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GlenM

Hi-Res shots of the Moon.

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I'm afraid I know nothing about CMOS/CCD cameras and what they can actually do. I would like to take Hi-res images of the Moon. I am looking at the ZWO 120 mono to do this. It looks pretty good for a newbie .Have I got this right? I don't really want to spend too much to get me started.

 

Thank you,

Glen.

 

 

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Yes, that would be perfect for starting out.

If your budget can be stretched that much - get USB 3.0 version. You'll also need decent laptop computer - preferably one with SSD drive for storage and of course USB 3.0 port.

What scope are you going to use the camera with? Depending on scope selection, you'll need a barlow / telecentric lens. Barlow of decent optical quality would be better as you can vary magnification by varying distance to the sensor.

One last thing that you might consider is use of filter - you'll need fairly narrow band one (but not too narrowband) - preferably in longer wavelengths. Something like H alpha, or maybe Baader solar continuum. IR Pass filters are also good option.

Filter is not necessary but can increase sharpness quite a bit in average seeing. It can also transform achromatic refractor into razor sharp scope for lunar imaging (even fast achromats).

When you say Hi-res images, do you mean a lot of mega pixels or high magnification? For a lot of megapixels in image you'll need to master mosaic technique with ASI120. It is small sensor and it won't be able to get large portion of the moon in single "shot" - you'll need to do multiple images and then combine them in large image.

In the meantime maybe try to find some tutorials / videos on how to shoot planets / moon with lucky imaging technique and what is involved in processing such images (calibration step, stacking step, sharpening and post processing ....). Do a bit of search on software needed (you can do all that is needed with free software like SharpCap / FireCapture, Pipp, AutoStakkert3! and Registax6).

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That's all great information, thank you. I will be using my Borg 77ED II and a Sharpstar 60mm FPL 53  doublet. The Borg is 510mm FL and the Sharpstar is 330mm FL. I have been looking around and I'm wondering if the colour version of the 120 would be cheaper for me in the long run. No need for filter wheels and filters. I know that I would lose some resolution, but don't know just how much. I don't have a laptop with USB 3, but it does use a SSD with a i7 processor. I also use a MBP but that's a no go I suppose.

 

thank you again,

Glen.

 

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Just double checked and found that I do actually have 2x USB 3 ports, DOH!

 

Glen.

 

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Posted (edited)

I'd second vlaiv's comments on USB3, you will get much quicker frame rates. If you can stretch to one of the USB3 models I'ts really worth it. On your MBP you can use OAcapture which was developed and is supported by JamesF on here. 

Those two short refractors wont get you in too close to the moon but you might have some fun with high power barlow/telecentric extenders (3x, 4x, 5x etc.). I use an Explore Scientific 2x focal extender and I think it's superb, they do a 3x version and I'll be buying one of those too at some point.

I personally like to see colour images of the moon as there can be some very subtle colouring in the mares which really make an image stand out for me. Personal preference really.  

Whenever I'm thinking about purchasing imaging gear i will go on astrobin, and being clever with the search function you can compare images taking with that gear to images taken with other gear.

Edited by CraigT82

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For Moon alone, I think it is worth having mono version - not much color on the moon, and use of filters will certainly be better with mono version (if you choose to add one of mentioned filters for sharpness).

Mono version is better choice if you decide to do deep sky AP later on - as a guide camera (but not much difference in color there - color can be used without trouble as well).

If you plan to shoot planets as well - like Jupiter / Saturn, then color is more sensible choice. It's easier to work with.

Both mentioned apertures are quite small for high resolution imaging. Resolution of image will depend on aperture used. Those scopes are quite ok to start with and work on your skills, but you'll want something at least like Mak127 for a bit more serious imaging. 5-6" Newtonian with long focal length is another very good option later on - like SW 150PL 6" F/8 for example (if you can mount it, for planetary imaging mounting scope is much easier than for deep sky imaging, you can under mount scope and still do very very good images).

In any case, those two scopes are rather fast, so you will certainly need barlow. Aim at F/12 or higher - up to F/15 and even more, for most detail / highest res images.

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Thank you so much guys. Learning all the time.

 

Glen.

 

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