on 1 January 2008
Professor Greg Parker has been taking deep sky CCD images for only about 3 years, but in that time he has published many of the best pictures of nebulae that I have ever seen! In this book he has documented the equipment and methods that he uses in a clear and easily followed manner, so that the aspiring CCD astronomer can emulate his results. Greg takes us from choosing the most appropriate telescope and camera, through selecting objects to image, capturing the images and to processing the results. Processing is perhaps the most critical part of achieving a beautiful result and about 50% of the book is devoted to this, with plenty of example images to examine. My only minor criticism is that many of the pictures have been printed in a smaller than necessary format, but they are still spectacular! This book is a worthy addition to the shelves of any CCD imaging enthusiast and I can strongly recommend it.
on 21 May 2014
First of all "Affordable" is purely in the eye of the beholder. The author seems to be unaware of this . His Celestron Nexstar 11 GPS costs 3000 US Dollars although this model is not longer available. And of course a Takahashi Sky 90 comes with a further 1400 Euro price tag. And there are questions which arise after the fact. For instance: He states that the Az/Alt mount he uses is prone to field rotation wich is correct. To counter this he put it in an inclined position to emulate an equatorial mount. So does the Goto funktion still work? Can the software handle it? No one knows and with 4500Euro already spend you still have no camera.
Anyone who put the most basic CCD imager into the focuser of his teleskope has to cope with several things he or she must know about:
Backfocus,Flatfield,Hotpixel......to name but three of them. There is a passing mention of the last somewhere.
And with long exposure times autogiuding has to be tackled. But how its implemented the author negelected to tell, not even for his own setup.
In any case he has a tendency to outsource information he are supposed to give by referring to websites.Time and time again.
This is eventually topped because someone else is processing the raw data he produces. I admire his candor.
And of course there is no example from taking an image over prossesing to the finished picture. I would have liked that for a guideline.
So because you have to look elswhere for information there is really no point in purchasing this book.
But rest assured. DSO Imaging can be done much cheaper than depicted here!
Magazines on astrofotography are giving you a wealth of information on how to put your current equipment to good use.
Try imaging planets first until you know your teleskope better. Take extra care when adjusting your teleskope mount for observing.
Freeware provides for capturing ,autoguiding and processing.
Good stores will give you advice when purchasing additional equipment.
Greatness from small beginnigs