Sunday, March 28, 2010

20100328 Sun

Tele Vue Ranger, Solarmax 40 with BF10 for H-alpha, APM Herschel wedge for white light, Lumenera LU070M.

Full disc with reducer:-

White light without reducer:-

Close up taken with a 5x Powermate.

Close up taken with a 5x Powermate.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Animation Sequence on 20100319

Don't know how to align them and make them into animation, the registax trick won't work, so just post them here:

20100322 Sun

The air pollution index breaks a new record today and the transparency is essentially zero, solar imaging is then only thing that we might do, even terrestial imaging becomes something extremely hard in this kind of environment.

Drift and expand method through Registax, I really don't know why it works perfectly sometimes but failed so badly like this one. Again taken with my Lumenera + Solarmax 40 setup.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

20100321 Sun

The usual setup with Lumenera LU070M without reducer, drift-and-expand full disc.

With 2x:

Friday, March 19, 2010

20100319 Sun (big prominence again)

Tele Vue Ranger with NGF-CM, Solarmax 40 with BF10, Lumenera LU070M, no focal reducer used. I have used that drift-and-expand technique to capture a full disc shot, except the T-max can be adjusted more carefully, everything work fine.

I've added a light shield to avoid light leakage into my board version Lumenera, it works out great, just 2 minutes of work.

Full disc taken with drift-and-expand method:-

Close up with 5x:-

Close up with 5x:-

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Removing the IR filter of the Lumenera LU070M

It's just simple to do that, elegant!

The performance should be better from now on! I shall make a simple enclosure for it asap.

20100318 Sun (AR1054, 1056 and a big prominence)

Tele Vue Ranger with NGF-CM, Solarmax 40 with BF10, Lumenera LU070M. Mosaic of two frames.

1532 (GMT+8), mosaic of two frames:-

1546 (GMT+8):-

1551 (GMT+8), with 2x barlows:-

Monday, March 15, 2010

Comparing apple with orange: Lumenera vs. DMK

First of all, it's an unfair comparison and the sky was too bad to do the comparison nicely. Seeing could be quiet good but it's hard to estimate due to the extremely poor transparency, I would say it's 1/10 at best.

The apple is a Lumenera LU070M and the orange is a DMK 31AF03, the target was the sun and it is mounted on the same scope and same filter set. Here're the results:

20100315 1421 (GMT+8), captured with the DMK:-

20100315 1413 (GMT+8), captured with the Lumenera:-

The DMK has more pixel and the amount of detail is higher for sure, however, the bigger pixel (more well depth) and the higher dynamic range (12-bit) render better contrast as expected. I can see the prominence along with the surface detail while capturing with the Lumenera, no stretching is required during image processing.

The DMK has lower frame rate (30fps) and thus the Lumenera (60fps) managed to get enough frame faster.

Depends on what you want, if you just want a quick full disc shot, the DMK has an edge here since it gives more resolution, but for anything else, the Lumenera seems better. Having said that, the difference is not huge.

Later, I realized that there's some light leakage, mainly due to the fact that it's not an enclosed model, see the following for some ideas:

So I put a small paper board in front of it and take another shot:

AR1052, 2x barlows, Lumenera LU070M.

A very nice camera indeed, well worth the price!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Camera and lenses

The weather is very bad in Hong Kong, together with the air pollution, even that I've been trying to do solar astronomy, the time for astronomy has remain relatively low.

Therefore, I've started to switch some of my hobby money to photography, I still got a few prime lenses so that they could be used for astrophotography as well.

I wonder when can I test my Lumenera...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lumenera Camera for Sales

The cameras have arrived, they're definitely great cameras for H-alpha solar imaging. Drivers can be downloaded (free) from the Lumenera website together with a simple software for image capturing. I found AMCap and Philips VRecord works as well.

It comes with a standard USB 2.0 interface, however, you will need to supply your own USB cable. A simple C-mount lens is included as well, and on removing that lens, it can be attached to a 1.25" focuser without any adapter, a very nice feature indeed!

The model is LU070M which is the board version of LU075M, and the M suffix means monochromatic. It features a 1/3" CCD with 640x480, up to 60 fps at full resolution, even higher is available in binning mode.

See the Lumenera logo on the PCB:

$400 USD shipped to most international destination, contact me. Do a google search on LU075M, and you shall see this is a great bargain indeed! I've several of them on hand, contact me if you have any question.