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Everything posted by BrendanC

  1. I've decided to stick with 3.2.0. The Low Light change just doesn't do it for me. It's been a bad software week: APT, StarTools and Topaz have all issued updates that don't work too well for me. Here are two examples... 3.2.0 - nice and smooth 3.3.2 - to my eye, a bit crunchy and grainy, and more noticeable when you zoom in, on the original image I should add that neither of these images are processed to look as good as possible - they're just processed using defaults in StarTools and 50% Sharpen/Denoise with CPU rendering in Topaz, so they're more easily directly compared. I mean, it could be a matter of choice, but I do prefer the 3.2.0. I also understand that Topaz isn't an astrophotography package (another irritation of 3.3.2 is that it automatically chooses 'the best' algorithm which is never Low Light, which I routinely use). But it's still annoying.
  2. OK, so Topaz support confirm that yes, there was a change in the Low Light algo. I'm going to play around with the new one and see what I can get out of it but I find it so very annoying when these things change and, imho, become worse.
  3. Hi all, I recently updated my 3.2.0 to 3.3.2 and I'm sure there's a difference in the rendering. I contacted Topaz and their response was that they haven't changed anything in the algo, but I'm sure there's a discernible difference. Is anyone else noticing this? I actually have some sample files if anyone fancies taking a look or playing around with them: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqovBuVZMwj3kZMFpjjz4h19KrgYpA?e=Fgp2Ue (four TIFF files, about 1.4GB) They're all created using Low Light at 50% denoise and sharpen, CPU rendered. Two of them were using 3.2.0, one on my PC, one on my laptop, so I could compare across machines. They're identical, as expected. Then I upgraded to 3.3.2 on the PC, and there is a clear difference. It's grainier, not as soft - and, I think, not as effective. I've also included the original image, autosave.tiff I've also shared these with Topaz support, not heard anything back yet. Any thoughts? Thanks, Brendan
  4. Thanks, I do have a desktop PC and I might look into upgrading rather than a new setup. And yes, you're right, it's an alpha release so fingers crossed.
  5. I'm kind of stuck now. I don't want to have to shell out for a new rig just for this module. Only other choices are to skip HDR, move on from StarTools, or roll back to the previous version, which I've done but then obviously won't be able to take advantage of future developments. I guess we wait to see what Ivo decides to do between the alpha and final release.
  6. I'd say it's fairly long - definitely disruptive for a workflow, in which you want to try different settings. If you read my thread at the StarTools forum, you'll see that, at the higher settings, it doesn't budge from the first progress bar. I'm really hoping this changes. I don't think my machines are terribly low-end.
  7. Hi all, I'm trying to get to grips with the new HDR module in StarTools latest alpha release. I know alpha releases change, and I'm really hoping this one does, because I'm finding it almost unusable it's so slow. Anyone else finding this? Any workarounds or settings that fix this? I've documented it here: https://forum.startools.org/viewtopic.php?t=2357 Thanks, Brendan
  8. Interesting thread! Just to chime in regarding mosaic software, Affinity Photo has an excellent mosaic feature.
  9. The Cocoon Nebula, IC 5146 * 5:27 hours of integration at ISO800 from 28x240s + 43x300s subs * Bortle 4 sky, Moon 1% phase, 45° height * Calibration: 25 flats, 25 dark flats, 50 darks * Hardware: Sky-Watcher 130PDS scope with primary mirror baffle, Sky-Watcher NEQ6 mount with Rowan belt, Canon EOS1000D DSLR camera minus IR filter, Sky-Watcher 0.9x coma corrector, Datyson T7C guide camera, Angel Eyes 50mm guide scope * Software: Polar alignment with SharpCap Pro, guiding with PHD2, capture with Astrophotography Tool (APT), stacking with Deep Sky Stacker (DSS), post-processing with StarTools and Topaz Denoise AI
  10. Thanks! I thought it looked very much like an ADM saddle. Quick supplementary question though: if I do sell, would the puck be integral to this ie would I need to sell them both together, or could they in theory be sold separately? In which case, how much would the puck be worth as a separate item?
  11. I tried this the other night with appalling results. So yes, I agree with everyone else - very tough object, very well done.
  12. Hi all, When I bought a second-hand NEQ6 mount a while back, it came with this Losmandy saddle. However, I don't need it and never did, and probably never will. So, I'm thinking of selling it to raise funds for new astro kit. Thing is, I've searched the web high and low and cannot identify it. There's no branding or anything, so I can't really figure what a decent asking price would be. Can anyone help? Anyone have this, or know what make it is? Failing that, what would a fair price be? Thanks, Brendan
  13. Interesting, never really thought it could be because of that, but it does make sense. I haven't chopped the focus tube, but I do know that's one of the fixes. I've got half a mind to invest in a TS optics non-reducing coma corrector which might help. Thanks for the suggestion!
  14. Interesting - I've had twisted vanes before but was able to get ointment for it I thought I'd fixed it, so I'll check again. Still, I've decided it's not a real problem. Thanks anyway!
  15. @happy-kat I know what you mean about that 130PDS thread, I was looking for it too yesterday. Anyway, I have actually fitted a primary mirror baffle and it has improved my stars. @vlaiv I'm fairly sure the vanes are the same length and thickness. I think that, at the end of the day, the 130PDS isn't the last word in quality so I've decided it's really not a problem and that I can live with it.
  16. Hi all, A first for me last night - 300s subs, which requires a lot of background work to build the darks library but worth it. Managed to test it by adding exposure time to my Elephant's Trunk Nebula. It was also my first proper shoot since fitting a primary mirror baffle which I think may have made quite a big difference to the star definition. Nerdy stats: * 7:39 hours of integration at ISO800 from top 90% of 17x120s + 50x240s + 45x300s subs, over 4 nights * Bortle 4 sky, Moon average 53% phase, 33° height * Calibration: 25 flats, 25 dark flats, 50 darks * Hardware: Sky-Watcher 130PDS scope (F5), Sky-Watcher NEQ6 mount with Rowan belt, Canon EOS1000D DSLR camera with IR filter removed, Sky-Watcher 0.9x coma corrector, Datyson T7C guide camera, Angel Eyes 50mm guide scope * Software: Polar alignment with SharpCap Pro, guiding with PHD2, capture with Astrophotography Tool (APT), stacking with Deep Sky Stacker (DSS), post-processing with StarTools and Topaz Denoise AI
  17. I gave up on APT's focus on tools and now use the standalone Bahtinov Grabber tool which, although APT's version is based on it, is actually much easier to use and more reliable.
  18. Found these, which seems to confirm that flat darks do just get swapped out with biases: https://discuss.pixls.us/t/dark-flats-processing/23784 and https://discuss.pixls.us/t/how-to-process-and-incorporate-dark-flat-frames/19271/5 Part of the problem is phrasing: sometimes they're called flat-darks, other times dark-flats, other times darks for flats! Right, now I need to figure out how to do a script that allocates the right darks to the right lights...
  19. @Ricker Is Sirilic (if that's what you mean) Linux only? I'm running Windows 10. POST-EDIT - I found the Windows download. Finding stuff about Siril is not easy! @GalaxyGael I'll sound the folk out on the Siril forum, I just tend to use StarGazers as my goto resource!
  20. Hmmm, looking at the script, there's this: preprocess flat -bias=bias_stacked Then, later, there's this: preprocess light -dark=dark_stacked -flat=pp_flat_stacked -cfa -equalize_cfa -debayer This implies to me that the flats have the bias removed before the main preprocess - which is exactly the same workflow as for flat darks, right? In which case, substituting the flat darks into the bias folder should have worked. In which case, maybe I'm doing this right. I don't know. My head hurts. I'm going to leave this until tomorrow, but thanks for the help in getting me this far!
  21. Nice. I'll have a go! This is literally my first time actually getting Siril to do anything so I'll have to scratch my head a bit. But I do see how that might work. Really appreciate the help, thanks.
  22. You're right, I don't think the maths would work. Thanks for this. I have tried it but the results weren't great. There's no mention at all of flat darks or dark flats in the user guide or anywhere else that I can see. The only mention I've found close to this is here, as 'flat-dark images': https://staging.siril.org/faq/ However, it doesn't explain how to script this, and the scripts page it links to doesn't have any scripts that handle flat darks either. I'm starting to wonder whether Siril does in fact handle flat darks at all, in which case I'll stop using it with immediate effect! It seems rather an astonishing omission. Any more takers?
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