Hubble palette

North America Nebula in Hubble palette taken with full colour DSLR

I did some more tinkering in Photoshop with the North America nebula data I captured the other night. I wanted to see if a version of the iconic Hubble palette would be possible, despite not using narrowband data. With a fair bit of trial and error with colour channel swapping, I’m pretty pleased with the final result. For the moment at least, I do prefer this to the original true colour version. Structures in the gas clouds of the Cygnus Wall and Pelican nebula appear much better defined.

A little more tinkering in Photoshop resulted in the image below. Blending the natural colour and Hubble palette versions perhaps gives the best of both worlds. The main structures still stand out more prominently compared to the natural colour version.

Image details: Modified Nikon D5500Tamron-100-400mm-f4.5-6.3 @ 320mm/f6. Total of 90 minutes exposure time (45 x 120 seconds) at iso 800. Tracked with unguided AstroTrac TT320X-AG. Stacked with Deep Sky Stacker. Edited with Photoshop and Starnet++

  1. Erik Kannengießer Reply


    I’m commenting here, because I didn’t find another way to contact you. I#m interested in the D5100’s transmission profile. Where did you get that from?
    I contacted Nikon, because I wanted to know the Z7 II’s transmission profile, but they said, that this is not for the public.
    Have a nice day!


    • Nick Reply

      Hi Erik – I believe the transmission graph was actually from the D810, which was used to demonstrate the light transmission differences between it and the D810a. Here is the a DP Review post about it.

      You might find this PetaPixel article useful. Judging from the graph it looks like the Z7 has a very similar profile to all other Nikon cameras. So I’d expect the H Alpha transmission gains to be very similar between the D5100, D810 and the Z7ii. Though the only sure fire way would be to test with a spectrophotometer!


  2. Erik Kannengießer Reply

    alright…thank you for your quick response. Indeed, this article was helpful to me. I was just wondering, how the transmission profile on the Z7 II would look, having found out, that it has no lowpass filter.
    thank you very much!
    If you like, have a look at our german discord channel on astrophotography. it’s written in german mostly, but we will answer in english to english posts.

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