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To diffract or not, that is the question ....


Artificial Diffraction Spikes improve visual appeal  

40 members have voted

  1. 1. Artificial Diffraction Spikes improve visual appeal

    • Love 'em
      4
    • Hate 'em
      7
    • They're OK but not for this image
      4
    • They're OK but to be used very sparingly
      25


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I'd rather take a picture of what's there as it appears. I wouldn't put a beard on a photo of a familly member unless it had some comedic or other purpose. So I see no reason to put false spikes on a star when astro imaging.

Just my personal opinion - and I wouldn't criticise someone who wanted to do it - but I'd be dissapointed if it won pow for them :)

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Aesthetically I like spikes on the most prominent stars, but please not on everything. Then it just becomes irritating and detracts from the image. A certain amount of subtlety is required to get the "right" look.

John

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Hi

Just a personal opinion here, if your telescope produces them then fine as that is an inherent characteristic of the optical system and to remove the spikes would mean to lose data permanently. If you are using SCTs, APOs or other equipment that doesn't produce difraction spikes as a characteristic then I don't think you should add them, after all stars are single points of light, they do not have difraction spikes of their own. I remember one of the comments made by Adam Block on one of his processing DVD tutorials and that is that he will manipulate data "that is there" to bring out the best in his images but he won't add something that wasn't there in the first place

Best wishes

Gordon

Best wishes

Gordon

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I agree with Gordon. And TBH I would try to avoid a Diff Spike optical system if I could. When I forked out a bomb for the Baby Q I could have had a used Epsilon much more cheaply. Bigger, faster ... but I just don't like spikes. They are an artefact and if a telescope maker could avoid them he-she would do so.

Olly

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Spikes are a personal opinion IMO. Take M45 for example, if there were 2 images of equal quality, one with spikes and one without I personally would prefer the one with 'natural optical system' spikes.

I just think that the spikes add a wee bit 'something' to an image.

I accept that they are a result of optical inefficiencies but I like them, to each their own I suppose.

Gary

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I wonder how The sale of Xmas cards would suffer, if the starry ones had no spikes.:)
My recollection of the opening scene from Monty Python's "Life of Brian" is that the star the "wise men" are following has no spikes, in fact although the background star field bears no relation to any known constellations the effect is remarkably similar to a pass of the ISS seen with the naked eye from well south of the ground track.

In any case, those four armed stars - with the bottom arm longer than the others, clearly a distorted crucifix - common to Xmas cards are all wrong. Every three year old knows that the "correct" shape of a star is a pentagram (five points and with fivefold rotational symmetry). This is of course one shape you will never get by natural diffraction!

Edited by brianb
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