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Playing with the ASI120MM *Grab the Crab*

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#1 Rankinstudio

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:05 PM

Finally caught a break in the clouds on a weekend. Went out and got to use this ASI120MM for the first time. Have to say I am rather impressed with this little camera. It is a powerhouse.

The seeing was not favorable but I was able to get a run at Jupiter before playing with some DSO's. One thing that surprised me was the image scale of Jupiter at 640 X 480. I had to remove all of the spacers I used with my TV5XPM and the Flea3 to get Jupiter to fit on the frame in FireCapture. I was impressed with the amount of frames I could capture in a 30 second run.

Jupiter 1/5/13 at 2:46UT :

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#2 Rankinstudio

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:08 PM

Quick shot of the Crab Nebula with the ASI120MM.

20 - 13 second exposures per RGB. Shot darks but forgot bias which made some nasty banding. I may get it another run tonight with more effort. I am really liking the image scale at prime with this little camera.

Captured with SharpCap. Stacked in DSS. Processed in PS.

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#3 Rankinstudio

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

And finally, a quick run at Bodes in blue? light I think. I forgot what filter I was on when I shot this. 20 40 second exposures.

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#4 DuaneS

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:07 PM

Very nice David! I am looking at getting a higher end planetary camera and am deciding between the firewire Flea3 with Sony 618 chip or the ASI 120mm. Since you own both, do you have a preference?

Duane

#5 Campos

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:11 PM

Cheers David,

Very impressive, I didn't know that that camera was also capable of doing some deep sky work, maybe a little peltier cooling mod will turn it into a even more versatile camera, good for small planetary nebulas, globulars, etc...
I'm getting very interested in this ASI120MM to replace my DMK 21 (old chip)....hummmm, decisions, decisions....:)

Greets,

Luís

#6 Rankinstudio

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

Duane,

It is a hard call. I've seen images posted here lately from he ASI120MM that rival most anything I've seen the flea3 produce. At about 200$ less it is certainly a good deal for a very good performing camera. Last night was my first time using the ASI120MM, but I think it is a fantastic cam.

#7 Rankinstudio

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

Thanks Luis,

Ive seen other DSO shots with the ASI120MM. If you do some decent exposures and calibrate the shots right, it does rather well. The Crab Nebula shot above was a quick and I didn't shoot any bias/offset. Hopefully I'll get to spend some real time on a target soon.

#8 wenjha

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:59 PM

The Crab Nebula is so nice!very imepressive!
I would like to share in our facebook page if you don't mind

#9 Rankinstudio

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:35 PM

Thanks Sam, you are welcome to use it on your facebook page.

Cheers!

#10 zAmbonii

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:02 AM

I was thinking of trying the 120MC on deep sky stuff, but now you REALLY have gotten me wanting to do so :).

#11 Mert

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:32 AM

Most impressive stuf,works for planetary and also
for DSO, great camera!

#12 PiotrM

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:47 AM

What was the f-ration for the DS images?

#13 Rankinstudio

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

I was thinking of trying the 120MC on deep sky stuff, but now you REALLY have gotten me wanting to do so .


Give it a shot, I bet you will get some good results. Remember to shoot some dark / bias frames at the same temperature you were imaging at. I took a run at the Eskimo last night and properly calibrated the frames, turned out nice. : http://rankinstudio.com/node/75

Most impressive stuf,works for planetary and also
for DSO, great camera!


Yes, that is what I had liked about my DMK21. I was waiting for something like it to come out so I could use it for both.

What was the f-ration for the DS images?


I shot them at prime with my 10" F4.7 OTA. No powermates / barlows.

Cheers,

#14 yock1960

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:23 AM

Great images; I especially like the Eskimo, which is the main reason I started to dabble in small FOV imaging, which in my case translates to high FL.

I had never heard of these 'newer' cameras like the ASI120MM and the Point Grey cameras before I started perusing this forum. I wonder what level of performance is required for these cameras? My dedicated imaging laptop, which does just fine for my smallish sensor CCD camera is getting a little long in the tooth and I will need to take that into account in the event of a new camera purchase. Upgrades are usually not as simple (or cheap) as they appear to be at first!

Steve

#15 Rankinstudio

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:31 AM

Thanks Steve,

I don't have the most powerful setup. I use an ACER 3680 I bought new for $500 like 5 years ago. I have done some upgrades to it.

120GB SSD
T7200 Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.0Ghz (Upgraded to this processor and new Mobo)
2 GB of ram. (Upgrading to 4, in the mail)
Win 7 64bit.

Windows rating is:

Processor: 5.0
Memory: 5.0
Graphics: 3.4
Gaming Graphics: 3.2
Primary Hard Disk: 6.6

These are far from the best specs for nice laptops these days, but the computer handles everything fine. I have had no issues with the Flea3, Asi120mm, dlsr, anything. I even do some processing on it without issue.

#16 zAmbonii

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

OK, I not HAVE to try some deep space stuff :). Especially with the results you are getting with really short exposures. I'll probably try with my 6" f/5 scope, but may give it a try with my C8 just to see what it does (especially with something like the Eskimo Nebula. Problem is that I am stuck in Planetary mode and maybe Jupiter will have to wait some :).

Steve, I had held out for a couple of years on upgrading my SPC900NC because I wasn't really happy with what was out there. The Imaging Source cameras all seemed to be long in the tooth, and the Flea3 and PGR cameras were also at too high of a pricepoint (or would have needed to upgrade my computer to do the GigE or firewire). Ideally I wanted something that could do both planetary, maybe some lunar/solar, and double as a guide camera. The ASI120MC looked like it *could* fit the bill, and so far it seems awesome as a planetary camera and I keep seeing images that show it can do deep space stuff really well also.

As for the computer I am capturing with. For the past week or so I have been tweaking my computer and investigating performance of FireCapture.

My laptop is a couple of yrs old Acer 4730. It was running XP, I had upgraded the HD to a 7200RPM 750GB, and had 3GB RAM. The CPU was a Intel Core Duo T3200 (1.8GHz).

With FireCapture I was having problems capturing at max framerate (70FPS) at 640x480. I spent $40 to upgrade the processor to a T9300 (2.5GHz). While it improved capture rates some, it still didn't give me the full 70FPS. A couple of days ago I decided to see what happened when I upgraded with Windows7, and like Magic, I am getting the full 70FPS at 640x480, and only slightly below the full 30FPS at 1280x960. (also have 4GB RAM with W7).

#17 yock1960

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:16 PM

My laptop is a couple of yrs old Acer 4730. It was running XP, I had upgraded the HD to a 7200RPM 750GB, and had 3GB RAM. The CPU was a Intel Core Duo T3200 (1.8GHz).


My imaging laptop is approaching 7 years old now and is a Sempron processor, which I read somewhere over the last couple of weeks is an issue with a busy USB bus. I do have the option of 'promoting' my non-imaging laptop which is an Intel processor and about half as old.

Steve

#18 Rankinstudio

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

I was having issues with FireCap until I grabbed the latest beta version. Works perfectly.

#19 zAmbonii

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

David, was wondering, what kind of gain settings were you using for the deep space stuff?

#20 Rankinstudio

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 03:11 PM

I cant remember off the top of my head. It was in the 70's I think. Gama was set to 50.

#21 mrlovt

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

Looking good, especially Bode's!

#22 DesertRat

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

Pretty amazing collection you have there David! Great job!

Glenn

#23 ToxMan

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:05 PM

Can't wait til you get better conditions, David.

I shot them at prime with my 10" F4.7 OTA. No powermates / barlows.



Looks plenty fast enough given the results. Thanks.

#24 Rankinstudio

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

Thanks guys. I did good last night on the eskimo. Shows what this thing can do for sure.

If anyone wants to play with the Crab data, you can grab it here:

http://www.rankinstu...nloads/crab.zip

There is some bad vertical banding as I was not thinking and I didn't shoot any bias / offset at the right temp. I went back and tried to shoot darks but couldn't remember my exact settings. I had to use carboni's banding noise reduction action to remove it somewhat.

Anyway, Enjoy!

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#25 wenjha

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

Thanks guys. I did good last night on the eskimo. Shows what this thing can do for sure.

If anyone wants to play with the Crab data, you can grab it here:

http://www.rankinstu...nloads/crab.zip

There is some bad vertical banding as I was not thinking and I didn't shoot any bias / offset at the right temp. I went back and tried to shoot darks but couldn't remember my exact settings. I had to use carboni's banding noise reduction action to remove it somewhat.

Anyway, Enjoy!


Very nice eskimo!






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