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Old 24-01-2005, 06:23 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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iceman is offline
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
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It was worth a try Rod

The ToUCam seems mainly for moon and planets and seems to need a lot of post-production, which doesn't hold a great fascination for me
Don't be fooled into thinking that webcam astrophotography requires more post-processing than DSLR astrophotography - it's most certainly not true. In fact it's probably the reverse.

Trying to bring out faint detail in nebulas and galaxy long exposure shots, requires more patience and practise than webcam lunar/planetary work - not to mention that the tools (software) required for deep-space stuff are more complex and more expensive than simply registax for lunar/planetary.

Am I right in understanding that set-up time for these options would be longer than with a DSLR
Depending on your adapter, aligning a DSLR with your T-rings will be quite quick and easy, afocally it might take a bit of time to get it right, but the difference would be negligible.

Prime-focus DSLR deep-space stuff requires a lot of patience in getting focus right and making sure you are tracking perfectly. With your C11 fork mount (not EQ), you have to worry about field-rotation as well, else you need to spend more money and get a wedge, field de-rotator etc.

In terms of post-production software for DSLR images, what do you folk recommend? I want to know all of the expenses up-front so that I don't end up digging too deep into my pockets!
There's photoshop CS, MaximDL, ImagesPlus, PixInSight LE.. all of these have pros and cons and are used by the professionals (professional amateurs and pros). They are quite expensive too, with the exception of PixInSight which is free.

They are all complex and will take time to learn.

If you really want to get into deepspace stuff straight away, you're really jumping in the deep end. And don't expect to be able to do lunar/planetary with your DSLR, it's just not the right tool for the job. The benefit of the webcam is being able to take thousands of images in a few minutes, compared to the 10's of images you might get in the same time with the DSLR. and the results speak for themselves - i've seen lunar/planetary DSLR shots and they just don't compare with what the webcam can produce.

If I could give you a piece of advice, it would be to start off learning the process first, start in the shallow end and see if you actually LIKE astrophotography, because it requires a lot of TIME and PATIENCE, and deepspace stuff requires MORE of both than webcam lunar/planetary.

I'd get your DSLR because they're great cameras for terrestrial + astrophotography, but I wouldn't start worrying about deepspace astrophotography from the get-go. Get yourself a webcam, for $250 you're setup and done and can learn what it takes. Plus, your scope will be new, you might want to spend more time actually looking through an eyepiece.

My 2.5c.. good luck with your decision!
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