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From 2016-10-10 Old PP (fast) vs. New (time consuming)


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So...  as I mentioned, I am a noob, and using equipment very few who are at all serious about lunar imaging use.  (no scope)  I know a little bit more now (if only just how much I DON"T know), and I am trying new software - anything I can to get the best attractive printable images I can from the equipment I am currently using.  (I am first and foremost a photographer)

Equipment:  Sony A77ii, Minolta AF400 F4.5 lens + 2X TC (800mm f9.)

The first of these was my favourite of all my shots...  perhaps not now. ;) 


Both images uploaded at 1600px.  Both are roughly 2800px in my finished files for printing.

No 1.  15 images pre-cropped and roughly aligned manually in LR6 - Stacked and processed in Registax 6 - Colour PP in LR 6.   Pretty quick process really.  (not counting the manual pre-aligning which WAS a pain)20161013-15 IMAGE STACK2 10-10-2016-2.jpg


No 2.   Started from scratch with 19 base raw files (including the 15 from previous shot).  Did some pre-processing with adjustment brush pushing colour saturations and reducing highlights to all images.

Exported tiffs at first for PIPP...  but it stalled (choking on 140MB files I guess).  Exported as jpgs, PIPP did its thing no problem.  I checked a button in the output that did some magic and created more images than I had to start.  I took all the images above 97% (10)

Stacked the 10 jpgs in AutoStakkert2.  Exported as tiff.

PP in Astra Image.  After lots of trial and error, I used only Lucy Richardson deconvolution in both deblurr and sharpen modes.  (thanks to zAmb0ni for his tutorial http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?t=1224931 )  I used no wavelets for this one.

Final touching up in LR...  a little more saturation and darks/highlights adjustments and more colour work.  Also a bit of localised brush sharpening.  (Final sharpening I am sure I can improve!  I am not very good at it.)

And here it is...  perhaps too much work for the result!  I do really like it though, more than the previous.  My final judgement is reserved pending viewing of prints. :)



All comments, suggestions and critique welcomed. :)   I won't be insulted. ;)  




Edited by WestCoastCannuck
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Nice work...don't worry even a bit about being different here...we all have our own approach, limitations and advantages. Its what brings us together thats important. But I will say if you keep reminding yourself you don't have a scope it may already be too late for you, turn back now while there's still time...lol...

Edited by Aaron F Johnson
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14 hours ago, Aaron F Johnson said:

Nice work...don't worry even a bit about being different here...we all have our own approach, limitations and advantages. Its what brings us together thats important. But I will say if you keep reminding yourself you don't have a scope it may already be too late for you, turn back now while there's still time...lol...

Thanks  Aaron!  I may some day be in danger of falling to the "dark side"...  lol, but not for quite some time.  I recently pre-ordered the Sony A99ii to replace my A99 (my main FF camera for most of my other stuff) ... my "hobby" account is in overdraft for a while. :(



4 hours ago, Astro Imp said:

Love it, if you continue like this I can see a few folk here selling their kit and following your lead. Well done.

Thanks much Alan for your kind words!  hehe...  I highly doubt I will switch anyone over - my kit can't do what you guys with dedicated gear can do.   But its really nice to know my images still belong here! :)   As long as I am satisfied with full disc lunar shots, and a max print size around 12X18 inches - I don't think I really need more than what I have - though MORE detail is always nice!  I am quite in awe of some of the mosaics I have seen! :)


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These are even better than your first posts.  Have you had a look through a telescope at the moon?  Some of the individual craters are spectacular.  Clavius - just above the terminator on the right of your photos - is one of my favourites.  Have you found this piece of software yet? https://ap-i.net/avl/en/download

That software is free ... but, I predict major expenditure ahead.  :evil:

Incidentally, does your Sony shoot video?

Edited by gnomus
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Thanks gnomus!   Believe it or not...  I have never looked through a telescope at anything except perhaps once when I was a kid.  :blink:

I had not heard of that software, thanks!  Will put it on my machine at home and have a play with it.   ".... I predict major expenditure ahead."   ***ear plugs FIRMLY set***  lol 

Yes.. my Sony does indeed shoot apparently very good video - though I have never used it except to take the odd vid of my 14mo.   I have wondered about that - given video files seem to be the norm for building good stacks - but I expected that given my limitation to 800mm, and the relatively low resolution I would have when cropping the video files to a decent moon view, that I am best off working with single frame camera mode raw files like I am now?  Always open to new ideas!

Here are a couple of "new" efforts of the above viewing.  

3.  New stack of tiffs instead of jpgs.  Thanks much to Chris (cgarry) for helping me out with my tiff issue with PIPP.  Same processing as 2, warmed slightly in white balance, and made from a stack of tiffs instead of jpgs.  Moon orientation left as original.


4.  Same processing as 3, but added micro contrast work in the higher brightness areas.  In print, 4 looked the best.   On screen, I prefer either 2, or 3.

tiffs-AI-LR-Deblur-.74x15-AI-LR-sharp3+multi contrast-hi-3.jpg



Thanks for looking!






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Thank you all for your kind comments!   I certainly don't NEED a scope.......   but if it was only a scope that was needed for doing mosaics, it would likely be on my "wants" list.  Unfortunately, I suspect to get significantly better than now I would need more than just a telescope. (?)  I DO look forward to the day when I can read all your signatures and sort of have an idea what they mean though.  LOL  (equipment lists)


Can I get better using my same equipment using video files?  (24mp crop camera with 1080p video capability + 800mm f9.  lens (including teleconverter)  

I am also considering stacking another teleconverter - perhaps a 1.4X.   This would give me a  1320mm F13 I believe.  I am not sure I would get any real gain (magnification vs. quality loss from additional converter and slower lens + higher ISO settings)



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Not Needing a scope may depend on how much you like high focal length work. Personally I would get bored pretty quickly being stuck at low power shots of the moon. Once you have done 5 well.  You have done fifty. Higher focal length work is different in as much the quality level can always be bettered. Depending on many variable factors.

 Which for me keeps the interest going. But as I say i suppose it all depends if that side to lunar imaging interests you. Don't forget planets they can be fascinating too. To image. I will always want a scope after having them for many years. They just get us much closer.


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3 minutes ago, Aaron F Johnson said:

The moon is the premier gateway drug for Astronomy and AP addiction. The all to familiar phrase (I started with the moon)...if I only had a dollar every time I heard that one. A difficult journey ahead if you plan to resist.

Resistance is futile.

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