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Messages - wearle

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1
Landscape / Re: Geminid Meteor Shower Composites
« on: January 06, 2015, 11:21:45 AM »
Excellent series. I especially like the 3rd picture.  8)  Well done.

Thanks!  My favorite is the third composition too.  I wish the aurora would have started before moon rise, but at least I got one.  :)

Wade

2
Landscape / Re: Geminid Meteor Shower Composites
« on: January 06, 2015, 11:20:10 AM »
That is excellent work, Wade! Thanks for sharing them, and particular the details about their creation. It is really helpful for others (like me) interested in meteor photography.

Thanks!

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1) From your number of 5000 images x 25s / 4 cameras / 2 nights I assume you let the cameras stay exposing for about 9-10h per night. Since you did not use tracking mounts on the last 3, how did you avoid motion blur on the stars due to Earth's rotation? Also, it looks like the meteor streaks converge from a single point, despite the meteors being distributed over the night. Did you "move" the meteors to the appropriate positions in post? Did you have to take into account the variable distortion over the field of view? No matter how you did it, it looks good anyway.

Actually, the exposure times varied from 20 seconds to 60 seconds depending on if I was using a fixed tripod or an equatorial mount.  Each night I imaged about an hour after moon rise.  The first night I took my last exposure about 0130.  The second night the last image was about 0220.  The first night I guessed 25 second exposures for the 17mm, but this was too long so I reduced it to 20 seconds.  For pinpoint stars, I would likely need to limit it to about 15 seconds.  With the fish-eye lens, I can go about 30 seconds without visible star trailing.  Once I copied the meteor from its original frame, I rotated it to the proper radiant position of the underlying background image.  I try to keep the meteors position relative to the stars as closely as possible.   I did not take the variable distortion into account.

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2) I see no non-gemenid meteors, did you exclude them? You also removed satellites, airplanes, I assume?

I did not include them in the picture.  I did capture a few Monocerotids and Sigma Hydrids.

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3) Why did you stop down the TS-E 17/4Ls? Interesting that you have TWO of them! Or perhaps you actually used the Zeiss 15/2.8 on the second 5D3 (why else would you rent the Zeiss)?

I stopped down the 17mm to improve the stars in the corners.  The lens was shifted up about 6-8 degrees.  I only have one 17mm TS-E.  I just positioned it near the same location each night.  The Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8 was used on another 5D2 camera.  I did not have it positioned well so I didn't capture enough meteors to produce a composite.

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4) Have you captured the same meteor in different cameras? I'm sure you have, I just couldn't see it easily by looking quickly.

Yes, there are quite a few "repeat" meteors.  The second and third composites are mostly repeats.  The only difference is the time at which the background image was taken.  The radiant was much higher in the third composite.

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5) It is interesting to me that the Gemenids show so much less colour than do the Perseids. Perhaps it has to do with the composition of the grains, or it is related to the relative velocity between Earth and the meteoroid orbits. I have not researched, just speculation...

Visually, I saw some nice colors on a few of the brighter Geminids.  It probably has more to do with their velocity.  The Perseids are coming in much faster so they "burn up" quicker.

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6) I think your captures of the meteors are already perfected, so a next step for you would probably be to find some interesting foreground object to improve the composition and impact of the images

A better foreground would be ideal, but it's difficult finding a good foreground without introducing too much light pollution.  Unfortunately, I live in an area that doesn't offer too many foreground subjects.

Wade

3
Landscape / Geminid Meteor Shower Composites
« on: January 06, 2015, 01:28:05 AM »
To all,

Here are four Geminid Meteor Shower composites I created from two nights of imaging. They were taken on the nights of December 13th and 14th.  I took approximately 5500 images using four cameras.  I used two 5D2, one 5D3, and one 1DX.  I rented the 5D3 and a Zeiss Distagon 15mm f/2.8 lens. 

The first composite was created from 18 images. Each image was a 60 second exposure at ISO 3200 unguided on a German equatorial mount. The camera was an unmodified Canon 5D2 with a Canon 14mm f/2.8L lens stopped down to f/4.0.  Each individual image was processed in Lightroom. The composite was done in Photoshop CC.

The second composite was created from 24 images. Each image was 20 or 25 seconds at ISO 5000 on a fixed tripod. The camera was an unmodified Canon 5D3 with a Canon TS-E 17mm f/4.0L lens stopped down to f/4.5. Each individual image was processed in Lightroom. The composite was done in Photoshop CC.

The third composite was created from 18 images. Each image was 20 or 25 seconds at ISO 5000 on a fixed tripod. The camera was an unmodified Canon 5D3 with a Canon TS-E 17mm f/4.0L lens stopped down to f/4.5. Each individual image was processed in Lightroom. The composite was done in Photoshop CC.  There was a very faint aurora that began just after moonrise.  I could not see it visually, but the camera easily picked it up.  Since the underlying image was taken after moonrise and later in the night, I had to remove some of the meteors from the second composite since they were outside the field of view; however, I was also able to add a few new ones.

The final composite was created from 30 images. Each image was 30 seconds at ISO 6400 on a fixed tripod. The camera was a Canon 1DX using a Canon 8-15mm f/4.0L lens at approximately 8.5mm with an aperture set to wide-open. Each individual image was processed in Lightroom. The composite was done in Photoshop CC.  The crescent Moon had just risen, illuminating the underside of the cloud feature in the east. The shadowed feature at the bottom is a bird house.

Thanks for looking,

Wade

4
Landscape / Re: Stars above.
« on: February 08, 2014, 09:10:31 PM »
To all,

Here's my first and second attempt at star trails.  In my first attempt, I made the mistake of too short of an exposure.  It would generally be somewhat light polluted near Battle Mountain, but fog and low cloud had enveloped the lower terrain blocking out all the light pollution coming from the Columbia Basin.  My exposures should have been two minutes, but they were only 20 seconds.  :(  On my second attempt, I raised my exposure to one minute since it was the longest I could go without blowing out the illuminated fog below over Pendleton, Oregon.  I believe it's a better attempt than the first, but still room for improvement.  A couple of vehicles went by and down Emigrant Hill during a couple of the exposures.  I'm not quite sure if the illuminated foreground hurts or helps the image.  What are your thoughts?

Thanks for looking,

Wade

5
Lenses / Re: Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Request for Samples
« on: February 08, 2014, 02:25:30 AM »
To all,

Thanks for your help.  The lens is going back to Canon since it continues to perform well below par.

Wade

6
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: February 04, 2014, 10:05:08 PM »
To all,

Here's a wide-field image of the dark nebula in Aquila.  This is a three frame mosaic.  It was taken with a modified Canon 5D2 and a Canon 200mm f/2.0L stopped down to f/4.0.  Each frame is an integration of 10 four-minute exposures.  Each frame was calibrated using six dark frames, twenty biases, and twenty flats.  All calibration and processing was done in PixInsight.

I may try to add a few frames to the right side of the mosaic this year as it is just too dark.  That's what happens when you grab a portion of the Great Rift.  :)

Thanks for looking,

Wade

7
Lenses / Re: Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Request for Samples
« on: February 04, 2014, 09:51:56 PM »
Is very possible that you have a lemon. I went through quite a few before I got one that's better. Mine is actually slightly sharper in the corners than center...and equals the sharpness of my 17-40 and 24-105 in the center and obviously is much better in the corners, even when shifted. Very little if any distortion and very slight chroma in corners but often not noticeable...Its a difficult lens to fix as the technicians often don't have much experience or the latest software...where I live mine was the first one they ever worked on and they didn't even have the latest software...so I would make sure that I send it to a repair center that can handle such a complicated lens. Other send it back and ask for another one . Keep your original test images to compare...

Ivan,

I really appreciate the information about your lens.  This is very helpful.  It seems Canon has poor quality control with this lens.  The first lens I sent back because it was really bad.  The second one I was unfortunately convinced by Canon repairs they could fix it.  They have improved the quality of the images it produces, but it is still inferior to my Canon 24mm f/1.4L which is really sad.  I should have purchased the one I rented.  It was a really good copy.  Hindsight is 20-20.  :(

Would you be willing to share some examples?

Wade

8
Lenses / Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Request for Samples
« on: February 04, 2014, 02:09:53 AM »
To all,

I'm still trying to figure out if I got a lemon.  I have received it back from Canon repair, and they replaced the G3 assembly.  It is much better than what it was but my Canon 24mm f/1.4L outperforms it from f/2.2 onward.  I would consider my Canon 24mm f/1.4L lens to be average.  Since I only have one other sample (a rental) of what the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II lens can do, I really have know idea what to expect of this lens.  The rental was awesome.  It was sharp throughout the field of view. 

Would it be possible for the owners of this lens to send me high resolution images of a landscape or cityscape showing what this lens can do under the following conditions:

  • Focused at infinity
  • Shift and tilt set to zero position
  • Camera level to ground (i.e. no tilt)
  • One image taken at f/4.0
  • Final image taken at f/8.0

You can send me E-mail privately or a link on this thread. Basically, all my images taken with this lens are somewhat soft near the center edges and progressively get worse in the corners.  At this time, I would estimate the "sharp" area of coverage to be a 30mm circle around the center. 

You can either post JPEG images of 100 percent crops of the center sides or privately E-mail me a high resolution JPEG full image.   Please no masterpieces, just test shots that aren't worth a dime.  :)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Wade

9
Landscape / Re: Sunset landscape
« on: February 01, 2014, 06:13:25 PM »

Cape Fear river NC

Excellent capture and lovely colors.

Wade

10
Landscape / Re: Sunset landscape
« on: February 01, 2014, 06:11:21 PM »

11
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: February 01, 2014, 06:09:44 PM »

Without a doubt, that's the best meteor picture I've ever seen. Well done!

It takes a lot of work to produce these composites so I really appreciate your comment.

Wade

12
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: February 01, 2014, 06:07:46 PM »

Yeah, I read a bit about the f/3 issue on Astrodon's site. I am actually planning to use my 600mm f/4 lens as a fast APO refractor. Probably with an SBIG STF-8300m in the long run, with the filter ring accessory. Is f/4 fast enough to cause problems?

You should be okay.  You might loose a little transmission efficiency, but probably not enough to notice.

Wade

13
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: January 30, 2014, 01:50:25 AM »

Hmm, interesting about the N2 band. And 5nm filters are about $300 cheaper than 3nm filters are (~$600 vs. $900), so a decent savings in money.

I would recommend getting the H-alpha in 5nm, S2 in 3nm, and O3 in 3nm.  The only drawback to 3nm is if you have a fast system (i.e. f/3 or faster).  They become less efficient and your almost better off getting all 5nm.

Wade

14
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: January 29, 2014, 09:49:12 PM »

This is a composite image of the 2012 Perseid Meteor shower taken with a Canon 1DX and a rented Canon 8-15mm f/4.0L lens.

Oops, that should be the 2013 Perseid Meteor Shower.  :-[

Wade

15
Landscape / Re: Deep Sky Astrophotography
« on: January 29, 2014, 09:40:03 PM »
To all,

This is not quite deep-sky, but might be "landscape".  :)

This is a composite image of the 2012 Perseid Meteor shower taken with a Canon 1DX and a rented Canon 8-15mm f/4.0L lens.  The underlying background is a single image.  I captured meteors throughout the night and picked the brightest ones to copy onto the background image.  LightRoom and Photoshop CC were used to make the composite.

Thanks for looking,

Wade

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