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#1 mangulator

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 04:05 AM

This topic may have been answered elsewhere but here goes.

 

I have a Meade 8 inch SCT with a wedge. I already have a Meade focal reducer and 2 inch diagonal and other equipment.

 

I purchased a low cost eyepiece camera from Orion years ago and used a laptop and the stacking software that was provided with the camera.

 

I was able to image the moon but that was about it. I tried to image Saturn and Jupiter but was never able to achieve any good images so I pretty much have up. I never tried using a DSLR because at the time I only had a film camera and when I did upgrade to digital I went with a " Bridge Type Camera " which does not have a removable lens. I also tried multiple brand cell phone eyepiece mounts, the latest Celestron cellphone mount which is good for the moon.

 

After many years of not using my telescope luck has found that my sister and brother in law are very interested in astronomy. They just purchased a new home in a very dark part of my state and on clear nights the views are excellent. We have talked about setting my scope up to do some astrophotography along with our just looking through the eyepiece. The Orion Eyepiece Camera I already own I know will just be a waste of time being it is much easier to just mount a cellphone to a eyepiece to achieve the same results. So I have been looking for a imager and ran across a brand called SvBony and it's v205 and v305 imagers. I did a review search and found a few threads on each here at CN. 

The information I read here was really informative. I am just looking to get started and am not looking to spend a small fortune.

I would like to start with the moon and planets and then try some deep sky imaging.

While I was reviewing the SvBony products I realized not only would I need to purchase the imager I would also need to purchase a laptop. My current laptop is too large and power hungry for field work and my older laptops are running outdated software and I believe would not be efficient for the tasks involved.

 

As I was reading the threads someone mentioned that using a Cannon T3 would be a better choice over the SvBony products and this got me thinking. I checked eBay on used Cannon T3 cameras and on Amazon for a eyepiece adapter and found it would probably be cheaper to just get a used camera and the telescope adapter then getting a CD imager and laptop.

I'm not familiar with using a DSLR on a telescope. I read somewhere that your able to use a DSLR for eyepiece projection photography another confusing method for me.

 

I guess I asking if someone could point me in the direction of some threads on the pro's and con's of each system or offer up their opinions on which way I should go. I would greatly appreciate the input. Should I go with a DSLR and telescope adapter for my Meade 8 inch SCT ( Also which adapter is best for the Cannon T3 and my scope ) or should I invest in the SvBony v305 and get pick-up a new laptop for field use. I know that using a DSLR will only require memory cards of which I have plenty of and I can process my images in the home. I found a power adapter for the Cannon that I will be able to plug into my power bank in the field. Also powering a CCD Imager and Laptop in the field along with the scope will not be a problem.

Any thoughts on this will be very helpful, thanks 



#2 Tulloch

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 06:19 AM

Hi there, welcome to Cloudy Nights smile.gif

 

If you want to take images of the moon and planets, then take a look at the images posted on the Solar System Imaging and Processing page, there you will find excellent images of the planets and the moon taken with SCTs from 6" to 14" in diameter. It is possible to use a dedicated planetary camera (like the ASI224MC) or a Canon DSLR to take great images of the planets, but you will need to use a laptop for best results with either type of camera. Also remember that you don't need to be at a dark site location to take images of the planets, most of us take images of the planets from our backyards where power isn't a problem.

 

To connect a DSLR to your scope, you will need a T-ring (which attaches to the lens port of the camera and has a screw thread on the other side), and a T-adapter which screws into the T-ring and is inserted into the eyepiece holder. No eyepiece is necessary. I started with a Celestron T-ring and 2x Barlow combination, which also magnifies the image by around 2x (necessary for planetary imaging).

https://www.celestro...w-and-t-adapter

 

If you want to use a Canon DSLR for planetary imaging, take a look at this page which gives you some tips on how to use it.

http://www.astropix....resolution.html

 

The Canon DSLR system can be used for good quality imaging, but best results are obtained with a dedicated planetary camera such as the ZWO ASI224MC. However, it will be no good for DSO imaging as the sensor is too small.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Andrew


Edited by Tulloch, 31 May 2020 - 06:21 AM.

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#3 mangulator

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 11:00 AM

Thanks for the links, I will certainly be reviewing as much info before I make any purchases.  I have purchased so many things I now never use because I jumped before looking! LOL

 

You say I will need a laptop when using a DSLR, is the need for a laptop at the scope in the field or do you mean I will need one for processing what I image?

 

If you mean I will need it for after I have taken my images then I have that covered with both a laptop and desktop computer at home. I have very powerful computer equipment I use mainly for photo and video editing.   I mentioned I would need to purchase a laptop I could dedicate to field work due to the amount of power required to run my current laptop. I have an ASUS ROG 17" UHD running a Intel i9 cpu with 64 gb of Ram and 2 - 1TB SSD hard drives running Windows 10 64 bit.  The laptop requires 2 separate 110 volt power bricks to just run the thing so I do not have the nessary power needed to run it in the field from the two portable power supplies I use when in the field with my scope. I may have enough for an hours worth if I went without dew heaters and just ran the scope and camera and laptop.  So this is why I mentioned that if I went with the SvBony sv305 I would need to also purchase a smaller more power efficient and up to date with the latest OS laptop for the field. 

I figured if I went with say the Cannon T3 or T3i and the right adapter for my scope I would be able to just use memory cards and a power cord for the camera to be plugged into one of my power banks while imaging in the field,  then downloading the images from the cameras memory card when I was home.  I was thinking I could improve or enhance the images using photoshop or if the camera was capable of shooting video I would try different video editing software I already have or even try some of the stacking software I have heard about.

 

Thanks again for the links, I'll will certainly be studying up on each option.  



#4 Tulloch

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 04:16 PM

Thanks for the links, I will certainly be reviewing as much info before I make any purchases.  I have purchased so many things I now never use because I jumped before looking! LOL

 

You say I will need a laptop when using a DSLR, is the need for a laptop at the scope in the field or do you mean I will need one for processing what I image?

Hi there, you will need the laptop in the field to capture the frames from the camera, whether this is the planetary camera or the DSLR. While you can take single images on a memory card with the DSLR, this is not the recommended method for planetary imaging, instead you need to record the Liveview stream from the Canon DSLR directly onto the computer in the field, you cannot record this video onto a memory card. Don't forget, the "field" could be your backyard, since the planets are so bright you do not need to image them at a dark site, so if you can run an extension lead from your house, you are set. You also need a computer to process the images, but this could be a different computer. 

 

The best value for money dedicated planetary colour camera I know of is the ASI224MC by ZWO. It is used by most of the planetary imagers on the Solar Systems Imaging forum for one shot colour. It is a little more expensive than the SvBony cameras but it works really well.

 

The best tutorial videos I've seen for imaging the planets are at the link below. They cover most things about the craft from the simple to quite advanced. Have a look at these, they will help you a lot.

http://planetaryimagingtutorials.com/

 

Hope this helps,

 

Andrew


Edited by Tulloch, 31 May 2020 - 04:17 PM.

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#5 fewayne

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 04:36 PM

You should know that lunar and planetary photography and deep sky are very different worlds, and equipment optimized for one could be frustrating when used for the other. Not trying to discourage you, just pointing out that the requirements are almost polar opposites. Planets are tiny and very very bright, so one can afford to spend recklessly on a focal ratio (long-focal-length scope, Barlow lenses) and still have plenty of photons.

 

Deep sky objects are exceedingly dim by comparison but many ones are available that are much larger than planets. So people use either very short focal ratios (down to f/2 for SCTs equipped with Hyperstar) or high-end mounts to enable long exposures, or both. Sub-exposure times of several minutes and total integration times of several hours are not at all uncommon. And the processing entails so much contrast enhancement of weak signals that noise is always, always a monster to be fought.


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#6 mangulator

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 04:48 PM

Hi there, you will need the laptop in the field to capture the frames from the camera, whether this is the planetary camera or the DSLR. While you can take single images on a memory card with the DSLR, this is not the recommended method for planetary imaging, instead you need to record the Liveview stream from the Canon DSLR directly onto the computer in the field, you cannot record this video onto a memory card. Don't forget, the "field" could be your backyard, since the planets are so bright you do not need to image them at a dark site, so if you can run an extension lead from your house, you are set. You also need a computer to process the images, but this could be a different computer. 

 

The best value for money dedicated planetary colour camera I know of is the ASI224MC by ZWO. It is used by most of the planetary imagers on the Solar Systems Imaging forum for one shot colour. It is a little more expensive than the SvBony cameras but it works really well.

 

The best tutorial videos I've seen for imaging the planets are at the link below. They cover most things about the craft from the simple to quite advanced. Have a look at these, they will help you a lot.

http://planetaryimagingtutorials.com/

 

Hope this helps,

 

Andrew

Thanks, I have been reading and watching youtube video's of what I will need to at least get my feet wet. Thanks again for the helpful links.



#7 mangulator

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 05:05 PM

You should know that lunar and planetary photography and deep sky are very different worlds, and equipment optimized for one could be frustrating when used for the other. Not trying to discourage you, just pointing out that the requirements are almost polar opposites. Planets are tiny and very very bright, so one can afford to spend recklessly on a focal ratio (long-focal-length scope, Barlow lenses) and still have plenty of photons.

 

Deep sky objects are exceedingly dim by comparison but many ones are available that are much larger than planets. So people use either very short focal ratios (down to f/2 for SCTs equipped with Hyperstar) or high-end mounts to enable long exposures, or both. Sub-exposure times of several minutes and total integration times of several hours are not at all uncommon. And the processing entails so much contrast enhancement of weak signals that noise is always, always a monster to be fought.

Thanks for the input.

I think I'm headed in the direction of photographing the planets and moon as a start.  I believe if I go with a DSLR and the adapter   to mount it along with getting a laptop I can use in the field  I should be able to photograph the brighter planets and the moon as a start. I have a Meade 8" SCT on a equetorial mount and I already have the Meade focal reducer and Barlow lens needed. I should be able to polar align the scope to capture some 30 second exposures without any difficulty. I am grateful for the links that explain the use of stacking software and will be researching this too.

Thanks again. 




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