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Thread: Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800

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    Default Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800



    Hi,
    I was wondering if anybody knows of a place where I can find I can get the best possible build for around $1800 CAD for taking photos of DSO's or if anybody knows off the top of their head a build that would be great. At first I was thinking of the Orion 8" Astrograph with a Celestron Advanced VX mount but I read that it would be really on the edge (weight wise) and that it is tricky to balance. I was also looking at the Orion ED80. So does anybody have any suggestions of a build (telescope and mount wise)?
    Any help would be appreciated.

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    Default Re: Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800

    Remember that you will need to leave $400-500CAD for an AutoGuider kit, if you intend to pursue 5-10 minute DSO Exposures. You can expect to do 3-5 minute Exposures Unguided once you learn how to accurately Polar Align your Mount (but an AutoGuider will smooth out all sorts of Learning Curve "Frustrations" such as PA which you can gain as a later skill).

    We'll assume that you've already got your Camera (DSLR or CCD ??), and the minor pieces (T-Adapter, LP Filter if needed up there, etc). The type of Camera will also dictate how much Budget should be reserved for Software - Camera Control and Image Processing. This can range from essentially Free (or provided with the Camera) to $200-300CAD.

    Not that I want to Scare You Off... $1800 is a bit less than some of us budgeted for start-up, but is more than a number of successful AP Imagers have invested in their gear.
    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
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    Default Re: Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800

    How about this setup. A Stellarvue 110ed $1045, and an Ioptron ZEQ25 mount $799-$948.
    specialoffer1
    iOptron ZEQ25 Equatorial Mount w/ Go To 7101 | High Point Scientific

    The weight of the 110mm scope is no issue for the mount. The mount comes with GPS, GOTO, illuminated polar scope, optional 2" legs, ST4 guider port. I think it's a great startup setup.

    Regards,
    Dennis Wilde
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    Default Re: Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800

    If the decision is between the Orion 8in Astrograph Newtonian and the 80ED Doublet Refractor, I'd take the Newt every day (in fact, I did !!).

    I run it mostly on my CGEM, because that is currently my primary Imaging Rig. But I also run the Newt on the CG5 (precursor to the AVX) with success whenever the CGEM is otherwise occupied...

    The Astrograph is packaged with EVERYTHING YOU NEED (except a Coma Corrector), while the 80ED needs a Finderscope and Mounting Rings and Dovetail (about evens out the cost of the Coma Corrector). The 80ED is also only a Single-speed Focuser, a substantial difference when using the scope for AP Imaging. The 80ED is only an "APO-like" Doublet rather than a true Triplet APO, and will show a bit of Fringe on Bright Stars. And the 80ED at f/7.5 and only 3in Aperture will not have the light grasp to image dimmer nebula such as the substantially larger and faster f/3.9 8in Astrograph.

    Now, the Astrograph will suck at any attempts for Planetary Imaging, both because of it's relatively short Focal Length and because as a Newt it's Secondary Mirror effects Contrast on Planetary Objects. The 80ED won't beat it on Focal Length alone, but is comparable and will show more contrast on a bright Planet.

    Still, overall, I'd pick the 8in Astrograph Newtonian.
    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
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    Default Re: Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800

    Quote Originally Posted by dgwilde View Post
    How about this setup. A Stellarvue 110ed $1045, and an Ioptron ZEQ25 mount $799-$948.
    The weight of the 110mm scope is no issue for the mount. The mount comes with GPS, GOTO, illuminated polar scope, optional 2" legs, ST4 guider port. I think it's a great startup setup.
    Regards,
    The iOptron ZEQ25 is a very nice mount - arguably a bit better than the AVX. But one would really want the "optional" 2in legs, and could go without the GPS and Illuminated Polar Scope (although both the latter are standard, not optional). The Stellarvue scope is a substantial step up from the Orion 80ED, to the point that it is amongst the best designed Doublet-ED APO-like scopes with it's 2-Speed Rotatable Crayford Focuser and CNC'd Scope Rings. But it is still missing a Finderscope and a Dovetail. AND it is still a Doublet instead of a Triplet (although I've looked through a Stellarvue that was every bit as good as my true Triplet APO).

    BUT, you've truly BUSTED the OP's Budget, as you are proposing $2000-2250CAD and it is still lacking Finderscope, Dovetail, and AutoGuider...
    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
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    Default Re: Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800

    That's what budgets are for but seriously, once you look at software for capture and processing, guiding hardware, etc. $1800 is a tough nut to get anything decent.
    Dennis Wilde
    15" f/4.5 Obsession, SV105T F/7, SV80ED F/7
    ES 127mm f/7.5 ED APO, Cgem DX mount
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    Default Re: Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800

    There are several ED scopes that are virtually indistinguishable from a triplet APO...
    I have no detectable CA on my Equinox for example... even on the very brightest stars.

    I would go with a good 80mm refractor. You will also need a field flattener or flattener/reducer unless you get a scope with the flattener built-in.
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    Default Re: Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800

    Yes I have a DSLR and software. The ~$1800 is for just the scope and mount.

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    Default Re: Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800

    Option 1:
    The Stellarvue combination mentioned above

    Option 2:
    Orion 8" Imaging Newt
    Baader MPCC III
    AVX

    Both within spitting distance of your budget + or -
    Refractors: Takahashi TOA-150, TOA-130, TSA-120 & FSQ-85; Tele Vue NP101is
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    Default Re: Best possible build for a beginner at ~$1800

    Another question, sorry if it is a stupid question but do you think it would be more beneficial to a "kit" that come with a mount and scope, ex. Orion Atlas 8 EQ-G Reflector Telescope with GoTo Controllero or this Orion Sirius ED80 EQ-G Computerized GoTo Refractor Telescope?

 

 
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