Old 14-08-2020, 08:56 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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First Image with new ZWOASI2600MC

After months waiting for my new ZWOASI2600MC camera Mother Nature served up a beautiful night for imaging last night on the South Coast
Lots of issues to iron out but fairly happy with a quick capture of M8 Lagoon Nebula
This biggest issue I had was learning how to focus with my new software APT ( BYEOS was a breeze to focus with my Canon 600D DSLR) but APT is a different kettle of fish. I used Focus Aid and Magnifier on Live View but I couldnít get the my test star tight with focus ( a lot to learn )
Also EQMOD was dropping out and sending my mount back to ďhome positionĒ after syncing on a star twice. So shut down and restarted everything and it settled down ok for the rest of the night
Also reviewing your subs is limited in APT to thumbnails or on the main screen but you canít zoom in on detail like BYEOS

Captured 1 hour with 120 sec subs ( no darks )
Captured 1 hour with 5 min subs ( no darks )
8Ē f5 newt on an EQ6-R Mount
ZWOASI2600MC with Baader coma corrector
Camera controlled by Ascom ( Highest Dynamic Range Gain 0 )
Camera cooled to -5C
PHD2 guiding ( best guiding to date 0.55 Dec and 0.62 RA ) payload 15kg
APT dither set to 1
Goto and tracking EQMOD, StellariumScope and Stellarium
Frame focus and capture APT
Stacked in DSS
Processed in Startools V1.5 Linear data set

Compared to my Old DSLR this camera has zero noise , absolutely unbelievable

I didnít take darks and the final processed image was just about noise free , in fact I didnít even use noise reduction in processing
Anyway lots to learn about the new camera and APT
Anyway here are the 2 processed images of M8 Lagoon with 120 sec subs and 300sec subs ( no darks ) with obvious poor focus

The image with 300sec subs ( same integration time ) has a slightly dimmer star field than the image with 120 sec subs

Comments most welcome
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Old 14-08-2020, 11:50 PM
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Fernando is offline
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Hi Martin, nice image. As you keep imaging with the ZWO2600MC Pro, I would like to hear your comments on the camera. Seems to be a huge improvement over my ZWO071MC Pro.

Regards, Fernando
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Old 15-08-2020, 08:00 AM
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multiweb (Marc)
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You've got some real nice details there and colours. Much fun ahead.
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Old 15-08-2020, 11:11 AM
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PKay (Peter)
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Hi Martin

New equipment / software always takes time to sort out.

I just changed my guide camera, and accepted it would take a few hours to get things right. It would have been the same night and PHD showed no corrections needed at all, sometimes for 5 sec. intervals!

Anyway, your capture for only 2 hours integration time is very good and you should be very happy :-)
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Old 15-08-2020, 11:50 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Thanks for your kind comments
Each Image is only 1 hour of data
Image 1 was 30 x 2 minute subs
Image 2 was 12 x 5 minute subs
Both processed separately

2 things stood out in comparison to the old Canon 600D DSLR

1/ Almost zero noise with the 2600MC ( no dark subtraction) whereas the 600D required substantial noise reduction in processing ( with dithered subs and dark subtraction) , however Startools does a fantastic job if cleaning up the garbage
2/ I only had to perform a minor stretch of the image in AutoDev as the image detail was already staring at me , whereas with the 600D requires a fair bit of manipulation

Achieved a lot in 1 night so looking to getting out again and experimenting with my new toy

Thanks again
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Old 15-08-2020, 12:03 PM
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Great first light! I’ve been eying off that camera myself but also want a mono body

My focusing tip in APT is to try using the Bahtnitov Aid tool it includes. That will deliver pinpoint focus very easily assuming a decent star (Jupiter works well for me as a large bright object that is visible as soon as it’s dark, at least currently) and a mask of course.
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Old 15-08-2020, 01:00 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Thanks Fernando, Marc and Craig

Iíve been successfully focusing for 3 years using BYEOS with my Canon 600D
As Iím using a newt I just use the stars diffraction spikes and centroid to achieve tight focus
I noticed one mistake I did in APT , I failed to change image preview to 1:1 when using the focus aid and magnifier
I suppose I just need to practice with this new software
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Old 15-08-2020, 03:29 PM
jahnpahwa (JP)
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Seems like a great outcome to me! I love that you took the chance to compare images from different sub lengths, too

Looking forward to whats next!
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Old 16-08-2020, 07:16 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Maybe from Tuesday onward the conditions should be nice and clear , but windy
I can deal with a bit of wind
Plenty of experimentation with this camera
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Old 16-08-2020, 10:17 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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Great to see you got yours and got a first light Martin, I only got the chance to get mine cobbled together and get a very quick first light with the spacing not sorted yet and no guiding, even that shows real promise.

Coming from my ASI294, the big difference is no great big starburst sensor glows, but the noise is either massively reduced, or just a lot smoother than the 294. I went from an old Canon DSLR to the ASI294 and the Canon had no glows of note, but so many hot pixels that a dark looked like a starfield! I shot a full darks library before I got first light, but with or without darks at 120 second exposures made very little difference.

I am really looking forward to my new mount arriving so that I have guiding again, and getting the spacing sorted so I can give it a proper crack, but I have not had a clear night since first light anyway! The new mount is self guiding with a guidescope in the puck (Which I expect to be OK at the short focal length of my refractor) so I really don't want to mess around putting my old OAG in the train (Which is going on my SCT) so that I can test more on my old mount, just to remove it again later and work out the spacers required all over again.

Cams are not the only thing delayed, my new mount was supposed to ship from ioptron a week ago but even getting the consignment picked up was a problem. Hopefully it is on the way now
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Old 16-08-2020, 08:46 PM
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Good to see you finally got your camera Martin.
Great start with M8.
I will look forward to seeing your images as you progress.

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Old 17-08-2020, 07:00 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Thanks Jack
Looking forward to it
Iím in Sydney now for a few weeks so Bortle 8 skies and neighbours flood lights again. Might try my ZWO duo and filter on the 2600MC and see how it performs
Also have to learn how to process it as well
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