Old 24-03-2009, 11:33 AM
refractorman (Tim)
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Location: Canberra
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Low cost solar camera

Hi everyone

I'm mostly a visual observer but have dabbled with some very primitive imaging - attaching my nikon coolpix 5000 to the eye piece. Works fine (by my limited standards) on deep sky but the results are hopeless through my coronado 60mm h-alpha solar scope. All I ever get is a big red ball (Not sadly the big red lotto ball that will buy me a new scope!). The surface detail is quite visible by eye yet the camera totally fails to record it. have tried every which exposure etc.

Can any of you imaging experts give a novice a pointer as to what I'm doing wrong? Do I need a better camera?

Thanks for any advice

all the best

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Old 27-03-2009, 02:09 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St Leonards, Vic
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I wouldn't give up yet!
If you can see proms and or surface granulation visually, then you WILL be able to image them.
Could be a combination of the focus and exposure. The Afocal method demands that the camera be focussed on infinity and positioned central to the eyepiece. What eyepiece are you using? I'd guess the exposure for the surface should be around 1/125 sec.
A much better solution is a webcam with a 1.25" nosepiece. With 1/125s I get good images of the granulation in my SM60 and 1/60s for the proms.
Usually take about 1000 frames and run them through Registax5.
Hope this helps.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:19 PM
refractorman (Tim)
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Location: Canberra
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Thanks for that. I'm using a skywatcher 25mm plossl eyepiece (which actually is a whole lot better than I'd imagined it would be given the low cost). Focus may well be the issue though. I set the camera at infinity and focus by eye then swap to the camera - my calibrated eye ball may well be a bit off though! Gives me something to work on. thanks
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