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steppenwolf

What, Steppenwolf doing Lunar imaging?

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OK, I have a long way to go with Lunar imaging but I am so fed up with great skies when the Moon is about destroying my deep sky imaging opportunities that I have decided to fight back a little with some lunar experimenting.

The two test images below were taken using my Canon 450D DSLR camera through a Sky-Watcher 250PX Reflector but using a piece of software rather snappily called 'EOS Camera Movie Record'.

This software allows you to capture your LiveView image as an .AVI file which can be stacked in Registax but what is really cool is that the x5 view can also be used, effectively turning my 1200mm focal length into an effective 6000mm. I am only just re-aquainting myself with Registax as I haven't used it for over 5 years and it has moved along a bit in that time and although the results shown here are pretty poor, I feel the system has some merit and is much nicer to use than my old Toucam that I gave up on 6 years ago!!

There are two old threads ( thread one and thread two) on SGL that discuss this technique so it not exactly new but perhaps it is worth re-visiting?

Never mind the quality (for now) - feel the technique ......

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Very nice come back. I agree that you must befriend the Moon not to go completely mad.

I wonder about the 5 times zoom. Is that not just a crop effectively, leaving the arc sec per pixel unchanged?

Thanks for sharing!

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Hi Steve,

What a coincidence. I was starting to think about trying out my 1100D movie mode on the moon, so thanks for the pointers on x5 and the software to do it.

I'll take a look at the capture software, but when I pointed my 1100D at the moon the other night as a quick test to see what controls the camera had, the moon was over exposed even with the lowest 'under expose' setting. How did you control the exposure? If it is in the 'EOS Camera Movie Record' software, ignore the question as I'll find it (no time to look now).

Edited by FrankieValley

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I wonder about the 5 times zoom. Is that not just a crop effectively, leaving the arc sec per pixel unchanged?
You'd think so but the following shows two images of the same area captured about 5 minutes apart. The top image is without the 5X 'zoom' but increased in size X5 in PhotoShop and the bottom image is with the 5X zoom selected. Both images were originally stacked in Registax 5.1 using the same stacking parameters.

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How did you control the exposure? If it is in the 'EOS Camera Movie Record' software, ignore the question as I'll find it (no time to look now).

It is simply controlled in the 'EOS Camera Movie Record' as you guessed - I used a combination of ISO number and Exposure setting in the software. I was doing this in an attempt to influence the frames per second (FPS) rate but this had no effect on rate (but fully controlled over and under exposure) so I think the FPS rate is limited by the USB chipset on your PC - I was only achieving 7.1 - 8.2 FPS on the old PC in the observatory used to take these images but testing on my (newer) laptop in the house got me up to around 20FPS which is a bit more like it, hence the experiment continues!

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Those are very nice Steve, and I hope you continue to image La Lune, it makes a very nice subject for a camera during it's slow trek around the earth.

I quite like the simulated Terra Forming via the processing. There has been some great coloured moon pics. on here.

I remember Philip. Thompson, alias Geppetto did a few splendid versions of it..

Ron.

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Looks nice. I tried EOS movie record but didn't get anything like the resolution I wanted. The last couple of lunar experiments have been with my QHY5 guide cam using QGvideo and it's come out quite nicely.

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Rik,

I think a dedicated camera will give superior results but as a first attempt, I think the results are quite encouraging especially as from my point of view, Lunar imaging is a fill-in pursuit - although I have to confess, I thoroughly enjoyed myself last night despite the cold!

I quite like the simulated Terra Forming via the processing

If you start seeing trees, you know my processing has gone too far, Ron!

Edited by steppenwolf

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It is simply controlled in the 'EOS Camera Movie Record' as you guessed .....

Thanks Steve. I shall look forward to having more of a play. I'd rather given it up as a bad idea when I couldn't get the exposure down using the camera settings, so thanks again for the post :-)

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Rik,

I think a dedicated camera will give superior results but as a first attempt, I think the results are quite encouraging especially as from my point of view, Lunar imaging is a fill-in pursuit - although I have to confess, I thoroughly enjoyed myself last night despite the cold!

If you start seeing trees, you know my processing has gone too far, Ron!

Nah, no trees, but you could stick a few clouds in :).

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Lovely images! .. I do like the terraforming one :) .. need some oceans.

I'm getting 30fps in 'EOS Camera Movie Record' on my PC. The nice thing about that software is that it's open source.

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30 FPS! Excellent, I think I'll just have to take my laptop out instead as that was certainly faster.

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Love those pictures, the second one especially.

What's the secret to getting the colour out of the moon like that?

Plus it's good to know about EOS movie record, that one's new to me and just when I was wishing the 450D could take vids too. :)

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What's the secret to getting the colour out of the moon like that?

It is actually quite easy to get this colour. Start by taking your images using a DSLR camera set at a low ISO number (100 ideally) to get the maximum saturation before you start. Stack your images in the normal way.

Load the images into PhotoShop or The Gimp and make a copy of the image calling it 'luminance'. Convert the copy image to greyscale and adjust the 'levels' to get the best combination of contrast and brightness, aiming to produce a really nice mono image of the Moon. Apply a gentle amount of sharpening but be sure not to introduce any artefacts.

Move over to the colour image and use the 'Hue/Saturation' tool or the saturation slider in 'Match Colour' to boost the colour saturation. Do this in several small increments, don't do it all at once.

Once you have a really nice colourful image, do something unthinkable - blur it with the Gaussian Blur filter!!

Now go back to the greyscale image, select it all, copy it and then return to the blurred colour image and paste the greyscale on top of it. All you will now see is the greyscale image but be prepared for magic.

Change the blend mode to 'Luminosity' in PhotoShop or 'Value' in The Gimp.

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Thanks for the info. :)

I had tried playing around with various settings but never could get something I was happy with. I will have a go with a couple of old moon pics I have, it doesn't seem to difficult.

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Still not sure about the 5 times zoom. I thought that the live view showed what's on the little screen on the back, so nowhere near the full 18 or so mega pixels.

When you zoom in you'll get a crop of the sensor's full resolution. The clever bit is the possibility to AVI record that crop, but surely it's still at native resolution and at native FL?

Or does it drizzle internally?

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Welcome to the lunar boards Steve... very odd place to find you :)...

Good work on those... If you're gonna be having a bash at Lunar... and mosaicing, then AVIStack is probably a better bet in terms of processing...

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Still not sure about the 5 times zoom.

Neither am I Jesper, I simply haven't had tome to investigate exactly how it works. There may well be a auto-drizzle going on but if there is, it does seem to work remarkably well even with my low frame count and very basic Registax processing.

I agree with you though that on the face of it this is just a 5X digital crop but it is so much better than a digital expansion in PhotoShop as shown above.

I will shortly have some free time to look into this further so if I find out anything useful, I'll post it here.

Thanks for your interest folks!

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Hi John yes it will have been a shock to find me here on the 'light side'! I'll have a look at AVIStack too - thanks for that.

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It's always the result that counts, and it's clear you have that!

I need to download that clever program and give it a crack.

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