James Paulson's roll off roof observatory at the Sunridge Observatory site, taken in the summer of 1986, housing a 10 inch f/5 Cave Astrola Newtonian reflector telescope

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Taming the Kitty Cat

After much anticipation I decided to try my hand at using my new Canon XS for some fixed tripod shots to learn how to use some of the camera and remote control features. I've had it for a few days and I've read the manual a bit, and last night I figured out how to set the exposure, ISO, turn on the live view and run the timer, so earlier this evening, under a full moon sky I shot ten 30 second shots of Jupiter with the lens set at f/4.0, 18mm focal length, ISO 800 to capture the image above, which was a simple JPEG. I have done no processing, just cropped it a bit to remove the house from the image. I shot these in RAW + JPEG, and I also shot 10 darks in the same format so I can play around with it a bit with some stacking software and see what results.

The second image is the constellation of Cassiopeia shot using the same settings with no cropping performed, however the moon was well up by now and lighting up the sky pretty well. It did give me a chance to see what to expect as far as focusing and using the live view feature and magnification to obtain focus. In the original images at full size you can see a bit of trailing on the stars, and on the image of Jupiter with some magnification you can even see one of the moons. I believe this will work very well piggybacking on the SN6 when I finally get the chance to test this under a good dark sky. That opportunity may come as early as this weekend.

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