View Full Version here: : NEQ6 + D800 First light
Hey guys n gals,
Been in hibernation lately with imaging due to work commitments, but in the mean time have been acquiring new equipment :D This is my first light using my new NEQ6 Pro + Nikon D800. I'm extremely pleased with the results, definitely a step up from my old EQ5 + D80 combo I sold a while back. I'm also finally getting the hang of post processing :thumbsup: Note that all these images were taken only 25Km SE of Melbourne in my backyard.
M8 Lagoon Nebula:
Imaging/Guide Scope: 80ED/80ST
Imagining/Guide Camera: Nikon D800/Home-made USB webcam.
Imaging details: 80*30sec Lights @ ISO3200, 45 Darks (No flats, Moon phase was 65% :eyepop:). Captured in-camera and edited in Photoshop CS5.
Mount: NEQ6 + GPUSB
The rest (Other parameters not listed identical to the M8 Lagoon):
Imaging details: 25*30sec Lights @ ISO3200, 20 Darks (No flats, Moon phase was ~25%).
I dont have the luxury of owning a programmable electronic shutter release cable for the D800 so hence I was limited to using 30 sec shutter speed. I would love to see what it could do on a moonless night with 5min subs ;)
In the works is imaging with my RC8 & QHY9 which have yet to see starlight. Given the steep learning curve, just slowly working my way up. One day I'll have a side-by-side configuration with the 80ED (RGB with my D800) & RC8 (L/Ha with my QHY9). One day :rolleyes:
Feedback would be great! And excuse me for any late replies, I blame my work :P
04-07-2012, 10:05 PM
Nice work, Meru, especially with short exposures on a DSLR (albeit a fantastic one!)
04-07-2012, 11:52 PM
Looking good. I especially like the detail shown in M8.
I have been getting quite favourable results myself with the D800, though the full frame is a tad big for the optics in my scope.
While you're waiting for your remote, if you have a laptop handy Nikon Camera Control Pro2 has a 30 day free trial and will let you specify shutter speeds up to 1 hour. There's also an open source program called Nikon Camera Control which just started in May, however to date I haven't gotten the D800 to work with it.
05-07-2012, 01:04 AM
Hey Meru, they are pretty good huh? Nice work. That Nikon Camera control program sounds the go too. I have a D7000 I would like to have a go at deep sky someday through my 12" F3.8 too and having good control over the camera via a lappie would be good.
Enjoy all the new equipment, some fun times ahead and probably a few frustrating ones too :whistle:
05-07-2012, 09:41 AM
Great photos Meru.
The Nikon shows a lot of promise.
05-07-2012, 10:56 AM
Wow, fantastic shots.
You did well dodging the clouds around Melbourne we have been plagued with lately.
Looks like the new setup is working very well.
05-07-2012, 11:28 AM
I posted exactly that a couple of months back in this forum- although you were much braver with the Iso setting, I only used 800. The programmable shutter release is a wonderful thing- check eBay for a sensible price.
I've got an M8-m20 through the Fsq106 and d800 at
Thanks for your compliment guys!
Yea the D800 is a wonderful camera, both for terrestrial and astro. I love the low noise capabilities of it, though you’re right about the full frame being a little large. But given the 4.88um pixel pitch, it’s still reasonable for the brighter DSOs :D And wow I didn’t know Camera Control did that?!
I used to use my D80 with it but it would never let me control the length of bulb. I will definitely look into the freeware, hopefully support will be added later. In the mean time I’ve ordered a cheapie Electronic timer from Deal Extreme which has bulb settings. Wish I read this before I ordered though lol!
Thank you :) Yea the camera control is a great bit of kit, I use it quite extensively for my land-based photography. You should give it a shot sometime with your D7000. That’s also a very good DSLR, my Father bought one (Photography ruins in the veins) and might use it some night just to see what it can do. You should give yours a ago! By the way Im also really jealous of your 12”f/3.8 :P
Thanks :) Yea the DSLR these days, especially the higher end ones, have are getting better at low ISOs. Makes a quick imaging session really simple.
Yes! Melbourne weather is horrible for astronomy, but when it opens up it certainly has a way of winning me back J thanks, and yea the new setup is wonderful. I love the small scale and simplicity of it all, very easy for things to get really complicated really fast.
Wow that image is beautiful!! The field is so flat – extremely impressed with the noise level considering only 12 shots being 5 minutes long. Yea the ISO3200 is a bit nuts but nothing 80 or so shots can’t take care of ;) Did you use any darks? You must also have a dark site, to get that much detail. I ended up buying a cheapie timer from Deal Extreme, so that should allow me to experiment with long shutter speeds and ISO settings.
05-07-2012, 09:29 PM
Your cheapie trigger will still be better than a licence for Nikon Camera Control Pro2. Here's hoping that open source program actually starts working with the D800 :)
Your probably right, plus its just one less thing to worry about when using the laptop.
I'll cheers to that :cheers:
05-07-2012, 09:45 PM
Thanks - my dark site is 100km from Perth, so it's reasonably dark. I did take flats and darks that night, but I did the darks after going to sleep shortly before dawn (you need that programmable cable release :thumbsup:)and it was around 2 degrees, so there's less noise in the darks than the lights - you can see plenty of noise at full zoom.
That was my first attempt at SLR astrophotography in 15 years, so any credit goes to the hardware in my case. The D800 impresses me more each time I use it, and seems to be a great match to a good short APO.
Can't wait to see what you get from a dark sky, the lack of noise in those images is amazing given the iso you were running at. Your guiding looks pretty tight too.
06-07-2012, 08:59 AM
Very nice collection Meru. Guiding looks good.
As for work - well, since end of Dec last year, I've spent far more time away from home than at home. Gotta catch those photons when you can!!
08-07-2012, 07:11 AM
Congrats on the new gear Meru...nice start,you must be very excited.
Wow you must have some nice skies indeed! I do the same, I just take darks as I pack up. Not ideal but when its that cold and late – You just want to sleep! And you took those pics after 15 years – wow! You’d get amazing results with a dedicated cooled CCD then ;)
I recently bought a programmable cable release, so hopefully I can reduce my iso and push the exposure time up.
Atalas and Darrin,
Thanks :) Yup gotta make the most of those photons!
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