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ASI1600MC Cooled - Testing and Initial Impressions

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#51 Relativist

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 07:40 PM

GSO/AT 6" f4 imaging Newtonian - $300

GSO/AT coma corrector - $135

T thread adapters and spacers - ~$50

CG5/Vixen compatible dovetail bar - $30

 

All in just around $500, and could be carried easily on an AVX class of mount. I wonder if the little 6" Newtonian could also be carried on an Evolution mount?

 

To that little Newtonian setup I'd love to see how some of the 2" .5x, .7x, or .8x focal reducers would fair as well. Even with a mild .7x reducer the final f ratio would be a nice fast f3.

 

 

Some testing is in order, if only the Antares 2" reducers would become available again...



#52 Relativist

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 07:41 PM

 

GSO/AT 6" f4 imaging Newtonian - $300

GSO/AT coma corrector - $135

T thread adapters and spacers - ~$50

CG5/Vixen compatible dovetail bar - $30

 

All in just around $500, and could be carried easily on an AVX class of mount. I wonder if the little 6" Newtonian could also be carried on an Evolution mount?

 

To that little Newtonian setup I'd love to see how some of the 2" .5x, .7x, or .8x focal reducers would fair as well. Even with a mild .7x reducer the final f ratio would be a nice fast f3.

You do tend to end up getting what you pay for, however.  I wonder how long one would be willing to put up with the focuser, the figure of the optics, the ease of colimation, quality of mirror supports, etc on a $300 GSO Newt.  

 

 

There are more expensive options. But for those on a budget generally the experience has been good with the imaging newts for EAA.



#53 Astrojedi

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 09:58 PM

 

Wondering how this would work with my RASA 

Spent another couple of hours with the camera last night... Ran it at f4 with my Meade 3.3 and suffered horrible vignetting. But the camera started to show some nice sensitivity.

 

I feel that HS is a must with this camera and should be excellent for large diffuse nebulae and starfields.

 

My C11 Hyperstar is on its way so will test it out soon enough.

 

 

I would think it would work very nicely. The RASA has a nearly 40mm imaging circle.


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#54 Astrojedi

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 10:01 PM

I tend to agree with Alex. Even more so in this hobby... You always get what you pay for. The newts are excellent entry points into imaging but getting to F2 requires expensive glass... No way around it.


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#55 mclewis1

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 11:57 AM

This started out as a quick comment, but it kinda got a bit more complex ... so bear with me.

 

There's no question that in order to get a well corrected relatively large imaging circle at the really fast f2 requires some good glass and that usually means a pretty good dent in the pocket book. As do larger sensor cameras.

 

I think however that we've been doing some folks a disservice by suggesting the need for more expensive options without continuing to promote gear that is more accessible to those without big budgets. The push to larger sensors is very enticing, we all want larger fovs ... but it brings with it a substantial increase in costs from a whole variety of areas.

 

We've talked extensively about focal reducers and the costs of going faster than .5x with larger imaging circles but there's also the impact of things like substantially bigger images on stacking and other image processing tools ... requiring more and more computer processing and throughput (and more costs). 

 

I'm not suggesting any sort of problem with continuing to demonstrate and explore these larger sensor options ... quite the opposite, I like most love to read about new more capable gear. It's just that I think we also need to continue to promote more of the more affordable gear.

 

Those GSO imaging Newtonians have generally garnered very good reviews and have demonstrated very capable imaging characteristics at f4.4. Does the coma corrector create the same quality field as say an EdgeHD scope ... nope, but it does seem to produce fields as good or better than what we've seen with SCTs using the better examples of the inexpensive .5x focal reducers with smaller sensor cameras.

 

I don't mean to promote the GSO products per se, but I don't think they should be so quickly discounted out of hand. I don't own one but I've looked through a few and talked to some other owners who've been quite impressed with the quality for imaging. No, we're not talking Takahashi quality for a few hundred dollars but the optical qualities do seem to be comparable to what many folks are currently demonstrating with many SCTs and achromat/ED refractors. 

 

We've got lower (or no) cost software that allows us to use low cost alt az mounts for EAA. We've got low cost entry level camera packages and a lot more choices in the mid priced categories. What we need are more proven low cost scopes and mounts suitable for EAA (faster than f5 and able to effectively cover up to at least type 2/3" sensors). There are lots of possibilities, we just need more folks to demonstrate how effective various low cost scope configurations are ... alongside the wonderful examples from Hyperstar based SCTs, RASAs and the like.


Edited by mclewis1, 12 April 2016 - 03:26 PM.

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#56 Astrojedi

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 04:06 PM

Mark,

 

Valid points. I agree that the Newts should be on the menu for folks considering larger sensors for EAA. But note that I am not promoting any gear just providing my recommendation for this camera which is still the Hyperstar.

 

And in my follow up comments I was not saying that the Newts are not a good starting point but wanted to make sure folks understood that comparing the Hyperstar to these Newts is an apples to oranges comparison.

 

The point being while these Newts provide good speed with acceptable image quality they will not match the quality or speed of a Hyperstar. You get what you pay for.

 

Hiten


Edited by Astrojedi, 12 April 2016 - 04:07 PM.

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#57 mclewis1

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 04:44 PM

Hiten,

 

Yeah I know that there wasn't any promotion or issues with comparing the imaging Newtonians. I agree that in general you get what you pay for but it's certainly not proportional. Most of the more entry level options are not 2, 3, or 5x less capable than higher end scopes. I love great optics but I've been very pleasantly surprised by many of the more entry level options now available. I just think we need to test and promote those options a bit more.

 

I also don't mean to single out Hyperstar based scopes either. For example a used C8 ota with a new Hyperstar makes for a very cost effective fast imaging/EAA setup. I've also heard that EAA folks have sparked a bit of a recent spike in Hyperstar sales.

 

I was just thinking about someone starting to explore EAA style observing and getting the impression that higher end optics were really required for great images. 



#58 Relativist

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 05:33 PM

So for a 4/3" format sensor, does hyperstar fully illuminate in all cases (apertures)?

At f/4 what are the times needed to do EAA with the asi1600?

#59 Relativist

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 05:43 PM

Spent another couple of hours with the camera last night... Ran it at f4 with my Meade 3.3 and suffered horrible vignetting. But the camera started to show some nice sensitivity.

I feel that HS is a must with this camera and should be excellent for large diffuse nebulae and starfields.

My C11 Hyperstar is on its way so will test it out soon enough.


Any chance you can show us some captures with the times it took at f/4?

#60 Astrojedi

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 05:49 PM

So for a 4/3" format sensor, does hyperstar fully illuminate in all cases (apertures)?

At f/4 what are the times needed to do EAA with the asi1600?

 

Except the 6" Hyperstar all other Hyperstars have a 27mm imaging circle so should fully illuminate the ASI1600. If you want a even larger illumination circle you will need a dedicated astrograph such as the RASA or an RC.


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#61 Alex Parker

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 06:59 PM

This started out as a quick comment, but it kinda got a bit more complex ... so bear with me.

 

There's no question that in order to get a well corrected relatively large imaging circle at the really fast f2 requires some good glass and that usually means a pretty good dent in the pocket book. As do larger sensor cameras.

 

I think however that we've been doing some folks a disservice by suggesting the need for more expensive options without continuing to promote gear that is more accessible to those without big budgets. The push to larger sensors is very enticing, we all want larger fovs ... but it brings with it a substantial increase in costs from a whole variety of areas.

 

We've talked extensively about focal reducers and the costs of going faster than .5x with larger imaging circles but there's also the impact of things like substantially bigger images on stacking and other image processing tools ... requiring more and more computer processing and throughput (and more costs). 

 

I'm not suggesting any sort of problem with continuing to demonstrate and explore these larger sensor options ... quite the opposite, I like most love to read about new more capable gear. It's just that I think we also need to continue to promote more of the more affordable gear.

 

Those GSO imaging Newtonians have generally garnered very good reviews and have demonstrated very capable imaging characteristics at f4.4. Does the coma corrector create the same quality field as say an EdgeHD scope ... nope, but it does seem to produce fields as good or better than what we've seen with SCTs using the better examples of the inexpensive .5x focal reducers with smaller sensor cameras.

 

I don't mean to promote the GSO products per se, but I don't think they should be so quickly discounted out of hand. I don't own one but I've looked through a few and talked to some other owners who've been quite impressed with the quality for imaging. No, we're not talking Takahashi quality for a few hundred dollars but the optical qualities do seem to be comparable to what many folks are currently demonstrating with many SCTs and achromat/ED refractors. 

 

We've got lower (or no) cost software that allows us to use low cost alt az mounts for EAA. We've got low cost entry level camera packages and a lot more choices in the mid priced categories. What we need are more proven low cost scopes and mounts suitable for EAA (faster than f5 and able to effectively cover up to at least type 2/3" sensors). There are lots of possibilities, we just need more folks to demonstrate how effective various low cost scope configurations are ... alongside the wonderful examples from Hyperstar based SCTs, RASAs and the like.

Mark,

 

Absolutely agree and to be clear my comments were focused specifically on the question of a system that would make sense to use with a 22mm diagonal sensor (and agree that the issues with d/l and stacking speed are a whole additional hurdle to be crossed for megapixel EAA).  No doubt that there are a lot of additional tricks you can call into play, like very aggressive FR, when you are using a small sensor like a Lodestar, and then doubly so when you are willing to tolerate an imperfect image around the edges of even that small sensor.  Which still makes for a great EAA experience and was exactly what got me hooked on doing this!

 

Cordially,

 

Alex



#62 Relativist

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 07:15 PM

Generally imaging newts are designed with secondaries that are larger than their visual use counterparts, such that the available illumination is large. For my APS-C sized sensor I found that there was only a little distortion at the edges of te sensor that was not objectionable. This is at f/4, I still have not tried a 2" FR.

#63 EdwardMH

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 03:46 PM

Any knowledge on the exact sensor the ASI1600 uses? Best rumor I followed so far suggests it is the same chip in the Olympus EM1 camera a Panasonic 34231 sensor (Code: MN34231)



#64 Relativist

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 06:33 PM

Any knowledge on the exact sensor the ASI1600 uses? Best rumor I followed so far suggests it is the same chip in the Olympus EM1 camera a Panasonic 34231 sensor (Code: MN34231)


I did not get any message to my inquiry so far.

#65 waitingForTheMiracle

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 08:06 PM

"Same as the Olympus E-M1" is what ZWO posted on their Facebook page. That's a credible source, isn't it?



#66 DonBoy

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 02:50 PM

 

Astrojedi, on 11 Apr 2016 - 11:07 AM, said:

    Spent another couple of hours with the camera last night... Ran it at f4 with my Meade 3.3 and suffered horrible vignetting. But the camera started to show some nice sensitivity.

    

    I feel that HS is a must with this camera and should be excellent for large diffuse nebulae and starfields.

    

    My C11 Hyperstar is on its way so will test it out soon enough.

Have you been doing any further testing of the ASI1600 and did you do this with the Hyperstared C11?



#67 Astrojedi

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 03:17 PM

 

 

Astrojedi, on 11 Apr 2016 - 11:07 AM, said:

    Spent another couple of hours with the camera last night... Ran it at f4 with my Meade 3.3 and suffered horrible vignetting. But the camera started to show some nice sensitivity.

    

    I feel that HS is a must with this camera and should be excellent for large diffuse nebulae and starfields.

    

    My C11 Hyperstar is on its way so will test it out soon enough.

Have you been doing any further testing of the ASI1600 and did you do this with the Hyperstared C11?

 

 

Not gotten around to it yet. Work has been very busy and any free evenings have been sabotaged by clouds.



#68 StarMike8SE

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 09:19 PM

 

 

 

Astrojedi, on 11 Apr 2016 - 11:07 AM, said:

    Spent another couple of hours with the camera last night... Ran it at f4 with my Meade 3.3 and suffered horrible vignetting. But the camera started to show some nice sensitivity.

    

    I feel that HS is a must with this camera and should be excellent for large diffuse nebulae and starfields.

    

    My C11 Hyperstar is on its way so will test it out soon enough.

Have you been doing any further testing of the ASI1600 and did you do this with the Hyperstared C11?

 

 

Not gotten around to it yet. Work has been very busy and any free evenings have been sabotaged by clouds.

 

I know how you feel.  Three weeks of clouds



#69 Astrojedi

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 08:22 PM

So the C11 Hyperstar is here, mounted and ready to go with the ASI1600MC. Will give it it ago as soon as there is a break in the clouds.

 

Not a lot of large nebulae in the sky yet to show off the sensor size. Any requests on what DSOs you would like me to image with this combo?


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#70 KGoodwin

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:09 PM

I feel like C11 Hyperstar is a really good focal length for that chip.  Aside from big nebulae it should be suitable even for larger galaxies, M81 is fairly challenging in the dust lane detail and overall dynamic range, for example, and pretty large.  Galaxy clusters would also be a good possibility, things like Leo Triplet.  I think it's a little too large of an FoV with an 8" Hyperstar to be a main go to camera for EAA, but useful for larger nebulae.  On the 11" it's more general purpose and on the 14" it would be incredible.

 

Is this a CPC1100 that you have the Hyperstar on?  That's a beast to move around!


Edited by KGoodwin, 07 May 2016 - 09:11 PM.


#71 JMW

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:12 PM

How dark are your skies? If really dark try NGC7000 with the Pelican. Less dark try something bright like M16 and anything in the neighborhood.



#72 JMW

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:47 PM

I downloaded Sky Safari Pro 5 yesterday for my iMac. I setup the field of view for the C11 w/ Hyperstar and the ASI1600. It is very helpful to cruise around and see the size of the captured image for different objects in the sky. I put in a 2nd field of view for my 10 inch f/4 imaging Newtonian. It will be a good option when I want to increase the scale of an object. 



#73 Astrojedi

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:09 PM

I feel like C11 Hyperstar is a really good focal length for that chip.  Aside from big nebulae it should be suitable even for larger galaxies, M81 is fairly challenging in the dust lane detail and overall dynamic range, for example, and pretty large.  Galaxy clusters would also be a good possibility, things like Leo Triplet.  I think it's a little too large of an FoV with an 8" Hyperstar to be a main go to camera for EAA, but useful for larger nebulae.  On the 11" it's more general purpose and on the 14" it would be incredible.

 

Is this a CPC1100 that you have the Hyperstar on?  That's a beast to move around!

 

Yes, it is a beast which is why it was sitting in my shed for a couple of years :) I just mounted it on a permanent pier.



#74 JMW

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:44 PM

My C11 EdgeHD is on an AP900GTO mount so the OTA is quite a bit lighter than your OTA/motor assembly. Are you going to keep your exposures short enough to minimize field rotation?



#75 A. Viegas

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 11:03 PM

How about the Coma Cluster around NGC 4874 that's large FOV target with many faint galaxies... Although it's not that colorful

Al


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