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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Astronomy & Celestial 
Thread started 31 Dec 2009 (Thursday) 21:07
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The Official Shoot the Moon Thread

 
nardes
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Sep 20, 2018 19:01 |  #5146

Here is an "After" and "Before" example of lunar image processing.

Basically I attach an astronomy webcam (ZWO ASI174MM) to my telescope and record a movie file (Moon.avi) of say, 4,000 frames at around 100fps at 1920x1200 pixels.
Software (AutoStakkert!2) analyses each of these 4,000 video frames and grades them according to their individual image quality.
The best Frames are then selected (e.g. say 25% or the best 1,000) for further processing.
The Frames will typically have been recorded during those fleeting (lucky) moments of what we call "good seeing" where the earth's atmosphere is relatively steady and does not smear the finer image details.

Software (AS!) then Aligns and Stacks these (top) 1,000 Frames which improves the image quality by increasing the S/N Ratio and generates a single Moon.tif file.

Using another App (Registax6) I open the Moon.tif file and use a sharpening function termed "Wavelets" which analyses the Moon.tif file and teases out the finer detail that has been smeared by the Earth's unsteady atmosphere (deconvolution I think?).

I then open this "Wavelet" deconvolved image in PS CC for some final finishing and Voila!

The top image is the "After" with 1,200 Frames Stacked in this example. The bottom image is the "before", a single Raw Frame grabbed from the original 4,000 Frame Moon.avi.

Cheers

Dennis


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Sep 20, 2018 22:22 |  #5147

nardes wrote in post #18712242 (external link)
Here is an "After" and "Before" example of lunar image processing.

I then open this "Wavelet" deconvolved image in PS CC for some final finishing and Voila!

The top image is the "After" with 1,200 Frames Stacked in this example. The bottom image is the "before", a single Raw Frame grabbed from the original 4,000 Frame Moon.avi.

Cheers

Dennis

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./showthread.php?p=187​12242&i=i207446242
forum: Astronomy & Celestial

Wow!! Huge difference!!!!!!!!!


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Sep 21, 2018 06:28 |  #5148

^ That's impressive! I wonder how much of the difference was due to the deconvolution and sharpening, and how much - due to capturing lots of frames and removing the air turbulence artifacts? In my experience, deconvolution can make very dramatic improvements to the image sharpness, if done well (and if the image has a good signal to noise ratio). Especially the "blind deconvolution" method, which makes no assumptions on your point spread function (PSF), and instead derives it self-consistently as a part of the iterative deconvolution procedure. I played with this stuff quite a bit in my extreme macro photography.


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Tareq
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Sep 21, 2018 15:27 |  #5149

^^^ This is how we do our lunar images too, recording videos, AS!2/3 > Registax and then whatever else such as Photoshop or Lightroom for final processing.

I do use an IR filter too for overpassing the seeing condition, and it really did a big job in improving results for me at least.


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Sep 21, 2018 16:29 |  #5150

pulsar123 wrote in post #18712558 (external link)
^ That's impressive! I wonder how much of the difference was due to the deconvolution and sharpening, and how much - due to capturing lots of frames and removing the air turbulence artifacts? In my experience, deconvolution can make very dramatic improvements to the image sharpness, if done well (and if the image has a good signal to noise ratio). Especially the "blind deconvolution" method, which makes no assumptions on your point spread function (PSF), and instead derives it self-consistently as a part of the iterative deconvolution procedure. I played with this stuff quite a bit in my extreme macro photography.

Deconvolution improves appearance of sharpness.

Stacking increases signal to noise ratio & removes random noise (and generally decreases sharpness the more you stack, even under good seeing).

You have to balance the two.

Very best,


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nardes
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Sep 22, 2018 00:01 |  #5151

Here's a mosaic assembled from 26 frames using the technique outlined above, plus a crop from the middle of one of the mosaic tiles.

Cheers

Dennis


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Sep 24, 2018 19:19 |  #5152

IMAGE: https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1906/31005692598_0438578bda_h.jpg
It's my first attempt at photographing the moon with an ancient Nikkor telephoto 300MM

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Sep 26, 2018 16:39 |  #5153

So here is my first moon shot with the 100-400 II, stacked with x1.4 and x2 = 1120mm

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1961/31063576738_5407cb46a9_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/PjYX​8h  (external link) Moon at 1120mm (external link) by Ian Waller (external link), on Flickr

So basically I thought that my tripod was sturdy, until I tried manually focusing at 1120, apparently not so sturdy!! WTF :)

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Sep 26, 2018 21:53 |  #5154

IanW wrote in post #18716899 (external link)
So here is my first moon shot with the 100-400 II, stacked with x1.4 and x2 = 1120mm

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/PjYX​8h  (external link) Moon at 1120mm (external link) by Ian Waller (external link), on Flickr

So basically I thought that my tripod was sturdy, until I tried manually focusing at 1120, apparently not so sturdy!! WTF :)

Ian.

Ian,

I know what you mean. I "only" have a Sigma 150-500 that I use my 1.4 on which gives me 700mm. That is also very difficult to focus with. I can not really image how much more difficult 1120mm would be like!

You did a splendid job Ian!!


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1stKnight
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Sep 27, 2018 05:52 |  #5155

Amazing effort from all on this Thread! Really great.

I've taken to taking pictures of the Moon of late too and doing ok with a Canon 5D Mk IV and 100-400 ii with 1.4x but really want to have a go with a telescope. I have an old Skywatcher Reflector but it isn't great, very frustrating to keep manual track of the Moon with and doesn't seem to produce anything better than my camera lenses can offer.

My neighbours have a computerised Celestron Nexstar 8SE and while they don't do any kind of astrophotography, they claim the scope is excellent.

I have been pondering getting a Nexstar Evolution 6 - to give me an effective 1500mm if I'm not mistaken - (budget constraints over the 8 and a knowledge that I will only ever be a casual Astronomer) but can't seem to find many images taken with DSLR's from one. I'm more interested in Lunar and Planets than deep space stuff. Anyone gone down that route with advice?

Or should I just get a really sturdy tripod, 2x teleconverter and stack 1.4x and 2x onto my 5D IV or 7D ii?


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Tareq
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Sep 27, 2018 14:47 |  #5156

1stKnight wrote in post #18717248 (external link)
Amazing effort from all on this Thread! Really great.

I've taken to taking pictures of the Moon of late too and doing ok with a Canon 5D Mk IV and 100-400 ii with 1.4x but really want to have a go with a telescope. I have an old Skywatcher Reflector but it isn't great, very frustrating to keep manual track of the Moon with and doesn't seem to produce anything better than my camera lenses can offer.

My neighbours have a computerised Celestron Nexstar 8SE and while they don't do any kind of astrophotography, they claim the scope is excellent.

I have been pondering getting a Nexstar Evolution 6 - to give me an effective 1500mm if I'm not mistaken - (budget constraints over the 8 and a knowledge that I will only ever be a casual Astronomer) but can't seem to find many images taken with DSLR's from one. I'm more interested in Lunar and Planets than deep space stuff. Anyone gone down that route with advice?

Or should I just get a really sturdy tripod, 2x teleconverter and stack 1.4x and 2x onto my 5D IV or 7D ii?

The route you choose depends on skills, i may advise you this gear or that gear, then there is/are always member(s) who will show off with cheap setup/equipment and will tell you it is about processing or how you edit yur pictures, but i have to admit that the best moon or lunar images i have in my life so far is from this year when i started to use a new scope and to do stacking and by using a planetary camera, that changed the game for me completely, but that is expensive route so then you may not go and many will tell you to stay with DSLR and lenses.


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Post edited 23 days ago by MalVeauX.
     
Sep 29, 2018 12:14 |  #5157

1stKnight wrote in post #18717248 (external link)
Amazing effort from all on this Thread! Really great.

I've taken to taking pictures of the Moon of late too and doing ok with a Canon 5D Mk IV and 100-400 ii with 1.4x but really want to have a go with a telescope. I have an old Skywatcher Reflector but it isn't great, very frustrating to keep manual track of the Moon with and doesn't seem to produce anything better than my camera lenses can offer.

My neighbours have a computerised Celestron Nexstar 8SE and while they don't do any kind of astrophotography, they claim the scope is excellent.

I have been pondering getting a Nexstar Evolution 6 - to give me an effective 1500mm if I'm not mistaken - (budget constraints over the 8 and a knowledge that I will only ever be a casual Astronomer) but can't seem to find many images taken with DSLR's from one. I'm more interested in Lunar and Planets than deep space stuff. Anyone gone down that route with advice?

Or should I just get a really sturdy tripod, 2x teleconverter and stack 1.4x and 2x onto my 5D IV or 7D ii?

So, first you have to step away from terrestrial perspective of thinking with respect to optics and imaging and start researching more into astrophotography in general. Focal length is pretty much not important to worry about. When it comes to high resolution astrophotography, it's about aperture (the physical size of the opening of the instrument that lets light in) and the focal-ratio of the instrument matched to pixel size for appropriate sampling.

For example, the Celestron NexStar 8SE you referenced is "8" in terms of 8 inches of aperture, or 200mm aperture. That is where the resolution will come from. A 6SE is 6 inches of aperture or 150mm of aperture. This will also produce high resolution images of the lunar surface.

Stacking a bunch of stuff to get a long focal length is not going to net more detail. Detail comes from resolving detail which comes from resolution which is limited by aperture size and the seeing of the atmosphere. The larger your aperture, the more potential resolution you'll have.

For reference, people are using these 400mm telephotos and 600mm telephotos that are mostly 71mm to 95mm apertures. There's a point where stacking TC's produces nothing other than a larger image scale with no more detail than if you had simply resized the image in post. This is why sampling is important as previously mentioned. These 400mm & 600mm focal length instruments have small apertures. This is why they're limited and you won't see the resolution that you see from these larger aperture instruments, telescopes generally, with 150mm or larger apertures. This is why that inexpensive Celestron C6 telescope will produce way, way, way higher resolution than someonee's 400mm or 600mm telephoto lens. The aperture difference is profound.

So if you want to image the moon, planets, etc, at high resolution, the Nexstar system such as the 6SE or 8SE are actually great. The 6SE is a great instrument for a very good price. The tracking mount (Nexstar) is pretty decent for this. You will not image with still photography. You will image with video. This is a big difference. This is because of the atmospheric seeing will limit what image scale you can use. You can use a dSLR for this, using it's video capabilities to image. It's not ideal though, because dSLR's have large sensors and lots of pixels which means high data current and you will not get fast FPS to achieve large amounts of data in the video to pluck the best frames from. You will image slowly. But this is actually fine for moon & planets for the most part, to learn with. You may want to explore a different camera, later on, such as a USB based CMOS video camera that is much higher FPS. But again you can start with a dSLR using video capture just fine. You will want to research "lucky imaging" and things like stacking, using Autostakkert!3 and editing software like IMPPG or Registax to figure out what to do with the video data you'll capture.

If you really want to get into high resolution lunar & planetary imaging, the Nexstar series is a great budget option. The 6SE is great and light weight and very portable. The 8SE is better for resolution, a little heavier. I can happily recommend both. You will want a 2x barlow (or equivalent) to go with them (inexpensive). Go with what your budget allows. Really awesome for visual astronomy too. Very easy to align and use. And great for imaging via video (not still images!) for lunar/planets.

+++++++++++++++

By the way, the 6SE (a 150mm or 6 inch aperture) can absolutely pluck detail from the significantly higher resolution than what a typical camera telephoto lens will manage with a much smaller aperture.

Here's that exact telescope (Celestron C6, $399 brand new):

IMAGE: https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4245/34148723143_e5f6026c0d_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/U2B8​EF  (external link) IMG_0717 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

And here's that C6 with a 2x barlow (3000mm focal length, F20 image scale), to show you the kind of resolution you can get out of that aperture size telescope in good seeing:

(And you can do this, with the same telescope, on the Nexstart SE mount, it's an inexpensive total package and does a great job):

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/324/31203285930_45293f7171_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/PxjZ​Ns  (external link) GassendiCrater_MareHum​orum_12102016 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/297/30734040534_3d542d1501_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/NPRZ​uA  (external link) Plato_Crater_Alpes_121​02016 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/287/31428803312_68ea8f5359_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/PTfQ​gb  (external link) Tycho_Crater_12102016 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/102/30765701163_f30216825c_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/NSEg​6v  (external link) CopernicusCrater_Monte​sCarpatus_12102016 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Very best,

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Tareq
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Sep 30, 2018 00:08 |  #5158

And i am using 7" Maksutov telescope, also amazing for lunar, not bad for planets, i also have a cheap telescope which is Meade 8" F5 and this is discontinued, but 8" scope is still capable of a lot, this scope can be used for planetary or lunar and/or deep space photography, i already posted from my 7" Mak i think, i didn't use my 8" Newtonian yet, but i hope soon i can to show you, i do have 100-400 and 300 2.8L and whatever i do even using 1.4x or 2x it won't get close or better than a telescope.

Another thing, i am using planetary camera for lunar and planets, they are small cameras design alike of webcams, i use the one with USB3.0, and that gives me amazing fps, up to 150-300fps according to crop region [ROI] i choose of camera setting in app, that is why those planetary and lunar imagers using those camera and videos for processing their results, pity i have one camera but with USB2.0 that i damaged by mistake, and no one will buy it, hahahaha


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Oct 01, 2018 17:51 |  #5159

Moonrise, central New Mexico, September 24, 2018.


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Oct 02, 2018 05:04 |  #5160

fotoi wrote in post #18720297 (external link)
Moonrise, central New Mexico, September 24, 2018.

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Wow!

Michiel>=-


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The Official Shoot the Moon Thread
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