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About TakMan

  • Rank
    Proto Star

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Interests
    Design, Photography, Foreign Travel, walking, astro (of course!)

    Motor Racing - used to be the coordinator for the BRSCC Fiat Racing Challenge.

    Trick/Stunt kiting (Benson 'Gemini')

    Console Gaming (mostly PS4 - Project Cars 1/2 (Fanatec CSW-V2 etc) and XBOX) plus a retro collection: Neo•Geo AES, Vectrex, Saturn, Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, XBOX, Jaguar, Virtual Boy, N64(US), Gamecube(US), Wii, etc, etc
  • Location
    Midlands 52° N
  1. Spent an hour or so clearing down my external SSD that I use when imaging. This was a data set not even looked at. 800 frames from 3500 - Aug 1st. Trying out some processing ideas I’ve been formulating to give it a bit of ‘glow and life’ to the writhing mass of solar plasma! TSA102s. Captured and processed on a MacBook Pro with Basler’s Phylon software, AS!2, ImPPG and PSCC2017. No darks or flats used. Damian
  2. Still going though last weekend's data... this taken around 7.40am (the last set before the clouds came in) and as previous images from that day, no darks or flats acquired or used. After processing I could see a fox's face and it reminded me of the famous Nintendo character from the N64 game, Starfox - rather apt really! Can you see him... or is it just me ? ! Best 300 from 3300 frames taken over 30 seconds (although the last 10 seconds were effected with clouds). Mono12p (p = 'packed') data @ 110fps (maximum rate) in Basler's Pylon software. Mono12 has a lower maximum fame rate and Mono8 (the fastest mode at 164fps) leaves strange vertical lines throughout the frame when the data is stretched. You can see these lines in both the dark and flat frames when stretched as well, very odd. 12P offers the best of both worlds at the moment... TSA102s - Quark Chromo - Basler 174. Processed in AS!2, ImPPG, PsCC2017 on a MacBook Pro. Damian
  3. Thought I'd better get these posted - my attempts to capture over a week or so. With an old Nikon D3 and the Nikkor 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 lenses all on a static tripod, including the close-up taken with the Borg 90FL and the dedicated flattener. Made quite a good excuse for some late night walks and weekend reccies with the wife in tow! Posted in order of capture, some more to add at some stage... Damian Showing Plough and M81/82 - not bad for 48mm FL and an 8 second exposure!
  4. Taken around 7.30am and as previous image from that day, no darks or flats acquired or used. Quick process before bed as trying to catch up with all the data! TSA102s - Quark Chromo - Basler 174. Processed in AS!2, ImPPG, PsCC2017 on a MacBook Pro. Damian
  5. Got a 20 minute window this morning around 7.15am, first time I've been out since going back to work 2 months ago after my furlough exploits.... plenty to re-learn! No time to get darks or any flats before the clouds rolled in (although I do have some darks from previous I could use). Very quick process, house in chaos as we're having a new kitchen fitted! TSA102s - Quark Chromo - Basler 174. Processed in AS!2, ImPPG, PsCC2017 on a MacBook Pro. Damian
  6. 7 sightings over the last week... some better than others, but each observation offering something slightly different. Caught the crescent moon as well, so thrown these in here. Have loads of data to enjoy processing over the next few weeks, but here are a few that I've sorted so far (in edition to my two recent posts). Will add to this thread as I sort... Damian Crescent Moon D7000 + BORG90FL + 1.08x multi flattener 9.55pm 24th June 2020 Shot through tree branches to add a frame and some atmosphere over a straight shot. NLCs 24th June 2020 11.52pm D3 + 24-70 6sec f/2.8 24mm ISO200 Had hoped to get a shot of the moon embedded in the NLCs, but not to be... Plough, Pole Star and NLCs 25th June 2020 11.11pm D3 + 24-70 5sec f/2.8 24mm ISO200 A lovely subtle display, camera virtually pointing straight up. Not quite in focus. Reminded me of a Coronal Northern Lights display... NLCs 25th June 2020 11.14pm D3 + 24-70 4sec f/2.8 24mm ISO200 NLCs 25th June 2020 11.39pm D3 + 24-70 5sec f/2.8 24mm ISO200 The shot I had wanted to capture in my head the night before... NLCs 28th June 2020 3.23am D3 + 24-70 0.8sec f/2.8 44mm ISO200 NLCs 30th June 2020 11.20am D3 + 24-70 1sec f/2.8 66mm ISO200 NLCs 30th June 2020 11.10am D3 + 24-70 1sec f/2.8 70mm ISO200 NLCs 30th June 2020 11.50am D3 + 70-200 1sec f/2.8 200mm ISO200 NLCs 30th June 2020 11.50am D3 + 70-200 1sec f/2.8 200mm ISO200 Animation made from 14 shots... NLC animation.mp4
  7. Don’t think think so, will check later for you... I’ve been chasing them both in the evening and morning and it’s all become a bit of a blur! Did see them (very faint and low against the horizon) last night whilst photographing the crescent moon...
  8. This mornings display was far more subtle than the previous day, but actually made for a nice shot. Very high up and in a lovely fan shape which I’ve not seen before and my NLC sightings are now into double figures. Composed at a jaunty angle to anchor the image with the tree and provide some scale, dodge the street lights and capture the brightest segment. They must have extended right up towards the zenith... Nikon D3 FX (full frame), Nikkor AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, tripod mounted, cable release and mirror lock function. Processed in Adobe Lightroom. Taken from north Lichfield (Staffordshire). Single shot. D3 - ISO 200, 0.6 sec, f/2.8, 24mm, 3.33am Got a few more (all basically the same to check through) and need to work out the stars/constellation (Cassiopeia), above right at some stage.... off now to do some more NLC hunting! Damian
  9. No worries.., Looks like a few chances this week, so fingers crossed for you! D
  10. Yes, the timings were there! Usually they are lower, especially the ‘after sunset’ ones, but I’ve often found that the pre-dawn NLCs are actually higher up. This morning I used the 14-24mm lens, angled up... so some of the clouds would have been reaching up to the zenith. If you were observing Jupiter and Saturn riding low in the South then all you needed to do was spin around and look up 45 degrees!
  11. Timings are provided with each shot Kerry. Nothing last night (sunset), probably due to a bank of cloud on the horizon around 11.00-11.50pm (when I’d walked to my usual site for photography - see last years link). But, I woke (a bit late) this morning around 3.15am and there was a nice subtle display, in a high up fan effect, so I did image them... will process them later and add to a new thread... D
  12. Wasn't prepared gear wise, so made do photographing from home and trying to shield the lens from the street lights... ended up concentrating on close up shots. ‘Trusty’ or should that be crusty, old Nikon D3 FX (full frame), Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED and Nikon D7000 DX with Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VRII, tripod mounted, cable release and mirror lock function. Processed in Adobe Lightroom, just trying out some different colour palettes. Taken from north Lichfield (Staffordshire). Single shot. D3 - ISO 200, 1.3 sec, f/3.2, 62mm, 2.46am Single shot. D3 - ISO 200, 1.3 sec, f/3.2, 70mm, 2.50am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 2 sec, f/2.8, 70mm, 2.53am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 2 sec, f/2.8, 70mm, 2.55am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 2 sec, f/2.8, 70mm, 2.57am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 1.3sec, f/2.8, 70mm, 2.58am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 1sec, f/2.8, 90mm, 3.12am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 1sec, f/2.8, 90mm, 3.12am Single shot. D7000 - ISO 100, 1sec, f/2.8, 90mm, 3.13am Single shot. D3 - ISO 200, 0.8 sec, f/3.2, 70mm, 3.17am Single shot. D3 - ISO 200, 0.6 sec, f/3.2, 70mm, 3.18am A link back to same sort of time last year. might even be clear again tonight... Damian
  13. Thanks for your thoughts on this. P stands for packed, not progressive. Plus it's the Mono8 data that is showing the vertical lines, Mono12/12P is fine... Here is the info from Basler:
  14. Sorry for the delay in posting, this has put us out of sequence now! I missed the opportunity to see how it had progressed yesterday and missed out on getting some great images after seeing the results on here! Still plenty of data to go through, but I'm pleased with this... perhaps my best solar image to date. Was very lucky with the superb seeing around 8.56am. Took my usual 6000-9000us exposures (which should allow me to process the solar surface and prom in one exposure), but as the seeing was so stable, I tried a 18000us exposure and went just for the prom. Best 400 frames from 1661. TSA102s > Baader 2" UV/IR on the TV diagonal > Quark Chromo > Basler acA1920-155um (Sony IMX 174m). Captured in Basler's Pylon software as separate Mono12P (packed).tif files on a MacBook Pro as it doesn't allow saving out as a movie file)! Processed in AS!2 and ImPPG (via Wine), then PS CC2017 Two colour variations: I've tried making a rough 'scale image' using this chaps resource (it was linked to a week ago or so): https://sites.google.com/site/astroblue1/astronomie/brico-utiles And now onto my issue. As some of you who've read my previous posts will be aware, SGL member Vlaiv has been helping me sort the optimum gain and offset for this Sony 174 based camera (all new to me being a CCD based deep sky imager). We started with Mono12P as it offered increased bit depth but faster capture rates (32fps more), over 'standard' Mono12. Then I switched to Mono8, to sort the best settings. In Mono8, I’m getting very obvious vertical lines in the Dark/Master Dark Flames. They are also apparent in the master BIAS frames (that we used to measure the correct gain/offset), the flats/master flats and also the dark ‘void of space’ areas in the lights and in the final image. We have no idea why. I've changed cables, exposure settings, computer ports. Until James who writes OACapture supports the camera, I can’t test to see if it is perhaps a software issue… They are not (or no where near as obvious) in the Mono12 or 12P data...? Before anyone asks, Mono12P isn’t something that most software would recognise, but the Basler software obviously sorts and saves the .tif files in a standard way, so that AutoStakkert, Photoshop, etc can open. Does anyone have any ideas...? Have any other 174 chip camera users seen these vertical lines (see screen grabs below)..? For reference, the settings we came up with are: Mono8 - Gain 30.5 Db / Offset (Black level Dn) 15 Mono12/12P - Gain 18.5Db / Offset (Black level Dn) 40 ----- Mono12P master dark_stretched in Ps Mono8 master dark_stretched in Ps - see vertical lines Mono8 master flat 2000ms_stretched in Ps - again you can see stronger vertical lines in the Mono8 over the Mono12P... Mono12P master flat 11000ms_stretched in Ps Regards, Damian
  15. Super images - prom has come out really well, especially the tall, fainter one!
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