Best amount of images for stacking

Started 6 months ago | Questions thread
EricTheAstroJunkie Contributing Member • Posts: 965
Re: Best amount of images for stacking

Alen K wrote:

You probably missed imperial's other thread asking how to fix a problem with blur in the foreground of a nightscape that was caused by wind-induced motion. Maybe not coincidentally, the number of 10-second light frames that imperial took for that one was 25.

So, it would seem imperial's immediate interest is nightscapes, and untracked ones at that. Imperial will be quite surprised to hear that for one of those, he, she or they could "get away with" only a mere hour's worth of exposures.

In fact, haven't most of your nightscapes used a lot less integration time or total time on the sky than that? I am perusing your utahastrophotography website now and I'm not seeing anything that high. Of course, you mostly shoot in very dark locations and the OP may indeed require an hour (or likely much longer!) in more typical skies to get the kind of SNR you regularly achieve. But shooting for an hour or more means a lot of change in the MW's position and that brings its own problems, of course.

When it comes to nightscape/ultra wide angle stuff I don't even bother stacking, just single tracked exposures that are long enough for good SNR without clipping highlights. I do a lot of mosaics/panos though. When it comes to longer or even intermediate focal lengths where I start stacking, like 85mm and up, that's when integration matters. With my fast lenses I can get away with an hour, maybe two on many targets (unless I'm shooting something like dark nebula or things with deep dusty details), with my scopes I'm shooting for at least 6 hours, usually 10 or more.

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