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Which CCD camera

Started by dan janosick, 01/09/2010 07:17AM
Posted 01/09/2010 07:17AM Opening Post
Hi group,
I am in the market for another ccd camera and I am really in need of guidance. In my observatory I have two piers, one holds an 8" SCT, and the other holds a 110mm refractor (which will eventually through grace get upgraded to a 152mm).
I am currently using the SKY 6 and use CCD SOft for image acquisition. I prefer a mono camera so I can get into narrow band imaging. I know the two scopes have much differnt focal lengths but if I get a camera that bins will/can it perform on both?
I am not married to SBIG but I am very comfortable with their CCD interface.
PS I am very much budget minded. ANy guidance would be appreciated.
dan
Posted 01/09/2010 07:36AM #1
Daniel Janosick said:

Hi group,
I am in the market for another ccd camera and I am really in need of guidance. In my observatory I have two piers, one holds an 8" SCT, and the other holds a 110mm refractor (which will eventually through grace get upgraded to a 152mm).
I am currently using the SKY 6 and use CCD SOft for image acquisition. I prefer a mono camera so I can get into narrow band imaging. I know the two scopes have much differnt focal lengths but if I get a camera that bins will/can it perform on both?
I am not married to SBIG but I am very comfortable with their CCD interface.
PS I am very much budget minded. ANy guidance would be appreciated.
dan

You don't say which camera you have now. How much do you want to spend? I've been very happy with the ST2000.

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Posted 01/09/2010 10:31AM #2
The new KAF 8300 based cameras are selling well and the cost is good for the 8.3 mega pixels. They cover a pretty big section of sky, especially compared to the ST2000, which I also own along with my new FLI ML8300.

The KAF8300 has smaller pixels, so it is meant to be used with scopes no more than say 2000 mm, which is the length of your 8" SCT. I am using mine with 1600mm and it works fine, but a field flatter is required with my AT8RC where it was not required with the ST2000. I would think that even the 152mm would still be OK based on it being f/10 or faster. This is not to say that it will not work with longer focal lengths, it is just that the image scale will be very small. The 8" SCT will be imaging at .56" without a reducer. This may be over sampling for your sky conditions, that I can not say. But it will require a good mount to guide and track at this scale.

There are other larger KAF 1100 chip based cameras and this chip has a much larger pixel 9 vs. 5.4 with the KAF 8300. So it is usable with most any focal length I believe. Of course the cost is greater with the larger chips. With this chip your 8" SCT will image at .93" and that might be a better scale for your site? It will cover a much larger area of the sky too, so that is a consideration.

You should decide how much you are willing to spend, how heavy a load that the scopes focuser can support as well as image scale vs. sky conditions before buying. A lot to consider I know, but that is just the way it is. grin


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