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Modified vs Unmodified DSLR

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#1 tclehman1969

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:02 AM

Good evening, everybody!

Just a simple question: I have read a lot about the modifications to DSLR's for astrophotography use. Can somebody show me two pictures of the same celestial body photographed with the same equipment and the same number of images, etc., etc., but one from a modified and the other from an unmodified DSLR? I'd really like to see what the difference is.

Thanks!

#2 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:09 AM

Just a simple question: I have read a lot about the modifications to DSLR's for astrophotography use. Can somebody show me two pictures of the same celestial body photographed with the same equipment and the same number of images, etc., etc., but one from a modified and the other from an unmodified DSLR? I'd really like to see what the difference is.


Here ya go... M27 (this is mostly an O III object) with an unmodified 60D, a stock 60Da and a modified T2i (550D):

http://www.astropix....a_60D_550Da.HTM http://www.astropix....a_60D_550Da.HTM

Here's another article you may be interested in... down the page shows the comparison between a stock camera with and without a deep-sky filter on a red emission nebula object, the North America Nebula:

http://www.astropix....ROP/DSLR_HA.HTM

Jerry

#3 WhitenerJ

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:29 AM

My T2i once modded showed a huge difference in the HA regions in my images. Well worth the mod!!

Jason

#4 Hap Griffin

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 11:32 AM

I have a couple of before and after images on my modifications page listed in my signature.

#5 tclehman1969

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:18 PM

You all are awesome! Thanks! So, for DSLRs at least it's the Ha that is the issue, not so much for anything else?

Just out of curiosity, if DSLRs are made to approximate human vision, does that mean astrophotography with film would also be limited? I remember taking some astro shots "back in the day" and discovering some films were more sensitive than others in various wavelengths, but didn't know if there was that much difference.

#6 Jerry Lodriguss

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:43 PM

Yes, it is mostly Ha that is filtered out.

As far as film, it would depend on the spectral sensitivity of the particular film you use. Some used to be more sensitive to Ha. Don't know what they do now, haven't shot film in almost 10 years.

Jerry

#7 mmalik

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:25 PM

So, for DSLRs at least it's the Ha that is the issue, not so much for anything else?

Not an issue per se, it is more about what needs be ‘blocked’ and what needs to be 'passed'. Consider these three wavelengths:

Ultraviolet (UV) 10 nanometers (nm) to 400 nm [wide bandwidth]
Infrared (IR) 0.74 micrometers (µm) to 300 µm [wide bandwidth]
Hydrogen-alpha (H-alpha) 656.28 nm [narrow bandwidth]

Idea is to “block” first two (UV/IR) [to prevent star bloat] and to “pass” H-alpha [to capture the brightest wavelength of visible light in stellar astronomy].

H-alpha is a specific red visible spectral line created by hydrogen with a wavelength of 656.28 nm, which occurs when a hydrogen electron falls from its third to second lowest energy level. Modified LPF-2 (UV/IR blocking filter) allows the astronomically important H-alpha to pass through the narrow bandwidth at the H-alpha frequency (656nm).

Posted Image

Typical stock camera configuration:
1. Stock LPF-1 (IR/UV Block) does NOT block H-alpha
2. Stock LPF-2 (WB & IR/UV Block) “blocks/restricts” H-alpha

Typical modified camera configuration:
1. Stock LPF-1 (IR/UV Block) does NOT block H-alpha
2. Modified LPF-2 (WB & IR/UV Block) “passes” H-alpha

Posted Image

Note: Updates/corrections welcome!

#8 shrevestan

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:23 AM

All of my pictures are taken with a stock DSLR. It takes a little more work processing and some longer exposures but it's not impossible. I still use my camera for daytime use a lot so I haven't taken the plunge yet. I know it can be used with custom white balance etc.

Not saying don't get it done as it definitely is an improvement but its not a compete show-stopper if you have to wait.

#9 nofxrx

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 10:57 PM

Agreed, you can easily use an unmodified camera for galaxy, open and globular cluster, etc imaging!!
But, imho, is a waste of time on any Ha rich areas/objects..
But, pretty sure there are quite a few objects that you can image that will keep you busy for a good long while! lol

Again, imho though, modification is the best investment one can make AFTER having a decent mount ;)

Good luck!

#10 Hap Griffin

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:56 PM

Agreed. While shooting HA regions is possible with a stock camera, the signal to noise ratio of the HA objects will be much lower per frame than with a modified camera. You can increase exposure time to help make up for the lack of sensitivity at the HA wavelength, but that results in more camera noise to deal with and loss of star color due to overexposure of the stars. Or you can just shoot a WHOLE LOT more frames and stack them to raise the signal to noise ratio, but that means much less productive imaging sessions. The question is...how valuable is your imaging time under dark clear skies? A modified camera lets you capture more in less time for most showpiece objects that are rich in HA.

#11 jgraham

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

All true. It depends on your interests and expectations. I consider most extended H-alpha objects to be specialty targets and an interesting challenge. If'n I ever end up with spare camera I might look at having one modified. It is an nice option to have and it's great that there are vendors available that provide that service.

#12 northernontario

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:48 PM

All of my pictures are taken with a stock DSLR. It takes a little more work processing and some longer exposures but it's not impossible. I still use my camera for daytime use a lot so I haven't taken the plunge yet. I know it can be used with custom white balance etc.

Not saying don't get it done as it definitely is an improvement but its not a compete show-stopper if you have to wait.


Are those incredible pictures on the homepage of your website taken with a stock DSLR. :question:



The time has come to replace my aging kodak z612. I am looking at dslr cameras for the same reason.



thanks

jake

#13 shrevestan

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:08 AM

Hey Jake, If you mean the homepage of Astrobin as a whole, then no, they're taken with all kinds of cameras. Everything taken in my gallery was with an unmodified Canon Rebel T1.

#14 tclehman1969

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:09 AM

If those images on your gallery are with an unmodded T1i, then I really don't see an urgency in making the modifications to the camera any time soon at all. Incredible images! Well done, sir! :bow:

#15 alocky

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:45 AM

Hi all,
I'm not much of an authority, but for what it's worth I've been using an unmodified D800 with an FSQ106ED and recently started using a CLS-CCD filter as per the links earlier in this thread. I've noticed that the one thing these filters do is make it very difficult to get any star colour - in particular the lovely yellows and golds I used to get are just whites now.
Here's my astrobin site - all the deep sky stuff is with the D800 and FSQ.
http://www.astrobin.com/users/alocky/
hope it helps your thinking.
cheers,
Andrew.

#16 northernontario

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:50 AM

If those images on your gallery are with an unmodded T1i, then I really don't see an urgency in making the modifications to the camera any time soon at all. Incredible images! Well done, sir! :bow:


I'll second that.

Simply amazing Stan. :bow:

jake

#17 nofxrx

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:02 AM

Hi all,
I'm not much of an authority, but for what it's worth I've been using an unmodified D800 with an FSQ106ED

Here's my astrobin site - all the deep sky stuff is with the D800 and FSQ.
http://www.astrobin.com/users/alocky/
hope it helps your thinking.
cheers,
Andrew.


WOW!!! :bigshock: :bigshock: :bigshock: :bigshock:
If that is with an UNmodified D800, then I cannot WAIT to see what my MODIFIED D800 can do!! ;)

Those are brilliant images....just amazing..
great work!


Seriously guys, yes. Stock DSLRs ARE capable of BRILLIANT images, but modification makes them EVEN better.
No one ever said you HAVE to modify your camera(s)...but, the logical step up from stock is to modify your camera and get the most from your DSLR..
that's it.. :)
For MOST people, that is the usual progression....but some never bother with modification...and that is perfectly fine!
You can still do a LOT with a stock camera.
But the point is that you can do EVEN MORE, and do it MUCH EASIER, with a modified camera ;)

#18 alocky

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 01:42 AM

Thanks for your kind words! I've been seriously considering buying a modified D800E from Spencer's as an intermediate step to a a dedicated, cooled 16803 chip CCD, since I want to keep my unmodified D800 for daytime use. I will watch with interest to see what yours will produce.
Without wanting to sound like a rusted on Nikon fan, I've finally found a DSLR camera worthy of replacing my trusty RB67.
cheers,
Andrew.

#19 hytham

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 01:47 AM

Hi all,
I'm not much of an authority, but for what it's worth I've been using an unmodified D800 with an FSQ106ED and recently started using a CLS-CCD filter as per the links earlier in this thread. I've noticed that the one thing these filters do is make it very difficult to get any star colour - in particular the lovely yellows and golds I used to get are just whites now.
Here's my astrobin site - all the deep sky stuff is with the D800 and FSQ.
http://www.astrobin.com/users/alocky/
hope it helps your thinking.
cheers,
Andrew.


Hah! I was looking at your images earlier this week because I'm about to pull the trigger on a FSQ-106EDX and will be using a T2i. If you don't mind, may I ask you some questions offline regarding your configuration and set up?

Love your images and I hope to populate my astrobin site in the near future.

#20 mmalik

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 03:05 AM

Few questions:

@hytham, what’s the difference between FSQ-106EDX and FSQ-106ED?

@alocky, could you post a pic of your D800/FSQ106ED/Mount setup?

@alocky, what’s the difference between D800 and D800E? Who is Spencer, can you provide the link/info?

@Brent, could you confirm if D800 takes FBCF-5DII filter?

Thanks you all in advance.

#21 terry59

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:33 AM

Hi all,
I'm not much of an authority, but for what it's worth I've been using an unmodified D800 with an FSQ106ED and recently started using a CLS-CCD filter as per the links earlier in this thread. I've noticed that the one thing these filters do is make it very difficult to get any star colour - in particular the lovely yellows and golds I used to get are just whites now.
Here's my astrobin site - all the deep sky stuff is with the D800 and FSQ.
http://www.astrobin.com/users/alocky/
hope it helps your thinking.
cheers,
Andrew.


I've found that phenomenon using the both CLS and the Hutech IDAS LPS. My conclusion is to not use a LPS filter with an unmodified camera.

You have beautiful images!

#22 alocky

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:54 AM

Few questions:

@hytham, what’s the difference between FSQ-106EDX and FSQ-106ED?

@alocky, could you post a pic of your D800/FSQ106ED/Mount setup?
I've got one with the D200 rather than the 800 - but not much difference.
Mount is a G11, digital drive, 80mm shorty with lunt DMK41 (from my solar imaging rig) as a guidescope using PHD guiding, and Nikon Control Pro2 software to drive the camera. I only ever bother polar aligning with the PAS - good for 10 min subs.


@alocky, what’s the difference between D800 and D800E? Who is Spencer, can you provide the link/info?
The 800E has no anti-alias filter, so although moire is potentially more of a problem (it doesn't seem to be) you can squeeze even more resolutino out of the monster 36MP chip.
Spencers are based in the US
http://www.spencerscamera.com/
I have no personal experience with them, but they appear to supply Nikons to NASA - can't be too bad if true.

@Brent, could you confirm if D800 takes FBCF-5DII filter?

Thanks you all in advance.

Attached Files



#23 alocky

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:59 AM

Absolutely! Happy to exchange ideas. PM me and I'll respond with my email address.

#24 mmalik

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:18 PM

Thanks for the info/pic. Regards

#25 nofxrx

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:31 PM

Yes
Both the D600 and D800 take the Baader FBCF-5DII....but, being hat the 5DII filter is NOT a strong IR block, in fact I am not convinced it blocks ANY IR, the system relies on the stock IR block from the stocks dual filter system...just like the Canons that take this same filter.
While I agree 100% with Hap/Gary that the BCF-1(400D) filter is NEEDED for proper IR removal with models that take the APS-C filter...but not agree with this on ANY full frame models I have EVER modified!(not including OLD models like the 5Dc where the Baader was the only options )..
including, but not limited to:
Canon: 1Dx, 1Ds Mark III, 5D Mark II/Mark III, 6D, also the APS-H 1D Mark III and Mark IV, etc
and
Nikon: D700, D600, D800, D3s/x, etc

I am hoping that Baader releases a new 5DII filter like they did with the new APS-C filter (BCF-1)..

BTW, Nikons are actually easier to use for daytime when modified vs Canon!
they seem to take the mods very well and even the stock/standard WB setting will work perfectly...
For example, with my Canon system(5DII/III, 1D IV, etc) I HAD to use a CWB for EVERY situation..
With my D800 I use AWB for nearly every situation except outdoor/bright sunlight/etc where I select a WB temp of ~3100-3300K...
YMMV..

Hope this helps.. :)






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