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  1. #11
    Senior Member
    BF Hammer's Avatar

    Re: Input needed

    Quote Originally Posted by blackstar View Post
    Thank you so much, BF.

    After all your explanation and sharing studied, still have more inquiries for you to help: Do you just throw raw files into Sequator to run stacking? or convert raw into TIFF and pre-process them b4 stacking with Squator? or just use jpg's to run stacking? The fact that the final stacked images stand out as brilliantly beautiful from the seemingly crapy single exposures really makes the (stacking) process impressive. (But I realize your effort and investment in equipment to improve single exposures also make a great difference. And post process also a big factor.)

    Viewing from your outtakes, it seems the MW images are visible in them, at least faintly though, if not very clear. So, I would assume for all four sets of single exposures, you were there able to see the MW in the sky with naked eyes (at least faint scene). If I'm correct, the place you took shots must have a light pollution scale = 3 or 4. So it's not comparable (aside from your investment and efforts) to the place I took shots -- backyard in town (scale=7). And was not able to see even faint MW in the sky.

    I think I'm going to get a new Rokinon 10mm f2.8 wide angle CS lens for my D3500 after failed to try two new Rokinon 12mm f2.8 fisheye FF lenses: incompatible lens! I figure that using Rokinon 14mm f2.8 FF with d3500, it will come down to ~18mm wide which overlap my kit lens. OTOH, when upgrade to FF body, Rokinon 10mm f2.8 CS lens will come down to ~15mm wide, which is close to 14mm. Am I on the right path? Afterward, I may try to take shots at other darker places and hope to get better result.
    When I use Sequator I use the Raw files. I have learned to help things out a bit by viewing each file and tossing out the ones that have visible blur or streaks from satellites, fireflies, aircraft. But Sequator has a checkbox in the processing menu to help fix those if those photos are included. There are HDR and auto brightness options as well as an adjustable light pollution filter option. I may run the stack 3 or 4 times with the different options to get a pleasing TIFF. Then I do the fine-tuning with RawTherapee and GIMP.

    My workflow changes here if I am taking photos of a planet, comet, or a galaxy. I am using Deep Sky Stacker for those larger objects in the frame where extra stars appear. I still use Raw images with DSS, but I will do even more runs and try different options. Stacking is a lot slower in that software, but I will get better results if there is no stationary foreground. Planets with no stars in the frame normally requires I go to RegiStax which is what that software is designed to do. My TIF exports actually crash the program so I export .PNG to make it work. I avoid working with JPG where I can in post.

    Yes I can actually see the Milky Way at the locations I take the photos at. Faintly, about Bortle class 4 as I read the link to Wikipedia right.

    As for your lens choice, I am not much help. I have always had at least a D80 or newer DSLR of similar class. My lens options were never limited much with F mount. I never had anything wider than 18mm with a crop sensor body. But I can say I love the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art. It should work with your body, and I think you might be surprised what they sell for used. I remember buying mine sort of gray-market for under $600, and that was 4.5 years ago. Of course now that I have a FX format D750, my widest lens is now 20mm which is about 14mm equivalent to a crop body. I'm OK with that.


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  2. #12
    Senior Member

    Re: Input needed

    Thanks, Needa.

    The discussion of MW processing from the link is more about how to process an under-exposed MW image. In my case, it's more about heavy light pollutions making MW invisible and so the stacking process could reduce noises and bring out enhanced (visible) MW image (assuming each single shot already in normal or over-exposure).

  3. #13
    Senior Member

    Re: Input needed

    Thanks again, BF.

    Ok, so RAW is the way to go! Now it seems to be that Sequator has everything you need plus many extra features for stacking images and it's free! But I am not so lucky because I use mac. Wonder does SSS also have the same features and functions as Sequator? or even better than Sequator? (I want to make sure b4 paying for it)

    For the moment, I am keeping the new Rokinon 12mm f2.8 fisheye FF and to practice using it (it only works in M mode with d3500).

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    BF Hammer's Avatar

    Re: Input needed

    Quote Originally Posted by blackstar View Post
    Thanks again, BF.

    Ok, so RAW is the way to go! Now it seems to be that Sequator has everything you need plus many extra features for stacking images and it's free! But I am not so lucky because I use mac. Wonder does SSS also have the same features and functions as Sequator? or even better than Sequator? (I want to make sure b4 paying for it)

    For the moment, I am keeping the new Rokinon 12mm f2.8 fisheye FF and to practice using it (it only works in M mode with d3500).
    I would say start searching on youtube for SSS tutorials. I know I watched at least one a couple of years ago. I watch a lot of youtube stuff on my smart TV and at least 1/3 of it tends to be photography-related. I do remember that Raw files are recommended and part of the workflow is masking the sky portion of the base image. So it really was the model for Sequator. I really should take dark reference frames and the hot-pixel frames as part of my workflow, but I don't think I have really needed it yet. I lack the patience to do those boring parts. Maybe I would get even better results if I did.

  5. #15
    Senior Member

    Re: Input needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Needa View Post
    Below is a link to a darktable image edit. If you download the original image and place it in several folders you can copy a sidecar file from each edit to one of the folders, import the image from the folders. Then you be able to see what steps were taken to achieve the results.

    https://discuss.pixls.us/t/milky-way...feedback/19702
    Thanks, Needa. If I understand, in order to see what steps were taken to achieve the results, I have to copy the original raw file (e.g., ori.NEF), one processed jpg file (ori.jpg) and one xmp file (ori.NEF.xmp) and place them in a folder, then open the files in DT? But how? I tried importing the images from the holder in Lighttable and both NEF and jpg files show up. Then I choose either one of them in Darkroom. It just show some preset steps in the history stack without any editing steps from the xmp file. Wonder what I did wrong? Thanks for help.



  6. #16
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Input needed

    Quote Originally Posted by blackstar View Post
    Thanks, Needa. If I understand, in order to see what steps were taken to achieve the results, I have to copy the original raw file (e.g., ori.NEF), one processed jpg file (ori.jpg) and one xmp file (ori.NEF.xmp) and place them in a folder, then open the files in DT? But how? I tried importing the images from the holder in Lighttable and both NEF and jpg files show up. Then I choose either one of them in Darkroom. It just show some preset steps in the history stack without any editing steps from the xmp file. Wonder what I did wrong? Thanks for help.


    blackstar

    No need to import JPG, just NEF and XMP, requires a different folder for each XMP plus the NEF. You can also set your options (gear icon then import tab) to ignore jpg but if you normally import jpgs remember to set it back. Just tested downloaded the NEF and the first XMP to a folder named test, right clicked the image and selected open with dt, this is also how I open jpgs in dt to edit, as I don't import jpgs. The right click method for me opens it directly in darktable mode.The image opened in dt and the history stack shows 19 edits. Then by going to any of the listed modules you can see that modules settings. If you want to output it as a jpg just export as normal.

  7. #17
    Senior Member

    Re: Input needed

    Thanks, Needa.

    I did exactly as you expressed, but when the image opened in Darkroom the history stack shows only 9 default pre-steps (everytime open a new image file, DT system pre-edits before you make your own editing) and no change on the NEF image. I went back to check the xmp file in the folder and see it's size has changed from 10 KB to 5KB. So I think everytime I open an image file, DT would write a new xmp which would overwrite the old xmp file if one exists (which does in this case). I am stuck here! No idea how you manage to see others' editing steps... Help!

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Input needed

    Input needed
    @blackstar

    Input needed-screenshot-2020-10-20-14-47-09.jpg

    What happens if you replace the new XMP with the downloaded one? I'll try to do some research to see what might be happening.

  9. #19
    Senior Member

    Re: Input needed

    Gee, How you get that? I did replace xmp with downloaded one, but same thing happens again and again. Can you check your DT preference setting? In "core options" panel, there is "xmp" section which has 3 options: Write sidecar file for each image, store xmp tags in compressed format, and Look for updated xmp files on startup. What are your settings on these options?
    Last edited by blackstar; 10-20-2020 at 08:17 PM.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Needa's Avatar

    Re: Input needed

    Input needed
    Input needed-screenshot-2020-10-20-15-22-17.jpg





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