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Robny

Camera Choice Help

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Hi All

I'm upgrading from a DSLR, I have come up with three possibilities - however one of them is just outside of my budget.  The kit will be used on an HEQ5 Pro with a mounted William Optics GT71, so weight at the stage doesn't really play a role.  I like the practicality of the OSC, as I don't have lots of time so I like the idea of getting a full colour image from an limited imaging run, with this I would use the IDAS D2 LP filter.  However I am still a little concerned with LP in my area and the corner shop has just installed some "lovely" LED lights on the outside of his shop shining on a white sign board.

However despite using the IDAS D2 filter I'm still a little concerned with LP and feel that Mono NB would be better, but is it worth the extra expense and time it takes to finalise a nice colour image.  I have been going back and forth for "ages" and cannot deide which is rite for me, but now I need to make a decission before PAS.

Here are the links to the cameras and my scope and also an excel screen shot of my workings out.  Any input advice would be awesome and greartly appreciated.:

https://www.altairastro.com/Altair-Hypercam-183C-PRO-TEC-COOLED-Camera.html

https://www.altairastro.com/Altair-Hypercam-183M-Mono-PRO-TEC-COOLED-Camera.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/zwo-cameras/zwo-asi1600mm-pro-usb-3-mono-camera-efw8-125-lrgb-filters-125-ha-sii-oiii-filters-bundle.html

 

The next link is a link to me scope:

https://williamoptics.com/gt71-71mm-f-5-9-apo-refractor#additional

 

...and finally this is costing summary of what I would purchase

image.thumb.png.92ee756b066c6890270798010619ecba.png

 

What re peoples thoughts and advice?

Many Thanks

Rob

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It is always a hard decision - it somehow depends on your sky quality. If your imaging location provides visible Milky Way and NELM at level 5-5.5mag or better, then OSC camera will do the trick. But if LP is worse, then you probably achieve better results using mono camera with LRGB and narrowband filters. This is my case, I have NELM limited to 5mag during good nights, sometimes it reaches 5.5mag. I have tried with OSC cameras and DSLR few times already, and always got back to mono. However I was pretty happy with having for some time both QHY163M and QHY163C cameras. I used mono for luminance, OSC for colour and it worked pretty well (like here for example https://astrojolo.com/astrophotography/galaxies/m106-after-four-years/ ). 

I also wrote a post about it at my blog https://astrojolo.com/gears/colour-camera-versus-mono-price-of-comfort/ - at the end you may see sensitivity comparison between OSC and mono cameras.

Edited by drjolo

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I am in the same boat at the moment. Will be shooting with a Canon 400mm L lens.

Choice for me is between the ASI 183MM Pro and the ASI 1600MM Pro

May have to go with the 183 due to money and will be able to get better filters.

One thing  I thought is you could get the mono and get LRGB filters and maybe just the Ha for now and the others at a later date.

Good luck with your choice.

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1 hour ago, Robny said:

Hi All

I'm upgrading from a DSLR, I have come up with three possibilities - however one of them is just outside of my budget.  The kit will be used on an HEQ5 Pro with a mounted William Optics GT71, so weight at the stage doesn't really play a role.  I like the practicality of the OSC, as I don't have lots of time so I like the idea of getting a full colour image from an limited imaging run, with this I would use the IDAS D2 LP filter.  However I am still a little concerned with LP in my area and the corner shop has just installed some "lovely" LED lights on the outside of his shop shining on a white sign board.

However despite using the IDAS D2 filter I'm still a little concerned with LP and feel that Mono NB would be better, but is it worth the extra expense and time it takes to finalise a nice colour image.  I have been going back and forth for "ages" and cannot deide which is rite for me, but now I need to make a decission before PAS.

Here are the links to the cameras and my scope and also an excel screen shot of my workings out.  Any input advice would be awesome and greartly appreciated.:

https://www.altairastro.com/Altair-Hypercam-183C-PRO-TEC-COOLED-Camera.html

https://www.altairastro.com/Altair-Hypercam-183M-Mono-PRO-TEC-COOLED-Camera.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/zwo-cameras/zwo-asi1600mm-pro-usb-3-mono-camera-efw8-125-lrgb-filters-125-ha-sii-oiii-filters-bundle.ht

 

The next link is a link to me scope:

https://williamoptics.com/gt71-71mm-f-5-9-apo-refractor#additional

 

...and finally this is costing summary of what I would purchase

What re peoples thoughts and advice?

Many Thanks

Rob

With your light pollution and the scope in question there is no doubt in my mind that I would be going for a 183m based camera...but probably the ZWO one.

I would go with:

ASI183mm pro (Not that there is an issue with the Altair its just I have seen more images with the ASI and its slightly cheaper) = £950

ZWO premium LRGB filter for ASI1600 set 1.25" (its significantly better than the cheaper set you specified in terms of AR coatings) = £130

Baader Ha 7nm 1.25 (I am not a fan of the ZWO narrow band filters) = £110

ZWO 5 position Electronic filter wheel (I would not want to have to manually rotate and refocus while cycling LRGB)=  £159

0.8x Reducer Flatter = £180

Dew band = £55

Total = £1583

So I am advocating:

1) Better LRGB filters as the cheap set you specify are not going to please you for long due to reflections.

2) Baader Ha filter only at first, I consider baader to be the best budget narrow band filter provider. Ha RGB will be a great place to start. You can pick up a OIII later and to be honest with UK weather I find that I hardly ever use SII due to time and am content with Bi-color imaging. 

3) The ZWO AIS183mm pro because it works well with the ZWO wheel and is a known quantity / slightly cheaper. Why not the ASI1600mm pro? Bacause of the 183's superior pixel scale with a 0.8x reducer and the 1600s microlense diffraction pattern!

4) Get a reducer for a larger FOV with the 183m while still having a great pixel scale!

5) When doing LRGB imaging in sequence with a APO you don't refocus between filters and rotating the wheel will become tiresome hence the electronic wheel. Get the 8-position if you can afford a little more or you will have to swap out the OIII when you evantually get one...not really that much trouble. 

Adam 

 

Edited by Adam J
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Adam has picked up on the point I was going to make ... I have heard less than complimentary comments about some of the zwo filters and would definitely not go "cheap" with them. I have just started using a 183mm pro and I am quite impressed with the results on my Star71 located between two led streetlights.

If narrowband is the direction you want to go, you might consider the 183mc (£830) and the stc duo filter which captures Ha & Oiii at the same time (€299 for the 1.25" version) - there is some data on it in this post. That way you would have OSC and 2/3 or your NB capture in one go. The downside would be that an OSC would be considerably slower capturing with a Sii filter, but how many times do we see images on this forum that are Ha/Oiii bicolor? Just a suggestion.

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13 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

Adam has picked up on the point I was going to make ... I have heard less than complimentary comments about some of the zwo filters and would definitely not go "cheap" with them. I have just started using a 183mm pro and I am quite impressed with the results on my Star71 located between two led streetlights.

If narrowband is the direction you want to go, you might consider the 183mc (£830) and the stc duo filter which captures Ha & Oiii at the same time (€299 for the 1.25" version) - there is some data on it in this post. That way you would have OSC and 2/3 or your NB capture in one go. The downside would be that an OSC would be considerably slower capturing with a Sii filter, but how many times do we see images on this forum that are Ha/Oiii bicolor? Just a suggestion.

Yes the DUO filter is a great option for OSC but wow its expensive! By the time you have that and a LPS-D2 for baud band imaging then mono is not looking so much more expensive. ~£175 + £250 for filters.....once you add the reducer £180 and the heater £55 then you are back up to about £1500 anyway...

Also you have to consider that you still lose sensitivity in OIII due to the transmission for the brayer matrix and a loss of resolution. 

If I already had an OSC that would be an option...but not convinced it make sense as a strategy when choosing equipment from scratch. 

Adam

Edited by Adam J

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Fair points - only about £100 cheaper than your total. But I would see the time-saving as the main benefits,  certainly for broadband and to some extent NB. It really depends on the aspirations of OP. For a real comparison I would need to do an NB shot with my 183mm as well, and compare the results, but I get little enough imaging time as it is.

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Thank you for the feedback guys, definitely food for thought.  Especially the duo band filter, will have a closer look at that, pity it has to be used with OSC, if there was a version of that filter that could be used with a mono camera that would be AWESOME!

So by the sounds and feel of it I am edging towards the 183 sensor, I really want the mono but the only thing that puts me off is the additional imaging time required, it feels I have so little time as it is, especially waiting for the stars to align (pun), with weather, work, children etc the imaging time is very precious.  Just don't want to regret what I buy especially at this value.

Thanks for the heads up regarding the cheaper ZWO filters, will stay away from them....

Hmmm

Edit: - If it makes a difference I am in Bortle 8 skies

Edited by Robny
Additional Info

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.....also, with my imaging train with any of these cameras, does it make a difference if I go for 1.25 or 2" filters, what am I sacrificing by going for the smaller filters?

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2 hours ago, Robny said:

.....also, with my imaging train with any of these cameras, does it make a difference if I go for 1.25 or 2" filters, what am I sacrificing by going for the smaller filters?

You will only need 1.25 inch filter with a 183 based camera. As for the rest, mono is significantly faster than OSC as you can use Luminance in LRGB and you have the full sensitivity of the camera in Narrowband and that is not possible with OSC in either case. I have no idea where the idea keeps coming from that OSC is faster. You just focus on L and then set a LLLRGB, LLLRGB sequence in the filter wheel (hence why you want a electronic wheel) you will get a full sequence every 15 - 30mins or so.

This is 1hour and 15 mins of Mono data using that sequence and I was just messing about with my spacing at the time not really trying and I have lots of light pollution:

1138626827_combine-RGB-image-NoStv2-processing6copy.thumb.jpg.8c8bc4637bc973dc3cdd6334f1579d13.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam

Edited by Adam J

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7 hours ago, Adam J said:

You will only need 1.25 inch filter with a 183 based camera. As for the rest, mono is significantly faster than OSC as you can use Luminance in LRGB and you have the full sensitivity of the camera in Narrowband and that is not possible with OSC in either case. I have no idea where the idea keeps coming from that OSC is faster. You just focus on L and then set a LLLRGB, LLLRGB sequence in the filter wheel (hence why you want a electronic wheel) you will get a full sequence every 15 - 30mins or so.

This is 1hour and 15 mins of Mono data using that sequence and I was just messing about with my spacing at the time not really trying and I have lots of light pollution:

1138626827_combine-RGB-image-NoStv2-processing6copy.thumb.jpg.8c8bc4637bc973dc3cdd6334f1579d13.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam

Thanks for that Adam....interesting and it helps a lot.  Just one last thing, you mention at the end you have lots of light pollution, me too.  So when shooting LLLRGB could a light pollution be used also screwed directly into the imagining train?

Thanks

Rob

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13 hours ago, Robny said:

if there was a version of that filter that could be used with a mono camera that would be AWESOME!

Impractical, because all a mono camera can do is see light or no light. This filter works because almost all of the light coming through the Ha channel only goes through the red parts of the matrix and almost all of the light coming through the Oiii channel goes through either the blue or green parts of the matrix (in the 183 the Oiii line is about where the green/blue sensitivities cross), so you get a bicolor image straight out of the camera. This is also, incidentally, why it is not possible to have a true tri-pass narrowband filter - because Oiii uses both green and blue parts of the camera's response. [Yes, there is a "so-called" tri-pass filter, but all they have done is broaden the Oiii pass to include the Hb line.]

One other thing (and I am not trying to convince you to buy osc rather than mono), but when I use my OSC, because of the live stacking and the inline histogram adjustment in sharpcap, I have nothing further to do once the image is saved from the camera to have a reasonable result. With a mono, you will have to do all the stacking, combining and processing separately. I'm sure people will come back and say the result they obtain doing that is better, but (as I said in a previous post) it really all depends on what your aspirations are.

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1 hour ago, Demonperformer said:

Impractical, because all a mono camera can do is see light or no light. This filter works because almost all of the light coming through the Ha channel only goes through the red parts of the matrix and almost all of the light coming through the Oiii channel goes through either the blue or green parts of the matrix (in the 183 the Oiii line is about where the green/blue sensitivities cross), so you get a bicolor image straight out of the camera. This is also, incidentally, why it is not possible to have a true tri-pass narrowband filter - because Oiii uses both green and blue parts of the camera's response. [Yes, there is a "so-called" tri-pass filter, but all they have done is broaden the Oiii pass to include the Hb line.]

One other thing (and I am not trying to convince you to buy osc rather than mono), but when I use my OSC, because of the live stacking and the inline histogram adjustment in sharpcap, I have nothing further to do once the image is saved from the camera to have a reasonable result. With a mono, you will have to do all the stacking, combining and processing separately. I'm sure people will come back and say the result they obtain doing that is better, but (as I said in a previous post) it really all depends on what your aspirations are.

Thanks for all rthe feedback, I think in mt own mind and from the feesback I have been given AND despite my recent post in the other thread I'm edging towarda OSC and possibly the duo banf filter.  I know people say OSC is no faster, but I just can't get my head around that.  I underatand its more sensitive, but image gathering is just one aspect.  

The cost is a factor for me, although I can stretch to more I don't particularly want to.  

As far as my aspirations go...I love seeing what is there, I have no preference to any subject.  I would like to photograph what I fancy at that time "easily".  My reasoning may be confused but it feels rite to me that I go for Altair Hypercam 183c Pro Tec Cooled.  

Maybe when I retire and kids have gone I will reconsider, but I think for me now...that is the rite choice :)

Thanks - just gotta wait for PAS now

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10 hours ago, Robny said:

Thanks for that Adam....interesting and it helps a lot.  Just one last thing, you mention at the end you have lots of light pollution, me too.  So when shooting LLLRGB could a light pollution be used also screwed directly into the imagining train?

Thanks

Rob

Yes you can use a light pollution filter. You use it instead of the luminescence filter to give you better contrast in the luminescence channel. It would be mounted in your wheel in place of the Luminance filter.

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This is interesting reading as I was looking at these altair183mm or 183 osc also. 

I am in bortle 4 skies which I am greatful for! 

So if you guys was me would you still go mono and on the 183 sensor? 

I have an esprit120ed apowith no reducer

And to give you an idea I took 57 x 1 minute exposures with my Canon t3i in the nice cool temperatures of - 5 winter nights ❄️👍👍❤️

 

I would like to also be able to crop n zoom in on detail of smaller targets like galaxies too if it's probable... 

Cheers.. 

orion.nebularBETTERversion.jpeg

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On 17/05/2019 at 16:30, Waynescave said:

This is interesting reading as I was looking at these altair183mm or 183 osc also. 

I am in bortle 4 skies which I am greatful for! 

So if you guys was me would you still go mono and on the 183 sensor? 

I have an esprit120ed apowith no reducer

And to give you an idea I took 57 x 1 minute exposures with my Canon t3i in the nice cool temperatures of - 5 winter nights ❄️👍👍❤️

 

I would like to also be able to crop n zoom in on detail of smaller targets like galaxies too if it's probable... 

Cheers.. 

orion.nebularBETTERversion.jpeg

The 183 is probably a bit of a small sensor for the focal length of that scope. If you went with it I would recommend a reducer but even then you will have a small field of view, to small for much more than galaxy imaging.

I think the ASI1600mm pro or similar / larger sensor is a better idea. I would still go mono in irrespective of sky brightness. On the whole if I was willing to pay for a 120mm triplet I would be sticking a KAF-16200 based camera on it as opposed to a tiny CMOS sensor.

Adam

 

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Yeah, I hear you. 

Have been leaning towards asi 1600mono the more I've delved into the practicality. 

Wow, I see as you mean. That Atik camera is a beauty isn't it! I couldn't stretch to the 3 grand mark right now tho! 

Is this camera the budget side of nice ccd cooled cameras? I think? 🤔

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