Best camera for solar imaging

Use this section to discuss "standard" Baader/Coronado/ Lunt SolarView/ Daystar, etc… filters, cameras and scopes. No mods, just questions/ answers and reviews.
Post Reply
willisobservatory
The Sun?
The Sun?
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:08 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Best camera for solar imaging

Post by willisobservatory » Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:22 pm

Not concerned about cost. Just want to know what you think is the best solar camera.

I have Lunt LS152THA Solar Telescope Double Stack B3400 Feather Touch Zoom

I'm considering ZWO 174, 183 and 1600 mono.



User avatar
Carbon60
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Posts: 7411
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:33 pm
Location: Lancashire, UK
Has thanked: 581 times
Been thanked: 464 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by Carbon60 » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:12 am

Hi,

I use a Basler acA1920-155um (Sony IMX 174 sensor) with my 150mm Ha solar refractor and 2.5x Powemate.

Stu.


Lunt LS60THa B1200 PTFT
150mm H-alpha Solar telescope with Lunt35 mod
DMK41, Basler acA1920-155
NEQ6 Pro-mount
Fluxgate Magnetometers (1s and 150s Cadence)
More images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarcarbon60/

User avatar
marktownley
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 28753
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Has thanked: 1586 times
Been thanked: 628 times
Contact:

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by marktownley » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:47 am

Hi there and wolcone to the forum.

Something to bear in mind here, the Lunt152 is not a scope for full disks; it was designed for closeups visually and imaging wise, if you try and image full disks or near full disks you are going to get sweet spot issues, especially as you are double stacked and the tighter bandpass accentuates this.

Both the 183 and 1600 cameras both have huge chips and small pixels, which, IMHO makes them unsuitable for the reason above. The 174 is the best choice of the 3, and with a 2x/2.5x/3x barlow would provide good matching for the pixel size and the image scale. It also provides fast frame rate which is a must for high res imaging. Another alternative to the 174 is the 290 chipped camera, this has smaller pixels and so would be more suited to using a lower power barlow, but, the smaller pixels will also give similar image scale to the 174.

Personally, if cost is no object here, you need to be looking at the Basler and FLIR alternatives for these chips rather than the ZWOs. A number of users here report while they are happy with their 174 camera it is noisy. The Baslers and FLIRs offer the option to externally power cameras.

Mark


Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

willisobservatory
The Sun?
The Sun?
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:08 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by willisobservatory » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:28 pm

IMG_9487.JPG
IMG_9487.JPG (376.01 KiB) Viewed 3402 times
Mark,

Thank you so much. As you can tell, I'm a newbie and have a million questions.
Is there a Basler or FLIR that you would recommend, no concern for cost?
What else do I need for solar imaging - hardware and software, and for processing?
Finally, I have a roll off roof observatory. I decided to add a fourth scope so I'm constructing a roll off building for the Lunt. I have SkyX HD app to use for solar viewing. I'm assuming it would be better to connect to computer in the warm room. I have SkyXPo which I use for other scopes. Any suggestions on set up for both viewing and imaging?

Can't thank you enough.

Chris



User avatar
Montana
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 22987
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:25 pm
Location: Cheshire, UK
Has thanked: 1501 times
Been thanked: 512 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by Montana » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:12 am

A very warm and sunny welcome :hamster: you are very lucky to have such a fabulous location and observatory. I also agree with Mark and Stuart, the 174 chip would be the best match and try to stick to the Basler version as indicated in Stuarts post or the FLIR version. My ZWO version is very very noisy, to be honest it makes using it a bit pointless unless you also by a very expensive denoise package which I have had to do.

Computer, you will a need a very fast read/write SSD drive to get all the frames per second.

If money were no object I would also buy a Herschel wedge for white light and CaK module which would fit in your Lunt 152. I would also buy a smaller scope set up for quick full disc views too.

But first and foremost, read loads of info in the solar library and do your research carefully, don't rush out and buy everything all at once. Stick with one thing at a time, become master of one thing, then research and try the next. Take it slow, solar cycle lasts 11 years :)

Alexandra



User avatar
marktownley
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 28753
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Has thanked: 1586 times
Been thanked: 628 times
Contact:

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by marktownley » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:06 am

Hi Chris,

Sage advice from Stu and Alexandra. The only thing I would add, if you want to go the whole hog and you're going to be imaging from your warm room consider the remote pressure tuner (you will need 2) https://luntsolarsystems.com/shop/acces ... ontroller/ also a moto focus for the focuser.

Mark


Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

willisobservatory
The Sun?
The Sun?
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:08 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by willisobservatory » Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:39 pm

So I'm going with Basler acA1920-155um (Sony IMX 174 sensor).
Stu mentions 2.5x Powemate. Goggled but couldn't find. Help.
Going to order 2 remote pressure tuners
Herschel wedge for white light and CaK module
Tell me more about buying smaller Lunt for full disk. I have Tele Vue eyepieces - shouldn't I get full disk for viewing? Do I need smaller scope for full disk imaging? If so, is it safe to assume separate mounts - no piggyback?



willisobservatory
The Sun?
The Sun?
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:08 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by willisobservatory » Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:55 pm

sNot sure it's going to matter but Lunt told me with Basler acA1920-155um (Sony IMX 174 sensor) I would not be able to do full disk.

"With your sensor size at 11.3mm x 7.1mm, you unfortunately would not be able to capture full disc. You would need a minimum of 9mm to capture in full disc, preferably larger."

Is that accurate?

I looked at Stu's incredible photos and he had full disk. He uses the camera above.



User avatar
marktownley
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 28753
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Has thanked: 1586 times
Been thanked: 628 times
Contact:

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by marktownley » Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:17 am

willisobservatory wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:39 pm
So I'm going with Basler acA1920-155um (Sony IMX 174 sensor).
Stu mentions 2.5x Powemate. Goggled but couldn't find. Help.
Going to order 2 remote pressure tuners
Herschel wedge for white light and CaK module
Tell me more about buying smaller Lunt for full disk. I have Tele Vue eyepieces - shouldn't I get full disk for viewing? Do I need smaller scope for full disk imaging? If so, is it safe to assume separate mounts - no piggyback?
Hiya,

2.5x powermate is a televue. The 152 as a scope is not designed for full disk viewing, it doesn't matter what eyepeices you have, it's the way the etalon is configured, it is designed as a hi-res scope. Yes, you will be able to use eyepieces that give a full disk in fov, but you will find that only part of the disk will be on band (show Ha detail) at any point. This is the 'sweet spot' for the scope, all have them. Smaller scopes are designed to take in the whole disk, eg Lunt 60 or Lunt 80. No reason why either of these couldn't be piggy backed on the 152, no need for seperate mount.

Mark


Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

User avatar
marktownley
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 28753
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Has thanked: 1586 times
Been thanked: 628 times
Contact:

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by marktownley » Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:20 am

willisobservatory wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:55 pm
sNot sure it's going to matter but Lunt told me with Basler acA1920-155um (Sony IMX 174 sensor) I would not be able to do full disk.

"With your sensor size at 11.3mm x 7.1mm, you unfortunately would not be able to capture full disc. You would need a minimum of 9mm to capture in full disc, preferably larger."

Is that accurate?

I looked at Stu's incredible photos and he had full disk. He uses the camera above.
Tee hee hee. That's right, the 174 is a large chipped camera designed for closeups, you won't get a full disk. Stu has likely got full disks using the 2.5x powermate to take multiple panes and then joined as a mosaic to get a larger final image.


Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

User avatar
Montana
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 22987
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:25 pm
Location: Cheshire, UK
Has thanked: 1501 times
Been thanked: 512 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by Montana » Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:53 am

This is where careful research is needed. You have ordered a top of the range high resolution imaging system. We have matched the camera to that.

If you are interested in visual and full disc imaging then you need what Mark suggested a 60 or 80mm Lunt which is designed for this purpose. A camera to match these scopes and this purpose will be very different to the camera matched to the Lunt 152.

I have a guide you could read, it is a bit out of date now being 3 years old but it will give some explanation about various points to help you.
https://solarnutcase.livejournal.com/18572.html

Look up Pedro Re, he has a Lunt 152 and loves it, but he also has about 20 different other scopes and he always does his full disc imaging with the 60mm telescopes and the high resolution with the 152.

Alexandra



willisobservatory
The Sun?
The Sun?
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:08 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by willisobservatory » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:49 am

thank you to everyone one

so helpful



User avatar
Bob Yoesle
Almost There...
Almost There...
Posts: 569
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:24 pm
Been thanked: 14 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by Bob Yoesle » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:45 pm

For full-disc double-stacked views, and given you have stated you're "not concerned about the cost," I would recommend you not consider double stacked internal or external/internal set-ups, and go the 'full monty' of double stacked external (objective-mounted) etalons. These will give you overall the best full-disc contrast uniformity, and avoid the need for doing flats and the like.

FD SM90-SM90 BF30.jpg
FD SM90-SM90 BF30.jpg (54.3 KiB) Viewed 3290 times

Use them with a good quality achromatic refractor or ED semi-apo with a F/R of 8 to 10, with a really good focuser - aftermarket if needed. Generally these have better spherochromatic performance at 656 nm than short F/R APO's. I have found the Synta-sourced ED100/900 OTAs to be particularly good at both H alpha and CaK wavelengths, and they're perfect for continuum as well.

Get some good books on solar observing and physics so you know what you're looking at.

OSP Scope & books.jpg
OSP Scope & books.jpg (189.77 KiB) Viewed 3290 times

In fact - I recommend not imaging for a while until you've mastered observing el Sol in daytime seeing conditions, and the quirks of filter tuning and the like - which is even more challenging with double stacking. I advise that most everyone should start their "imaging" by doing it with paper and pencil ;-) Only then will you master seeing the fleeting details and truly appreciate the dynamics of relatively small-scale chromospheric movements. Unfortunately the imaging-centric forums often fail to mention these details. To me it seems we're focusing more on taking "pretty pictures" of our grandkids for posting on facebook without ever really getting to know them. But I digress...

H alpha 3 16 1978 drawing adj sm.jpg
H alpha 3 16 1978 drawing adj sm.jpg (212.19 KiB) Viewed 3290 times

Starting with aperture, I'd go with Lunt LS100FHa filters, and be sure to order them as a matched pair. The Solar Scope DSF100 filters are also very good (Alexandra uses these), but because of their large aperture I found they have a good deal of thermal instability due to the lack of the central spacers needed to maintain the etalon gap uniformity (adding a DERF to the existing front filter helped). Smaller filters without the central spacers seem to do OK though.

Next in line would be the Solar Scope SF70 filters.

After this, consider the Solar Scope SF60 or the Lunt LS60FHa etalons.

At this time I would not consider the Meade Coronado SM filters - I have seen too much variability in the more recent Meade Coronado offerings, and the customer service is generally not up to the standards set by Lunt and Solar Scope if you get a less than optimum sample. If you do decide to go with Meade Coronados (or any filter for that matter), be sure to have a no questions asked return policy, and if at all possible "try before you buy."

Good luck!


Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

Curiosity is the father of knowledge; uncertainty is the mother of wisdom.

Goldendale Observatory

Dark-Sky Defenders

willisobservatory
The Sun?
The Sun?
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:08 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by willisobservatory » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:02 am

This is a great website/forum. Thank you so much.



willisobservatory
The Sun?
The Sun?
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:08 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by willisobservatory » Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:13 pm

One "last" question.

I have Tele Vue 2inch diagonal.

Communicating with Basler and Lunt. Nobody seems to be able to say for sure what lens mount I need. Basler indicates C mount varriant of the camera is the most used, and CS mount 2nd most used.

The camera is BasleracA1920-155um. My scope isLunt LS152THA Solar Telescope Double Stack B3400 Feather Touch Zoom



User avatar
marktownley
Librarian
Librarian
Posts: 28753
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Brierley Hills, UK
Has thanked: 1586 times
Been thanked: 628 times
Contact:

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by marktownley » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:12 pm

c-mount


Image
http://brierleyhillsolar.blogspot.co.uk/
Solar images, a collection of all the most up to date live solar data on the web, imaging & processing tutorials - please take a look!

willisobservatory
The Sun?
The Sun?
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:08 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by willisobservatory » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:43 pm

thanks



User avatar
rsfoto
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Way More Fun to Share It!!
Posts: 2471
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:30 pm
Location: San Luis Potosi, México
Has thanked: 885 times
Been thanked: 663 times

Re: Best camera for solar imaging

Post by rsfoto » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:12 pm

willisobservatory wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:13 pm
One "last" question.

I have Tele Vue 2inch diagonal.

Communicating with Basler and Lunt. Nobody seems to be able to say for sure what lens mount I need. Basler indicates C mount varriant of the camera is the most used, and CS mount 2nd most used.

The camera is BasleracA1920-155um. My scope isLunt LS152THA Solar Telescope Double Stack B3400 Feather Touch Zoom
Hi Chris,

Basler specifies C-Mount, https://www.baslerweb.com/en/products/c ... 920-155um/, and that means the chip focal plane is 17.5 mm inside measured from the flange. This is important to know in case you want to put a reducer or whatever.
Basler-Mount.JPG
Basler-Mount.JPG (21.51 KiB) Viewed 3170 times
Now you will ahve to find out what adapter you need to connect to telescope or whatever you ahve at the end of the optical train.


regards Rainer

Observatorio Real de 14 San Luis Potosi Mexico

Post Reply