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Old 05-06-2020, 09:38 AM
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jayconnor (Jay)
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advice planetary shots

Hello,

Ok currently running a Bintel 200mm Newtonian reflector f/4 with my HEQ5 pro and a Sonya7. Now i have been getting quite good shots of nebulas and such. But im interested in taking nice shots of Jupiter and Saturn.

I recently purchased a Tele Vue Powermate 5x with an adapter to connect to my dslr. Now the issue is i just cant seem to that close enough of shot and i'm struggling to get great focus. Even when i was turning my attention to the moon i just really struggled to get good focus.

In what direction should i be turning my wallet too, to achieve what im after? Im thinking camera?

Any advice welcomed.
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:08 AM
Saturnine (Jeff)
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Hi Jay

Ideally your scope is too short a focal length for planetary imaging, the short focal length makes focusing more finicky and dslr camera are not the best camera for the job either but they can produce reasonable images all the same. Are you just taking single images or video , for stacking and processing later. Also how are you focusing, via live view on the camera or with a Bahtinov or Hartman Mask or just by eye through the viewfinder.
Investing in a Bahtinov Mask and then using it to aid focusing via Liveview would be a good place to start. The mask can also be used to aid focusing when doing Deep sky imaging as well.
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:14 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Are you trying to capture single shot exposures or video?

I assume you already have a bhatinov mask that you use for focus on deep space imaging? If so, good news.. you can use it for planetary too... just focus on a bright star the same way you do for deep space shots, achieve focus & then slew to your planet of choice.. or the moon...

For imaging planets, video is the only way to go... when you try to capture single frames you are subject to luck of the draw on seeing conditions. If you look at the moon visually, you will see it flutter in and out of focus... that's just a factor of seeing and atmospherics.. to try & capture single exposures you just have to be dead lucky on firing off the image at the exact moment it flutters into focus.. Good Luck...

If you capture around 30 seconds of video however, then you capture a thousand or more frames.. you then use Autostakkert (free) to separate & stack the individual frames... Autostakkert has a number of settings which allow you to analyse the quality of the frames you've captured & decide on a percentage to stack.. hence, you get the best frames & this will generally result in a much clearer image...

However, we're not quite done yet... from Autostakkert, take your result across to Registax (another free program) & use the wavelet functions to sharpen your result... go easy though... to aggressive & the result isn't overly pleasing... but, you can just play with the sliders until you are happy.. I think there are six layers of wavelet adjustment... just tweak each one at a time & observe what happens.. you'll get a feel for how it works...

Final step, take the resultant image across to your image processing software of choice (ie: Photoshop, Affinity Photo, Gimp - Gimp is free by the way) & give it a final colour/exposure/levels tweak as required & hey presto, you'll turn out some great shots...

A couple of examples below..
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:11 PM
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jayconnor (Jay)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outcast View Post
Are you trying to capture single shot exposures or video?

I assume you already have a bhatinov mask that you use for focus on deep space imaging? If so, good news.. you can use it for planetary too... just focus on a bright star the same way you do for deep space shots, achieve focus & then slew to your planet of choice.. or the moon...

For imaging planets, video is the only way to go... when you try to capture single frames you are subject to luck of the draw on seeing conditions. If you look at the moon visually, you will see it flutter in and out of focus... that's just a factor of seeing and atmospherics.. to try & capture single exposures you just have to be dead lucky on firing off the image at the exact moment it flutters into focus.. Good Luck...

If you capture around 30 seconds of video however, then you capture a thousand or more frames.. you then use Autostakkert (free) to separate & stack the individual frames... Autostakkert has a number of settings which allow you to analyse the quality of the frames you've captured & decide on a percentage to stack.. hence, you get the best frames & this will generally result in a much clearer image...

However, we're not quite done yet... from Autostakkert, take your result across to Registax (another free program) & use the wavelet functions to sharpen your result... go easy though... to aggressive & the result isn't overly pleasing... but, you can just play with the sliders until you are happy.. I think there are six layers of wavelet adjustment... just tweak each one at a time & observe what happens.. you'll get a feel for how it works...

Final step, take the resultant image across to your image processing software of choice (ie: Photoshop, Affinity Photo, Gimp - Gimp is free by the way) & give it a final colour/exposure/levels tweak as required & hey presto, you'll turn out some great shots...

A couple of examples below..

i do have a bhatinov mask and yes my nebula images have all been pretty good when it comes to focusing. I have bit of a photography background so wasnt full noob when coming into this field. I was just trying to take single images last night testing my new 5x out. Tonight if it stays clear i will try these exact instructions and see how i go.

Is there any particular video settings needed when filming with the dslr?
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:13 PM
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jayconnor (Jay)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturnine View Post
Hi Jay

Ideally your scope is too short a focal length for planetary imaging, the short focal length makes focusing more finicky and dslr camera are not the best camera for the job either but they can produce reasonable images all the same. Are you just taking single images or video , for stacking and processing later. Also how are you focusing, via live view on the camera or with a Bahtinov or Hartman Mask or just by eye through the viewfinder.
Investing in a Bahtinov Mask and then using it to aid focusing via Liveview would be a good place to start. The mask can also be used to aid focusing when doing Deep sky imaging as well.
yeah was hoping to be able to capture Jupiter and Saturn so you could at least make some features out. I will try tonight what Carlton has suggested and see how i go. I have the Bahtinov mask and i focus through my live view.

I have achieved terrific focus when shooting nebula's and such so thats not the issue. Just found it more difficult with the planets. Thanks
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Old 05-06-2020, 01:54 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayconnor View Post
Is there any particular video settings needed when filming with the dslr?
If your camera allows you to shoot in .AVI format, use that otherwise you will need to convert from your camera's native format to .AVI using PIPP (another free program)
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Old 05-06-2020, 07:35 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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Jay
Did I send you the info below regarding planetary imaging with a newt and a DSLR -

Focal Ratio for Lunar and Planetary Imaging

General rule of thumb to determine the best focal ratio of your image train for Lunar and Planetary imaging is -
Average night of seeing 5 x pixel size of your camera
Good night of seeing 7 x pixel size of your camera
Canon 600D pixel size is 4.3 uM
Average seeing 4.3 x 5 = 21.5
So focal ratio F21.5
Good seeing 4.3 x 7 = 30.1
So focal ratio F30.1
6f6 Bintel scope use 4 x or 5 x powermate
8f5 Bintel scope 4 x or 5 x powermate

In addition to the above you need to achieve as close as possible 1:1 pixel resolution using your DSLR
My Canon 600D almost achieves 1:1 Pixel resolution by using the 5 x Zoom setting. Not sure of the specs for a Sony A7 ?

Cheers
Martin
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Old 06-06-2020, 07:58 AM
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Tulloch (Andrew)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayconnor View Post
Hello,

In what direction should i be turning my wallet too, to achieve what im after? Im thinking camera?

Any advice welcomed.
Hi Jay, I think you should be directing your wallet to a new camera, the Sony is not going to do it for you.

The Canon DSLR system is very good for planetary imaging as it is possible to read the pixels in basically 1:1 resolution as Martin (above) says, however I don't know is the Sony gives you that option. Recording a video inside the camera will most probably be highly compressed and will produce artifacts in the video frames that will be impossible to remove. A website showing the difference between Canon and Nikon systems is below.
https://kuvacode.com/blog/canon-and-...e-view-quality

IMHO the best bang-for-buck planetary colour camera out there is the ZWO ASI224MC, which retails for around $500. It's a high speed, high sensitivity, low noise camera which even the big boys use on their C14 SCTs.

Note that the ASI224MC has a very small sensor so it won't be much good for large DSO imaging, but you might have success with small galaxies if that interests you.

Hope this helps,

Andrew
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:28 PM
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jayconnor (Jay)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulloch View Post
Hi Jay, I think you should be directing your wallet to a new camera, the Sony is not going to do it for you.

The Canon DSLR system is very good for planetary imaging as it is possible to read the pixels in basically 1:1 resolution as Martin (above) says, however I don't know is the Sony gives you that option. Recording a video inside the camera will most probably be highly compressed and will produce artifacts in the video frames that will be impossible to remove. A website showing the difference between Canon and Nikon systems is below.
https://kuvacode.com/blog/canon-and-...e-view-quality

IMHO the best bang-for-buck planetary colour camera out there is the ZWO ASI224MC, which retails for around $500. It's a high speed, high sensitivity, low noise camera which even the big boys use on their C14 SCTs.

Note that the ASI224MC has a very small sensor so it won't be much good for large DSO imaging, but you might have success with small galaxies if that interests you.

Hope this helps,

Andrew

looks like thats the case. Im going to sell one of my sony lenses along with my polemaster and 5x televue. Im going to purchase a 2.5X televue and a ZWO planetary camera. thanks for the info
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