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  1. #1
    Draco Lacerta's Avatar
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    Default Skymax 102 or 127 photos?



    I am a complete newbie to astrophotography and will soon be in a position to buy my first telescope (perfect excuse to buy an SLR too!). I was wondering if anyone had any links/photos to photography obtained with the Skymax 102 or 127? Just so I can see the quality and exactly what I can loo forward to. I have googled and flicked through the albums on here and didn't find much, especially by a 102. So if anyone could help, I'd be very grateful

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    DigitalNinja's Avatar
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    Default

    The reason you don't see many astrophoto's taken with these telescopes is because they are not meant for that. The most you can do with them is take a photo of the moon or a planet. But the mount is not sensitive and the gears are not good enough to keep tracking for a long time to capture the deep space objects (DSO's) Also the tripod and mount are not hefty enough to stop the major wobble you will receive.
    Where you are just starting astronomy I recommend a basic telescope like a dobsonian to start off with and learn the sky for a year or two, saving up to get something like a Celestron CGEM later down the road.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. #3
    sxinias's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi Draco,

    Welcome to the astronomy forum.

    SkyWatcher SkyMak 102 or 127. Both are excellent telescopes for viewing but as Digita.... said, not designed for photography. Having said that, can you connect a DSLR to one and take photographs? Yes BUT..

    First, either of the two telescopes are fine for photography. Its their azimuth mount and tripod that is the problem.

    I have a Celestron C6S on the same mount and tripod used by the SkyMAK. The C6S is larger and a little heavier than a 127 MAX. I have taken photographs of The Great Orion Nebula and M45 with it and suspect that I could also photograph many other of the brighter deep space objects; especially star clusters. However, doing so is an exercise in fustration.

    First the mount is a computerized azimuth mount. It will keep an object essentially centered while the earth rotates but it does not adjust for the earth's rotation. While great for viewing, this means that with a long exposure photograph, stars surrounding the object being photographed will move making arcs of light instead of a pin point. You can counter this but taking many short exposure photographs then stacking the image... eg. 10 thirty second exposures equals one 300 second exposure. Some stacker programs can also ajust for the earth's rotation to some extent. All azimuth mounts will have this problem. This is why for photography, an equatorial mount is needed ... to adjust for the earth's rotation.

    Yes, you can stack short exposures and make a long exposure and partly adjust for the Earth's rotation. So what's the problem? The tripod used by SkyWatcher is frankly a "shakey Jake;" minimially acceptable for viewing. Even the slightest puff of wind will induce vibration ... there goes the shot. I have a difficult time even with 15 second exposures.

    Digita.. recommended a DOB. DOBs are great for viewing but also are not suited for photography. Most are manually operated; however, Orion (USA, not UK) has both a goto version as well as a pushto version that will find objects in the sky for you. SkyWatcher also has goto DOBs. DOBs have azimuth mounts just like the SkyMax so are not suited for photography. In addition DOBS are typically f/5 Newtonian scopes which means that they do not have sufficient back focus for a DSLR. Also incomparison to the SkyMaks, they are rather large. DOBs offer the best price vs aperture ratio which makes them very popular viewing telescopes.

    I can understand the inclination that you have to purchase one telescope that is great for viewing as well as for taking photographs. These kinds of telescope do exist but are more expensive than the 104 mm or 127 mm SkyMaks and also not near as portable. Perhaps the lowest cost scope suitable for astrophotography and viewing is the Celestron Advanced Series C6SGT for about£1000 including VAT. While moveable, the Celestron's CG5 mount is bulky and heavy. I have one and this is why I purchased the SkyWatcher mount that the SkyMak uses. I use the lightweight skywatcher mount for viewing and the heavier celestron mount for photography. The 150 mm C6S is on the smallish side for viewing, a 200 mm scope would be better.

    You may want to consider an incremental approach. Get the SkyMak 127 and learn your way around the night's sky. You can also experiment with photography and can learn a lot even with its shakey azimuth mount. When you are ready to start astrophotography in ernest, then purchase a German Equatorial Mount (GEM) suitable for astrophotography and put the 127 Mak on it. As you develop your photography skills, you will probably then purchase a different telescope for photography, but the 127 MAK will be a keeper for a super grab and go portable telescope.

    The above is just one approach.
    SXINIAS

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    ZEQ25 mount;
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    SynScan AZ
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    Mount;

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    ST-80A 80mm Refractor (OTA); Meade
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    203mm SCT (OTA);
    Meade DS2090AT 90mm Refractor; Meade 2045LX3 102mm SCT;

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    4 SE 102mm MAK; Celestron Advanced Series C6S (XLT) 150mm SCT
    with an iOptron GOTO Drive

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  5. #4
    sologuitarist61's Avatar
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    Default

    What about the smaller Skywater GEM, the EQ3-2 pro, is this mount good enough for astro photography with a DSLR?

 

 

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