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Observing >> Deep Sky Observing

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Sarkikos
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Reged: 12/18/07

Loc: Nyctophobia, Maryland, USA
Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: Carol L]
      #5788097 - 04/09/13 01:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

It isn't.




+1




+1 The validity of the grand assumption behind the OP's question depends on what is meant by "vastly superior" and who is meaning it. I am a 100% visual observer. And I say that visual observing is vastly superior to CCDing. I have absolutely 0% interest in spending my time and money taking pictures. I want to see objects with my own eyes ... through a nice telescope or binoculars, of course!


Mike


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IVM
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Reged: 01/07/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5788431 - 04/09/13 03:08 PM

Mike, what is meant was defined rather narrowly and deliberately in the OP (as revealing nebulous detail). Who is meaning it? I like some aspects of CCDing and deep-sky video but have been so far at least 95% visual myself.

John and Glenn, maybe my premise (that the true first images are so bad they are not better than first visual looks) was indeed wrong. I certainly did not consider piggybacking. Or may it be that you two had been experienced daytime photographers (not the point-and-shoot kind) when you made those first astro images? On nights when our observing field is full, I constantly hear beginning imagers swear loudly. They are getting fuzzy blobs. So surely did I. In fact I recall that my first visual galaxy views were very distinctly better than my first CCD images. DETAIL WITHIN the spiral arms of M81 was among my very first visual views. M51 I imaged during the same outing was an unrecognizable blob.


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nytecam
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Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5788744 - 04/09/13 05:17 PM

The post title is somewhat loaded and produced the response and feelgood factor the forum expects
Quote:

..... I am a 100% visual observer. And I say that visual observing is vastly superior to CCDing. I have absolutely 0% interest in spending my time and money taking pictures. I want to see objects with my own eyes ... through a nice telescope or binoculars, of course! Mike


Lucky you Mike to be so uncompremising but sometimes imaging can save-the-day as it did for me last night. Couldn't even spy Regulus naked eye in the murk but got it in finder if extremely dim - then goto NGC 2554 in Cancer and the mag 15 SN was there in a few seconds exposure so I was happy. Eyeballing wasn't an option

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IVM
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/07/08

Loc: Western New York
Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: nytecam]
      #5788770 - 04/09/13 05:30 PM

Yes, Nytecam. Note to myself: do not give a loud title to a lengthy post Especially if it sounds like something entirely different that had already been discussed on the forum. I am just such an inexperienced internet discussant. Sorry all for the confusion and agitation I inadvertently caused

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jgraham
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Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: IVM]
      #5789045 - 04/09/13 08:11 PM

"Or may it be that you two had been experienced daytime photographers..."

Heh, heh, I've been imaging since the 60's. My first rolls of film (star trails on 120 Tri-X) were developed by the corner drug store. I quickly stepped up to developing my own film; open trays of chemicals in a dark attic. The rest is history...


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: jgraham]
      #5789583 - 04/10/13 04:00 AM

I purchased my first camera in '83 (at age 20) and commenced astro-imaging the same year. After initial camera-on-tripod experiments using high speed film, I made a tracker of my own design. I didn't enjoy a period of development as a 'regular' photographer; I dove right into the deep end, so to speak.

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nytecam
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Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: IVM]
      #5789636 - 04/10/13 06:09 AM

Quote:

Yes, Nytecam. Note to myself: do not give a loud title to a lengthy post Especially if it sounds like something entirely different that had already been discussed on the forum. I am just such an inexperienced internet discussant. Sorry all for the confusion and agitation I inadvertently caused


IVM - there's no need for any apologies for your post title - it has provoked some interesting and thoughtful replies which we all welcome. This forum took it in the spirit intended. But if you'd have posted it on the CCD Forum for example it would have been taken at facevalue and the response likewise

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Starman1
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Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: nytecam]
      #5797337 - 04/13/13 07:04 PM

Compare the eye, and what it sees in the 1/30th second image time frame it downloads to the brain, with what ANY camera sees in 1/30th second.
The eye is VASTLY superior to the camera.

BUT, though the exposure length cannot be modified for the eye, it CAN for the camera. And adding up all those photons does give us a better view of the faint objects we love to view.

The one exception seems to be planets. I have never seen a photo of Jupiter that equals the crisp sharpness that can be seen with the eye in a decent-sized scope. Part of the reason is seeing--with the eye, we WILL catch that 0.2" resolution 3-second period in the middle of a minute of observing. With the camera, we won't. And part of it is the process of stacking will only resolve to the lowest common denominator, and that is probably the equivalent of an average as seen by the eye, and excludes the moments of superb clarity we catch with the eye.

My primary objection to photography is that it takes too long. I viewed 75 galaxies, 6 planetaries, and 2 clusters over the last night I observed (only actually recorded my observations for 20 of those objects). If I were photographing the objects, I might have shot, what, four or five? If you had one night a month to observe under dark skies, which would you do?

And photography is very expensive. A decent CCD camera is $2K-$5K, and that can buy a whole case of high-end eyepieces. I certainly don't cast any stones at those who image, but I often wonder if they really enjoy looking at the sky.

Now, for the person with an observatory in dark skies who photographs with one scope while looking at the sky with a nearby 20" dob, I can only say


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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: Starman1]
      #5797445 - 04/13/13 08:25 PM

Don,
With something like a Mallincam, a pretty brisk pace can be maintained. Over the course of a night I can image 50 different objects, and that's taking the time to manually point and frame the targets with my non-GoTo mount. If the mount could reliably point for me, I could build a nightly album of easily 100 objects. And for nebulae and galaxies, those 1-2 minute exposures would contain detail and color I could never see.


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chaoscosmos
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Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: GlennLeDrew]
      #5799895 - 04/15/13 05:30 AM

I was going to say something similar to what I think Don is referencing. That is, photographs can show vastly more- in a way- but the eye sees nuance that can never be replicated in a photograph. So while visual observing through an eyepiece may see less of what's there in one sense, it sees more of that which it can see. The subtlety of light and clarity can't be replicated in a photograph, but a photograph can show things we couldn't observe without it.

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GlennLeDrew
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Re: Why is CCDing really so vastly superior to visual? new [Re: chaoscosmos]
      #5801102 - 04/15/13 05:45 PM

Ray,
True enough. The visual system's huge dynamic range is what's responsible for that special quality of a live view. Our eyes can simultaneously cope with bright and faint objects well outside the range of a camera's single exposure (noisy at the dim end and saturated at the bright end.)

Of course image processing can bring together a range of exposures, so as to expand the dynamic range. But then to see this expanded range in one image, it must be compressed so that both the dim and bright parts fit within the display medium's limited dynamic range. The additional information is there, but in a form rather alien to the way we would experience it if we had the required gain in sensitivity.


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