The few remaining obstacles to hurdle with this setup prior to the June 8th 2004 Venus transit are now being overcome. The lack of sufficiently fast exposure times has been addressed and corrected courtesy of Matt L (SBIG software/engineering), who has generously written a driver patch allowing for a reduction to 0.001 seconds. No longer is an additional filtering needed to knock down the signal levels below saturation (as was the case with the previous session). The above is from a single image taken at 0.004 seconds.
Note the detached prominence at the NNE limb (North is up East is to the left) and the structures extending fully to the circumference of the disk, a level of detail present in the eyepiece but that had eluded my previous equipment's abilities to capture via imaging. A very wide dynamic range allowed a single image to become the basis for this picture, processing it through two divergent paths: normal for the surface features and one with boosted gain for the fainter prominences. This is the second stab at processing this image, in an attempt to extract more disk detail from the image. If I don't get a fresh image set to dabble with first, I'll tackle the prominence portions on this one again an effort to punch them up a tad.
Below are full-scale slices from three different grayscale processing scenarios for the above image. The top-most is as originally processed, the middle has additional range compression, and the bottom used lower initial signal level (s-curve) and multi-staged deconvolution using finer PSF (mind you, detail is lost in these JPEG renderings used for web presentation).