Rookie camera/scope question

Use this section to discuss "standard" Baader/Coronado/ Lunt SolarView/ Daystar, etc… filters, cameras and scopes. No mods, just questions/ answers and reviews.
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Tcb37
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Rookie camera/scope question

Post by Tcb37 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:42 am

Just recently purchased a used Lunt Ls50tha DS and I'm really enjoying it. But of course now I want more. I was wondering in terms of AP. I used an ASI224 to start with but its color. It works well enough for live viewing on a monitor but I was thinking of getting a mono of some sort for more detail/resolution.
Any recommendations for a camera that'll match well with the Ls50 DS that'll give me the possibility of high resolution or do I need more aperture? Maybe a Quark with a Borg 89ED? Any guidance appreciated.
Thanks!

One of my early attempts with the ASI224:
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Re: Rookie camera/scope question

Post by marktownley » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:28 am

Mono cameras are far superior to colour for better resolution.
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Re: Rookie camera/scope question

Post by longtech » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:10 am

Hi there...welcome to SC...nice looking shot for just getting started

Like you I started with a smaller H-alpha DS scope. As soon as I became comfortable with it I started wanting more aperture....and six months later I broke the bank with Lunt LS152...I also picked up a quark to use with my 6"/F8 refractor but I pretty much use the Lunt all the time. For me I wanted more magnification which it delivers really well along with a very bright image. Since you stated you want an increase in detail and resolution you will only be able to get a significant increase by going with a larger aperture. The larger aperture will also give a lot more light so you can run at higher frame rates thereby reducing motion blur...Whether you choose a larger dedicated H-alpha scope or a Quark with third party refractor...you'll love the increased performance.

You're absolutely right to choose mono since an H-alpha system only lets red light through to the sensor and the fact that color CCD and CMOS sensors tend to only have 1/4 of the total pixels filtered for red...meaning that a color camera behind an H-alpha system will only get light to 25% of the pixels...in other words a 2 megpixel color camera becomes a 0.5 megapixel camera.

Since you're already familiar with ZWO cameras, I would suggest the ASI174MM. Based on Sony's excellent Exmor CMOS sensor with a blazing fast frame rate...great for solar imaging. The same sensor is available in from Point Grey and Basler both of whom make cameras of exceptional quality although both are more expensive than ZWO.

Good luck!

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Re: Rookie camera/scope question

Post by _Zakalwe » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:16 am

The large pixels on the 174 will need Barlowing to get the best out of the Lunt 50. Probably best to look at a camera with smaller pixels.
Personally, I'm waiting for the new PGR Blackflys with the 264/265 chip.

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Re: Rookie camera/scope question

Post by marktownley » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:25 am

_Zakalwe wrote:Personally, I'm waiting for the new PGR Blackflys with the 264/265 chip.
Me too ;)
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Re: Rookie camera/scope question

Post by Montana » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:40 pm

Yes, the ZWO 174 has very large pixels which is not great for taking full discs with the Lunt 50 or 60. A pixel size of 3-4 would be much better.

Have a read of this thread http://solarchat.natca.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=17660

Alexandra

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Re: Rookie camera/scope question

Post by _Zakalwe » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:06 pm

marktownley wrote:
_Zakalwe wrote:Personally, I'm waiting for the new PGR Blackflys with the 264/265 chip.
Me too ;)
Mark,

Any thoughts on the new Chameleon that's appeared on the EU Point Grey site?
https://eu.ptgrey.com/chameleon3-32-mp- ... ony-imx265
2048 x 1536 at 55 FPS
Sony IMX265 CMOS
Global shutter

They've also announced the 264 chipped version (a bit pricier though).

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longtech
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Re: Rookie camera/scope question

Post by longtech » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:14 pm

I am probably the odd man out but I'm always going to choose the larger pixel because sensitivity will always be better with increased pixel size...and increased sensitivity will either give you better dynamic range, or shorter exposure times or higher frame rates or decreased noise or a bit of all four...

Given that solar imaging will always struggle against atmospheric effects, shorter exposure times increase your chances of capturing sharp images. Given that the sun is so dynamic, your image sequences need to be short...under 10 seconds if possible since longer captures will result in the solar features in frame #1 being in a different position than they are in image #1000, 1200, whatever... which is where higher frame rates become important. Since high magnification amplifies the atmospheric effects distorting the fine image details we seek to capture, any noise adds confusing data that increases the work load of the stacking program...so the less noise there is, the better the stacking program will perform in identifying minute details and rejecting random data. Finally, since the sun's surface and limb has features that cover a wide range of brightness, increased dynamic range means you have a better chance of capturing the full range of brightness levels somewhere between your camera's version of full black and full white. The dynamic range of the IMX174 seems to be about 12 stops which just barely covers the sun's range of brightness...(the IMX265 is less than 11 stops) as example, you'll often see posted images where the white areas are completely "blown out" (devoid of information...just pure white) or less commonly where the black areas of sunspots are "crushed" (devoid of information or texture...just pure black)

...at the end of the day, when it comes to cameras... sensitivity is king.

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Re: Rookie camera/scope question

Post by robert » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:29 pm

_Zakalwe wrote:
marktownley wrote:
_Zakalwe wrote:Personally, I'm waiting for the new PGR Blackflys with the 264/265 chip.
Me too ;)
Mark,

Any thoughts on the new Chameleon that's appeared on the EU Point Grey site?
https://eu.ptgrey.com/chameleon3-32-mp- ... ony-imx265
2048 x 1536 at 55 FPS
Sony IMX265 CMOS
Global shutter

They've also announced the 264 chipped version (a bit pricier though).
I have been experimenting for a week with the Chameleon3 IMX265. I posted a few images on the chat forum. After getting help with Newton's rings to do full disc Ha shots I am pleased with the faster frame rate on USB3 and the larger chip.

The next experiments I have done using CaK and PST mod close up Ha show that the sensitivity is quite a lot less than a Chameleon2 ICX445. So much so that much of the benefit of higher frame rate may be lost because the exposure time with a long focus setup is increased.

I will continue to experiment with tilting to reduce Newton's rings in Ha and also see how to optimise exposure and frame rate. I think I may need to use the gain control which I have never had to do before.

Does anyone know of a comparison of Quantum Efficiency for these two chips? It would be very useful to know this.

Robert
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