Re:Advice for a more mature Novice

Forums Telescopes Advice for a more mature Novice Re:Advice for a more mature Novice


Posted by Roy Hughes at 14:23 on 2011 Feb 20

Norman,I’m using WcCtrl for capture. There is a new kid on the block ‘SharpCap’ that looks to be better(?) and seems to have some aid to focusing built in. I’ve not tried it but it might be worth a look?Registax (free) works wonderfully on the moon for stacking the results – it appears to have been purposely designed to suit this particular task. There are tutorials out there on using it – most of it is over my head.The important step is the Registax, it’s amazing to watch the rubbish moon video you take with the webcam being transformed into the gleaming sharp photo you really wanted all along.Final polishing can be done with almost anything. I’m using GIMP (there are some Astro plugins, that I can’t quite see the utility of) but this is only 8 bit per colour depth. ULEAD Photo Impact 8 (old now – a covermount off a PC mag some years ago) and COREL something or other that came pre-installed on the laptop that I use to drive the webcam. All of which work well for me. Photoshop elements should do fine. I’m sure others with a more ‘professional’ interest will be able to suggest other choices. At this stage my gut instinct is to avoid splashing cash until you’ve at least tried the freeware options and software you’ve already got. Once you have a little practical experience then onwards and upwards is a reasonable option.One other thing.All the years I was using a SLR at the scope I was processing my own negatives & enlargements. Commercial processing cost a fortune and was hopeless for astronomical subjects. I took some digital moon photos taken with the webcam (Registaxed/Ulead polished) to Snappy Snaps on a stick and was amazed how good the prints were when I picked them up from my local shop. It seems that if you can get it looking right on screen they can print it. It’s nice to have a real photo to pass round and the price was just pennies. Other outfits are probably just as good.Roy