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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

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CounterWeight
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my new NGC7000 narrow band image
      #5963779 - 07/10/13 10:25 AM Attachment (26 downloads)

this is a work in progress but I FINALLY finished getting all the subs I wanted for my crescent / bubble image and was able to move to a new object.

This is just a start and I'll add to this thread as I get more data (hoping it stays clear long enough)

Imaged with the FSQ85 at f/5.3 using the ST8300M, 20 minute sub exposures.

Just the basics here as far as processing. Calibration, RGB combine, DDP stretch, color curve smoothing in MaxImDL pro. Bob Franke color treatment in CS5. Very slight DCNR and edge preserving smooth then resizing and TIFF to JPEG conversion done with PSP. Larger version here. if you click the image on that site it gets you a much larger version.

woohoo!

.


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Jeff2011
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5963814 - 07/10/13 10:41 AM

Wow! Love the contrasts. Great work Jim.

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terry59
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5963837 - 07/10/13 10:52 AM

That is a fantastic image Jim. It seems you have the FSQ85 working great. How do you rate the scope now that you've had time with it?

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Madratter
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: terry59]
      #5963850 - 07/10/13 10:58 AM

Beautiful.

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shrevestan
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: Madratter]
      #5963864 - 07/10/13 11:04 AM

Great job!

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Bill W.
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: shrevestan]
      #5963878 - 07/10/13 11:13 AM

Very nice!

-Bill


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CounterWeight
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: Bill W.]
      #5963923 - 07/10/13 11:33 AM

Thanks so much everyone! I wasn't expecting anything near with and was at fist surprised how when I did a DDP Filter (the kernel-low-pass variant, a one click in MaxImDL pro which makes that alone almost worth the price for NB imaging! ) the image size sort of blew up off the edges of my image size! I can't remember that happening before. When I scrolled to the huge 'dust barge' that is such a great indicator of resolution I was again very happy. Then the Cygnus Wall feature and I was just 'photon happy', huge grin and "I'm going to post it as is", I usually wait until I have more data / time in on image but this just really amazed me!

stay tuned I hope it'll just get better from here


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CounterWeight
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5963949 - 07/10/13 11:58 AM

Terry - I go back and forth. The optics are flat out fantastic, but the focuser / CAA is touchy and IMO not up to the task. I've had the CAA off and apart twice now as the pad on the CAA tension shaft either comes off/undun(a la the Guess Who song from back when) or stays so tight that if I try to rotate the CAA it starts unscrewing from the focuser tube. what is worse, and has ruined at least one image is that things can go wrong with the CAA and you get uneven field with oblong stars on one side (yes it is sensitive that way but I expect that at near f/5) depending on gravity alone.

I think if Tak addressed the issues - folks would stop removing the CAA and/or in some cases going to a different focuser entirely. The complaint is nothing new.

If I used a collet and could just rotate the CCD that way it would be a non-issue but I am 'all threaded' and IMO the issues I've had are just something I would call sub-standard to the optics and tube and focuser - mine seems no problem, no shift that bothers me anyway.

I've not found the optics / focus position anywhere near as temperature sensitive as others have (it's mentioned a lot on the yahoo group along with moto-focus)and no need whatsoever for a motorized focus. I think adding moto-focus could introduce more difficulty so I'm averse to it as I don't need it and seems like wasted money for my particular use.

I do nothing to refocus between filters and find the spot sizes I get very acceptable - and as you see they process together very well. Give credit here to Astrodon too - Don's filters are fantastic and in the end worth every penny. At least for me I don't feel there is any objectionable aspect ratio or blooming.

I doo see what appear to be tiny crosshairs on brighter stars, but again the lack of halo (so far - I've not gone after that Alnitak area!) and that the effect is minimal I feel may be another outstanding feature of the optics. I am curious about this though and will compare to my TEC when I go for the Pelican half of this area.

Hope that helps, and food for though for anyone else wondering about these Tak 'quads'. If any of it seems nit picking well, I paid the price of admission.


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Wouter D'hoye
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5964218 - 07/10/13 03:01 PM

Hi jim,

I'm gonna be really hard on you.. I'm sure you can take it..

First the good, sharpness, detail, colors.. all are splendid..

Now for the bad: in the lower midtones there appears quite some color noise.. a bit as if the image shows freckles. It's especially apparent in the area below the wall and in the lower and mid left.

The noise appears to be mostly in the reds. So I assume that's from the SII data. SII is usually very weak and needs to be stretched much further. I guess that if you want to improve the image with more integration time you'd need to focus first on some more SII.

Thanks for sharing. I'm sure you'll nail this one and it will be stunning.

Wouter.


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Footbag
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: Wouter D'hoye]
      #5964232 - 07/10/13 03:11 PM

Amazing! Was this taken from dark skies? I'm considering the jump to NB and mono CCD just to help overcome my LP.

Edited by Footbag (07/10/13 03:12 PM)


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rigel123
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5964328 - 07/10/13 04:16 PM

That's a beauty Jim! Love the colors

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CounterWeight
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: rigel123]
      #5964498 - 07/10/13 06:03 PM

Thanks Wouter! I'll keep at it tonight I hope , and you nailed it on the stretching - it takes great data to stand up to it.

Adam, thanks! - it was from my backyard here in the white zone, not all images well in NB but it's a great antidote to LP for those that do. I've found the narrowest OIII and SII the better.

Warren, thanks always for the encouragement. Are the skies letting up at all out your way yet or soon?


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shawnhar
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5964530 - 07/10/13 06:25 PM

Wow Jim, that is an amazing pic, love the color pallette.

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DaemonGPF
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5964607 - 07/10/13 07:23 PM

That is an EXCELLENT image! I seriously can't think of a thing I would change.

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yock1960
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5964762 - 07/10/13 09:20 PM

Really nice image Jim!

Steve


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JJK
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5964779 - 07/10/13 09:32 PM

Nice image!

I just took a dozen one-shot color light subs (just uploaded in another post) for part of NGC7000 with a 175 mm apo and will try it with a wider field scope.

Edited by JJK (07/10/13 09:35 PM)


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JJK
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: Wouter D'hoye]
      #5964787 - 07/10/13 09:39 PM

Quote:

Hi jim,

I'm gonna be really hard on you.. I'm sure you can take it..

First the good, sharpness, detail, colors.. all are splendid..

Now for the bad: in the lower midtones there appears quite some color noise.. a bit as if the image shows freckles. It's especially apparent in the area below the wall and in the lower and mid left.

The noise appears to be mostly in the reds. So I assume that's from the SII data. SII is usually very weak and needs to be stretched much further. I guess that if you want to improve the image with more integration time you'd need to focus first on some more SII.

Thanks for sharing. I'm sure you'll nail this one and it will be stunning.

Wouter.




Wouter, I just took some single light sub narrowband images of the Gulf region in the NA nebula (H-alpha, O3, S2, 30 min each) and indeed O3 and S2 are far weaker than the H-alpha (especially O3)!


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rigel123
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5964793 - 07/10/13 09:46 PM

Quote:



Warren, thanks always for the encouragement. Are the skies letting up at all out your way yet or soon?




Keeping my fingers crossed as the next 3 nights (starting tomorrow) are supposed to be clear to partly cloudy. Since no rain is in the forecast at least my stuff will be set up!


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CounterWeight
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image new [Re: rigel123]
      #5965124 - 07/11/13 02:16 AM

Josh, Steve, John - thanks so much. I love this place thanks to all your encouragement. My objective here is to hopefully show the differences adding more exposure time using somewhat 'canned' stretching and same duration sub exposures. Normally I would try to stretch the data according to the resulting stack manually 'per channel'. There is the 'paper whipping' part of this and then the practical part. Honestly I was a bit happily surprised at what popped out from the few subs per channel! the various DDP stretches are all a bit demanding on the quality of the data and calibration of it.

-If all goes well tonight I should be able to double the exposure time on all channels tonight. My main concern is to wake up for the meridian flip at ~3Am as I'm a bit punchy after this run of clear skies and a bit sleep deprived.


that folks is a complaint I am so blessed to finally make!

Warren I'll keep fingers crossed for you there!

Josh I am looking forward to your results after that great hypertune you did !


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CounterWeight
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my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5965353 - 07/11/13 09:10 AM Attachment (4 downloads)

OK - last night appears to have been good, doubled the number of exposures per channel, still a little noisy in the SII and OIII but much better than before. Interesting to note changes at full resolution, not sure they all xlate to the smaller image here. Link to updated larger version.

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JJK
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5965357 - 07/11/13 09:12 AM

It'd be nice to have some RGB data to give the stars their true color.

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terry59
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5965366 - 07/11/13 09:16 AM

The difference is subtle but noticable. Your stars seem diminished, was that intentional? I like both versions. Maybe you missed my q's above...how do you rate the FSQ-85 now that you have some time with it? Worh the cost difference from the Orion scope?

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CounterWeight
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: terry59]
      #5965404 - 07/11/13 09:43 AM

thanks John - maybe someday, I've not felt compelled to do that so far as I like the overall effect this way.

Terry - look up about 15 responses from here (#5963949 - 07/10/13 08:58 AM ), I made a long response to your question there. Interesting about the point sources and I'm uncertain why/how that is as I followed identical steps on processing both. It is apparent in the full size TIFF I convert from as well.


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terry59
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5965421 - 07/11/13 10:01 AM

Thanks Jim, I've no idea how I missed that! Focusers are a concern of mine on any scope based on my experiences. I don't consider your issues to be nit picking at all. For the cost I expect darn near perfect but really don't see it that way. I will be wanting to upgrade from the AT72ED within the next year but am not sure what I should do.

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Wouter D'hoye
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: terry59]
      #5966726 - 07/12/13 01:37 AM

Your new version is obviously better. The noise levels have dropped dramatically. Truly a wonderful image.

Wouter.


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CounterWeight
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: Wouter D'hoye]
      #5966770 - 07/12/13 02:33 AM

Thank you Wouter! I'm going to try and get duplicate data for the Pelican (just next door so to speak) before I add more to this, I'm hoping for a minimum of 16 per channel before calling it good but we'll see.

Terry - glad you found my reply Sky Watcher is introducing a FPL53 based objective f/5 for about $1k (this includes a flattener), and there is some about Vixen reviving the Pentax 100 or 125 design - so it seems that 'they' are paying attention! what in my mind I compare all to is the Orion FPL53 based 80mm triplet using an 'off the shelf' inexpensive focal reducer - total cost also about $1k and an stunning performer optically. but there too, the focuser is the weak part of the system when it comes to a fully loaded 8300M setup with a big filter wheel. In the case of the Orion it just ends up the length of the stuff on the focuser tube taxes it enough to be a problem at times.

But then too we at 1/3 the cost of the Tak FSQ, which I see as being 'in trouble' because of the lax engineering and poor performance of the focuser 'overall' because of the CAA issues.

Then for not much more $ Stellarview has this objective on a tube with a FT focuser. With reducer still less than half the Tak and a half stop FASTER and by my results flat enough for the 8300 chip.

Would be nice if someone went total overkill (I wish the SV had the larger FT focuser even if it looked funny) on the focuser for a change - it really makes all the difference, how can we make them hear us? It is not just great optics, it is that plus getting the CCD perfectly focused without worry. Not sure anyone has that in that bag - yet. But it's getting far more affordable and there is getting to be more competition.


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zerro1
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5967295 - 07/12/13 12:09 PM

Really Nice work Jim!!

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CounterWeight
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: zerro1]
      #5967348 - 07/12/13 12:42 PM

Thank you Robert, it sure is nice having some clear skies and being able to put up some work after such a long time. How are things behaving up/over your way?

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zerro1
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5967369 - 07/12/13 12:56 PM

I have not set up a mount or turned on an astro cam since last weekend. Currently working 4 X 10's so sleep is the priority. I may attempt a trip to Slate Peak tomorrow night though...

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CounterWeight
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: zerro1]
      #5967428 - 07/12/13 01:30 PM

Predictions are for more clear weather, for what that is worth.. hope you can get out and enjoy if it is true

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CounterWeight
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5977181 - 07/18/13 02:04 AM

I'm adding some more SII and OIII subs to this so it will match up better to my 'Pelican project'.

I'm going to try and splice the two images together at some point after I learn how to do it.


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rflinn68Moderator
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5977302 - 07/18/13 06:05 AM

This is a really nice image Jim. I like it a lot. Excellent job!

Just over the last two days I've been looking into the 8300M and these 36mm Astrodon filters. I'll probably get these someday but the new 12" concrete pier and ROR observatory is at the top of my list at the moment. Do you think the 3nm filters are worth the added cost over the 5nm? I live in a blue zone (but very close to green) if that matters any at all. Thanks....Now I know who I'll be bugging when I'm ready to make the jump.


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CounterWeight
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Re: my new NGC7000 narrow band image /UPDATE 1 new [Re: rflinn68]
      #5978262 - 07/18/13 04:32 PM

Thank you Richard. I agree with the ROR/pier priority every time, glad to hear you are going that route. Having the imaging platform 'rock steady', aligned, and ready to go, protected from the elements - what's not to love there?!

Monochrome for me is a necessity and I doubt I'd be imaging without it. I started with the Baader filters that are about 7 or 8nm for financial reasons. though they made a titanic difference from OSC here in the 'white zone', I often had gradient issues in my OIII and SII data. My Ha data was good as far as gradients though in comparing to other imagers using even more narrow filters maybe not as finely detailed or crisp'. My own opinion on the SII and OIII is go the narrowest you can afford. It's not just LP but Luna, and you can image anytime it is clear - no show stoppers. And what you get has that clean crisp look as far as signal to noise even if it's not very strong.

There is something to go into here that I think important. When you go monochrome and filters and use long exposures for nebula there are two ways to go about it from a time perspective. You can image sequentially until getting enough data for all bands, or you can go one band at a time. In the summertime when nights are short, it's taking me near a week of nights to capture all the data for the 3 filters using 20 minute sub exposures. It takes a lot of patience, no more getting an object overnight. (this just with ha/NII/OIII, I think RGBL it's possible)

Importantly you want to go long exposure for nebula in Ha/SII/OIII, the longer the better on most objects if not all. What really matters is that if you are going sequentially, that the filters are par focal. I had no problem with the Baader or now the Astrodons as long as they were a set. I did run into a big focus shift trying to keep the 7nm Baader Ha and use the Astrodon SII and OIII. So in the 'mixed filter' arrangement I would take the Ha and then go after the SII and OIII.

Another consideration with a mono/filter setup is the focuser quality is critical. It's more important than OSC. If you need to add a coma corrector or flattener or reducer on the focuser tube it adds length and any play at all, ANY, is magnified by the length added... tilt and offset, play, shift, all become a force to contend with.


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