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Mallincam Xtreme vs large dobs

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#76 BillFerris

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:33 PM

Give video OBSERVING a try. You may never go back.

/Ira


The same can be said of CCD imaging, DSLR astrophotography, lunar/planetary observing, comet hunting and a host of activities within the hobby. It is because this hobby offers such a broad variety of activities that CloudyNights offers amateur astronomers a wide selection of forums. Whether a newcomer to the hobby, an experienced observer, an atm'er or a talented imager, CloudyNights has a forum for you and your interest.

Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy was created to give video astronomy enthusiasts a forum to share their observations, discuss equipment and techniques. For those who prefer video astronomy to visual observing, V&EAA is the perfect venue to celebrate the joys of that activity.

However, to come into this or another visual observing forum and actively encourage folks to try video astronomy with the enticement that they may never go back, is disrespectful both to folks who enjoy visual observing and those who enjoy video astronomy. While both activities can be greatly rewarding, there are quite different. One, is imaging. The other is visual observing. If you want to recruit people to the activity you enjoy, I suggest you do so in the appropriate forum.

Bill in Flag

#77 Ira

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:21 PM

Obviously, no disrespect meant. Just another one of my many enthusiasms. So sorry if I offended you. So, try video astronomy. It's just so complimentary to visual astronomy. :)

/Ira

#78 Ira

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:25 PM

"You may never go back."

I'm always puzzled why different observing styles are cast as this way or that as though they are mutually exclusive? Weird, and kinda sad.

At one time I had a setup similar to this, only the other way around. I found that the field of view of an e-finder made from a 35mm f/4 achromat fitted with a Type 1/3 CCD was similar to the 6" f/5 Newtonian that it rode on. It was neat to use the live image to see what there was to see in the field and then look for it through the eyepiece. My most common setup is now a camera on an SN6 and binoviewers on a 16" LightBridge.

Enjoy.


And I am always puzzled why some people take an expression and warp it into it's most negative possible form. It's a figure of speech, for Pete's sake.
:question: :foreheadslap:

/Ira

#79 Lorence

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:17 PM

It is because this hobby offers such a broad variety of activities that CloudyNights offers amateur astronomers a wide selection of forums. Whether a newcomer to the hobby, an experienced observer, an atm'er or a talented imager, CloudyNights has a forum for you and your interest.

Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy was created to give video astronomy enthusiasts a forum to share their observations, discuss equipment and techniques. For those who prefer video astronomy to visual observing, V&EAA is the perfect venue to celebrate the joys of that activity.

However, to come into this or another visual observing forum and actively encourage folks to try video astronomy with the enticement that they may never go back, is disrespectful both to folks who enjoy visual observing and those who enjoy video astronomy. While both activities can be greatly rewarding, there are quite different. One, is imaging. The other is visual observing. If you want to recruit people to the activity you enjoy, I suggest you do so in the appropriate forum.

Bill in Flag


The title of this group is Deep Sky Observing. Care to point out why looking at video image is not considered observing.

When you get right down to it the only real observing is naked eye. Anything else requires some sort of technology. Is there some unwritten law that the technology has to be over a hundred years old before it is acceptable in this group? Should one be excluded from this group because he uses a GoTo telescope? Some say you're not really an observer if you can't find the objects yourself.

#80 Ira

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:32 PM

And with this I shall exit this post. I have no desire to provoke a fight. Thank you to those who answered my original question. The information was quite useful to me. And thank you to those who expanded the topic in useful ways.

To all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

/Ira
"Yes, Virginia, there is a sanity clause. "

#81 Aldb

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:18 AM

This is exactly the sort of review "in attitude" I have been searching for. Lets look at the mallincam as like a set of 2-3 good Naglers in your budget, yet it can, in limited ways, give you 2 and 3 times the scope aperture. The Thomas-Denmark style comment that it is not really like using your eyes falls apart if you understand the nature of human vision, which is electro chemical with your neuro system after all. Your brain is an adaptive optic computer providing range that a camera will never achieve. We all know that! However it is de facto "Live viewing" though the camera accumulates more light than your eye. Read the definition of classic (Al in the above reports) vs romantic (Thomas) (romantic), in light of definition by Robert Pirsig in Zen..Motorcycle Maintenance. There's a leap for all but the old-timers like me. I will now leap to the Mallincam world with my perfect Zambuto 18" in tow, and with a great set of Naglers in hand as well. Great discussion guys..what I have searched for months for! Thank you so much. Al DenBleyker

#82 starrancher

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:58 PM

Merry Christmas to all from one of the hopeless (romantics) . :coldday:

#83 wfj

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 07:02 PM

Merry Christmas.

Everything in its place. I've windows, security cams, and professional cameras around the domicile as well. And while they can render the same effect, each is used differently.

Even when communicating the sky to others, each of these hasn't reliably scored with certain folks. At one star party, one gentleman expressed the thought that unless he saw the Death Star itself exploding a planet in real time, nothing really would matter to him. Hard to please.

It takes a certain desire to wish to perceive anything ... to fit something into one's cognitive model.

I started out visual, went quickly to film astrophotography (because of amplifying as this), then having become a paid journeyman photographer working for a pro, slowly accumulating skill/equipment/capability. Sucked all the fun out of it fast (and dollars). I turned all my scopes into cameras (later for my kids having to undo those transformations when they wanted those same scopes...). One more thing happened once too often.

At the same time, I added video cameras of varying kinds to the local observatory scopes, using realtime (and near realtime) video to communicate to community groups. Vidicons, plumbicons, image orthicons, and more!

If what they wanted to see was a picture, only a picture would do. If what they wanted was a sketch, a sketch (or video) would do. But many had me take off the camera afterwards to attempt to directly perceive what they could through the eyepiece.

For some conjuring the "faint fuzzy" was torture, for others sublime. Its certainly the case that for any detail/quality perception, you'll consume resources and require skills no matter the process.

We all set limits and expect certain returns from an activity. Often for me its a 4" refractor for 5-15 minutes with two EPs, checking on a handful of targets. I get what I expect and occasionally more. Sometimes its a larger scale "expedition" with the bigger, during the better.

But always its about perception serving cognition. It simply matters to me to know whats in the sky.

I *still* use video for outreach to groups. I occasionally do digital astrophotography to capture a moment (albeit hours!).

And I appreciate the efforts of people like Maurice who shoot approximate "eyeball" snaps of objects that help me confirm my observations.

#84 skyguy88

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:46 PM

I've been concerned that this thread didn't do justice to video observing and that someone thinking about this option would not get an adequate sense of how well the technology works. My February S&T arrived today with an article, "Observing with Astrovideo Cameras" by Rod Mollise. It incorporates seven Mallincam images that are representative of what you can expect. I've seen better and monitor views always seem to be better than recorded views but these provide a fair measure of where the technology is today. So anyone who is curious about what to expect, have a look.

On the original question here, Mollise suggests that the oft-cited claim that video systems provide a 3 times effective aperture increase is an understatement. I think that 4-5 is probably closer. 8 or 10 years ago a S&T article on the early versions of these cameras suggested an an increase of 3 to 4. Back then exposures were limited to about 2 seconds. Current versions reach one or two minutes or more.

Bill

#85 jgraham

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:04 PM

The effective increase in aperture is a rough call and it depends on many factors. For example, I can easily see the central star in M57 with my ETX-60 fitted with my DSI Pro III operating in observing mode (real-time processing only), but I'm still not completely sure that I have seen it in either my 16" or 16.5" scopes. I'd also point out that there are many options for electronically assisted observing and that there is a forum dedicated to this topic.

#86 skyguy88

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 09:25 PM

The February S&T has a nice article on video astronomy by Rod Mollise. The cover title is Video Astronomy:Cutting-Edge Observing.

Bill

#87 Lorence

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 09:59 PM

I'd also point out that there are many options for electronically assisted observing and that there is a forum dedicated to this topic.


Deep Sky Observing
A dark place to discuss deep sky observing and observations

A dark place indeed. Certainly not a place for sharing new ideas and experiences.

While your in the mood for pointing things out could you please point out where it says "Visual observers only. Video observers use another entrance"

#88 starrancher

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:13 PM

I'd also point out that there are many options for electronically assisted observing and that there is a forum dedicated to this topic.


Deep Sky Observing
A dark place to discuss deep sky observing and observations

A dark place indeed. Certainly not a place for sharing new ideas and experiences.

While your in the mood for pointing things out could you please point out where it says "Visual observers only. Video observers use another entrance"



This is the same reason we have to label a desiccant pack that comes with your new shoes with "do not eat" or a bottle of lamp oil with "do not drink" .
After all , I always thought that every pair of shoes came with a little bag of candy , I mean what else would one expect . Or that a bottle of clear liquid that says LAMP OIL on it with even a picture of a lantern on the label was my favorite drink .
Oh yeah , cruise control on your RV doesn't mean you can get out of the drivers seat while running down the highway and is not the same as auto pilot and you're not supposed to go to the fridge and make yourself a sandwich .
:lol: :lol: :lol:

#89 azure1961p

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 11:44 PM

Because its realtime (I'm assuming) then the mallincam does belong here. If it were accumulate now, process later or tomorrow it'd be the imaging forum. And frankly who knows - maybe the mallin cam WILL have its own forum here one day.

Pete

#90 BillFerris

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:15 AM

Lorence, do you disagree that the "Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy" forum exists specifically for discussion of topics related to--among other subjects--video astronomy?

Do you deny the fact that video astronomy--watching a video display generated by an imaging device--is fundamentally different from visual observing?

Is it your opinion that, unlike astroimagers, atm'ers, swap & shoppers, beginners, gear hounds and video astronomers, visual observers are not deserving of a forum where members can discuss subjects related to that specific interest?

Is it asking too much to expect others to acknowledge the fundamental differences between visual observing and video astronomy, and to allow folks who enjoy visual observing some space to discuss that activity?

Bill in Flag

I'd also point out that there are many options for electronically assisted observing and that there is a forum dedicated to this topic.


Deep Sky Observing
A dark place to discuss deep sky observing and observations

A dark place indeed. Certainly not a place for sharing new ideas and experiences.

While your in the mood for pointing things out could you please point out where it says "Visual observers only. Video observers use another entrance"



#91 Feidb

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:09 AM

Well this IS Deep Sky Obvserving, not Visual Obvserving, specifically, though one could split hairs...

I have an observing buddy that uses a Mallincam exclusively, right next to me, a hard core visual only observer. We get along just fine, though I'm set up, ready to go in five minutes where it takes him over an hour to get going. In his case, he can't look comfortably through an eyepiece, any eyepiece and he's tried. That's why he went for the Mallincam in the first place.

I have a 16-inch reflector, he has now a 4.5-inch refractor and we get about the same things, though he can eke out more details many times where I can see them clearer but dimmer.

He keeps the screen facing away from me to preserve my night vision, I only go over to his screen when I need confirmation of a detail or to help him confirm he's on the right object. He comes over to my scope when he wants to try and see it through an eyepiece but usually can't see it very well due to his eyes.

I don't take offense to him being there.

As for talking about Mallincams here, I don't get upset when someone shows an image, though if they start getting real technical, I think it's time to move to the AP threads, so probably the same with the video thread if they get technical. However, for general deep sky, I don't see a problem.

#92 jgraham

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:24 AM

"While your in the mood for pointing things out could you please point out where it says "Visual observers only.""

Whoa there now, don't read something into my comment that I did not intend. As far as I am concerned there are many ways to observe. My comment was to only point out that there is a forum specifically for electronically assisted observing. Even there you'll find spirited discussions of what constitutes electronically assisted observing and what does not. Goodness knows that I get regularly blasted there for violating the sanctity of someone's definition of what is and is not electronically assisted observing.

So much to see, so few clear nights...

#93 ensign

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:58 AM

I find that the Video and electronic assisted forum topics are pretty much exclusively about gear, much like the eyepiece or refractor forums.

While gear is an important aspect of this hobby, after a while I want to stop talking hardware and ask the questions, "What did you see?" and "What did you find that's worth checking out?"

I assumed that this forum was for that purpose, with less emphasis on the gear itself. Am I mistaken?

#94 IVM

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:11 PM

Administrators should answer that, but as a member I agree with you. It would be terrible though if this forum becomes overwhelmed with non-visual. Serious visual observers already are retreating not only from under the light domes but also to special corners of the dark sites that are not illuminated by the lights the fellows with cameras deem dim.

#95 Tom Polakis

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:09 PM

I have to admit that I am coming into this discussion very late, and have not read every post in the thread. What I think I am reading is that folks who look at images on a computer display consider that to be "deep sky observing," and want to discuss it in this forum.

Seriously? I think I'll join a travel forum to discuss my impressions of exotic places gleaned from Google Street View.

Tom

#96 Feidb

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:39 PM

Funny, they just came out with a rather large article on Mallincams in the latest S&T.

To tell the truth, my eyes glaze over the second anyone starts to get technical here or especially when they mention "brand" names. I want to know what they saw, not what brand or what gear they used. Just what "aperture" and "magnification." Maybe sky conditions too. In fact, it's got to the point where I've taken the brand names out of my signature block because I just find that a distraction that leads to endless arguments as I've witnessed time and time again in the eyepiece forums, for example.

I really don't care how you get there, whether it be the eyepiece (though that's often assumed here under "observing"), camera, or video. You "see" something and you talk about it. Simple. When you start throwing in brand names and gear specifics, you lose me because I don't care. What does your eye see either on film, video screen or in the eyepiece? What impressions do you get from that image? What don't you see? That's what visual is all about, regardless of medium.

Am I wrong here?

#97 Erix

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:14 PM

There are various ways of observing. The description that goes with this forum is:

A dark place to discuss deep sky observing and observations


Please keep in mind that there are gray areas that can overlap a bit. If it were to turn into an equipment discussion, then it would need to moved away from here. I realize this thread has veered into that area several times, but it's also been good for people to discuss what we can observe through both methods, visual or video assisted - which was more in line with the original post.

It appears this thread has strayed quite a bit from its purpose. Let's please get it back on the right track.

#98 jgraham

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:26 PM

Good point. The Video and Electronically Assisted Astronomy forum is an equipment forum and not an observing or imaging forum. It takes a while to get used to that. They used to jump all over folks for posting images, particularly if they weren't taken with a particular product. How strctly they enforce the forum guidelines keeping it an equipment discussion comes'n goes.

#99 Bill Weir

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:59 PM

I think this thread hits the nail right on the head of what this dude was trying to get at in this thread. http://www.cloudynig...5478752/page...

If you like what you like then good on ya. Tell me once and only once that I should check it out and maybe I might like it too. If I tell you no then take it as no. Repeating the same thing over and over more than likely won't make me change my mind.

Bill

#100 John K

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:05 PM

Stubborn old Bill,I'll have to agree with you.

But lets just keep the screens well shielded for us electronically deprived observers.OK Folks.






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