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Modded Nikon DSLR question

astrophotography beginner dslr imaging refractor
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#1 marinaldi

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:06 PM

Hi Folks,  I just received my Nikon D5300 back from LifePixel.  They did an H-Alpha Camera Conversion.  I'm looking forward to shooting ASAP but just wanted to clarify somethings I've read on modded cameras.   I've read that I can simply just use the camera as before and expect much better red (H-alpha) sensitivity.   At other places online I've read that I need to worry about White Balance.  I did put a lens on the camera as soon as I received it from LifePixel and as expected the live view and a couple of test shots in daylight look reddish.   I also noticed that LifePixel created a WB preset (called PRE) and set the camera to that.   My shots were with that setting. 

 

My question is, for strictly AP uses do I have to worry about setting WB?  Do I leave it on the PRE setting that LifePixel set or reset it to something else?  Once again I'm strictly using this camera for AP work so I don't care at all about other types of photography.  

 

Thanks, Mike



#2 photoracer18

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:54 PM

If you don't care about terrestrial shooting then the WB does not matter. Were the daylight shots just reddish or was the AF off slightly? In other words did they replace the factory sensor filters with a clear glass replacement like the Astronomik MC or not? If they did not then the cameras AF is never going to work properly again with lenses. But for just AP this does not matter as long as you don't try to use lenses in AF mode. Me I prefer to have modded cameras for AP and unmodded cameras for regular photography.


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#3 marinaldi

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 04:31 PM

If you don't care about terrestrial shooting then the WB does not matter. Were the daylight shots just reddish or was the AF off slightly? In other words did they replace the factory sensor filters with a clear glass replacement like the Astronomik MC or not? If they did not then the cameras AF is never going to work properly again with lenses. But for just AP this does not matter as long as you don't try to use lenses in AF mode. Me I prefer to have modded cameras for AP and unmodded cameras for regular photography.

Thanks!!  This is what I thought but I wanted to confirm with some experienced folks.  To be honest I didn't even look closely at the Focus.  I've read that focus needs adjustment (which would make sense) but since I'm doing AP without use of AF I don't really care.  I may use the camera for some shots of the Milky Way with a fast 16 or 35mm lens but here I use manual focus so I'm not too worried about it.  



#4 bobzeq25

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 04:51 PM

Hi Folks,  I just received my Nikon D5300 back from LifePixel.  They did an H-Alpha Camera Conversion.  I'm looking forward to shooting ASAP but just wanted to clarify somethings I've read on modded cameras.   I've read that I can simply just use the camera as before and expect much better red (H-alpha) sensitivity.   At other places online I've read that I need to worry about White Balance.  I did put a lens on the camera as soon as I received it from LifePixel and as expected the live view and a couple of test shots in daylight look reddish.   I also noticed that LifePixel created a WB preset (called PRE) and set the camera to that.   My shots were with that setting. 

 

My question is, for strictly AP uses do I have to worry about setting WB?  Do I leave it on the PRE setting that LifePixel set or reset it to something else?  Once again I'm strictly using this camera for AP work so I don't care at all about other types of photography.  

 

Thanks, Mike

For astro, white balance is not necessary, nor do most (not all) advanced imagers use it.

 

It's simply a preprogrammed adjustment of the RGB channels to deal with different light sources in terrestrial photography.

 

It does nothing you cannot do with manual adjustments of the RGB channels, more flexibly.

 

The exception may be if you need a bandaid to deal with a broadband light pollution filter mangling color.  (ducks and runs for cover <smile>)


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#5 Huangdi

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 04:53 PM

The above really stated all you need to know.

The only thing to add is, that whenever you are shooting raw, white balance doesn't matter. You can always adjust it in LR
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#6 17.5Dob

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 08:13 PM

As long as you are shooting RAW, as you have to be when shooting AP, camera WB makes no difference.


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#7 KLWalsh

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 09:55 PM

Just by the way - you can still use your camera for ‘regular’ photography by putting a cyan filter like an 82B on the front lens. This filter will remove the excess red. You might need to check the white balance, but the wb will be easier to achieve with an 82B than without it.
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#8 t_image

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:13 PM

Some of the above comments need to be nuanced.

#1 they are projecting their own ideological opinions about color in AP into their answer.

#2 many are only defining "white balance" as a camera function,

which is not the only way the term is used.

#3 it also depends on your content.

 

WB by definition is a calibration procedure, whether done at the time of imaging or in post afterward,

on balancing the RGB channels in an image with reference to subjects in an image that are reflecting (terrestrial) or emitting a balanced intensity of RGB (ie a "white" or neutral grey source)....

 

Let's say your modded camera (still thinking it is normal) now detects more spectral reds and thus now has a propensity to overweight the red channel.

If you wanted to image a globular cluster and properly expose the stars to pick up their authentically emitted colors,

white (not overexposured stars) will not be balanced and will have a cast towards red until you do something at the time of imaging or after to offset this.

And "in-camera" WB is encoded even in metadata in RAW files, which some software chooses as default "White Balance='as shot'"........

So you could haphazardly move a slider into you think it looks good (as I presume the advisers above do since they advise not caring about a proper calibration)........

or maybe you could choose some object WB methods that will bring the camera back to a place where it is more accurately capturing colors that are beaming towards the sensor....

If you are taking images of nebulous hydrogen alpha clouds then you want that red sensitivity, and maybe most of your content is red anyways,

but there wouldn't be harm in still having a proper workflow. Balancing the channels so whites and greys appear white and gray and not tinged with red won't damage your h-alpha nebular at all.......

If you are imaging wider fields in an area of light pollution,

or even in a dark location and sky-glow is discernible,

your images may as a result have some color bias away from the authentic coloring of sky objects due to particular interference.....

 

So it can get complicated.....

 

Keep in mind as well if your images have objects with little red in their spectra, you may not even discern an issue with balance because you don't have much info to flood the red channel with....

Of course daytime images have the Sun which is bright in all the reds so that will explain your test shots.....

 

Decided for yourself, don't disregard the balance because a few posters say it won't matter.

 

But when I say "White balance", I'm referring to a proper calibration workflow to arrive best as possible to capture authentic colors however one decides to implement the process,

I am not referring to in-camera WB before the shot exclusively........

Cheers!.......

 

Best thing for you to do is practice and look at other's images and what they did to get there and decide for yourself your personal requirements of what you want to aim towards producing.....


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#9 17.5Dob

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:34 PM

Some of the above comments need to be nuanced.

#1 they are projecting their own ideological opinions about color in AP into their answer.

#2 many are only defining "white balance" as a camera function,

which is not the only way the term is used.

#3 it also depends on your content.

 

WB by definition is a calibration procedure, whether done at the time of imaging or in post afterward,

on balancing the RGB channels in an image with reference to subjects in an image that are reflecting (terrestrial) or emitting a balanced intensity of RGB (ie a "white" or neutral grey source)....

 

Let's say your modded camera (still thinking it is normal) now detects more spectral reds and thus now has a propensity to overweight the red channel.

If you wanted to image a globular cluster and properly expose the stars to pick up their authentically emitted colors,

white (not overexposured stars) will not be balanced and will have a cast towards red until you do something at the time of imaging or after to offset this.

And "in-camera" WB is encoded even in metadata in RAW files, which some software chooses as default "White Balance='as shot'"........

So you could haphazardly move a slider into you think it looks good (as I presume the advisers above do since they advise not caring about a proper calibration)........

or maybe you could choose some object WB methods that will bring the camera back to a place where it is more accurately capturing colors that are beaming towards the sensor....

If you are taking images of nebulous hydrogen alpha clouds then you want that red sensitivity, and maybe most of your content is red anyways,

but there wouldn't be harm in still having a proper workflow. Balancing the channels so whites and greys appear white and gray and not tinged with red won't damage your h-alpha nebular at all.......

If you are imaging wider fields in an area of light pollution,

or even in a dark location and sky-glow is discernible,

your images may as a result have some color bias away from the authentic coloring of sky objects due to particular interference.....

 

So it can get complicated.....

 

Keep in mind as well if your images have objects with little red in their spectra, you may not even discern an issue with balance because you don't have much info to flood the red channel with....

Of course daytime images have the Sun which is bright in all the reds so that will explain your test shots.....

 

Decided for yourself, don't disregard the balance because a few posters say it won't matter.

 

But when I say "White balance", I'm referring to a proper calibration workflow to arrive best as possible to capture authentic colors however one decides to implement the process,

I am not referring to in-camera WB before the shot exclusively........

Cheers!.......

 

Best thing for you to do is practice and look at other's images and what they did to get there and decide for yourself your personal requirements of what you want to aim towards producing.....

Lot's of wasted words for nothing...

Full spectrum mod D5300 (w Baader UV/IR cut)

This is just one click in PixInsight , and the perfect target to show that WB is a total non- issue shooting a full-spectrum cam. No "slider adjustments", no guesstimating. 

33541740568_71695ce078_o.jpg

 


Edited by 17.5Dob, 19 September 2019 - 11:43 PM.

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#10 marinaldi

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 12:25 AM

Lot's of wasted words for nothing...

Full spectrum mod D5300 (w Baader UV/IR cut)

This is just one click in PixInsight , and the perfect target to show that WB is a total non- issue shooting a full-spectrum cam. No "slider adjustments", no guesstimating. 

33541740568_71695ce078_o.jpg

Nice!  THanks



#11 marinaldi

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 12:25 AM

Some of the above comments need to be nuanced.

#1 they are projecting their own ideological opinions about color in AP into their answer.

#2 many are only defining "white balance" as a camera function,

which is not the only way the term is used.

#3 it also depends on your content.

 

WB by definition is a calibration procedure, whether done at the time of imaging or in post afterward,

on balancing the RGB channels in an image with reference to subjects in an image that are reflecting (terrestrial) or emitting a balanced intensity of RGB (ie a "white" or neutral grey source)....

 

Let's say your modded camera (still thinking it is normal) now detects more spectral reds and thus now has a propensity to overweight the red channel.

If you wanted to image a globular cluster and properly expose the stars to pick up their authentically emitted colors,

white (not overexposured stars) will not be balanced and will have a cast towards red until you do something at the time of imaging or after to offset this.

And "in-camera" WB is encoded even in metadata in RAW files, which some software chooses as default "White Balance='as shot'"........

So you could haphazardly move a slider into you think it looks good (as I presume the advisers above do since they advise not caring about a proper calibration)........

or maybe you could choose some object WB methods that will bring the camera back to a place where it is more accurately capturing colors that are beaming towards the sensor....

If you are taking images of nebulous hydrogen alpha clouds then you want that red sensitivity, and maybe most of your content is red anyways,

but there wouldn't be harm in still having a proper workflow. Balancing the channels so whites and greys appear white and gray and not tinged with red won't damage your h-alpha nebular at all.......

If you are imaging wider fields in an area of light pollution,

or even in a dark location and sky-glow is discernible,

your images may as a result have some color bias away from the authentic coloring of sky objects due to particular interference.....

 

So it can get complicated.....

 

Keep in mind as well if your images have objects with little red in their spectra, you may not even discern an issue with balance because you don't have much info to flood the red channel with....

Of course daytime images have the Sun which is bright in all the reds so that will explain your test shots.....

 

Decided for yourself, don't disregard the balance because a few posters say it won't matter.

 

But when I say "White balance", I'm referring to a proper calibration workflow to arrive best as possible to capture authentic colors however one decides to implement the process,

I am not referring to in-camera WB before the shot exclusively........

Cheers!.......

 

Best thing for you to do is practice and look at other's images and what they did to get there and decide for yourself your personal requirements of what you want to aim towards producing.....

Thanks for all the useful info!  You can never know too much!  Nothing like experimenting to see what I get.  That's the whole point of AP right?  Can't wait for my next outing


Edited by marinaldi, 20 September 2019 - 12:27 AM.


#12 tonyt

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 01:36 AM

Lot's of wasted words for nothing...

Full spectrum mod D5300 (w Baader UV/IR cut)

This is just one click in PixInsight , and the perfect target to show that WB is a total non- issue shooting a full-spectrum cam. No "slider adjustments", no guesstimating. 

33541740568_71695ce078_o.jpg

 

What click are you referring to Dave?




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