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Final Atik 460 sanity check please


kirkster501
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After lots of dithering and reading up, I pretty sure (short of a home financial catastrophe [not an unknown at Kirkster501 towers]) I am going to bite the bullet and buy an Atik 460/EFW2/Baader Filter set (the high quality ones) shortly. I have been watching ABS but none have come up during the three months that I have been watching. So I will need to buy new. I will add narrowband filters later when bank balance has recovered a bit. My rationale for going for the 460 is that whilst I am sure the 314L is probably very nice, I am the sort that, a year down the road I will have wished I'd gone for the bigger sensor. I just know I will. So what the heck, throw another £1k at it now and give me a platform for five years or more.

Whilst I have FSQ85 ambitions in the next two years, my second name is not "Abramovich" so the 460 will need to work on my ED80 scope with my 0.85 reducer. CCD gives that at F6.38 at 1.4 x 1.12 degrees and 1.84"/pixel. This would be my "wide field" setup for nebulae and bigger galaxy targets like M31 and M33.

Also, I want the 460 to work well on my RC8 scope with CCDT67 reducer. This works out at at F5.36 with 39.45 x 31.6 minutes at 0.86/pixel. This would be my "up close" setup for stuff like GC's, PN's and individual galaxies. I know that 0.86 is on the low side….

I have seen good results with both scopes on various imaging websites. All the same, interested in a critique of my thoughts and any suggestions more expert folk may have please? Do you agree that the 460 is a better choice longer term than the 314 for instance? I know Olly, Sara, Anton ad several others have been mightily impressed with this camera. But they have better refractors than me. Would the 460 be "wasted" on the ED80? I think not but appreciate an opinion. If the 314 was a better choice I would go for that.

Appreciate I have booted a thread before in a similar vein. However, its the specifics now that I am interested in... :-)

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Yes ....... get the 460 - You will not be disappointed. As good as the 314L+ is, I bet you'll always wish you had a larger fov if you went for it.

The ONLY downside for the 460 v's the 314L+ as I see it is the cost. But, if you are able to afford that then for me it's an absolute no brainer. You get a nice widefield with it, a lovely sensitive chip and you can crop in to 314L+ proportions with no problem at all. What is there not to like?

I don't think there's ever a case that the 460 will be wasted with your setup.

Edited by swag72
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The small pixels of the 460 match very well with the 80ED reduced, but with the GSO RC (@ 1600mm) I think you can use the binning mode for get a better sampling. With the AP reducer, you got 1000mm focal lenght with the GSO, and a 0,9 arcsec/pixel sampling. If you plan to use often the short f/l, the 460 is the better choice, and may be worth the higher price.. :smiley:

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Gee whiz, that seems pretty conclusive. Thanks. What do Olly and Steppenwolf think?

I can afford it OK, just about. Expensive for sure but doable. Might have to rein in my spending elsewhere (like road bikes) to afford that extra £1k.

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Here is a side by side simulation of the 314 vs the 460 on the 80ED with reducer:

post-18840-0-71897600-1371763929_thumb.p

And here is one of the 314 vs the 460 on the RC8 with reducer:

post-18840-0-92735400-1371763948_thumb.p

Links to the four setups here if you want to try them out on different targets:

314 - 80ED

460 - 80ED

314 - RC8

460 - RC8

The FSQ is also in the database if you want to give that a whirl, just sayin' ;)

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I have had the 314l+ for a couple of years and to be honest I've never wished I had a bigger chip. Why not save yourself £1k and just work on a mosaic if you cant fit the target on the chip in one go?

Just playing devils advocate :)

Edited by johnrt
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I've just upgraded from 314L+ to a 460EX and am finding it wonderful. My first image with it was a mosaic of N.A. Nebula and the Pelican (4 frames). When I had the 314L+ I did the Pelican but simply would not have the time or energy to tackle the whole of that area.

If you can afford it go for it - you will not be disappointed. The 314L+ is however a wonderful camera and is great for a start. The 460EX mono is reckoned to be more sensitive and of higher resolution than the 314L+.

Dave

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I think I'd go for the 460. I used a 16HR for many years but did feel increasingly squeezed by the chip size. As pointed out above, you'd do well to bin the pixels at the long FL. It's very unlikely that this would really reduce resolution.

The 460 won't be wasted in an ED80. It won't get anywhere near the limits of the image circle. However, it would be a gargantuan waste of an FSQ to put a small chip in it. You are paying a lot of money for that huge flat field so you wouldn't want to waste it.

While I like the EFW2 I would say that the most obvious economy I would make (possibly a short term one) would be here. I used a manual wheel for all my Atik 4000/Baby Q images. If cash is tight a second hand manual wheel would cost zilch and make precisely no difference whatever to your pictures.

Olly

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I agree that if you're going to be around to turn the filter wheel by hand then a manual wheel is fine and a great cost saving. However, for me the EFW2 was well worth it because we get very little imaging time in the UK and I want to image during the "small hours" when I need to sleep. With the EFW2 and Atik's Artemis Capture software I can set up to image all through the night with the Sequencer in Artemis. I need my sleep nowadays because I am an official carer during the day and also have to take care of our smallholding so my time is no longer all my own. Other imagers will be in a similar position due to work or other commitments.

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Interesting comment about the FSQ Olly. I guess I knew that the very big flat field was a reason for the high price but it hadn't really dawned on me that that was the main reason for the high price and that it would just be wasted on smaller image sensors. I think I shall be concentrating on cameras in the reasonable future though after the 460 I might think about something faster to replace the Evostar 80ED.

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The 460 won't be wasted in an ED80. It won't get anywhere near the limits of the image circle. However, it would be a gargantuan waste of an FSQ to put a small chip in it. You are paying a lot of money for that huge flat field so you wouldn't want to waste it.

That's an interesting thought and I hadn't looked at in that way before. So at the position of the sensor how big would the image circle on a FSQ be? Bigger than on a ED80? I gather that a 460 would "occupy" this highly accurate image circle in the case of a FSQ a lot more than a 314 - thats what you mean there Olly?

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Thats true about the EFW2 and a manual wheel. But the bundle on FLO is quite good. Buying the bits separately costs about £150 more than the 460EX bundle that includes the EFW2. Additionally, since i have been enquiring about this for some time FLO have very, very generously let me have the bundle at the price before the recent Atik price hikes as long as I go for it in next two weeks. That saves me £150 as well. So actually, I am getting the EFW2 electronic capability for "free" if you think of it like that. Seems daft not too in the context of the overall spend. Similarly to Gina, I like the unattended feature the EFW2 offers since I am a visual obsever as well and on a clear night with the imaging off and going I like to use my rather splendid 12" Dob :)

Sure hope I dont wimp out. or missus' car stays running after all this noise I have been making! :p

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How did you decide in the end between the 460 and the 490 Steve?

I'm ready to jump on the mono route, to try it out in the LP down here, but lean towards the 490, with similar scopes to yours. (I got the Howie Glatter collimator the other day btw and have been studying your videos on how to use it, thanks for the effort there!) :smiley:

Good luck with the camera!

/Jesper

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How did you decide in the end between the 460 and the 490 Steve?

Just going for what everyone else seems to have Jesper! There are also some stories about the 490 having pixels that are too small though I am not really qualified to comment on that Jesper. Also, the 460 is £200 less expensive :)

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I have now gone completely potty considering this UK climate and ordered an Atik 460EX :D I have just taken the "live now, pay later" concept a stage beyond my norm and paid by credit card.

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I see, well it's a safe bet with a 460, that's for sure. I'm also thinking about putting a little future mono in a small wide field scope, smaller than the ED80, for trips. That would be the 'prime' duty for it, and then I think you can get away with the smaller pixels.

The 460 in the RC will be a formidable galaxy hunter!

And good luck to you too Gina! I wish I had your credit card :p !

... still pondering ...

/Jesper

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That's an interesting thought and I hadn't looked at in that way before. So at the position of the sensor how big would the image circle on a FSQ be? Bigger than on a ED80? I gather that a 460 would "occupy" this highly accurate image circle in the case of a FSQ a lot more than a 314 - thats what you mean there Olly?

The image circle on the FSQ85 at its native 450mm focal length is 44mm diameter. With the optional reducer at f/3.9 the image circle is 40mm. No idea on the ED80, but it can't be that large. The diagonal on the 460 or 490 is, if my pythagorus is correct, 16mm. On my Atik 4000 it's still "only" 23mm. You need Olly's 45mm diameter Atik 11000 :grin:

Also, re manual filter wheels ... are there ever any issues with knocking your guiding off and having to reacquire a guide star when moving it by hand?

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