#1  
Old 24-07-2013, 04:38 PM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,692
CCD for imaging noob?

Hi All you experts out there

I'd like to dip my toe in and see what the water's like....ideally to be able to do some planetary (C8) and some fainter stuff (small refractor)...just guessing that such a thing doesn't exist, but doesn't hurt to ask

So I'd welcome suggestions for a first cam

Edit: should add that I'm not looking for hubble-like results, but just something I can get started and learn with.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 24-07-2013, 05:25 PM
Shiraz's Avatar
Shiraz (Ray)
Registered User

Shiraz is online now
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ardrossan south australia
Posts: 4,796
Atik Titan maybe? Haven't used one, but it has a modern CCD, can run at moderately high framerates for planetary and is cooled, so will work OK for DSO targets. Pixels are a bit big, but it should be reasonably well matched to both of your scopes if you get a Barlow for the C8/planetary. Probably a good way to dip your toes into this very deep pond.
http://www.atik-cameras.com/products/info/atik-titan

Would recommend a mono camera. You will be able to produce black and white pictures straight off and, if you get the bug, can get a filter wheel and filters for colour later on. The main reason for suggesting mono is that, when you get the next camera, the mono Atik should be a good guide camera.

Last edited by Shiraz; 24-07-2013 at 05:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 24-07-2013, 05:28 PM
White Rabbit's Avatar
White Rabbit
Space Cadet

White Rabbit is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,409
What's your budget? A cheap second hand dslr is a good way to get started. Check the ice trades there are always dslrs for sale. And they are really easy to use. Mono ccd can be expensive to get into.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24-07-2013, 08:57 PM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,692
Thanks chaps! Doing some scouting around I've noticed some of the ccd are available in mono and colour...what's the disadvantage of the colour versions?

I'm just not sure how much I'm going to get into this, can't see me out all night imaging one object but I know the great images in the image forum are not easy to come by.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 24-07-2013, 09:37 PM
Shiraz's Avatar
Shiraz (Ray)
Registered User

Shiraz is online now
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ardrossan south australia
Posts: 4,796
colour cams have about 1/3 the sensitivity and slightly less resolution than mono. They are easier to use than a mono camera setup, since you only take one image (or one sequence of images that are stacked to form a single image) and the colour information is already encoded in it by on-chip filters - one for each pixel.

Mono cameras require external filters to provide colour info which adds to the cost and complexity - but you have more control over the imaging process and get to choose which filters/exposures will give best results for the target and conditions. You can also use binning to increase sensitivity at the expense of resolution if required. However, you must take one image (or image sequence) through each filter and later combine them in software to produce a final colour image, so it's a lot more work.

The total time to gather images through 4 filters with a mono cam will probably end up being a bit less than you would need if using a colour camera (only one image), but there may not be much in it on brighter targets.

Good images can be taken with either type of camera. Some targets require long exposures, but a lot of worthwhile deep space images can be taken in an hour or two with scopes like yours and a DSLR or low end CCD camera - mono or colour. Planetary images require maybe up to 10 minutes. If you intend to image dimmer deep space objects, it is a good idea to get a cooled camera, since you would have to image for a long time to overcome the thermal noise (dark current) of an uncooled camera on faint objects. With their inherently lower sensitivity, colour cameras may be unable to reach the dimmest objects.

Last edited by Shiraz; 25-07-2013 at 07:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 25-07-2013, 12:28 PM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,692
Thanks Ray, I might start off with a colour cam and see what I can get out of it and it me it'd be only for brighter targets but it's good to get a grip with its limitations.

I hear imaging can be a bit of a money pit, so will be careful walking the edge...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 25-07-2013, 12:50 PM
Shiraz's Avatar
Shiraz (Ray)
Registered User

Shiraz is online now
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ardrossan south australia
Posts: 4,796
it is a money pit as big as you want it to be.

If you want to start off with colour, Sandy's advice is good - get a DSLR. You could maybe also consider the used Atik Titan colour cam that is for sale here on IIS if you want to be a bit more adventurous. anyway, have fun. Regards ray
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 25-07-2013, 02:20 PM
Poita (Peter)
Registered User

Poita is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NSW Country
Posts: 3,585
Before spending *any* money, I'd have a go at processing some of the raw files, fits files etc. posted here and other places and see how you go with processing them.
Capturing the image is only half, actually I reckon way less that half the story. You will often spend way, way more time processing than taking the images in the first place!
The processing is the harder bit, and if you don't enjoy processing you probably won't enjoy astrophotography all that much

Have a go at some planetary and deep space raw files and see how you go. Then you will have sorted some of the software you need and some of the techniques before spending any $$ and you will get a better idea of what's involved etc.

Processing can be a lot of fun, but can also be a bit daunting, tackling it before you get a camera can make it a lot easier when you do start shooting to understand better what you need to do at the scope.

Just my 2c.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 25-07-2013, 06:23 PM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,692
Good idea - thanks Peter.

The processing seems a little daunting now actually buying the cam sounds far too easy!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 14-05-2014, 10:19 AM
Amaranthus's Avatar
Amaranthus (Barry)
Thylacinus stargazoculus

Amaranthus is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Judbury, Tasmania
Posts: 1,202
This was a useful read (I know I'm digging up a somewhat old thread, but hey, better than starting a repeat!). I'm also looking at getting an entry-level CCD, to start me on that pathway (currently imaging with a planetary cam [Neximage 5] and a DSLR [Sony NEX-3]).

I was thinking of trying the Orion SS G3 Mono, which could get me started at low cost, but could be used later as a useful autoguider.

http://www.bintel.com.au/Astrophotog...oductview.aspx

Thoughts? Is the FOV going to be too narrow?

Did you end up making an investment in the CCD world, Dunk?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 14-05-2014, 11:53 AM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,692
Barry, yes and no

For planetary, I bought a colour QHY5L-ii (which is relatively inexpensive), it's basically a guide cam...but I'm pretty pleased with the results I've been getting recently. One thing is that it seems to struggle with noise a bit on the fainter objects...I've not had a Saturn image that I'm particularly happy with. A more sensitive and/or less noisy option is on the wish list, but a simpler solution would be to get a barlow to put me somewhere in between f/10 and f/25.

For DSOs, I bought a Canon 1100D DSLR on closeout. I've only really tinkered so far but motivated by what I've been able to capture.

I'm not convinced there's a sweet spot between the two. I'd say the combo you have now should work pretty well to get started with.

Regarding a mono camera....they are more sensitive as they don't have the bayer filter in the way, but you then need to contend with a filter wheel. For me, that's more complication with all the fun I've had getting the subject on the chip
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 14-05-2014, 12:06 PM
cometcatcher's Avatar
cometcatcher (Kevin)
<--- Comet Hale-Bopp

cometcatcher is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cloudy Mackay
Posts: 6,127
The field of view with the G3 - 752 x 582 in 1/2 inch format would be pretty narrow. I have a video camera with those specs. I'll post some pics which would be a good comparison field of view wise, though the G3 would be more sensitive.

M42 with an ED80 at F5.5, 440mm focal length and NGC1365 and supernova with our SW120mm F5 achro.

With your big SC you would be doing planetary with it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (m42_1210_80F55.jpg)
78.0 KB24 views
Click for full-size image (ngc1365_121102_5F5.jpg)
73.9 KB18 views
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 14-05-2014, 12:15 PM
Amaranthus's Avatar
Amaranthus (Barry)
Thylacinus stargazoculus

Amaranthus is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Judbury, Tasmania
Posts: 1,202
Thanks guys.

My target objects for the CCD are deep sky (I'm perfectly happy with the Neximage 5 I own for planetary), and my initial scopes for 'getting my feet wet' would be my SCT at f/6.3 (1280mm FL) and my SW120 achro at f/5 (600mm FL.) So those pics help calibrate things in my mind for the latter, thanks Kevin. It seems okay for what I'm looking for (I can use my NEX-3 for wider shots).

In the medium-term, I plan on getting an apo at f/5.5 to f/7, FL of around 600 to 900 mm (though I'm toying with the idea of starting out with something really widefield, like the Orion ED80T).

I'm quite happy to muck about with a mono and filters - part of the learning experience that I'm looking forward to, and besides, the mono will make a superior guidecam when it comes time to upgrade the CCD to something serious.

Should I be looking at the QHY mono series? What do the entry level units come in at?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 16-05-2014, 05:13 PM
Amaranthus's Avatar
Amaranthus (Barry)
Thylacinus stargazoculus

Amaranthus is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Judbury, Tasmania
Posts: 1,202
Well, I pulled the trigger today, and ordered an Orion ED80T CF, TeleVue 0.8x FR/FF, and a StarShoot G3 monochrome + LRGB/wheel, to be mounted on an AZ-EQ6 GT. I'm going to use my SW120 as the guidescope, and the Neximage 5 as the autoguider.

Lots of learnings ahead, methinks... Once all the kit arrives and is setup, I might post a new thread with some pics.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 16-05-2014, 08:54 PM
cometcatcher's Avatar
cometcatcher (Kevin)
<--- Comet Hale-Bopp

cometcatcher is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cloudy Mackay
Posts: 6,127
That will keep you busy for a while. The ED80 will of course also work well with your Nex-3.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 16-05-2014, 09:08 PM
Camelopardalis's Avatar
Camelopardalis (Dunk)
Drifting from the pole

Camelopardalis is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4,692
Nice one Barry keep us posted
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 16-05-2014, 09:37 PM
Amaranthus's Avatar
Amaranthus (Barry)
Thylacinus stargazoculus

Amaranthus is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Judbury, Tasmania
Posts: 1,202
Yep, in fact when I'm imaging with my NEX-3, I plan to use the G3 as my autoguider, since it's more sensitive than the Neximage 5 and so should be that much easier to use. But as you guys say, I'll be a busy boy gradually working through all the details... and luv'n it!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time is now 09:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement
Star Adventurer
Advertisement
Celestron RASA
Advertisement
EQ8-R
Advertisement
Lunatico Astronomical
Advertisement
Testar
Advertisement
Astromechanics
Advertisement
Bintel
Advertisement
Astronomy and Electronics Centre
Advertisement