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3 frames per second with Eclipse Orchestrator

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#1 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 07:13 AM

Here's a detailed report on how I got 3 frames per second with Eclipse Orchestrator.

 

http://www.astropix....e-orchestrator/

 

Jerry

Attached Files



#2 AUricle

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 08:28 AM

Jerry,

Waiting for my Pro version.....

Is there any limit to how many exposures you can have in any single sequence?

Did you build that test, or is it a 'in-the-can-' ....just plug in your equipment particulars?


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#3 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 10:45 AM

Jerry,

Waiting for my Pro version.....

Is there any limit to how many exposures you can have in any single sequence?

Did you build that test, or is it a 'in-the-can-' ....just plug in your equipment particulars?

You're only limited by how fast your buffer in the camera can write images to the card...

 

I built the test, but it's pretty easy to adapt a script.

 

Jerry


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#4 Rickycardo

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 11:35 AM

Jerry did you time the script and it really runs that fast? Thats great. I can get faster than 3 seconds per shot with EO pro and my 6D using just a USB cable. In fact I'm running a T3i on BYEOS and my 6D on EO both with USB cables. BYEOS runs a little over a second per frame but I'm sure I'm getting faster with my 6D.

I may have to order a serial cable soon :)

Thanks for sharing with us.



#5 Rickycardo

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 06:29 PM

I did some testing now that I'm home and the best my6D can do with just a USB cable is 1 frame per second. Anything shorter and it stops once the buffer fills. The rate is the same whether the camera is connected to a USB hub (USB3.0) or direct to the computer. I'm reading to a Lexar 64GB card, 633x, 95MB/s.

Looks like I'm shopping for a serial cable though I'm running low on ports.



#6 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 10:19 PM

I did some testing now that I'm home and the best my6D can do with just a USB cable is 1 frame per second. Anything shorter and it stops once the buffer fills. The rate is the same whether the camera is connected to a USB hub (USB3.0) or direct to the computer. I'm reading to a Lexar 64GB card, 633x, 95MB/s.

Looks like I'm shopping for a serial cable though I'm running low on ports.

Hap Griffin has serial cables.

 

Jerry


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#7 Rickycardo

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 06:41 AM

Thanks, Hap Griffin has been my go to for cables in the past. I have an order in with him now.



#8 selectedpixels

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:05 AM

Jerry,

 

Did you verify this all the way to the actual images and their exposures?  I use a serial cable with my Nikon D5500.  When I separate the triggers by 0.5 seconds everything from the Eclipse Orchestrator looks good.  The "actual times" file shows that all of the triggers were either on-time or only a few tenths of a second late.

 

But when I go look at the actual files there are numerous cases where the exposure wasn't changed correctly from the previous image.

 

I'm using the FOR Loop for the periods prior to C2 and after C3 to shoot bracketed exposures of partial eclipse.  But for the "filters off" periods I'm using individual commands for each shot suing the "LAST" command.  I find this is easier to understand and track and compare with the resulting images.

 

This should be fun!

 

Bob


Edited by selectedpixels, 12 July 2017 - 11:28 AM.


#9 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 03:18 PM

Jerry,

 

Did you verify this all the way to the actual images and their exposures?  I use a serial cable with my Nikon D5500.  When I separate the triggers by 0.5 seconds everything from the Eclipse Orchestrator looks good.  The "actual times" file shows that all of the triggers were either on-time or only a few tenths of a second late.

 

But when I go look at the actual files there are numerous cases where the exposure wasn't changed correctly from the previous image.

 

I'm using the FOR Loop for the periods prior to C2 and after C3 to shoot bracketed exposures of partial eclipse.  But for the "filters off" periods I'm using individual commands for each shot suing the "LAST" command.  I find this is easier to understand and track and compare with the resulting images.

 

Hi Bob,

 

Yes, if you run at too high a framing rate you get all kinds of weirdness, dropped frames and the shutter speed and ISO not changing.

 

I only got the 3fps with not changing anything, which will be useful for Baily's Beads.

 

But there's a gotcha, and that is, with my camera, if you want to use mirror lock up for the longer exposures, you have to use it for all of them. And that's going to slow down the framing rate. I think I can program in a 1/10th second mirror lock up delay to get faster framing on the short exposures that don't need it and still get a pretty decent framing rate.

 

Jerry



#10 selectedpixels

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 07:43 PM

Ok, good, we're having similar experiences with the software.  

 

I'm not too confident of my exposures so I'm planning to bracket during Baily's Beads (and for the other phenomena as well).  The tradeoff is backing off on the inter-shot period.  I've just about eliminated errors in exposure settings with 0.8 seconds between most TAKEPIC's.  



#11 AUricle

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 01:29 PM

Has anyone running Eclipse Orchestrator Pro noticed this?

 

While running through a practice with the script started, but in an idle time, I opened the EO Live View, to check focus. When I closed out the Live view, the script was gone.

I wanted to see how things would work if nearing totality, a focus change would have to be made due to any significant temperature change, but if this happens to everyone, you couldn't pick a worse time to have your script disappear......



#12 Rickycardo

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 07:19 PM

Well I've discoveredI was gravely mistaken when I said I was getting 1 shot per second with just a USB cable. I am, most of the time. I found out last night I lose about 4 images over the 2:30 of the eclipse script. Seems like the same images, 3 out of the 6 6-second exposures get dropped  and I lose another in the mix. It always seems to be the same images in the same order. I just ordered a serial cable from Hap Griffin.



#13 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:48 AM

Well I've discoveredI was gravely mistaken when I said I was getting 1 shot per second with just a USB cable. I am, most of the time. I found out last night I lose about 4 images over the 2:30 of the eclipse script. Seems like the same images, 3 out of the 6 6-second exposures get dropped  and I lose another in the mix. It always seems to be the same images in the same order. I just ordered a serial cable from Hap Griffin.

It's probably that you need to space the exposures out longer with more time between frames on the 6-second shots.

 

Jerry



#14 AUricle

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:12 AM

With EO, the serial cable, and an unmodified script, I ran through the whole sequence to make sure the camera battery, laptop, SD card etc. were all up to the task. That part went fine.

What I did do was shorten the time between shutter commands to 0.5 sec. I also set the partials spacing to every 2%. Again, that part ran fine.

As soon as the DR, BB, chromo. and prom sequence started...all hell apparently broke loose. It all sounded good, but when I checked the script_debug and actual_times file against the # of photos actually on the SD card, I found 75 exposures were missing. And the EXIF data also shows that none of the sub 1/750 exposures were present..... nor the high ISO shots. I was using ISO 200

I should have had 277 exposures, but had 202 on the card. I couldn't tell anything was amiss until it was over of course. Maybe I should've counted the number of times i heard the shutter operate, because what I'm not sure of, is if the camera actually took all the exposures and just couldn't write them to the card fast enough, or if the exposures were just skipped due to the 0.5 sec spacing I set.

I'll start by giving longer spacing, and maybe eliminating the partials altogether to save time, and just let the camera run the important sequence from C2-C3.

This almost has to be a limitation of the T3 camera not being able to handle the commands or transfers fast enough to keep up.....frown.gif



#15 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 01:58 PM

You should be able to tell the total number of frames from the script.

 

Then check them after they are shot.

 

And double check that the exposures and ISOs are correct.

 

Jerry



#16 Buzzlatka

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 04:03 PM

I am experiencing the same thing with "all hell breaking loose" with .5 seconds between shots.   With 1 second between shots all pictures are accounted for and correct.  I am going to change memory cards and try .7 seconds to see what thee results are.

 

I am using a

Nikon d90

SV80A

CG-4 with motor

EO pro with shoestring astronomy cables

Lenova yoga laptop

 

I do have a question about mirror lockup.  I couldn't figure it out so I disabled it.

  Is there a way to lock the mirror up at the beginning of my totality sequence and leave the mirror up for the whole 2+ minutes?

Would this really matter?  I guess I could answer this by testing my setup on the moon and checking for vibration.

 

By the way Jerry, not to suck up or anything but your beginners guide to DSLR astro was my bible for my first couple years in this hobby.  I have the advanced guide and planetary guide but this eclipse thing is slowing my progress on those.



#17 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 05:52 PM

I am experiencing the same thing with "all hell breaking loose" with .5 seconds between shots.   With 1 second between shots all pictures are accounted for and correct.  I am going to change memory cards and try .7 seconds to see what thee results are.

 

I am using a

Nikon d90

SV80A

CG-4 with motor

EO pro with shoestring astronomy cables

Lenova yoga laptop

 

I do have a question about mirror lockup.  I couldn't figure it out so I disabled it.

  Is there a way to lock the mirror up at the beginning of my totality sequence and leave the mirror up for the whole 2+ minutes?

Would this really matter?  I guess I could answer this by testing my setup on the moon and checking for vibration.

Generally, you're going to need some time between shots. The only way to figure it out is what you are doing... trial and error. It's going to be different for every setup.

 

Mirror Lock Up is a nightmare because it is different on every camera.  With DSLRs there usually isn't a way to just lock it up at the beginning and keep it locked up.  There are some tricks like using Live View, but I have not been able to get it to work with either my Canons or my Nikons. Since you've got a pretty old camera in the D90, I would guess you won't either, but try experimenting.

 

Mirror lock up is going to matter if you get blurry pictures in slower shutter speeds from the mirror slapping when it opens. I tested my cameras and it definitely was a problem.

 

It might be better to test on a bright star, or even Jupiter. Run through your full range of shutter speeds on the setup you are going to use for the eclipse and see if any have movement from the mirror and/or shutter opening.

 

Jerry



#18 AUricle

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:00 PM

You should be able to tell the total number of frames from the script.

 

Then check them after they are shot.

 

And double check that the exposures and ISOs are correct.

 

Jerry

It definitely comes down to a full buffer thing. I can take 3-4 shots at .5sec, but then unless there's a 3-5 sec. pause in shooting, exposures start to get skipped, even though the log shows the commands were sent on time.

At 1 sec. delay, it gets better in that I don't lose so many exposures, but exposure times and ISO get messed up anyway.

Finally found the 'sweet spot' at 1.8 sec. Every shot worked, and all exposure times and ISO changes. A full run,... including 2% partials,.... would give me about 175-180 exposures.....75 from C2-C3 which is about half as many as I was supposed to get at .5 sec.

But, I'd rather get less.....and KNOW it's working, than try to push my luck , and wind up with random mish-mash.

I love my old T3, but she can only do so much. Fine by mewaytogo.gif

 

Jerry, "Catching the Light" is a beautiful resource for SE information. Thank you for your effort!! 



#19 SKYGZR

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:52 AM

Fire Smoke will ruin all of this "planning"...just say'n....(yet actually might be a "cool" affect)...Smokey Solar...kind of has a bit of a "ding" to it in a way...



#20 PI_CO100

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:16 AM

Thank you for this post. It is super-helpful as I also plan to shoot the eclipse with EO pro.

 

So are we saying that is a fine balancing act:

 

- mirror lock up is something to consider for long focal lengths longer exposures (say over 1/8 sec) if you do not have a rock solid mount

- if you use MLU get the shortest time you can on the quick exposures Baily's beads (I think this is 0.3 sec)

- consider a longer MLU time on the longer exposures (thoughts here?)

- pack as many exposures as you can in the 6 seconds before and after C2 and C3 - camera shake not a problem if shooting at 1/3200

- let the camera recover after that period

- trial and error (a lot of it!!)

 

Does the above look reasonable?

Many thanks for sharing your experiences.
Piero

 



#21 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:25 AM

Thank you for this post. It is super-helpful as I also plan to shoot the eclipse with EO pro.

 

So are we saying that is a fine balancing act:

 

- mirror lock up is something to consider for long focal lengths longer exposures (say over 1/8 sec) if you do not have a rock solid mount

- if you use MLU get the shortest time you can on the quick exposures Baily's beads (I think this is 0.3 sec)

- consider a longer MLU time on the longer exposures (thoughts here?)

- pack as many exposures as you can in the 6 seconds before and after C2 and C3 - camera shake not a problem if shooting at 1/3200

- let the camera recover after that period

- trial and error (a lot of it!!)

 

Does the above look reasonable?

Many thanks for sharing your experiences.

Hi Piero,

 

Yes, you have a really good understanding of what is going on.

 

What I will say is that every one of these camera models seems to work differently with mirror lock up. 

 

And I have what I consider a rock-solid mount (420mm AT65 on a Losmandy GM8 on the Losmandy tripod) and I still get blur on some shutter speeds around 1/15th of a second.

 

Trial and error (a lot of it!!) is definitely the way to go.

And test your eclipse setup shooting a bright star like Vega. As your run through your exposure sequence, you will see if blur do to mirror slap is a problem.  

 

The other thing is, you have to be careful about filling up your buffer in a burst right before C2 because at C2 is when you want to shoot chromosphere and prominences. Chromosphere is only around for roughly 10 seconds at most and it is best and thickest immediately after C2.

 

And ideally, you want to maybe bracket a stop or two on your chromosphere and prominence shots (this is what professional photographers call "insurance"... :-) ). That doesn't give you much time...

 

Jerry



#22 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:31 AM

 

You should be able to tell the total number of frames from the script.

 

Then check them after they are shot.

 

And double check that the exposures and ISOs are correct.

 

Jerry

It definitely comes down to a full buffer thing. I can take 3-4 shots at .5sec, but then unless there's a 3-5 sec. pause in shooting, exposures start to get skipped, even though the log shows the commands were sent on time.

At 1 sec. delay, it gets better in that I don't lose so many exposures, but exposure times and ISO get messed up anyway.

Finally found the 'sweet spot' at 1.8 sec. Every shot worked, and all exposure times and ISO changes. A full run,... including 2% partials,.... would give me about 175-180 exposures.....75 from C2-C3 which is about half as many as I was supposed to get at .5 sec.

But, I'd rather get less.....and KNOW it's working, than try to push my luck , and wind up with random mish-mash.

I love my old T3, but she can only do so much. Fine by mewaytogo.gif

 

Jerry, "Catching the Light" is a beautiful resource for SE information. Thank you for your effort!! 

 

Thank you for your kind words!  I really appreciate them!

 

Make sure you have a new, good (not cheap Chinese clone) USB cable. And consider a faster SD card.

 

I think you are absolutely right about erring on the side of caution. Better one set of complete correct exposures than trying to push it.

 

Don't forget to create an emergency script of, say, 1/1000th, 1/250th, 1/60th, 1/15th, 1/4, 1, 4 seconds, skipping a stop every step so you can get 6 or 7 frames (4 seconds would depend on your focal ratio) in if it's cloudy and you get a 10 second hole in the clouds.

 

Jerry



#23 foxwoodastronomy

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:07 AM

Hey Guys,

 

I just wanted to chime in here on the mirror discussions.  Maybe I am missing something, but I have taken images of 2 eclipses (2001 and 2002) with FILM SLR cameras an I never had a problem with shake from the mirror.  It just did not seem to be an issue even with my long exposures to get full corona.  I was using 200 speed slide film and had corona exposures up to 1/2 second long and mirror vibration was just not an issue.  So, I understand wanting to discuss it and be sure you understand it, but speaking from direct experience, it was just not an issue for my eclipse photography.  I have read about everything that Fred Espenak has written on eclipse photography and I just don't remember him ever making a big deal about either.

 

There are so many other issues to worry about with eclipse photography that I have concentrated on through time and mirror vibration was just never on the list.  So I find these discussions interesting.

 

In 2001 I was using a reasonably good quality regular camera tripod and in 2002 I was using a portable German equatorial mount.

 

You can see all of my photography results in my "Demystifying" threads pinned to this forum.

https://www.cloudyni...-links-threads/

 

So, I just wanted to throw my thoughts out there.  I appreciate the discussion you hare having!  Good thread guys!

 

Gordon



#24 dghundt

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:21 AM

My Canon 5D4 images up to 8 secs of Jupiter looked so sharp on my camera's lcd, I forgot to test Mirror Lock Up.

Have to go out once more again with my new rings and plate for my telephoto lens.

So many cloudy nights lately.....



#25 AUricle

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:37 AM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure you have a new, good (not cheap Chinese clone) USB cable. And consider a faster SD card.

 

Jerry

 

Jerry,

Wow. I hadn't considered the SD card as a bottleneck.....I'm using a 16G....15MB card, but I see that I can get 100MB speed for barely $10....and 300+MB for about $60.

My question is, is the read speed really important, or is it the rate your camera can dump the data to the card the real determining factor, in keeping the camera from bogging down?




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