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ZWO ASI178MC hovering over BUY button


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So I’m very close to purchasing above camera, I have Skywatcher 150p on Heq5 pro, just a couple of questions:

1. Can it be used at prime focus using sharpcap for precise polar alignment plate solving or does it need to be on a guide scope?

2. when at prime focus does the body of the camera sustain scratches from the screws on the focus tube 

Is it like 4 cameras in one? Planetary solar and lunar, polar alignment camera, deep sky, and all sky with the lens?

Any other thoughts welcomed. 
 

TIA  

 

Edited by Peco4321
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  • 3 weeks later...

0. What do you mean by ‘prime focus’, and are you looking at the cooled version or uncooked.

1. You can use your imaging OTA for polar alignment.

2. Yes, unless you replace the thumb screws with nylon tipped. Ive never tried that for a camera as I don’t know if the nylon contracts in the cold which would loosen the grip on the camer

ZWO show it as 4 stars for planetary and 3.5 for DSO. 

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1. Yes (haven't used it like that but no reason why it needs to be on guide scope). Only caveat is that it can have rather small field of view on large focal length instrument and sometimes that can prevent plate solving (depends on how much stars you'll get in FOV and how many stars there are in plate solving database).

2. I use mine with T2 thread so never worried about scratching body of the camera. There is also 1.25" nose piece included that screws onto T2 thread - it is replaceable part so you don't have to worry too much about screw markings

On 22/05/2021 at 11:42, Peco4321 said:

Is it like 4 cameras in one? Planetary solar and lunar, polar alignment camera, deep sky, and all sky with the lens?

Yes, it is very versatile camera - it can do all sorts of things, however, it has drawbacks in some uses.

For deep sky - it is a bit small sensor. For all sky - it is a bit large sensor :D. I use my ASI185 with small cs-mount lens that has very wide FOV - but when I attach that lens on 178 - it does not cover whole sensor.

Btw, I have cooled version and yes, it is very good for planetary / lunar / solar use and it is decent for deep sky. It can also be used as guide camera.

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18 minutes ago, iapa said:

What do you mean by ‘prime focus’,

Prime focus is when you place sensor directly at imaging plane (no eyepiece or camera lens used).

Alternatives for imaging are:

- eyepiece projection - where eyepiece acts as projection lens - it can both act as reducer or as amplifier - depending on what distance you use between sensor and eyepiece

image.png.60cf08b86b7c1247c422925206ef4353.png

- Afocal method - also involves eyepiece, but camera lens as well. It can also act as reducer or amplifier - depending on focal lengths of eyepiece and lens used (lens > eyepiece - amplification, lens < eyepiece - reduction)

image.png.487ef3a95206a783ec110aec4b232880.png

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On 22/05/2021 at 10:42, Peco4321 said:

So I’m very close to purchasing above camera, I have Skywatcher 150p on Heq5 pro, just a couple of questions:

1. Can it be used at prime focus using sharpcap for precise polar alignment plate solving or does it need to be on a guide scope?

2. when at prime focus does the body of the camera sustain scratches from the screws on the focus tube 

Is it like 4 cameras in one? Planetary solar and lunar, polar alignment camera, deep sky, and all sky with the lens?

Any other thoughts welcomed. 
 

TIA  

 

When you start to get dust bunnies everywhere, the days of worrying about screw marks on the camera will be long gone, especially when you try to clean the chip,  and initially it gets worse. Fun times. I  am just playing. Mine is marked. But it doesnt bother me. Even selling it shouldnt bother a buyer, i wouldnt have thought. But if you can find a way to secure it unmarked why not i guess. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for not replying to your messages, been offline for a while. 
I did buy it and so far not had much chance to really test it much except for a quick bit of lunar recently and a little go at the ring nebula.  This is just 20 sec clip using the ASI capture software, Autostakkert and Registax6.  The moon was low and I was not sure of settings but early signs promising.  Polar alignment took a while but I think I know what I was doing wrong so no panic there yet. 
 

So next set of questions:

1. Is sharpcap or ASI software better

2. I tried deep sky, image on screen was colour of Ring nebula but saved images not colour and stacking took ages and also mono. I’ve read so many things about what settings and I’ve got myself confused. I’d appreciate any guidance on what to take images in, raw 8 raw 16 fits tiff etc. 
3. How do you get colour through DSS. 
 

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