKOS! But this is a known problem. It nearly ruined the evening, especially wen the camera crashes all the time and slewing again to the target is a pain every time i have to do it.

Technical overview main optic of Astrophoto Markarian’s Chain Clear Sky 16

TelescopeVIXEN ED80sf
Focal Length600mm
Aperture ratio7.5
Erecting Lense
Filter
MountSkywatcher HEQ-5
Goto-ControlEKOS
Mount ControlINDI
Guiding Scope Focal Length162 mm
Guiding Camera Chip4.8mm x 3.6mm, 8bit
Guiding Camera Resolution1280×960
Guiding SoftwareEKOS, INDI
Dithering3 pixel
CameraCANON EOS M100(a)
Methodfocal projection
Camera angle
Camera ControlEKOS, INDI, Gphoto2
Photography Date13.06.2021
Moon
Exposure-Time Lights7x several exposure times
Sensitivityseveral
CalibrationframesFlats, Bias
Post Processing Date15.06.2021
Stacking, IntegrationAffinity Photo
Post Processing SoftwareAffinity Photo
Image EditingAffinity Photo
Capture PlaceKoblenz, Germany
LightpollutionBortle 5
Scattered lightstrong

Technical overview piggyback optic

ObjectiveOlympus Zuiko MC
Focal Length200mm
Aperture ratio5.8
Erecting Lense
Filter
CameraCANON EOS 1000D
Camera angle
Camera ControlAPT
Photography Date13.06.2021
Exposure-Time Lights13x several exposure times
SensitivityISO 800
CalibrationframesFlats, Bias
Post Processing Date15.06.2021
Stacking, IntegrationAffinity Photo
Post Processing SoftwareAffinity Photo
Image EditingAffinity Photo
Capture PlaceKoblenz, Germany
LightpollutionBortle 5
Scattered lightstrong

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