Andrew these are without the filter. Very still seeing and collimation as close as I can get it. Meaning trying to get the airy disk even all the way round a medium mag star. Collimation is perfect for deep sky stuff and observing, just need it near perfect to get that extra definition with a SCT. Saturation set to 50%, not too high, that way you get the natural colours. No colour manipulation except to drop the blue down a little.
I always shoot at f30 too. That is why seeing and collimation are critical. At f30 with a 3x barlow (tv) the seeing has to be very good. Image scale is critical to get the barges and festoons. I can produce the smaller scale stuff all the time, just want to get the same image scale as Bird and the same definition. That is what I am working on now.
Yeah I found that last night with the saturation - on the QC I had it up around 75% but needed to drop it down on the Toucam to reduce the over rich red washout look on Jupiter. I hear ya brother re: large image scale
I think the key to trying to get up towards Bird's level of definition for us with USB cameras using the gear we have already is preventing compression as much as possible -> using low fps, making sure captureing laptop/pc is in good health etc (defrag, minimal software installed etc) and also possibly temp control of the primary mirror/OTA would play a big part. Besides scope maintenance (tracking, collimation etc) I think thats about as much as we can do without buying new gear ..
Yeah like Bird said to me, getting to know the limitations of your scope and getting around them is half the battle. With collimation you start second guessing yourself and wonder if it is just right or not. I need a really clear night to get it just so. Hoping tonight will be good. I think I might go back to 5fps as most of my shots are taken at 10. this leads to loss of quality with the compression. So now the wait is on. Don't want to sell my scope because it is a good imaging platform. Great for deep sky stuff and now that it is fully rigged for it I need a couple of moonless nights to test the alignment and do some shots on the D70.
If you can control the thermal problems in and around the scope, then I'm sure you'll be on track to getting great images. If there are thermal problems then no amount of collimation, tracking etc will help.
Only when you're in thermal equilibrium can you really benefit from those other things. I spent the best part of 10 years living here in Canberra and suffering from severe thermal problems the whole time before I figured it out.
p.s. I've updated my website, drop by and have a look. feedback welcome.
Yep, I've been thinking the same recently Paul, if I did this over again I'd get just a SCT OTA + eq mount but I've come too far to now... I plan to start on my temp control project in the next week or so - if all goes to plan should be able to cool inside OTA (similar to Bird's setup - pelt.) + when in action barely warm the corrector enough to keep the dew away while trying to avoid tube currents..all managed by the laptop/PC
Nice Mars work there Bird, even with a Toucam! I reckon you could get a lil' bit of detail of Uranus on a good night (even if only as much as that as you got from Ganymede...:compute r: )