Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    szma76's Avatar
    szma76 is offline White Dwarf
    Points: 231, Level: 4
    Level completed: 62%, Points required for next Level: 19
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Ogden Utah
    Posts
    14
    Points
    231
    Level
    4
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0x 0 Posts

    Default The gradual astrophotographer



    So I am looking at getting another scope and I thought why not look into a scope that could eventually be used for AP. At this point, I plan to use the scope for general viewing (ideally DSO). Down the road I can see myself getting into the photography side of the hobby. I looked thru some of the minimalist astrophotography article and noticed that his main concern was not for the scope but for the mounts used. Since i plan to upgrade that down the road the article did not seem to be relevant (I could be wrong).

    The plan as I see it is to get the scope with an EQ or AZ mount/ tripod that can be upgraded to something mechanical (sorry I don't know the proper term for a mount that tracks object... ). Down the road I can upgrade the mount/tripod, acquire the additional eye pieces and adapters for photography.

    My questions are as follows:

    1 Would this work?
    2 My budget is $450 to $500 for the telescope and EQ/AZ mount/tripod. Are there any good scope for this price point that can upgrade down the road?
    3 What should I avoid?
    4 Is there anything else I should consider as I move forward?

    Thanks All

  2. #2
    KathyNS's Avatar
    KathyNS is offline Super Moderator
    Points: 173,046, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 54.0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!Ghost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!First 1000 Experience Points400+ Posts AchievementGot three Friends
    Awards:
    Reply Award
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    25,172
    Points
    173,046
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    6,660
    Thanked 14,985x 9,542 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: The gradual astrophotographer

    The requirements for visual observing and astrophotography are very different. Finding one scope that will do both is difficult. Visual observing requires a large aperture. DSO AP requires a fast focal ratio and a medium-to-short focal length, in addition to needing a sturdy mount.

    There is not a lot of overlap between the two categories. It can be done with a fast 8" reflector seems to be at the sweet spot of the overlap, and that is a popular size (I have one for that reason). However, it will stretch your budget, especially when it comes time to mount it properly for AP.

    Re-read that Minimalist AP thread. There is a lot of good advice in there.

    Your best bet is to get a good visual observing scope now. This can be done on a tight budget if you get a Dobsonian telescope of 6" or 8" aperture. It is by far the best aperture for your dollar.

    Then save up for a good AP scope and mount. The AP scope can be small, since you already have a big visual scope, and the small scope will be economical to mount well. And you will have the Dob to look through when your camera is hogging the AP scope.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.


    DSO AP:
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    Newtonian Astrograph; ATIK 383L+; EFW2 filter wheel; Astrodon Ha,LRGB filters; KWIQ/QHY5 guide scope; Planetary AP: Celestron C-11; ZWO ASI120MC; Portable: Celestron C-8 on
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    pro; C-90 on wedge; 20x80 binos; Etc: Canon 350D; Various EPs, etc. Obs: 8' Exploradome;
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    (pier);
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    .

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  3. #3
    seigell's Avatar
    seigell is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 27,209, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    365 Days+ Registered Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!750 Days+ Registered Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Gilbert AZ (Exiled to the Marshes of Central Florida)
    Posts
    5,693
    Points
    27,209
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    182
    Thanked 1,663x 1,479 Posts

    Default Re: The gradual astrophotographer

    Quote Originally Posted by szma76 View Post
    My budget is $450 to $500 for the telescope and EQ/AZ mount/tripod. Are there any good scope for this price point that can upgrade down the road?

    Is there anything else I should consider as I move forward?
    Consider purchasing a USED System.

    A suggestion would be a USED Celestron NexStar C6-SE - a Good Quality 6 inch SCT on a decent Single-Arm Alt-AZ Mount. These should be available at the top-end of your budget.

    As you've read the "Minimalist Astrophotography" stuff, you should recognize this setup. It's called out as OK, but with some challenges, for Astro Imaging (Alt-AZ Mount and non-ideal Focal Length). That's OK, because you are looking to start out using it primarily for Visual Observing. And the C6 is GOOD for that - large(ish) Aperture and moderately long Focal Length. The Mount is fully GOTO, has a straightforward Alignment process, and the Hand Controller has a database that includes most all the DSOs which might possibly be seen through the C6. And it can be used for beginner-level Astro Imaging...

    The C6 is removable from the Mount, and can later be used on a future EQ Mount as either your "Long Focal Length DSO Scope" or as your "Planetary Imaging Scope". Because you can dismount the C6, you can also use the SE Mount as a rather decent Camera Mount for Wide Field Imaging (Constellations, MilkyWay, Meteor Showers, etc) - in fact Celestron is selling a package based on the SE Mount for just that purpose.
    ES AR152 / ES 80ED Apo / Orion 8in F/3.9 / C9.25-SCT / C6-SCT / C10-NGT / AT6RC / ST-80 / AstroView 90 / Meade 6000 APO 115mm
    CGEM (w HyperTune and ADM bling) / 2x CG5-AGT / Forest of Tripod legs / Star Adventurer / Orion EQ-G
    550D (Modded-G.Honis) / 60D / 400D / NexImage / NexGuide / Mini 50 SSAG / ST-8300C / ASI120MM-S / ASI1600MM-Cool
    Dark Skies in SW CO when I can get there, and badly light polluted backyard when I can't... (Currently Self-Exiled to Muggy Central Florida...)

  4. #4
    CamelHat's Avatar
    CamelHat is offline Bronze Supporter
    Points: 52,105, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Posts
    5,807
    Points
    52,105
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    1,170
    Thanked 1,719x 1,387 Posts

    Default Re: The gradual astrophotographer

    Since you are talking about upgrading down the road I suggest you get a Dob for now. Especially in Utah you should have access to some clear skies that make visual observation worth while. The costs of an AP rig are much higher so you may as well forget about upgrading and do the right thing. A Dob for visual, a small refractor on an entry level mount plus autoguider later costing about $2K. Seigell's suggestion is also good but a 6SE is a bit in the middle and won't give you the full visual or full astrophotography rewards. It would be good if $500 is your absolute limit but you already indicate upgrading down the road.
    ... Henk. Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.

  5. #5
    cbrucker's Avatar
    cbrucker is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 26,066, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    50 Posts Achievement!Ghost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!5 Threads Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!400+ Posts Achievement
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Arcadia California
    Posts
    2,335
    Points
    26,066
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 661x 527 Posts
    Blog Entries
    21

    Default Re: The gradual astrophotographer

    Henk is spot on. Get a Dob. If you want computerized then in your budget would be the Orion 6" Starblast 6i. A good scope to start with. And very portable. If you want to star hop and are up for the extra weight and size get their 8" skyquest. Then start on the path for AP.
    Refractors: Takahashi TOA-150, TOA-130, TSA-120 & FSQ-85; Tele Vue NP101is
    Solar: Lunt 80mm PT Ha
    Reflectors: Celestron EdgeHD 1400, Takahashi Mewlon 210 & Mewlon 250
    Mounts: AP Mach1GTO & 1100; DM6; AZ8; SW AZ-EQ6 & AZ-GTi; Celestron CGX
    Eyepieces: Televue Ethos 100* 17, 13, 10, and 6mm, 2x24mm Panoptics, 2x16mm, 2x13mm (for TV BV), 3.5mm Nagler & 3-6 click zoom;
    Cameras: SBIG Aluma 694; Canon Rebel T3i
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    ; Starlight Xpress Ultrastar color

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. newbie. wants to be an astrophotographer
    By cafranksla in forum Forum Welcomes Introductions
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 12-01-2013, 11:20 AM
  2. New Astrophotographer :)
    By tyqre in forum Astrophotography Forum
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 10-19-2013, 10:36 PM
  3. Another up and coming astrophotographer.
    By Joe Lalumia in forum Astro Imaging Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-20-2013, 09:35 PM
  4. Want to be an astrophotographer
    By cortechasm in forum Forum Welcomes Introductions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-22-2010, 10:20 PM
  5. New Astrophotographer
    By byronwp in forum Forum Welcomes Introductions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-29-2010, 01:07 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0
Powered by vBulletin®
All times are GMT. The time now is 06:03 PM.