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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:54 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:13 pm
Posts: 3
Can I image stars using multiple short time exposures of say 30 seconds using an unmotorised mount and them stack them with any beneficial effect. ?? If it is possible, what free software programmes are available or would using layers in photoshop elements be useful. If any of this makes sense, I am also thinking of imaging comet ISON once it become unaided eye visible. Thanks

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:58 pm
Posts: 3471
Location: Wellingborough
You can take short exposure images with a compact camera on a fixed tripod and stack them later using software such as the free "DeepSkyStacker". Results will depend to a great extent on just what control you have over the settings on your "point and shoot". You will need to experiment :) I'd start with "manual", 30 second exposures using the zoom set to a focal length of about 20mm or less , maybe full "wide angle" setting. Set the aperture to widest possible and set ISO to about 800 as a start. It's normally not possible to use manual focus with these cameras, so you have to allow the autofocus to adjust before the exposure starts. Also, it's best if you can use a remote trigger for the shutter, but not normally available for compacts, so you have to press the button. It's easy to get camera shake, so if you have a "delay" setting set it for at least 2 seconds delay and maybe a bit longer. Remember most cameras take and subtract an automatic dark frame of the same duration as the exposure after the exposure, so allow for this after each shot.

I suspect that you will find light pollution will be the limiting factor with your exposures and you will need to keep exposures quite short to avoid it's worst effects. Let us know how you get on :D


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