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Old Scopes and Modern Imaging

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#526 shredder1656

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Posted 15 August 2021 - 07:25 AM

Intes Micro MN65Q with 7mm Nagler, Samsung S21 Ultra.  40 second video thru PIPP and Registax, then through PS Express.  Seeing was decent.  I think I overdid the processing.?

 

PSX_20210815_080357.jpg


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#527 Bomber Bob

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Posted 15 August 2021 - 09:42 AM

Intes Micro MN65Q with 7mm Nagler, Samsung S21 Ultra.  40 second video thru PIPP and Registax, then through PS Express.  Seeing was decent.  I think I overdid the processing.?

 

attachicon.gifPSX_20210815_080357.jpg

I've done that lots of times -- especially when I was using that Orion StarShoot 2 camera.  Digital Imaging is generally easier & much more rewarding than traditional film, but there's a boatload of bells & whistles you gotta set -- while dealing with nailing focus, tracking the object, hardware glitches...

 

And, when the Big Planets are in the Summer Sky... Oh!  Joy!!  BUGs swarm the monitor, and every minor irritation seems 10x worse than in the Winter!


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#528 shredder1656

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Posted 15 August 2021 - 10:54 AM

I've done that lots of times -- especially when I was using that Orion StarShoot 2 camera. Digital Imaging is generally easier & much more rewarding than traditional film, but there's a boatload of bells & whistles you gotta set -- while dealing with nailing focus, tracking the object, hardware glitches...

And, when the Big Planets are in the Summer Sky... Oh! Joy!! BUGs swarm the monitor, and every minor irritation seems 10x worse than in the Winter!


Glad I'm not the only one. I think my expectations are too high for a cell phone. As a result, I fiddle with every bell and whistle too much, because I see quality that isn't really there.

Struggled with the collimation on that scope anyway. However, Jeff B took several hours of his OWN time to help me collimate it and educate me at the same time. Great guy!
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#529 Bomber Bob

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Posted 15 August 2021 - 11:09 AM

2 of my Over-Processed Images made with my 2 Favorite 4" Refractors -- Dakin F10 vs. Edmund F15:

 

Dakin 4 - Jupiter (Io Transit) 20170609V04AS99.jpg Edmund 4 - Jupiter (GRS) 20170131V06S01.jpg

 

With the Dakin, I was trying to get all that fine detail to show; with the Edmund, it was the belt colors; with Both, removing as much of the CA as I could.

 

In one of my first sessions using an ASI120MC, I made all the corrections at the camera, and I think it really made a difference with the Edmund F15:

 

Edmund 4 - Saturn 20170707V06AS12.jpg


Edited by Bomber Bob, 15 August 2021 - 11:12 AM.

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#530 DreamWeaver

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Posted 15 August 2021 - 11:25 AM

 

And, when the Big Planets are in the Summer Sky... Oh!  Joy!!  BUGs swarm the monitor, and every minor irritation seems 10x worse than in the Winter!

I would say that you should move to southern Arizona JW, but this year we have humidity and mosquitoes!  So far this monsoon season, Tucson is at over 300% of the average rainfall up to this date. It’s the 3rd wettest monsoon on record, and we still have 1-1/2 months to go!  But I’m not complaining!


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#531 Bomber Bob

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Posted 15 August 2021 - 12:24 PM

I would say that you should move to southern Arizona JW, but this year we have humidity and mosquitoes!  So far this monsoon season, Tucson is at over 300% of the average rainfall up to this date. It’s the 3rd wettest monsoon on record, and we still have 1-1/2 months to go!  But I’m not complaining!

No Way will I get Miss Debbie to live in the desert SW -- the only sand she will tolerate is at The Beach!  But, dry air would be better for both of us and our arthritis -- Monsoon wouldn't help!  Maybe y'all are becoming like The Swamp?  I surely Hope Not!!


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#532 LukaszLu

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Posted 02 September 2021 - 06:27 PM

Carton T-620 (60/910 mm, 1976) + ZWO ASI 178MC camera. No Barlow lens.

 

JUPITER-2021-09-02.jpg


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#533 shredder1656

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 04:29 AM

Carton T-620 (60/910 mm, 1976) + ZWO ASI 178MC camera. No Barlow lens.

 

JUPITER-2021-09-02.jpg

 

Great shot!


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#534 LukaszLu

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 05:10 AM

Thanks! I am surprised by the contrast that seems to be much greater than what I got from the Royal Astro 76/1200 photos, which I consider a master of contrast for visual observations. Perhaps it's a matter of the weather - yesterday my sky was unusual, low clouds parted to show an exceptionally clear, starry sky ...



#535 highfnum

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 06:11 AM

jeager 80mm F5 with asi533mc  P M31 and H X Per

Capture 2021-09-03T01_48_26jag80m31ismE.jpg

 

Capture 2021-09-03T02_08_03jag80hxfsmE.jpg


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#536 LukaszLu

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 06:41 AM

WOW! Great!


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#537 Bomber Bob

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Posted 03 September 2021 - 11:49 PM

From BB's Don't Try to Teach an old Crew Dog New Tricks guide...

 

Jupiter with the Mizar Comet + new SVBONY 205 using a spectros KE10 for Eyepiece Projection:

 

Mizar Comet - Jupiter (GRS) 20210904Z SV205V08R71Z6.jpg

 

Can you say, Too Much Gain?  I knew you could.  At least I got it focused on the laptop screen (remembered to wear my reading glasses).  This is RAW, but converted to gray scale... Why?  Well... my Color Balance was skewed in a way the Classic Rock Band Deep Purple would appreciate...

 

IF you tilt your head, have a Scotch or 4, and squint...

 

In my defense:  New Scope + New Camera + New Capture Software.  Those are my excuses, and I'm clinging to them like Velcro!

 

Forgot One:  I used AutoStakkert64, rather than the older 32-bit version...

 

Processing more AVIs this morning.  Pretty sure the big factor is SharpCap64 -- haven't used it before, and settings that I've used in AsiCap with success... don't translate well, I guess...

 

Swapped to 1.25" barrels.  Tak 2x Barlow for ~ 1600mm EFL.  Processed with AS32 rather than 64-bit.  A bit cleaner, I think:

 

Mizar Comet - Jupiter (GRS) 20210904Z SV205V08R72Z6.jpg


Edited by Bomber Bob, 04 September 2021 - 08:42 AM.

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#538 highfnum

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 01:55 AM

comet catcher  f 3.6  asi290mini 

Capture 2021-09-03T23_51_44ccminipE.jpg


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#539 highfnum

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 06:40 AM

jeager 80mm F5 asi533

 

M31

Capture 2021-09-04T01_40_57m31psmE.jpg

 

M33

 

Capture 2021-09-04T01_07_49m33psmE.jpg

 

 

Capture 2021-09-04T01_07_49m33psmsE.jpg

 

 


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#540 highfnum

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 08:21 AM

M27 comet catcher

normally asi290 is a planetary / guide camera

but it handles long exp pretty well

m27CC290b.jpg


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#541 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 03:32 PM

For Folks Considering Imaging with Old Scopes...

 

- ALL 6 of my imagers have to have a PC / laptop / tablet with an available USB port to function.  This device captures the data stream from the imager, and converts it to a standard video file (I use AVI).

 

- Before you buy an imager / camera, make sure you have a compatible device to collect / capture the data.  I bought my ZWO ASI120MC brand new, and only found out later, and after a ton of irritation, that it wasn't really compatible with Windows 10.  I wound up buying a NOS (New Old Stock) Panasonic ToughBook with the old Windows USB port standard, that does work with this imager.  My NOS SVBONY 205 is 100% compatible with Windows 10 -- plug & play, baby!  

 

- If your Old Scope has a .965" eyepiece adapter, it can be headache, but can be worked-around.  Most new imagers have the standard 1.25" barrel / coupling.  IF your old scope has enough back-focus, a .965" to 1.25" eyepiece adapter tube will work -- just gotta make sure it fits flush / straight / square with the scope's optical path -- these imagers will display any micro-deviations!  (My old used Orion StarShoot 2 had both barrel sizes, but I don't see much of that anymore.)

 

- Once you resolve all the hardware issues, you still have to deal with that other critical component, the Capture Software.  In this, I am a neophyte.  I got spoiled with the software bundled with the Orion -- simple interface, just a few basic options, and highly reliable.  Since then...  With some of the Free Stuff, you have to install all sorts of foundation software before the capture program will work with your imager.  Are you a Linux Programmer?  NO? Well... Good Luck!  (I earned my 1st Microsoft Certification way back in 1985, yet some of this stuff makes my eyes roll to the back of my head.)  I'm almost at the point of paying for capture software that really works -- not an easy thing for a guy with Scottish blood to say...

 

You might say, BB, this sounds like more trouble than it's worth!  I just wanna look at stuff.  I understand completely.  I started this insanity with the idea of seeing what these Old Scopes could do with the new technology -- which they weren't designed for.  In general, if your old scope gives good or better views, it can produce good to outstanding digital images -- if you can push through the aggravations...


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#542 highfnum

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 04:05 PM

"I bought my ZWO ASI120MC brand new, and only found out later, and after a ton of irritation, that it wasn't really compatible with Windows 10."

 

i had same prob in beginning  i was out of date with windows version updates 

all my zwo asi cameras are now working 


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#543 LukaszLu

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 05:34 PM

I think it is worth highlighting one point here, especially as the title of the thread may suggest some particular problems with the use of modern cameras in conjunction with an old telescope. Let's be clear: there are no such problems. "A telescope not designed for digital photography" does not exist - every refractor from the 50's or 70's is designed in the same way as today's refractors, the only difference is the focuser size, which can be corrected with a suitable adapter.

Of course, the standard of the equipment has changed over the years - today much larger diameters and faster refractors reign, which is due to the emergence of digital photography, which can make proper use of such larger diameters. Precise focusers have become the standard. But these are only quantitative, not qualitative differences. Each owner of the 0.965 '' 'classic' can boldly try digital photography, achieving effects not worse than those of colleagues using modern instruments with similar parameters. Or maybe ... maybe even better? ;-)


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#544 Bomber Bob

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Posted 04 September 2021 - 07:40 PM

"I bought my ZWO ASI120MC brand new, and only found out later, and after a ton of irritation, that it wasn't really compatible with Windows 10."

 

i had same prob in beginning  i was out of date with windows version updates 

all my zwo asi cameras are now working 

Glad to hear that it worked out.  But... it is also hardware dependent.  That is, the older ZWO cameras are designed for the non-IEEE USB specs used in Windows 7 & earlier.  A brand new Windows 10 device with USB 3 specs will most likely not be backward compatible with older imagers.  My old IBM ThinkPad ran Win7, and worked great with my ASI120MC.  But my brand new Surface or Dell laptop?  Nope.

 

What makes it even more FUN:  Dell is bad about using whatever parts are in the bin that day, so there's no consistency between identical models at the basic hardware level.  Yes, these parts "meet specs" but that doesn't mean the Windows HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) is gonna treat them the same way...

 

For the Forum Geeks:  My Man Cave was the smallest bedroom when this house was built in 1947.  Today, I had 6 devices running in here -- surprised my WIFI router didn't quit in protest.  I upgraded my IBM Big PC (maxed-out the RAM, and swapped a 2TB SSD for its original 1TB HDD), and had my 2 Imaging Laptops receiving their Windows 10 Updates; plus, my Mac Mini, and 2 iPads that I started working on Thursday were running.  Yes, Apple Fans, Mac hardware does require maintenance...


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#545 LukaszLu

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 04:42 AM

Yesterday I did an experiment and used a Barlow lens to see if I could squeeze something more of the 60 mm Carton T-620. Can you believe it's the same telescope? The picture has lost much in the contrast, the details are much more delicately outlined. The change is so drastic that it is difficult to judge whether it has improved the quality of small details. The Barlow was of average quality - a standard, modern 1,25'' Bresser lens:

 

JUPITER-2021-09-04.jpg

 

For comparison, the previous version without the Barlow lens, photo taken 3 days ago:

 

JUPITER-2021-09-02.jpg


Edited by LukaszLu, 05 September 2021 - 04:47 AM.

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#546 Bomber Bob

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 11:47 AM

My Geek Speak was a segue to the final phases of Imaging:  Stacking & Aligning the individual video frames into a single image; and, Post-Processing that image to enhance details, colors, etc.  This is where the real data-crunching occurs, and the computer you use definitely has an impact.

 

I've used the free versions of both AutoStakkert! and RegiStax; and, both in their 32-bit & 64-bit releases.  My personal computers all run Windows 10 Professional on 64-bit hardware.  I haven't tried stacking programs on Apple hardware.  My IBM is what years back would be called a workstation -- more powerful than a standard desktop PC, but not as robust as a Server.  I could use it to run a small web-based business -- manage every aspect of a small computing environment.  You don't need this much horse-power, but it does speed-up stacking & post-processing...

 

Of the 2 programs, I've found AS! easier to use overall.  On my laptop, RS is painfully slow, so part of my imaging technique is to copy the raw AVI files captured on my laptops / tablets over to my IBM before running the stacker.  (I also like having all the data on one computer -- easier to keep track of, backup, etc.)  Honestly, I haven't seen an improvement in the final image when using the 64-bit versus 32-bit versions of the stackers, but that may be how I configure / use them.  The 32-bit versions generally run faster on my laptops / tablets, so I can get a quick peek while I'm outside at the scope.

 

Both AS! & RS have processing options you can run while stacking the frames, and some folks will stack with AS!, then use RS to correct wavelets.  I haven't done much with this - yet.  Some folks will run that single image through Adobe PhotoShop or similar graphics programs to improve the image.  I use IrfanView -- a free & simpler graphics program -- because I'd been using it for years, long before I bought my first digital imager.  As I found particular settings in IV that work better with my astro-images, I've saved them as correction templates in the program, and my first step with a new / RAW stacked image is to apply a template to it.

 

If I came across as discouraging folks from trying imaging with their old scopes...  I'm not.  It can be a lot of fun.  I archive my videos, and on rainy days, I'll re-stack these with different settings, and re-process the images -- see if I can improve on my first results.  It's not the same as sitting at the scope, but when the weather won't cooperate, it is a way to re-connect with a memorable session.

 

Ran one of my Comet AVIs through RegiStax6:

 

C100JUPV01SV09 21_47_00Z2W1IVT1.jpg C100JUPV01SV09 21_47_00Z2W1IVT2.jpg

 

I used some of RS6 post-stack corrections, then applied a different IV template to each.  Brought out a bit more detail, I think.

 

 


Edited by Bomber Bob, 05 September 2021 - 07:00 PM.

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#547 LukaszLu

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Posted 05 September 2021 - 02:27 PM

In turn, I think that it is worth at least trying out advanced editors such as Photoshop or Gimp at the final stage of processing. IrfanView is a nice simple application, but it only has a fraction of what Photoshop does. Personally, I use AutoStakkert!, including its excellent sharpening algorithm (although many people advise against using it, treating it only as a preview), and I give the final "finishing" to the image in Photoshop. I cannot imagine working without it, although I understand that if someone does not use it professionally, it may seem like a rather expensive option. I just have no choice because I need it for work, while the free Gimp also gives great editing possibilities.


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#548 shredder1656

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Posted 06 September 2021 - 04:30 AM

In turn, I think that it is worth at least trying out advanced editors such as Photoshop or Gimp at the final stage of processing. IrfanView is a nice simple application, but it only has a fraction of what Photoshop does. Personally, I use AutoStakkert!, including its excellent sharpening algorithm (although many people advise against using it, treating it only as a preview), and I give the final "finishing" to the image in Photoshop. I cannot imagine working without it, although I understand that if someone does not use it professionally, it may seem like a rather expensive option. I just have no choice because I need it for work, while the free Gimp also gives great editing possibilities.

 

 

My Geek Speak was a segue to the final phases of Imaging:  Stacking & Aligning the individual video frames into a single image; and, Post-Processing that image to enhance details, colors, etc.  This is where the real data-crunching occurs, and the computer you use definitely has an impact.

 

I've used the free versions of both AutoStakkert! and RegiStax; and, both in their 32-bit & 64-bit releases.  My personal computers all run Windows 10 Professional on 64-bit hardware.  I haven't tried stacking programs on Apple hardware.  My IBM is what years back would be called a workstation -- more powerful than a standard desktop PC, but not as robust as a Server.  I could use it to run a small web-based business -- manage every aspect of a small computing environment.  You don't need this much horse-power, but it does speed-up stacking & post-processing...

 

Of the 2 programs, I've found AS! easier to use overall.  On my laptop, RS is painfully slow, so part of my imaging technique is to copy the raw AVI files captured on my laptops / tablets over to my IBM before running the stacker.  (I also like having all the data on one computer -- easier to keep track of, backup, etc.)  Honestly, I haven't seen an improvement in the final image when using the 64-bit versus 32-bit versions of the stackers, but that may be how I configure / use them.  The 32-bit versions generally run faster on my laptops / tablets, so I can get a quick peek while I'm outside at the scope.

 

Both AS! & RS have processing options you can run while stacking the frames, and some folks will stack with AS!, then use RS to correct wavelets.  I haven't done much with this - yet.  Some folks will run that single image through Adobe PhotoShop or similar graphics programs to improve the image.  I use IrfanView -- a free & simpler graphics program -- because I'd been using it for years, long before I bought my first digital imager.  As I found particular settings in IV that work better with my astro-images, I've saved them as correction templates in the program, and my first step with a new / RAW stacked image is to apply a template to it.

 

If I came across as discouraging folks from trying imaging with their old scopes...  I'm not.  It can be a lot of fun.  I archive my videos, and on rainy days, I'll re-stack these with different settings, and re-process the images -- see if I can improve on my first results.  It's not the same as sitting at the scope, but when the weather won't cooperate, it is a way to re-connect with a memorable session.

 

Ran one of my Comet AVIs through RegiStax6:

 

attachicon.gifC100JUPV01SV09 21_47_00Z2W1IVT1.jpgattachicon.gifC100JUPV01SV09 21_47_00Z2W1IVT2.jpg

 

I used some of RS6 post-stack corrections, then applied a different IV template to each.  Brought out a bit more detail, I think.

Could either one of you point me towards a simple "how-to" for Autostakkert!?  I have it downloaded, but I have not been able to have any success using it.  I have not found a simple enough set of instructions either. 



#549 Kokatha man

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Posted 06 September 2021 - 05:10 AM

Could either one of you point me towards a simple "how-to" for Autostakkert!?  I have it downloaded, but I have not been able to have any success using it.  I have not found a simple enough set of instructions either. 

...in a hurry atm Scott but if you have an avi to process here are the basics on our website: http://momilika.net/...kert_Processing  

 

If you are using a phone or something exotic as a camera that doesn't output avi's, the the freeware PIPP will probably assist you to turn it into something AS!3 can process.

 

Btw, nobody should be using Registax to align & stack these days, AS!3 is far superior - but the wavelets sharpening in Registax is still extremely good for sharpening the stack out of AS!3 & doing "RGB Align & Balalance" also...further post-processing in P/shop or GIMP (free) are additional softwares worth having if you get serious. wink.gif


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#550 LukaszLu

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Posted 06 September 2021 - 06:01 AM

Could either one of you point me towards a simple "how-to" for Autostakkert!?  I have it downloaded, but I have not been able to have any success using it.  I have not found a simple enough set of instructions either. 

Open your file - eg. avi - and start with selecting "Planet (COG)" in case of planet, or "Surface" in case of Moon/Sun. You can check "Improved Tracking" option. Leave "Quality Estimator" with default settings unless you have a very noisy image. Click "Analyse" and wait until procedure ends. Then you are able to set the Alignment points. You can do it manually but it's easier to start with auto option by clicking "Place AP Grid" button. You can repeat this step several times to adjust AP size and get the reasonable number of alignment points. I use 100-200 for planets and 300-500 for the Moon. Be sure to adjust the "Min. Bright" setting to cover darker areas with alignment points as much as you can, but don't let AS to place alignment points on the black (and noisy to certain extend!) background around the planet or Moon.

 

BEFORE YOU START "Stacking" option you can choose file format (PNG is smaller than TIFF) and percentage/number of frames to stack. You can specify up to 4 versions to choose from when you're done. I use 20, 33, 50 and 66% of frames and compare results after stacking. The better the material you've managed to gather, the lower number of frames will do. However lower number of frames means more noise, which makes it difficult to sharpen image. So it's good to have a choice and wait a little bit longer for generating all 4 versions.

 

You can also check "Sharpened" option to make AS generate additional picture sharpened by it's internal sharpening or deconvolution (I don't know exactly) algorithm, and tell AS how much of the original image should be mixed with the sharpened version. "0" means maximum sharpening effect. Many people say that this feature is only a kind of preview helping choosing the best raw pic for manual sharpening, but the truth is that it's really hard to get better sharpening results using software like Astra Image, Registax or Photoshop - at least in case of Planets. In case of Moon I usually use both versions generated by AS, put them on the layers in Photoshop, sharpen the raw image with Photoshop filters and then blend some (eg. 30%) of version sharpened by AS. In case of planet, AS gives usually the best sharpening results for me.

 

Check "RGB Align" option to help getting rid of chromatic aberration, which is often present on photographs even if you use apo/ed optics. That's all - click "Stack" button and check results when the procedure is done. It can take quite long to complete depending on resolution, number of frames and alignment points.


Edited by LukaszLu, 06 September 2021 - 07:39 AM.

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