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Old Scopes and Modern Imaging

ccd classic equipment imaging
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#951 mdowns

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Posted 19 November 2022 - 09:29 AM

Your processing skills and imaging are superb Guido,these look great!


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#952 norvegicus

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Posted 19 November 2022 - 10:30 AM

Wow, the Mars photo is particularly outstanding.


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#953 ETXer

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Posted 19 November 2022 - 01:14 PM

The weather improved last night. The sky was clear and the seeing was 8 with good transparency. I had old Scruffy (Celestar 8) on the Wedgepod in no time with the best polar alignment that I could get. Jupiter had just crossed the meridian and was high up there. The view with the 6mm UO ortho was outstanding showing lots of detail around the a GRS that was at the end of it's transit. Callisto was orbiting near the north polar region. Using the ZWOASI224mc and my classic Celestron Ultima 2x Barlow, I took several images of the planet. Mars was next. It was just past 45 degrees in altitude. As it nears opposition in December 8, its angular size has been increasing. The view with the 6mm orthoscopic showed a well defined north polar cap and surface areas such as the Sinus Sabaeus and Meridianis, Mare Acidalium and Eden Arabia. As usual, Mars requires a period of adjustment before details become evident. I used no filters this time. Images of Mars were also captured showing a lot of what was observed visually and more. The images of Jupiter and Mars are the result of 6000 frames processed with PIPP, AS3 and Registax 6. 

You've outdone yourself Guido, stunning results!! What really sets yours apart is overall smoothness while retaining the high amount of detail in the polar regions and the Equatorial Zone. In Mars, it's the well-defined delineation between the light and dark zones.

 

I'm sharpening the knives for Mars, I just need a free night with decent seeing and not too cold! ;)

 

Cheers, Allan


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#954 Kasmos

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Posted 19 November 2022 - 05:07 PM

Guido, those images are simply amazing!



#955 Wildetelescope

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Posted 19 November 2022 - 05:35 PM

At risk of "overstaying my welcome," with this subject, I redid the processing, this time pre-processing in PIPP, then AS!3 and Registax 6 as before but not feeling the need to be as aggressive with the wavelet sharpening. To me it seems to be a smoother, more natural result.

 

52498608800_8c830d9dbd_z.jpg

 

Cheers, Allan

Best version!  Less is more sometimes with wavelets and sharpening.  This is quite a good image with a great deal of detail.

 

JMd


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#956 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 November 2022 - 05:42 PM

Y'all are killing... my budget with all these phenomenal C8 pix.  I'm gonna get nutz, and pull the trigger on a C8, then have to explain to Debra why I just had to have another old scope...

 

Seriously.  Fantastic Old Scope Imaging!!


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#957 Terra Nova

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Posted 20 November 2022 - 10:13 AM

The weather improved last night. The sky was clear and the seeing was 8 with good transparency. I had old Scruffy (Celestar 8) on the Wedgepod in no time with the best polar alignment that I could get. Jupiter had just crossed the meridian and was high up there. The view with the 6mm UO ortho was outstanding showing lots of detail around the GRS at the end of it's transit. Callisto was orbiting near the north polar region. Using the ZWOASI224mc and my classic Celestron Ultima 2x Barlow, I took several images of the planet. Mars was next. It was just past 45 degrees in altitude. As it nears opposition in December 8, its angular size has been increasing. The view with the 6mm orthoscopic showed a well defined north polar cap and surface areas such as the Sinus Sabaeus and Meridianis, Mare Acidalium and Eden Arabia. As usual, Mars requires a period of visual adjustment before details become evident. I used no filters this time. Images of Mars were also captured showing a lot of what was observed visually and more. The images of Jupiter and Mars are the result of 6000 frames processed with PIPP, AS3 and Registax 6. 

Amazing photos Guido! Wow, I’m in awe!!



#958 oldmanastro

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Posted 20 November 2022 - 03:38 PM

Thanks to all of you for the nice comments on the Celestar 8 images. A lot has to do with the excellent seeing that I have been experiencing plus the altitude of the planets above the horizon. The telescope is the other part. This Celestar is the best SCT I have ever looked through. The collimation is on the spot. The other thing is the camera. The ZWOASI224mc is an excellent planetary camera with very low noise and a high frame rate. The down parts are the tracking which is maybe fair, I use the original fork mount, and... yours truly. I still have a lot to learn and, as usual, it's from the great members of this forum. One more thing... BB go get a nice vintage C8 with good optics and you will not be disappointed! Imaging with the old scopes is a lot of fun.


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#959 ETXer

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Posted 20 November 2022 - 04:11 PM

Y'all are killing... my budget with all these phenomenal C8 pix.  I'm gonna get nutz, and pull the trigger on a C8, then have to explain to Debra why I just had to have another old scope...

 

Seriously.  Fantastic Old Scope Imaging!!

 

Thanks to all of you for the nice comments on the Celestar 8 images. A lot has to do with the excellent seeing that I have been experiencing plus the altitude of the planets above the horizon. The telescope is the other part. This Celestar is the best SCT I have ever looked through. The collimation is on the spot. The other thing is the camera. The ZWOASI224mc is an excellent planetary camera with very low noise and a high frame rate. The down parts are the tracking which is maybe fair, I use the original fork mount, and... yours truly. I still have a lot to learn and, as usual, it's from the great members of this forum. One more thing... BB go get a nice vintage C8 with good optics and you will not be disappointed! Imaging with the old scopes is a lot of fun.

I was never able to fully exploit the capabilities of my C8 (my first scope by the way, bought in early1998), until motivated by Guido's jaw-dropping C8 image a few weeks ago. I've come a long way since then, having learned an amazing amount in such a short time to get to "the next level." Of course I had Jupiter's position cooperation and the weather, although seeing would often get in the way, and a lot of coaching (thanks Guido!). And like Guido says, the ASI224MC made a huge difference.

 

Bob, thanks and have fun! I think the C8 is the happy medium between overall capability, whether it's imaging or just visual observing, and weight/ease of setup. Good luck! Debra will understand...fingerscrossed.gif

 

Cheers, Allan


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#960 LukaszLu

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Posted 20 November 2022 - 04:17 PM

All my experience with planetary and lunar photography seems to confirm that the quality of the telescope is of secondary importance, with the diameter being the most important. Guido, your photos seem to be on the verge of what can be obtained with 8 inches, and in this case, apart from very good conditions and seeing, the skills of the observer are crucial - from skillful focusing to proper image processing. So instead of complimenting the telescope, let me compliment the author :-)


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#961 oldmanastro

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 01:57 PM

These three recent images are from three different Classics, a Questar 3.5", Criterion Dynascope RV-6 and the Celestar 8. They were taken less than a month from each other. Each telescope was mounted in its original mount with original drive system. Even the 2x Barlow used with the ZWOASI224mc camera is a 30 year old Celestron Ultima. The only new item is the camera. The images show that although all three telescopes have excellent optical quality, aperture rules just as or friend Lukaszlu indicated in the last post. The most difficult mount to handle  was that of the RV-6. By today's standards it could be considered out of date but when well adjusted, it performs. The seeing and transparency conditions for the three images were basically the same and the three telescopes are in excellent collimation. All images are the result of re-processing 5000 to 6000 frames using the sequence of PIP, AS3 and finally Registax 6. Definitely old scopes and mounts can do well at modern imaging.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Jupiter2022-10-5-0254-Q2x.jpg
  • Jupiter2022-10-13-0244-150mmNewt2x.jpg
  • Jupiter2022-9-10-0330-200mm2x.jpg

Edited by oldmanastro, 22 November 2022 - 09:52 PM.

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#962 LukaszLu

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 04:07 PM

It's hard to find a better illustrative material summarizing the elementary principles of optics. And it's hard to understand why some people (especially owners of small, expensive apo's...) have such a hard time accepting them ;-)


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#963 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 04:41 PM

These three recent images are from three different Classics, a Questar 3.5", Criterion Dynascope RV-6 and the Celestar 8. They were taken less than a month from each other. Each telescope was mounted in its original mount with original drive system. Even the 2x Barlow used with the camera is a 30 year old Celestron Ultima. The only new item is the camera. The images shows that although all three telescope have excellent optical quality, the aperture rules just as or friend Lukaszlu indicated in the last post. The most difficult mount to handle of all three was that of the RV-6. By today's standards it could be considered out of date but when well adjusted, it performs. The seeing and transparency conditions for the three images were basically the same and the three telescope are in excellent collimation. All images are the result of re-processing 5000 to 6000 frames using the sequence of PIP, AS3 and finally Registax 6. Definitely old scopes and mounts can do well at modern imaging.

Outstanding Work, Guido!!   I may have asked you before, so forgive my senility, but what camera / imager did you use?  Also, Barlow?  A-focal??  I know from experience that my ASI120MC results with my RV-6 never looked like your fantastic pix!

 

These are 2 of my favorites (with & w/o Galileans):

 

RV-6 - Jupiter (Sundown) 20170710V06AR01.jpg RV-6 - Jupiter (Sundown) 20170710V06AS64S99.jpg

 

Near-natural belt colors in the solo shot -- had to boost saturation a bit to grab Io & Europa...

 

(I'm trying to decide on another ZWO imager; OR, buying a Canon DSLR with removable lens -- kick it kinda "old school" but without film.)


Edited by Bomber Bob, 22 November 2022 - 04:49 PM.

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#964 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 05:02 PM

It's hard to find a better illustrative material summarizing the elementary principles of optics. And it's hard to understand why some people (especially owners of small, expensive apo's...) have such a hard time accepting them ;-)

As a fan / owner of APOs (though bought on the cheap, relatively), I know that my 8" F6 Newt can out-resolve all my TAKs, and present object colors as close to natural as I can distinguish; but, my FC-100 is more mobile, more comfortable for seated observing, and has better aesthetics.  Beautiful Views!  And on very HOT / COLD nights, the better ergonomics gives the APOs an advantage.  (But less so versus my APO-like Mizar Comet, which gets way more use than my Meade 826.)


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#965 LukaszLu

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 06:46 PM

It's clear. In addition, the great advantage of a good APO (or simply - a good, small refractor) is greater tolerance to seeing, which is why it often happens that the image from such a small telescope is definitely better than from a larger Newtonian. However, the better the conditions, the less seeing-dependent the situation becomes - and it comes closer to what Guido showed. Digital photography allows you to omit the constraints of seeing to some extent - and this is what can be seen in his comparison.


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#966 oldmanastro

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 09:48 PM

As a fan / owner of APOs (though bought on the cheap, relatively), I know that my 8" F6 Newt can out-resolve all my TAKs, and present object colors as close to natural as I can distinguish; but, my FC-100 is more mobile, more comfortable for seated observing, and has better aesthetics.  Beautiful Views!  And on very HOT / COLD nights, the better ergonomics gives the APOs an advantage.  (But less so versus my APO-like Mizar Comet, which gets way more use than my Meade 826.)

 

 

It's clear. In addition, the great advantage of a good APO (or simply - a good, small refractor) is greater tolerance to seeing, which is why it often happens that the image from such a small telescope is definitely better than from a larger Newtonian. However, the better the conditions, the less seeing-dependent the situation becomes - and it comes closer to what Guido showed. Digital photography allows you to omit the constraints of seeing to some extent - and this is what can be seen in his comparison.

During the first decade of this century I was able to observe Jupiter with a 60mm Tak APO. It was and still is the best view of Jupiter that I have seen with a 60mm telescope. No classic achromat of that aperture no matter how good could provide that superbly crisp and clear color free image. Since then, did I get an APO? No. Did I get more classic achromats? Yes. I just like the classic achromats. Should I get a classic APO? probably but, like BB, it would have to be "on the cheap". That 60mm APO is the only one I have ever observed through but it was a Tak and probably from the 90s.


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#967 wargrafix

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Posted 23 November 2022 - 11:10 AM

My dream is to image with an old time decent refractor. I don't know why. Just want to.

 

Also, those planetary images are fire!


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#968 myronwasiuta

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Posted 23 November 2022 - 04:25 PM

Just stumbled upon this thread and thought what a great idea! Using old scopes with modern imaging is very intersting!I hope to be able to contribute some images to this discussion soon. I have two old refractors- one has a 4.5" f/15 Brashear objective and the other an Edmund 5" f14.2. Visually the views are beautiful, but I have always wondered  how they would perform using modern technology. I will be using a QHY 290C camera and will post results as soon as I can!

 

Myron Wasiuta


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#969 Bomber Bob

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Posted 23 November 2022 - 04:56 PM

My dream is to image with an old time decent refractor. I don't know why. Just want to.

 

Also, those planetary images are fire!

I totally understand:  It's a worthwhile pursuit.  From the Mars (Syrtis Major) shot I got with my 1964 Monolux (Hiyoshi) 60mm F15 to Saturn with my 1950s Edmund 4" F15 to Jupiter with my humble 1971 Criterion RV-6, this "new" technology shows what our Old Scopes can do.


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#970 wargrafix

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Posted 23 November 2022 - 06:29 PM

I think I have the skills to pull it off. If you wish I will post what I can do with my 9.25sct
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#971 ETXer

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Posted 23 November 2022 - 08:01 PM

These three recent images are from three different Classics, a Questar 3.5", Criterion Dynascope RV-6 and the Celestar 8. They were taken less than a month from each other. Each telescope was mounted in its original mount with original drive system. Even the 2x Barlow used with the ZWOASI224mc camera is a 30 year old Celestron Ultima. The only new item is the camera. The images show that although all three telescopes have excellent optical quality, aperture rules just as or friend Lukaszlu indicated in the last post. The most difficult mount to handle  was that of the RV-6. By today's standards it could be considered out of date but when well adjusted, it performs. The seeing and transparency conditions for the three images were basically the same and the three telescopes are in excellent collimation. All images are the result of re-processing 5000 to 6000 frames using the sequence of PIP, AS3 and finally Registax 6. Definitely old scopes and mounts can do well at modern imaging.

 

Just stumbled upon this thread and thought what a great idea! Using old scopes with modern imaging is very intersting!I hope to be able to contribute some images to this discussion soon. I have two old refractors- one has a 4.5" f/15 Brashear objective and the other an Edmund 5" f14.2. Visually the views are beautiful, but I have always wondered  how they would perform using modern technology. I will be using a QHY 290C camera and will post results as soon as I can!

 

Myron Wasiuta

Excellent comparison Guido!

 

It's truly remarkable, fortuitous, and just plain "cool" that we can take the "legacy" equipment that we've had for literally decades and harness modern technology and methods to further exploit their capabilities, even with their original mounts, far beyond what perhaps their original designers ever though possible. And those methods/ technologies will only get better and cheaper with time. When I bought my Celestar 8 Deluxe in early 1998, I wouldn't have dreamed of creating the images of this past month.

 

We're lucky to be part of it.

 

Cheers, Allan


Edited by ETXer, 23 November 2022 - 08:23 PM.

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#972 myronwasiuta

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 02:21 AM

Well as promised here is an image I obtained tonight with my antique refractor which has a 4.5" f/15 Brashear objective. I used a QHY 290C cmos camera, and stacked 1059 20ms frames using Registax V5. I had the scope set up on my driveway and used it visually first. I never get tired of the beautifully sharp and contrasty views it provides. It is a joy to look through!00_00_23.jpg


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#973 wargrafix

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 07:43 AM

Absolutely gorgeous. This thread shows not only the skill of lensmakers but also the tight tolerances they worked with. I can imagine what we are doing is what they imagined the possibilities would be like.


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#974 Bomber Bob

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Posted 24 November 2022 - 08:39 AM

Y'all got me nostalgic this morning...  I only did 2 imaging sessions with my Mogey 3" F14, and that was 6 years ago (how time flies!!):

 

Mogey 3 - Jupiter 20160305Z SZ42.jpg Mogey 3 - Jupiter 20160305Z SZ42G.jpg

 

Back then, I was using .965" accessories with it.  In this case, that was the Astro Optical 2x Barlow bundled with my Sears 6336.  My Mogey has more false-color than the Astro 76mm F13 [Lafayettte Galactic] -- see all that purple haze?!  Imager was that Orion StarShoot II -- before I bought the ASI120MC.  But... in gray-scale, you can see that it resolved barges & festoons -- nowhere near as well as my 6336, but Astro Optical sets a high bar!

 

Speaking of the Lafayette Galactic, this is my favorite shot made with this awesome Astro Optical refractor (Chuck Hards would agree, as I sold the OTA to him):

 

Galactic 76 - Saturn 20170608V04AS13.jpg Galactic 76 - Saturn 20170608V04AS71.jpg

 

Made with the ASI120MC, and I didn't have filter out any false color with IrfanView.


Edited by Bomber Bob, 24 November 2022 - 08:44 AM.

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#975 oldmanastro

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Posted 25 November 2022 - 08:55 AM

These are three images from the 100mm f/13 Carton refractor. The Mars image is from the 2020 opposition. The Saturn and Jupiter images are recent. All of them were taken with the ZWOASI224mc and Ultima 2X Barlow. It helps to use a Baader Semi-Apo filter when imaging with achromatic refractors. I did not use it in any of these images but it improved color in images taken with the 76mm f/16 RAO refractor.

Attached Thumbnails

  • jupiter2022-9-12-0234-100mmrfr3x.jpg
  • mars202010230142ut100mmrfrB.jpg
  • saturn2022-9-12-0116-100mmrfr3x.jpg

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