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Best option for modifying a DSLR.

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#1 Jbottari

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 11:01 AM

Hello, I have recently picked up a Canon T5i that I plan on having modded to be my dedicated astro camera. I'm looking at a few different places to have it done, but still open to suggestions. Right now it seems there are a few ways to get it modded. H-alpha and sulfur ii, full spectrum, or bare sensor. I'm unsure which would be the best option for Deep sky imaging (galaxies, nebula, star clusters, etc). I'm also not crazy about having to buy/add more filters after the fact, which it seems like they are needed for full spectrum mod, but if that's the better way to go I'll just suck it up. I'm leaning towards the standard H-alpha, Sulfur ii, but definitely looking for some more experienced input before i send it out. Thank you for any advice you have.



#2 sg6

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 11:08 AM

My advice is rather extreme: Keep the cash, save some more and get an Astro camera like one of the ZWO's.

 

No DSLR was intended for AP. One can be made to do it but never really fully and you have to apply work rounds.

 

I would always say if you have a spare DSLR then OK use it. But buying a DSLR then modifing and getting filters is likely to add up to a similar cost as a better suited AP camera.


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#3 Huangdi

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 11:08 AM

For standard DSO astrophotography, a Halpha mod is all you need.


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#4 Jbottari

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 11:31 AM

My advice is rather extreme: Keep the cash, save some more and get an Astro camera like one of the ZWO's.

 

No DSLR was intended for AP. One can be made to do it but never really fully and you have to apply work rounds.

 

I would always say if you have a spare DSLR then OK use it. But buying a DSLR then modifing and getting filters is likely to add up to a similar cost as a better suited AP camera.

Thanks for the reply. I was going to put this in my original post, but it was getting a little long winded. I understand the astro cams are better, but i got this camera quite cheap, I'm going to be around $350-$450 total, depending on where i get it done. I think that's significantly cheaper than a good quality astro cam, especially if i went monochrome then have to add filters. Also, my setup isn't quite good enough to warrant an astro cam yet either,  (6se on a wedge), and I'm not upgrading that any time soon as far as i can see. Also, I'm not quite ready to have to bring the lap top out for every session. I appreciate the advice though, and I'll probably get there someday. 



#5 Jbottari

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 11:33 AM

For standard DSO astrophotography, a Halpha mod is all you need.

Thank you. I was concerned about people saying it wouldn't be any good for galaxies. I understand that it might not help quite as much with galaxies vs. Nebula, but certainly don't want to make it worse. 



#6 Huangdi

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 11:55 AM

Thank you. I was concerned about people saying it wouldn't be any good for galaxies. I understand that it might not help quite as much with galaxies vs. Nebula, but certainly don't want to make it worse. 

It actually helps quite a bit with many galaxies. Especially the bigger ones (M101, M31, M33, M81, M82) all have a lot of H-Alpha in them, your modification will enable you to capture that. It most certainly won't make things worse.


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#7 endlessky

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 12:01 PM

Hi, I have a Nikon D5300 which I astromodified myself for DSO imaging. I removed the stock filter and added a UV/IR cut filter in its place. It works as a charm.

 

You do not need any other filters to be used, but you do need a UV/IR cut filter. If you go full spectrum, the whole light spectrum that the sensor is sensitive to will be recorded in the final image. Unfortunately, with lenses, not all wavelengths focus at the same point. This phenomenon is more evident as the light approaches the "bluer" (UV) and "redder" (IR) parts of the spectrum, resulting in bloated stars. I haven't tried imaging with the barebone sensor, because I put the UV/IR cut filter in front of the sensor, before closing the camera back up, but I can tell you that I do not see any weird color fringing or bloated stars in the images I have been taking so far (I have been using normal kit DSLR lenses).

 

So, my suggestion is to have it modified with a UV/IR cut filter. That's really all you need. Placing other filters later on (such as a light pollution filter or a narrow band filter - I know they make clip-in filters for Canon, so you will have some options) is only needed if you have other necessities due to light pollution, or if you want to image only some particular wavelengths, but these filters are absolutely not needed for the camera astromodification.


Edited by endlessky, 04 July 2020 - 12:03 PM.

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#8 Ettu

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 12:19 PM

just my opinion

Caveat - I've only had and used unmodified dslr's or Ha modified (and in one case, an active cooling mod as well). Never had a full spectrum or bare sensor (by that I assume you mean no RGGB micro lenses)

 

Unmodified -  good stars, okay galaxies (greatly attenuated Ha regions), neutered emission nebula, and the most important/abundant astro info, and color. 

 

Ha modified - agree with others comments about it in this thread, Opens the "eye" to what's out there without confusion from IR & UV. Camera is still acceptable for "most" daytime photography - using the custom white balance capability.

 

Full spectrum - If you're interested in IR, and UV, otherwise a hinderance

 

Bare sensor - might as well get a dedicated monochrome camera

 

Finally, if you're going to do a mod, and you're intending to use this camera primarily/exclusively for astro, you might want to consider an active cooling mod too. It's the best (cheapest) time to do so, pay for opening the camera once. Pricy imo - but …. the time to consider it.


Edited by Ettu, 04 July 2020 - 12:22 PM.

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#9 Jbottari

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 01:24 PM

It actually helps quite a bit with many galaxies. Especially the bigger ones (M101, M31, M33, M81, M82) all have a lot of H-Alpha in them, your modification will enable you to capture that. It most certainly won't make things worse.

Thanks man, that's what i was looking i hear. I'll most likely be going with a H-alpha mod. I'll check out your YT channel for imaging and processing tips. 


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#10 Jbottari

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 01:26 PM

Hi, I have a Nikon D5300 which I astromodified myself for DSO imaging. I removed the stock filter and added a UV/IR cut filter in its place. It works as a charm.

 

You do not need any other filters to be used, but you do need a UV/IR cut filter. If you go full spectrum, the whole light spectrum that the sensor is sensitive to will be recorded in the final image. Unfortunately, with lenses, not all wavelengths focus at the same point. This phenomenon is more evident as the light approaches the "bluer" (UV) and "redder" (IR) parts of the spectrum, resulting in bloated stars. I haven't tried imaging with the barebone sensor, because I put the UV/IR cut filter in front of the sensor, before closing the camera back up, but I can tell you that I do not see any weird color fringing or bloated stars in the images I have been taking so far (I have been using normal kit DSLR lenses).

 

So, my suggestion is to have it modified with a UV/IR cut filter. That's really all you need. Placing other filters later on (such as a light pollution filter or a narrow band filter - I know they make clip-in filters for Canon, so you will have some options) is only needed if you have other necessities due to light pollution, or if you want to image only some particular wavelengths, but these filters are absolutely not needed for the camera astromodification.

Thanks for the info. I'm probably going to go with the H-alpha modification, but i do have an Astronomik CLS filter because I'm in a bortle 9. I've only had a couple chances to use it, so I'm not sure of it's effectiveness yet, but am wondering how it will factor in after i have the mod done. 



#11 Jbottari

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 01:30 PM

just my opinion

Caveat - I've only had and used unmodified dslr's or Ha modified (and in one case, an active cooling mod as well). Never had a full spectrum or bare sensor (by that I assume you mean no RGGB micro lenses)

 

Unmodified -  good stars, okay galaxies (greatly attenuated Ha regions), neutered emission nebula, and the most important/abundant astro info, and color. 

 

Ha modified - agree with others comments about it in this thread, Opens the "eye" to what's out there without confusion from IR & UV. Camera is still acceptable for "most" daytime photography - using the custom white balance capability.

 

Full spectrum - If you're interested in IR, and UV, otherwise a hinderance

 

Bare sensor - might as well get a dedicated monochrome camera

 

Finally, if you're going to do a mod, and you're intending to use this camera primarily/exclusively for astro, you might want to consider an active cooling mod too. It's the best (cheapest) time to do so, pay for opening the camera once. Pricy imo - but …. the time to consider it.

Thanks for the info, i especially like the part you said on the h-alpha mod, "without the confusion from ir&uv". That's right up my alley. Thank you for breaking each one done into basic terms. Cooling mod is a great idea, I'll have to check which companies offer that and for how much. 



#12 mmalik

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Posted 04 July 2020 - 01:52 PM

Mod types here.... Regards


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