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Thread: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)



    I'm having problems attaching my photos to my posts. Below I will try to attach my image of M33 made from 11 exposures of 120 sec each. These were made using my AzEl mount with an ST 80-A telescope and a Canon DSLR at prime focus.



    To my untrained eye there don't appear to be any star trails. I stacked the images in DSS and then processed it in Gimp 2 using Levels, Curves, and Unsharp Masking. I actually took 30 exposures but only 11 of them didn't have a tracking mount "jump" that smeared all stars.

    Hopefully this time you can see the image.

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  2. #52
    Phil Leigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)

    sorry - still cant see the image... is it a jpeg? - you need to "go advanced" to attach images...
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  3. #53
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    Default Re: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)

    Phil,

    The image is a jpeg and I did use "Go Advanced".

    This image is located in my Album which is public. Is it possible for you to go look at my album?

    Are there any tutorials on how to add photos to a post? I clicked on the "My Photos" button and then clicked on the image in my album. Is there more to it than that?

    Steve
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  4. #54
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    Default Re: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)

    Phil,

    Thanks for letting me know that the image still isn't visible. I made a few changes and here is another try.



    Hope this works now.

    Steve
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  5. #55
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    Default Re: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)

    Steve,

    Good start down an expensive road. The problem you are having is that GIMP is not up to the task of stretching your exposures.

    GIMP remains an 8 bit program at the moment regarding many of its internal operations. Hopefully some day soon it will truly be a 16 bit program but until that mythical day really arrives it will not handle many of the tasks needed to process some astro photos. The problem with your image is you are exceeding the dynamic range of GIMP. The 256 steps of its 8 bit internal processing is not sufficient. You need 16 bit processing (1024 steps) to stretch your image.
    SXINIAS

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    Default Re: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by sxinias View Post
    You need 16 bit processing (1024 steps) to stretch your image.
    Just a techno-geek quibble: 16-bit processing gives you 65536 steps (256^2) of dynamic range, not 1024.
    pch likes this.

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  8. #57
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    Default Re: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)

    Thanks Joe,

    I was wondering about the "red noise" in the image. I thought it was something in my system. Glad to hear it's just Gimp. Makes me feel even better.

    Now I want to go image every Messier object. I wish my energy level matched my enthusiasm!! However, no complaints, this first success will keep me going for a long time.

    Thanks Keith for the clarification on the bits. Clearly more is better.

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  9. #58
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    Default Re: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)

    Yes, as far as AP goes you really need 16- bit (and preferably 32-bit) processing. It really does make a massive difference to the end result. GIMP is fine when you are starting out but you will hit the buffers pretty quickly.
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  11. #59
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    Default Re: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)

    All,

    I noticed that the center of my processed image (the one posted in this thread) seemed brighter than the edges. So far the processing in DSS only included Lights and Darks. So, I took some Flats and reran DSS with Lights, 16 Darks and 16 Flats. I just used a T-shirt in front of the lens and aimed toward a street light in our Mobile Home park to gather the Lights. The resulting image after processing is shown below.



    Although quantization is still an issue, the Flats definitely helped to eliminate the "red glow" in the center portion of the image. I think my telescope/DSLR combination definitely requires Flats to correct for vignetting.

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    Default Re: Stacking images from alt-azimuth mount (image shift)

    Quote Originally Posted by STEVE333 View Post

    Although quantization is still an issue, the Flats definitely helped to eliminate the "red glow" in the center portion of the image. I think my telescope/DSLR combination definitely requires Flats to correct for vignetting.

    Steve
    Steve, in my experience flats are required with all setups. It took me a while to figure out how to take them too...

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