Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-02-2012, 03:02 PM   #286
Senior Member
GWARmachine's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 137
QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
Nice work on that - did you use a barlow or eyepiece projection to get the magnification? I haven't done planets in a long time, simply because they require so much magnification and steady seeing.
Thank you! Yes, I used a 2x Barlow and a 25mm eyepiece. I'm using a very nice telescope with cheap beginner eyepieces. I need newer, higher quality ones. But the view is still absolutely amazing to me.

Great shots too Stone!

05-02-2012, 03:20 PM   #287
Veteran Member
pixelsaurus's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Levin, NZ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 784
Nice shots Stone
05-02-2012, 03:21 PM   #288
Site Supporter
Ex Finn.'s Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern Maryland.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,143
QuoteOriginally posted by GWARmachine Quote
Thank you! Yes, I used a 2x Barlow and a 25mm eyepiece. I'm using a very nice telescope with cheap beginner eyepieces. I need newer, higher quality ones. But the view is still absolutely amazing to me.

Great shots too Stone!
I have used the Pentax SMC XW 20mm Wide Angle Eyepiece (1.25") - 70516 B&H and also the 14mm, on Eon 120ED, looked pretty darn good. No idea how the XW`s would work on the 80.
05-02-2012, 03:43 PM   #289
Site Supporter
smigol's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 394
Nice work with getting the detail out of the sun! I should get on that task soon given the coming eclipse.

Saturn is notoriously hard to get detail because of the low surface brightness and the way that planets depend heavily on steady air for detail. Video is the way to go for those targets. Have you tried shooting short films and then processing with Registax? My K10D doesn't do video so I'm limited to using a webcam for this work.

For what it's worth, I've been playing with ISO 400 recently. I know that I'm sacrificing the limited dynamic range available. I'm hoping that by using a slightly higher amplification level that I'll get better signal to noise ratios. The noise floor on the K10D is very low so I usually don't need to have much boost to get above that zero point.

Back in Feb I tried to get IC 2177 (Seagull Nebula).
I had a few problems with tracking and so many of the subframes were not good because of star trails. In the end, I was able to stack 9 lights of 10 minutes at 400 ISO.



I didn't process the image until about a week ago. Based on the learning from that exercise, I went out last Friday night and shot Markarian's Chain in Virgo. This target is usually a harder one because of the low brightness of galaxies. Again, I went with 400 ISO to try to lift up the data out of the noise floor. This is a stack of 13 lights of 10 minutes.



Stacking on both was with DSS 3.3.3 beta 45 with matched darks. Further processing in Pix Insight where I mostly removed any background gradients and some amp glow where I could. Noise reduction also applied in PI. Once complete, I exported to Lightroom 3 where I did a final bit of work for the web.

When seeing the two images side by side you can see that the background is not the same level. I could drop the black levels a bit on the later image but I think that the extended halos around the galaxies would disappear.

A nice thing about PixInsight is that they now have a script to annotate the images, showing what's visible. Kinda nifty.

Here are links to the annotated versions of those above shots:
Seagull Nebula Annotated
Markarian's Chain Annotated

05-03-2012, 06:23 AM   #290
Site Supporter
Stone G.'s Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: North Zealand, Denmark
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,516
QuoteOriginally posted by GWARmachine Quote
Thank you! Yes, I used a 2x Barlow and a 25mm eyepiece. I'm using a very nice telescope with cheap beginner eyepieces. I need newer, higher quality ones. But the view is still absolutely amazing to me.

Great shots too Stone!
QuoteOriginally posted by pixelsaurus Quote
Nice shots Stone
Thank you! For me, it is part of the fun to get something decent out of rather modest equipent - - - well, part of! I wouldn't mind upgrading a bit and I am seriously considering (don't tell my wife!) the O-GPS1 for one thing.

QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
Nice work with getting the detail out of the sun! I should get on that task soon given the coming eclipse.

Saturn is notoriously hard to get detail because of the low surface brightness and the way that planets depend heavily on steady air for detail. Video is the way to go for those targets. Have you tried shooting short films and then processing with Registax? My K10D doesn't do video so I'm limited to using a webcam for this work.

For what it's worth, I've been playing with ISO 400 recently. I know that I'm sacrificing the limited dynamic range available. I'm hoping that by using a slightly higher amplification level that I'll get better signal to noise ratios. The noise floor on the K10D is very low so I usually don't need to have much boost to get above that zero point.

Back in Feb I tried to get IC 2177 (Seagull Nebula).
I had a few problems with tracking and so many of the subframes were not good because of star trails. In the end, I was able to stack 9 lights of 10 minutes at 400 ISO.



I didn't process the image until about a week ago. Based on the learning from that exercise, I went out last Friday night and shot Markarian's Chain in Virgo. This target is usually a harder one because of the low brightness of galaxies. Again, I went with 400 ISO to try to lift up the data out of the noise floor. This is a stack of 13 lights of 10 minutes.



Stacking on both was with DSS 3.3.3 beta 45 with matched darks. Further processing in Pix Insight where I mostly removed any background gradients and some amp glow where I could. Noise reduction also applied in PI. Once complete, I exported to Lightroom 3 where I did a final bit of work for the web.

When seeing the two images side by side you can see that the background is not the same level. I could drop the black levels a bit on the later image but I think that the extended halos around the galaxies would disappear.

A nice thing about PixInsight is that they now have a script to annotate the images, showing what's visible. Kinda nifty.

Here are links to the annotated versions of those above shots:
Seagull Nebula Annotated
Markarian's Chain Annotated
Great shots and great tehchnique! I wish I could do something similar like you and GWARmachine, just to mention a few of the active participants here.

Regarding Saturn, movies and web cams, I actually think that a web cam and a decent scope is a fine combinations because sensor resolution (pixel sizes) and scope resolution are a better match for planetary work than the relatively crude pixels of a DSLR. But I have tried video mode on the Moon with some success and I surely will try it out on Saturn as well. I shall report back (soon, I hope......).

Regarding solar work: Remember there is a Venus transit coming on 5-6 June. Next passage visible from Earth of Venus' passage in front of the solar disk won't be until 2117 (where it will be dark night in Denmark) so, it's now or never!

Where to Be
05-03-2012, 07:15 AM   #291
Senior Member
GWARmachine's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 137
YES! It's on my calendar here for sure! (Venus Transit) Although I'm in Japan and I'm not quite sure of exactly when to look for it. Thank you too Stone. I really like posting here because we all have one thing for sure in common...Pentax. When I go to other astronomy forums I sometimes get a little intimidated or discouraged, but I also learn. But I'd rather share my experience and knowledge with fellow Pentax owners first. Ha!

-I've definitely though of the webcam but I'm also using the video function on my K-5 and just recently downloaded a program to stack those separate images. I'll definitely post the results once I learn how to work the program. Still waiting for clear skies here. I'll post this one for now. It has not been worked on at all and I have 5 more I want to stack with it. This is just straight from the camera-

M13-

K-5, Orion ED80CF, ISO 1600, (1)60sec exp
05-03-2012, 08:05 AM   #292
Site Supporter
smigol's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 394
GWAR, that M13 looks mighty good!

The 80mm scope does seem to show a need for a flattener with all the distortions around the edges. I know that Orion sells a generic, I'm not sure if they're going to offer one that is matched for this particular scope.

You might be able to correct some of that distortion in post process. Tools like PTLens and Lightroom should be able to stretch it back. I know that Pix Insight could do it, too. I prefer to get it right before it hits the CCD to save effort later as I'm never quite sure I can fix it properly.
05-03-2012, 08:34 AM   #293
Site Supporter
smigol's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 394
QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
Regarding Saturn, movies and web cams, I actually think that a web cam and a decent scope is a fine combinations because sensor resolution (pixel sizes) and scope resolution are a better match for planetary work than the relatively crude pixels of a DSLR. But I have tried video mode on the Moon with some success and I surely will try it out on Saturn as well. I shall report back (soon, I hope......).
You could use video mode on a point and shoot like the Q or Optio because the pixel pitch is fine enough to oversample properly. As far as I can tell, the Q has a pitch of 1.55 um - 50% smaller than what I have on my webcam. I could use that at prime focus and be set.

05-03-2012, 08:36 AM   #294
Senior Member
GWARmachine's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 137
QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
GWAR, that M13 looks mighty good!

The 80mm scope does seem to show a need for a flattener with all the distortions around the edges. I know that Orion sells a generic, I'm not sure if they're going to offer one that is matched for this particular scope.

You might be able to correct some of that distortion in post process. Tools like PTLens and Lightroom should be able to stretch it back. I know that Pix Insight could do it, too. I prefer to get it right before it hits the CCD to save effort later as I'm never quite sure I can fix it properly.
Thank you very much!!! Your previous shot is amazing too. I love being able to capture entire galaxies with a tiny sensor. It's just amazing! I have looked into the flattener too. This was from my first time out so I wasn't sure if I would need it or not. The store I purchased it from (OPT-corp) said I may not need so I was happy to save some $$. I really want to get some type of filter but, looks like the flattener may be next after-all. Right now I'm in a battle with my polar scope trying to get the darn thing collimated. I'm about the throw it off the 4th deck to see if that works... (ARGH!)
05-03-2012, 11:59 AM   #295
Site Supporter
smigol's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 394
QuoteOriginally posted by GWARmachine Quote
Right now I'm in a battle with my polar scope trying to get the darn thing collimated. I'm about the throw it off the 4th deck to see if that works... (ARGH!)
Does the polar scope insert through the mount? If so, then you'll need to make sure that the polar scope is aligned with what the mount's axis will be. You can test some of this during the daytime by sighting a distant object (top of a pole etc) and then swinging the mount in RA from one side to the other. If it looks like the polar scope view makes an arc rather than spins in place, then it's not aligned properly. I've had to shim the tube of mine with some masking tape to ensure that it fits snugly with no wobble.

Remember that these tools are just to get you close enough. Once you are under the stars, you can spend some more time getting the rest of the way there via other tools (drift align, software, goto modeling, etc).
05-03-2012, 01:42 PM   #296
Veteran Member
pixelsaurus's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Levin, NZ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 784
QuoteOriginally posted by GWARmachine Quote
YES! It's on my calendar here for sure! (Venus Transit) Although I'm in Japan and I'm not quite sure of exactly when to look for it.
Japan is a good place to be for the transit as is Hawaii. Fortunately I get to see the whole transit as well (New Zealand), trees and weather permitting. I hope to have my 150mm reflector set up within the next week for this. I am undecided at the moment whether I will shoot whole disk only or just concentrate on the limbs of first and last contact. Maybe I'll do both. I'm thinking of putting the *ist DS on the scope and pressing my wife's Nikon D200 with a 200-400mm f/5.6 Tamron and 1.7x TC into service. Have to get a solar filter for the latter.
Transit details here NASA - 2012 Transit of Venus
05-04-2012, 06:07 AM   #297
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South Yorkshire
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 144
Smigol's Chain

I've taken the liberty of downloading your Markarian's Chain shot and fiddling with it. If you like the change, I can't remember the exact numbers but I used CS5 "Selective Color" in two stages, first to reduce the muddy blueness by reducing the blues and cyans in neutrals and blacks. Then I blackened the neutrals and blacks just enough to avoid filling in the halos. Kept me quiet for a few minutes, if nothing else . . .

BFN
David
Attached Images
 
05-09-2012, 10:26 PM   #298
Site Supporter
smigol's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 394
I was inspired by a comment on a local observers group that the big sunspot cluster on the face of the sun was naked-eye visible (with a solar filter of course).

Lo and behold, it appeared as a pinprick on the disc of the sun.

Put my filter on my K10D with the smc P-A* 1:4 300mm lens, set to 1/350 sec, F8, at 100 ISO. Banged out 11 exposures then stacked with Registax 6 to overprocess them.

Here is the result at 100% crop:


Last edited by smigol; 06-04-2012 at 07:57 AM. Reason: Updated link for photo
06-03-2012, 08:33 AM   #299
Senior Member
GWARmachine's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 137
Please check out my video of the eclipse!

Here's one of my eclipse photos!
06-03-2012, 04:14 PM   #300
Veteran Member
madbrain's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 790
I have been interested in this for years but never took the plunge.
I have a few long reach lenses :

DA 18-250 f3.5-6.3
DA 55-300 f4.0-5.8
Rokinon 800mm mirror lens f8 . Also 2x teleconverter to make it 1600mm/f16

My other shorter lenses, which are probably not as useful for astrophotography :
F50 / 1.7
Sigma 10-20
Samyang 8mm fisheye (on the way)

I have been successful taking good shots & movies of of the moon , especially with the mirror lens and a good tripod, without the need to do any stacking.

I would like to also photograph galaxies & nebulas - deep sky.
I am at 700ft elevation in the bay area. I can see all the bay area lights, but there aren't too many near my house on the hill.

There is an observatory that is a 9 miles birds eye distance; 20 mile and 45 minutes drive. I have not visited it yet. It is closed at night. But this might be a better area than my house for observing if light pollution is too much of an issue.

I am really unsure what equipment to get.
I believe I need a tracking mount. Is there a goto & auto tracking mount I can use with my K-r and the existing lenses above ?

I wonder if the lenses I have are sufficient, or if I should also get a telescope ?
Is there a good mount I can get first that would also still work with a telescope, should I choose to add one later ? It would seem the alignment would be quite different - in one case the camera is attached to the mount, in other case it's the telescope tube.

How important is it to get the camera modded ? I have 2 DSLRs if it matters. My other DSLR is a Canon T3i/600D.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
astronomy, astrophotgraphy, astrophotograhy, bill, camera, dslr, dss, exposures, f/1.8, images, lens, light, lights, lp, moon, night, night sky, photography, pk tether, post, settings, sigma, skies, stars, starscape, street, thanks
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
astrophotography with K-7 - issues =(. Please help? Nass Photographic Technique 40 02-10-2010 10:28 PM
Astrophotography with K10 J-Rod Photographic Technique 5 12-12-2009 06:08 PM
Astrophotography mithrandir Photographic Technique 1 11-26-2009 06:56 PM
K7 And Astrophotography Christopher M.W.T Pentax DSLR Discussion 49 11-25-2009 08:51 AM
Astrophotography elLuiggi Post Your Photos! 0 11-01-2007 05:43 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:29 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top