No worries, sir, and for the record I love Siril. I’ve been playing around with PixInsight, and it is very impressive, but I keep coming back to Siril and nothing much is probably going to change that any time soon.
I am a software developer so I tend to understand things from that perspective and tend to approach my issues via math and code.
The lens thing opened up a whole can of worms for me. The lack of documentation specificity was frustrating for me but I very much understand how hard good documentation is to write and how much effort it takes.
That said the real problems surrounding the lens had nothing to do with lens or Siril. I dove deep into a lot of years old forum posts trying to figure out what was going on and eventually figured out that the biggest problem child was Sony.
The 12-sided polygons I was seeing on certain images and stretching is, from what I can tell, an anti-vignetting mask that Sony applies without me asking them to. They definitely do this on their jpg images (which I turn off and don’t use) but I was shocked to find out they do this on the RAW images, too.
I figured out some ways to trick the camera into not doing this including slightly rotating the lens so the mount pins don’t connect to the lens pins … doing this make the lens unrecognizable to the camera so it treats it as an old school, manual, lens and doesn’t apply any anti-vignetting to it. This is the only reliable way I found to be able to ensure that mask is not applied as it can’t be turned off in the settings.
And then it also turned out that the cameras love to drop from 14bit image capture down to 12bit image capture for a whole host of reasons that aren’t remotely obvious to anybody … especially someone as new to cameras as I am. This one was incredibly frustrating because I was losing bit depth without knowing it and there are at least five reasons it does this … I was doing two of those things … sometimes … sometimes not.
And lastly there is the matter of lossy compression. This is apparently another “feature” I, in no way, want and that I can’t turn off. It can result in losing up to one bit of color depth all to save me disk space I don’t need saved and (possibly) ensure more predictable write times to the disk. I hate this “feature” … very much.
So, without knowing it I was thinking I was taking 14bit raw images that were, instead, often invisibly turned into 12bit raw images that were then lossy compressed to, at worst, 11bit images, that were forcibly stamped with an anti-vignetting bit mask into the RAW data itself.
I don’t know why Sony claims it supports RAW images given that the camera deeply messes with these images without being asked to and most of the time without any indication it is doing it nor any way to turn it off via settings (or at all).
But, for the record, after much frustrating learning over the past several weeks, I can say that:
- Siril is awesome, I still use it way more than anything else
- the lens in question is great and I understand much better now how to use it
- I now understand that wide field, (like, 20mm effective focal length) imagery comes at a cost, always, and that has to be taken into account when using it
- Siril is not optimized to deal with many of the quirks of 8-50mm imagery as it is much more focused on longer lens imagery … which is something I’m learning to work around, also
*and, lastly, that Sony evidently just wants me to feel pain for something I must have done in a previous life but there is no other explanation for their atrocious behavior with regard to their RAW files on the camera range I use.
In the end thank goodness my primary camera and lenses is my old D7000 I picked up used a number of years ago. It does what it is supposed and its bag of obnoxious trickery and unwanted features is vastly, vastly, smaller than the more modern and “user friendly” Sony I am also using.
Thank you for responding though. I know with the new update work you folks have been super busy and I greatly appreciate your efforts!
Siril is amazing and greatly appeals to the programmer in me.