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Planetary imaging - what do others do?


dawson
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Is anyone apart form Rob using the SharpCap2 focus function?


 


What do others do with the gain and gamma settings? I hear mixed reports; some say set gain to the middle value, others say get gain as low as possible (I can get it to 0 if I increase the exposure time); and gamma?


 


In terms of processing, how important is it to scroll through the video to find a good frame, does it many any difference? And do you let registax sort out where to put the alignment dots (which always seems totally random to me) or do you put them on yourself and where and how many?


 


And with the RGB align function at the end, is it necessary to drag the green box so it includes the whole planet, or is it sufficient to just encase some of it?


 


Thanks


 


James


 


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For Jupiter I usually overexpose to start with and use one of the Moons to focus on.


 


I'm using Firecapture and have the gamma set midway, then it's a case of juggling the gain and exposure to get a good frame rate but keeping the gain below 1/2 way.


 


I process by running through Pipp then stack using Autostakkert and then adjusting wavelets/histogram/colour balance in Registax6.


 


Judging from your Jupiter animation I don't think I can tell you any better from what your doing James  :D

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That is really helpful. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

I don't know why but firecapture has started to record in black and white, and the update sharpcap2 did yesterday has stopped it crashing.

I'm just uninterested and not good at the processing, which is why i've cheated and just increased aperture to offset my processing inadequacies!

I'd like someone to show me the ropes with AS2! As i hear good things about it, but it doesn't seem very logical to me, and again i'm lazy!

We might need EMS to run another planetary imaging master class :)

Thanks.

James

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I might try Sharpcap2 again but the last download didn't work with my camera but I do like Firecapture.


 


Firecapture2 went b/w with me but it was just a case of adjusting the colour levels.


 


I agree Autostakkert doesn't seem to follow a logical progression like Registax but I find it works better and it's good for doing a batch process on lots of avi's. Worthwhile looking through the tutorial and having a go.


 


Using Pipp orders the frames in quality order so I don't look through the avi ( maybe I should ).


 


Don't feel you have to use all the automatic alignment points in Registax, use the slider to reduce to a few stronger points.


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I use AS!2 also now when I used I do it in registax before. I also use the quality estimation tickbox in PIPP so that it puts the highest quality frames at the beginning of the avi too-it does save having to go through them to find the best ones. There's a good tutorial by a guy named James F on SGL that I followed to get to know AS!2 James. I'll post a link :)

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with your C11 (not at all jealous) you should be getting about quad my light with the 8" so you should be able to run with much lower gain than I do for the same frame rate.


 


I use firecapture and I noticed (again) last night that it defaults to night screen mode ,if you are on your own in the back garden turn it off so its a bit brighter for focusing ,if its too bright reduce the screen brightness I find red screen a struggle


 


Gamma I run at default which is 100 for my cam which I assume is 1 in photoshop


 


 


and most of all practice practice practice


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Yes, my light capture with that scope on Jupiter isn't a limiting factor.

I've shown damian peach my animation and he's given me some tips: next time increase focal length; focus on the body of the planet frequently; don't bother with sharpcaps autofocus unless the seeing is near perfect....

But yes, i fully appreciate the steepness of the learning curve, and my position not far of the bottom :)

Jd

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They were his tips above.

His last lot of tips were to get more aperture. The C11 is my limit until [if] i get an observatory.

I'm not asking him anything else as he might suggest moving to Barbados :)

Jd

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Since my work cr@ptop was (up???) graded to Windows 7 I haven't managed to get my SPC880 working. I might see about trying it on an old laptop but, as its battery doesn't work, I'm not too keen on using cables outside in damp weather!


 


I have a Skymax 127 and tend to keep the gamma down in Sharpcap. I use Registax 5 and 6 after webcamming. Is AS freeware or not? I have a (related) problem and that is not being able to stack constellation images taken on different nights.


 


I am now taking baby steps with a DSLR. So far, the images look sharper but I will need an adaptor to use it with accessories like filters, etc. I tried Jupiter for the first time but was rather disappointed, as the image was too small. On the other hand, the larger chip size of my DSLR makes getting objects into the field of view much easier. I have imaged Jupiter with a webcam and 3x Barlow lens without a motor drive. The results were good but it was <expletive> hard work.


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I've experimented with the DSLR and Jupiter, but it is just quite small on the chip. PIPP has a good cropping function though so you can pre-process and get rid of 75% of the wasted space before stacking in Registax.

 

There are some excellent results of planetary imaging with a DSLR on SGL. I just find the smaller chips of the webcam and now ZWO give better results.

 

JD
 

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I have done Jupiter with MS Life Cam (Prime) , XBox (prime),Xbox(afocal) - the latter were very small images but as I think James pointed out somewhere else I need a IR filter. I use SharpCap2 and Reg 6 - latest Sharpcap2 is much less buggy and now stops freezing my laptop(could be the Codec update as well). Have tried other s/w Firecapture - too buggy for my, Have PiPP but only started playing with this couple of days ago.


Hope to "Borrow" my sons Cannon xyz(cant remember the model)


Its fund trying to using Web/Camera with Dobs I know try and let the image move across the scope and start capturing when it first appears - I have seen some very very fast moving Jupiters as I try to hold position look at the Laptop screen etc - great fun 


 


Whats your ASI120MC like James should be very good in your Skymax's I guess


Edited by stash
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Clive, I like the ZWO, it does what it says on the tin. I need to update my signature, I'm now using a Celestron C11; it was a semi-impulse purchase.


 


I need to try and use it next time with a 2x powermate, and see what the resolution is like then.


 


There are people on SGL who have done planetary with a DSLR, but it is tricky. ALso people who've done stuff with a newt on a dob base and got quite impressive results.


 


It's all about trial and error. What works for someone might not work for someone else and vice versa.


 


With the 250 newt, you'll need to increase the size of the image with a barlow or powermate I'd have thought when using either a webcam or a DSLR. If you take all your kit to Badger, the guys there will show you what to do.


 


Make use of Ron too if he's just down the road.


 


JD

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Clive, I like the ZWO, it does what it says on the tin. I need to update my signature, I'm now using a Celestron C11; it was a semi-impulse purchase.

 

I need to try and use it next time with a 2x powermate, and see what the resolution is like then.

 

There are people on SGL who have done planetary with a DSLR, but it is tricky. ALso people who've done stuff with a newt on a dob base and got quite impressive results.

 

It's all about trial and error. What works for someone might not work for someone else and vice versa.

 

With the 250 newt, you'll need to increase the size of the image with a barlow or powermate I'd have thought when using either a webcam or a DSLR. If you take all your kit to Badger, the guys there will show you what to do.

 

Make use of Ron too if he's just down the road.

 

JD

Thanks James

 

Tried Barlow 2 and 3 but later makes, as I thought , it very very difficult to keep the object in view due to the Dob limitation.  After I have paid for my new water supply maybe I try something different. I would be divorced if I bought a C11/ Asi120/HEQ5 etc right now.

 

Yes I will be using Ron's knowledge and locality (without being a pest!) but I have noticed he has got rid of his DOB 250sw.

 

Anyway again thanks James

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No recommendations here Im afraid, Im still at the bottom of the learning curve as far as my Imgoh cam and firecapture are concerned on planets. Lunar and solar Im comfortable with because they are big and bright :-)

Processing wise, Ive started to use pipp and As2 and find they are very useful tools which take alot of guesswork out of registax, just got to master wavelets in that, I tend to overdo these a little and must be more restrained

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I've started to watch a lot of processing tutorials by a guy called Doug German on YouTube. Search "Doug German Astrophotography"

His tutorial videos take you through basic processing of DSO's in Photoshop CS5, although I use CS2. A lot of the stuff he covers are actually transferable to planetary image processing. The reason I have started doing this was on the recommendation of a very helpful chap from SGL called Pete (username Theo) who produces some fantastic planetary images.

I recommend watching the video tutorials as they have helped me rescue a couple of planetary images I didn't think were viable.

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I have done Jupiter with MS Life Cam (Prime) , XBox (prime),Xbox(afocal) - the latter were very small images but as I think James pointed out somewhere else I need a IR filter. I use SharpCap2 and Reg 6 - latest Sharpcap2 is much less buggy and now stops freezing my laptop(could be the Codec update as well). Have tried other s/w Firecapture - too buggy for my, Have PiPP but only started playing with this couple of days ago.

Hope to "Borrow" my sons Cannon xyz(cant remember the model)

Its fund trying to using Web/Camera with Dobs I know try and let the image move across the scope and start capturing when it first appears - I have seen some very very fast moving Jupiters as I try to hold position look at the Laptop screen etc - great fun

Whats your ASI120MC like James should be very good in your Skymax's I guess

Hi, have you checked out memorybliss's guide to planetary imaging with a dobsonian over on SGL? If not have a look on the link below:

http://stargazerslounge.com/index.php?/topic/176799-Planet-Astrophotography-with-a-Manual-Dobsonian-Tutorial

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