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Thread: Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy

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    Default Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy



    Hi everyone,

    I need some advice on which scope to get between the two following scopes. I know 1 is a 10" and one is an 8". Yes the 10 will gather more light, but budget is also something to consider. I will be imaging with a canon T6S

    Skywatcher 8" Reflector with the EQ5 mount with dual axis drive motor. My concern with this setup is will that mount be able to handle all the extra weight involved with AP.

    Skywatcher 10" reflector with a used Celestron CGEM. I know the mount will handle the extra weight but this is an older mount. This setup is about 1000$ more expensive than the other one. Is that CGEM still up to par? I don't need the goto just tracking.

    Thanks,
    Luc
    I currently only use Binocs
    Celestron Skymaster 15x70
    Astrophotography:
    Canon T6S

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    Pauls72's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy

    Neither! Large scopes with small mounts will bring you lots of frustration.
    For visual aperture rules. For AP (AstroPhotography) we don't really care about aperture.
    Get one of those two mounts and then get one of these scopes.
    If you haven't done AP before, for DSO's I would recommend you start with a fast refractor. One with a 65-100mm objective, a focal ratio around f/5 and a focal length of around 500mm. Ideally an APO triplet plus a field flatterer.
    For the Moon and Planetary work I would start with a 6" or 8" SCT with a barlow.

    For DSO's using any of the consumer grade mounts you will need to add guiding to your setup or you will be stuck with very short exposures.
    Mounts: EQ1, LXD55, Atlas EQ-G (one with Rowan belt mod and one without)
    Scopes: C11, 8" Reflector, 102mm MCT, ST80, FLT98, 6" RC
    Cameras: Canon XTi, DSI-C, DSI, ST402, QHY8L, QJY183C-Beta Test, QHY163M
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    luker78's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy

    That skywatcher 10" is a F4.8. I didn't realise the CGEM with a payload of 40lbs is a small mount. Considering the scope is only about 31lbs. I agree if I add a guide scope then yeah I guess I would be adding a lot more weight.
    I currently only use Binocs
    Celestron Skymaster 15x70
    Astrophotography:
    Canon T6S

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    Default Re: Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy

    Those two newts will create more problems than their light gathering capabilities are worth. They are good visual scopes but not for AP, you are also likely to run into back focus issues unless they are astrographs and that is a real problem. The mount is actually more important than scope when it comes to AP. You still need a decent scope but you don't need a big scope. You might want to consider a 6" Ritchie-Chretien scope or any number of smaller refractors. While I don't subscribe to a strict 50% weight capacity limit for your mount I do recommend keeping your rig as light as possible and short too.
    BABOafrica, Pitter and Lowjiber like this.
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    Default Re: Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy

    The 'rule of thumb' is to not exceede 50-70% of your mounts rated capacity for AP. At 31 lbs your already there and haven't even hung a camera on it yet.

    Nothing wrong with that mount though. You need to scale back the OTA a little

    I use one of these on a EQ6 class mount with good results...

    8" f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope | Orion Telescopes
    neal_mlc, BABOafrica and Pitter like this.
    Scopes: Home brew 6" Dob, Orion XT8G, Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f3.6 astrograph, atop a Orion Atas pro AZ/eq-G - Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Orion 'Star Shoot' autoguider camera, PHD2 software - Cams: Orion MP5 planetary ccd, Cannon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D), BYEOS software, ATIK 383L+ Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools Assistant: One very large cat


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    Default Re: Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy

    Quote Originally Posted by UlteriorModem View Post
    The 'rule of thumb' is to not exceede 50-70% of your mounts rated capacity for AP. At 31 lbs your already there and haven't even hung a camera on it yet.

    Nothing wrong with that mount though. You need to scale back the OTA a little

    I use one of these on a EQ6 class mount with good results...

    8" f/3.9 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope | Orion Telescopes
    that orion Astrograph is pretty much the same scope I am looking at on the Skywatcher side.
    I currently only use Binocs
    Celestron Skymaster 15x70
    Astrophotography:
    Canon T6S

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    Default Re: Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy

    That was the 8" f3.6 weighs in at around 17 lbs.
    Scopes: Home brew 6" Dob, Orion XT8G, Orion 130mm APO Triplet, Orion 8" f3.6 astrograph, atop a Orion Atas pro AZ/eq-G - Guiding: Orion 60mm f4 scope, Orion 'Star Shoot' autoguider camera, PHD2 software - Cams: Orion MP5 planetary ccd, Cannon Rebel SL1 (EOS 100D), BYEOS software, ATIK 383L+ Processing : Regisax, Deep Sky Stacker, Star Tools Assistant: One very large cat


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    Default Re: Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy

    A Newtonian reflector has all it's mass (weight) pretty far from the fulcrum (pivot point). This means your scope has a larger mechanical advantage over the mount. So it takes more torque to start and stop the OTA moving. It also takes longer for the vibrations to dampen out. Add to that the large OTA has a lot of surface area, so it's like a big sail when a little breeze comes around.

    Movement of your scope by .001 inches/0.025 mm is 25um. Pixels are 2.4 to 9um in size depending on the camera. Your Canon T6S has 3.72um pixels. So .001 inches will move your camera in the range of 6-7 pixels. This is why the mount becomes so important for AP.

    Sure you can out a 8 inch/200mm Newtonian reflector on a CGEM mount. But you will be throwing away a very large percentage of your image subs. It will take a lot of the fun out of the hobby.

    If you so go with a Newtonian reflector, make sure it is a astrograph version. This way you will be able to focus the camera without modding the scope. It will also have a little better focuser on it.
    Last edited by Pauls72; 03-20-2017 at 07:29 PM.
    neal_mlc, BABOafrica and Hondo like this.
    Mounts: EQ1, LXD55, Atlas EQ-G (one with Rowan belt mod and one without)
    Scopes: C11, 8" Reflector, 102mm MCT, ST80, FLT98, 6" RC
    Cameras: Canon XTi, DSI-C, DSI, ST402, QHY8L, QJY183C-Beta Test, QHY163M
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    Default Re: Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy

    I would go with an Orion Atlas Mount and an ES 80 APO both solid performers with my equipment. If you are doing AP the Atlas will serve you well. Others have said aperture is only useful for visual, tracking and solid setup rule for AP when you are trying to take long exposure.
    Whatever you get, learn to use your equipment and post process both take time to master but worth it in the end.
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    Skywatcher Pro 120ED, Explore Scientific 80 CF APO, Orion ShortTube 80, Meade ETX90, Celestron GT 120mm, Celestron C8, Astromania 60mm Guidescope, Celestron AVX Mount, Orion Atlas Mount, Explore Scientific Twilight 1, QSI 683 WSG, Astrodon Filters(LRGB and 3nm), Canon T3i & XSi(XSi is a full mod), ZWO ASI 120MC & ZWO ASI 120MM-S (with LRGB Filters) as well as for the daytime a Lunt 35mm Ha Solar Telescope, Lunt 1.25 Hershel Wedge, and White Light Filters

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    Default Re: Advise between 2 scopes for astrophotagraphy

    The difference between an astrograph and a regular newt is the placement and quality of the focuser. An astrograph has its focuser placed a little closer to the primary mirror to eliminate the back focus problem and as mentioned earlier, the focuser will be of better quality probably with a 10:1 fine focus knob.
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