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Time for an upgrade?


mbalkham

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Not a new question I know (I've read a few topics on this as you can imagine) but I'd really appreciate the thoughts of others tailored to my situation!

I am shooting with a unmodded Canon 6D from my skywatcher 200p mounted to a NEQ6 and guiding with an Orion Awesome Autoguider. Almost entirely shooting deep space nebula targets from my yard in Wellington NZ and occasionally from a dark site about 40minutes drive away (my set-up is pretty mobile working from a Nextbook). I'm a pretty enthusiastic but only an occasional hobbyist maybe shooting a dozen times a year. My work is here on my flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbalkham/) if you want/need to gauge my level of ability and assess if I am getting the most out of my current set-up.  

The main question I am asking myself is would I benefit from moving from the 6D (which I also use for normal photography inc. a few weddings etc. and therefore cannot modify) to;

1)  a modified DSLR (presumably a 'lesser' DSLR but maybe more tailored to Astro work); or

2) should I take the plunge into CCD (and if so colour/mono, etc. etc. etc.!)?

Depending on the answer to above, how much is it sensible to budget for this next step?

Thanks in advance

Matt

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Matt,

I currently have a modded 600D and there is a definite improvement for Ha rich Nebulae. However I'm looking to move into mono DSO imaging with a CCD/CMOS for greater sensitivity and less noise.

A mono setup can be expensive though depending on the camera you choose. There is also the filters and a filter wheel to consider. Although a wheel isn't an absolute necessity.

Not too sure if you'll get enough value from a mono setup if you're looking at occasional use.

I've not really looked at OSC CCD/CMOS so not sure about that option.

Andy.

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Off the top of my head and pulling out the main points from your original post this is what I would do:

1) get a faster smaller and thus more portable OTA more suited to your DSLR

2) then if you are still looking For more challenges, get a CCD based on the fact that you have more DSO targets than us here in the North.

i tried a modded DSLR and yes the Ha response is a bit better but it won't keep you interested for long.

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So current thinking is OTA upgrade and stick with the unmodded 6D and the NEQ6. So another Newtonian (perhaps larger dia.?) or something else (SCT, Ritchey-Chretien, etc.) Budget prob up to $1,500 (NZD) ish (don't tell the wife!).

 

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Increasing the focal length with a DSLR is not the way I would be going, in fact it would be the opposite. I would go shorter and faster. If you want to keep using reflectors, then go smaller and faster. A wider FoV will be kinder on all aspects of your imaging. A high speed newt with DSLR can work. I personally would go for a refractor based DSLR setup, but then I am lazy and just want things to work as easily as I can make them.

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Remember that a modded DSLR will only really show improvement on targets containing HA (red), at the risk of setting Olly off on one you could consider a colour CCD and get the benefit of cooling.

If you're feeling flush you could get a Tak Epsilon :grin:

Dave

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Thanks both. Not really contemplating longer and keen for faster. Was looking at faster newts perhaps f3.5-f4 as they will still work with my baader mk3 coma corrector. But then will there be enough of a difference to justify the investment?! Then was thinking about 200 to 250 or 300mm. Maybe i should look again at refractors. So much choice! 

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On 08/08/2016 at 15:49, Davey-T said:

Remember that a modded DSLR will only really show improvement on targets containing HA (red), at the risk of setting Olly off on one you could consider a colour CCD and get the benefit of cooling.

If you're feeling flush you could get a Tak Epsilon :grin:

Dave

:D

OK, here's Olly. I would buy a second hand monochrome CCD, either a small Sony chipped Atik or a larger 8300 chipped camera. On the 8300 Atik do have rivals but at a price, and the more affordable 1.25 filters impose their own budget limits. There are fast cameras and fast scopes. CCD cameras are fast. Especially mono ones. Luminance should be 3x faster than OSC but is really at least 4x faster, though obviously you then have to capture colour. Even that is faster than OSC, though, because with OSC you are stuck with the filter balance of red, green, green, green, blue when, for astronomy, the last thing you want is double green. Given the ability to shoot Ha in the moon, the likelihood of a month's productivity in an OSC versus mono shootout is massively weighted towards mono. That is why, as a provider, I switched from OSC and mono to mono and mono.

Apart from the CCD advantages you'd have the fun of learning a new trade.

A Tak Epsilon in occasional use? Every occasion will vanish in attempts to collimate it and sort out orthogonality... It is not a plug and play telescope, though when it is playing it plays rather brilliantly!

Olly

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Cheers Olly. Is there general consensus that my next investment should be in ccd and filters rather than better ota/ota upgrades then? Biggest bang for my buck? Assume I'll also need some additional storage for the nextbook plus possibly more power to stay mobile (as my current power supply struggles after a few hours in the cold without camera and cooling draining it more!).

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