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  1. #1
    Woodw23ard's Avatar
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    Default Which would you pick?



    Hi there guys, I'm finally going to take the plunge and buy a telescope after becoming fascinated by space in the past year. I've finally saved up enough for a beginner/entry model scope and have narrowed it down to these few, as I have no astronomy club/shop anywhere near by house (middle of nowhere, ideal for clear skies )

    Meade_ETX80

    Celestron 114LCM Computerized Telescope

    (Turns out I can't post links to them sorry)

    Firstly are these 2 good enough to take some average moon/planet pictures using a Nikon D3100? I'm not expecting anything great but I'd love to be able to take my own pictures.

    I choose those 2 after a little bit of reading (although I've found it hard to find many reviews) they're also fairly compact compared to others (which is essential as I'll be moving it around a lot)

    Thanks alot

  2. #2
    Joe Lalumia's Avatar
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    Default

    The ETX80 is going to be very marginal for astro-photography. I cannot comment on the other scope.

    Taking photos is a completely separate section of the hobby-- stick with visual for at least the first year. Later you can investigate an imaging set up.

    Clear skies!
    ETX 125PE, Stellarvue 80mm BV & Televue TelePod tripod,
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    TelescopeMan Web Site

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  3. #3
    Pingu's Avatar
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    Default

    Tailor the telescope to your needs, then add about 2-3" of aperture. I have an old ETX-90 that I acquired recently and its does the job for me. Many will say optics, mounts, portability. Research reviews for a better understanding of what you're about to get into. This forum is a great tool for that. You may want to go with an ETX 90 because I'm not sure if the 80 has the ability to attach a camera to it. Take a look at Astromart. I saw a great deal on a ETX 90 with all the bells and whistles for about $400.
    Cal
    ETX-125
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  5. #4
    Woodw23ard's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for all the replies, I'm not sure I could afford to go up to the ETX 90 for now as I'm in the UK and the cheapest I can find is about £420.

    Does anyone know a half decent telescope which is capable of half decent (nothing too fancy) pictures, I've been getting mixed replies from everyone, I rang one shop and they gave me a set up for £250 but the telescope was gigantic (No way I could haul it around the moors with me lol) and the other one said there's no telescopes even capable of taking pictures under about £400. Then the last shop I emailed I had a reply saying any telescope is capable of taking pictures so I've got a bit confused!

    If I can't find one capable I think I'll have no option but to save up a bit more as I don't want to get one and then in 4 months be wishing I could take pictures (which I know would happen lol)

  6. #5
    mplanet62's Avatar
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    Default

    From my own experience I would not recommend Celestron 114. Barely acceptable for visual, no go for any half-serious astrophotography. ETX 80 looks smallish to match a DSLR. ETX 90, maybe.

  7. #6
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    Default

    Woody:

    Bottom line in my opinion is to forget taking pictures for now....simply buy a scope and use it visually for at least a year or two then start thinking about what it will take (equipment wise ) to get into AP....

    I know it sounds simple to do even simple AP but the dealers are partially correct in that all telescopes are capable of taking a picture by just holding the camera on top of the eyepiece (afocal Photography) but when you start to understand the Physics of taking pictures of moving objects (and believe me the stars move as well as the Earth which is rotating things get difficult...

    Nothing wrong with either scope you looked at ...both will provide you with much better views then you can get your your eyeballs or binoculars ...

    I speak from being in this hobby since the Mid 1950's and I do not image nor do I have any interest in imaging...WHY? its simply work ... and I have to manufacture and alter the images on a Computer to produce a final picture that in no way looks anything like what I see with my eyeballs...no colors etc... BUT that is me others enjoy work I do not... lol

    Buy as much aperture as you can afford and then go out and "LOOK"....

    Bob G
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
    I Hate the winter so I use heated Motorcycle clothing to stay warm while observing in winter
    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
    1. tinker with older Corvettes (6 in garage)
    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.

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  9. #7
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    Default

    +1 to what Bob said above.
    Balu.
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    I just like this emoticon![/FONT]

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  10. #8
    mplanet62's Avatar
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    Default

    While I agree on advice of getting visual observation experience before attempting any serious astrophotography, telescopes are too dear to buy them exclusively for visual or photo. Therefore, buying astrophoto capable telescope is a good idea. It will be a great telescope anyway - and it will have a resale value if the interest does not last or changes.

  11. #9
    pederv's Avatar
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    Default

    If you REALLY want to get a setup capable of photogrphy then you're going to need to get a good mount, one that can support 4 - 8 kilos more than what the optical tube weighs. Because once you start adding the camera and other AP acessories you'll reach the maximum weight rating of your mount.
    My 130mm scope mount can handle a light point and shoot camera riding piggy back but setting up a camera in afocal mode is too much for it because as with most pre-configured setups the optical tube is right at the limits of the mount. Upgrading the mount on the 130mm to the next level is going to cost almost as much as the 130mm cost my daughter.
    My 254mm setup gives me about 5 or 6 kilos to alot for any AP equipment.
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  12. #10
    Joe Lalumia's Avatar
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    Here is WHY we always recommend visual first.

    1. Let's be honest. To do any kind of decent astro-photography you need a CG5 or better mount. These can be bought USED with GOTO for about $500.

    2. Then you need a good APO refractor 80mm-120mm -- these can be bought for $600 (80mm) USED or maybe even new from time to time. Bigger aperture the price goes UP exponentially.

    3. Then you need a camera-- say about $1200 for a low end CCD that would be usable.

    4. Then another $100-$200 for various accessories, and $150 for an ACHRO refractor as a guide scope, and a second camera -- something like a Meade DSI for $150 used.

    Right away you can see we easily broke the $2000 price point.

    Yes you can do astro-photography cheaper with a web cam or an older used CCD camera and a lower end mount to a CG5. Eventually the "dark side" will get you and you will UPGRADE and be right back OVER $2500 again.

    I would consider about $2200 as the lowest possible price point for a decent astro-photo rig. This is WAY beyond what a beginner should spend on a scope. For $600 you can get a NICE used 10 inch or 12 inch DOB maybe even with a PUSHTO goto system-- you can ALWAYS sell the DOB and get a large part of your money back if you decide the hobby is not for you.

    Consider this when you think about doing astro-photography as a beginner in the hobby. Yes I have seen beginners jump in with high end equipment before----- BUT many of them were already into high end photography and just extended their talents into the sky.

    Clear Skies!
    Last edited by Joe Lalumia; 12-02-2010 at 08:42 PM.
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