Thanks for all the continued comments.
mtbdudex wrote in post #11467509
Since you are on a EQ mount the multiple "short" exposures is due to avoiding light pollution effects where taken? (No Astronomik CLS Light Pollution Filter use?)
You took 80 @ 15 sec, 80 @ 30 sec, 76 @ 1 min, 70 @ 2 min.
The EQ tracking keeps your shots crisp, the camera settings same, therefore longer gathers more data....so why the 4 time settings of 15 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min?
Why stop at 2 min, why not less exposures of longer duration? 4 min /shot or 6 min /shot?
Too much sensor noise then? or your polar alignment has to be spot on and shorter exposures won't be affected by not "perfect" polar alignment? Since no tracking/correction device used?
The multiple exposures are for several reasons. The main reason is because Orion (mainly the core) is really bright and long exposures blow it out completely. Shorter exposures allow me to retain the brighter data and layer it into the final image. Since I'd never shot Orion with this lens before, I didn't know exactly how long of exposures I needed, so I went with a bunch of different lengths just to cover my bases.
The other reason is because this was my first try at 2-min unguided. I wasn't sure how accurate they would be, so also did the shorter ones just as backup in case the 2-min subs were not usable.
The reason I stopped at 2-min is because that's as long as I could get unguided without tracking errors becoming evident. Light pollution isn't a huge problem where I live - I can shoot 10- to 15-min guided subs without light pollution being a factor.
Are you also taking & stacking darks/bias/flat frames? (I assume so but not mentioned)
Yes, the subs were calibrated with darks (about 50 I think), 50 bias, and 50 flats.
The second one is really good but the first one the detail is sharper and therefore makes easier for me to see .
The second edit I did very quickly just to lighten up the background and didn't do anything to the main objects themselves -- I'd probably be able to increase the contrast and "sharpness" if I spent a bit more time.
I envy the OP cause i've never been able to produce these type images but my excuse is i have older basic equip still and never been able to afford the higher $$ mounts .
This mount (part of my RC imaging setup) was one of my splurges for sure - and it's not even the top of the line! I actually just started doing proper astrophotography this past fall (first light was Sep. 4). I've read and researched a lot, but am still learning a lot more.