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Old Scopes and Modern Imaging

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#1001 myronwasiuta

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Posted 16 December 2022 - 11:29 PM

Absolutely amazing images on this thread from a number of really nice old scopes! I am a fan of old achromatic refractors and have a 4.5" f/15 Brashear and 5" f/14.2 Edmund. While I have posted an image of Mars earlier with the 4.5" Brashear, I have not had a chance yet to see how the Edmund performs. However, on the night of December 13, 2022 I was invited to observe Mars and Jupiter with the 26" Clark refractor at Leander McCormick observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since I go the invite while I was at work, I did not have time to run home and get my trusty QHY 290C camera. Instead, my friend Scott Busby met me at the office and he brought his ZWO ASI 385MC and off we went. 

 

The seeing was pretty good, and at 660X Mars was a sight to behold. After a round of visual observing we attached the camera and captured about 11 2000 frame sequences. Enclosed is an annotated image made from one of those sequences. I think the chromatic aberration present may have softened the image with this camera as visually it looked very sharp with a ton of detail in the dark features and even the NPH showed ragged and mottled detail . The camera may have had more sensitivity in regions not visible to the eye that were not focused as well. Anyway, I wanted to post our results as I don't think there are too many images out there of Mars taken using modern planetary cmos cameras on old large refractors. I will have regular access to this telescope in the future and will post more results as I get them. I'm thinking about trying a technique using monochrome camera with filters, and then combining the images into a color one. Maybe that will effectively deal with the chromatic aberration. Any thoughts? 

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#1002 wargrafix

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Posted 17 December 2022 - 08:32 AM

I love it! I would like to have a Crack at applying some wavelet to the stack.

#1003 myronwasiuta

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Posted 17 December 2022 - 08:58 AM

Sure. We can connect via TeamViewer and do a file transfer or if you have another way you like let me know.
Myron

#1004 oldmanastro

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Posted 19 December 2022 - 10:51 PM

These are a couple of images taken earlier tonight using the Celestar 8 in original mount and a SvBony 305 digital camera. They are the result of 5000 stacked and processed frames. The seeing was about a 7 with excellent transparency. Visually Jupiter and Mars were very nice. On Jupiter that GRS was starting a transit and there is a lot of turbulence around it. On Mars Solis Lacus (the eye of Mars) was clearly visible and it shows in the image. On Mars only one image was possible due to clouds coming in from the east.

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#1005 wargrafix

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Posted 20 December 2022 - 07:39 PM

Those images are truly amazing
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#1006 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 December 2022 - 03:34 PM

Outstanding results Guido!  You're making my eyes water...


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#1007 oldmanastro

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Posted 24 December 2022 - 10:14 AM

Mars and Sirius + Pup. It was a very clear night yesterday but the seeing was down to 7 and sometimes less. I used the Celestar 8 in original fork mount and wedgepod. Mars was almost at the zenith when I took this image. The Pup could be observed visually and the image shows more or less what I could see at the telescope with the 8mm Carton Plossl. Visually I could see an Airy disc and a diffraction ring that doesn't come out in the image. The Mars image shows a bit of ringing but the eye of mars is evident. 

 

A Merry Christmas to All!

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#1008 ETXer

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Posted 30 December 2022 - 08:47 AM

Outstanding work as always Guido! I think you bring out the most of what the C8 is capable of with it's optics and great conditions of position, seeing, and expert processing. Thanks for posting and happy New Year!


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#1009 myronwasiuta

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Posted 06 January 2023 - 09:50 AM

Here is another shot of mars taken using the Leander McCormick 26" Clark refractor. For this effort we used a monochrome camera (ASI 120MM) and colored filter wheel. By refocusing for each filter, and then combining into an RGB image, we were able to reduce the effects of chromatic aberration in the final image. Large refractors are very susceptible to seeing ( as are all large aperture telescopes) and on this night the seeing was only average at best. Nonetheless we were pretty happy with our results! Hopefully even better results to come if we catch a night with really good seeing!

 

I would like to thank Scott Busby for his tireless efforts and skill at working with our raw data to produce this beautiful image. He used a program called AstroSurface which handles most of the necessary steps in processing planetary images. Speciall thanks goes out to Boris Starosta as well for giving Scott and I ongoing access to this fine telescope!

 

 

 

Myron Wasiuta

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#1010 ETXer

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Posted 09 February 2023 - 09:46 AM

Hello all, last night the weather cooperated and I was finally able to observe and capture Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) and then the Orion Nebula using the Revolution Imager 2 (and DVR) mounted on my Celestron Celestar 8 Deluxe.

 

Here are the results from each 15-second DVR video, pre-processed in PIPP then aligned, stacked, and wavelets applied in Registax 6.

 

 

52678979473_17af0624f7_z.jpg

 

 

52678919215_50bfd8ea98.jpg

 

Here is the complete observing report.

 

Cheers, Allan


Edited by ETXer, 09 February 2023 - 11:06 AM.

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#1011 ETXer

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Posted 17 February 2023 - 07:20 PM

I thought I'd finally try my hand at deep-sky imaging with a DSLR, since I already have an assortment of those. With M42/43 in a good position and a mild (for February) and reasonably clear night occurred, I took advantage of the opportunity.

 

So here's my first whack at the Orion Nebula, my Celestar 8 Deluxe, a classic Celestron f/6.3 reducer/corrector, with a Pentax K-3 II at ISO 1600, 40 15-second frames, 60 30-second frames, 20 darks, flats, and bias frames each. I used DSS for registering and stacking, then layer processing in GIMP. I know the integration time is a bit low and it's a little noisy, but I like it. wink.gif

 

This thread summarizes the process.

 

52692987577_4557d36a47_c.jpg

 

Cheers, Allan


Edited by ETXer, 18 February 2023 - 04:32 AM.

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#1012 jragsdale

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 11:45 PM

Venus/Jupiter Conjunction captured with an SP-C102F and ASI533MC camera. Used a 2x barlow for the detailed planet shots and without a barlow for the widefield.

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#1013 jragsdale

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Posted 02 March 2023 - 01:36 AM

Hard to share high quality moon photos here when there's a 500KB limit and then when you upload it, the CN bot auto compresses it even further, on this one down to 177KB. Need to create an HD file option on some threads...

 

High Definition Link on Amazon Cloud: https://www.amazon.c...nQf-45Mdkn8s-eY

 

Moon tonight with C102F + 2" 2x Barlow w/ASI2600MM + R685 Filter

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Edited by jragsdale, 02 March 2023 - 01:38 AM.

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#1014 myronwasiuta

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Posted 02 March 2023 - 08:48 AM

Hi ,

On Sunday night Feb 26 2023 had a chance to observe with the 26” Clark refractor again at Leander- McCormick Observatory. The seeing was pretty good and the views of the moon at 319x were nothing short of spectacular! The moon showed so much detail it was stunning. I wish I could somehow capture that level of detail with my images but alas just not possible. I did take some video using my phone afocally thru the eyepiece but that still didn’t capture everything I could see! This image here is nothing more than a screenshot of the video as it okayed on my phone. I really need to figure out how to import my iPhone videos into a software that will allow stacking. 

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#1015 oldmanastro

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Posted 02 March 2023 - 08:57 AM

I thought I'd finally try my hand at deep-sky imaging with a DSLR, since I already have an assortment of those. With M42/43 in a good position and a mild (for February) and reasonably clear night occurred, I took advantage of the opportunity.

 

So here's my first whack at the Orion Nebula, my Celestar 8 Deluxe, a classic Celestron f/6.3 reducer/corrector, with a Pentax K-3 II at ISO 1600, 40 15-second frames, 60 30-second frames, 20 darks, flats, and bias frames each. I used DSS for registering and stacking, then layer processing in GIMP. I know the integration time is a bit low and it's a little noisy, but I like it. wink.gif

 

This thread summarizes the process.

 

52692987577_4557d36a47_c.jpg

 

Cheers, Allan

Wonderful image! I have to try some DSO imaging with my Celestar and hone my processing skills in this type of imaging too. Did you use the original fork mount?


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#1016 ETXer

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 09:45 AM

Wonderful image! I have to try some DSO imaging with my Celestar and hone my processing skills in this type of imaging too. Did you use the original fork mount?

Thank you Guido and I hope all is well! Yes, lately I've been busy getting into trying my DSLRs either on the scope or taking direct images with standard photo lenses. For this image, yes, it was my Celestar 8 Deluxe with the original fork mount. Close inspection can reveal some slight star elongation, probably due to the old-style mount, but not too excessive.

 

So I reworked the image, this time using my old CS5 Photoshop software but the same top layer/erase process for the Trapezium (this video, step 23 in the Processing section), used the Astronomy Tools Action Set to reduce the star size slightly, and Topaz Denoise AI for noise removal. Here's the latest updated version:

 

52719679047_836718d80e_b.jpg

 

And speaking of using standard photo lenses, my Pentax DSLRs have the "Astrotracer" feature which leverages the cameras' built-in image stabilization to allow the sensor to track an object for up to 5 minutes on a standard unguided tripod. It's great for shorter focal-length lenses for skyscapes, but for focal lengths up to 300mm (on a APS-C sensor), subs up to 20 to (maybe 30 seconds) can be taken (with the Astrotracer engaged).

 

Here a still-work-in-progress (and heavily-cropped) M42 example from 2 nights ago with my Pentax KP (with the OGPS-1 accessory) and a late-60s M42-thread+K bayonet adapter 300mm f/4 Takumar. It was 22 20-second lights with 15 each darks, flats, and bias frames (all using the intervalometer feature), DSS, CS5, and Topaz Denoise.

 

52722425976_ea6db8befc_c.jpg

 

Anyway, this is what I've been up to lately, with a huge learning curve applied!

 

Cheers, Allan


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#1017 oldmanastro

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 10:37 PM

Thank you Guido and I hope all is well! Yes, lately I've been busy getting into trying my DSLRs either on the scope or taking direct images with standard photo lenses. For this image, yes, it was my Celestar 8 Deluxe with the original fork mount. Close inspection can reveal some slight star elongation, probably due to the old-style mount, but not too excessive.

 

So I reworked the image, this time using my old CS5 Photoshop software but the same top layer/erase process for the Trapezium (this video, step 23 in the Processing section), used the Astronomy Tools Action Set to reduce the star size slightly, and Topaz Denoise AI for noise removal. Here's the latest updated version:

 

52719679047_836718d80e_b.jpg

 

And speaking of using standard photo lenses, my Pentax DSLRs have the "Astrotracer" feature which leverages the cameras' built-in image stabilization to allow the sensor to track an object for up to 5 minutes on a standard unguided tripod. It's great for shorter focal-length lenses for skyscapes, but for focal lengths up to 300mm (on a APS-C sensor), subs up to 20 to (maybe 30 seconds) can be taken (with the Astrotracer engaged).

 

Here a still-work-in-progress (and heavily-cropped) M42 example from 2 nights ago with my Pentax KP (with the OGPS-1 accessory) and a late-60s M42-thread+K bayonet adapter 300mm f/4 Takumar. It was 22 20-second lights with 15 each darks, flats, and bias frames (all using the intervalometer feature), DSS, CS5, and Topaz Denoise.

 

52722425976_ea6db8befc_c.jpg

 

Anyway, this is what I've been up to lately, with a huge learning curve applied!

 

Cheers, Allan

These are fantastic images Allan. I have a lot to learn about DSO imaging and processing to this level. My Celestar 8 mount is the standard one. I don't think it will be as good at tracking as yours. It is also a mount that I had to repair when I got the scope. Keep up this superb work!

 

Clear Skies!


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#1018 jragsdale

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 11:22 PM

Old Scope: Check

Modern Imaging: Check

 

Unitron 150 captured with new Galaxy S23.

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#1019 ETXer

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Posted 04 March 2023 - 06:07 AM

These are fantastic images Allan. I have a lot to learn about DSO imaging and processing to this level. My Celestar 8 mount is the standard one. I don't think it will be as good at tracking as yours. It is also a mount that I had to repair when I got the scope. Keep up this superb work!

 

Clear Skies!

Thanks! The learning curve has been quite steep. And without any additional guiding input, this is about the limit of the mount's capabilities, I think especially with the 30-second frames.

 

Cheers, Allan


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#1020 norvegicus

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Posted 04 March 2023 - 07:27 AM

M42 is a very challenging target IMO.  The dynamic range is so huge that it's very difficult to pull out detail in the nebulosity without completely blowing out the center.  It's also beautiful. I enjoy seeing everyone's attempts.  I haven't even tried it.


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#1021 Sky King

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Posted 08 March 2023 - 01:58 PM

Last night's Moon using my C8 Fastar rig described here, I tried my ASI183mm Pro and an Ha filter, taking two one minute videos, stacked in AutoStakkert and sharpened in Registax 6. Then I merged the resulting two images into one with Microsoft Ice. The ASI183mm works well with the original Fastar lens. 1.26 arc seconds per pixel.

 

 

 

2023-03-08_Moon2.jpg


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#1022 deSitter

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Posted 08 March 2023 - 04:18 PM

Saturn shot by Royal Astro 76/1200 mm. Camera ZWO ASI 178 MC. No Barlow lens:

 

gallery_343566_17364_21252.jpg

Wow this is super cool!!! It totally reminds me of my first look through my first telescope, a Sears 6344! Great work!

 

-drl


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#1023 LukaszLu

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Posted 08 March 2023 - 04:33 PM

Thanks, RAO R-74 is above all a great telescope - with the same optics as the mentioned Sears! With its small diameter, however, it is not a photographic workhorse. Its advantages are revealed mainly in visual observations, when seeing anyway does not allow to obtain much higher resolution than what results from the aperture. However, with photography it is a bit different - stacking allows you to bypass seeing limitations to some extent, so each additional inch of diameter translates into a significant improvement in image quality.


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#1024 deSitter

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Posted 08 March 2023 - 04:48 PM

Carton T-620 (60/910 mm, 1976) + ZWO ASI 178MC camera. No Barlow lens.

 

JUPITER-2021-09-02.jpg

 

That's amazing!!! Nothing could better show the optical quality of these old refractors!!

 

-drl
 


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#1025 deSitter

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Posted 08 March 2023 - 04:54 PM

Yesterday I did an experiment and used a Barlow lens to see if I could squeeze something more of the 60 mm Carton T-620. Can you believe it's the same telescope? The picture has lost much in the contrast, the details are much more delicately outlined. The change is so drastic that it is difficult to judge whether it has improved the quality of small details. The Barlow was of average quality - a standard, modern 1,25'' Bresser lens:

 

JUPITER-2021-09-04.jpg

 

For comparison, the previous version without the Barlow lens, photo taken 3 days ago:

 

JUPITER-2021-09-02.jpg

 

Yes amazing! I almost never use a Barlow. The only exception is to get eye relief for really high magnifications. I do use a Powermate but it's a lot of glass.
 

-drl


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