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Thread: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?



    "Wide Open" or Long Exposures will also NOT really help your Planetary Imaging effort. You need enough Exposure/Gain to capture decently Exposed Pixels.

    BUT...
    Especially for Planetary/Lunar Imaging, you want your Exposure Frames to be Exposure Time as Short as Possible and your Frame Rate as High as Possible.
    The Short Exposure is so that you capture as little Atmospheric Distortion as possible (most important for any Detail to be Captured).
    The Frame Rate so that you will have 2000-4000 Frames in a 2-3 minute Video to be Stacked in AutoStakkert2 or RegiStax6.
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  2. #12
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    Default Re: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?

    AND...
    Planetary Imaging is the one type of AP Imaging for which you DON'T NEED Guiding or High-Quality Tracking. All you need is for the Target to remain Within The Frame for the duration of the Video (AS2 or RS6 will do the work to Align and Micro-Align the resulting Image).
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  3. #13
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    Default Re: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by seigell View Post
    It's rather Unclear what PHD2 can do for you in the context of PLANETARY IMAGING - especially when the Camera in question is the Planetary Imaging Camera (not even a "Combo" Planetary/Guider).
    PHD2 does have Star Exposure/Focus Graphs, but that won't translate well to Planetary Imaging Capture using different Capture Software because each App will use different Driver/Interface Code AND will interpret the GAIN Settings Differently.
    (Which Capture Software are you using??)

    PurdyD did give some good advice: Reduce the GAIN. Additional Gain will NOT give you either Better Focus nor Clearer Image.
    you may have missed this

    So I decided to do a few experiments last night with the Star Shoot 5mp Solar System Camera.

    The main object was to see how the 'tracking' went over kind of sort of long exposure times. Considering getting a deep sky camera
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    Default Re: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?

    I am not having any real problems with planetary imaging (other than a lack of planets)

    Some moon shots from 11-27-15 Full moon

    What I am doing or at least trying to do is push the limits of the planetary camera, especially longer exposures, as an experiment, nothing really more. Just as a feeler to see what I can expect or may be capable of.

    I will try again tonight if the dang alto cirrus pulls back. If not, it'll be yet another week.
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    Default Re: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?

    They did not... end report.... sigh.
    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
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    Default Re: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?

    Well I got a chance to fool around with it a little last night.

    It seems no matter what I set the gain at, or adjust the exposure to as little as 200ms or so I cannot reduce stars to a pin point. They are still small disks.

    I guess it is just beyond the capability of this particular camera. A focal reducer might help but I cant seem to find one that fits the camera.
    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
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    Default Re: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?

    The fainter the star the closer to pinpoint you will achieve. To be truly pinpoint (as much as your camera can achieve) all the star's light must activate a single pixel up to it's saturation point without bleeding to adjacent pixels... mighty big task.

    FYI, your f5 scope is by no means slow, in fact it's pretty fast as most astronomical instruments go.

    If you want a deep sky object to see how sharp your focus is, M45 might be a little tough. Try a globular cluster. They're reasonably bright, but dim enough to get good focus. The chip in your camera is small and combined with your focal length probably won't allow the entire globular to show.

    Not sure how PHD will help or even if your camera is supported.

    On the other hand, have fun and see what works.

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    Default Re: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?

    Thanks for that Dave, I will probably try just what you suggest. But yes the field of view is very tight.
    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
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    Default Re: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?

    So I decided to try again with some dso attempts with the planetary camera on the alt az mount.

    As it turns out I wasted a good deal of time during great seeing conditions that would have been much better used at the eyepiece visual or sketching. When I went to disconnect the camera I had a cluster of errors and disconnected the hand controller. So long alignment! So I grabbed a quick peek at M42 with the 12.5mm plossel and it was awesome. I zoomed into the trapezium with a very old 5mm anchro and was not disappointed, however I had to chase it due to the loss of alignment and tracking. Frustrated I packed it in for the night.

    This is a processed photo 240 images, shot at 1s 999ms at 1290 X 960 binned (longest possible exposure for these settings with this cam/software evidently). Gain at 7.474 set for monochrome. I might note that registax had a hellua time finding reference points and had to add some manually.

    Imaging started at 10:36 pm est, ran till just after 11:18 and I stopped it with still 60 frames left.

    Why it takes so long to process I don't know. Maybe with a more powerfull lap top but that will have to wait.

    But as you can see it was time wasted. As you can see by the ridiculous star trails. I guess a deep sky camera on this mount would be pointless.

    Scopes: Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f4 astrograph, 10" RC Mount: Celestron CGX-L Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Starlight Loadstar, PHD2 software - Cams: Planetary: ASI120mc, DSO:Atik 383L+, SGPsoftware Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools, Pixinsight Assistant: One very large cat
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    Default Re: "Sharp" Focus with a planetary camera?

    RegiStax is NOT the Software to use for ANY DSO Imaging. It NEEDs an Object - a Planet or Surface of the Sun/Moon with multiple Alignment Points.
    You really should run your collected Images through DSS before writing off this "Experiment".
    ES AR152 / ES 80ED Apo / Orion 8in F/3.9 / C9.25-SCT / C6-SCT / C10-NGT / AT6RC / ST-80 / AstroView 90 / Meade 6000 APO 115mm
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