Meade DSI Pro II and Nexstar 4SE
Posted 16 June 2010 - 10:57 PM
this is my first post and please let me know if I'm posting in the wrong place.
I have a Nexstar 4SE and I want to buy a camera for astrophotography.
I have read on several forums about Meade DSI Pro II (monochromatic) and I'd like to know if it works well with my scope.
Unfortunatelly, it's very hard to find any post about 4SE due to it is a small scope. None has/wants a small scope nowadays.
I've found posts and some images taken with Meade DSI Pro II through some scope above 150mm.
Nexstar 4SE is 102mm and I'd like to know the following:
1 - Will the pictures (taken with Meade and this scope) be satisfactory? By satisfactory I mean: Am I gonna see the captured objects such as Saturn, M42, M86, Andromeda glxy, butterfly cluster, Jupiter, etc. in a considerable size and sharpness into the 752x582 pixels of resolution the camera offers, or just a small bright pixel in the middle of dark ones?
2 - to achieve this, what else do I need to acquire (extenders, focal reducers, barlows, projectors, etc.etc.etc.)?
3 - do you suggest another camera?
Posted 17 June 2010 - 10:37 AM
I believe your post would receive a larger audience in the Beginning and Intermediate Imaging Forum.
I can offer you some experience based advice on the DSI II Pro, as that was the first CCD camera I used. I learned a huge amount of knowledge by working with this camera, spent many, many hours with it and appreciate it to this day. It is a great camera, it is monochrome (quite good actually) and if you wish to take color photographs you will need to use a filter slide (this should be included with the camera, but possible not the filters) and take successive photographs with each filter and combine them to obtain a full color photograph. This sounds more cumbersome than it actually is, but it does give you a good idea of the practical application of how a CCD camera functions. There are also quite of few imaging software packages that support Meade’s DSI line including Meade’s Envisage and Stark Labs Nebulosity (I have used both and will allow you to capture images quite easily).
There are very few negatives with this camera as an introductory acquisition with one exception. There are no 64 bit drivers available for Meade’s DSI cameras. This means if you are running Windows 7, you will have difficulty with the operating system recognizing the camera. There may be some “work arounds” for this, but unfortunately I am not directly familiar with these (as I have a dedicated laptop running Windows XP to support my DSI’s).
Good luck and you will easily find more information and answers to your questions and help in the Beginning and Intermediate Imaging Forum specific to the DSI II Pro!
Posted 17 June 2010 - 12:50 PM
Don't know if it applies to the DSI II pro and I am not good at linking to other posts...but in the Software section you will find a notice that Meade is just about to release a 64 bit driver, at least for the DSI III...
There are very few negatives with this camera as an introductory acquisition with one exception. There are no 64 bit drivers available for Meade’s DSI cameras. This means if you are running Windows 7, you will have difficulty with the operating system recognizing the camera.
Hopefully the link will work...my first attempt at this...
DSI 64 bit link
Posted 17 June 2010 - 01:01 PM
I'm really considering purchasing the monochrome. I posted on another forum mentioned there and the staff is helping enough.
My doubts are about the size of the object in the image, ie, the size of the object will appear in relation to the total image 752x582 pixels.
I've been told I'll need 2x and 3x Barlows, and that this camera is not suitable for planetary pictures and yes, for deep sky objects.
Posted 17 June 2010 - 02:25 PM
Just saw the post from Dave and yes, seems like good news is in the wind with Meade's pending release of 64 bit drivers. This is excellent news!
It is indeed true that the DSI II Pro is more aligned with DSO's, but I have used it to capture planetary pictures. They came out ok, but the DSO's were much better. You'll probably need a focal reducer too, although I not familiar with your telescope at all.
So as to not cause confusion I'll only respond to your link in the Beginning Imaging Forum....
Posted 19 June 2010 - 05:02 PM
I can't help with the camera, but the Nexstar 4SE is not likely to get you any satisfactory results for deep space objects. It's a small aperture Maksutov Cassegrain with a focal ratio of f/13 and focal length of 1325mm. DSO's are mostly very faint and require long exposures to gather enough light to make them show up and there are much better scopes for that kind of object. Also, the mount is an altitude/azimuth design that will cause your image to rotate over a rather short time which will cause the image to blur or streak unless you use a wedge. Also, it uses spur gears which causes backlash and jerkiness. For decent DSO images, it's highly recommended to use a German Equatorial Mount, GEM, that uses worm gears. If you already have the 4SE, I'd recommend a good quality web cam or planetary imager to do some planetary imaging where field rotation and short exposure aren't serious problems. Most planetary imaging today is done by taking several minutes of video and using stacking software to sort and stack images to get a much better image than one short frame. You should also spend some time in the imaging forums and see what different people are using to get their results.