Moon Stacking Experiment

Started Jan 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Stephen Barrett
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Moon Stacking Experiment
Jan 25, 2013

I have been using Zerene Stacker recently to focus-stack images taken with the Raynox-150 and Raynox-250 closeup lenses:
http://zerenesystems.com/cms/stacker
This evening, I decided to see whether or not the program would stack moon shots.  If you take a series of moon shots, the size, shape and sharpness of individual craters varies from shot to shots: some craters will look best in one shot, while other craters look best in different shots.  This is the result of rapid atmospheric variations, which cause focus variations all over the moon's surface.
I set up my SX30 on a tripod at full 35x optical zoom (f = 150.5 mm) plus 2.7x digital zoom (total 95x zoom), M1 (3072x2304) image size, ISO 80, f/5.8, 1/125 s with the focus set manually to infinity.  I set the timer for a 5 second delay to avoid vibration after pressing the shutter and for 10 shots at a time.  Doing this three times, I quickly collected 30 shots.  Some shots had too much blur, so I discarded them, keeping 15 shots.  Here is a typical shot:


Photo 1: Typical Single Shot January 24/13

I then stacked all remaining 15 shots using Zerene Stacker in the PMax mode, which took about a minute.  Here is the result:


Photo2: Stacked 15 Shots using Zerene Stacker

Both photos were given exactly the same post-processing (some highlight reduction, contrast increase and sharpening).
I think the results look encouraging considering that the moon is nearly full (so that there is not much shadow to help define craters and mountains), so I'll probably try more stacking of moon shots.

 Stephen Barrett's gear list:Stephen Barrett's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS +3 more
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