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I am now seriously looking at getting a Mono CCD camera and I would like some help in spending my money once I have saved up.

I would like to do some narrowband imaging as well as LRGB.

I think I would prefer a fairly large chip.

Budget for the lot - Cam, filter wheel, filters - around £2500 eventually, although I am willing to push that a bit if it makes sense in terms of quality/value for money.

My first step, would be to get the CCD Camera first and combine the Luminance from that with RGB data from my DSLR, is that a reasonable first step?

Chip size, maybe something with the Kodak 8300 chip? alternative suggestions welcome, also at which point do you need 2" filters as that will make a big difference in final expense and I will need to adjust my plans accordingly.

Filters which makes are the good ones?

Secondhand is also a possibility especially the wheel and filters.

So folks, whats looking good out there today and what to avoid.

:(

Thanks Pete :D

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how about the SXVR-H18 mono...thats about £1900, leaving 600 for the wheel and filters...

as for filters, the best are custom scientific, but these are expensive. Go with the baader, great quality and good price.

go for the 2" if you want, but you could probably get away with 1.25".....

so my best advice is the 8300 chip (from various manufacturers), and baader NB and LRGB filters.....

i am not so sure about filterwheels....

but all this should be near the 2500 mark. I dont see how you can do better than this...

good luck

paul

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I was informed that the SX H18 will not work with 1.25 filters without vignetting (sensor position/setback) although a baader adaptor to 'set' the filter within the nose may help, (but then you have to change each time, reposition everything, refocus etc)...

I am assured the Atik 8300 version will be ok with 1.25 filters!?! Sbig version will not...

As for filters.... Astrodon may be worthwhile if you do get a camera that can use 1.25 in filters... the 2 inch ones are considerably ore expensive.

Steve

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383L+...the way to go for my money, with the Atik usb wheel (full scripted)...sorted

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steve, why assume that because the astrodons are more expensive they are better.

i recommended baader because they are very high quality. They get better reviews than the astrodons....

and they are waaaaayyyy cheaper.

so a 8300 based camera with 2" baaders....all good to go....

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Not yet, but mine will be with Astronomik filters..should have had one a few weeks ago for test

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Look forward Nick to some results when you get the test up and running.

I have been looking at the 383L+ or the SXVR-H18 but there is a big dfiirence in price and I don't really know why?

So thanks for all the advice, keep it coming whilst I save my pennies.

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steve, why assume that because the astrodons are more expensive they are better.

i recommended baader because they are very high quality. They get better reviews than the astrodons....

and they are waaaaayyyy cheaper.

so a 8300 based camera with 2" baaders....all good to go....

I repect your choices and have read and tried to digest your choosing a ccd etc... have even downloaded and printed it for bedside reading :D

But why have you no ccd listed in your sig, I can only presume its a temporary responsible financial reason...

If so what would be on your wish list for £1500. I have a few scopes and a 40D that doesnt like 5 minute iso 1600 plus exposures in summer :D

with the summer nights short and NW coastal weather not that predictable in winter I was thinking an ATIK 383L colour as my next buy... what are your thoughts in my situation?

With respect to Pete (adamsp123) I'm now in the same position..

Guy..

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you dont need to have owned a camera to know if its good or not.

you need to to understand what makes a camera good. I do. And i make my opinions based on that

my friend in the states has characterised several 8300 based cameras, and knows an awful lot about the technology. He knows a fair bit about the filters too. I base my recommendations on his characterisations and opinions too. Through his insights i have learnt how this industry works. Its not pretty. It is cutthroat, I assure you. I was chucked off Apogee's group and almost off SBIG's, and Martin Pugh certainly doesnt like me :D

i have used my friend H9 to good effect in narrowband imaging, and have done an extensive report characterising the H16.

why dont I have one. Well thats a personal question, but seeing as my credentials have been questioned, I am a PhD student characterising and soon designing CMOS sensors, saving his pennies to train as a commercial pilot.

I suggest you read my litle document and make your choice with this in mind. I promise the information in there is factually accurate, and in no way promotes one manufacturer over another

yes i think the ATIK383 comes in around £1500, which is certainly a good price, but for that i would expect a higher read noise than some of the more expensive cameras. You never get more than what you paid for, if you do well you get what you paid for. If you are working in a high signal regime like broadband LRGB then a higher read noise is of little significance, as the photon shot noise will dominate, ditto if you live in a high LP environment. If you do narrowband, with lower backgrounds and weaker signals then the read noise becomes more important.

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Go Paul! lol, jk, erm Paul's stateside friend knows quite a bit about imaging.

But that doesn't have to influence your choice, I would find something that fits your budget aswell as your needs and give it a go.

(Paul what's with the massive flag dude?....get a Yorkshire one!)

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Yorkshire has a flag.....but it reminds me of Leeds football club, eugh!

Maybe I should just have one of Yorkshire Tea : p

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I'm a humble practical imager who does, though, get to see plenty of cameras in action in my line of work. I am always greatful to Paul for his expertise and willingness to share his knowledge. His 'choosing a camera' article is the business. Equally, though, if you look at the images posted you do see that an awful lot of cameras take an awful lot of good pictures. This fact can be lost sight of when you get too fiercely involved in the technicalities.

I'd go for the Atik, too. Their software is good and works even for a numpty like me. No mean feat of code writing, that! If you keep the 1.25 filters close-in with the right wheel you'll get away with it but flats will be vital every time. You might say that they always are anyway.

Baader filters are great in my opinon, both LRGB and narrowband. The Ha is a peach.

I'm not lookimg to change.

Using your CCD lum data on top of a DSLR colour image ought to work. I would certainly use Registar for creating a re-sized and geometrically corrected colour layer.

It is easy and totally accurate. You might find a lack of saturation in the colour layer but pushing the colour contrast a la Martin B and using noise reduction on that layer should allow you to apply most if not all your luminance data to the RGB without washing it out.

Flags? In the States they are everywhere, outside people's tents on campsites, on their front lawns... It kind of makes me nervous.

Olly

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I have made a start and purchased a Atik 383L+, have had a go and it shows real promise and the supplied software is a doddle to use, but it helps to tick the save data to computer box!!!!!

My next big task with money leaving bank is a roll off obsy followed by a filter wheel and a set of LRGB 2" filters, probably the Baader ones.

I will do some tests with my various scopes and decide on which will be on the permanent setup....... and there is still the 190MN annoyingly itching at the back of my Brain .....buy me try me.....arrrrg.

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My first step, would be to get the CCD Camera first and combine the Luminance from that with RGB data from my DSLR, is that a reasonable first step?

I'm not exactly an expert by any means on this, but wouldn't the FOV of the CCD camera be totally different to that of the DSLR? I know it is for my setup (Imaging Source CCD + Canon 450D). Given that, I'm not sure how you would manage to combine the data from these different sources since you'd effectively have images of the same thing at different scales depending on the FOV.

David

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