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Should I consider an OM-1?

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#1 Phillip Creed

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 09:10 AM

Have a modded Nikon D5300.  It's working fine for doing the occasional wide astro shot with my 135mm f/2 Samyang...

...which is my only lens.

I bring this up because at some point I'd like to go to a mirrorless camera.  Having only one cheap lens doesn't exactly cement me into Team Nikon.

Also what doesn't weld me to Team Nikon is the anecdotes of concentric colored rings that are showing up in Nikon cameras.

Whatever camera I get, I'd still like to do some Milky Way shots with it, so astro performance is important and concentric ring issues with Nikons or Canon's banding is something I'd like to avoid.

I'd consider going to a Sony A6700 if -- IF -- I could find something -- ANYTHING -- on its performance when modded.

One interest of mine is eventually doing some wildlife photography.  In that sense, maybe an MFT camera like the OM-1 makes more sense.

Either way, a new mirrorless camera would not have astro as the primary focus...but it has to work for astro without firmware gremlins.

Anyone used an OM-1 camera for astro?  And will the files load up in DSS without backtalk?  I hear this is an issue with Fuji files.

Clear Skies,

Phil



#2 Phillip Creed

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 02:53 PM

I started off with a modded Nikon D5500.  Could never correct the white balance satisfactorily for standard photography.  

 

Some cameras are better than others when modded, and some cannot modded.  Check here:

 

https://www.spencers...as-infrared.cfm

This is for IR conversions.  I'd be just looking for an H-alpha mod.

My problem is finding testimonials from owners of the newer cameras, particularly the OM-1 (either Mark-I or -II) or the Sony A6700.

Clear Skies,

Phil



#3 daveco2

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Posted 22 May 2024 - 03:21 PM

Yes, for IR mods that involve removing the IR blocking filter that causes reduction in H alpha transmission.  A poor choice would be some Sony mirrorless types where removing the filter allows radiation from 

an LED to pass through to the sensor.  



#4 Phillip Creed

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Posted 24 May 2024 - 08:56 PM

A poor choice would be some Sony mirrorless types where removing the filter allows radiation from 

an LED to pass through to the sensor.  

Is the A6700 one of those cameras?

 

Clear Skies,

Phil



#5 vidrazor

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 03:57 PM

Why not just get a dedicated astro camera instead? By time you buy a camera and have it modded, you've spent as much, if not more, than a dedicated astro camera. A Micro Four Thirds IMX294 camera can be had for as low as $640.

I shoot with an unmodded Olympus E-M5 Mk II, which I use with Ekos on Linux machines, because there's controlling drivers for it on Linux. It works well. There's a driver for the OM-1 as well, as you can see below. I'm not aware of any ASCOM drivers for anything other than Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras.

 

The Sony cameras also suffer from the same symptoms as the Nikons. If you've  been shooting for a while, I think you're better off at this point just getting a dedicated astro camera.

Attached Thumbnails

  • om-1.jpg

Edited by vidrazor, 25 May 2024 - 06:22 PM.


#6 Phillip Creed

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 09:17 PM

I already have an Astro camera, the 533MC-Pro.

I'm looking for a camera for a lot of other things besides astro. Currently have a modded D5300 Nikon, but only one lens. And the D5300 is 11 years old.

So if I went to a mirrorless camera and picked up a set of lenses, I'd at least like to know what firmware gremlins it might have if I use that camera for the occasional wide-angle astro shot.

Clear Skies,
Phil

#7 vidrazor

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Posted 25 May 2024 - 09:25 PM

I already have an Astro camera, the 533MC-Pro.

I'm looking for a camera for a lot of other things besides astro. Currently have a modded D5300 Nikon, but only one lens. And the D5300 is 11 years old.

So if I went to a mirrorless camera and picked up a set of lenses, I'd at least like to know what firmware gremlins it might have if I use that camera for the occasional wide-angle astro shot.

Well, you could also consider something like a Nikon Z50 2 lens kit. The Nikon should readily be able to be controlled by any astro software. There's also a cheapo APS-C Canon mirrorless body, but it doesn't appear to have favorable reviews.


Edited by vidrazor, 25 May 2024 - 10:27 PM.


#8 Astro-Goat

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 12:54 PM

Have a modded Nikon D5300.  It's working fine for doing the occasional wide astro shot with my 135mm f/2 Samyang...

...which is my only lens.

I bring this up because at some point I'd like to go to a mirrorless camera.  Having only one cheap lens doesn't exactly cement me into Team Nikon.

Also what doesn't weld me to Team Nikon is the anecdotes of concentric colored rings that are showing up in Nikon cameras.

Whatever camera I get, I'd still like to do some Milky Way shots with it, so astro performance is important and concentric ring issues with Nikons or Canon's banding is something I'd like to avoid.

I'd consider going to a Sony A6700 if -- IF -- I could find something -- ANYTHING -- on its performance when modded.

One interest of mine is eventually doing some wildlife photography.  In that sense, maybe an MFT camera like the OM-1 makes more sense.

Either way, a new mirrorless camera would not have astro as the primary focus...but it has to work for astro without firmware gremlins.

Anyone used an OM-1 camera for astro?  And will the files load up in DSS without backtalk?  I hear this is an issue with Fuji files.

Clear Skies,

Phil

In general the Olympus line of cameras are top notch. I have the OMD EM 1 Mk II, III, and X.  
When I got the EM 1 Mk III, it was the 1st in the Oly line (possibly other cameras had it too?) to have an autofocusing routine called Starry AF (mods, don't delete the AF part, it means autofocus. Even on Olympus' manual it says Starry AF and not to be mistaken for "As F#@#K").  The Starry AF routine worked really well. Hopefully Oly didn't rip off some open source software to run the autofocus routine or else some people might have an ethical fit about it, LOL.  My first few shots were of the orion nebula using a star guider, not bad. I've also used dss to stack the subs without any issues.

 

With that said, the EM 1 Mk III was the last line of Olympus cameras before it was bought out by OM Digital Solutions and in turn the OM-1 was their 1st camera to be released after the company buyout.  
OM Digital Solutions was kind enough to send me a review body of the OM-1 which i got to field test it (not only for astro but from action to landscape. It has performed excellently).  With a few cosmetic changes and an updated menu change, not much has really changed between the Mk III and OM-1.  For the size and weight of the camera body and lenses it makes for a great travel kit and professional kit.

 

Added Edit: Furthermore, I've used it for sporting events and for wildlife. The 100 - 400 mm lens is so compact but can get you close to the action. Pair it with a 2.0x teleconverter and you can get some serious reach!


Edited by Acenspades, 28 May 2024 - 12:56 PM.

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#9 vidrazor

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 01:44 AM

Hopefully Oly didn't rip off some open source software to run the autofocus routine or else some people might have an ethical fit about it, LOL.

Not familiar with any open source code for star auto focus, but my Panny GX85 had it before the Oly cameras did. I find it more of gimmick as far as using it for astrophotography, and I wouldn't use the photographic lenses to shoot astro anyway.
 



#10 Craigar

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Posted 02 June 2024 - 12:04 PM

IF your light pollution is moderate or worse and the ambient temp. is not above 65f you will do very good with an Oly M 4/3 - I love them and only have experience AP wise with their E-PL5 which had very good "Low Light" specs and almost as wide of dynamic range as the next sensor generation - bought it used for $150 on fleabay

 

16 Megapx Generation 4   4608x3456 effective   iso range200-25600  12.7EV

 

https://en.wikipedia...r_Thirds_system

 

The camera's internal processing of nebulae to me is incredible and very aesthetically pleasing - before I learned the importance of using RAW files at 16 bit resolution I was just using the camera's 8-bit output files and stacking with DSS and really happy with the results - I didn't want to have to have a laptop and plug a real astro cam into it, etc. BUT when I finally did buy an Astro cam (Mallincam Ds10c imx294) I almost completely stopped using the Oly for AP .. of course I needed to use laptop but discovered I likeed it way better than working with the small screen of the Oly

 

here's my gallery album using with the E-PL5 and a C8 SCT

 
and it produced my favorite Orion Nebulea in many ways - using 8-bit subframes - and much darker skies than my "Disneyland" backyard
M42 from Topanga State Park bortle 6  11/13/21

 


Edited by Craigar, 02 June 2024 - 12:07 PM.

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#11 Phillip Creed

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 12:28 PM

 

IF your light pollution is moderate or worse and the ambient temp. is not above 65f you will do very good with an Oly M 4/3 - I love them and only have experience AP wise with their E-PL5 which had very good "Low Light" specs and almost as wide of dynamic range as the next sensor generation - bought it used for $150 on fleabay

 

16 Megapx Generation 4   4608x3456 effective   iso range200-25600  12.7EV

 

https://en.wikipedia...r_Thirds_system

 

The camera's internal processing of nebulae to me is incredible and very aesthetically pleasing - before I learned the importance of using RAW files at 16 bit resolution I was just using the camera's 8-bit output files and stacking with DSS and really happy with the results - I didn't want to have to have a laptop and plug a real astro cam into it, etc. BUT when I finally did buy an Astro cam (Mallincam Ds10c imx294) I almost completely stopped using the Oly for AP .. of course I needed to use laptop but discovered I likeed it way better than working with the small screen of the Oly

 

here's my gallery album using with the E-PL5 and a C8 SCT

 
 
and it produced my favorite Orion Nebulea in many ways - using 8-bit subframes - and much darker skies than my "Disneyland" backyard
 

 

 

If I went to MFT, I'd prefer the OM-1 to get the more sensitive sensor.  For a Sony, the A6700 looks promising.  Mostly -- MOSTLY -- for general photography, but I'm specifically looking into how these models also handle astro without firmware gremlins.

Olympus has some very nice lens offerings.  An OM-1 combined with a 12-40mm f/2.8 and 40-150mm f/4 gives me the full frame equivalent of 24mm - 300mm with just two lenses.  Not CHEAP lenses, but very compact.

For a Sony A6700 (does ANYONE out there have one and use it for astro?), my first choice would be the 35-150mm f/2-f/2.8 Tamron.  Expensive, but sharp and universally renowned plus for general use I prefer zooms to primes.

Avoiding full-frame because of bulk, cost and the PITA Factor of many telescopes not fully illuminating the sensor should I hook the camera body to them.

Clear Skies,

Phil


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#12 vidrazor

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 09:50 PM

If I went to MFT, I'd prefer the OM-1 to get the more sensitive sensor.  For a Sony, the A6700 looks promising.  Mostly -- MOSTLY -- for general photography, but I'm specifically looking into how these models also handle astro without firmware gremlins.
Olympus has some very nice lens offerings.  An OM-1 combined with a 12-40mm f/2.8 and 40-150mm f/4 gives me the full frame equivalent of 24mm - 300mm with just two lenses.  Not CHEAP lenses, but very compact.
For a Sony A6700 (does ANYONE out there have one and use it for astro?), my first choice would be the 35-150mm f/2-f/2.8 Tamron.  Expensive, but sharp and universally renowned plus for general use I prefer zooms to primes.
Avoiding full-frame because of bulk, cost and the PITA Factor of many telescopes not fully illuminating the sensor should I hook the camera body to them.
Clear Skies,

Phil

Someone just gave me the aforementioned Nikon Z50 2 lens kit as a gift for throwing a MF twin lens, some 35mm and MFT optics, and a bunch of studio lighting gear his way, so I will be testing that body out with Ekos. Although I won't regularly be using it with the supplied 50-250mm telephoto, I may shoot some shots with it just to see what the kit lens will render. I don't expect much from the telephoto kit lens tho, I'll probably have to shoot at f/8 or 10 with it. The Z50's 4.2 ┬Ám sensor should work well with my 102mm, and even my C5, although it will vignette greatly on that. I'm also tempted to pick up the IMX294 MFT camera for $640, which is a good deal for that. They're even throwing in a 7nm dual band filter in for free.


Edited by vidrazor, 04 June 2024 - 02:10 AM.

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#13 Astro-Goat

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Posted 04 June 2024 - 10:23 AM

If I went to MFT, I'd prefer the OM-1 to get the more sensitive sensor.  For a Sony, the A6700 looks promising.  Mostly -- MOSTLY -- for general photography, but I'm specifically looking into how these models also handle astro without firmware gremlins.

Olympus has some very nice lens offerings.  An OM-1 combined with a 12-40mm f/2.8 and 40-150mm f/4 gives me the full frame equivalent of 24mm - 300mm with just two lenses.  Not CHEAP lenses, but very compact.

For a Sony A6700 (does ANYONE out there have one and use it for astro?), my first choice would be the 35-150mm f/2-f/2.8 Tamron.  Expensive, but sharp and universally renowned plus for general use I prefer zooms to primes.

Avoiding full-frame because of bulk, cost and the PITA Factor of many telescopes not fully illuminating the sensor should I hook the camera body to them.

Clear Skies,

Phil

I can speak on the 12 - 40mm 2.8. It's my go to everyday/travel,,very excellent kit.

If you are going with the 40 - 150 f/4 i'd recommend the 40 -150 f/2.8 version. I know the f/4 version is smaller but having that f/2.8 does better in low light from my many many hundred of hours of professional use.


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#14 Phillip Creed

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 07:42 AM

I can speak on the 12 - 40mm 2.8. It's my go to everyday/travel,,very excellent kit.

If you are going with the 40 - 150 f/4 i'd recommend the 40 -150 f/2.8 version. I know the f/4 version is smaller but having that f/2.8 does better in low light from my many many hundred of hours of professional use.

Is yours modded or unmodded?  And how do those lenses work for astro?

Clear Skies,

Phil



#15 Astro-Goat

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Posted 07 June 2024 - 09:58 AM

Is yours modded or unmodded?  And how do those lenses work for astro?

Clear Skies,

Phil

My cameras are unmodded since i use them for other work besides astrophotography.  
The lens I used for astro work was the 40 - 150mm F2.8 and the results were similar to Craigar's photo (see his comment above).  

My first 3 sessions were with the Oly but I quickly grew into the hobby and got a dedicated ZWO camera for astro work and leave my Oly for other work.

Check out The Narrowband channel on Youtube ( Ben (the host) has done extensive work using the Oly camera and also has had tremendous results.




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