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Ken82

Fsq 106 which camera

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I know this question has been asked many times before but technology has changed and i want to make the right decision.

Ive recently decided to be sensible and purchase an fsq 106  and want to pair it with a new cooled camera.

I was originally thinking of the asi 094 but sadly it appears zwo have stopped producing 36mm sensors. The other option would be an aps-c type sensor asi 071 but looking at framing some nebula im just a little short. I think this could still be a valid solution with the reducer but id prefer resolution over f ratio.

What other options would people recommend ??

 

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Hi,

I am enjoying using my FSQ106 ED at f/5 with an ASI1600 MM Pro. Image scale is nice, 1.48 "/px at 1:1 binning. Field of view at f/5 is a useful 1.91 x 1.44 degrees.

HTH

Regards, Hugh

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 What budget are you limiting yourself too.  Do you want Colour or mono? Would you prefer CMOS or a CCD.

This would help guide options.

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Depends on budget and ambitions really.

I have just taken an Atik 460 mono off mine and replaced it with an Atik 16200

This way I can have a much wider field but be able to crop hard if required and it avoids fitting a reducer as one of the main drivers for me to get this scope was not having faff about with spacings between scope and sensor - a problem that would return if I fitted the reducer. But its not a cheap solution !!

 

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Thanks for the comments guys!

Id prefer to stick with a OSC if im honest, maybe a zwo 094 or 071. It appears zwo have stopped producing the 094. I see modern astronomy sell the qhy367c with the 094 sensor but its a poorly written web page on the 367c plus its more expensive and id prefer the support buying a zwo would afford me (i already own 2 zwo's and know the support is very good). I wonder if zwo will produce another 36mm sensor shortly??

Budget wise i think the 094-367c would be really top end so £4.5k.

Ive looked at the atik 16200 although its a mono but dont particularly like the 6um pixels and id prefer to have the better resolution the 4.88um gives me. It also has a much higher read noise and likely less QE. Not sure mono is for me just yet!

 

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The Atik 16200 has a colour version as well if you are set on colour imaging.  One of the main reasons to go mono is that you can image in narrowband that you can't really do with a colour camera.  It depends on what you want to image.

I doubt you'd see that much difference between a 1.9"/pixel and 2.3"/pixel image to be honest if comparing two colour cameras.  In addition if you are comparing a mono to a colour the resolution of the latter is more limited by the bayer matrix as you usually use the combined bayer grid for the luminosity of the image to capture as many photons as possible for this element (so really you should double the pixel size to get a true luminosity resolution).  Looking at the sensitivity plots you also get a significant amount of red/NIR captured in the green and blue pixels so you would definitely need an early IR cut filter .  As for the sensitivity the 16200 isn't too far behind and area of a pixel is also a factor when considering 'sensitivity'.  

The disadvantage of mono is the extra cost for filters and wheel and the UK weather if you don't plan your imaging well (you can get stuck with half of what you need to make an image) whereas a colour CCD/CMOS you are getting everything all at once and at least have something useful if it clouds over after 2.5 hours.

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This is what I will do - 

Get the Fsq 106 and zwo 071 to start imaging at f5 and learn APT.

After a few months (maybe end of summer) hopefully I’ve learnt APT well enough. At this point I’ll get a mono camera to use with my  Fsq 85 and focal reducer (maybe zwo 1600)

I’ll then have a dual imaging rig (I’m also getting an St80 for guiding) 

I think that’s reasonably sensible ?

Edited by Ken82

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Personally I wouldn't rush into anything. It sounds like you have a fair amount of money to put towards this project (which is a great starting point!) but there are lots of options and it will certainly pay off to take some time to decide.

On 16/03/2019 at 13:45, Ken82 said:

Not sure mono is for me just yet!

If that implies that at sometime in the not too distant future you will be going down that road then I personally would skip the OSC camera and go straight to mono (I don't think that OSC is a 'stepping stone' to mono). Yes it is more complex in terms of how many things you need (i.e. filter wheel) and an additional device to manage when acquiring but once up and running not really such a great burden. And as has been mentioned OSC is not actually any 'quicker' in acquiring data, it's just a bit less faff. In processing terms there is also some 'evidence' that it is harder to process OSC data in comparison to mono data. If you are planning to get auto focussing up and running as well then taking flats becomes easier and doesn't necessarily have to be done at the same time as taking lights.

And yes, mono will open up a lot narrowband targets. From personal experience (I image at a similar field of view) there are a lot of great narrowband targets out there for this field of view. Don't underestimate this as narrowband imaging can be done under 'worse' conditions (light pollution/moonlight) compared to normal imaging (although there are very new types of filters which somewhat mitigate this i.e. allow some narrowband imaging on OSC cameras).

On 18/03/2019 at 01:08, Ken82 said:

Get the Fsq 106 and zwo 071 to start imaging at f5 and learn APT.

Maybe you have already done this but it will be worth having a good look round which software will work best for you. APT has come a long way, is well supported and intuitive but it might be lacking some features that you might (or might not) need. For example I don't think it does have 'in sequence' auto focus as yet (although it is planned at some point) which could be a problem if you are thinking of going down that road.

In terms of scope and camera I think the FSQ106 really shines when you pair it with a large format camera i.e. it produces a large image circle and is one of the best scopes to do that well. However if you don't need the large image circle (because you decide to go for a smaller camera chip) then there are other good scope options for less money.

On 18/03/2019 at 01:08, Ken82 said:

I’ll then have a dual imaging rig (I’m also getting an St80 for guiding) 

Again you may have already considered this but for a dual rig you want your field of view (and possibly resolution) to be similar for both setups so it would make sense to ensure that whatever you buy would take that into account as well.

Hope this helps. Personally I would probably wait with buying the FSQ106 if you already have the FSQ85. This is a great scope for astrophotography and you could get up to speed with the CCD on that first before moving onto something else (unless that scope is used for other stuff).

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