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What adapting device do I need?


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Hi Loungers.

I've got a 180mm Mak that I've primarily used for observation. I've previously only done DS objects with my trusty ED80 refractor, but now I'd like to have a crack at some planets. The problem is that when I place my camera directly in/at the bottom of the Mak, Jupiter turns up like a small speck of light that I don't think will produce any useful photographs. It's ok for the moon. But I need magnification for the planets.

What adapter do I need so that I can utilize the eyepieces that I already have? I've got a 25,20, and a 10 mm eyepieces.

I've browsed around on my usual vendors webpage, but can't find my way through the multitude of adapters. Can anyone help me pinpoint what it is I need?

 

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What camera do you have, and also is your mak F/15? If you have a DSLR you have a lot of empty space that just needs to be cropped out. Alternatively if your camera has a "movie crop" video imaging mode that records 640x480p videos at 50/60fps you can use that (like a 550D).

Ideally planetary imaging is done with a planetary camera that connects to a pc via a USB3 cable to facilitate very high framerates. The capture resolution will still be the smallest area possible to just barely cover the planet, because the filesizes get ridiculously large really fast with high fps captures.

For planetary imaging the ideal f-ratio is around 4x pixel size in microns (for RGB captures), so actually you are lucky that there are many cameras with 3.75 micron pixels out there that are ideal with your scope straight out the box without any barlows.

39 minutes ago, George Gearless said:

What adapter do I need so that I can utilize the eyepieces that I already have? I've got a 25,20, and a 10 mm eyepieces.

I've browsed around on my usual vendors webpage, but can't find my way through the multitude of adapters. Can anyone help me pinpoint what it is I need?

Not sure i get this bit. Are you trying to do imaging through an eyepiece? Get rid of the eyepiece in between the camera and scope. In that case you would need to get an adapter between your camera and focuser, but that again depends on what camera you were going to shoot with (most dedicated astro cameras come with 1.25'' nosepieces though).

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1 hour ago, ONIKKINEN said:

What camera do you have, and also is your mak F/15? If you have a DSLR you have a lot of empty space that just needs to be cropped out. Alternatively if your camera has a "movie crop" video imaging mode that records 640x480p videos at 50/60fps you can use that (like a 550D).

Ideally planetary imaging is done with a planetary camera that connects to a pc via a USB3 cable to facilitate very high framerates. The capture resolution will still be the smallest area possible to just barely cover the planet, because the filesizes get ridiculously large really fast with high fps captures.

For planetary imaging the ideal f-ratio is around 4x pixel size in microns (for RGB captures), so actually you are lucky that there are many cameras with 3.75 micron pixels out there that are ideal with your scope straight out the box without any barlows.

Not sure i get this bit. Are you trying to do imaging through an eyepiece? Get rid of the eyepiece in between the camera and scope. In that case you would need to get an adapter between your camera and focuser, but that again depends on what camera you were going to shoot with (most dedicated astro cameras come with 1.25'' nosepieces though).

Thanks for the response.

I have a Omegon V-tec 533 Colour. My mak is the Skywatcher Skymax 180/2700

I've got a couple of seasons experience as a DS photographer. But as you can tell from my question, planetary photography is completely new to me.  I've watched some U-tube videos and it was from them that I noticed that the live images in the video were much larger than what I got in mine. So I naturally assumed some sort of 'zoom' was applied. I tried 'zooming' digitally, but got no useful results. My 'logic' then dictated that I'd need to 'zoom' optically, just as I would when observing to see more details.

 

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6 hours ago, George Gearless said:

Thanks for the response.

I have a Omegon V-tec 533 Colour. My mak is the Skywatcher Skymax 180/2700

I've got a couple of seasons experience as a DS photographer. But as you can tell from my question, planetary photography is completely new to me.  I've watched some U-tube videos and it was from them that I noticed that the live images in the video were much larger than what I got in mine. So I naturally assumed some sort of 'zoom' was applied. I tried 'zooming' digitally, but got no useful results. My 'logic' then dictated that I'd need to 'zoom' optically, just as I would when observing to see more details.

 

Size of the planet in pixels without oversampling is dictated by the aperture, you can expect to get around 180 pixel diameter of Jupiter with yours. You could use a barlow to zoom in and make the image bigger, but it will not have more detail as the limit is not in the focal length, but in the aperture area. The formula of an ideal f/ratio for planetary (f_ratio=pixelsize x 4) is an estimation of the resolution where all the detail of the object can be captured and here aperture is king as it will dictate the maximum size of the object in pixels.

You can use that camera in 8-bit mode and a small region of interest to do planetary as well as with dedicated planetary cameras. Thankfully you have 3.75 micron pixels and so no barlow necessary. Using a small ROI is effectively digital zoom and will push your framerates through the roof allowing you to capture the maximum amount of frames over a short period. Be sure to use a USB3 cable!

Jupiter (or any other planet) will appear tiny, mushy, and detailless during capture and you will really only see what you got after stacking. Focus is key, focus visually on the planet itself and not with a bahtinov mask.

Use 5ms exposure time and a RAW8 video capture with the output file being a .SER file. Adjust exposure by changing gain until you have a well exposed video with no clipped pixels. Stack in autostakkert!3 in the end (as!3 can make the best out of colour data).

So in short, you are good to go already, just hook the camera to your visual back with a 1.25" nosepiece and youre good to go.

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8 hours ago, ONIKKINEN said:

Size of the planet in pixels without oversampling is dictated by the aperture, you can expect to get around 180 pixel diameter of Jupiter with yours. You could use a barlow to zoom in and make the image bigger, but it will not have more detail as the limit is not in the focal length, but in the aperture area. The formula of an ideal f/ratio for planetary (f_ratio=pixelsize x 4) is an estimation of the resolution where all the detail of the object can be captured and here aperture is king as it will dictate the maximum size of the object in pixels.

You can use that camera in 8-bit mode and a small region of interest to do planetary as well as with dedicated planetary cameras. Thankfully you have 3.75 micron pixels and so no barlow necessary. Using a small ROI is effectively digital zoom and will push your framerates through the roof allowing you to capture the maximum amount of frames over a short period. Be sure to use a USB3 cable!

Jupiter (or any other planet) will appear tiny, mushy, and detailless during capture and you will really only see what you got after stacking. Focus is key, focus visually on the planet itself and not with a bahtinov mask.

Use 5ms exposure time and a RAW8 video capture with the output file being a .SER file. Adjust exposure by changing gain until you have a well exposed video with no clipped pixels. Stack in autostakkert!3 in the end (as!3 can make the best out of colour data).

So in short, you are good to go already, just hook the camera to your visual back with a 1.25" nosepiece and youre good to go.

Wow!

This was very helpful. Thankyou so much.

I guess I was expecting the same visual perception as when I was merely observing through my various eyepieces. 

I'm trying to figure out a way to fit my autofocuser on my Skywatcher mak. I'm sure that would be very beneficial in obtaining perfect focus. Focus is always important. But I'm sensing that it is even more so when photographing planets.

Thanks again.

George

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