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OGMA AP26CC Review - Loving it so far....

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#1 WhooptieDo

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Posted 24 June 2023 - 11:48 AM

Hello my Astrophotography Friends...

 

Many folks keep asking me, "How do you like your OGMA camera??"

I've been lurking CN since I started astrophotography a little under a year ago.  This hobby has become a passion for me very quickly.   Once I picked up a second scope, I realized it was time to get a new camera.  I, like many, debated if I should spend full price on a new QHY camera to compliment the 268M I already had.... or should I try one of those 'other brands'?

The Touptek/RisingCam IMX571 camera was becoming a hot topic at the time.   Lots of satisfied folks were providing feedback and reviews on various social media outlets.   It certainly looked appealing, but given that these cameras were still an investment for most, personally my biggest concern was support.  What would happen should the camera fail?   RisingCam was sold on Aliexpress, a china based retailer. What kind of nightmare would this be?  An acquaintance of mine had already been going through a year long nightmare with his QHY camera.

In came OGMA.   Of course, the first thought was... who the heck is OGMA?  Kinda sounds like just another chinese brand.  Well, thanks to the wonderful world of Google, I managed some research and discovered OGMA is actually a company based in Raleigh, NC.   Honestly my first discovery of the camera was through facebook marketplace.  Being a new company, there was VERY little about the camera's reputation, or the company.

I reached out to OGMA via a Facebook ad I saw, inquiring into the new company.  I was greeted by a man named Juan Martinez.  Juan was quick to answer any questions I had, and especially my concerns about support.   Without surprise, I learned OGMA is in fact built by Touptek.  The key difference is Juan is working directly with the designers and manufacturers, capitalizing on issues discovered with some of the first iterations of Touptek, and applying positive changes to the OGMA camera, making it better.  The firmware is also different.  OGMA also has native driver support integrated into NINA.   Don't quote me, but I believe OGMA was the first to have native driver support in HF 2.2 version.   Juan also claims most repairs he should be able to do in Raleigh, should something go wrong.

I've had the AP26CC (Color cam) now for roughly 3 months, and it's been nothing but a dream to use.   I chose the color version to get some 'experience' with color cams, since I started out with a full mono setup.   I've often compared it to my QHY268M.   My 268 was initially a pain to set up because the driver installation isn't intuitive.   The 268 also has some wierd issue where if I come back the next day, all I get is a black image, forcing me to shut down and power off the entire system in order to resolve it.      None of these were an issue with the OGMA.   It has worked 100% of the time, every time.

  
I am not a technical man by any means, I just like to make pretty pictures.  If you want to see a sensor analysis chart, feel free to search CN here, or you can see a sensor analysis for the mono version on the OGMA website:
https://getogma.com/...analysis-ap26mc

 

 

Here's some of the juicy important details:

 

OGMA comes with 17.5mm of backspacing.

The camera has the typical 6 screw pattern that matches up with things like QHY's ecosystem.   The key difference is the screw size is 2.5mm on the OGMA vs 3mm on QHY.    I cannot comment on ZWO, but I would guess they're 2.5mm.   I hope someone here can chime in.   Currently I am using QHY OAG-M and it matches up without any issue (other than changing out the screws).

The thread size on the camera is 42mm female.

The cooler system claims a temperature delta of up to -40C.   I've never pushed that hard, but comparing my QHY, the OGMA cooler seems to use roughly the same amount of power.  I'm usually imaging around -10C, and my nights are usually around 20C.    On a 15C night, I took both cameras down to -10C, both coolers used approximately 50% power.

Currently, when you buy the color cam, it comes WITH a filter holder and filter.   Both are branded by OGMA, but Juan assured me the filter was made by a reputable company, but he could not tell.  I can only speculate, but based on the 'details' of the filter.... I suspect it is an Optolong.  The filter holder is really nice quality and occupies 21mm of backspacing, 42mm male threads on one side, 48mm male on the other side.  Combine this with the camera, and you have 16.5mm of backspacing left to put you at the standard 55mm.   The filter overall is good BUT, I will go into more detail later as it is not ideal for my setup.

 

 

How about some astrophotos?   All these photos were taken from my backyard in eastern North Carolina, Bortle 4.

 

 

Here's M106.    A 16 hour project utilizing my 8" (GSO) Newtonian with Starizona 0.75 Coma Corrector, putting me at F/3     This is 194 frames at 300 seconds a piece.   LCG Mode, Gain 100 with an offset of 256.    The bright stars do exhibit some signs of halo with the OGMA Filter, but realistically this is not a fault of the filter.  I'm asking wayyy too much of it at F/3.   To be honest, it performed still rather well.   Many faint background galaxies were observed.   The blue channel was still improving, but weather started becoming a factor and I cut the project a bit short.

 

gallery_414941_23352_2424525.png

https://www.astrobin.com/ob4cec/

 

Don't have alot of time?   The OGMA performs well with short integration times as well.    Here is 3.8 hours of Whirpool Galaxy.   54 frames at 240 seconds a piece with the same scope as above.

 

gallery_414941_23352_5601019.png

https://www.astrobin.com/yjjmgv/

 

How about Leo Triplet?   Here's 8 hours, 120 frames at 240 seconds a piece.  Again, same setup.   You may begin to notice a fault in my data acquisition.    My stars are VERY bright.    I've been pushing the exposure time to the max honestly.  This was some of my first rounds with the Starizona, and I learned F/3 is no joke.    The stars however are still not blown, with the exception of maybe the brightest one or two.   Being that they're so bright though, I was having a rough time balancing them when theres so much background signal acquired as well.

 

gallery_414941_23352_6834675.png

https://www.astrobin.com/7hz1j4/C/

 

Lastly, I have an image of M101 from before the supernova.  In the case of this image, I used my Paracorr coma corrector instead, which changed my focal ratio to F/4.5   The halos are much more under control, but this was the image that led me to discover an issue with some pinched optics using my paracorr.   It's far from my favorite image, but it has some appeal, but many things to improve upon.   This is 120 frames, 240 second exposure totalling 8 hours.

 

gallery_414941_23352_3498377.png

https://www.astrobin.com/arbagb/

 

 

 

You're welcome to critique my processes, as I am still comparatively very new to Astro.

 

The ONLY quarrel I have with the camera at this moment, is one that is present on all versions of the Touptek.    Typically a single exposure every night comes in with a large band in the middle.  It's just one and hasn't been much of an inconvenience, but it does exist. The rest of the signal in this image is rather weak as well, so I generally just throw away that one exposure.   I have spoken with Juan about the issue and he assures they are actively working on a solution.   Maybe by the time you read this, it could already be fixed. I'm sure OGMA will fix this long before Touptek/Risingcam does to the rest of the cameras.

  

Overall, I am very happy with my OGMA.   It's much more reliable than my QHY has ever been.  Juan has been super receptive to my communications, and I have no doubt that if something did go wrong, he'd be 100% behind his product.  I am still tweaking some settings, and will likely start running 180 second exposures as well.    With my QHY I always shot HCG mode, but I decided to go with LCG mode on the OGMA, so that's new to me.  I will likely switch to HCG mode.   The camera has since been moved over to my Meade Quad 70mm, which will be much more forgiving for the UV/IR filter.    I can't downtalk it since I was asking much more than it was ever capable of.   Weather here, combined with smoke, has not been favorable lately.  I had really hoped to produce more imagery with the camera.   I would gladly buy the camera again.  I do have plans to get my hands on the mono version at some point.

 

 

If you have any questions feel free to ask.   I plan on continuing to image more with this camera once the weather becomes favorable.    Once I do, I will be posting them in my astrobin gallery @ https://www.astrobin...ers/WhooptieDo/


Edited by WhooptieDo, 24 June 2023 - 11:54 AM.

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#2 rgsalinger

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Posted 24 June 2023 - 12:13 PM

You can almost certainly eliminate the banding by downgrading from USB3 to USB2. I run both of my QHY268C cameras that way and it cost me about 1 second (using NINA) per exposure. It can also be solved by getting a better shorter USB3 cable in many cases. 

 

I'm not surprised that you are getting nice data, the magic is in the chip and not the camera firmware. 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#3 j21blackjack

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Posted 24 June 2023 - 07:53 PM

I have had a similar great experience with OGMA and Juan with my mono ap26mc. He helped troubleshoot a Nina issue (ended up unrelated to the camera) and quickly helped me fix an issue with the Indigosky driver. It's nice to have a competent distributor that will just call you on the phone to help work out a problem. Having 100k full well is quite crazy, even at 5 minute exposures, I barely have any pixels at max according to Nina statistics.

#4 WhooptieDo

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Posted 27 June 2023 - 05:50 AM

I have had a similar great experience with OGMA and Juan with my mono ap26mc. He helped troubleshoot a Nina issue (ended up unrelated to the camera) and quickly helped me fix an issue with the Indigosky driver. It's nice to have a competent distributor that will just call you on the phone to help work out a problem. Having 100k full well is quite crazy, even at 5 minute exposures, I barely have any pixels at max according to Nina statistics.

Juan is definitely doing a great job with this company so far.  I'm glad I took the plunge. 



#5 fmendes

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Posted 05 August 2023 - 11:11 PM

A few days ago I received an email from Ogma to confirm my address. Juan wrote that Ogma would send me, free of charge, the Ogma O'Tilter. It's a tilter/backfocus adjuster specific for the Ogma and Touptek cameras. Buyers of the Ogma camera are, at the time of writing, receiving the O'Tilter, a 12.5mm backfocus reducer, and a filter holder. Touptek users would need to spend $390 for the O'Tilter, and $39 for the backfocus reducer.

 

Today I received the O'Tilter and just had it installed. Instructions are on a video, and I highly recommend watching the instructions to prevent damage to the camera.

 

WhatsApp Image 2023-08-05 at 22.59.09.jpg WhatsApp Image 2023-08-05 at 22.59.10.jpg

 

First light tonight, visible tilt was observed with the Redcat 51. Pretty much expected, and easy to correct, although would also be easy to use the telescope's tilt plate. But since without the O'Tilter there was no tilt, I can only assume I need to adjust the first.


Edited by fmendes, 05 August 2023 - 11:13 PM.


#6 StephenL

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Posted 06 September 2023 - 03:35 PM

I'm following this thread. Seems like a great company and camera. I'm leaning towards the color version for my first astrocam as opposed to getting a used 2600MC in similar price range. The accessories are a nice bonus.


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#7 dan_hm

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Posted 06 September 2023 - 03:57 PM

What are the threads on the tilter?  M48 or M42?



#8 fmendes

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Posted 12 September 2023 - 09:05 PM

What are the threads on the tilter?  M48 or M42?

 

 

M42. It works just fine with my filter drawer.



#9 StephenL

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Posted 12 October 2023 - 01:58 PM

So, I ordered the 26CC yesterday. I emailed Juan that I finally pulled the trigger after having a back and forth with him since I had questions. He asked if I was gonna image this Saturday and I said yes. I was hoping to get it in time for the eclipse. He offered to pay the extra $20 and have it sent UPS 2nd day so I can get it tomorrow, Friday to test it out. That shipping option wasn't even on the website. That's going above and beyond in customer service. He's a stand up guy! I'm so looking forward to it.

Edited by StephenL, 12 October 2023 - 02:01 PM.

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#10 j21blackjack

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Posted 14 October 2023 - 10:55 PM

Any luck with the eclipse? I am very happy with both my MC and CC versions, and Juan is awesome.

#11 StephenL

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Posted 15 October 2023 - 03:05 AM

Any luck with the eclipse? I am very happy with both my MC and CC versions, and Juan is awesome.

I was able to capture the second half of it since the roof my garage was in the way on the first half. I had to figure out settings on the fly due to receiving the camera last evening. I'm processing the video and stills from 30GB of data.  Here's a crop straight from Sharpcap with a solar glass filter from Spectrum Telescope.

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Edited by StephenL, 15 October 2023 - 03:06 AM.

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#12 j21blackjack

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Posted 15 October 2023 - 12:08 PM

I was able to capture the second half of it since the roof my garage was in the way on the first half. I had to figure out settings on the fly due to receiving the camera last evening. I'm processing the video and stills from 30GB of data. Here's a crop straight from Sharpcap with a solar glass filter from Spectrum Telescope.


Looks great, I was able to get about 5 seconds of video with my Uranus-C pro between clouds, only about 20 usable frames, but at least it was something.
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#13 fmendes

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Posted 16 October 2023 - 08:18 AM

From Houston, TX. I used a Quattro 200p (f/4) with a cheap solar filter in front of the telescope and an Optolong l-enhance on the camera. 0.5s single exposure, no stretching.

Max.jpg


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#14 j21blackjack

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Posted 16 October 2023 - 11:19 AM

Here's a cropped portion of M33 from last week using the AP26CC and Antila Triband RGB filter on my C9.25 hyperstar. 

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#15 StephenL

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Posted 16 October 2023 - 02:50 PM

Looks great, I was able to get about 5 seconds of video with my Uranus-C pro between clouds, only about 20 usable frames, but at least it was something.

Thanks! After processing in PIPP & SIRIL

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#16 StephenL

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Posted 16 October 2023 - 02:51 PM

After the eclipse

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#17 spz56

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Posted 23 October 2023 - 01:02 PM

Thanks for the reviews. I just pulled the trigger on the AP26CC......


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#18 Blueox4

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Posted 23 October 2023 - 01:22 PM

Mine just came today! The extras Juan includes and a personally signed letter of appreciation are a real nice touch. The case is nice and knowing Juan is there for any support issues is also nice. Looking forward to using the camera. 
 

 

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#19 jerr  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 02 November 2023 - 06:46 AM

The O'Tilter is on the way. It will be used with RisingCam IMX571. Juan makes a real effort to keep his customers satisfied.

Great thanks Juan!


Edited by jerr, 02 November 2023 - 06:47 AM.

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#20 Martinez

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Posted 05 November 2023 - 05:24 PM

Guys, what a surprise stopping by on a cloudy Sunday and reading this thread!

 

Thanks to WhooptieDo for starting this thread.

 

Thanks to every one of you for supporting Ogma.

 

You just made my weekend!

 

Juan


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#21 j21blackjack

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Posted 06 November 2023 - 08:10 PM

Guys, what a surprise stopping by on a cloudy Sunday and reading this thread!

Thanks to WhooptieDo for starting this thread.

Thanks to every one of you for supporting Ogma.

You just made my weekend!

Juan


Juan, these cameras are awesome, and a such a great price. Here's my latest LRGB image, used the AP26CC to take rgb data and the AP26MC after that for the L data.

https://www.astrobin.com/yggciu/B/

#22 BobSoCal

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Posted 19 December 2023 - 06:52 PM

Just stumbled here by accident. What now? I have a SPREADSHEET!  It's got QHY, ZWO, Omegon, Player One, Touptek/RisingCam, and now OGMA? How do I decide which OSC IMX571 to buy?

 

I think I'm getting ready to order the AP26CC!


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#23 fmendes

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Posted 03 January 2024 - 10:29 PM

Just stumbled here by accident. What now? I have a SPREADSHEET!  It's got QHY, ZWO, Omegon, Player One, Touptek/RisingCam, and now OGMA? How do I decide which OSC IMX571 to buy?

 

I think I'm getting ready to order the AP26CC!

 

It's a very good camera, I have no regrets. Speaking of spreadsheets, this was the first time I heard of Ogma:

 

https://www.cloudyni...imx571-cameras/



#24 Silent_Light

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Posted 16 February 2024 - 10:31 PM

Due to this thread and several others....ordered my ap26cc this afternoon!

Figured I would buy it now and pay my cloud penance in advance 😜

#25 calypsob

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Posted 18 February 2024 - 07:14 AM

Here's a cropped portion of M33 from last week using the AP26CC and Antila Triband RGB filter on my C9.25 hyperstar. 

Nice ive been trying to find more triband data.




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