What's the best CCD imager?

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  • Member since
    May, 2005
What's the best CCD imager?
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 27, 2005 9:41 PM
What's the best SBIG CCD imager? It may take me a few years to save up for it, but i think there are rivals to them. I probably want one in the 1 megapixel range or more.
  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 1:34 PM
It depends. What are your goals? What is your setup? There are a variety of different cameras that meet different needs, so you need to be a little more specific.

And of course, a CCD camera is like a choosing a telescope setup, there are trade-offs for each different model.
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    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 7:09 PM
Right now i am looking at a ST-9XE. Any comments? Or maybe a Cheaper ST-7XME Standard
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    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 8:08 PM
The SBIG 9 series cameras are made for research. They have extremely large pixels and are made for a large, long focal length instrument. Are you doing research? If not, stay away from this camera. Plus, if you're considering this as a starter camera and going to upgrade, you'll have a lot harder time selling this camera than other ST models.

The SBIG 7 series cameras have a smaller chip and smaller pixels, but they are portionally the same as a normal 35mm frame -- therefore, if you are going to print an image, it will be a lot easier cropping and/or framing for '"pretty pictures".

So the real question is again, what are your goals with this camera?
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    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 8:23 PM
My goals with the camera is to take all kinds of pictures of DSO's. I would like to have my own collection of Messier Pictures. I think this would be my third camera, having the LPI and maybe thinking about afocal photography. I would be using thins on my SCT, and maybe upgrading to a CGE1400 as my phoography telescope. I think based on your comment's i would get a SBIG 7.
  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 8:55 PM
Well, I think you've made a rational decision. One thing you'll have to remember though, the FOV is really small with a C-14 and a ST-7. Your pointing accuracy would need to be dead on, otherwise, you'll get frustrated really quick.

Here's some FOV calcs:

8" LX-200 @ f10
ST-7 FOV: 7.9 x 11.8 arc minutes

8" LX-200 @ f6.3
ST-7 FOV: 12.5 x 18.8 arc minutes

14" Celestron @ f11
ST-7 FOV: 4.1 x 6.1 arc minutes

14" Celestron @ f6.9
ST-7 FOV: 6.5 x 9.8 arc minutes

Now, in a couple of years you may be able to find a ST-8XE camera for the price of a ST-7 now. It will give you 4x the FOV.

But I will tell you, at these longer focal lengths, you better consider purchasing a very accurate mount if you want to be successful at the longer focal lengths-- it's by far the most important part of an astrophotography setup.
  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01, 2005 10:38 PM
On the 14, i would buy the fastar compatible one. I'm sure the CGE mount is accurate enough. I agree with you that the ST-7's FOV is too small. Only 18.8 arc minutes at f/6.3! I don't trust the meade f3.3 reducer having only 3 elements...
I guess i'll just get a scopetronix adapter for my digital camera first, and save up for a telescope and the CCD.
Thank's Matt.
  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 8:00 AM
Just so you know, the Fastar design was made for the ST-237 camera. The weight of the ST-7's, along with the oblong design will potentially cause some problems.

Also, the best reducers are made my Astro-Physics. A real gem is the .67x one. They even have adapters made specifically for the ST series of cameras so the reducer is exactly at the correct distance from the CCD chip (with our without a filter wheel) to give you the proper amount of reduction, as well as minimizing curvature of field.
  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 3:16 PM
Thanks. I will save up for a ST-8XE and a Astro physics reducer.
  • Member since
    May, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 20, 2005 5:48 PM
When thinking fastar, you might look at the Starlight Express series of cameras....they all work in the fastar mode.....I use an SXV-H9C on my C8" in fastar and works really well.

bud

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