Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home page


Astrophotography and Sketching >> Solar System Imaging & Processing

Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)
guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
New to solar imaging, need help :(
      #5521409 - 11/15/12 03:16 PM

Okay, so today my Lunt 60THaPT saw first light after nearly 3 weeks of clouds here... finally a break, sunny days have not been totally cancelled in my neck of the woods

Anyhow, visually I was able to see surface details and prominence as well - I'm happy here for first light.

But my real passion is imaging... and...

1) I'm not sure which camera to use
2) I'm having difficulty focusing. Can't use a Bahtinov mask on the sun
3) What software are you guys using with your CCD camera?

These are the cameras I currently have...
a) 7 Canon DSLR models to choose from (see my signature)
b) ATIK 460EX Mono
c) SBIG ST8300 Color
d) Starlight Xpress Loadstar
e) Orion Starshoot Auto Guider
f) Celestron NexImage / Phillips ToUcam SPC900NC

Should I be considering another camera for solar imaging?

Thanks for you help,

Guylain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ValeryD
Vendor (Aries)
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Kherson, Ukraine.
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: guyroch]
      #5521618 - 11/15/12 05:39 PM

Quote:



Should I be considering another camera for solar imaging?

Thanks for you help,

Guylain




Yes, you definitely need another camera for solar imaging.
For your small telescope the best choice will be
Point Gray Research Flea3-1,3Mpix camera on Sony ICX 445 chip mono. This camera has 1288x954 pixels of 3,75micron pixel size. You will be able to image most of the solar disk at ones, with simplest 0.5x or 0,7x reducer you will have the whole sun disk at the screen.
This camera is very sensitive, almost equal to cameras with 618 chip.

With balow 2x you can image the details on the disk, as well as well defined prominences.

Using ROI for imaging details, you will have fast enough recording data rate. The images will be as good as such small aperture can deliver.

Peoples here and at yahoo Firecapture group will help you with starting imaging the sun with such camera.

BTW. PGR company has excellent and prompt customer support service.

Good luck.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: ValeryD]
      #5521742 - 11/15/12 07:05 PM

For H-alpha solar imaging you don't need an extra camera. You can use ATIK 460EX as the H-alpha image is very bright and 16-bit DS camera can be used efficiently.

You take let say 50 frames (up to 100) like if you would be doing DS imaging, but at sub-second exposures. Set the exposure that you get nearly full histogram fill. Then you can manually delete bad frames and stack the rest (Registax, Autostakkert?), and sharpen it (deconvolution, wavelets... whatever). And thats almost all.

To focus you must look on the image on the live preview. Bahtinov mask doesn't work good with big fat objects as the spikes will be also fat.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5521860 - 11/15/12 08:23 PM

Thanks for the input.

I did try the Atik 460EX this afternoon; it can do down to 1/1000th of a second exposure but the 2+ seconds download time is killing me for solar.

Where can I find the price of a Flea3 camera?

What about the Image Source cameras?

Guylain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
aaube
super member


Reged: 04/10/11

Loc: Trois-Rivieres, Canada
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: guyroch]
      #5521884 - 11/15/12 08:44 PM

Salut Guylain,

From Point Grey web site, you can get the price list after registering if memory serve me well.

The usb2 Chameleon mono is a popular choice for solar imaging. It seems to be hitting a sweet spot in the price/quality ratio department;

http://www.ptgrey.com/products/chameleon/chameleon_usb_camera.asp

Sincerely,

Alain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: aaube]
      #5521999 - 11/15/12 09:54 PM

Merci Alain.

Ok, I got the prices for the Flea line up now. Most cameras come with C-Mount or CS-Mount. What is the difference?

Guylain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ValeryD
Vendor (Aries)
*****

Reged: 11/26/05

Loc: Kherson, Ukraine.
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: aaube]
      #5522124 - 11/15/12 11:41 PM

Quote:

Salut Guylain,

From Point Grey web site, you can get the price list after registering if memory serve me well.

The usb2 Chameleon mono is a popular choice for solar imaging. It seems to be hitting a sweet spot in the price/quality ratio department;

http://www.ptgrey.com/products/chameleon/chameleon_usb_camera.asp

Sincerely,

Alain





USB2.0 is very slow rate camera of todays standards. Only 18 frames per second. And ROI will not help too much. Maximum is 30fps with ROI.

I do use GigE interface with 32fps at 16 bit and full format.
With ROI, say, 1288x250 pixels (for prominences on the limb), I can have 90fps for brighter prominences and respectively lower fps in the case of dimmer prominences. If I imaging some details on the disk, I can use, say 600x400pix ROI and the data transfer rate is about 60fps.
Very flexible and, I think this is the ideal (today) choice for solar H-a imaging. GigE allows me the cable length up to30-40 meters.

Right now I imaging near the telescope, but next warm season I will image the sun remotely (30-40m) being in conditioned room in front of my desktop computer with large screen and I will not need to be at hot sun.

Before I bought this camera I performed the investigation - what is the best compromise and what is the most comfortable. For small telescopes (short focal length) this is the best one.

Valery.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
aaube
super member


Reged: 04/10/11

Loc: Trois-Rivieres, Canada
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: guyroch]
      #5522223 - 11/16/12 02:51 AM

Quote:

Merci Alain.

Ok, I got the prices for the Flea line up now. Most cameras come with C-Mount or CS-Mount. What is the difference?

Guylain




These camera come with a CS mount as their main use is machine vision or surveillance duty. The 5mm C mount adaptor they are refering to is to allow the use of C mount lenses (it allows these lenses to reach focus with a CS mount). For planetary/solar imaging all that is needed is a 1,25" to C adaptor like this one;
http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_c2b1.htm

C and CS mounts have the same diameter, same threaded pitch but different flange depth (shorter for CS).

Sincerely,

Alain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: aaube]
      #5522286 - 11/16/12 05:33 AM

You can live with longer download speed. Here is one with Atik 314L+ and one with Flea3 ICX618 or PGR Chameleon.

All of them do work. In case of DS cameras - they are slow but you also need much less frames.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5522541 - 11/16/12 09:56 AM

Quote:

You can live with longer download speed. Here is one with Atik 314L+ and one with Flea3 ICX618 or PGR Chameleon.

All of them do work. In case of DS cameras - they are slow but you also need much less frames.




Interesting. How long were your frames with the Atik and how many did you take in that image?

Guylain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: guyroch]
      #5522819 - 11/16/12 12:26 PM

Around 20 frames I think. The exposures were quite low, almost on the Atik shortest exposures limit. The 8-bit cameras used even shorter exposures (higher gain) but also required more frames to avoid noisy stack. In both cases it works for this type of imaging.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DonAtPointGrey
Vendor - Point Grey


Reged: 03/09/12

Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5523116 - 11/16/12 04:03 PM


<vendor.hat.on>

FWIW - the Point Grey Blackfly might be an interesting alternative to the Chameleon.

http://blackfly.ptgrey.com/GIGE/Blackfly

The camera is GigE - so you need to make sure that you have a GigE ethernet port, and also it will need to be powered separately (power is another convenient thing about USB2/3) but it will have 2x the bandwidth of USB2. Its just $20 more than a Chameleon. The ICX693 is a super sensitive sensor - better QE than the ICX618 which is known for its sensitivity. The ICX692 is no hunchback either but its not breaking records like the 693. Of course, there are trade-offs - they have higher speeds but lower resolution than the ICX445 on the Chameleon - so it isn't a clear win across the board. And I have not had any feedback from astrophotographers on this camera line yet... but just wanted to put it out there.

Don (at Point Grey)

<vendor.hat.off>


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: DonAtPointGrey]
      #5523133 - 11/16/12 04:15 PM

Don - do you have any info on the max QE of ICX693? And when approximately it will be available in Blackfly?

I need something higher than ICX618 for my C14 and that or EV76C661 (or *60 if it will show up at all) would be interesting.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: DonAtPointGrey]
      #5523141 - 11/16/12 04:22 PM

<potential.customer.hat.on>

Don,

I like your <vendor.hat.on> <vendor.hat.off>... I might use it myself from time to time

I use an Asus G75vw laptop for imaging and it does have a gigabit ethernet port so I'm good on that front.

I see most of your cam have a C and CS mount interface... what is the difference?

Guylain

<potential.customer.hat.off>


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: guyroch]
      #5523239 - 11/16/12 05:26 PM

For astronomy there is no difference between C or CS thread as both are the same (sensor backfocus is slightly different to focus with C or CS lenses). You just use the standard 1,25" nosepieces for C/CS cameras (or T2 adapters).

Like here is Flea3 with a 1,25 nosepiece from C/CS thread:


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DonAtPointGrey
Vendor - Point Grey


Reged: 03/09/12

Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5523428 - 11/16/12 08:25 PM

Guylain - yep, as Piotr points out, for your application there is no effective difference between C and CS mount cameras. CS stands for "C short" and has a shorter flange distance to the sensor, but the size and threading are the same as C-mount so it will fit a C-mount adapter.

Piotr - hmmm... sorry that I was talking out of turn. I am not in sales, so when I want to see if a camera is available, I do what you would do, I go to the web page and check the blackfly page . However I didn't look at the fine print that says the ICX693 isn't shipping until next quarter.

AND I don't have QE numbers for ICX693 yet (this was another mistake! I thought they were done but on double checking, found I was confused between the ICX693 and the ICX687... the ICX687 QE is quite good - 75% at 525nm. The ICX693 is still being tuned so reliable numbers are not available yet).

So... sorry! My post suddenly seems rather speculative... a camera that isn't shipping for which I can't back up any claims. There is a reason why I'm not in sales! Please disregard the ICX693 sales pitch until sometime next year

Don... who should probably leave the vendor hat off for a while


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: DonAtPointGrey]
      #5523782 - 11/17/12 01:52 AM

Nothing bad happened

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5524336 - 11/17/12 01:04 PM

Don,

I pretty much narrowed me decision between the Blackfly and the Flea3 (GigE model)

Blackfly model BFLY-PGE-09S2M-CS
- 0.9 MP
- Sony ICX692 CCD, 1/3", 4.08 Ám
- Global shutter
- 1288 x 728 at 30 FPS

OR

Flea3 model FL3-GE-13S2M-CS
- 1.3 MP
- Sony ICX445 CCD, 1/3", 3.75 Ám
- Global Shutter
- 1288x964 at 31 FPS

I'm leaning towards the Flea3 at the moment.

What is the big difference between the 445 and 692 sensor in terms of sensitivity and QE?

I also imagine that the smaller pixel size on the 445 is better for solar imaging, but I'm not sure.

Thanks for all the info.

Guylain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: guyroch]
      #5524379 - 11/17/12 01:37 PM

ICX692 mono doesn't "exist" yet and you would have to wait to some early month of 2013. The e2v CMOS sensors in Blackfly is good too. It has much bigger diagonal than ICX445.(and even that Blackfly model isn't yet shipping - but it should start soon )

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5524600 - 11/17/12 03:53 PM

Quote:

ICX692 mono doesn't "exist" yet and you would have to wait to some early month of 2013. The e2v CMOS sensors in Blackfly is good too. It has much bigger diagonal than ICX445.(and even that Blackfly model isn't yet shipping - but it should start soon )




Thanks, I know the Blackfly is not shipping yet. I'm not in a hurry so if the Blackfly is a better unit for my use I don't mind waiting.

What is the advantage/disadvantage of a bigger diagonal in the e2v CMOS BlackFly?

Guylain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: guyroch]
      #5524610 - 11/17/12 04:04 PM

Bigger diagonal fits more Sun. 1/1.8" diagonal of that sensor would fit the whole Sun from that Lunt, but barely - from edge to edge, so 2-panel mosaic only would be needed.

And it's faster than the ICX445 CCD.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5524650 - 11/17/12 04:33 PM

Thanks for the info.

Decisions decisions...

Well, I do want to be able to fit the whole disk without mosaic. This is actually a hard requirement for me. I'll be using a 2.5x and/or 5.x televue power mate to increase resolution when I want to image the edge.

What about the Grasshopper GS2-GE-20S4M-C? It has a Sony ICX274 with a 1/1.8" diagonal (same diagonal size as the e2v CMOS BlackFly) with 1624x1224 resolution at 29 FPS.

Thank you for the information, I really appreciate it.

Guylain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: guyroch]
      #5524729 - 11/17/12 05:24 PM

ICX274 is old and less sensitive. And 29 FPS isn't 60 FPS. You can find it on airylab QE chart They also do solar tests of various new sensors (including biggest at the moment 1" cmv4000 ).

To easily fit the whole Sun (no Barlows) you would need at least 2/3". 5x Powermate would be to much - pushing resolution much above scope resolving power.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5525140 - 11/17/12 09:29 PM

Thank you PiotrM

Don, I have signed up on your web site to receive information in the Blackfly. My interest has now shifted to the Blackfly BFLY-PGE-13E4M-CS which should be available Q4 2012... any time now i guess.

Guylain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
DonAtPointGrey
Vendor - Point Grey


Reged: 03/09/12

Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: guyroch]
      #5530031 - 11/20/12 12:23 PM


Hi Guylain,

The QE on the Blackfly's are not ready yet since the sensor guys are still tuning the sensor timing and trying to optimize the performance. But the e2v information should be ready first and since you are registered to get information updates, you should know about the same time I do

Don


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
PiotrM
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/03/10

Loc: Poland
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: DonAtPointGrey]
      #5530177 - 11/20/12 01:30 PM

There are absolute QE charts from e2v. For sapphire EV76C560 QE max is around 60% - chart and chart 2.

Airylab should have their own measurements too.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
guyroch
Vendor (BackyardEOS)
*****

Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: PiotrM]
      #5531873 - 11/21/12 10:22 AM

Thanks for the links

Guylain


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tjensen
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/16/05

Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
Re: New to solar imaging, need help :( new [Re: guyroch]
      #5532002 - 11/21/12 11:15 AM Attachment (13 downloads)

Hey Guylain,

Might be too late to jump in, but I use a PST40 and Flea3 firewire. I image with Firecapture and get frame rates of around 120 fps using a Toshiba S105 S4114 laptop running XP SP3 32Bit with 4 Gb RAM and a hybrid HDD. I usually have to wait a few seconds for all the captured frames to write to the disk before starting the next capture (usually framing the next shot is enough) but it works well. I capture 30 second AVIs. Normally I shoot with a 2x barlow and mosaic my full disk images. You really need to make sure you have a 30-50% image overlap for this to work well.

I made an adapter for the Flea3 barrel by cutting down an old webcam adapter barrel and friction fitting it over the C-mount nose after wrapping it with some electrical tape. It works well. My normal adapter that threads onto the C-mount wouldn't allow me to reach focus without a barlow (too long). You can cut down an old eyepiece barrel too. Make it a little longer than the C-mount nose piece.

Good luck and enjoy the new toys!

Cheers


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | (show all)


Extra information
8 registered and 9 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  TG, Starman81, bilgebay, WOBentley 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 2117

Jump to

CN Forums Home




Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics