Need advice on imaging set up

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Highbury Mark
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Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

Hi all,
I need your expertise to guide me on my entry into solar imaging. I’m a total beginner in astrophotography.

First, I’ll be using a TV85 F/7 refractor (focal length 600mm) with Solarscope SF70mm filters. What would be the best camera choice for this set up?

Second - and this might be a bigger hurdle than my lack of experience - I’d have to use my SW Solarquest mount. In many parts of the world, the advertised payload of the mount is 5kg, but in others for some reason it’s 4kg. My scope is 5.2kg without the camera, but I’ll be putting the mount on a sturdy Gitzo camera tripod (25kg payload) which is substantially more robust than the Solarquest tripod, and I know the similar SW AZGTi mount can happily carry more than its advertised payload with a decent tripod. However, this scope is very precious!!, so I have to be 100% certain I’m not taking any risks. Any advice on both these questions welcome.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by marktownley »

Hi Mark.

If you are going to do 'one camera fits all' I would recommend a ZWO1600mm, you could do full disks with it and barlow, and then use ROI for close ups.

Regards the solarquest mount which I also have, my only concern with your setup would be it is very nose heavy with those DS70s sat next to the objective. Yes, the Gitzo has 25kg payload and is a step up from the stock solarquest tripod (not fit for purpose IMHO), I still think the Gitzo is too lightweight and you are heading for a nose heavy crash to the floor at some point. You've got nearly £10k of kit balanced on a £200 head and the tripod. Get a more substantial tripod, if you trip over a leg you're heading for a very expensive insurance claim at some point.

Mark


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

marktownley wrote: Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:07 pm Hi Mark.

If you are going to do 'one camera fits all' I would recommend a ZWO1600mm, you could do full disks with it and barlow, and then use ROI for close ups.

Regards the solarquest mount which I also have, my only concern with your setup would be it is very nose heavy with those DS70s sat next to the objective. Yes, the Gitzo has 25kg payload and is a step up from the stock solarquest tripod (not fit for purpose IMHO), I still think the Gitzo is too lightweight and you are heading for a nose heavy crash to the floor at some point. You've got nearly £10k of kit balanced on a £200 head and the tripod. Get a more substantial tripod, if you trip over a leg you're heading for a very expensive insurance claim at some point.

Mark
Ok - that’s interesting Mark, thanks. So you think the tripod’s more of a problem than the small overload on the Solarquest? I thought the Gitzo was the one bit of kit I needn’t worry about! But you’re right about the heavy nose - and if those babies fall off the mount I’ll have to take up stamp collecting.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by marktownley »

My DS50 setup is over the load spec of the mount, but is balanced front to back of the tube so I don't find an issue particularly as long as is not being 'touched' - in which case it shakes...

My motto with mounts, and this is with my outreach hat on, is that if someone bangs into the mount it should hurt them more than it hurts the mount. Might sound crude but is belt and braces.

My new pier setup in the garden now is mass loaded, and, with mount head, counterweights and scopes is getting close to a quarter of a tonne. My first 'experiments' are that booting the pier when scoped up gives less 'movement' than I have with backlash and slack in the worms on the mount head.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

I have much to ponder. Part of the challenge is living in a smallish flat with little space for astro gear, and a dodgy back which forced me to sell my heavier set up a few years ago. This is definitely not something to be rushed into.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by marktownley »

I hear what you're saying, i'm in a similar predicament, both with space and the back.

Do you end up observing from the same spot at your flat mostly?


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Montana »

Why do you need to change anything Mark, or have a I missed something. A camera probably weighs less than your eyepiece, so why will the weight change and need a new mount?

Alexandra


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

marktownley wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:53 am I hear what you're saying, i'm in a similar predicament, both with space and the back.

Do you end up observing from the same spot at your flat mostly?
Pretty much Mark. From April to September - as long as inside and outside temperatures are same - I can observe from my kitchen, which is handy for power sockets and cold beer......
3166B797-1F50-47F5-A9D4-74956209A923.jpeg
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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

Montana wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:40 am Why do you need to change anything Mark, or have a I missed something. A camera probably weighs less than your eyepiece, so why will the weight change and need a new mount?

Alexandra
That was what I was hoping Alexandra - that I’d be ok with current kit. I think I’d be ok on overall weight and balance. But something I’d really like to understand is how long you actually capture material for when imaging (for example) a full disc, and how accurate the tracking needs to be with a basic alt-az mount throughout the session?


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by marktownley »

Full disks are fine, as are quadrants with the alt az, it's just time lapses that will show field rotation.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

I’m inching towards a decision on an imaging set up, thanks to Mark and Marty (via CN) for advice, who both recommended the asi1600 for my F/7 scope.
Can I get away with the basic version - ie non-Pro/cooled? I’m only going to be using the camera for solar Ha, WL and maybe lunar. So no long sessions. And am trying to keep costs down.
I also have to buy a laptop, which will be used purely for this purpose. Currently looking at refurbished options, with 1TB SSD, USB3.0, 16GB, and i5 processor.
Tests yesterday suggest the Solarquest mount can carry my 5.3kg scope pretty well, so only planning to buy camera and laptop at moment.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by rsfoto »

Highbury Mark wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:53 pm I’m inching towards a decision on an imaging set up, thanks to Mark and Marty (via CN) for advice, who both recommended the asi1600 for my F/7 scope.
Can I get away with the basic version - ie non-Pro/cooled? I’m only going to be using the camera for solar Ha, WL and maybe lunar. So no long sessions. And am trying to keep costs down.
I also have to buy a laptop, which will be used purely for this purpose. Currently looking at refurbished options, with 1TB SSD, USB3.0, 16GB, and i5 processor.
Tests yesterday suggest the Solarquest mount can carry my 5.3kg scope pretty well, so only planning to buy camera and laptop at moment.
Hi,

Decisions decisions decisions. Well I have a cooled camera for White Light and the guy who sold it to me, Gary Palmer from UK, told me it is good to have the capability to cool the chip. Maybe be, maybe not. On the other side I have a very old Lumenera Infinity (Microscopy camera) which is uncooled and I am using it since 2008 and still running fine ... So that is why Maybe or maybe not ... :mrgreen:


regards Rainer

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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

Thanks Rainer - useful to know. There is also a potentially useful side effect of going for the more expensive Pro version - more weight to help counteract the heavy filters at the front.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by DeepSolar64 »

HM,
I am an absolute newbie at astrophotography too so you are not alone here. I am starting with unguided altazimuth mounts which are a challenge. If your mount tracks you have one up on me! So we can be newbies here together!

I do plan to get a tracking mount for my smaller instruments ( SMII60, Oroin70 and the AT72EDII ) soon but it will take some saving for a big one to fit the SMII90 and Celestron 102.

We are sailing the solar skies anew my friend.

James


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by DeepSolar64 »

marktownley wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 6:53 am Full disks are fine, as are quadrants with the alt az, it's just time lapses that will show field rotation.
I have to keep my AVIs rather short. It seems longer ones give issues with the software lining up the images with a manually guided mount.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

DeepSolar64 wrote: Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:11 am HM,
I am an absolute newbie at astrophotography too so you are not alone here. I am starting with unguided altazimuth mounts which are a challenge. If your mount tracks you have one up on me! So we can be newbies here together!

I do plan to get a tracking mount for my smaller instruments ( SMII60, Oroin70 and the AT72EDII ) soon but it will take some saving for a big one to fit the SMII90 and Celestron 102.

We are sailing the solar skies anew my friend.

Indeed! Thanks for your kind words James, and I look forward to seeing more of your images.

James


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

Indeed! Thanks for your kind words James, and I look forward to seeing more of your images.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by DeepSolar64 »

You are welcome and thank you HM.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

I’ve made a fundamental error with my calculations for this scope. At F/7, I was quoting the original focal ratio of the TeleVue 85. But of course with 70mm filters, it becomes a much slower F/8.6.
Does that change the camera advice - or would I still be best off buying the asi1600? Appreciate any advice.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by marktownley »

Highbury Mark wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:16 pm I’ve made a fundamental error with my calculations for this scope. At F/7, I was quoting the original focal ratio of the TeleVue 85. But of course with 70mm filters, it becomes a much slower F/8.6.
Does that change the camera advice - or would I still be best off buying the asi1600? Appreciate any advice.
You'll be fine.


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

marktownley wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:15 pm
Highbury Mark wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:16 pm I’ve made a fundamental error with my calculations for this scope. At F/7, I was quoting the original focal ratio of the TeleVue 85. But of course with 70mm filters, it becomes a much slower F/8.6.
Does that change the camera advice - or would I still be best off buying the asi1600? Appreciate any advice.
You'll be fine.
Asi1600 ordered - thanks Mark


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Stardust5858 »

I first used a Lunt 60mm double stack on a skywatcher solarquest mount but I first mounted that on a skywatcher eq6 tripod. Really solid. I then mounted the solarquest mount on a concert pilar, that too was solid. I've since moved to a second hand neq6 to mount both the Lunt ha and 80ed Ca-K scope which runs at over 10k.

Both scope's use the Zwo ASI 178mm camera's which I've found great.

Have fun in the sun,

Nigella
Last edited by Stardust5858 on Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.


10ft x 6ft Solar RoR with Warm Room
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2.7m Pulsar Dome.
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70mm AR Stellavue.
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Nec6 Eq Mount.
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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Highbury Mark »

Stardust5858 wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:47 pm I first used a Lunt 60mm double stack on a skywatcher solarquest mount but I first mounted that on a skywatcher eq6 tripod. Really solid. I then mounted the solarquest mount on a concert pilar, that too was solid. I've since moved to a second hand neq6 to mount both the Lunt ha and 80ed Ca-K scope which runs at over 10k.

Both scope's use the Zwo ASI 278mm camera's which I've found great.

Have fun in the sun,

Nigella

Thanks Nigella - have tested my scope on the Solarquest and it tracked pretty well. Used your SGL post to work out how to attach the ADM clamp! Clearly not designed for that mount but found a couple of bolts that worked.
If I ever get results with the new camera that are anywhere near yours I’ll be very happy


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Re: Need advice on imaging set up

Post by Stardust5858 »

Highbury Mark wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:31 pm
Stardust5858 wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:47 pm I first used a Lunt 60mm double stack on a skywatcher solarquest mount but I first mounted that on a skywatcher eq6 tripod. Really solid. I then mounted the solarquest mount on a concert pilar, that too was solid. I've since moved to a second hand neq6 to mount both the Lunt ha and 80ed Ca-K scope which runs at over 10k.

Both scope's use the Zwo ASI 278mm camera's which I've found great.

Have fun in the sun,

Nigella

Thanks Nigella - have tested my scope on the Solarquest and it tracked pretty well. Used your SGL post to work out how to attach the ADM clamp! Clearly not designed for that mount but found a couple of bolts that worked.
If I ever get results with the new camera that are anywhere near yours I’ll be very happy
Cool, glad you got the ADM clamp sorted. It's much better than the original.


10ft x 6ft Solar RoR with Warm Room
Lunt 60mm Double Stack HA
80ed WL+ Lunt Hershal Wedge + Badder K-Line filter.
100mm AR + Lunt b1800 Ca-K module.
Neq6 Eq Mount.

2.7m Pulsar Dome.
11in Celestron SCT + White Light Filter.
70mm AR Stellavue.
12inch OO Newtonian.
Nec6 Eq Mount.
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