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SBIG SFT-8300m as a first ccd


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Hi everybody

I have a 80mm refractor and am going to drain my wallet further by purchasing my first ccd. I came across a reasonable deal for the SBIG and was hoping for some feedback. I've read generally good reviews about this, but have also heard that the KAF sensor is slightly outdated. I had emailed Atik mentioning my setup and they suggested the  414ex or 460ex. The 414ex is about the same price as the SBIG, but checking the FOV calculator, I'm a little concerned with the pixel size.  Here's what it would look like with both CCDs. Please note that although it says Atik420, I've manually keyed in the values for the 414.

zoj4lc.jpg

2mxquis.png

This would be my very first attempt at imaging and I've decided to choose a mono CCD (I 'm aware of the requirement of filters) as opposed to a DSLR.

Thank you!

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You sure you need a 0.8 reducer with that setup? A simple x1.0 flattener would give you better resolution numbers and you would still have a pretty quick system at F6. Even though I have the 414 myself, you can't argue with a bigger chip.

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I'd go for Atik's incarnation of the 8300 chip.

Atik quality, better resolution and more real estate. 

Most of the big spending imagers use the Kodak chips simply because they want the chip size.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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Isn't a shorter FL better while imaging?

You get a wider field of view, but in your case, it pushes the resolution of the image up to numbers that are generally considered to be outside the optimal range for the pixel sizes you have in your example. There are people who regularly image at those resolutions (above 3'/pixel and get excellent results, even some commenters on this thread do it regularly, but it means you will be undersampling (interesting thread on that here : http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/208397-lets-talk-about-undersampling/) and losing potential resolution. You would need smaller pixels to capture all the detail, so maybe the Atik 460 or 490 would improve things for you but again that is a trade off, as smaller pixels have their own limitations.

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Ultimately you need  to make the choice for yourself but if I were you I'd go with Atik 383L+ mono. As well as the 383L+ I also have a 428EXC, 314L+ mono , QHY8 OSC and couple of converted DSLRs one of them is mono modded. The Atik is most used in my different set ups. It has a lower sensitivity than a 414 but 4 times the sensor area will more than make up for it. I have not noticed any noise issues either. Suffice to say the Sara, one of the best imagers here recently asked QSI to change the sensor of her ICX  chipped camera  to a 8300 KAF .  The decision is yours. As for the reducer argument only use it if you need the extra FOV otherwise I personally prefer to fill the FOV with the target where appropriate.

Regards,

A.G

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Here's my take on it............ Based on using the Sony ICX814 chip for a year and Sony chips for a couple of years prior to that ............

I believed the hype that I read about and heard on the net and forums saying, as the OP notes, that the Kodak sensor is 'slightly outdated' and I also read lots about the noise levels and lack of sensitivity. In the end, after a year of owning my last Sony chip, I'd had enough of the mosaics that I needed to do in order to get a wider field. I also had to use darks to sort out a glow issue that existed with the Sony chip and the QSI's - I using the darks (which I'd avoided for over 2 years...... again believing all of the hype about how Sony chips don't need them) and found that using darks with the Sony chip DID indeed reduce the noise in my case. So I began to use them all of the time.

I've not actually completed a whole image with the KAF8300 sensor yet (only a mono Ha one) and I have to say that I was knocked off my perch. The QE of the 8300 is supposedly so low compared to the Sony chip that I did wonder whether I'd have any Ha showing at all. I need not have worried - Yet another positive of the Sony chip, as far as I was concerned was blown out of the water.......... There was great Ha in the image.

I stuck with the Sony chip believing a couple of things......

1) No darks were needed

2) They were far more sensitive in Ha

I can confirm that in my case, darks DID help and so that negated that ......... and the lack of sensitivity in Ha of the 8300 did not affect my image, so I feel that the higher QE is neither here nor there. It is somehow countered by the wider field of view and the increased dynamic range of the 8300 chip, but perhaps someone can explain that, as I certainly can't.

Think long and hard about your camera choice. I made what could have been a VERY expensive mistake, but thankfully it was sorted at zero cost. 

I listed and believed all of the negatives of the 8300 chip. Don't make the same mistake, it could be costly. Also, and this is just my opinion, nothing more, believe the resolution image figures at your peril. I'm imaging at 3.39" per pixel...... a big no no if you believe what you read. Research this and make your own decision about images that work outside of the 'golden figures of resolution'.

Don't believe the scaremongering and look around. Ask people who have experience of the systems you are looking at. You may decide that the Sony chip is the one for you after all but at least you will have made that decision looking at real examples and talking to real people.

I hope that helps.

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Hello!

If KAF8300 CHIP should be an option for you ? then have a look to the CCD.. AST8300-A

http://www.astrel-instruments.com/#!ast-8300-a-m-fw/c8qx

http://www.astrel-instruments.com/#!8300-feat-use/c1h1g

This is a TRANSPORTABLE CCD in the mean of,  STAND-ALONE with TFT DISPLAY.. and no PC/LAPTOP (USB) is needed, your AUTOGUIDER can also be connected to the CCD and the AUTOGUIDING control can be done

via INTEGRATED TFT and INTEGRATED SOFTWARE also and a BATTERY is enough to get this CCD work.. and many other futures..

If you still should prefer to use it with PC/LAPTOP.. then that is still possible..

Else have a look to the Videos below..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V13IkSYenZU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsx3RPglyxY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHNw_LcjmRA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQOTO1J0l5k

Regards and thought it might be interesting for you to know, about the AST8300-A

Martin

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Excellent post from Sara. As regards undersampling, I suspect that more ADODS have been taken at 3.5 arcseconds per pixel than at any other single resolution because this is what you get when you use the KAF11000 chip and the Takahashi FSQ106. In fact Rogelio Bernal Andreo, a one-man APOD factory  :grin: , sometimes uses the focal reducer and undersamples even more. Here's one of Tom's as an example. Not too shabby in my book!

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120828.html

Sony make beautiful chips and Ferrari make beautiful cars - but you can't get much in them...

Olly

Note, I initially posted with a typo saying FSQ85. I did mean 106. The 85 won't cover the 11000 chip. Apologies.

Edited by ollypenrice
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the 8300 ticks many othe right boxes, just decided the flavour it comes is the interesting part. The atik is ok, but not the best design but it is cheap, Morovian is worth a look before spending.

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Here's my take on it............ Based on using the Sony ICX814 chip for a year and Sony chips for a couple of years prior to that ............

I believed the hype that I read about and heard on the net and forums saying, as the OP notes, that the Kodak sensor is 'slightly outdated' and I also read lots about the noise levels and lack of sensitivity. In the end, after a year of owning my last Sony chip, I'd had enough of the mosaics that I needed to do in order to get a wider field. I also had to use darks to sort out a glow issue that existed with the Sony chip and the QSI's - I using the darks (which I'd avoided for over 2 years...... again believing all of the hype about how Sony chips don't need them) and found that using darks with the Sony chip DID indeed reduce the noise in my case. So I began to use them all of the time.

I've not actually completed a whole image with the KAF8300 sensor yet (only a mono Ha one) and I have to say that I was knocked off my perch. The QE of the 8300 is supposedly so low compared to the Sony chip that I did wonder whether I'd have any Ha showing at all. I need not have worried - Yet another positive of the Sony chip, as far as I was concerned was blown out of the water.......... There was great Ha in the image.

I stuck with the Sony chip believing a couple of things......

1) No darks were needed

2) They were far more sensitive in Ha

I can confirm that in my case, darks DID help and so that negated that ......... and the lack of sensitivity in Ha of the 8300 did not affect my image, so I feel that the higher QE is neither here nor there. It is somehow countered by the wider field of view and the increased dynamic range of the 8300 chip, but perhaps someone can explain that, as I certainly can't.

Think long and hard about your camera choice. I made what could have been a VERY expensive mistake, but thankfully it was sorted at zero cost. 

I listed and believed all of the negatives of the 8300 chip. Don't make the same mistake, it could be costly. Also, and this is just my opinion, nothing more, believe the resolution image figures at your peril. I'm imaging at 3.39" per pixel...... a big no no if you believe what you read. Research this and make your own decision about images that work outside of the 'golden figures of resolution'.

Don't believe the scaremongering and look around. Ask people who have experience of the systems you are looking at. You may decide that the Sony chip is the one for you after all but at least you will have made that decision looking at real examples and talking to real people.

I hope that helps.

Hi Sarah, did you experience any of the ICX814 amp glow issues with the Atik 490EX when you had it? I haven't tried any exposures beyond 1200 seconds but not seen anything appreciable so far.

Paul

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I did have Sony amp glow, but as I understand it, it only affects the QSI's not Atik or SX. I haven't ever tried an Atik 490.

Thank goodness I had it, as the camera went back to the US and then the chip was changed!! :)

Edited by swag72
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Many thanks everybody for your replies.

Sara, I have to admit, I don't fully understand your post. Are you suggesting that the Sony sensors may prove worthwhile in the long run? From the looks of my budget, I don't think I can afford to spend on upgrading the camera for next few years, once I have made the purchase. Hence I'm really keen on making sure that I get something that will produce decent results.

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Sara, I have to admit, I don't fully understand your post. Are you suggesting that the Sony sensors may prove worthwhile in the long run? From the looks of my budget, I don't think I can afford to spend on upgrading the camera for next few years, once I have made the purchase. Hence I'm really keen on making sure that I get something that will produce decent results.

Not sure I understand which bit you don't understand :D

My take on it is to do your research ...... thoroughly ....... taking on board comments from people who have used the kit you are talking about, not those just regurgitating internet myths and legends and that goes for both the Sony and Kodak chip.

Both chips will produce decent results, there's no disputing that fact at all. I think that my results from the Sony were no different to those I am getting from the Kodak....... but the size of the Sony chip was starting to eat away at me, there's only so many mosaics that I really want to do.

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I did have Sony amp glow, but as I understand it, it only affects the QSI's not Atik or SX. I haven't ever tried an Atik 490.

Thank goodness I had it, as the camera went back to the US and then the chip was changed!! :)

Sorry my mistake, I remembered that you switched from an Atik to a QSI at some stage but I see now it was an Atik 460 not 490 you had. I think I'm going to try to get a bit more use out of my Atik before I consider changing to another camera although the price on the Moravian G2-8300 is quite tempting...

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