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Another "will this work" quetion

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#1 croteck

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 10:43 AM

New to astronomy, and I, like many, live in a light polluted area. I've been thinking about AP but am now thinking EAA is what I'd really like to do. I have a Scientific Explorer AR 102 achro (I know an APO would be better, but it is what it is) and am trying to determine a good camera match. So far, I thinking of a ZWO ASI 183. Would appreciate any comments or thoughts on my camera selection.

Thanks
Chuck

#2 mclewis1

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 10:59 AM

Chuck,

 

Welcome to CN. 

 

What mount do you have?

What kind of expectations do you have? (favourite objects - showcase stuff vs a study of galaxies or small nebulae, any solar system interest?)

What kind of budget are you looking at?



#3 croteck

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 11:24 AM

Fair enough, Mark. Guess more info would be good.
I have an Orion StarSeeker IV mount, but would likely move up to the Celestron AVX mount if the OTA and camera work out. I'm probably more interested in DSO objects, only because if I have to choose between solar system or DSO, there is lot more DSO's to look at.

Budget wise, I'd probably like to not have to spend much more than $1500 to try AP and/or EAA.

#4 OleCuss

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:55 PM

Are you planning to image the bigger (in arc-seconds) DSOs?  Are you looking for something recognizable or do your results need to be pretty good?

 

My most serious recommendation is that you step away from the checkbook or credit card until you have spent more time considering the options and maybe save up more money.

 

A fairly fast achromat is going to give you a lot of star bloat.  Over the years I've seen plenty of people starting out with those OTAs and claiming that they are happy but they seem to typically either quit or get a better OTA.  A few persist but their images are universally problematic.

 

Now, you can fix some of the star bloat and attendant issues in post-processing, but you aren't going to be doing that kind of post-processing in Observational AP (OAP).  This means you just aren't going to have images that you are likely to be happy with.

 

Now let's assume that you buy a camera to go along with your AR102 and you figure that later you'll get another OTA and use the camera with that?  But your newer/better/different OTA may not be well-matched with the camera you buy now.

 

IMHO it is best to hold onto your money until you've sorted out your best mix.  Right now, IMHO, just about the least expensive way to get into decent OAP is to get the Astro-Tech 6" Imaging Newtonian and the coma corrector.  Put that on the AVX.  Then consider getting an IMX294 camera.  Since you are emphasizing OAP you will be doing short sub-exposures and unless you are in a hot climate you are unlikely to need cooling.

 

It's not the cheapest route to go, but it is probably the cheapest way to go and still get pretty good results.



#5 Dwight J

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 02:39 PM

Ken of Snake Valley, Australia fame, had good results with an achromat.  He used a #11 light yellow filter.  I assume that the “Fringe Killer” filter would have similar results but cost way more than the yellow filter.  A good IR filter will be necessary as well.  Doing mono with an Ha filter would work as well as using any other telescope.  Get your feet wet before dropping the big bucks.  I do recommend the EQ mount though as you will be buying one anyway.  Once you have the mount you can always change what scope you put on it.  Do you have a DSLR?



#6 Dwight J

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 04:05 PM

Check out this thread:  https://www.cloudyni...at#entry8246052



#7 jimthompson

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 11:54 AM

Hi Chuck,

 

The main problem with achromats is that they can't focus all wavelengths of light equally.  The cameras that we are using for EAA have much more sensitivity to blue/violet and red/infrared than our human eyes, so the result when using them with an achromat is blurred images with big bloated stars.  This can however be dealt with using correctly chosen filters.  "Fringe Killer" type filters like Dwight mentioned are good, so are UV/IR cut filters.  If you plan to use light pollution filters as well, they alone can also deal with your chromatic aberration issues.  The end result of using a filtered achromat will not be as good as you would get with an apochromatic refractor, but it would still be pretty good.  Certainly good enough to get you introduced to EAA and to figure out if it is the way you want to go.  Scope aside, for sure you want a reliable good tracking mount.  In my opinion the mount is more important than the scope for EAA.

 

Best Regards,

 

Jim T.



#8 croteck

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 02:30 PM

I appreciate the responses I got to my question, but the discussion seems to have drifted to the the virtue of APO vs. Achro scopes, and away
camera choices. I appreciate and understand this, but please let me try again.

I am most interested in seeing DSO's, either for imaging or using Sharpcap real time stacking for EAA. My understanding is that scopes with focal lengths
400mm to 1000mm, f5 to f7, are best suited for DSO imaging. Looking at images on Astrobin, I see a number of images using scopes in the 600mm to 700mm range
that I would be thrilled to capture, including a number of images using the same AR 102 that I currently own. I thought about buying a used DSLR, but I
think I would prefer to use an imaging camera and PC with Sharpcap to capture and view mages. So I am trying to figure what imaging camera to get.

Using tools like astronomy.tools, I think the FOV of a 600mm to 700mm refractor, alone or with either a 0.5 reducer of a 2X Barlow
would produce images I would be happy with. Also using Astronomy.tools the ZWO ASI 183 camera seemed to produce good image FOV's. And using the Bintel
astronomy setup calculator indicates that this camera has good to slightly over sampling with reducer and Barlowed conditions. That's all assuming that I'm interpreting
I see on these sites is correct.


So I'm admittedly over my head in determining just what camera is best. From what I see on the internet, ZWO ASI 1600 cameras seem very popular, but
I'm not sure this would be the best camera for 600 mm refractor. My feeling is that the ASI 183 camera might be better and a little less costly.

I'm also assuming that as long as I stay in the 500mm to 700mm focal length range for any scope upgrades, the ASI 183 would suffice.

So that's where I stand. Any comments or help in selecting a camera for the range of scopes I think would be appropriate, or even comments on whether
or not I right about this range of scope focal lengths would be appreciated!!

Chuck

#9 GaryShaw

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 06:45 PM

I appreciate the responses I got to my question, but the discussion seems to have drifted to the the virtue of APO vs. Achro scopes, and away
camera choices. I appreciate and understand this, but please let me try again.

I am most interested in seeing DSO's, either for imaging or using Sharpcap real time stacking for EAA. My understanding is that scopes with focal lengths
400mm to 1000mm, f5 to f7, are best suited for DSO imaging. Looking at images on Astrobin, I see a number of images using scopes in the 600mm to 700mm range
that I would be thrilled to capture, including a number of images using the same AR 102 that I currently own. I thought about buying a used DSLR, but I
think I would prefer to use an imaging camera and PC with Sharpcap to capture and view mages. So I am trying to figure what imaging camera to get.

Using tools like astronomy.tools, I think the FOV of a 600mm to 700mm refractor, alone or with either a 0.5 reducer of a 2X Barlow
would produce images I would be happy with. Also using Astronomy.tools the ZWO ASI 183 camera seemed to produce good image FOV's. And using the Bintel
astronomy setup calculator indicates that this camera has good to slightly over sampling with reducer and Barlowed conditions. That's all assuming that I'm interpreting
I see on these sites is correct.


So I'm admittedly over my head in determining just what camera is best. From what I see on the internet, ZWO ASI 1600 cameras seem very popular, but
I'm not sure this would be the best camera for 600 mm refractor. My feeling is that the ASI 183 camera might be better and a little less costly.

I'm also assuming that as long as I stay in the 500mm to 700mm focal length range for any scope upgrades, the ASI 183 would suffice.

So that's where I stand. Any comments or help in selecting a camera for the range of scopes I think would be appropriate, or even comments on whether
or not I right about this range of scope focal lengths would be appreciated!!

Chuck

Hi Chuck

Have you considered the Revolution Imager 2 camera ‘kit’? It includes a very sensitive, low resolution analog camera, a 7” LCD screen, a video capture device,( allowing you to test out Image capture and stacking using Sharpcap), and all the necessary cabling. I opted for this kit approach to allow me to get started economically ($299 ) before moving to a more expensive camera which I am now about to do. There’s a lot to learn about EAA and you’ll find a lot of great info here in CN and on the web by googling “EAA...” several books and articles you might find helpful include:

 

- Video Astronomy on the Go...by Joseph Ashley - recommended

- Beginning Remote Video Astronomy...So, What’s the Matter?... by Jim Meadows 

- Curtis Macchioni’s article on EAA at Astro-Video.com

- Jim Thompson’s article on EAA at astronomyconnect.com

- Dave Barrett’s article which I found on the Highpoint Scientific website covering ‘Imaging Deep Sky Objects’ and, more specifically, using Sharpcap - a truly excellent tutorial!  “Https://www.highpointscientific.com/imaging-deep-sky-objects-david-barrett”

 

You might also want to read through the forum topic I initiated when I first got into this last Fall. Many experienced folks from the CN EAA Community provided helpful guidance. It can be found under: Specialty Forums / EEA Observing and Equipment and the link to the specific discussion is in the middle of the 8th page under that forum’s topic listing. You’ll also find a lot of other topics that reference starting out in EAA, using the the RI2 Imaging kit and using Sharpcap. 

 

Check out the RI2 info at the link below:

 

https://www.revolutionimager.com

 

Good luck

Gary


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#10 GaryShaw

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 06:58 PM

I appreciate the responses I got to my question, but the discussion seems to have drifted to the the virtue of APO vs. Achro scopes, and away
camera choices. I appreciate and understand this, but please let me try again.

I am most interested in seeing DSO's, either for imaging or using Sharpcap real time stacking for EAA. My understanding is that scopes with focal lengths
400mm to 1000mm, f5 to f7, are best suited for DSO imaging. Looking at images on Astrobin, I see a number of images using scopes in the 600mm to 700mm range
that I would be thrilled to capture, including a number of images using the same AR 102 that I currently own. I thought about buying a used DSLR, but I
think I would prefer to use an imaging camera and PC with Sharpcap to capture and view mages. So I am trying to figure what imaging camera to get.

Using tools like astronomy.tools, I think the FOV of a 600mm to 700mm refractor, alone or with either a 0.5 reducer of a 2X Barlow
would produce images I would be happy with. Also using Astronomy.tools the ZWO ASI 183 camera seemed to produce good image FOV's. And using the Bintel
astronomy setup calculator indicates that this camera has good to slightly over sampling with reducer and Barlowed conditions. That's all assuming that I'm interpreting
I see on these sites is correct.


So I'm admittedly over my head in determining just what camera is best. From what I see on the internet, ZWO ASI 1600 cameras seem very popular, but
I'm not sure this would be the best camera for 600 mm refractor. My feeling is that the ASI 183 camera might be better and a little less costly.

I'm also assuming that as long as I stay in the 500mm to 700mm focal length range for any scope upgrades, the ASI 183 would suffice.

So that's where I stand. Any comments or help in selecting a camera for the range of scopes I think would be appropriate, or even comments on whether
or not I right about this range of scope focal lengths would be appreciated!!

Chuck

Chuck

There’s great information on selecting a camera and all the technical criteria and design aspects that make a camera right for specific circumstances. It’s in the format of a buyers guide put together for ZWO cameras on the Agenaastro website but it’s great information that applies to any camera brand really. I run across ZWO as a very popular camera option and will be buying one of their products soon. The article can be found here:  https://www.agenaast...yers-guide.html

 

good luck

gary


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#11 GaryShaw

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 10:52 AM

Chuck

There’s great information on selecting a camera and all the technical criteria and design aspects that make a camera right for specific circumstances. It’s in the format of a buyers guide put together for ZWO cameras on the Agenaastro website but it’s great information that applies to any camera brand really. I run across ZWO as a very popular camera option and will be buying one of their products soon. The article can be found here:  https://www.agenaast...yers-guide.html

 

good luck

gary

i don't know why the CN web system truncated the link I provided to the buyers guide but you can get to it from the bottom of the Agena web page...



#12 croteck

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 02:34 PM

Thanks, Gary. I found it, and found it very informative. Sure are a lot of cameras to choose from!!

Chuck

#13 GaryShaw

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 04:12 PM

That’s just ZWO. Add in Atik, Malin and others and it gets bewildering. The Malin cameras are made in Canada which makes them pretty appealing versus the rest from China.But it takes a bit more digging to understand and compare Mallincams versus Zwo. Before I order the ZWO, I’m going to try to find a Mallincam with close to the same specs.
Good luck with your selection process.

#14 eekeek77

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Posted 23 March 2019 - 05:05 PM

That Agena link was very useful when I was deciding. Mono is more sensitive, better for heavy light pollution and more powerful when used with filters. I'll almost certainly get one in the next year or two but I went for colour. I think of it as a super eyepiece.

 

I'd stick with the mount and scope and add a IMX183 or IMX294 camera. I think the mount is marginal for payload but alt-az makes life much simpler. You'll be taking short exposures and live stacking so no problems with star trails or field rotation and no need for camera cooling.

 

Small sensors are cheap and great if you have good tracking and a small target. The IMX183 is not small at 16mm diagonally, but has tiny pixels. You'll be oversampling with many scopes but this is inefficient rather than bad. It is a well regarded sensor.

 

The IMX294 is a step bigger. It's the same size as the MN34230 (ASI1600/QHY.../Altair...) but it is slightly cheaper and has the words "Don't Panic" inscribed in large friendly letters on the cover...

 

Er... These two are much closer to the size of the image circle illuminated by the scope and significantly cheaper than the DSLR sized sensors. I went for the IMX294. 



#15 mikenoname

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Posted 24 March 2019 - 12:41 AM

 

- Dave Barrett’s article which I found on the Highpoint Scientific website covering ‘Imaging Deep Sky Objects’ and, more specifically, using Sharpcap - a truly excellent tutorial!  “Https://www.highpointscientific.com/imaging-deep-sky-objects-david-barrett”

 

 

Gary - That link doesn't work for me. This one does.

 

https://www.highpoin...ts-dave-barrett




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