The entire Milkyway, how do you...

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
elgol20
elgol20 Contributing Member • Posts: 808
The entire Milkyway, how do you...
4

Hi,

clouds since weeks, kind a sad. But as most know it is a chance to pick up what is left behind. As a byproduct I did 40mm milkyway frames here and there with the Sigma Art 40 and am now stitching the panels together. But how? It is kind of tough. APP (astropixelprocessor) is top notch so far in creating mosaics but kind of fails when going large. There is a color gradient the program produces which the guys of the APP team cannot resolve (yet, asked there several times within a year almost):

the gradient is not there in the files, PTGUI does a nice job here without that color mess

which is the sky we saw in Namibia last June 2019. PTGUI does not do the things APP is cabable of (LNC, MBB...), but for me the best solution so far, since I have it. The best way to photograph the milkyway would be having a perfect lens with no vignetting and a perfect sky, close to the zenith. But we took frames till the horizon and so gradients we inevitable. Anyway, for the start I am quite satisfied and motivated to do it better next time. Here is the first part of the complete milkyway as seen in June 2019 in Namibia, done with a unmodified Nikon D750, 40mm, f/1.8 ISO 200, 12 frames each 20 times 2 min:

This is 1/25 of the original file size. What I did: stacking, lightpolution and color calibration in APP, some tweaks in PI trying not to overdo it.

Has anyone of you done a full milkyway project and if yes, how?

The rest will come soon, done in Germany with a lot more trouble. Namibia is truely superb

-- hide signature --

Best regards
_____
Stefan

 elgol20's gear list:elgol20's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D750 Nikon D810A Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 +8 more
Nikon D750
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
ChrisBeere
ChrisBeere Regular Member • Posts: 231
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

Hi Stefan,

I recently did a 6 panel 110 degree mosaic using the Sigma Art 40mm. It is the beginning of an all plane mosaic.

https://www.astrobin.com/8tmv05/?nc=user

Im heading to Namibia in January and August next year so that will get me most of the rest of it and then i just need to get the far northern section.

The projection distortion is challenging for sure.

I tried the following tools when stitching the mosaic (in no particular order) :

  • PixInsight (Fail)
  • Registar (Not bad but not great)
  • Astro Pixel Processor (Not bad but not great)
  • AutoPano Giga 4.4.2 (Better than APP but not as good as Photoshop)
  • Photoshop (The winner - Cylindrical was by far the best for me)

The path to success is definitely pre calibrating the panels. It took me a while but once i had got the star sizes and background levels balanced across the panels it worked out.

Pixinsights Dynamic Background Extraction is an absolute life saver.

Russell Cromans Photoshop StarShrink plugin is absolutely amazing for balancing star sizes pre-stitch to mitigate visible starfield seam distortion.

PixInsights Starnet really helps you to handle any star bloat/seams post-stitch. Being able to work on the seperate layers of starfield and background nebulosity is essential.

 ChrisBeere's gear list:ChrisBeere's gear list
Canon G7 X II Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Canon EOS 70D Canon 6D Mark II Canon EOS M6 II +8 more
Alen K Senior Member • Posts: 1,137
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

ChrisBeere wrote:

PixInsights Starnet really helps you to handle any star bloat/seams post-stitch. Being able to work on the seperate layers of starfield and background nebulosity is essential.

Just to give credit where credit is due, Starnet++ was not written by the PixInsight team nor (AFAIK) is it a normal part of PI. (Saying "PixInsight's Starnet" may give readers that impression.) It was written by Nikita Misiura and made freely available as a standalone program and as a module for PI. See here.

nighthiker Regular Member • Posts: 438
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

Alen K wrote:

ChrisBeere wrote:

PixInsights Starnet really helps you to handle any star bloat/seams post-stitch. Being able to work on the seperate layers of starfield and background nebulosity is essential.

Just to give credit where credit is due, Starnet++ was not written by the PixInsight team nor (AFAIK) is it a normal part of PI. (Saying "PixInsight's Starnet" may give readers that impression.) It was written by Nikita Misiura and made freely available as a standalone program and as a module for PI. See here.

That is not fully correct, as "The excellent StarNet module, written by PTeam member Nikita Misiura, is now part of the official PixInsight distribution on Linux, macOS and Windows." (https://pixinsight.com/forum/index.php?threads/pixinsight-1-8-8-6-released.15028/). So Nikita developed it, but he has obviously close links to PI and it's now part of the official PI distribution (latest release).

Alen K Senior Member • Posts: 1,137
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

nighthiker wrote:

Alen K wrote:

ChrisBeere wrote:

PixInsights Starnet really helps you to handle any star bloat/seams post-stitch. Being able to work on the seperate layers of starfield and background nebulosity is essential.

Just to give credit where credit is due, Starnet++ was not written by the PixInsight team nor (AFAIK) is it a normal part of PI. (Saying "PixInsight's Starnet" may give readers that impression.) It was written by Nikita Misiura and made freely available as a standalone program and as a module for PI. See here.

That is not fully correct, as "The excellent StarNet module, written by PTeam member Nikita Misiura, is now part of the official PixInsight distribution on Linux, macOS and Windows." (https://pixinsight.com/forum/index.php?threads/pixinsight-1-8-8-6-released.15028/). So Nikita developed it, but he has obviously close links to PI and it's now part of the official PI distribution (latest release).

Thanks for the correction. I did say "AFAIK." The link you provided shows that the newest release is just a few days old. My apologies for not keeping up with the latest news about PixInsight. The rest of my post stands.

elgol20
OP elgol20 Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

thanks Greg, but I have seen this already a while agao haha:-)

-- hide signature --

Best regards
_____
Stefan

 elgol20's gear list:elgol20's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D750 Nikon D810A Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 +8 more
elgol20
OP elgol20 Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

ChrisBeere wrote:

Hi Stefan,

I recently did a 6 panel 110 degree mosaic using the Sigma Art 40mm. It is the beginning of an all plane mosaic.

https://www.astrobin.com/8tmv05/?nc=user

Im heading to Namibia in January and August next year so that will get me most of the rest of it and then i just need to get the far northern section.

The projection distortion is challenging for sure.

I tried the following tools when stitching the mosaic (in no particular order) :

  • PixInsight (Fail)
  • Registar (Not bad but not great)
  • Astro Pixel Processor (Not bad but not great)
  • AutoPano Giga 4.4.2 (Better than APP but not as good as Photoshop)
  • Photoshop (The winner - Cylindrical was by far the best for me)

The path to success is definitely pre calibrating the panels. It took me a while but once i had got the star sizes and background levels balanced across the panels it worked out.

Pixinsights Dynamic Background Extraction is an absolute life saver.

Russell Cromans Photoshop StarShrink plugin is absolutely amazing for balancing star sizes pre-stitch to mitigate visible starfield seam distortion.

PixInsights Starnet really helps you to handle any star bloat/seams post-stitch. Being able to work on the seperate layers of starfield and background nebulosity is essential.

Hi Chris,

thanks for this! With APP I have best experience over all doing mosaics, yet for smaller ones. My goal is to do a 360 degree mosaic, which I have already done, with lots a flaws. Smaller ones a far easier to do.

-- hide signature --

Best regards
_____
Stefan

 elgol20's gear list:elgol20's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D750 Nikon D810A Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 +8 more
elgol20
OP elgol20 Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

Alen K wrote:

ChrisBeere wrote:

PixInsights Starnet really helps you to handle any star bloat/seams post-stitch. Being able to work on the seperate layers of starfield and background nebulosity is essential.

Just to give credit where credit is due, Starnet++ was not written by the PixInsight team nor (AFAIK) is it a normal part of PI. (Saying "PixInsight's Starnet" may give readers that impression.) It was written by Nikita Misiura and made freely available as a standalone program and as a module for PI. See here.

this is documented in the PI release already

-- hide signature --

Best regards
_____
Stefan

 elgol20's gear list:elgol20's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D750 Nikon D810A Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 +8 more
elgol20
OP elgol20 Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

Thanx guys for the replies. I see a big difference though in doing mosaics up to about 120 degrees compared to 360, which is the topic here. Really good is though to have an ocean of ideas:-)

-- hide signature --

Best regards
_____
Stefan

 elgol20's gear list:elgol20's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D750 Nikon D810A Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 +8 more
Alen K Senior Member • Posts: 1,137
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

elgol20 wrote:

Alen K wrote:

ChrisBeere wrote:

PixInsights Starnet really helps you to handle any star bloat/seams post-stitch. Being able to work on the seperate layers of starfield and background nebulosity is essential.

Just to give credit where credit is due, Starnet++ was not written by the PixInsight team nor (AFAIK) is it a normal part of PI. (Saying "PixInsight's Starnet" may give readers that impression.) It was written by Nikita Misiura and made freely available as a standalone program and as a module for PI. See here.

this is documented in the PI release already

Nighthiker already provided a correction. You did read the other replies, right?

elgol20
OP elgol20 Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

Alen K wrote:

elgol20 wrote:

Alen K wrote:

ChrisBeere wrote:

PixInsights Starnet really helps you to handle any star bloat/seams post-stitch. Being able to work on the seperate layers of starfield and background nebulosity is essential.

Just to give credit where credit is due, Starnet++ was not written by the PixInsight team nor (AFAIK) is it a normal part of PI. (Saying "PixInsight's Starnet" may give readers that impression.) It was written by Nikita Misiura and made freely available as a standalone program and as a module for PI. See here.

this is documented in the PI release already

Nighthiker already provided a correction. You did read the other replies, right?

yes, after my reply. Did you think about this possibility, right?

 elgol20's gear list:elgol20's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D750 Nikon D810A Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 +8 more
Alen K Senior Member • Posts: 1,137
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

elgol20 wrote:

Alen K wrote:

elgol20 wrote:

Alen K wrote:

ChrisBeere wrote:

PixInsights Starnet really helps you to handle any star bloat/seams post-stitch. Being able to work on the seperate layers of starfield and background nebulosity is essential.

Just to give credit where credit is due, Starnet++ was not written by the PixInsight team nor (AFAIK) is it a normal part of PI. (Saying "PixInsight's Starnet" may give readers that impression.) It was written by Nikita Misiura and made freely available as a standalone program and as a module for PI. See here.

this is documented in the PI release already

Nighthiker already provided a correction. You did read the other replies, right?

yes, after my reply. Did you think about this possibility, right?

Always better to read before replying,

elgol20
OP elgol20 Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: The entire Milkyway, stopover

this is what I meant. (360 degrees is the topic). 24 frames out of a year of 40mm side-kick shooting. my conclusion is it is worthwhile to do it thouroughly again with a modified cam. I know of guys who are did this with a Tak 106, crazy. Even with like 135mm it would be something, about 12 times more frames than this?! ok, too much

 elgol20's gear list:elgol20's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D750 Nikon D810A Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 +8 more
ChrisBeere
ChrisBeere Regular Member • Posts: 231
Re: The entire Milkyway, stopover

Thats my goal to shoot nearly the entire plane with the 40.

I think I can do it in a year with 3 trips.

January in Namibia, August in Namibia, then the final section in the northern hemisphere around xmas.

 ChrisBeere's gear list:ChrisBeere's gear list
Canon G7 X II Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Canon EOS 70D Canon 6D Mark II Canon EOS M6 II +8 more
elgol20
OP elgol20 Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: The entire Milkyway, stopover

ChrisBeere wrote:

Thats my goal to shoot nearly the entire plane with the 40.

I think I can do it in a year with 3 trips.

January in Namibia, August in Namibia, then the final section in the northern hemisphere around xmas.

Hi Chris, I chose to do it with f/1.8. I see no logic in doing it at f/2.8, what do you think? Vignetting is really small and field curverture can be compensated by focussing carefully. But this can be tricky like I experienced in an ice covered sezzion. I tried to get 40 min for each frame...

-- hide signature --

Best regards
_____
Stefan

 elgol20's gear list:elgol20's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D750 Nikon D810A Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 +8 more
ChrisBeere
ChrisBeere Regular Member • Posts: 231
Re: The entire Milkyway, stopover

When I first shot with the lens in Namibia back in January this year I shot it wide open at f/1.4 but wasn't entirely happy with the stellar profiles so tried it at f/2.0 and f/2.8 last month on my Crete trip and was really happy with 3 minute subs at f/2.8

I will be shooting 30 minute panels of 10 x 3 minute subs at f/2.8 for the project.

It gives me excellent signal to noise ratio and enough subs for the outlier rejection to be effective in removing space junk.

 ChrisBeere's gear list:ChrisBeere's gear list
Canon G7 X II Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Canon EOS 70D Canon 6D Mark II Canon EOS M6 II +8 more
elgol20
OP elgol20 Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: The entire Milkyway, stopover

ChrisBeere wrote:

When I first shot with the lens in Namibia back in January this year I shot it wide open at f/1.4 but wasn't entirely happy with the stellar profiles so tried it at f/2.0 and f/2.8 last month on my Crete trip and was really happy with 3 minute subs at f/2.8

I will be shooting 30 minute panels of 10 x 3 minute subs at f/2.8 for the project.

It gives me excellent signal to noise ratio and enough subs for the outlier rejection to be effective in removing space junk.

this is like 12 min at f/1.8. If it is worth it. Maybe I need to check again. Sigma Art lenses differ though. Good look with it. Corona numbers have gone pretty bad lately in Namibia... Let's hope for the better

-- hide signature --

Best regards
_____
Stefan

 elgol20's gear list:elgol20's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D750 Nikon D810A Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II Carl Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 +8 more
AstroLauro New Member • Posts: 20
Re: The entire Milkyway, how do you...

Hi

sorry to barge in and ask point blank but: where could I learn about the challenges involved in making Milky Way mosaic/panorama? I don’t understand quite at all what you’re talking about (calibrating panels??) despite having googled and read info about Milky Way panoramas, they all make it seem easier than what appears to be the actual problem in this thread ? Thanks for any pointers!

ChrisBeere
ChrisBeere Regular Member • Posts: 231
Re: The entire Milkyway, stopover

Yeah it's exploded over there and they have gone into lock down/curfew.

I'm hoping it will peak and settle down before Xmas but its impossible to predict.

To compound matters I fly via Joburg and although SA is on the downward curve and have relaxed the national threat level to 2 they don't look like allowing foreign nationals to transit any time soon.

If this is the case then i would fly to Frankfurt and then direct to Windhoek.

The downside is my BA flight voucher from the cancelled May trip would be of little use in this scenario.

So, yeah, complicated.

 ChrisBeere's gear list:ChrisBeere's gear list
Canon G7 X II Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Canon EOS 70D Canon 6D Mark II Canon EOS M6 II +8 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads