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Go Back   IceInSpace > Beginners Start Here > Beginners Equipment Discussions

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  #1  
Old 26-10-2018, 03:22 PM
Jasp05 (Aaron)
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Next upgrade - What should it be?

Hi guys,

I'm looking to take the next step in my imaging journey. I will start by laying out my current gear.

HEQ5Pro with Belt Mod (Pier Mounted)
50mm guide scope and asi120mm guide camera
Imaging Camera: Canon 1200D and assorted lenses.

I haven't bothered with a scope yet as I was just learning the intricacies of guiding and using the EQ mount.

I'm comfortable with where I'm at with my setup now I want to either buy a scope or new imaging camera.

I'm imaging from my backyard of a city with a population of approx 50-60k. So quite light polluted skies.

I feel like a mono camera with cooling would produce the best results in the short term until I can buy a scope.

If I were to go a scope first, yes I may get more detail of the object I'm imaging , but I think I will still struggle with light pollution with the DSLR.

Or would buying a scope and light pollution filter produce results as good as a cooled imaging camera mounted to a DSLR lens?

At this stage I think my preference would be the cooled imaging camera and some filters. (I hate light pollution and I believe narrow band imaging will remove this problem. I assume the standard RGB filters will still suck in the light pollution as well yes? It's only Ha, Oiii, Sii or a strong UHC filter or similar will stop the light pollution?).

Also going the imaging camera means my guiding requirements are still quite large, which is also a bonus as I still have some issues to work out to get under 1" RMS total. (getting close though )

If I were to go an ED80 scope or similar that would push my guiding right to the limit of where I'm at right now. (1.2-1.5" total RMS).

Does anyone have any opinions on what would work best? Please explain reasons for why you would or wouldn't recommend one option or the other.

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 26-10-2018, 03:34 PM
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Atmos (Colin)
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What lens’ do you have at the moment?

There is a lot of fun to be had with an ASI1600, filters and lens’ but a DSLR and scope can also be a killer combo.
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  #3  
Old 26-10-2018, 04:30 PM
Jasp05 (Aaron)
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I've got the standard 18-55m lens. A "Nifty -Fifty" 50mm f1.8, and a 55-250mm F5.6-6.3 Zoom currently.

I have also considered just purchasing a better quality DSLR lens. Something like a 70-200m F4 or similar. But by the time I buy one of those I may as well just buy a refractor.
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  #4  
Old 26-10-2018, 04:53 PM
Jasp05 (Aaron)
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Not sure if this will help, but I'm considering the following cameras. I've thrown in some specs for quick reference. Thought it might help in advising which is better.

ASI174MM - C - 2.35MP, 5.86um pixel size, 78% QE, 32ke Full well, 6e read noise.

ASI183MM -C - 20.1MP, 2.4um Pixels, 84% QE, 15ke Full well, 1.6e@30db gain read noise.

ASI 294MC PRO - 11.7MP, 4.63um Pixels, 63.7k Full well, 1.2e @ 39db gain Read noise

ASI1600MM PRO - 16MP, 3.8um Pixels, 20k Full well, 1.2e @ 30db gain Read noise.
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  #5  
Old 26-10-2018, 07:06 PM
kosborn (Kevin)
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I would go with an OTA and personally I'd recommend either the Sky-Watcher Esprit 80ED or if you have the cash, the Esprit 100ED. I live in a "city" with a population of approximately 350,000 (no prizes for guessing which city) and a DSLR connected to a Sky-Watcher Esprit 100ED gave me images I was very happy with. The light pollution hasn't troubled me that much. Just don't try imaging when the moon is bright! You still have the option of using your camera and standard lenses to go wide field if you want.


Kevin
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  #6  
Old 26-10-2018, 09:11 PM
Jasp05 (Aaron)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosborn View Post
I would go with an OTA and personally I'd recommend either the Sky-Watcher Esprit 80ED or if you have the cash, the Esprit 100ED. I live in a "city" with a population of approximately 350,000 (no prizes for guessing which city) and a DSLR connected to a Sky-Watcher Esprit 100ED gave me images I was very happy with. The light pollution hasn't troubled me that much. Just don't try imaging when the moon is bright! You still have the option of using your camera and standard lenses to go wide field if you want.

Kevin
What kind of dslr do you use and is it astro modded? I really struggle to pick up much ha emission in my images with my current camera. I know the 5d's seem to be more sensitive to this wavelength than my entry lvl dslr.
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  #7  
Old 26-10-2018, 09:58 PM
kosborn (Kevin)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasp05 View Post
What kind of dslr do you use and is it astro modded? I really struggle to pick up much ha emission in my images with my current camera. I know the 5d's seem to be more sensitive to this wavelength than my entry lvl dslr.

I have a Canon 100D that I started with (not modded). It had lots of noise and as you said, wasn't very sensitive to Ha but I was still happy with the images. I've now moved to a ZWO ASI1600MM-Pro. Having said that, if I had to choose between a good APO refractor and a dedicated astro camera, I would still go with the refractor first. Of course, if you have the cash, get both!



Kevin
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  #8  
Old 26-10-2018, 11:05 PM
Jasp05 (Aaron)
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Thanks for the input guys.

I would just like to ask one more question. My images with a dslr have not been great when taken from town. Ive obtained some half decent results from dark sky locations in the past.

Wouldn't an imaging camera and a lens produce better quality images (more colour due to better sensitivity, and less noise due to cooling, and ability to narrowband image to limit effects of light pollution?). At this stage im still happy experimenting with widefield imaging.

My main goal of the upgrade is to produce images with more colour / vibrance and less noise. If a scope can do that i will definately consider.
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  #9  
Old 27-10-2018, 11:26 AM
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Camelopardalis (Dunk)
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If light pollution is the problem, then any camera will suffer from the problem. A dark sky visit is the best solution, but depending on the type of street lights you suffer from, a light pollution filter may help.

The advantage of your mono camera is that you can use narrowband filters to capture only the emission lines you’re interested in (and therefore don’t need the light pollution filter).

Whether you use a lens or a telescope is up to you....they are just different focal lengths. The best focal lengths really depend on what targets you want to image, but ultimately there is something up there for pretty much every focal length
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  #10  
Old 27-10-2018, 03:14 PM
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My vote goes to the cooled imaging camera. I’ve got good experience with SLR work, nodded and unmodded, with various filters from light pollution to narrowband. The images I took got better and better and light pollution is now a lesser problem. But it’s the constant noise that bothers me-even in winter, when the sensor cools to around 7C. What I’ve seen from even moderately priced cooled mono‘s just looks so much more clean that I am going to go that way as soon as some spare cash comes my way. I had some rare opportunity to shoot with my nifty fifty at high altitude and sub zero temperatures. Those images kill everything I can take from my backyard. So given that home is where I do most of my shooting, I reckon cooled mono with narrowband is the way to go - regardless of the glass in front of the sensor.
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  #11  
Old 27-10-2018, 04:25 PM
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It's your call on whether you want a scope or a camera the most I have been playing around with ZWO cameras and lenses and it is a lot of fun but some tweaking is needed to get good results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasp05 View Post
ASI174MM - C - 2.35MP, 5.86um pixel size, 78% QE, 32ke Full well, 6e read noise.

ASI183MM -C - 20.1MP, 2.4um Pixels, 84% QE, 15ke Full well, 1.6e@30db gain read noise.

ASI 294MC PRO - 11.7MP, 4.63um Pixels, 63.7k Full well, 1.2e @ 39db gain Read noise

ASI1600MM PRO - 16MP, 3.8um Pixels, 20k Full well, 1.2e @ 30db gain Read noise.
The two that I got are the ASI294 and ASI1600 because I want to do colour and lum/narrowband at the same time. If I had to pick just one it would be the ASI1600 as mono is more versatile.

IMO the ASI174 is just too small for deep sky work and the ASI183 pixels are too small if you want fast results (small pixels collect fewer photons and it will take a lot more integration time to get the low noise result that you want.)

Cheers,
Rick.
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  #12  
Old 27-10-2018, 08:42 PM
Jasp05 (Aaron)
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Thanks everyone for the input. I think the cooled camera will be my end choice. Temps here are pretty hot during the warmer months. Took some images last night and the sensor temp on the dslr was approaching 40 degrees. 😔

A cooled camera should really make imaging this time of year much more bearable. Although i may have to save a bit longer for that asi1600mm pro and filters as its getting a bit above budget right now.
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  #13  
Old 27-10-2018, 09:35 PM
Jasp05 (Aaron)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickS View Post
It's your call on whether you want a scope or a camera the most I have been playing around with ZWO cameras and lenses and it is a lot of fun but some tweaking is needed to get good results.



The two that I got are the ASI294 and ASI1600 because I want to do colour and lum/narrowband at the same time. If I had to pick just one it would be the ASI1600 as mono is more versatile.

IMO the ASI174 is just too small for deep sky work and the ASI183 pixels are too small if you want fast results (small pixels collect fewer photons and it will take a lot more integration time to get the low noise result that you want.)

Cheers,
Rick.
What kind of tweaks are you referring to rick?
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  #14  
Old 27-10-2018, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasp05 View Post
What kind of tweaks are you referring to rick?
Hi Aaron,

If you're trying to image at fast focal ratios the spacing from the sensor to the lens, adjusted to compensate for the thickness and refractive index of the filters, needs to be correct within a fraction of a millimetre to minimise field curvature. You also need to make sure there's no tilt. I'm getting fairly decent results from an ASI1600 and a selection of camera lenses now but it has taken some experimentation with thin shims and spacers to get there.

Cheers,
Rick.
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  #15  
Old 28-10-2018, 03:32 PM
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I suggest you get a 100 mm and a 80mm espirt perhaps and a zwo with filter wheel and oga.☺
Perhaps camera first and use what ever camera lens...that will keep you busy enough.
But I must say I have been surprised how good a dslr is in the city...far better than I expected.
Lots of short exposures works for me.
I have yet to use my zwo in town..only used it one four day session in dark spot...
Well done wide fields are wonderful and I find them most rewarding.
I would love to try my cheap nikon lens thru the zwo some day.
Alex
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  #16  
Old 28-10-2018, 04:32 PM
Jasp05 (Aaron)
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As far as light pollution filters go, which would be best for my current setup?

Bintel have 2 options listed. The Astronomik UHC or CLS Filter. (I would probably just get a clip in filter for now).


I believe the CLS filter would be better with a DSLR? Allows a slightly broader wavelength of light through the filter.

Anyone got experience with either of these filters and have some images taken with them as examples?

I'm thinking it may be worth the few hundred dollars on a light pollution filter and see if that makes a difference to my imaging from town. Hoping it may be enough to keep me happy for a while longer whilst keeping my bank account intact
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  #17  
Old 28-10-2018, 05:53 PM
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I have one but not impressed so far.
Alex
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  #18  
Old 28-10-2018, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasp05 View Post
As far as light pollution filters go, which would be best for my current setup?
l:
Some filters give a nice colour balance with DSLRs and some don't. I like the IDAS P2 for my DSLR. I also have a IDAS D2 but I think it's better suited to modded cameras or CCD.
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  #19  
Old 28-10-2018, 06:19 PM
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How would a oneshotcolour zwo go with a camera lens..that could be fun and less outlay ..maybe select a osc that could be a guide camera later...

I have tried various exposure times and iso setting and found there is a sweet combination that suited my nikon, which for me happily was 30 sec at 1600. I have stacked up to 3hours and more at 30 sec to for me pleasing results. Noise was not so much a problem as polar was off slightly that built in its own dither☺
Alex
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  #20  
Old 29-10-2018, 06:45 AM
Startrek (Martin)
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Aaron
I bought a CLS filter 6 months ago for my Canon 600D so I could use it in Sydney but the results are not what I expected
I find taking heaps of 20 sec or 30 sec subs without it gives a better result after stacking and processing
Plus the filters are not cheap !
Iím using a 6Ē f6 newt on a HEQ5 mount ( unguided when Iím in Sydney )
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