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NightSky_Wanderer

What CCD should I purchase?

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Hi,

So i been doing some astrophotography with my Canon and would like to progress onto a CCD. I was just wondering if anyone would be able to advise on the best on for my budget, scope.

Budget - £250 - £300

Scope - Skywatcher skymax 127 on the syncscan az goto mount.

Hardware - Macbook Air running El Capitain

Thank you

Adz

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With this telescope and mount you are limited to Moon/Planets in general. You can pick a good planetary camera like color ASI224 for example. With some lucky imaging it could also do some DS imaging with that setup (many frames on very short exposures).

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Are you thinking of a colour or mono CCD, 1500MM focal length is a bit long for starting into CCD imaging but if that's what you've got  :grin:

Dave

Edited by Davey-T

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This should be for fast frame planetary imaging only. Honestly, long exposure deep sky at this focal length/focal ratio would be utterly disappointing.

Olly

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This should be for fast frame planetary imaging only. Honestly, long exposure deep sky at this focal length/focal ratio would be utterly disappointing.

Olly

So a ccd would be useless with my scope?

What scope would you suggest?

Thanks

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So a ccd would be useless with my scope?

 

What scope would you suggest?

You don't need a "CCD", but in general a good camera suited for the equipment you have. Specific planetary cameras like the AS224 can work efficiently with a Mak and alt/az mount. Typical long exposure DS camera won't.

If you want a typical DS imaging setup then you will have to buy a lot of equipment. Basic setup:

- HEQ5 or better mount (or EQ5 class mount with good tracking))

- Small APO refractor or ~5-6" Newtonian if the mount is heavier

- Guidescope, guide camera

- Primary imaging camera, like Atik 383 or Atik314L and alike

- accessories like filters, correctors and more

Roughly 3000 or more GBP

Edited by riklaunim
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You don't need a "CCD", but in general a good camera suited for the equipment you have. Specific planetary cameras like the AS224 can work efficiently with a Mak and alt/az mount. Typical long exposure DS camera won't.

If you want a typical DS imaging setup then you will have to buy a lot of equipment. Basic setup:

- HEQ5 or better mount (or EQ5 class mount with good tracking))

- Small APO refractor or ~5-6" Newtonian if the mount is heavier

- Guidescope, guide camera

- Primary imaging camera, like Atik 383 or Atik314L and alike

- accessories like filters, correctors and more

Roughly 3000 or more GBP

Thanks, I'm thinking i will stick to planetary imaging for now. 

Would you suggest anything other accessories for such imaging to help me improve?

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With your telescope and mount you can do Moon/Sun/Planets and to some extent DS objects - but only those small, and surface bright - some planetary nebulae, globular clusters or M42 core :)

As you have alt/az mount exposures may not be long due to field rotation, but most good planetary cameras allow imaging on ~1 sec exposures with good results (although not the same thing as from dedicated DS setup).

This is a globular cluster on 2 sec exposures with old planetary camera:

post-5460-0-36521700-1447631102.jpg

This is from a DS setup (small APO, Atik 314L+):

post-5460-0-30545800-1447631172_thumb.jp

As you can see there is a difference, but still mastering processing you can get better than the first image. You can look at ASI224 or if you want to pay more - ASI224 cooled (better DS capabilities) that will be available starting somewhere in next weeks. It can handle Solar System and some DS as well. You can try that mak on globular clusters, but also you can combine that camera with a lens (Canon, M42 etc.) and try very wide field DS imaging. If you will want more then you can upgrade the mount and then think about other upgrades step by step. There are also cheap 0.5x focal reducers that reduce the focal length, but decrease image quality. With that mak it could make it faster, easier for imaging, and with a small "planetary" sensor it could somewhat work (but I would think about lenses than forcing mak into short focal lengths).

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With your telescope and mount you can do Moon/Sun/Planets and to some extent DS objects - but only those small, and surface bright - some planetary nebulae, globular clusters or M42 core :)

As you have alt/az mount exposures may not be long due to field rotation, but most good planetary cameras allow imaging on ~1 sec exposures with good results (although not the same thing as from dedicated DS setup).

This is a globular cluster on 2 sec exposures with old planetary camera:

attachicon.gif4416222877_0cb1f35925_o.jpg

This is from a DS setup (small APO, Atik 314L+):

attachicon.gifq-extra.jpg

As you can see there is a difference, but still mastering processing you can get better than the first image. You can look at ASI224 or if you want to pay more - ASI224 cooled (better DS capabilities) that will be available starting somewhere in next weeks. It can handle Solar System and some DS as well. You can try that mak on globular clusters, but also you can combine that camera with a lens (Canon, M42 etc.) and try very wide field DS imaging. If you will want more then you can upgrade the mount and then think about other upgrades step by step. There are also cheap 0.5x focal reducers that reduce the focal length, but decrease image quality. With that mak it could make it faster, easier for imaging, and with a small "planetary" sensor it could somewhat work (but I would think about lenses than forcing mak into short focal lengths).

Thanks thats really useful.

Do you have any tips when using a ccd?

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Thanks thats really useful.

Do you have any tips when using a ccd?

Can you be more specific - what you want to know?

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