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Derbyshire Dave

Which monochrome camera? Help please

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Derbyshire Dave

Hi,

  The time has come for me to move up to a mono camera, I'm going to be going for LRGB, and then later onto narrowband.

 

  So I'm looking for a camera, and have been looking at the ZWO ASI1600MM Pro Cooled Camera. Dave (mDavsky on this forum) has this and has come up with some impressive images, and also I have seen this camera mentioned a lot in photos in the Sky At Night magazine etc.

 

  Just wondering if anyone has any thought as to good points/pitfalls or could let me know about other cameras that I should be considering..

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red dwalf

it`s a nice CMOS camera, nice big chip and plenty field of view, i would slightly consider getting the bigger filters than the 1.25 inch as the chip is so big, it`s also depending on what scope you are going to use it with too, and what you want to image 

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Derbyshire Dave

Thanks Rob. I'm using the William Optics GT81, the same scope that yuo have by the look of it!

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red dwalf

excellent scope and a man of taste i see,

if you are going for the 1600 mono on that scope the filed of view is reasonably big, which helps on big targets like M31, i like to get a little closer for the detail and use an Atik 460 mono which is a CCD chip camera, apart from M31 which i can almost fit onto the chip, it`s big enough for all other galaxies, i`ve added a picture of the fields of views on both, i have not included a 0.8 reducer as i like to keep the resolution per pixel as low as i can and the ZWO 1600 is slightly lower than the Atik 460, there are pros and cons for all cameras, pixel size is one to consider also, the other camera i`d be looking at is the ZWO 183 mono pro, which is has very small pixels and would suit the scope well and you could use 1.25" filters with no problems.

i suppose it all comes down to budget not that anything regarding astro imaging is cheap, cmos and ccd chips both have pro`s and cons, the Atik is unbelievably low noise camera so hardly and purpose in taking darks. it`s smaller and after sales service is great, even on second hand cameras, your never left with a knackered camera if something goes wrong. 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/83woc0lrrgohutm/field of view.JPG?dl=0

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Derbyshire Dave

Rob,

 Thank you. I'm going to have a good look through the specs of these camera tomorrow. Unfortunately, I haven't got the relationship between chip size, pixel size, magnification, possible vignetting etc clear in my head. Do you know of any articles that explain this... thanks again..

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red dwalf

Loads on the web, I'm certainly no expert, but a smaller chip will handle smaller filters better without problems, although usually a 36 mm filter isn't that much more expensive

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Derbyshire Dave

Hi,

 Thanks Rob, had to get my head in gear a bit overnight..

 

 So back to your original comments.. what I want to image? Obviously we can't do everything.

 

I have moved to the GT81 from a 1000mm 8 inch reflector. I still have this, so that's always an option, but my mount doesn't really handle the weight very well, so realistically I'm used going to be using the GT81.

 

  With the reflector, I used to mainly target galaxies, M51, M101 M31 etc, and found I couldn't get wide enough and always wanted to go wider. This is with an APS-C size sensor on my Canon by the way.

  With the GT81 and field flattener, I have been targetting much larger targets, Soul, Heart, Elephants Trunk etc, and I guess this is probably the more interesting area when considering narrowband.  I have also recently been taking the field flattener off and trying objects like M81/M82, M51 etc, cropping to get the best out of the centre of the frame.

 

 So, from my understanding of sensor size, e.g. when moving from a full frame to APS-C, you get a 'crop factor' of 1.5 or 1.6, and thus get an effective magnification, are targetting a smaller area of the sky, and get effectively a narrow 'cone of light' (my term here!). A narrower cone of light will thus be less likely to vignette when passing through the 1.5 inch filters.

 

 So, if moving from an Canon APS-C to 1 4/3 sensor(ZWO ASI1600MM or ZWO  ASi183mm) Then I will be more 'zoomed in' and get less wide views than I have at the moment.

 

So (that was all me just getting my head around this)..

  Looking at the specs for the ZWO ASI1600MM or ZWO  ASi183mm, am I right in thinking that they have the same 4/3 sensor, but that the 183mm has more pixels (20M as opposed to 16M). Is that why it is more suitable to 1.25 inch filters?

 

Thanks Rob, even writing this down is starting to get my head around the issues

 

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red dwalf

I'll have to check out the camera specs again but I think the 183 is a smaller chip with very small pixels, which coupled with the gt81 would be in the green zone, not under sampled or over sampled, I have a chart I can send you showing focal lengths of scopes and pixel sizes of cameras, also ideal resolution per pixel is somewhere around 1 and 2, check out field of view calculator on the web, helpful as you can change cameras and scopes while adding targets, also I would recommend getting a hotech flatner, works great with the gt81 and you won't have to crop the edges.

ZWO cameras look very impressive with the usb hub on the rear of the camera and very cold Tec, I'm not sure about the gain settings need to set the camera, Atik seem simple to use, turn on camera, cool it and shoot, there certainly is a lot to consider, my 460 is he third Atik I've bought, started with the 314L plus, amazing camera for the price, went onto the 414 which is basically the same so bit the bullet and went up to the 460

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Derbyshire Dave

Hi Rob,

  Just had a long discussion with Rother Valley Optics. They say that they would definetly reccomend the 183 rather than the 1600 to go with the GT81. They are putting me together a price with 36mm filters, let's see how that goes. To be fair they are reccomending a cheaper camera

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Derbyshire Dave

Rob,

 Re your comment about flattener, I have got the P-FLAT6AII from William Optics, pin sharp to the corner of the frame, v impressed.

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red dwalf

Is that the standard one you get with the scope ? Flatner and 0.8 reducer ?

If so they give a bigger field of view but doing so reduces the focal length of the scope in effect, the hotech just flattens with no change to focal length,

Checked the specs of the ZWO cameras, 183 pro is about the same size chip as the Atik 460 but a lot smaller pixels, the 1600 is slot bigger chip, the 183 should be fine with 1.25" filters.

If you want to send me your email address I'll send you the pixel, focal length chart, but the GT 81 with the 183 pro would be awesome set-up, as for filter wheels I'd recommend the starlight express wheels, only one usb cable to power and control it, some need two cables adding to the amount of cable drag 

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Ibbo

It may help to download CCD calc or the FLO app and put in the variables scope cam etc to give an idea of the FOV with each camera.

I am still using CCD for  DSO imaging so cannot give you any help regarding quality etc

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Derbyshire Dave

Thanks. Understand what you are saying about the 0.8 factor, but I have it already.

 

in fact it works quite well, the extra 0.8 is helpful for wider targets, whilst I remove the reducer when going after galaxies. I’ll be cropping in anyway, so the outer corners aren’t too important.

 

 

 

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Derbyshire Dave

I’ll message my e-mail

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Ron Clarke

Sounds like a visit to the Astro show at Kettering this Saturday may be worth it Dave??

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Derbyshire Dave

Yeah, definitely going, some good talks too..

You going?

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Ron Clarke

Yup, don't need anything but like to keep up with things and see what's new! 

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red dwalf

Usually some deals in at shows so might get a ZWO 183 with a couple of quid off.

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Derbyshire Dave

R.V.O are getting me a quote together, and have said they'll also give me some discount at the show..

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