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If you can afford the Kaf-8300 chip, the atik 383 or the Sbig 8300M are excellent options. I unfortunately was not able to spend that type of money on a ccd. I bought the Atik 414ex Mono, and with it being the most sensitive sony chip, the images i am getting are very comparable to the kaf-8300 chip. In this case you sacrificing the wide field of view of the 8300 chip for the excellent sensitivity of the Atik 414s sony chip. It took me a little bit to get used to the narrow field of view but it really hasnt hindered me in any way. Im sure it will when I want to image the entire Heart Nebula or Andromeda. In that case I can do mosaics and get the whole target in there. :) I am very happy with my purchase and would HIGHLY recommend it. Especially with your 80mm ed. Atik is an awesome company and the 414 is a GREAT camera. Here are the two pictures that I have captured using the camera. The crescent Nebula and The Wizard Nebula

 

the crescent nebula.jpg

the wizard wip.jpg

Edited by Mr_42tr0nomy
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The 414 chip as above is a great sensor with good sensitivity. The ONLY thing I would consider above everything else is sensor size. Spend a lot of time on the FOV calculators out there putting in the various camera and scope combos..... really get a feel for the chip size and how you would feel about it being small.

I moved from a DSLR to a small 285 Sony chip in the Atik 314L+. The sensitivity was great and it was a good camera for sure, but I soon realised that I wanted to image the larger stuff more and that the small chip was just too small. Yes you can do mosaics and it's an easy comment to make until you try night after night completing the damn things and trying to stitch them together well.

There's no need to go for a smaller chip as a first camera, there's no rite of passage...... spend time and spend your money wisely and you may only need the one CCD for some time to come. Get it wrong and you could end up spending double as you realise that you want a larger FOV.

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If you are living in Europe, Lay your hands on Atik. Financially sound if you are, then you can permit a small chip (414M) for close ups :) and K-8300 for wide field realestate grab. Was a DSLR fan and still a DSLR fan if the sky permits. Listened to Saras advice some years before and made a quantum jump. Tried both the chips and they work great.

Above you have a small chip 414m image for comparison and here is a K-8300 image. Hope this helps you to make the final decision.

Atik cameras are workhorse, they continue to work even if you drown them in 4 hours pouring rain with the frac facing Zenith. Excellente support and good made in my experience. Best regards and CS Rush

7635 Bi S.jpg

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My only warning with Atik cameras is based on my own experience ............ I had a 460 which is a cylindrical design....... it didn't cool well out here in Spain at all and I struggled to get down to zero degrees in the summer months. I'm guessing that Cyprus will have similar if not higher temperatures I have. If I was looking at an Atik, I wouldn't go for one of the cylindrical ones in this heat.

If you are looking at other manufacturers and want to stick with EU manufacturers, then Moravian are good for cooling.

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If you are moving from a full frame DSLR to a 414 chip you will be in for a shock! The chip size is very small in relation to a full frame DSLR, so field of view is much different for the same scope. If you do as suggested and look at the differences on a comparison site you will see the differences easily. The jump from DSLR to an 8300 chip is not so bad. I have heard that some of the SBIG 8300 CCDs are not so good. QSI and Atik excellent. It also comes down to money and what you can afford. If you have to add in the costs of filters and if necessary filter wheel, guide camera of axis guider, costs can soar. If the filter wheel is not right next to the ccd chip then bigger filters and added costs maybe incurred.

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The new Moravian 16200A camera looks interesting, larger sensor than the 8300 but smaller than full-frame 11000, slightly larger pixels than 8300 @ 6uM, senisitivity equal or better than the 8300, and it uses 2" filters.

ChrisH

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Thank you for all the replies. I should add, budget is an issue. I can probably coax the price of a 314 L but doubtfully any higher. Does that change the camera for entry level like me? 

Edited by steviemac500
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I went from DSLR to a secondhand Atik 314l Osc. The FOV reduction is significant but my favourite DSOs to image are galaxies and most of them (except M31 and M33) will fit on the chip with my 102mm f7 refractor.

One other point, secondhand entry level CCDs seem to sell quite quickly and hold their value well so this will help funding a larger CCD camera in the future.

You will be blown away by the increased sensitivity!

Clear Skies

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13 hours ago, steviemac500 said:

Thank you for all the replies. I should add, budget is an issue. I can probably coax the price of a 314 L but doubtfully any higher. Does that change the camera for entry level like me? 

Any camera with a kaf-8300 sensor is going to be around 2,000 and above. The 314 is about 1300$ and the 414 is 1500$. The extra 200 is definitely worth it as both sensors are the same size but the 414 is 60% more sensitive in the hydrogen alpha spectra and 40-50% more sensitive in regular Lrgb. I may be bias bcs i own the 414 but doing the EXTENSIVE amount of research that I did, I found that  wouldn't consider the  314 over the 414 any day of the week. :) For me it came down to the 414 and the 383 (kaf-8300) and like you price was a determining factor. NOT MAD THOUGH!

Edited by Mr_42tr0nomy
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21 hours ago, Rush said:

If you are living in Europe, Lay your hands on Atik. Financially sound if you are, then you can permit a small chip (414M) for close ups :) and K-8300 for wide field realestate grab. Was a DSLR fan and still a DSLR fan if the sky permits. Listened to Saras advice some years before and made a quantum jump. Tried both the chips and they work great.

 

 

The highlighted part is incorrect. The small frame does not create a close up, it creates, if you like, a crop - which is not at all the same thing. Indeed the 414 has 6.45 micron pixels while the 383 has pixels of 5.4 microns so the wider field 8300 camera also puts about 20% more pixels under the projected image of the object. This means the object itself wiill be about 20% larger presented full size on the PC screen. In other words, in terms of both 'close up-ness' and FOV the 8300 beats the 414. The Sony chip is less noisy and more sensitive though. How much this matters is a moot point since we calibrate, but if I could have Sony chip quality in Kodak size I certainly would!

I agree on the virtues of Atik cameras, though. They offer excellent performance and high reliability. I have five in commercial use and am very happy with them. Service is also spot on.

Olly

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8 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

The highlighted part is incorrect. The small frame does not create a close up, it creates, if you like, a crop - which is not at all the same thing. 

Olly

Dear Olly,

Definition of close up in that context means only a bigger object or near to the subject than a wide field panorama image. Hmmm ! was only a simple comparison of two different images,or how they look like with the 414 BW image of (Mr 42tronomy) as reference.

Best regards to you and SSFrance.

CS

Rush

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Thanks guys. I think I've decided  on the Atik 414.  I will be needing a filter wheel and filters to get going and I've found what i think is a good deal here.

http://www.iankingimaging.com/show_product.php?id=1587

Any comments, i dont want to be spending any more than the cost of this unit if i can help it.

Thanks again.

 

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3 hours ago, steviemac500 said:

Thanks guys. I think I've decided  on the Atik 414.  I will be needing a filter wheel and filters to get going and I've found what i think is a good deal here.

http://www.iankingimaging.com/show_product.php?id=1587

Any comments, i dont want to be spending any more than the cost of this unit if i can help it.

Thanks again.

 

That is a nice bundle and a good choice but what scope are you going to be using with it? Have you checked what the FOV will be like? The sensor size from a DSLR to the small ccd chip that's in this camera is quite a dramatic step and cam be a big shock when your used to the FOV of a DSLR 

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So I've been offered a STF 8300 second hand but it im not overly familiar. I know there is a larger field of view compared to the Atik but what about quality? Any advice would be appreciated. 

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I don't think the 8300 chip camera was SBIG's finest hour.

 

On 04/07/2016 at 18:42, Rush said:

 

Dear Olly,

 

Definition of close up in that context means only a bigger object or near to the subject than a wide field panorama image. Hmmm ! was only a simple comparison of two different images,or how they look like with the 414 BW image of (Mr 42tronomy) as reference.

 

Best regards to you and SSFrance.

 

CS

 

Rush

 

 

It may have been a simple comparison but, I'm sorry, it was wrong. 

Olly

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