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Mono CCD for ~$1500

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#1 FuriousRabbit

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:20 AM

Long time lurker first time poster here!

I'm looking to move away from DSLR in the near future and I'm really having a hard time deciding what Mono CCD to get. I really don't want to go above $1500 for the CCD and filter accessories.

My imaging scope is an Orion ED80 f7.5 and I'm also wanting to get more widefield images. Any help is appreciated! :grin:

#2 andysea

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:27 AM

I think with that budget you will be looking at smaller sensor cameras.
They are usually cheaper and they require smaller filters which also are cheaper.
How about the Atik314. The one with non regulated TEC?
People seem very happy with it.

Andy

#3 terry59

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:59 AM

Long time lurker first time poster here!

I'm looking to move away from DSLR in the near future and I'm really having a hard time deciding what Mono CCD to get. I really don't want to go above $1500 for the CCD and filter accessories.

My imaging scope is an Orion ED80 f7.5 and I'm also wanting to get more widefield images. Any help is appreciated! :grin:


I assume that you want to have both LRGB and narrowband filters to work with. Do you want/need an automatic or manual filter wheel?

As Andysea said, CCD cameras with large sensors are above your target price range and require 36mm filters/filter wheels to boot.

I have the same scope as you do and got the Atik 314L+ camera which works with 1.25" filters. I just recently got the Orion 0.8x focal reducer to give me flexibility. I've been able to test it but clouds have prevented me from getting a full image yet.

The Sony chip in the Atik 314 and Orion DS III cameras is very nice. There is a thread in the CCD forum where someone measured noise in a variety of CCD cameras and the Atik 314L+ had very low noise. The Orion DS III had higher noise that I assume is due to the electronics. Although I like the regulated cooling function, darks don't seem to be critical due to the low noise.

With your budget I'd recommend the Orion package (the Atik 314E and Atik 320E chips are even smaller or I'd recommend one of those due to the better measured noise) and a Ha filter unless you want to go with a full narrowband set right away. Unfortunately CCD imaging can get quite expensive.

Here is a shot of NGC 1333 from last night through haze and clouds. It is 12x300 sec luminance, Atik 314L+ camera at -15C, ED80 scope with the Orion 0.8x reducer and a 2" Hutech IDAS LPS-2 on the reducer.

Edit: If you choose the Orion package for $999.00, I'd recommend the Astrodon 5nm Ha filter to go with it.

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#4 FuriousRabbit

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:13 PM

How about the Atik314. The one with non regulated TEC?
People seem very happy with it.
Andy


I've been looking and comparing the Atik 320E Mono with the Orion StarShoot Mono Imaging Camera III and 5 Filter Wheel and at $999.99 the Orion package is priced quite nicely.

#5 andysea

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:36 AM

I forgot about the Orion mono. It does seem to be a good camera. I remember at some point Orion had the camera on sale with the manual filter wheel and RBGL filters for $999.
Like Terry said the Atik 314L+ is an excellent camera with extremely low noise. If you could stretch your budget perhaps that would be the way to go.
The drawback is that you wouldn't get the widefield images that you are looking for.
You should do a web search and try to find images that were taken with a scope similar to yours and the various CCD cameras that you are considering.
That will give you a pretty good idea of the kind of targets that would be ideal.

Andy

#6 korborh

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:20 AM

I have the Atik 314L+ mono and I have never used it regulated - 100% power on the cooler all the time. And no darks, even on 30min exposures. Summers are 110+ F here.
Its a great camera. Regulated cooling is really not needed on it. You will not need darks on it.

#7 Raginar

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:23 AM

I had an Orion Mono III without the manual filter wheel. I purchased it on AM for much less than the retail price. You can check out my images if you'd like on AB. I really enjoyed the camera; it barely requires darks and I never had any mechanical/electrical issues with it. I tied it to an Xagyl 1.25" filter wheel and it worked like a charm!

People do seem to really like the ATiK cameras though, and the results are very telling.

Good luck!

#8 terry59

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:00 AM

Here is the thread on camera noise: http://www.cloudynig...4364541/page...

#9 Konihlav

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:28 AM

or a direct link to results in a table:
http://blog.astrofot...ch/?page_id=782

#10 andysea

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:35 AM

Konihlav
Thanks for posting the link again! I've been looking for your page left and right:)
I still mean to send you the test shots from my Atik cameras as soon as I get the flat panel!

Where can one buy Andor CCD cameras? I see it's got the lowest noise of all.
Andy

#11 tvoydan

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:23 PM

I bought the Orion StarShoot Mono package you mentioned about a month ago. I upgraded to the 7x1.25" automatic filter wheel and added narrow band filters. So far I'm happy with the way everything is working so far.

#12 andysea

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:17 PM

I Just went to the Orion website, there is one mono CCD on clearance for 799.
Seems like an awesome price! I bought from their clearance section before and i've been very happy. Their clearance items come with full warranty and they are returnable.

Andy

#13 FuriousRabbit

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

Well, I think I'm going to bite the bullet ... save up a bit more and go for the SBIG STF-8300M. Does anyone have any opinions on this CCD?

#14 Raginar

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:44 PM

I think you'll enjoy an SBIG :). Do a 'search' while you're saving up and discover all the tidbits on it.

#15 andysea

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:15 PM

Why not get a Qsi? It's a very nice package and probably one of the best on the market.

#16 etalon

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:32 PM

Hi gents,

my first CCD-camera was a ATIK 314L with 1,25" filters. It is a highly recommended CCD-camera for low budget beginning. The read noise and the thermical noise are very low, and the CCD is very sensitive compared with some Kodak CCDs. I made some suitable pics with this camera and a 115/800 APO.
http://www.deep-sky-...02/Abell_72.jpg

Now I use a SBIG ST8300M at the moment. It´s a great camera and work well. It have a bigger CCD as the ATIK 314L and therefore a bigger FOV. There are other CCD-camera manufacturer, which offer KAF8300 cameras. FLI, APOGEE, QSI, ATIK,... are also not bad. But the price including the bigger filters and filter wheels, which were required, would not fit to your 1500,-$ goal. You can find some example pics on my homepage.
http://www.deep-sky-...02/DSC05075.jpg

I also use a Andor EMCCD camera, but this camera is not recommended for beginning and the price fit not really the amount of 1500,-$... ;)
http://www.deep-sky-...02/IMG_1369.jpg

So, I think, you would be glad with the Atik 314L for beginning. And when you have proofed your CCD-skills, you will buy a camera with a larger sensor. I know, the ICX285Al is not a outstanding wide field sensor, but you have also your DSLR camera... ;)

Just my five cents...

Best
Markus






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