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What Mono Sensor would you pick today?

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#1 GraySkies

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:14 PM

I'm exploring monochromatic sensors/cameras and with new technology improvements I'm wondering what people consider the best price/performance these days.



#2 rockstarbill

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:16 PM

KAF-16200, easy. Incredible value for the dollar, although the filters (2"/50mm Round) will set you back -- it is an excellent imaging chip!

 

One more thing, its 34.6mm diagonal, APS-H format. Most modern and moderately priced telescopes can fill ~35mm of an imaging circle. That makes the KAF-16200 an excellent imaging choice for max size vs affordable telescopes to pair it with.


Edited by rockstarbill, 17 July 2019 - 08:19 PM.


#3 nimitz69

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:23 PM

Can you explain what makes it 6 times better than the very popular ASI 1600 MC Pro since it is Basically 6 times the cost? (Serious question)


Edited by nimitz69, 17 July 2019 - 08:25 PM.

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#4 rockstarbill

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:28 PM

Can you explain what makes it 6 times better than the very popular ASI 1600 MC since it is a little over 6 times the cost? (Serious question)

I did not say FLI ML16200, I just said 16200. The Moravian Mark II 16200 is $4000. That is not 6 times the cost. The ASI 1600MM-Pro is $1280. That is just a little over 3 times the cost. 

 

The size differential alone is worth that. It is also AR coated on the slip glass, has higher dynamic range, higher full well (41k), 16 bit ADC, and produces excellent clean data that is very easy to work with. 


Edited by rockstarbill, 17 July 2019 - 08:30 PM.


#5 DmitriNet

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:31 PM

Can you explain what makes it 6 times better than the very popular ASI 1600 MC Pro since it is Basically 6 times the cost? (Serious question)

Bigger pixel size, full well capacity, 16bit vs 12bit, anti blooming: 2800X, not amp glow


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#6 Jon Rista

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:31 PM

For CMOS, I think I like the results I get from the IMX183 (ASI183, QHY183, etc.) mono best. It is a "slower" sensor than the Panasonic M (i.e. ASI1600, QHY163, Atik Horizon, etc.) as it has tiny pixels and doesn't work as well at high gains, but in the end the quality is always worth the time, IMO. The resolution is also incredible, even with shortish scopes.

 

For CCD, I would probably go with either the KAF-16803 or KAF-16200. Bigger pixels, but HUGE sensors that can cover massive areas of sky with shorter focal lengths.

 

In the future, my choice of CCD would probably be traded in favor of a CMOS like the forthcoming IMX455. This has small pixels, binning capabilities, and is a higher grade sensor targeted at a higher end market than other mono CMOS sensors that have been used in astro cameras so far.

 

The only drawback of a LARGE sensor is the cost of filters. This is not a small drawback, either, as the filters can add many thousands of dollars to the total cost of the system. This is one reason to stick with smaller sensors, with small pixels, and pair them with shorter scopes (but not necessarily smaller apertures). You can often achieve the same image scale and sometimes potentially even larger fields of view, with small pixel small form factor sensors...on the right scope. There can be SIGNIFICANT cost savings here... So CMOS or CCD, big sensors are usually going to come with a really big price hike.


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#7 rockstarbill

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:35 PM

For CMOS, I think I like the results I get from the IMX183 (ASI183, QHY183, etc.) mono best. It is a "slower" sensor than the Panasonic M (i.e. ASI1600, QHY163, Atik Horizon, etc.) as it has tiny pixels and doesn't work as well at high gains, but in the end the quality is always worth the time, IMO. The resolution is also incredible, even with shortish scopes.

 

For CCD, I would probably go with either the KAF-16803 or KAF-16200. Bigger pixels, but HUGE sensors that can cover massive areas of sky with shorter focal lengths.

 

In the future, my choice of CCD would probably be traded in favor of a CMOS like the forthcoming IMX455. This has small pixels, binning capabilities, and is a higher grade sensor targeted at a higher end market than other mono CMOS sensors that have been used in astro cameras so far.

 

The only drawback of a LARGE sensor is the cost of filters. This is not a small drawback, either, as the filters can add many thousands of dollars to the total cost of the system. This is one reason to stick with smaller sensors, with small pixels, and pair them with shorter scopes (but not necessarily smaller apertures). You can often achieve the same image scale and sometimes potentially even larger fields of view, with small pixel small form factor sensors...on the right scope. There can be SIGNIFICANT cost savings here... So CMOS or CCD, big sensors are usually going to come with a really big price hike.

The KAF-16803 requires a very expensive telescope to provide an imaging circle large enough. The KAF-16200 does not. The upcoming IMX455 will suffer from the same problem that more expensive optics are required to use it. If you care to fill the chip properly in terms of imaging circle. If you want to crop, then of course those options open back up -- but why use the huge chip then?

 

That is why I say, if you want a big chip that can give you great data without the need to spend a fortune on optics on top of the price of entry of filters -- the KAF16200 is excellent. 


Edited by rockstarbill, 17 July 2019 - 08:36 PM.


#8 GraySkies

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:51 PM

The KAF-16803 requires a very expensive telescope to provide an imaging circle large enough. The KAF-16200 does not. The upcoming IMX455 will suffer from the same problem that more expensive optics are required to use it. If you care to fill the chip properly in terms of imaging circle. If you want to crop, then of course those options open back up -- but why use the huge chip then?

 

That is why I say, if you want a big chip that can give you great data without the need to spend a fortune on optics on top of the price of entry of filters -- the KAF16200 is excellent. 

I have scopes that have full frame imaging circles (with Flat correction for some vignetting).



#9 dhaval

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 08:52 PM

I agree with Bill - the 16200 is by far the best chip on the market today. No fuss using it (although, I would stay a bit away from the QHY version, just because of the fact that you have to set gain) - the data is clean, calibrates very well and just so much easier to use overall.

 

CS! 


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#10 rockstarbill

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 09:01 PM

I have scopes that have full frame imaging circles (with Flat correction for some vignetting).

As do I. Yet I like my 16200. smile.gif


Edited by rockstarbill, 17 July 2019 - 09:06 PM.


#11 Monkeybird747

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 09:58 PM

Another vote for the 16200. I have the Atik flavor that can be had on the used marked for about 2x a new 1600 (only mentioned because it was brought up above). I love the data that comes off the chip. It just seems to behave itself during processing. 2" filters were a drag in terms of up front cost, but they will work with lots of cameras.


Edited by Monkeybird747, 17 July 2019 - 09:59 PM.

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#12 Eric H

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 11:14 PM

I choose the Atik 16200, mostly for the price and full well capacity. Loving it so far. Still have lots to learn though.


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#13 Jon Rista

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:04 AM

The KAF-16803 requires a very expensive telescope to provide an imaging circle large enough. The KAF-16200 does not. The upcoming IMX455 will suffer from the same problem that more expensive optics are required to use it. If you care to fill the chip properly in terms of imaging circle. If you want to crop, then of course those options open back up -- but why use the huge chip then?

 

That is why I say, if you want a big chip that can give you great data without the need to spend a fortune on optics on top of the price of entry of filters -- the KAF16200 is excellent. 

The IMX455 is a 36x24mm sensor. Before you edited your post you yourself said that a lot of scopes out there can cover a 44mm image circle, which is true. It is also true that a TON of camera lenses can cover a 44mm image circle as well.

 

The KAF-16803 does require a larger image circle, yes.



#14 rockstarbill

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:14 AM

The IMX455 is a 36x24mm sensor. Before you edited your post you yourself said that a lot of scopes out there can cover a 44mm image circle, which is true. It is also true that a TON of camera lenses can cover a 44mm image circle as well.

The KAF-16803 does require a larger image circle, yes.

That's not an edit I made to that post. I edited the post to add that people can image with smaller imaging circles, and crop, but why bother?

The amount of affordable telescopes that can cover the 16803 and full frame CMOS are significantly less than those that can do APS-H. To assume otherwise is naive.

I mentioned telescopes. Not lenses. 

The post I made about imaging circle sizes is intact and is up above.


Edited by Stelios, 18 July 2019 - 02:21 AM.


#15 premk19

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 12:25 AM

+1 for a 16200 chip based CCD.
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#16 Jon Rista

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:09 AM

That's not an edit I made to that post. I edited the post to add that people can image with smaller imaging circles, and crop, but why bother?

The amount of affordable telescopes that can cover the 16803 and full frame CMOS are significantly less than those that can do APS-H. To assume otherwise is naive.

I mentioned telescopes. Not lenses. 

The post I made about imaging circle sizes is intact and is up above.

 

As for scopes. There are plenty of affordable scopes (which I would say range up to around $2-2.5k in price, which is certainly far more affordable than a Tak or AP scope that generally range in the many thousands more to over ten thousand) that can cover a 43mm diagonal sensor. Most of the StellarVue, ton of the William Optics (including the new RedCat), most of the Celestron SCTs, lot of the Teleskop-Express refractors (heck, some of the TS refractors have 45mm image circles and only cost a few hundred bucks!!) Lot of these scopes get down to as little as a thousand bucks. There are more, from many other manufacturers. You can find scopes with 43-45mm image circles ranging from as little as $500 to well over $10k. Sure, there are MORE scopes that cover up to a 30mm aperture (which even then isn't quite enough for an APS-H), but it is naive to think that there are not a ton of affordable scopes out there that could cover the full frame of an IMX455 camera. Now, getting a very well corrected field? I think that becomes much harder for both APS-H and FF, and if you want a perfect field for either, well an expensive scope is probably in the books anyway.



#17 rockstarbill

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:13 AM

I should have clarified my statement by adding the world triplet or quadruplets... things other than doublets or lenses.

Enjoy the discourse, I am out of this one.

Edited by rockstarbill, 18 July 2019 - 01:19 AM.


#18 Jon Rista

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:26 AM

I should have clarified my statement by adding the world triplet to it. 

 

 

Affordable Triplet (one of many) w/ 43mm image circle, reputable brand (also has a full frame flattener option):

 

https://www.stellarv...plet-refractor/

 

shrug.gif sigh2.gif



#19 rockstarbill

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 01:58 AM

That example with the SVX80 is not affordable for 80mm of glass, IMHO. You can do better than that if you look, but the point is the imaging circle requirement of the 16200 is far less demanding. 

Back to sensors the 16200 is excellent, OP. The 16803 has great fanfare as well. The CMOS FF isn't even here yet, but apparently it's a showstopper!

Best of luck to the OP on a good fit for his needs.


Edited by Stelios, 18 July 2019 - 02:28 AM.


#20 Stelios

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:20 AM

Please remain civil! Take your personal remarks to PM's. Offending posts have been edited.



#21 ManuelJ

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:42 AM

After having the 16803, 16200 and 11002, for me the best one is the 11002:

 

- Big pixels, means more signal and easier to correct

- "Cheap"

- On the perfect size to cover 50mm round filters

 

Let's see if the IMX455 can kill the 11002 after 16 years!


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#22 rockstarbill

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 02:49 AM

After having the 16803, 16200 and 11002, for me the best one is the 11002:

- Big pixels, means more signal and easier to correct
- "Cheap"
- On the perfect size to cover 50mm round filters

Let's see if the IMX455 can kill the 11002 after 16 years!


I've actually been looking at the 11002 recently. Oddly enough to pair with the GTX, then I saw your mosaic and looked with renewed interest.

What do you like about it?

#23 ManuelJ

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 03:46 AM

I've actually been looking at the 11002 recently. Oddly enough to pair with the GTX, then I saw your mosaic and looked with renewed interest.

What do you like about it?

My sensor is cleaner than the 16200 (has some banding), and does not need RBI, like the 16803, which kills the read noise.

 

Microlenses artifacts on the 16200 are stronger.

 

Bad thing is that it need to be cooled down to -35 to reach excellent read noise levels, and that is impossible in summer here. Sometimes it struggles to reach -20 on hottest nights.

 

For me, the 11002 is a perfect combo for the GTX and QUADTCC. I think that the IMX455 will produce much worse results on the corners, that sensor will be really demanding.



#24 josh smith

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 06:13 AM

Interesting topic and can really only have subjective responses so I'm sure it will always get a little impassioned here.  My take is that if you're thinking price/performance, you eliminate pretty much everything that requires more than 1.25"/31mm filters because of the price of the bigger filters needed which is enormous if you get into narrowband too.   While I'd still take the data and do from an 834 chip in the QSI6120 over any of the sensors being talked about in this thread, I think a CMOS has to win out in a price/performance conversation.  Given the proven capabilities of the ASI 1600, in spite of its downfalls, it seems like it would have to be at the top of the price/performance curve.  

 

(have owned 8300/814/834/ICX413AQ/ZWO1600/ZWO178/174 imaged with 11002/16803/16200)


Edited by josh smith, 18 July 2019 - 06:16 AM.

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#25 Konihlav

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 06:17 AM

To add on what Manuel wrote... The IMX455 would definitively be lot more demanding on the optics. And on the processing PC, so many megapixels. I have now 36 megapixel camera and debayered frame has about 217MB. Imagine processing 200 of these frames... had to buy a new super-PC for that task. But the IMX455 could be binned and I plan to present results in a 4000px wide format at most.

 

The KAF-16803 is "nice", but it - costs a fortune, has the RBI "effect", is square (which I dislike, as I like 3:2 formats) and there is one big problem and a real one - I really do not know of any reasonably good telescope/optics that could nicely illuminate such a large imaging circle along with reasonable star sizes (spots in corners).

 

But for just a 36x24mm chips, there do exist telescopes (few of them are there on the market) that can illuminate these 43mm diagonal along with reasonable star shapes/sizes in the corners. And since I am full frame ready :-) I am eager for IMX455 to come to my hands, say next year...




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