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What to upgrade next?


philherbert
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Hi All,

I have been imaging for a couple of years now with an ED100 (with 0.85 focal reducer) on an HEQ5 Pro mount, guiding with PHD2 via the guide scope and a QHY 5-II. My camera is an unmodified Canon EOS 350D. I'm getting some reasonable results now (see attached my best recent pictures), but as always with this hobby I'm craving better images! What do you recommend as the next step? I'm initially thinking of changing the old Canon to a new CCD, but I wonder how good the HEQ5 Pro mount is (I'm probably feeling negative about it after some dodgy guiding on recent nights with high cloud drifting over, or mist coming and going). 

So what's the collective advice on the next step? Also I'd be interested in suggestion on the best CCD to go for with this setup.

Thanks for reading,

Phil

M31 Andromeda 3 (2016 Dec).jpg

Orion 5 (Dec 2016).jpg

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What's your budget?

I would say that if you can afford it a cooled mono CCD (But don't rule out the new CMOS cameras like the ZWO offerings) and filters will get you far better results than an un-modded Canon 350D but be prepared for some big £££s and a possibly steep learning curve.

Possibly one of the Kodak 8300 basedcameras will give you a similar FOV to your Canon, but depending on the filter wheel / camera you get you may need 36mm filters. You'll almost certainly need 31mm ones.

Oh, and there's nothing wrong with an HEQ5, the next realistic upgrade from that could be more than a CCD / filters combination.

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1 hour ago, nightfisher said:

Your images are rather good, why not stick with what you have and just tweak things to get it better

Thanks Jules. After a couple of years of tweaking I think I've got about as far as I can with the equipment I've got...although if you think the combination can deliver more then I'm happy to hear it!

Phil

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1 hour ago, DaveS said:

What's your budget?

I would say that if you can afford it a cooled mono CCD (But don't rule out the new CMOS cameras like the ZWO offerings) and filters will get you far better results than an un-modded Canon 350D but be prepared for some big £££s and a possibly steep learning curve.

Possibly one of the Kodak 8300 basedcameras will give you a similar FOV to your Canon, but depending on the filter wheel / camera you get you may need 36mm filters. You'll almost certainly need 31mm ones.

Oh, and there's nothing wrong with an HEQ5, the next realistic upgrade from that could be more than a CCD / filters combination.

I'm more interested in what to get than the budget, although it is of course a factor (it looks like £2k - £3k would be necessary). I'm hoping that a cooled CCD would give me a fairly good step forwards, especially on fainter DSOs that the 350D struggles with. I'm quite seriously considering a colour CCD since I don't fancy the additional complexity of mono with filters, and imaging time is hard to come by so I'm not sure I'd ever be able to complete an LRGB image! How do people manage 10 hours on one target? I barely manage 2 hours!

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