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SiOnyx Aurora for NV Photography

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#1 Eddgie

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 02:34 PM

Has anyone used one of the SiOnyx cameras to capture images from the NV eyepiece?

 

I was somewhat tempted to buy the original SiOnyx Aurora when it came out, but the very high price made me defer, thinking that the price would come down.

 

With the release of the SiOnyx Aurora Sport, at half the price of the top model, I am now considering it again, but the question I had was if anyone has tried it afocally with a NVD.

 

Thanks! 


Edited by Eddgie, 25 October 2019 - 03:04 PM.


#2 moshen

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 03:42 PM

You don't even need a NV device, just attach it focally and get some color images. This user in France has done just that.

 

https://oculaire-vis.../sionyx-aurora/


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#3 Doug D.

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 04:11 PM

Better than I would have expected - but of course it gathers a lot of light with that 16" Dob. Then again, it is also capturing in color.  At $400 for the new version I am tempted.



#4 Eddgie

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 04:21 PM

So is this essentially the same chip as the Revolution R2? It is 720P and I think the R2 is the same, and the performance seems to be similar.



#5 Eddgie

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 04:35 PM

And here is why I wanted to know if someone has used it with NV.

 

A big part of the reason The Aurora works is because the night mode removes the IR cut filter, but for afocal with night vision, that does not mean anything because the emission of P43 and P45 is very narrow band.  

 

P43 Is centered on about 550nm, but it it only emits from about 540nm to about 560nm, so this narrow spectrum is the only light available to the chip. 

 

P43 Is multi-spectrum, most of the image brightness comes from peaks at 380nm, 420nm, and 550nm, but with some smaller transmission at some other spots, but below 600nm, there is very little emission.

So it would seem like the "night" mode would not really do anything for NV use making that setting really kind of meaningless because neither P43 or P45 emit at the longer wavelengths and the SiOnyx is sensitive down to something like 1100nm. 

 

So, the question is how would the SiOnyx do if it were used to try to capture real time images from the NV device so I could share with others.  I am not really interested in how it would do with a long exposure. I can do that with my cell phone. 


Edited by Eddgie, 25 October 2019 - 04:42 PM.


#6 Eddgie

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 04:52 PM

I am going to Australia and New Zealand in February though, and since it is almost impossible to get the necessary paperwork to take Gen 3 out of the country, I thought this might be fun to take along so I was considering it anyway, but I was curious how it would work afocally with the Mod 3.   

 

The difference is really about when I would buy it.  I am going to do several camping trips in the near term and if it works well with the telescope, I would buy one sooner, but if it did not, then I would probably hold out to the holidays to see if it goes on sale. When the Aurora came out, it was $800, but it was often on sale for $600. 

 

IF the Aurora Sport hits $300, then it becomes a slam dunk.  Otherwise, there are a lot of other things competing for my hobby dollars, and I have three Gen 3 night vision monoculars already so I can already see in the dark.. LOL. Anyway, if it does not do very well at real time with NV, then I would just wait for a sale because I am pretty positive I will take one on my very long trip to the Oz and NZ.



#7 vincentv

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 05:07 PM

It's not the same sensor as the Revolution. It has a few more and slightly larger pixels. The sensor is 1/2" or 1" whereas the R2 uses a 1/3" sensor.

Performance with night vision should be decent since, as you noted, the device is no longer photon starved. Take a look at what users are able to achieve with phones and figure a slight decrease in exposure times to get a similar image. The user manual mentions an HDR mode. That might give an interesting boost to image detail.

 

 

You don't even need a NV device, just attach it focally and get some color images. This user in France has done just that.

 

https://oculaire-vis.../sionyx-aurora/

 

Do you know how the author got a T2 thread in the aurora? That's mighty tempting.


Edited by vincentv, 25 October 2019 - 05:08 PM.


#8 pwang99

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Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:28 AM

Holy crap, I hadn't heard of these!

 

I just ordered a Sport and we can try it out in a few weeks when I'm back from travels.



#9 Alien Observatory

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 10:06 AM

Tried a few  things with limited success...Pat Utah.... :)

https://www.cloudyni...-sionyx-aurora/


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#10 GeezerGazer

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 03:23 PM

Eddgie, I contacted a couple of SiOnyx users last year after the first version was released.  Overall opinion was it has limited usefulness for astronomy.  IIRC, Cnoct has used one attached to an NV device.  You might PM him.  The technology is intriguing!   Ray



#11 Oukifrench

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 02:07 AM

hello we are 4 in France to use the sionyx in astronomy in afocal. 

 

the camera gives correct results we test it on a lot of optics of the lenses until the dobson.

 

The main brake is the limitation of the exposure time to 1.5 seconds maximum.  to get around the problem stacking possible via DSS live.Well heard a low F / D increases the performance of the sionyx.I am practically ready to test it on a 200/800 dobson

You can found some mount here

http://www.astronomi....php?f=11&t=343

 

edit

 

I think I can test the sionyx on a comet catcher with focal reduction also. 

 

what is interesting with this camera is the wifi that can see the image of the camera on a smartphone or especially a tablet. 

 

with ultra fast lenses like lomo is interesting but the magnification is low.

 

If you want I can make a post about the sionyx because there is really little example of application astronomy available on the net.

 

 

 

In France we just start night vision. 

 

(Write with google translator.)

 

if you have a question. .

 

ouki


Edited by Oukifrench, 30 October 2019 - 02:28 AM.

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#12 Doug D.

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 10:39 AM

 

I think I can test the sionyx on a comet catcher with focal reduction also. 

 

what is interesting with this camera is the wifi that can see the image of the camera on a smartphone or especially a tablet. 

 

with ultra fast lenses like lomo is interesting but the magnification is low.

 

If you want I can make a post about the sionyx because there is really little example of application astronomy available on the net.

 

 

 

In France we just start night vision. 

 

(Write with google translator.)

 

if you have a question. .

 

ouki

 

 

I for one would be happy to hear more of your impressions.  I just got an Aurora and there is a lot to like about it (in my limited first night of use) and I can already tell it will be a lot of fun to play around with - especially on late night walks with my dog in my heavily wooded neighborhood.  A IR flashlight really lights everything up when the Aurora is used in "night mode" (i.e., IR filter moved out of light path).

 

I'm pretty skeptical about general astro usability but Edggie's thought about using it "afocally" to capture images from a proper NV eyepiece may have merit.  I don't have the latter yet so I can't test, unfortunately.

 

The star fields in Ouiki's link are encouraging - maybe the Aurora - given the low mag and exposure time limitations could make a decent scope mounted finder used in conjunction with an iPhone/iPad.  Then again, your own "night vision" will be destroyed by this, so not much point to it I guess. 



#13 Joko

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Posted 31 October 2019 - 12:31 PM

You don't even need a NV device, just attach it focally and get some color images. This user in France has done just that.

 

https://oculaire-vis.../sionyx-aurora/

Do you know how the author got a T2 thread in the aurora? That's mighty tempting.

Holy crap, I hadn't heard of these!

Guys, i'm the author of these pics and this website.

My website is mainly about NV as I also sell NV Device worldwide from France but i did some test with the SiOnyx Aurora.

Here is the English version : www.oculaire-vision-nocturne.jimdo.com/english/sionyx-aurora/

 

To sum up, SiOnyx Aurora is not good for liveview (unless with M42, funny to see it in color in real time) but is really good for short exposure astrophotography like wanted in EAA. Maximum exposition time is 1.5s and it's possible to use it in afocal. For this i use a Celestron Zoom eyepiece that I connect to the SiOnyx with an homemade adapter. It requires to remove the front plastic lens of the SiOnyx. Send me a message in private if interested by this adapter. 

 

About Eddgie's question, yes i already used it to take pictures with my NV eyepiece. But there was a lot of scintillation and didn't spent a lot of time to check how to improve it.

Carpe Nocturnum known as Cnoct on CN is also a user of the SiOnyx for astronomy use. Have a look at his youtube page for beautiful videos : https://www.youtube....er/cnoct/videos

 

My main interest is NV in realtime, SiOnyx Aurora is a good add on accessory but will never replace any GEN3 IIT.

NV is far far far far...far better than SiOnyx Aurora in real time smile.gif


Edited by Joko, 31 October 2019 - 12:39 PM.

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#14 FRANC LILL

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 12:36 PM

Hello Eddgie,

 

Just have a look over there

https://www.cloudyni...1-and-ngc-5746/

 

and all the following posts I have made using SiOnyx for sketching.

 

Clear skies,

Francis


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#15 Astrojedi

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 12:29 PM

Guys, i'm the author of these pics and this website.

My website is mainly about NV as I also sell NV Device worldwide from France but i did some test with the SiOnyx Aurora.

Here is the English version : www.oculaire-vision-nocturne.jimdo.com/english/sionyx-aurora/

 

To sum up, SiOnyx Aurora is not good for liveview (unless with M42, funny to see it in color in real time) but is really good for short exposure astrophotography like wanted in EAA. Maximum exposition time is 1.5s and it's possible to use it in afocal. For this i use a Celestron Zoom eyepiece that I connect to the SiOnyx with an homemade adapter. It requires to remove the front plastic lens of the SiOnyx. Send me a message in private if interested by this adapter. 

 

About Eddgie's question, yes i already used it to take pictures with my NV eyepiece. But there was a lot of scintillation and didn't spent a lot of time to check how to improve it.

Carpe Nocturnum known as Cnoct on CN is also a user of the SiOnyx for astronomy use. Have a look at his youtube page for beautiful videos : https://www.youtube....er/cnoct/videos

 

My main interest is NV in realtime, SiOnyx Aurora is a good add on accessory but will never replace any GEN3 IIT.

NV is far far far far...far better than SiOnyx Aurora in real time smile.gif

A question about a focal use and the adapter you are using. What is the thread on the Aurora - does it have a t-thread or no threads? What thread does the Celestron zoom EP have? M42 or M43 or other?



#16 Eddgie

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 02:53 PM

A question about a focal use and the adapter you are using. What is the thread on the Aurora - does it have a t-thread or no threads? What thread does the Celestron zoom EP have? M42 or M43 or other?

The SiOnyx has a non-removable objective. I could only be used for either direct viewing (at the offered built in zoom powers) or afocal (held up to the eyepiece of a night vision device or eyepiece).  I have come to believe that it would not produce afocal pictures as good as one can get with a cell phone and a long exposure.  My hope was that it would be sensitive enough to use in place of the cell phone to take a true "snapshot" of the view in the eyepiece of the NV device.  I have seen some movies taken, but that was not what I was interested in. I wanted to capture a still image.

The thread never really gave me an answer to that question. I will still probably get one because I would like to have a small  day/evening/low light travel movie/still camera that could also double as a pseudo NV device when I travel abroad.   I am off to Oz and NZ in Feb and based on some of the low light movies, I would say that SiOnix is better than nothing at all and it is full color in twilight conditions. 

 

I really did not get an answer here though.  I don't know if anyone has tried taking still images of the view in the eyepiece, and now much shorter exposure one could get and still get a good image.  I think the movies can be done at 7.5 FPS, but the question is could I set the shutter manually to make a .25 second capture that would be better than I could get using a 4 second capture with my cell phone (not these exact figures, but that was along the lines of what I was wondering.  Can I get pics without having to actually attach the camera to the eyepiece.  I just hate the hassle of mouting a camera and would take more pictures if I could just hold the camera up to the eyepiece and get a nice shot with a very short exposure.)  

 

Santa is going to get me one for Christmas though, so I will know soon enough. I have over the years thought about getting a small dedicated movie camera for travel anyway so that is now my primary reason for wanting one. If it works well in place of the Cell phone for eyepiece capture, then great, but apparently I won't know that until I have one and try it myself. 



#17 Astrojedi

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 03:12 PM

Thanks Eddgie. My thinking is along similar lines as you. I don't see this replacing my Gen 3 or my CMOS camera based observing but rather complementing them for travel and outreach. I am especially interested in its potential for my outreach activities.

 

I see this a substitute for EAA video cameras e.g. Revolution imager but with a NV form factor and with more immersion and without the need to carry a laptop and the jumble of wires and setup time that accompanies camera based EAA. But due to its limitations I don't see myself using it to observe faint fuzzies or distant objects for which I will continue to use my CMOS based cameras.

 

I ordered one from Amazon yesterday evening. It is arriving today so lets see what I discover. Funnily enough it is raining cats and dogs here in San Diego - just 3 days ago we had a red flag warning.



#18 Eddgie

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 06:05 PM

Ah, good for you!

 

Looking forward to hearing about your experiences.



#19 Joko

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 07:43 AM

A question about a focal use and the adapter you are using. What is the thread on the Aurora - does it have a t-thread or no threads? What thread does the Celestron zoom EP have? M42 or M43 or other?

Hi Astrojedi,

About the SiOnyx, if you remove the front lens protection, the thread is 31mm. And the Celestron zoom EP has a 42mm if you remove the eyeguard.

So it helps for afocal, but prime is not possible.

And never sell your GEN3 NV, it is far better than SiOnyx Aurora for real time.



#20 Astrojedi

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 10:25 AM

Thanks Joko. Did you use a custom adapter?

#21 Joko

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 10:54 AM

Thanks Joko. Did you use a custom adapter?

Yes, i made it.



#22 Astrojedi

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 01:01 PM

Well got the Aurora Sport yesterday. Immediately took off the lens cover and checked the thread. It seems to be larger than 31mm as none of my 1.25 filters work - they were too small. Eventually I just put the lens cover back on as I found a better way to MacGyver it to my EP. Could not find a way to attach to the Gen 3 - will need an adapter.

 

If you take the rubber eyecup off the Baader 8-24 zoom, the Aurora fits perfectly into the opening, almost as if it was designed for it. No movement whatsoever but still easy to attach and remove. Pictures attached.

 

Sensitivity: Well it is nowhere as close to Gen 3 which is to be expected. It was "ok". Did not blow my mind. Even using 1.5s exposures it did not show much more than what I can see with glass from my heavily light polluted backyard (resolution was slightly better and of course there was color). Also my a7s is more sensitive at its highest ISO - so no advantage there.

 

The biggest problem is that it does not automatically refresh at 1.5s i.e. live view does not support 1.5s shutter. At 1.5s exposure it works like a camera. Take a picture, preview for 1-4s depending on setting) and then back to live view. So unfortunately this will not work for outreach as 1.5s is pretty much required to see any thing. In live view it is much too grainy and noisy to see anything even on maximum gain. Maybe at a faster effective focal ratio (longer FL EP) it could do better.

 

The image of Orion was taken with my At60ED afocally with the Baader Zoom at 24mm and using 1.5s exposure. Also used was a Optolong CLS CCD filter (screwed on to the EP). The mount was my M2C - it is a manual untracked mount.

 

IMG_8948.jpg

 

IMG_8949.jpg

 

IMG_8950.jpg

 

SiOnyx-2C8DBA_20191121220741_100_SION_XQE_0065.JPG


Edited by Astrojedi, 22 November 2019 - 01:18 PM.

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#23 Eddgie

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 06:46 PM

A longer focal length eyepiece would have brightened things up I expect.  Of course that comes at a cost of image scale.  Still hoping to see some stills from NV eyepiece. 



#24 nic35

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 09:41 AM

Is there any indication that the firmware of the camera can be upgraded ? If so, what maximum exposure would be good ?

 

Maybe a note to the manufacturer, along with a request for the specs on the thread would be helpful

 



#25 Eddgie

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 10:15 AM

Why not just use an afocal platform?  I would be shocked if the Aurora did not have a 1/4-20 mount.

 

Threaded adapters are not the only way to attach a camera or NV device to an eyepiece.

 

https://www.highpoin...BoCz14QAvD_BwE 




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