I raised the exposure on the stacked shot to see better (originally, it was as dark as the single shots). As far as settings, I've read the recommended ones or defaults are usually pretty good. The stars came out reasonably round, but I only took 10 second exposures. No way could I get 120s pinpoint stars. I guess I am not setting this mount of good enough (SkyGuider Pro), or maybe I am just expecting too much at 300mm. I got Polaris right where it's supposed to be in the polar scope, tripod is level, camera balanced, etc. Not sure what more I can do.
Anyway, getting back to the original comparison, I think the main reason the stack looked blurrier is because less sharpening was applied. It's also less noisy, which can give the appearance of less detail.
Let me try to state clearly to you a major problem, stated in detail in #3. Why DSS often makes images worse.
You're using DSS wrong. The stack should not look like much. Below is another example. A proper stack from DSS, and the final image from it. Magic. <grin>
It looks dark because a proper stack from DSS is "linear" and your eyes do not see linear data well.
You're stretching the stack in DSS, which is a bad idea.
So, save the linear stack in DSS. When you open it in your processing program, it should look as dark as the one below. That is correct.
These commands work. Stack. "Save stack to file". Be sure "settings embedded but not applied" is checked.
Better idea. Use Astro Pixel Processor. It both stacks and processes, the issue never comes up.
Edited by bobzeq25, 09 August 2020 - 11:37 PM.