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Creating a list to improve sharpness/detail of my images with my equipment.

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#1 scadvice

scadvice

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:29 PM

That pretty much says it in the title.  How do I improve my images sharpness and detail quality with the equipment I have… or will have in the future? Looking for insightful thoughts and comments on each detail.

Optics/ota

 

  • William Optics GTF81mm five Element
  •  Auto Focus with temperature and humidity monitoring

 

Mount

 

  •  iOptron CEM60 with Tri-Pier
  •  PoleMaster

 

Guiding

 

  •  With WO Z66mm
    •  AltairGP130M
    •  PHD2

Camera

  • Canon T3i modified ( my re-learning to AP camera)
    •  APT
    •  BackyardESO
  • Soon (April) to have a full AP cooled camera still undecided as to which one.  The budget is $1000 to $2000 with basic filters.
    •  Yet TBD color or mono
      •  Color?
        •  Have a 2” L-Pro
        •  Others suggested?
      • Mono?
        •  Filter wheel ?
        • Filters suggested?

Locations

  •  Portable (No Observatory)
    • Permanent pier possible for home a Bortal 4/5
  • Can travel to 7000 ft Bortal 2.5

Image

  •  Collecting the image i.e. best processes
    • -
    • -
    • -

 

  • Processing the image
    • PixInsight
      • Study and practice, practice.
    • Gimp
    • Star Tools
    • DSS

thinking1.gif


Edited by scadvice, 11 January 2019 - 07:31 PM.


#2 nimitz69

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:53 PM

You can probably ignore everything I’m about to say given how new to AP I am but given that list I can’t see how your H/W is holding you back WRT to “ image sharpness & detail quality” ....

 

image sharpness sounds like a focusing issue.  Are you using a Bathinov mask?

 

‘Detail quality”, are you talking about more resolution in your images?  that sounds like more focal length is required.

 

what types of things do you like to shoot?

 

If I had the issues you say you do I would take what I considerd to be my best pre-processed image (stacked, calibrated & ready for post processing) and ask one of the experienced imagers here to process it for you to get the max out of it ... that will pretty much pinpoint what you need to do ...



#3 scadvice

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:15 PM

I do use a Bathinov mask. Focus is not a problem.

 

This is basically an attempt at creating a plan to get the best I can moving forward to improve on equipment and imaging.



#4 Stelios

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:12 PM

Comments in line.

That pretty much says it in the title.  How do I improve my images sharpness and detail quality with the equipment I have… or will have in the future? Looking for insightful thoughts and comments on each detail.

Optics/ota

 

  • William Optics GTF81mm five Element
  •  Auto Focus with temperature and humidity monitoring

 

Mount

 

  •  iOptron CEM60 with Tri-Pier
  •  PoleMaster  Sharpcap Pro will offer a *slight* improvement over Polemaster for polar alignment.

 

Guiding

 

  •  With WO Z66mm  An OAG will improve guiding. It eliminates flexure. With your 81mm it may not matter much (but it *will* improve things anyway) but if you go longer...
    •  AltairGP130M
    •  PHD2

Camera

  • Canon T3i modified ( my re-learning to AP camera)
    •  APT
    •  BackyardESO
  • Soon (April) to have a full AP cooled camera still undecided as to which one.  The budget is $1000 to $2000 with basic filters.
    •  Yet TBD color or mono
      •  Color?
        •  Have a 2” L-Pro
        •  Others suggested?
      • Mono?
        •  Filter wheel ?
        • Filters suggested? 

          Today the outstanding choice (so far) is the mono ASI1600MM-Pro, with EFW8 and filters. For fiters, in ascending quality and price order: ZWO, A$$tronomik, A$$$$trodon. 

Locations

  •  Portable (No Observatory)
    • Permanent pier possible for home a Bortal 4/5  That will help you a lot and multiply the times you can image. 4/5 Bortle is not bad. I dream of such a situation...
  • Can travel to 7000 ft Bortal 2.5

Image

  •  Collecting the image i.e. best processes
    • S
    • G
    • P

Also--Flats panel. Presumably you already plate-solve, if not, add it.  (And although it's too basic, don't forget dew heater...)

  • Processing the image
    • PixInsight
      • Study and practice, practice. Yes. Long learning curve, worth it. You will want the flexibility to tweak occasionally in Photoshop (or, perhaps, GIMP, the capabilities of which I don't know). 
    • Gimp
    • Star Tools
    • DSS  

thinking1.gif



#5 james7ca

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 10:25 PM

The first thing I would recommend is that you measure some of your subs (or master integrations) to determine your current Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM - basically the size of your stars) and your eccentricity (the shape or roundness of your stars). There are several different applications that you can use to measure these values, but I use PixInsight's FWHMEccentricity script. For the FWHM you want results in both arc seconds and pixels.

 

Here are some results from my own work, these represent the best that I've typically achieved (a lot of this depends on factors like your seeing conditions, the quality, size, and focal length of your scope, and even things like the pixel size of your camera).

 

FWHM

--------------

72mm ED refractor (restricted wavelength, red to near IR): 2.1 arc seconds

127mm APO refractor (luminance or broadband): 1.7 arc seconds

127mm APO refractor (narrow band): 1.3 arc seconds

235mm SCT (EdgeHD using lucky imaging techniques): 1 arc second

 

Eccentricity

--------------

The PixInsight team says that anything at or under 0.42 is usually considered by most observers to be "round" (star shape). However, it really depends upon the form of the distortion and some scopes can produce readings over 0.42 and still look quite good.

 

You might want to look at some of the PI plots and image samples in the following thread:

  https://www.cloudyni...y/#entry6627920

 

Note, it can be difficult to compare results from different systems and FWHM and eccentricity measurements can be affected by the tool used to measure them. So, don't expect the same results I've shown above, but you can use them as a rough guide as to what you might expect under good seeing conditions. Furthermore (most importantly) you need to establish a baseline for your own equipment and conditions (whatever those values may be, good, bad, or indifferent).

 

 

Next, you also want to calculate your image scale in arc seconds per pixel since you need image scale to help determine your limiting resolution (along with the aperture of the scope).

 

 

You may also want to consider grading your images on quality (PixInsight can do that, as well as a few other image processing apps). Here are some pointers on how to do that:

 

  https://www.cloudyni...dpost&p=8999256

 

 

Beyond the above the simplest advice I can give is that you want to focus often and with great care.


Edited by james7ca, 11 January 2019 - 11:49 PM.

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#6 scadvice

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 12:35 AM

Thanks James, You've given me a whole bunch to read and absorb! Here I am thinking I was beginning to understand what PixInsight could do!lol.gif

 

Yes, Yes on focusing... learned my lesson early on that!




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