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CCD Cameras

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CCD Cameras

Posted by Nick Atkinson at 18:07 on 2010 Dec 12

I am considering buying a CCD Camera and having no experiance in using them would welcome any advice about the best one to get for my 6" F9 scope. I am a variable star visual observer and hope that I will be able to do better magnitude estimatesI could consider a StarlightXpress camera but the pixel size most suitable for my scope is 13 microns. There appear to be two options if I were to select this manufacturer. 1) Binning or 2) buy a focal reducer.SBIG make a camera with a 24 micron pixel This has a much higher well capacity but what about the field of view.Apogee also make cameras with larger pixels but are expensive.Please post your views

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Re:CCD Cameras

Posted by Andrea Tasselli at 16:45 on 2010 Dec 13

First question would be: is it a refractor or a reflector?If a refractor is it an apo or achromat?Achromats tend to produce large halos so they're not best suited for ccd imaging unless you filter them. For photometry a V filter would do. Just keep this in mind.As for the CCD camera, I would tend to lean toward the SX lines as they've never let me down in so may years of near-continuous usage. If you want to cover an extended field then your best bet would be their monochrome camera based on the Kodak 8300 chip. For best response (highest sensitivity) I'd suggest the SXVF-H9. The former can be binned to boost the sensitivity and you would still get a decent pixel scale and you'd probably not needing a focal reducer as the field would be large enough to have enough comparison stars. The other side of the coin is that you might end up having to buy a more expensive set of filters because of the larger format of the CCD chip. With the other option you can use a focal reducer to achive a respectably fast f/ratio and use less expensive filter set and still enjoy the best sensitivity per £ in the market today. Obviously if you want to splash out than I'd suggest that the ST8-XE is a good compromise between pixel scale and FWC. I'd recommend to avoid pixel larger than 15 um as it would severely undersample the PSF.Hope it helpsAndrea T.

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Re:CCD Cameras

Posted by Nick Atkinson at 17:36 on 2011 Mar 27

Thank You Adrea. My telescope is an APO triplet and is very well colour corrected I think on balance I will go for the Sony interline CCD as most people recommend it. I gather you can get away without dark frames.