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Be as specific as possible when reporting issues and *ALWAYS* include the full version number of the application you are using and your exact *CAMERA MODEL*
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Newbie in town, questions and some answers



Having bought BYE a few months back and a second hand astrotrac recentlyI thought I should put the kit to work.

I faced some initial issues and being impatient I just fires a note to Guylain. I  promised that I would post his responses in the forum in case someone found it useful.

My equipment:
Canon 550d with IR filter removed and a Clip on filter put in with standard USM lens.
Older version of Astrotrac so has no auto guiding. CG5 goto Celestron 8".
GIMP / ufraw.
I didn't set up a complicated capture script. I used the loop funciton ( very useful for newbies like me).
Captured 70 lights ( ISO 800, f 5.6  5 second exposure ) and 20 darks with the same settings. with a 10 second pause in between. At the 70th shot I pu the lens cap and let the machine capture 20 darks. I separated them out later.
I suspended the session and then once it was in suspense mode I aborted the session. Soon after this I saw the software doing some sort of processing. I found that it was creating TIFF files.
Questions (  I am certain it is arising 99% out of operator error as the software seem rock solid ). I am in IT so I know when I see good software.
1. I can't see any thing in the TIFF files. The raw files have images when seen through gimp / ufraw.
2. My camera doesn't come up as a model when trying to connect. I am given two choices. So I chose the option with the correct type of Digic processor. Not sure if this is by design ?
3. I didn't see a preview of each shot after it downloaded. I could see a preview when I downloaded the initial shots. Once I put it in loop mode I t wouldn't show each shot.
4. I couldn't see a single star when trying to focus - again certain operator error so please tell me where I may be going wrong.
5. You can scream and shout at me if all this is explained in   the manual ( but for annoying impatient old fools like I please do a quick start if you can).
6. Given that I have had the IR filter removed, what adjustments should I make to make the picture neutral again ? Should I leave White balance at Auto when using Backyard EOS ?

ANSWERS from Guylain:

The Suspend feature simply stops taking images until you resume it.  If you press Abort while is suspend mode you have in fact cancelled the suspend and you have aborted your session plan.
A1. The TIFF conversion in BYE is optional.  You must have checked it Settings.  You really do not need them, the feature is there as a convenience for those who prefer TIFF.  The CR2 is all you need.
A2.  BYE does NOT lists all model, detection is automatic once your select the correct drivers.  The 550D is a DIGIC 3 camera so you only need to select the option on the right.
A3. That is because you are taking BULB images < 30 seconds.  Take TV images when you go < 30 seconds and they will show up as they are downloaded.  This is fixed in 3.1 which I should release in the next month or 2.
A4. Seeing stars with a lens if very challenging, only the brightness will/may show up.  The focal length is simply not there to resolve them.
A5. BOO.  There ya go, that is the extent of my shouting ?
A6. For RAW images you don’t have to care about White Balance because most stacking software don’t even read that data.  For daytime you need to take a picture of a white surface and use it as custom white balance.
Now what I did upon receipt of this mail was to somehow conclude that my PC didn't have the correct drivers ( don't ask me why) for the camera and codecs for Canon RAW. So I downloaded the whole thing from canon and installed all of the bits.

This made matters slightly worse. Every  time I connected the  camera he EOS utility would fire up and stop BYE from being able to connect to the camera. I also found the tick box that makes the software do a TIFF conversion.

Over a set of successive previews ( not live) I managed to focus the camera ( I was using this behind a Celestron SCG 8") on CG5 goto mount ( I didn't use the astrotrac for this session).  

As Guylain correctly pointed out, my shots via a standard camera lens were no match for the stuff I had through the SCT 8". Once I have converted  these pictures to a size that can go here Ill post them here.

My aim of the session was to somehow capture Cygnus and along with it resolve Milkyway. I have been stopped in my tracks for now as I am not sure how to convert my Canon Raw to tiff files to manipulate in GIMP.

My camera has had the IR filter removed. So I am not sure how to get rid of the general red glow without losing all the IR information that might be necessary to get a vibrantly coloured milky way.

I will persevere and post the results for the benefit all concerned ( if it's of benefit at all that is).

Clear skies for now.

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A couple of things:

You can use Canon's Digital Photo Professional software to convert the CR2 files to a number of formats such as JPEG and TIFF


remember that GIMP (at the moment) can only handle 8-bit images, so you'd need to convert the CR2 to an 8-bit format

As for white balance,  this might be helpful:




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