I have been working toward a triple refractor AP setup. My AT 152EDT (native 1216mm at f8 with 1x Riccardi flattener or 909mm at f6 with the Riccardi Reducer), and my Televue 60is (360mm at f6) will carry a Trius SX-694 with Astronomic color and NB filters and QHY 5iii 178C respectively.
What I'm considering:
The Nikon Z and its large flange/short sensor distance, strikes me as the full frame camera to finally jump on. On the regular photography side, I can get the f to z adapter and use my current f mount lenses. It even adds VR from the camera! I can grow a new Z mount lens collection as Nikon releases them, and sell matching f mount lenses to lower the cost.
All I read says Nikon's entry into mirrorless full frame is a spot on hit. The future sale price of my f mount lenses will only go down.
The full frame with 55mm flange along with the other specs of the sensors of the Z6 and Z7 seem a great opportunity to fill the hole finally in my triple AP rig, and get double duty from getting a Z.
I'd like to fill the gap between my 152 options and the 60mm. Something in the 100mm to 109mm refractor range. With the huge opening of the Z and its speed I'd like to get a fast OTA to take advantage, and be able to fill that sensor with flat views with minimal vignetting.
Prior to the Z release I had almost decided to never get a full frame DSLR and just get one of the new CMOS cameras for AP only. Probably a ZWO ASI294MC Pro.
So what do I do?
I'm considering the Z6 over the Z7 with its lower resolution but more sensitive sensor and larger pixels. Or, is this a bad idea for an AP camera?
For the OTA, I'm thinking of the Stelarvue SVQ-100 f5.8 or the Borg 107FL at f3.9. I think the Borg will have less light fall off, if much at all, and it is much faster.
The Borg is $1,000 over my desired budget for OTA and focuser. Focuser must be a FTF, or use a FT handy stepper. Or, be cheap enough to upgrade within budget. The SVQ is closer to budget.
For the camera, replacing both my regular camera and being an AP camera helps swallow the cost of the Z over the Astro only camera.
I realize the ZWO would probably be a better AP camera, and my desire in my triple rig is to optimize for one, and deal with the compromises in the other two. My thought was to guide with an ONAG and the SX-694 on the 152mm, primarily at native FL in both LRGB and NB. Use the 60is to capture the wider field, and the 10? with a CMOS where I could use the many short exposure method to minimize issues since this isn't the scope being guided, per se.
I think changing to the Nikon Z6, probably with the Borg 107 will offer a nice full frame high resolution field between the two.
Most of this is intended to be hobbyist to advanced hobbyist grade results. Planetary is something I'll dabble in for fun, but DSOs are what I'd like to get a few good pictures of. I just don't have time to become so good in processing as I see people here do. I want something that is sharp and focused, well composed, and rich in color and detail enough that if I frame something on my wall most of the general public says "wow that's cool". I'm not interested in pleasing those whom might notice a slight blue halo or two around a particular star that a different filter might correct. So 2 color cameras to process and one mono is fine for me. No offense to those who seek absolute pro perfect quality, they have taught me a lot and advance all our knowledge. I just don't have the time to get that good.
Frankly, getting clean rich data is more fun to me than processing it.
For total budget I was at about $3,000. With $1,000 to the camera and $2k to the scope. Budget isnt tooooo tight, I'll spring for quality. But, with the Z I have the unique timing opportunity of getting the Z6 with Fmount adapter and the 24-70s lens and write it off for my business. So, I can assign the whole $3k to the scope.
Comments? Thoughts? Alternatives?
Edited by Carl N, 14 March 2019 - 11:56 PM.