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Rho Ophiuchi the Magnificent

dslr dso astrophotography
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19 replies to this topic

#1 BQ Octantis

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 05:15 AM

The Rho Ophiuchi Nebula has been on the menu lately. Though I've imaged it multiple times since 2017, I never appreciated how colorful the area is until this year. Indeed, it's probably the most colorful of all the targets I've captured—it's practically a full representation of the rainbow.

 

I can't say I was particularly impressed with my stars from my f/2.8 capture on the night of the 16th. The 200mm wide open has abysmal point performance that degrades toward the edges. So on the night of the 22nd, I added another 70.5 minutesf/3.8 to my 123 minutes of f/2.8 data (for a total of 160 minutesf/2.8).

 

Starnet++ came up in a post recently, so I decided to test it out on the composite image. It runs as a very simple bash shell script, so it was very straightforward to install and run from the Mac OS X Unix command line. It produces excellent results on nebula bodies, but struggles with really bright stars. Fortunately, both the Star Layer Separate and Remove Stars (Large Image) actions in Annie's Astro Actions 7.0 do a much better job on bright stars, so a simple layer mask with one of those fixed it.

 

So here are the results:

 

(Click for full size.)

post.jpg

Canon 200mm f/2.8L II, Canon 600D/T3i

 

Cheers,

 

BQ


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#2 Steve OK

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 07:30 AM

That is gorgeous!  Very nicely framed for that focal length!

 

Steve



#3 Starman27

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 10:45 AM

Simply beautiful.



#4 Forward Scatter

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 10:55 AM

There can never be too many images of the Rho-O complex. Simple fact of life.cool.gif

 

Your image is absolutely amazing!bow.gif



#5 sunnyday

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 11:04 AM

beautiful photo,
 beautiful colors and the detail is clear.
well done and thank you.



#6 Readerp

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 01:34 PM

Gorgeous. Well done!



#7 astrohound24

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 06:59 PM

What a gorgeous image!!!

#8 BQ Octantis

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Posted 26 May 2020 - 04:07 AM

Thanks to all for the likes and kind words!

 

At larger sizes, there are several crops that make for even more interesting perspectives. Unfortunately, my workflow needs a bit of work for 100% scaling…

 

BQ



#9 BQ Octantis

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 06:21 AM

I spent another evening working on it with a bit more attention to detail. I was quite happy with the result; I tossed a copy in the 'bin:

 

get.jpg?insecure

Capture details / 50% .jpg

 

Cheers,

 

BQ


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#10 DubbelDerp

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 08:46 AM

You know, the earlier versions were really nice, but this latest one knocks it out of the park! The details in the dust are really sharp.



#11 Ettu

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 08:59 AM

Wow,

This is one on my "one of these days...." to dedicate some time and effort on 

Images like yours are one of the reasons why it is worth while.

At the beginning, you start out with M42, which is a wow, then maybe the horsehead region, but then, when you get good you go for this one. Congratulations!

And thanks for detailing some of the processing and compilation info, for us aspirants



#12 MeenSeen

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 09:53 AM

That is just gorgeous...



#13 Starman27

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 10:15 AM

Even better. Step down ring as aperture mask, why didn't I think of that?



#14 BQ Octantis

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 06:15 AM

Thanks again to all for the feedback!

 

I'll admit the aperture mask idea came from a now-forgotten CN post I came across last year. While I originally felt diaphragm spikes were distinctive of AP from camera lenses, they became an embuggerance in processing when I went to to combine images from different lenses. So I bought 52mm and 58mm step-down rings to test in January, and the 52mm was the clear winner for round stars to the edges. The additional benefit is greater contrast and detail in the brighter areas. Unfortunately, on my stock 600D/T3i, it comes at the expense of almost any red data in the darker areas of the scene.

 

BQ



#15 BQ Octantis

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 03:45 AM

I spent another evening with the data. And I learned an important lesson: starnet++ makes the noise in my 52mm data much worse than it is. So it's better to add the 52mm data to the f/2.8 data with stars first (with the f/2.8 data as the base), then starnet++ the resultant image. From there I can add back the stars from the 52mm image and tweak the background to my heart's content:

 

(Click for 1440x900)

1440x900_ps.jpg

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

BQ


Edited by BQ Octantis, 16 June 2020 - 03:45 AM.

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#16 Juno18

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 07:50 PM

A piece of artistry!

 

Excellent work BQ!



#17 Starman27

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 07:57 PM

I agree. It looks like a painting.



#18 BQ Octantis

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 09:57 PM

Thanks Juno & Herman! And thanks to all for the new likes!

 

The Rho Ophiuchi Nebula is the most spectacular nebula I have ever captured. I don't know of another DSO target accessible to a 200mm lens on a plain vanilla DSLR with this spectrum of colors. I mean it even has greens of all colors! And it's been a great target to learn on—almost any experimental technique yields a new and interesting result no less like a painting.

 

BQ



#19 polslinux

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 04:48 AM

Really beautiful photo, congrats waytogo.gif



#20 BQ Octantis

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Posted 19 June 2020 - 05:22 AM

Thanks polslinux!




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