How to correct lens distortion while stacking?

Started May 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Per Baekgaard
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How to correct lens distortion while stacking?
May 15, 2013

I've recently experimented with a few star shots that I wanted to stack. I hadn't brought my scope/EQ mount, so these were done as a series of 30 second shots on a normal tripod.

I've tried using the DeepSkyStacker program to register and stack the 6 shots, but due to the optical distortion near the sides of the lens used, I cannot achieve a good alignment by simple rotation/translation of the shots towards the sides and corners of the images.

The rotation and translation parameters for each shot look to be determined correctly -- I "just" need a way to correct for the optical distortion in the lens.

Using Capture NX2 (I've shot with a Nikon D800 and a 14-24mm f/2.8) to correct for the distortion didn't help; it almost made things worse.

Are there any stacking programs (Linux or Windows), preferably free, that can also correct for distortion? I assume that since at least DeepSkyStacker can identify and map 1000's of stars in each image it should be a simple thing to do at least an approximate 2nd or 3rd order distortion correction based on the actual stars in the image. It must be a simpler task than doing a "generic" un-distortion that works for all focal lenghts and focus positions.

Thanks in advance, -- Per.

 Per Baekgaard's gear list:Per Baekgaard's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR +15 more
Nikon D800
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