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Everything posted by Xiga

  1. Still getting my eye back in after a year out. Had another look at this tonight, and decided the previous version was just too bright. Plus, it was bringing out the noise a bit too much for my liking, so used Curves to lower the midtones a bit. Also, reduced the image size down to 70%. Calling it quits on this one now!
  2. Hi guys Just came across this tonight. It's similar to Starnet++, in that it uses AI to remove stars, but it's all done within PS and apparently it leaves far fewer artefacts behind. https://www.rc-astro.com/resources/StarXTerminator/ Personally, i find $60 to be a bit steep for what basically amounts to just a single action (especially when you can get a whole suite of actions for a fraction of that price) but it certainly seems to be very effective. It's also very early days in the development, and Russell promises that it will only get better as he continually improves it. Here is a video of someone doing some early tests of it.
  3. It's a slider in Camera Raw under the Filters menu. I'm on PS CC 2014 so it's possible it's not on the earlier versions.
  4. That's wonderful Carole, really nicely processed. Amazing what a difference even a Bortle 4 sky can make. The Samyang 135 F2 is a great lens, and one I'd like to get myself at some point in the future. Ps - one small piece of feedback, if I may. The image could benefit from a bit more contrast. A quick blast of Dehaze in PS might do the trick, or even just a small curves adjustment, but either way it's still amazing.
  5. Thanks Richard! I've had the camera since February, and have been itching to put it to use ever since. The camera has definitely impressed me I must say. The sensitivity is great, before with the Atik 383 I could never sufficiently swamp the RN in a Narrowband sub, no matter how long I exposed. No problem in that department now. Only downside is I am currently manually swapping filters. Ok for NB, but for broadband I could quickly end up as a zombie. Maybe next year I can pick up an OSC version of this chip, and leave the mono just for NB.
  6. Thanks Adam Hope you're keeping well. It does feel good to finally be back imaging again! Although it's been a very frustrating month, as out of about 6 sessions only the last one went without issue. Up to now I've just been lucky to have never had any technical issues with the gear, so this is an unwelcome first for me. I'm hopeful the next clear night will go as planned though, now I've re-jigged the finder-guider. The image above has had no star reduction or manipulation. This is just the Ha stars as they are, and I have to say it's so nice not having to tame them in processing, so I'm very pleased with the 3.5nm filter (even though Sadr did have a pretty big halo). Some of the sessions were ok, and one or two showed what I thought looked like tilt, but stacking them all has kind of hidden most of the effect. I also definitely had diff flexure too so that was also muddying the waters. I really need a good session of guiding on both sides of the meridian to know for sure where things are at.
  7. After what has seemed like an interminable wait, i've finally been able to complete an image again, almost a full year since my last one. I sent the mount off to get 'tuned' but the less said about that the better. Anyways, it's good to be back in the saddle again. Acquisition for this one has been difficult. After 5 years of doing AP, and not losing a single sub, not one (even doing 20 min ones regularly) i'm now having issues with eggy stars (at best) or trailed ones (at worst). I've been blaming the mount during the last month or so that it took to capture this data, but in truth i think it's mostly been down to differential flexure, a problem i never had before. Anyway, i've now got some new rings and mounting arrangement for the finder-guider, and was able to use it on the last data session, and things went a lot better for it, so fingers crossed i'm over the worst of it now. Still need one more good night on both sides of the meridian to know for sure though. So even after ditching a lot of subs, i was still able to salvage most of the Oiii and Sii data for this, as even though the stars were not great, i was only using those channels for tone mapping anyway (and a separate HSO stack just for star colours too). Thankfully, most of the Ha data had ok stars, although i do have some tilt towards the bottom left i think, and which i'm trying very hard to ignore! Details: 53 x 6 mins of Ha (Baader 3.5nm UNB) 42 x 6 mins of Oiii (Baader 8.5nm) 23 x 6 mins of Sii (Baader 8nm) Total exposure 11:48 SW80ED, HEQ5-Pro. Qhy268m. Mode 1, Gain 56, Offset 25, -10c. Stacked in AstroPixelProcessor, processed in PS. Resized to 80% as i didn't think 100% was offering anything more, and it also helped hide a little more noise. C&C welcome, and CS!
  8. Wow, that is seriously good Ivo. Easily the best rendition of this i've come across. Good skills!
  9. @ollypenrice how are you stacking your ASI 2600 subs? Are you using Bayer Drizzle? When you have well-dithered subs, and lots of them (which is pretty much always the case with OSC CMOS) then Bayer Drizzle basically bypasses the need to do interpolation. You might find that fine-scale colour details are a bit more accurate, and it could make a difference when then binning. Worth a shot i would think. Unless you are already using Bayer Drizzle, in which case ignore me!
  10. Congratulations to Bryan and Matt, top work guys! And thanks again to IKI and FLO for another great data set and challenge.
  11. Bit late to the party with this one. Didn't have as much time on it as i would have liked, but i found it pretty difficult to process i must admit. APP used for Gradient Reduction, Siril used for Photometric Colour Calibration, then into PS for everything else. Colour stretched manually in PS using Arcsinh, and the RGB was used for the galaxy cores. Didn't use starnet for a change. instead i just went with old-school star reduction.
  12. Nice one Russ. We have very similar kit. Mount, scope and filter. Only my camera (Qhy268m) is different to yours. I shot Sadr a couple of weeks back and saw halos with my Ha filter, so will be interested to see how you get on.
  13. Also really sorry to hear this. Hope you get a resolution soon. I've been down this road recently myself. I won't go into details, for the sake of my own sanity. I'll let you draw your own conclusions from that.
  14. Finally got a chance a couple of nights ago to have a very brief first light with my Qhy268m and the Baader 2" 3.5nm CMOS Ha filter (not the super fast F2 ones). Zero processing on this, just a stretch, not even cropped. It's just 9 x 360s so only 54 mins. I need proper calibration frames too, this has only had a very quick BPM and a single 500s dark (not even the same length lol) applied, together with some similarly badly calibrated flats! Time to finally get some decent calibration frames now i'm finally back in the game after a long 10 months out. I'm happy with the overall contrast and star sizes, but am a bit disappointed in the Sadr halo if i'm being honest. I wouldn't have been surprised to see halos in Oiii or Sii, but i was expecting the Ha to be virtually halo-free. In all my time using the 7nm Ha i never really saw any halos at all, i was really happy with it. I know Sadr is about as bad a case as it gets (annoyingly i never shot this with my 7nm) but what do you guys think, does it look ok or not? I also might have a slight spacing issue. Not completely sure, perhaps a tiny bit more spacing needed. Hard to say for sure, as immediately after the meridian flip i got 2 more subs before the clouds came in, but both had really eggy stars! I had moved my finder-guider to a dovetail on top of the SW 80ed (supposedly for better balance), but i think that may have introduced some diff flex, so i've moved it back again. Just need another test session on either side of the meridian to know for sure if it's ok now, then i'll move on to trying to get any tilt or spacing issues sorted for good.
  15. @tooth_dr as you know i have the same camera and i'm also in the process of trying to get my stars right as well. Hoping to get my differential flexure problems sorted for good on the next clear night, then i'll be ditching the Baader Clicklock and moving to an all threaded connection to hopefully eliminate any tilt issues. FWIW,I also put some of my test session Ha subs through ASTAP (as a cheap alternative to CCDI) and it told me i had a bit of tilt, usually less than 10% but i found the variability between subs to be huge, even with subsequent subs, which makes no sense to me. One would be ok, and then suddenly the next would indicate quite a lot of tilt, so i don't plan on using ASTAP to determine my tilt issues now. I'm just going to go by eye and draw a line under it when i find i hit a point where it doesn't overly bother me anymore lol. On your setup though, i had an idea. For the 3 sets of data you captured above, do any of them include subs from pre and post meridian flip? If any do, then you could take the subs from immediately before and after the flip, register them with each other and then compare. If it is tilt due to the focuser in any way, then the tilt should move to the opposite side and you should clearly see a big difference in star shapes in each corner. Conversely, if there is no major change, then it is probably more like a backfocus, focus, or collimation issue. Something to try out at least.
  16. David, if you already own a tablet you could give that a try. I still use an old iPad for doing my flats and it works great. Back when I used my modified DSLR with an IDAS-D1 filter, my flats were also unbalanced. I'm not sure it was even an issue for my setup, but for peace of mind I found an easy solution, which was to use a simple full screen colour app which had 3 sliders for RGB (0 to 255) which allowed me to set the colour so my flats would have a balanced histogram in all 3 channels. Could be worth a try, especially if you already have a tablet lying around somewhere, and would save you some £££'s.
  17. I have to agree, that looks way beyond acceptable to me. I'd be sending that back without doubt. Also disappointing to see the halos in the Oiii and Sii subs above. I was really hoping Baader would have fixed these but it appears not. My old Baader Sii gives pretty bad halos. I ordered one of the 3.5nm Ha CMOS ones myself (not the super fast one though) and it arrived during the week. No scratchets or marks on it that I can see at least. I did notice that colour wise it looked clear, compared to the orange and green sides of the old filter which I thought was interesting. Hope to get a chance to use it soon.
  18. This is going to be fascinating to watch@ollypenrice! Can't wait to see your results with this once you've ironed out all the kinks. ps - TAIC recently did a presentation on the RASA, specifically the 8" version. Could be worth a skim in case it contains a few nuggets of information.
  19. I've also ordered one of these 2" CMOS 3.5nm filters, but just the Ha one. Looking forward to using it but am pretty relaxed about delivery time, as we've no astro dark up here in N.I for another month or so anyway. Ps - I was watching one of The Astro Imaging Channel's YouTube videos recently, the one on the RASA 8, and the presenter said that Fast filters (I.e ones that work down to F2) are only needed if you are using filters of around 3nm. He said even 5nm filters work just fine on fast optics. Just thought I'd pass it on in case it proves useful to some (assuming it's true of course!).
  20. Congratulations Richard! A real badge of honour even to just make the shortlist. Well done!
  21. I used 1s Flats when doing Broadband imaging. For Narrowband it was longer, I think they were in the region of 7s to 10s. Try not to use super fast exposures for your flats if you can avoid it. For mine, I just plonk my iPad onto the dew shield with a piece of opal plastic in between as a diffuser. I then lower the screen brightness until a roughly 1s exposure gives a histogram somewhere in the middle.
  22. Seeing as i haven't imaged anything since October of last year (don't ask!) i've been forced to get creative and dig through some old data to see what i could come up with. As it turns out, i had some Ha data of the Crescent Nebula taken with my Ha-modified Nikon D5300 and SW 80ED from way back in Nov 2018 that never made it into a final image. Last October I did a mosaic of the entire Cygnus region in SHO for which i used an ancient 50mm Zuiko lens to shoot the Sii and Oiii (i did the Ha at 135mm) and so i had the crazy idea to try and use the 50mm Sii and Oiii data together with the SW 80ED Ha data to see if i could make something even remotely resembling a passable SHO version of NGC 6888. Try as i might, i simply couldn't get the Sii and Oiii data to register to the 80ED data. Hardly surprising i suppose! So in the end i just used PS to rotate and scale them to get them as close as i could. I was actually surprised at what came out colour-wise, even though the Sii and Oiii channels are obviously nowhere near nuanced enough to provide any small-scale structure to the colours they imparted. I was also expecting to just have to resort to using white stars in the final image, so I was even more surprised when i was able to generate useable SHO star colours for the majority of the stars as well. All in all, quite an enjoyable endeavour being able to turn old unfinished data into something half-decent (i hope!). Full details: 13 x 1200s (4.33 hrs) of Ha; Nikon D5300 at ISO 200; SW 80ED 21 x 1200s (7 hrs) of Oiii; Atik383l+ Zuiko 50mm lens @ F4 11 x 1200s (3.67 hrs) of Sii; Atik383l+ Zuiko 50mm lens @ F4 Stacked in APP, processed in PS. Downscaled in post to 65% of the Ha-80ED res. CS folks!
  23. Good luck with your D5300 Michael, you will do very well to find a better AP camera for the money. I got mine back in 2016 and sent it off to JTW Astronomy (who luckily for you are based in Amsterdam) for Ha modification and it's been a pleasure to use ever since. I'm lucky to now have a cooled mono astro camera, but i still have my D5300 and nothing will ever make me part with it, it's that good. FWIW, i've never encountered the concentric rings problem in any of my images. I used ISO 200 exclusively, but then i never imaged at a fast F-ratio, i was always at F6.3 so maybe that was the reason. In any case, it's good that there is now a fix for those who were affected by it. Mark is a true genius it has to be said.
  24. The picture above is just a low res version from the Irish Times' website. I've attached a full res one below for completeness:
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