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  1. #1
    mplanet62's Avatar
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    Default Canon EOS 10D - Southern Cross



    Tonight took my recently bought used Canon EOS 10D under the night sky. After a few moon shots focused 70-300 lens on the Moon and switched to manual focus.
    Then tried to photograph the Southern Cross. Here's the result:

    Attachment 8617

    Not bad, after all - even the Jewel box is there (very small, though).
    In the process of photo development (in ACDSee PRO and further in GIMP) confirmed what I have always said about astrophotography - it's best shot in RAW and must be developed afterwards.
    Even with ISO 100, 70 mm, aperture 8 and 15c exposure there was copious amount of hot pixels - but not too many to take them off one by one manually. They were easily discernible by having no motion blur.However, with a large number of shots dark frame for further subtraction is a must. I would appreciate an advice on how everyone does it.
    In general, DSLR is a great step up from any fixed lens camera - even the best one.
    Another thing that came to my mind - it may be worth doing night sky photos with film SLR - the problems of "hot pixels" and matrix noise are not something you may encounter with film.

    Clear Skies,
    Michael
    Last edited by mplanet62; 02-11-2012 at 04:57 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Nicely done Michael. I too never tire of extoling the virtues of Raw image. I cant comment on Gimp PP, I use PS tbh.

    Clear Skies

    Pete
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    I like the picture. I think being able to take a picture of something so far away is an achievement in itself. I am no expert on processing, actually I know nothing but someone will be able to help you on making it much better. Cheers
    Balu.
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    Default

    Congrats on the image Michael!

    You're correct about using RAW to capture. However this does require a bit of pre-processing and final processing work to get things to look great.

    Darks will easily remove the hot pixels and aren't complicated to take. There are a number of different software packages that will help with the subtraction process. Some are free and others are 'sold'. Personally I have tried "Deep Sky Stacker" which is a very popular free version. However I never could get the results I thought I should. I purchased Nebulosity instead and use it for focusing, capture, and pre-processing. However Nebulosity doesn't appear to support the EOS 10d for the capture process.

    Noise will be reduced by stacking the images. Lots of them!

    With DSO's, the single frame captured RAWs will look terrible. Even the stacked images will still look crummy. It's when you start to stretch them data that details start to appear.

    AP is really stepping into the "dark side"! Just hang in there and remember to keep ALL of your images. It's always fun to go back and play after you have learned new techniques.
    Last edited by ghswen; 02-19-2011 at 06:18 PM.
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    Default

    Very nice congrats! Have a view of the Crux from location here, though low in the horizon, it's great, especially the Jewel Box and also the binary Alpha Centauri.

    Best,

    Hernando

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    Default

    MIchael,

    I think you did a fine job!

    I shoot mostly at ISO setting of 800. Like others mention improve the SNR with lots of stacks of lights, and be sure to grab a dark for about every third light you take. I use deepskystacker often. I also use Nebulosity, but find I prefer nebulosity with my ccd imager over my dslr. For DSLR work I find Imageplus gets a good workout, enjoy some of the post processing features of ImagePlus..all my final details are done in Photoshop CS3+ which I was finally able to get little over a year ago. Post process work is challenging to learn, but with good resources for learning I have become more comfortable with it.

    Many great tutorials online..Londriguss is one that I found very helpful....There are many Southern Sky Objects I wish I could get chance to image, but doubt I will ever have that opportunity!

    Clear Skies to you!! Looking forward to more images!

    Add- When I do darks I found that messing around with a telescope cover is not worth the hassle, to0 easy to knock clutches loose.....I use a heavy dark towel or fabric which is light blocking and it works perfectly fine......Camera shops sell the material......it makes grabbing darks that much quicker and less chance to knock the scope loose in the clutches. I also found due to the easiness of grabbing darks I grab more darks more fequently then I ever use to.
    Last edited by DaltonSkyGazer; 02-19-2011 at 11:15 PM.

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    This pic is a result of 8 lights no darks flats or bias - you can also see the Eta Carina complex and other stuff... if you like trees, there's some of them in there too!
    Shot at iso 800 for 6 seconds per shot. So shorter trails resulted.
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    Default In more detail

    Here's the other variant of the photo - heavily processed and cleared/cropped version. I suspect some smaller stars gone as a result - but no noise and easier to see the constellation itself:

    Attachment 8626

    For comparison, the same Crux from Stellarium:

    Attachment 8627

    The configurations do not quite match. That's the difference in prospective between Stellarium and real shot.
    Last edited by mplanet62; 02-11-2012 at 04:57 PM.

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    Excellent - There's even some individual stars of the Jewel Box

    Here's one I prepared earlier - I've stretched it a bit as it's not a very clean shot - my camera gets too hot and noisy
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    Default Dark Framr Subtraction

    And, finally, the same photo with dark frame subtraction. Found, downloaded and installed Mediachance Black Frame NR. It works fine even in Ubuntu (under Wine).
    Here's the result of long and fairly complex fiddling with Black Frame NR and ACDSee PPO:

    Attachment 8630

    and Jewel Box

    Attachment 8631

    This is about as good as it may come from a single frame in a light polluted city in full Moon with camera's own zoom lens

    Clear skies,
    Michael
    Last edited by mplanet62; 02-11-2012 at 04:57 PM.

 

 
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