This tutorial covers the methods I use for astrophotography with my Canon XSi digital SLR and Celestron CGEM. It is similar to the tutorial I wrote in December of 2007 for digital SLR astrophotography with my Canon 300D. With the exception of the Orion ED80 refractor, I am using all new equipment. I am also using different software for processing the RAW images into a detailed composite photo. Note that…Read More
Many years ago, before digital photography revolutionized the medium, taking a beautiful shot of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), or even a detailed image of the moon, showing its many craters, rilles and mountains would only be possible if you had a large wallet and access to highly specialized equipment and techniques. For the average amateur astronomer it was entirely out of reach. With high-end telescopes now being mass produced, new…Read More
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SkyShed plans provide you with all the information needed to construct an easy to build, attractive and fully functional roll-off observatory. 95% of materials are available from your local building materials retailer.
This tutorial covers the basic steps of processing planetary videos using Registax 4. The Registax program is a free download compliments of Cor Berrevoets! To get started, you will need to download the program to your computer and run the setup program. Registax 4 download here.
Be sure to watch the Registax 4 video tutorial below. It is part of the Astroadventure Weekly series provided by Rod Miller of MDM Productions who developed the instructional DVD Webcam Astrophotography to aid the beginner in getting started in webcam imaging.
Registax 4 Tutorial
Click the “play” button to start the video.
Below is a quick start guide to using Registax 4. Refer to the video above for more detail.
1. Click the select button at the top left. 2. Find your video file on your computer and open it. 3. You may see a box prompting you to select whether to process in color. Click yes.
4. Use the slider at the bottom of the Registax 4 window to move through each frame in the series until you find the best one in terms of sharpness, clarity, focus, etc. You want to find the best looking frame to use as a reference for further processing.
5. Next, it is time to choose an alignment box. You have a choice of 32, 64, 128, 256, and 512. Some astro-imagers will use a small box to frame a particular detail on the planet while others will use a larger size frame the entire planet. It is entirely up to the user. You will likely develop a preference through trial and error. With the reference frame visible in the window, click on the box you want to use and frame the planet (or and area of detail on the planet if you are using a small box).
6. Click on the automatic processing button then click the align button. 7. Registax 4 will automatically work through alignment, optimize, and stacking. It will stop on the wavelet processing area. This part is done manually. 8. Adjust each slider until the desired amount of detail is brought out of the stacked image. This is another matter of trial and error to see what works best. Be sure not to over-sharpen the image by pushing the sliders too far though. Your final result will be an image that looks “over-processed”.
9. Click the Contrast/Brightness button to tweak the image if it is too bright or dim. 10. When you are happy with the result, click the “Do All” button at the top left to complete the process. 11. Click the save image button to save the image to your computer. Note the various file types available such as BMP, JPEG, PNG, etc. Note that if you want to save the file for processing further in Registax, click the “Save As” button in the project section. 12. For more details on each stage, refer to the attached video above. You will find more discussion related to alignment adjustments, quality graphs, quality settings, alignment optimization, resampling, drizzle, percentage improvement, wavelet settings, and contrast.
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