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The Askar FRA 400 Quintuplet Astrograph

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#26 RossW

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 04:49 AM

Next is OIII. After a meridian flip the tilt appears to have reduced, resulting in a flatter field and improved average FWHM. The tilt might be focuser sag but I can't feel any obvious slop in the draw tube, or anywhere in the imaging train for that matter.

 

 

O3-test-sample-f5.5.JPG

 

 



#27 RossW

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 04:54 AM

Finally SII. This was taken prior to the meridian flip so tilt is probably about the same magnitude as the Ha frame above.

 

 

SII--test-sample-f5.5.JPG

 

 



#28 RossW

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 05:11 AM

I have not performed any LRGB imaging yet because of the full moon.

 

Testing will continue, but as a noob to short focal length full frame imaging I'm quite satisfied with the imaging results to date from a scope of this price point. Please let me know your thoughts.

 

Normally I would provide links to the full FITS files, but these are huge at around 120 megabytes per image, so instead you can find links to full-size JPEGs below:

 

Ha:

https://www.ohmigall..._ang270.2_c.jpg
 

OIII:

https://www.ohmigall....3C_ang90.8.jpg

 

SII:

https://www.ohmigall..._ang270.2_c.jpg

 



#29 RossW

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Posted 06 September 2020 - 08:08 PM

Looks like the SII image link above is not working, so a repost:

 

https://www.ohmigall..._ang270.2_c.jpg

 

 

Weird, after adding this new link, the old link started working again.

 

Anyway, I'm still suffering from cloud cover. Monsoon season melded into cyclone season, hampering my attempts to gather more narrowband data for the Cygnus Loop. Stay tuned.


Edited by RossW, 06 September 2020 - 08:22 PM.


#30 tkottary

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 04:03 PM

Hi Ross,

 

Any more updates? Were you able to fix the tilt issues?  Considering to get one for 6200 , if not  to pair with 2600mc

 

CS,

TK


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#31 RossW

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 09:47 PM

Hey TK,

 

No updates as yet. You would not believe how bad the weather here has been for the past 9 months. It seems we had a 6-month+ monsoon season that has now transformed into cyclone season with fortnightly cyclones. I think I can count the number of fully clear nights I've had this year on one hand .... maybe even one finger :-) Seriously. I'm getting a few hours of imaging in cloudy skies, sometimes once a week, but there have been a few occasions this year where there was continuous cloud cover for more than a month.

 

"First DSO" for the FRA400 will be the Cygnus loop as it fits perfectly into the FOV of the ASI6200. I have 26 hours of data and I thought I was finished, but when I checked my S2 subs I discovered four hours of data corrupted by clouds, so I'm trying to replace those now. Another cyclone is due to arrive in a couple of days so it looks like yet another week of cloudy weather though.

 

Were you able to fix the tilt issues?

 

No, I don't have a tilt adapter at the moment, so my images will be "worts and all". I did have an M48 tilt adapter ordered at TS but I've had absolutely no end of trouble with them lately so I've had to cancel the order.

 

Considering to get one for 6200 , if not  to pair with 2600mc

 

I'm fairly confident that, with a tilter in-line, I can correct most, if not all, of the tilt that is visible in my images above, and that is when using the full frame 6200, so if you're imaging without the reducer the 6200 is a viable option. I haven't used the reducer yet, but when I do there will be no room for a tilt adapter between the reducer and camera due to the limited back focus of 55mm, so any tilt in there (like camera sensor tilt) will be uncorrectable. Furthermore, the reducer fits up into the focuser, so it is probably not possible to place a tilter between the reducer and scope without some type of special adapter. Therefore (and I may be wrong) I doubt it will be possible to remove tilt when using the ZWO 6200+ large EFW + M68 OAG + reducer. If that is the case the only solution I can think of would be to move to a guide scope and fit a tilter in place of the OAG.



#32 astro rocketeer

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 10:46 AM

Hi all, I was motivated by this post and other articles about the Askar 400 and eventually got one with the Askar 0.7x reducer. I really like the scope and the physical appearance shows really good quality. I did notice however that when I used it to image, that there are severe vignetting (raw image attached - 180 seconds at ISO 800) and I don't know if its caused from the combination of the 0.7x Reducer with my DSLR 60D (Crop Sensor and astro modified w/ enhance h-alpha) or maybe just reducer spacing? I have a Skytech CLS-CCD Clip-in filter to the Canon DSLR. I'm new to this astrophotography sport and have read that there should be spacing between the reducer to the camera? if anyone have any thoughts on how I can correct this, please let me know. Also, any other questions anyone has bout this scope, I can try to answer too. Thank you!

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_4832.JPG
  • IMG_4839.JPG
  • IMG_0331 (1).jpg


#33 ZL4PLM

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Posted 22 September 2020 - 01:39 PM

Hi all, I was motivated by this post and other articles about the Askar 400 and eventually got one with the Askar 0.7x reducer. I really like the scope and the physical appearance shows really good quality. I did notice however that when I used it to image, that there are severe vignetting (raw image attached - 180 seconds at ISO 800) and I don't know if its caused from the combination of the 0.7x Reducer with my DSLR 60D (Crop Sensor and astro modified w/ enhance h-alpha) or maybe just reducer spacing? I have a Skytech CLS-CCD Clip-in filter to the Canon DSLR. I'm new to this astrophotography sport and have read that there should be spacing between the reducer to the camera? if anyone have any thoughts on how I can correct this, please let me know. Also, any other questions anyone has bout this scope, I can try to answer too. Thank you!

that's not severe ;) LOL    And I'd bet that the filter is causing it - the FR is a full frame one so I doubt its that from what I've seen of mine in its diameter!

 

time to use flats and that will help balance the final images and remove any gradients in the light fall 


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#34 astro rocketeer

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 02:34 AM

that's not severe wink.gif LOL    And I'd bet that the filter is causing it - the FR is a full frame one so I doubt its that from what I've seen of mine in its diameter!

 

time to use flats and that will help balance the final images and remove any gradients in the light fall 

Thanks for the tip and good to hear that it’s not severe. I’ve never seen this with my Redcat51 with same filter on. I took some flats and it again had vignette. I’ll have to do a few with and without the reducer to see if I can get edge to edge flats with no vignette. I’ve been getting some really good results with this scope though. Really enjoying it. But still need more practice on DSS and Photoshop.

Attached Thumbnails

  • B5E903E4-587E-4FDB-8333-EA44C66897CB.jpeg


#35 ZL4PLM

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 03:03 AM

Thanks for the tip and good to hear that it’s not severe. I’ve never seen this with my Redcat51 with same filter on. I took some flats and it again had vignette. I’ll have to do a few with and without the reducer to see if I can get edge to edge flats with no vignette. I’ve been getting some really good results with this scope though. Really enjoying it. But still need more practice on DSS and Photoshop.

if the flats show vignetting that's ok ... when you apply that calibration to the lights, software will balance the final image and remove the vignetting from the final integrated image - so vignetting in the flats is ok :)

 

I love my little FRA400 .. its a steal for the price :)  


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#36 nicknacknock

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 05:11 AM

Flats will also remove the dust bunnies from the sensor - there's three readily visible on the image in post # 32.

 

I do EAA and I take flats both to fix the gradient in images and to eliminate dust bunnies - plus it makes color calibration when doing EAA much easier and faster.


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#37 astro rocketeer

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 10:43 AM

if the flats show vignetting that's ok ... when you apply that calibration to the lights, software will balance the final image and remove the vignetting from the final integrated image - so vignetting in the flats is ok smile.gif

 

I love my little FRA400 .. its a steal for the price smile.gif  

Got it, thank you for the tip. I did flats immediately after I imaged last night. I put the dew shield back and placed a trace light over it and the flats came out almost entirely even with just a few vignette in the corners and a slight bit on the edges around. And yes, I agree, this scope is definitely a steal! I was looking for a Meade Quintuplet 70mm but was sold out everywhere and while searching for other alternatives on Agena Astro’s website, I came across this, found it interesting, googled it and found this thread and I was sold on it!! Thank you for your time an I put. This learning process has been really fun. Thank goodness for Cloudy Nights - I love it! Next scope I’d like to eventually upgrade to is the Astro Tech 115mm: looks very good on Astronomics and they go quick on the classified when it does go there.



#38 astro rocketeer

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 10:51 AM

Flats will also remove the dust bunnies from the sensor - there's three readily visible on the image in post # 32.

 

I do EAA and I take flats both to fix the gradient in images and to eliminate dust bunnies - plus it makes color calibration when doing EAA much easier and faster.

Thank you Nick for the tip. I wasn’t sure what that was and I’ve tried the Sensor cleaning function on the Canon 60D but seems like I can’t get rid of it. What does EAA stand for (sorry I’m very new to this and still learning lingos and acronyms). I’d like to get better and be more effective when taking steps to produce nice quality images. Thank you for the tip and feedback, very much appreciate your time and help!


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#39 ZL4PLM

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 03:23 PM

Got it, thank you for the tip. I did flats immediately after I imaged last night. I put the dew shield back and placed a trace light over it and the flats came out almost entirely even with just a few vignette in the corners and a slight bit on the edges around. And yes, I agree, this scope is definitely a steal! I was looking for a Meade Quintuplet 70mm but was sold out everywhere and while searching for other alternatives on Agena Astro’s website, I came across this, found it interesting, googled it and found this thread and I was sold on it!! Thank you for your time an I put. This learning process has been really fun. Thank goodness for Cloudy Nights - I love it! Next scope I’d like to eventually upgrade to is the Astro Tech 115mm: looks very good on Astronomics and they go quick on the classified when it does go there.

all good glad to help - CN is a mixed bag - some really helpful stuff then some comes over looking like a bunch of grumpy old men LOL

 

you might want to see whats coming from Askar/Sharpstar at that focal length - keep an eye out for future posts :)  (I do testing for ZWO and Askar/Sharpstar) ;)


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#40 nicknacknock

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 01:15 AM

Thank you Nick for the tip. I wasn’t sure what that was and I’ve tried the Sensor cleaning function on the Canon 60D but seems like I can’t get rid of it. What does EAA stand for (sorry I’m very new to this and still learning lingos and acronyms). I’d like to get better and be more effective when taking steps to produce nice quality images. Thank you for the tip and feedback, very much appreciate your time and help

EAA stands for Electronically Assisted Astronomy. Basically plugging in a camera instead of an eyepiece and enjoying near real time views of objects. In 20 seconds I get a superb image (2 frames x 10 sec) and I usually stop at 8 - 10 frames and move on. 

 

I am currently in love with the ASIAir Pro and ASI 533 MC. Regarding uneven illumination, flats DO help!!!! Don't skip them. One of the scopes I use is a 5" SCT with a 0.5x 2" GSO reducer set to operate at around f7.5 My flats look ridiculous because of vignetting, but they fix the images.

 

As an example, and given your M8 and M20, here's what I got with 7 frames stacked, each frame 10 seconds. Applied dark, flats and bias, no post processing.

 

Definitely not astrophotography, much less exposure times, but this is near live viewing which I find incredible!

Attached Thumbnails

  • M8.JPG
  • M20.JPG

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#41 nicknacknock

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 01:24 AM

You can easily practice EAA with your setup. Fast focal ratio, flat field, nice wife field with your camera! The ASKAR FRA 400 is a great scope for that.

 

I was tempted myself, but since I do have my 5" SCT which I can use for small galaxies and generally fields of up to 1°, I chose the ASKAR FRA180mm lens (due for delivery this coming Monday. yay!) for a 3.6° x 3.6° FOV with my ASI 533 or twice the FOV with my Nikon DSLR. I like the direction that SharpStar is taking. This will be my second SharpStar product - the first being a Stellarvue 90mm Carbon Triplet (OEM was SharpStar) and I look forward to a simple setup. 

 

New setup will be ASKAR180 + ASI 533MC with dew heater, ZWO EAF with bracket from Deep Sky Daddy and ASIAir Pro, all fitted on a 7" dovetail, parked on a SW AZ GTI in EQ configuration :)


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#42 astro rocketeer

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 01:29 AM

EAA stands for Electronically Assisted Astronomy. Basically plugging in a camera instead of an eyepiece and enjoying near real time views of objects. In 20 seconds I get a superb image (2 frames x 10 sec) and I usually stop at 8 - 10 frames and move on. 

 

I am currently in love with the ASIAir Pro and ASI 533 MC. Regarding uneven illumination, flats DO help!!!! Don't skip them. One of the scopes I use is a 5" SCT with a 0.5x 2" GSO reducer set to operate at around f7.5 My flats look ridiculous because of vignetting, but they fix the images.

 

As an example, and given your M8 and M20, here's what I got with 7 frames stacked, each frame 10 seconds. Applied dark, flats and bias, no post processing.

 

Definitely not astrophotography, much less exposure times, but this is near live viewing which I find incredible!

WOW, these are nice pictures and beautiful in its most natural form. Thank you for sharing. Very inspiring!! I find some photos that are not Photo Shop much more appreciative to see in its natural form. thank you also for letting me know what EAA stands for. I'm intersted in the ASI 533 now, very nice. I'm researching and trying to find my first CCD camera. I'm heavily challenge with light pollution (Bortle 8 in southern California) and thinking maybe going mono ccd. I tried imaing tonight but I think b/c of the light pollution and moon, ASIAir Pro could not plate solve. the PA image detected less stars than usual and the bahtinov mask was weired as it didn't give me spikes but instead the shape of the actual mask.. nothing worked out today!! I really like your photos you shared, thanks again!  



#43 astro rocketeer

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 01:44 AM

You can easily practice EAA with your setup. Fast focal ratio, flat field, nice wife field with your camera! The ASKAR FRA 400 is a great scope for that.

 

I was tempted myself, but since I do have my 5" SCT which I can use for small galaxies and generally fields of up to 1°, I chose the ASKAR FRA180mm lens (due for delivery this coming Monday. yay!) for a 3.6° x 3.6° FOV with my ASI 533 or twice the FOV with my Nikon DSLR. I like the direction that SharpStar is taking. This will be my second SharpStar product - the first being a Stellarvue 90mm Carbon Triplet (OEM was SharpStar) and I look forward to a simple setup. 

 

New setup will be ASKAR180 + ASI 533MC with dew heater, ZWO EAF with bracket from Deep Sky Daddy and ASIAir Pro, all fitted on a 7" dovetail, parked on a SW AZ GTI in EQ configuration smile.gif

I just looked up the ASKAR FRA180mm and thats a nice scope! I don't think its available in USA and would probably be nice if it was. I've read a lot on Stellervue and have been "window shopping" for one in Cloudy Nights classifieds but they are hard to come by. Good choice on that one!! I strongly agree with your statement on SharpStar and their product has been very appealing. I like your new set-up, very mobile, packed with power, and effective set-up! please share photos when you get them!! would like to see it. thanks! :-) 



#44 nicknacknock

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 01:46 AM

It depends on filters you used. If you have a strong light pollution filter, you need to increase exposure at the PA stage. As for the platesolving stage, again, the same, more exposure time. I use light filters only, UV/IR and Moon & Sky Glow, but I will shift all the way to my ZWO Duo Band filter at some point. Adjustments will be required due to filtered light.

 

Your scope with the ASI533MC would give a 1.62° x 1.62° field of view. You need to decide on what you wish to accomplish, in terms of field of view and sampling, to get the camera that will combine the right size of pixels with the right size of chip size for your scope and the results you want to achieve.

 

I switched from the 294MCPro to the 533MCPro as the 533 balances colors much easier for EAA than the 294, at least in my experience. Others may disagree. I sacrificed quite a bit of FOV, but I am happy with the camera and scope combinations I plan. Also, I don't much care about being a bit over / under sampled for EAA :)



#45 nicknacknock

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 01:47 AM

I just looked up the ASKAR FRA180mm and thats a nice scope! I don't think its available in USA and would probably be nice if it was. I've read a lot on Stellervue and have been "window shopping" for one in Cloudy Nights classifieds but they are hard to come by. Good choice on that one!! I strongly agree with your statement on SharpStar and their product has been very appealing. I like your new set-up, very mobile, packed with power, and effective set-up! please share photos when you get them!! would like to see it. thanks! :-) 

 

7 available at Agena Astro. Have at it! Thank you for letting me spend your money for you lol.gif lol.gif lol.gif



#46 nicknacknock

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 01:48 AM

I also ordered a nice Tele Vue Plossl 20mm and I have a Baader T2 diagonal, so this will make a wonderful finderscope for me as well :)



#47 astro rocketeer

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 02:15 AM

It depends on filters you used. If you have a strong light pollution filter, you need to increase exposure at the PA stage. As for the platesolving stage, again, the same, more exposure time. I use light filters only, UV/IR and Moon & Sky Glow, but I will shift all the way to my ZWO Duo Band filter at some point. Adjustments will be required due to filtered light.

 

Your scope with the ASI533MC would give a 1.62° x 1.62° field of view. You need to decide on what you wish to accomplish, in terms of field of view and sampling, to get the camera that will combine the right size of pixels with the right size of chip size for your scope and the results you want to achieve.

 

I switched from the 294MCPro to the 533MCPro as the 533 balances colors much easier for EAA than the 294, at least in my experience. Others may disagree. I sacrificed quite a bit of FOV, but I am happy with the camera and scope combinations I plan. Also, I don't much care about being a bit over / under sampled for EAA smile.gif

Thats very insightful! i didn't think about all that and makes a lot of sense now. I'll try longer exposure time given that there are more night glow tonight than usual because of the moon added to the already suburban/city light pollution. I'm using a Skytech CLS-CCD, but have ordered the Optolong L-Extreme which is back ordered still. I've heard that the narrowband filter will help me out with my bortle 8 to minimize light pollution challenge. I'm also tempted to get the ZWO Duo Band Filter, but things are getting more expensive. and speaking of that, i have to think more like you to make my equipment more versatile. I am really interested in the ASKAR FMA180!! And thanks for the recommendation, I love Agena Astro and especially their HQ office is only half hour from where i live! very good  products, fast shipping, and great customer service! I buy pretty much all my equipment there - Redcat51, ASKAR 400, and so many other accessories! haha... Thanks again for taking time to teach me all these. A lot of information to absorb, but yet helpful! 


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#48 ZL4PLM

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 06:58 PM

all good glad to help - CN is a mixed bag - some really helpful stuff then some comes over looking like a bunch of grumpy old men LOL

 

you might want to see whats coming from Askar/Sharpstar at that focal length - keep an eye out for future posts smile.gif  (I do testing for ZWO and Askar/Sharpstar) wink.gif

FRA600 F5.6 Quintuplet Astrograph,coming soon,66mm image circle!

 

just announced by Askar today ;) 

 

fra600

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#49 astro rocketeer

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 07:51 PM

FRA600 F5.6 Quintuplet Astrograph,coming soon,66mm image circle!

 

just announced by Askar today wink.gif

 

Can't wait for this to be released... I wonder what the price point is going to be for this too... do you know if this is a FPL-53 glass by any chance?



#50 astro rocketeer

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 07:56 PM

You can easily practice EAA with your setup. Fast focal ratio, flat field, nice wife field with your camera! The ASKAR FRA 400 is a great scope for that.

 

I was tempted myself, but since I do have my 5" SCT which I can use for small galaxies and generally fields of up to 1°, I chose the ASKAR FRA180mm lens (due for delivery this coming Monday. yay!) for a 3.6° x 3.6° FOV with my ASI 533 or twice the FOV with my Nikon DSLR. I like the direction that SharpStar is taking. This will be my second SharpStar product - the first being a Stellarvue 90mm Carbon Triplet (OEM was SharpStar) and I look forward to a simple setup. 

 

New setup will be ASKAR180 + ASI 533MC with dew heater, ZWO EAF with bracket from Deep Sky Daddy and ASIAir Pro, all fitted on a 7" dovetail, parked on a SW AZ GTI in EQ configuration smile.gif

Hi Nick, have you seen this? the images from the ASKAR FRA180 on their facebook page are amazing!! Hope you're enjoying yours! 

 

I might end up having a family of the ASKAR telescope from travel small to large!! 

Attached Thumbnails

  • FMA180.JPG

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