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04-22-2014, 05:43 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Q7 & Coronado SolarMax 60

Hi,
Last one for now. I spent easter to take my solar photography a small step forward. Still not right, but I'm getting there. I think it's hard to do any better without dedicated CCD astro cams and special equipment for thousands of $. The bill for my setup (a used 20 year old Coronado, a Vixen Polarie, a Q7 house) is "only" $1500. That is dirt cheap considering the output. A Coronado does not mean this kind of images are easy to do, on the contrary, the learning curve is insanely steep, but it's an essential piece of hardware. Hope you enjoy the last piece of easter sun. (Sorry I can not post in higher quality here. Original is 1x1meter at 300dpi(!)
Cheers!

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04-22-2014, 06:15 AM   #2
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Very nice indeed for the equipment you are using. Keep up the good work.
04-22-2014, 06:33 AM   #3
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Coronado.....hmm.... thanks for sharing.
I learnt something new again today,

Really impressive stuff.
04-22-2014, 06:34 AM   #4
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Cool shot, OK Hot shot, nicely done

04-22-2014, 06:35 AM   #5
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cool/hot shot!!!
04-22-2014, 06:40 AM   #6
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Too bad Kepler, Copernicus, Leonardo, etc. aren't around. Your image would surely have brought tears to their eyes.

Wonderful... Thanks for sharing!

Cheers... M
04-22-2014, 07:21 AM   #7
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Congrats on a great image!

Could you give some more details on your technique? If you are using a Polarie, then I'm assuming you are using an intervalometer and stacking images?
I don't believe I had heard of stacking for solar work, but I also have not read that much on techniques for solar. If stacking is involved, how many frames are you using and what program did you feed them to?

IF stacking in an option, then wouldn't one be able to work from video frames as easily as using the Q? (or are you shooting video with the Q?) An Orion StarShooter Solar System Imager IV is only $100 (as opposed to the cost of a Q).

I'm curious what you are referring to specifically, when you say the "learning curve is steep"? Is it the software/post-processing side of things?

EDIT:
Google is Your Friendô

Just found:
The Sun - Registax Processing
and
Solar Image Processing - Ken Crawford 1-4

This is great!
Think I will try stills AND video with the Pentax today over lunch. Probably should have brought the Vixen Polarie to work, too.
: )

I see there is a small guide for processing with AstroStakkert 2, as well.
Processing images using AutoStakkert! 2
Should be fun to compare AstroStakkert 2 with Registax.

Last edited by cheekygeek; 04-22-2014 at 08:35 AM.
04-22-2014, 10:20 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cheekygeek Quote
Congrats on a great image!

Could you give some more details on your technique? If you are using a Polarie, then I'm assuming you are using an intervalometer and stacking images?
I don't believe I had heard of stacking for solar work, but I also have not read that much on techniques for solar. If stacking is involved, how many frames are you using and what program did you feed them to?

IF stacking in an option, then wouldn't one be able to work from video frames as easily as using the Q? (or are you shooting video with the Q?) An Orion StarShooter Solar System Imager IV is only $100 (as opposed to the cost of a Q).

I'm curious what you are referring to specifically, when you say the "learning curve is steep"? Is it the software/post-processing side of things?

EDIT:
Google is Your Friendô

Just found:
The Sun - Registax Processing
and
Solar Image Processing - Ken Crawford 1-4

This is great!
Think I will try stills AND video with the Pentax today over lunch. Probably should have brought the Vixen Polarie to work, too.
: )

I see there is a small guide for processing with AstroStakkert 2, as well.
Processing images using AutoStakkert! 2
Should be fun to compare AstroStakkert 2 with Registax.

Hi,
I see you found most answers to your questions :-)
This image is a stack of the 30-40 sharpest images of about 300 single frames. And yes, I use the time lapse feature on the Q7, and I shoot RAW, which is essential. I do PP manually in Photoshop. It takes a lot of time, but some times one piece of the sun is sharp and the other ones are blurry (because of seeing in the atmosphere). Then I can erase that bad part of each layer, and have more layers in total. It's a very "hands on" approach, much like taking pictures of the moon. I have never trusted auto modes in stacking and registering. I know nothing about video.
The learning curve is steep because you really have to know your subject and equipment and software. And it's hard to know the optimal settings of everything by other means than testing and testing and ... You get the picture(!). To give some hints: You have to know about seeing, what kind of landscape, terrain, time of day, direction that gives the best atmospheric condition. Then it is the Coronado, with settings for protuberances and disc details, how many pictures of each, at what ISO and shutter speed (Fast shutter gives sharpest image, but also more geometric distortion because of seeing) and so on and so forth. The RAW settings are a complete nightmare, before you realize you have to convert to BW, set the right WB (yes, even in BW) and how much to slide red and magenta sliders. And then Photoshop, get flames and disk details balance right. The final nightmare is colorizing. It completely ruins your very carefully BW manipulation of contrast. It took me several weeks to figure that one out. But you have to get the colors back in the picture. A step through tutorial will take weeks to write. But I have a life beside this

04-22-2014, 11:21 AM   #9
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Remarkable. I know some people who makes Sun photos, but never heard of someone to make such a huge image. Their is somewhere a bigger version of it we can see?
04-22-2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimmyDranox Quote
Remarkable. I know some people who makes Sun photos, but never heard of someone to make such a huge image. Their is somewhere a bigger version of it we can see?
There is an image, just a tad sharper and bigger, over at DPreview on the "Pentax compact camera talk-forum". It shows the potential a bit better. The huge image is still being PP'ed. I'm an artist and part of my income is to sell images, so I can not post the full size image on the net. I will probably spend most of the summer to get it where I like it. Better to size down than size up. Lot of work remains.
04-22-2014, 12:31 PM   #11
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Thanks for your response. God luck with your work and business. I hope you'll post your address somewhere, to find your work, and maybe to buy it.
04-23-2014, 05:47 PM   #12
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That is beautiful. I now want to get a solar telescope.
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