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Dont know if its the right place to ask about software. Seems like I needed to ask this in Imaging, but thoughts about being a beginner, looking for help and advice, made me categorize this question in here. Anyways, let me know, if I am wrong,

Is there any stacking software for Mac? (Mine is 10.6.7, with 2GB Ram and 2GHz Core 2 Duo)

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As said above, nebulosity works for the Mac. I use a Mac, however I have found that I have my main imagining software on Windows and run parallels.

The reason being - I use DSS which is free and excellent, but only Windows based, but I also use PHD to guide.

Whilst this is both windows and Mac based my guide camera is an Atik Titan which is only supported through the windows based version. Therefore I end up running parallels when imaging.

There is software available for Mac for in my experience there is more support for Windows, especially for serious imagers.

Check out this site which lists the software available for Macs:

Pure Mac: Astronomy - Software for Macintosh

It might also be worth joining the Mac Astronomer group on Yahoo.

HTH

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I think for a Mac user the free software is limited....

Yes, thats what it seems. I may have to look for some cheap one in this case, but wondering how they'd be?

Also if anyone knows how to stack in photoshop CS4, that'd be helpful.

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In my opinion, for me the most cost effective solution was to buy Parallels so I could take advantage of the free software available on windows. As I said above I use DSS and PHD on Windows through Parallels and that works fine.

Stacking in PS is achievable as far as I know, I think you have to set the layer mode to something like overlay (I dunno what exactly it would be), the issue becomes the time and labour required to stack say 50 frames, especially when they may all require a slight rotation to align. This is where DSS takes all the stress out of stacking subs :)

EDIT: There is another option in that you could use Boot Camp, but the advantage of Parallels is that Windows based programmes run through the Mac environment and to all intents and purposes it becomes just like using your Mac, which makes working with PS (which I have on my Mac) and DSS much easier to handle.

Edited by Digz
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Stacking in PS is achievable as far as I know, I think you have to set the layer mode to something like overlay (I dunno what exactly it would be), the issue becomes the time and labour required to stack say 50 frames, especially when they may all require a slight rotation to align. This is where DSS takes all the stress out of stacking subs :)

I was stacking 30 photos last night resulted in nothing but a overheated Macbook, wasting my 2 hours for aligning only! I was looking for another way (if there was) for this job.

Also, Boot Camping only for one software don't sound very good :(. I'd rather buy one :)

By the way, did you try imaging using your awesome lenses? Have you got a flickr id? I'd love to visit your stream

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I dont think there will be an automated way in PS, it will all be manual. PS isnt the right kind of software to be able to register to images together. I would seriously take a look at parallels and Deep Sky Stacker, there are a lot of people on here who use DSS very successfully.

I must admit Boot Camp isn't ideal especially when Parallels allows you keep logged into your Mac and still use Windows software.

I haven't used my lenses much but I plan to rectify this over the summer months and have a real bash at widefield astrophotography. I've got a flickr account but theres nothing of interest on it, certainly no astro related work at the moment, thats all on here :)

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I haven't used my lenses much but I plan to rectify this over the summer months and have a real bash at widefield astrophotography. I've got a flickr account but theres nothing of interest on it, certainly no astro related work at the moment, thats all on here :(

Can you get any astro photos using Sigma 10-20? I have been trying for couple of days, results are frustrating :)

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I would imagine so. Try 30s exposures ISO800. You need to be careful of focus as focussing on infinity might not always work if the marker on the lens barrel isn't accurate.

What you need to be wary of is what length exposure you can get away with, if you are using a fixed tripod, before stair trails start to appear.

What setup are trying to use?

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What setup are trying to use?

I have been using a fixed a tripod therefore I could not try any exposure more than 15s. my set up was,

Exp. 10s (x 25), ISO 800, 400mm ƒ4.5, Stacked with nabulosity trial version, leveled in photoshop. Click here to have a look. I have also tried with 300mm ƒ4 and 200mm ƒ3.5, results did not vary much :)

And using the 10-20mm (ƒ4), I really found nothing, not even star trails! I am gonna try again.

Edited by Mehraj Anik
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And using the 10-20mm (ƒ4), I really found nothing, not even star trails! I am gonna try again.

With such a wide lens you can really push your exposure, try at least 30s and if you can shoot bulb, try longer.

Are you trying to get star trails? If so you can take multiple shots as above and stack them using a different piece of software:

Startrails application

Unfortunately this is a windows programme as well but a very good one for creating startrails.

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Thats a great photo and I would suggest that this was achievable due to the location (a very dark site) and lack of light pollution - it was taken at the tip of Scotland!

Unless you have access to a really dark site the only way you could get anything like this is to take lots of subs and composite into a single shot of your foreground subject.

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