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EAA vs NV

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#1 GOLGO13

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 10:57 PM

One of the reasons I do NV is because I don't want to deal with extensive setup and cords etc. I can use NV with an alt/az mount and get instant images.

 

Still, sometimes I have considered what it would be like to do EAA. However, when I look at the EAA image thread, the majority of the ones I saw were 60-90 minute images (which doesn't seem to be EAA at all). When I think of EAA it's very short exposures...like something where you see an image in 20 seconds and maybe let it build for a few minutes and then done.

 

I'm pretty sure I am not going to be interested in doing EAA unless it's extremely easy and very short timeframes. Honestly, even doing cell phone pictures with NV was fairly annoying to me and frustrating. But I think the cell phone itself maybe why. I was able to make it work, but my images were not super great.

 

While I'm pretty sure I would get annoyed and go back to my alt/az NV, I am interested to hear from folks who have done both types. I know we have a few imagers, but I believe most people doing NV are like me, they don't want to deal with imaging and want real time observing. I think even 5 minutes wouldn't feel real time to me. But I could see something like 20 second exposures that stack and get better over time would be OK.

 

I have a feeling I'll eventually get some sort of Stellina type thing once that becomes more common and cheaper. Anything that is plug and play and extremely easy would be probably the only way I'm going to get into imaging/EAA.

 

So, my question is have any of you guys done EAA (short EAA) and NV?



#2 GOLGO13

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 11:36 PM

This maybe relevant to the recent thread on immersive question on NV. Would EAA just not feel like you are observing? I guess its kind of in-between.

 

Back in 2005 I was part of Slooh.com (which is still around). It was basically EAA. They would have 5 and 10 minute sessions. So, let's say the scopes were on the Lagoon nebula. After 20 seconds or so an image would form. It would get better over time as the images stacked. In fact, my picture next to my name came from a Slooh image. The scopes were in very dark skies in the Canary Islands.

 

Anyway, I thought that was OK even though it wasn't real time. But it also was a bit different than the telescope observing experience. 

 

But then again, it can come down to what's the point of doing this in my mind. I'm not sure EAA would feel like observing enough when all is said and done. Sure I would have some keepsake images, but would the juice be worth the squeeze. Full blown imaging make some awesome images for people that are good at it. But, it's craziness and really unappealing to me. I think I rather just look at other folks' images than try to learn and setup that type of thing.

 

It's late and I'm rambling, but just trying to make sense of all this. Probably best to consider a Stellina type scope in the future, and stick to glass and NV for normal observing. Because NV feels like normal observing to me. Real time, alt/az capable, etc.



#3 scoale

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 01:38 AM

Hi GOLGO13.

 

Moving from B4 to B8 skies completely neutered my 8" LX90, and was killing my enthusiasm for astronomy.  My B8 skies led me to consider increased aperture, NV, and EAA as options to deal with my light pollution predicament.

 

I started by upgrading to a C11 - which turned out to not be as much of a difference as I had hoped.  Views of clusters and brighter nebula were definitely better with the 8" under my previous B4 skies than with the 11" under my current B8 skies.

 

I then decided to take the NV plunge.  NV has definitely been a difference maker on nebula, and has considerably brightened clusters - though at the expense of a less sharp image.  NV has not been a big difference maker on galaxies - for reasons I understand.

 

That brings me to EAA.  I prefer real-time views through glass, which is why I started with NV first.  That said, where EAA fits for me is in the the light weight, grab & go, quick setup, fully integrated, ease of use - combined with the ability to easily share the experience with family members (and it bridges the galaxies gap).  Consequently, I ordered an eVscope2.  The new eyepiece and higher-res camera put me over the top.   I fully understand that I could put together a more capable, less costly, setup - but I valued an out-of-the-box integrated solution.

 

In summary, I'll use:

  • C11 w/o NV for solar system.  C11 is on an alt/az mount because I prefer setup simplicity and viewing position.
  • NV hand-held when I want to browse wide views of the Milky Way (and with a Ha filter to view large nebula).  Grab & go, using in minutes.
  • C11 with Televue afocal NV 67mm setup and AP .75 reducer gives me F/3.  Ha filter for nebula and higher power (27 panoptic) for clusters
  • EAA for quick setup and enough capability to view just about anything - including galaxies.  I think this will be a family favorite, too.

I'm imagining using hand-held NV and eVscope2 for quick, week night sessions, and bringing-out the C11 on weekends.

 

 



#4 Trentend

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 06:58 AM

There are many many fantastic images captured by AA’s out there and I have nothing but praise and awe for the effort that goes in to making these. But for me you just can’t beat visual (and I count NV as that). If I want to see a hubble type quality view I’ll google it.


Edited by Trentend, 15 October 2021 - 06:59 AM.

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#5 GOLGO13

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 07:31 AM

There are many many fantastic images captured by AA’s out there and I have nothing but praise and awe for the effort that goes in to making these. But for me you just can’t beat visual (and I count NV as that). If I want to see a hubble type quality view I’ll google it.


That has been my thoughts also in the past. I like to keep things as simple as possible. Even setting up an EQ mount is a bit bothersome to me most of the time. So I just have to keep that in mind.

#6 stnagy

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 01:31 PM

Every so often I get the itch to do EAA. I use the same telescopes I use with NV for EAA, I just have a pre-assembled imaging train that I can put into the back of the focuser. I use the ASIAIR Pro so that I don't need to use a laptop out in the field (or in my yard). I use an alt-az mount (AZ Mount Pro) to avoid needing to polar align. 

 

For galaxies and reflection nebula, I find EAA clearly outperforms NV. For other objects like emission nebula, dark nebula, and clusters, I find EAA and NV to be roughly on par, with EAA giving better image scale and obviously allowing for color viewing. 

 

EAA takes longer to set up for than NV does, though, maybe 15-20 minutes. I typically need to run an alignment visually first before relying on the imaging train to make sure the gotos and tracking are as accurate as possible. If the tracking is off, the EAA images will show more blur and star trails than I like. I prefer to capture exposures somewhere between 10-30s to pull out as much detail as possible, so the sky tracking needs to be pretty solid. After inserting the imaging train, I connect all the wires and run a focusing routine to make sure the stars are sharp. After that, it's basically select a target and hit go. The ASIAIR Pro takes care of the rest. 

 

When it all works on the first try, EAA can be a nice experience. I lose the sense of awe I get from viewing something live, but I can also do it from inside the house, where it's warm :) When something isn't quite working right, though, it can get frustrating.

 

Ultimately, for me, I still prefer night vision observing, but EAA has its place, too. 

 

My two cents ... if you already have a decent goto mount, EAA can be a nice compliment. You're probably looking at around $1000 investment to get a good cooled color camera (ASI294MC Pro, maybe) and an ASIAIR device. There are other options but these make things very easy. If you have an Az Mount Pro (or something similar), you can run EAA and NV at the same time, too, provided you're careful about not touching the mount or telescope. 


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#7 GOLGO13

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 02:54 PM

I think any sort of long setup time and frustration would kill it for me. Probably best for me to stick to night vision until one of the all in one Stellina type scopes become more appealing. Currently they seem a bit pricey for what they deliver.
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#8 ButterFly

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 02:54 PM

EAA is good couch astronomy.  It gets cold here.  We have already hit 17F at night this year.  It's October!  EAA and imaging differ only in the amount of post-processing done.  While gathering the images, I can stack stack them live.  When heading in for warmup sessions, I can take a peek.  With just visual, it was a fairly awful thing to do.  Going in after two hours to look at a bright screen for a ten minute warmup session is not ideal.  With an intensifier, much less of a big deal.

 

Pick up a guide camera from a used ad and dabble.  It does take a while to get a good flow and have everything set up just right.  But once you work out a flow, each session can be set up fairly quickly.  Setting up the mount each time adds time, but that can be done at dusk.  Save the individual images from your stack.  Post-processing is a lot of work, but you can always throw away data that you saved, but you can't make garbage appear out of nowhere.

 

The advantage over visual, or an intensifier, is the color.  A full blown filter wheel with mono setup for EAA is over the top for starters.  Color CMOS is easy peasy.  When live stacking is available on Android, I will certainly be sticking that on the PVS14, and bare eyepeice.  No doubt about that.

 

A SiOnyx may be up your alley already.  Look through cnoct's posts.


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#9 bobhen

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 05:58 AM

I shot astro-video (short exposure EAA) for 15-years and have been using an Image Intensifier for over 5 years. When I was doing EAA B&W cameras were more sensitive and that is what I used. EAA and NV are different. Here are my thoughts…

 

EAA…
If your goal is to shoot short exposures with a camera, the process and mechanics are really about the same as long exposure imaging but without the post-processing.

 

EAA is more closely related to long exposure imaging than it is to visual observing. The set up, ergonomics, equipment needed, process at the scope, etc., all have an imaging feel, there is nothing related to visual observing about the experience.

 

Having said the above, the camera will show really “amazing details” and in a very short time (10 to 60 seconds) – you will no doubt be amazed. And you will see more details in deep sky objects than with an intensifier. Real-time, no matter how powerful cannot compete with even short exposures for details. And EAA can be less and sometime much less expensive.

 

Night Vision…
Using an image intensifier feels like observing because you look into an eyepiece (not at a computer screen) you don’t need power and you can even use a non-driven alt/az mount. It’s simple and yet very powerful, which is a seductive combination.

 

NV is much easier to set up and yet powerful enough to allow for real-time views of “previously impossible to see objects” or enhanced views of the brighter objects. The thrill of low power wide field observing with an intensifier just cannot be overstated. Any scope can be used, from a camera lens to a large Dobsonian, and they all deliver different yet thrilling views.

 

The more complicated set up of EAA had me doing regular visual observing on many nights that were just not perfect enough to set up using the camera. With NV I can do short sessions, even handheld sessions or, if the conditions are good, stay out as long as I want. NV suits my location, generally poor weather conditions here in the NE and my observing style more than EAA.

 

Both EAA and NV have shone me wonders that I never thought I would see from my location. Both have had me mumbling a “wow” at the scope! And both are impressive technologies. So it comes down to one’s observing style, one’s observing goals, location and the ergonomics more than one being better than the other.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 16 October 2021 - 05:59 AM.

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#10 GOLGO13

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Posted 16 October 2021 - 10:19 AM

Great perspective guys. I think I should stick to NV unless EAA becomes a bit simpler (in an affordable package). 

 

If galaxies were my primary goal, I could see going the EAA route. I'm not as concerned able galaxies when observing, but I do like seeing pictures of them.

 

I really enjoy as simple a setup as possible and not fiddling around too much. Even with NV I sometimes have to remind myself to keep things simple. 

 

My main goal right now is to get an alt/az mount with encoders and can support my scopes (both visual and NV). My Unistar mount does well, but no encoders.

 

My 10 inch dob with NV is pretty much perfect. I have the Intelliscope encoders. That process for alignment is extremely easy and reliable. The 10 inch dob provides a bit of image scale, but also can be reduced pretty good with the 67mm setup. The aperture helps a little as well. Using the 6 inch F5 refractor gives me the capability of extreme wide fields of view. The 8 inch F10 SCT gives me image scale for Globulars and small planetary nebulas. It'd be nice to have all three setup. But if I could only setup one scope (and I probably should do that most of the time), the 10 inch dob does the best job for NV.

 

I think EAA would probably make me a bit crazy. Looking at most quick exposure EAA images, they look either similar to NV or slightly worse. Depending on the object of course. Only galaxies seem to really benefit from the quick EAA. Long exposure (even 30 minutes) doesn't seem worthwhile to me. Then it's imaging and taking way too long to do.



#11 Terra Nova

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 07:15 AM

I completely agree with you that EAA, in the CN Forum by that name, appears to me to be nothing more than another AP forum. For me, EAA is and was what used to be synonymous with what we called ‘video astronomy’ twenty years ago, that being real time or near real time (short integrated stack) display of images on a monitor, (going directly from the imager to the monitor), not long period data collection and subsequent image processing with a computer. I’m not into AP. I have zero interest in it. I have, however dabbled in video astronomy for years.




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