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Returning to Astrophotography


JemC
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Hi all,
Not sure which section to put this in? getting started or cameras, (Mods please move if necessary)
Need a little help/advice/recommendations,

I have been away from my telescope/astrophotography for about 2 maybe 3 years, i kind of lost the mojo for it, but now looking to get back to it,  So i'm looking for camera advice/help,

Previously i only ever used a DSLR for astrophotography, however i am thinking do i stick with that or do i get something different? I know there will be a learning curve with new camera setup,

My area of interest is/would be Nebulae and Galaxies,i know there is no one camera fits all kind of thing, so Nebulae would be my main interest with Galaxies coming 2nd.

My current scope is the (Older Blue Model) Sky-Watcher Evostar 80 DS-PRO ED, so with that in mind what would be a good camera to pair that with, colour or mono i'm not fussed really,

My budget for new/2nd hand camera is £700 but could maybe stretch to £800.

Any help/advice (good or bad) will be greatly appreciated. 

Regards
JemC

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Well, your budget is the limiting factor.

Going by your interests and scope that you already have - I was going to recommend mono camera + filters and narrowband filters in particular.

However, such setup is way out of your budget (you'll struggle to find even cooled camera to fit your budget let alone all filters and filter wheel). I can't tell what is available second hand, but if you want to go with new, this is probably the best that you can get with that sort of budget:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/zwo-cameras/zwo-asi-183mc-pro-usb-3-cooled-colour-camera.html

 

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Its a tricky choice... My thought processes would be:

I would vote for option 1 and save up for option 3 in the mean time.

What mount do you have?  That is an important factor too.

Edited by scitmon
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22 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

Well, your budget is the limiting factor.

Going by your interests and scope that you already have - I was going to recommend mono camera + filters and narrowband filters in particular.

However, such setup is way out of your budget (you'll struggle to find even cooled camera to fit your budget let alone all filters and filter wheel). I can't tell what is available second hand, but if you want to go with new, this is probably the best that you can get with that sort of budget:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/zwo-cameras/zwo-asi-183mc-pro-usb-3-cooled-colour-camera.html

 

Thanks for your reply,

I do have a set of standard RGB filters and manual filter wheel, not ideal i know but perhaps a start 🙂

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7 minutes ago, JemC said:

Thanks for your reply,

I do have a set of standard RGB filters and manual filter wheel, not ideal i know but perhaps a start 🙂

Well, mono cameras tend to be a bit more expensive - so if you can stretch the budget:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/zwo-cameras/zwo-asi-183mm-pro-usb-3-cooled-mono-camera.html

for £979

or FLO is having discount on some items that were pre owned / serviced:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/offers/offer_zwo-asi1600mm-pro-usb-3-mono-camera_190239.html

for £1,147

These are both very good options. Starting now with just those filters is fine, and you can add narrow band filters later on.

 

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22 hours ago, scitmon said:

Just out of curiosity 🙂 would there be a noticeable difference using this filter with un-modded dslr as opposed to a modded dslr ?

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8 minutes ago, JemC said:

Just out of curiosity 🙂 would there be a noticeable difference using this filter with un-modded dslr as opposed to a modded dslr ?

The l-enhance won't increase your signal, but it will decrease the noise.

It's designed for moderately light-polluted areas. How is your LP?

 

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For emission nebulae, an unmodded DSLR's IR cutout filter will remove much of the predominant deep-red hydrogen-alpha signal. Still can be done, but you're starting at a disadvantage.

See astronomy.tools for matching scope to camera sensor. I have a 183 for my 362mm F/L rig and love it.

Edited by rickwayne
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52 minutes ago, Jm1973 said:

It's designed for moderately light-polluted areas. How is your LP?

 

Looking on the light pollution map, it says i'm in a Bortle 5 area - not sure how accurate the map is though,

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1 minute ago, JemC said:

Looking on the light pollution map, it says i'm in a Bortle 5 area - not sure how accurate the map is though,

It might be ok for that. Depending on your target you may find a an un-modded DSLR doesn't work that well on it.

There are a lot of targets that do work well with an un-modded DSLR though.

 

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If it was me I'd treat myself to a cooled CCD and push the budget a little more if needs be. You lost your mojo before with DSO imaging (I did too), and a more sensitive CCD stands a better chance of you keeping it this time.

I imaged with a DSLR for a few years, I wish I had gone the CCD route (I ended up switching to solar imaging with a mono CCD). All the effort that goes into it, why not give yourself the best chance of getting images that keep you thrilled if budget allows?

Edited by Luke
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