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Afocal Saturn using just released Registax 5

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#1 Jason H.

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:16 PM

Tonight I downloaded the new Registax 5 and tried it out on a bigger Saturn run (the following image is only 16k)

http://setisociety.o...I_0709R51SL.jpg

That run started off around 1.46 gigs from my last good session Feb. 21; I originally couldn't use that run in Registax 4 because of its size (~1 gig limit) but was able to load it in the newly released Registax 5.

I started off with 1626 frames and ended up with 1466 (by manually removing frames) and didn't re-size it as the detail was a little less on that run, but it seems like the extra frames helped the color a lot (I didn't touch the saturation.)

Post-registax processing done in Roxio Photosuite 5. I have a lot to learn about the new Registax (not that I knew anything about the old one :^) but some of the new features do look interesting.

Criterion RV8, Canon Powershot SX-100 w/10x optical zoom , 26mm Meade Super Plossl, 2x Ultima Barlow.

Regards, Jason H.

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#2 JimP

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 08:34 AM

Magnificent image Jason! Congratulations!!

JimP

#3 HANTO

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 09:28 AM

Hi Jason,

a big surprise to me, such a result afokal on a planet and even more on Saturn! Great job!
:waytogo:

Regards
Torsten

#4 vegasMike

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 09:58 PM

agreed, afocal with that ccd...stunning.

#5 Jason H.

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 09:46 PM

Magnificent image Jason! Congratulations!!

JimP


Thanks Jim, I admire your work! Jason H.

#6 Jason H.

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 09:47 PM

Hi Jason,

a big surprise to me, such a result afokal on a planet and even more on Saturn! Great job!
:waytogo:

Regards
Torsten


Thanks to you too Thorsten, like Jim, you do great stuff!

Regards, Jason H.

#7 Flying_Fox

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 12:20 AM

Afocal? Excellent shot and very nice colors!

#8 Chote

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 11:57 PM

Wow! Afocal can produce such amazing photo.

Remember working on Afocal by taking frame by frame several years ago cannot produce photo that good!

Thanks for sharing.

#9 RobertED

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 08:07 PM

NICE!!!! :waytogo:

#10 redeye

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 06:47 PM

Impressive image Jason!
I'm just starting out with afocal imaging. What settings did you use in Registax and how do you get optimal focus with your Powershot?

Thanks,
Mathias

#11 Jason H.

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:26 PM

Impressive image Jason!
I'm just starting out with afocal imaging. What settings did you use in Registax and how do you get optimal focus with your Powershot?
Thanks,
Mathias


Hi and thanks Mathias, I use the default settings in Registax (since they work very well for me and every time I messed around with the settings I either couldn't see the improvement or I messed up the image), but I do turn on the frame list to hand-select individual frames (i.e. I remove the ones that I don't like.) After they're stacked, I start with 1 wavelets slider, then 1.5, then 2; IMO beyond 2 sliders can often require a really nice video file, or else it will over-sharpen the limb (makes the planet look like a button.) Lately I generally prefer to slightly under sharpen in Registax (using ~1 slider) and then slightly sharpen a little more (if necessary) in the post-Registax processing (just in case, I do save both a 1 slider and 2 slider version in Registax PNG, and then convert to jpg in post-registax processing.) There are less lossy methods of doing these saves, and others in this forum who know considerably more about post-processing can perhaps speak to them; there are undoubtedly better ways of post-processing that I need to learn, but I haven't made the time to try these (things like de-convolution or Lucy-Richardson etc.., i.e. I need to do more homework!)

Regarding optimal focus, I set the camera to Manual Focus and push it to infinity, then I focus with the telescope's focusing knob while looking at the LCD screen on the camera. I fly through, in-and-out of each side of the focus several times until it feels right in the center. Unfortunately during a session I often get nervous about my focus and re-adjust it to improve the possibility that at least a couple of clips will come out good (especially after screwing up what I thought were perfect sessions because I didn't detect the bad focus until I returned to the PC.) I don't use a laptop while doing this (there's a positive and negative aspect to everything, and to me the benefits of not having the laptop present outweigh the negatives of having it there), but if you do use a laptop, I imagine that you perhaps could get a better estimate of the focus.

One other thing I'd watch while using video mode (if you are using a Canon Powershot) is to listen for the camera trying to re-focus (even though you have it set in "Manual"; luckily I've caught this happening and seen it de-focus the image a little and you hear what sounds like the focus motor kicking in when it happens (even though it's in "Manual"!) I just go back an re-set it to Manual and push it back to infinity and it usually stays there for the next video run. I don't know why this happens.

BTW, here's an image that I had posted after the first one in this thread that I think came out better.

http://setisociety.o...0904r5s1rox.jpg

Regards, Jason H.

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#12 Mert

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 04:56 AM

Fantastic Jason, very good results you've obtained.
How did you mount the camera?

#13 Jason H.

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:30 AM

Fantastic Jason, very good results you've obtained.
How did you mount the camera?


Thanks Mert, I use an Orion SteadyPix, but I've been told that I must be a glutton-for-punishment for using it (but I've always assumed that I must suffer for using this method anyway :^) There are others on the market, and I will probably buy one in the near future to evaluate the difference. I guess I'll post my opinion on them then.

Regards, Jason H.

#14 redeye

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 06:22 PM

Thanks for the answer Jason!

What magnification are you taking your pictures in? Is it 125x except for the cameras extra 10x ?

I've been experimenting with everything from 125 to 333 (8 inch reflector, f/5). In the smaller magnifications the picture is stable but Saturn is small, too bright, and lacking detail. In the larger magnification Saturn is showing some detail but is pretty fuzzy and the picture is jumping areound a lot more.

Your picture is pretty large compared to what I get even in 333x... I suppose you magnify it somewhere in the process?

Oh, and what sliders are you refering to? I've got Registax5 as well but I didn't quite grasp what you meant.

Thanks a bunch,
Mathias

#15 Jason H.

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 01:51 PM

Hi Mathias,

Regarding "What magnification are you taking your pictures in? Is it 125x except for the cameras extra 10x ?"

Yes. 8" F/8, 26mm EP, 2x Barlow, yup 125x (actually around 127x with my focal length of ~65". The extra 10x camera optical probably pushes me above the ~400x maximum usable, but because of the inherent small scale I get using this method, I push it as far as it can go (and which could be corrected with software by reducing the image size, but I don't need to with Saturn, but with Jupiter it's a different issue); another factor might be the camera chip is 8 megapixel scaled down by the camera's software to 640 x 480 pixels, so I need to push the scale as much as I can; I'd rather be over than under.

Regarding

"I've been experimenting with everything from 125 to 333 (8 inch reflector, f/5). In the smaller magnifications the picture is stable but Saturn is small, too bright, and lacking detail. In the larger magnification Saturn is showing some detail but is pretty fuzzy and the picture is jumping areound a lot more."

In my case, Saturn being too bright means I'm not applying enough magnification (I don't need a filter for Saturn, especially now that it's at its lowest in brightness).

If the image jumps around at higher magnifications, either your seeing is bad or you might have a large temperature differential between your mirror and the outside temperature, you also could have tube currents (heat again) or heat rising from a nearby source (sidewalk cooling, observatory shelter etc.)

The atmosphere is obviously the other 'seeing' factor. Before going out, a lot of people check the clear sky clock at http://www.cleardarksky.com/csk/ . I personally prefer to check the weather satellite loops at http://www.goes.noaa.gov/ ; when the Water Vapor satellite is black over your location and the IR is clear, your chances of good seeing are very high. If you can see high speed movement on either the IR or Water Vapor, the seeing will be bad (i.e. it's a cloudynights.com night :^)

MOST IMPORTANTLY regarding seeing, wait until Saturn is at least within 1.5 hours of crossing your local meridian (at Meridian is best as there will be less atmosphere to look through.)

Regarding
"Your picture is pretty large compared to what I get even in 333x... I suppose you magnify it somewhere in the process?"

As mentioned above, once the 10x camera optical zoom is factored in, my magnification is higher than 333x, so no, the 2 images of Saturn I posted on this thread are not re-sampled/scaled upward. Assuming that you are factoring in that you are using an F/5 scope (versus F/8.13), another thing to watch is the distance between the EP and the camera, there is a significant impact on scale for it to be a few millimeters further away.

Another thing is, not all Meade 26mm Super Plossls are created equal!!! I'm using a older one, probably older than 15 years old. I have brand new ones that give a much darker image, not as crisp, and do not show the same scale as my older one (i.e. I never use the new ones!)

Regarding,

"Oh, and what sliders are you refering to? I've got Registax5 as well but I didn't quite grasp what you meant."

Once you have run your video file through the process (click the automatic processing button before clicking the align button) after it completes stacking your image, you will see 6 sliders on the left-hand side of the screen, move them one at a time and you will see a considerable improvement in your image (it will sharpen it) with one or two sliders pushed to the right.

Regards, Jason H.






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