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Cure for aperture fever?

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#1 Maureen

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 08:41 PM

Really appreciate all the exciting info about the Mallincam. Spent all Sun. afternoon reading everything I could find on the web about this. It's changed everything for me. I've finally stopped watching the video on the Obsession web site on the 18" UC scope! Up until now I had a terminal case of aperture fever trying to figure out how to manage an even bigger scope. As I get older, that doesn't make much sense - my 12.5 TD is really the practical limit - great views without a ladder! Am I correct in my understanding that if I got a 4" refractor I'd basically get the same images w/o the color that I can now see in my scope? If I used my 12.5" with the Mallincam what's the approximate increase in aperture I could expect to see? For now I'll be paying close attention to this forum. It seems like this is only the beginning of some exciting and major changes to come.
Maureen

#2 smokin oakum

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 08:50 PM

I would realy like to know this to. I've heard from 10 time your apeture to 2 and 1/2 time. Either way, I'd call it a cure for the common feaver!

#3 cocobolo

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 09:18 PM

I guess the best person to ask might be Rock Mallin. If anyone has the definitive answer, surely it is he! Some of the reviews on the latest Mallincam are just mind boggling. What is this astronomy world coming to!! Keith

#4 smokin oakum

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 09:31 PM

Well if it's 10 times that would mean that I will have a 120" scope, and if it's 2 1/2 times it would mean it would be a 30" scope.

I can't wait to find out. Come on Rock, build faster!!!

Neil

#5 rolandskythree

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 09:32 PM

Maureen, your 12.5 is a very nicely sized aperture for a number of reasons. Before my wife and I used a MallinCAM, we recieved visitors that would observe through the 12.5 rather than put up their 17.5 Dobs...because of the same thing you noted: eye height and simply more weight and trouble. With the MallinCAM, most of our better sketches (rolandlinda3 gallery in Members Galleries) are from our 12.5 f4.5 Dob that is rigged with a MallinCAM Hyper Color. If you get the MallinCAM HC, you will appreciate the size even more: enough to see details in DSOs in color but a scope size that is still portable and easily moved. If you have never sketched, we encourage it as a discipline with the camera because you are able to discern quite a bit of detail, which becomes more apparent as you commit it to paper.

Roland Beard

#6 jgraham

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:17 PM

The ratio of aperture probably relates more to area than diameter. Still, I can see more with my Orion StarBlast using my DSI Pro and a 30 second exposure than I can visually through my 16.5". Still, it's a delight to use the images taken through my little telescopes as a guide to help me find objects in my big scopes. The overlap between the two types of imaging can be a lot of fun.

#7 rshassell

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:41 PM

It's a difficult question to answer. A larger scope will have increased sensitivity, and also increased resolution. A Mallincam will only provide increased sensitivity, not really much more resolution, except what is perceived due to the additional sensitivity. A Mallincam will show the color in most of the DSOs that only look like dim gray wisps in most amateur scopes. How large of a scope does it take to see color in a faint nebula, such as the Eagle nebula or the Orion Nebula?

#8 midway199

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:54 PM

Before I got my StellaCam, I was also very curious as to what the "aperture increase" would be. After using the camera, I've pretty much discounted trying to quantify it. In my light polluted Chicagoland backyard, I'm able to see objects (like Stephan's Quintet) with my 8" f/4.9 newtonian better than I can with my 18" dob at a darksite. And that's just with an 8.5 second exposure. Accurately polar align an equatorial mount (or platform) and you can expose for much longer pulling out more detail. It's almost instant gratification.

#9 Bowmoreman

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:45 PM

Really appreciate all the exciting info about the Mallincam. Spent all Sun. afternoon reading everything I could find on the web about this. It's changed everything for me. I've finally stopped watching the video on the Obsession web site on the 18" UC scope! Up until now I had a terminal case of aperture fever trying to figure out how to manage an even bigger scope. As I get older, that doesn't make much sense - my 12.5 TD is really the practical limit - great views without a ladder! Am I correct in my understanding that if I got a 4" refractor I'd basically get the same images w/o the color that I can now see in my scope? If I used my 12.5" with the Mallincam what's the approximate increase in aperture I could expect to see? For now I'll be paying close attention to this forum. It seems like this is only the beginning of some exciting and major changes to come.
Maureen


I haven't much experience with bigger apertures (yet), Maureen... but tonight, I bagged the horsehead with my 100mm Vixen APO with my MCHP... it was NOT spectacular, but it was ever so recognizable....

100mm

Horsehead - yep... I still don't believe it.. but it was there!

from suburban Boston (SQM 19.75 skies)...

Aperture... ???

Nahh...

its about goto and tracking now (IMO). On the more, usual, targets, color is abounding (e.g. M27, M57, M42, etc.)... but...

That said, I think I'm going to get as much aperture as my goto mount can stand, as soon as my wallet can stand it! (I'm seriously lusting after the Vixen VC200L after the nice writeup in ATT - it would be a perfect rig for my setup, and 8" of f9, f6 w/ reducer, would be killer with MCHP).

The very few seconds I did have using my f4.7 10" Dob tonight (first time with MCHP) did indicate that aperture still as a, ahem, role... :lol:

But, since I didn't at that time yet have my EQ platform tracking, it was kinda a moot point; things zoom pretty fast with a 1200 mm dob and a video camera with an effective f/l of 8mm... Once I get the eq platform *working* I am sure it will be yet more bedazzlement!

clear skies

#10 Bowmoreman

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:47 PM

It's a difficult question to answer. A larger scope will have increased sensitivity, and also increased resolution. A Mallincam will only provide increased sensitivity, not really much more resolution, except what is perceived due to the additional sensitivity. A Mallincam will show the color in most of the DSOs that only look like dim gray wisps in most amateur scopes. How large of a scope does it take to see color in a faint nebula, such as the Eagle nebula or the Orion Nebula?


Color is no problem in 100mm aperture on things like M27, M57, M42... we're talking so many colors that this male (hehe) can't name em all...

I can only imagine what larger aperture and faster focal ratios than my native, f9 100mm APO can bring to the party!

clear skies

#11 rshassell

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:53 PM

Color is no problem in 100mm aperture on things like M27, M57, M42... we're talking so many colors that this male (hehe) can't name em all...

Sorry, I meant how large a scope does it take to see color in those objects with a conventional eyepiece?

#12 midway199

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 12:08 AM

I just thought about the title of this thread. Cure? Perhaps temporarily. I can see where, like most other equipment out there, after you get used to it and the initial novelty wears off you end up wanting more. Perhaps it will take a few years, but we are only human and eventually, we want more! More aperture to feed the hungry StellaCam. We'll want to see fainter details than we did last time, or last year. Fortunately, technology advances quickly...

Temporary cure, for sure!

#13 Bowmoreman

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 09:04 AM

I saw "hints" of Color back in October at ATMoB clubhouse using the 25" StarSplitter in a couple of nebulas... but nothing definite.

I have seen greenish (only) in M42 in my 10"....

Others with more "aperture experience" :lol: will have to weigh in on this one!

I did have an aperture related cool experience last night though, I was able to discern (clearly but not in spectacular detail) the Horsehead, using only my 100mm scope running at what I estimate was f6...

Amazing, eh? Horsehead in 100mm under SQM skies of 19.7ish... (Orange Zone)... (and with snow/ice covered ground mucking up the viewing as well).

but MORE is always better, hehe.

clear skies

#14 Douglas

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 07:12 PM

It is definitely the cure for aperature fever for me. I now have the portability of a 12.5 and the aperature of the hubble space telescope :hmmmm: well, maybe not, but it seems like it ... all this color and detail in objects I couldn't even see in the EP. Faint galaxy structure, colorful nebula, brilliantly lit globulars.

- Doug

#15 Ruthenius

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 11:18 PM

Well (first post on CN!),

I had an interesting conversation with Dr. Christian Veillet, executive director of the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope on Mauna Kea. The full details can be found on my Web site (http://www.vasseur.ca/h89/cfht.php).

In brief, Rock Mallin, with a 16" LX200 in not too polluted skies, was seeing almost just as much as the CFHT on Mauna Kea, which is a 141" telescope!

I believe that the "increase in aperture" effect also depends a lot on the conditions of the skies between the two equivalent setups (camera, aperture, settings, etc.), If you put both the CFHT telescope and a 16" LX2000 in light-polluted skies, the difference would lessen, since both would be facing a huge loss of contrast. The CFHT would win in terms of resolution, but the LX200 would win in terms of "portability".

From what I observe in my severely light-polluted skies here in Gatineau (see picture of what I have to contend with, http://www.vasseur.c...ts_in_yard.jpg), I can get down to mag. 17 with 2.1 seconds integration on a 10" LXD55, and down to 19.5-20 with co-adding of 250 images on a good night.

Irrespective of the numbers game, the bottom line is that we're able to observe things we never thought could be seen without a million-dollar bank account, and in conditions that would discourage most people who still use eyepieces.

Michael

#16 dvb

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 11:37 PM

Let me be the first of many to welcome you to Cloudy Nights!

You make a very compelling argument!

#17 Mike Harvey

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 11:38 PM

Last week I had the privilege of using Tom Clark's 42" reflector at Chiefland Astronomy Village.
It's an amazing setup and, for "eyeballing" the performance is stunning!

But, it could not even come close to delivering the detail we were seeing with my 28" and Mallincan Hyper Color.

After I got home, I inserted the MHC into my 14.5" and dialed in NGC 1300, which we had been observing visually in the 42". The spiral arms, which were seen (but not dramatically so) in the 42, were bright and obvious on the monitor screen of the 14.5"!

The bottom line is that devices such as the Mallincam can provide performance that is equivalent to a scope maybe 5X the aperture of whatever you're using.
In reality it's probably more effective than that...some of the images seen on the monitor just could not be seen with the eye alone IN ANY SIZE TELESCOPE!

Mike Harvey

#18 Douglas

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 11:49 PM

Hey Michael, great first post!

I checked out your link and article, which was awesome.

That answers the question and estimates an increase of 9x your existing aperature. Sounds about right from my experience too.

That would make my 12.5" scope, under equivalent conditions, 112.5" .. and ... portable ... talk about a return on your investment!!

- Doug

#19 b1gred

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 12:38 AM

Welcome to CN Michael... Nice report.

#20 Chris Schroeder

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 07:12 AM

Welcome Michael, nice report:waytogo:

#21 Bowmoreman

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 10:26 AM

Hi Michael... first a warm welcome to CN! You'll find this place quite addicting, and quite friendly as well :lol:

Wonderful post on your meeting and experience!

When you get a chance, you should enter a post/info about your observatory over on the observatories forum!

clear skies and again, welcome!

#22 Jaxdialation

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 01:49 PM

I am in the process of concluding the very same thing. The huge expense and ponderous nature of large aperture scopes really tilt the equation. Even with "pure" visual work, the difference was something that took a fair amount of fanatisism to justify. Throw the need for dark sky into the mix, and I can only conclude the large aperture scopes may have seen their best days.

It is my understanding that Mallincams do react favorably to increase aperture. But I haen't had the opportunity to do a shoot out. I have been able to walk down a line of scopes from 14.5 to 28 inch and see the visual differences
using an identical eyepiece on the same object.

It is clear that the Mallincam provides a super easy, and relatively cheap step-function increase in views and convenience.

Now if Jack would just sell me one :)


Last week I had the privilege of using Tom Clark's 42" reflector at Chiefland Astronomy Village.
It's an amazing setup and, for "eyeballing" the performance is stunning!

But, it could not even come close to delivering the detail we were seeing with my 28" and Mallincan Hyper Color.

After I got home, I inserted the MHC into my 14.5" and dialed in NGC 1300, which we had been observing visually in the 42". The spiral arms, which were seen (but not dramatically so) in the 42, were bright and obvious on the monitor screen of the 14.5"!

The bottom line is that devices such as the Mallincam can provide performance that is equivalent to a scope maybe 5X the aperture of whatever you're using.
In reality it's probably more effective than that...some of the images seen on the monitor just could not be seen with the eye alone IN ANY SIZE TELESCOPE!

Mike Harvey



#23 MarkHilt

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 08:31 AM

My Goodness If there was ever a reason not to or any doubt about shelling out for a small camera to start playing with, this post has done it in....sign me up...wait till the Wife hears my unfinished 10 inch is really a 90 inch. :roflmao:

And what will she say when her spare tv is out on the patio :tonofbricks: LOL

#24 Doug Phillipson

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 04:29 PM

I really enjoy showing up the big boys with my 10" Meade LX200GPS and a Mallincam Hyper Color. I also have a 15 inch Discovery Truss dob that I haven't used since I tried the Mallincam on my Meade. I now call my Meade my "Lil Hubble". It's amazing that you can see full color Messier objects with it. I know the big scopes are really great for larger views, but if you are going after individual objects the Mallincam pulls them out in full color as though you were using 40 or more inches of aperture from a 10 inch scope. It was my cure for Aperture fever.

Doug P

#25 Bowmoreman

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 04:50 PM

Hmmmm... maybe I should pick up a used 8" SCT OTA (Meade or Celestron) to mount on my pier mounted Vixen...

That's probably the cheapest way to "up my aperture" on my complete GoTo rig (certainly cheaper than a new Vixen VC200L)

I just gotta keep the weight as "down" as possible (certainly no more than 25 pounds

hmm, hmm, hmm

All the things one has to ponder when the nights are cold and cloudy!

clear enough skies


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