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  1. #1
    Billc's Avatar
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    Default Astrophotography



    Hi,
    I am now somewhat familiar with my Celestron 8SE, and understand it is not ideal for astrophotography on the given Celestron alt/azimuth mount. I am thinking of getting the Orion Atlas EQ mount but was wondering if it is compatible with my scope. The scope match is not all that important since I am mainly looking to just do long exposures with my Nikon D5100 (at least for now).
    Will the 8SE mount directly to the Atlas EQ and does it come with software/hardware to track objects without streaking (with alignment, of course)?

    Thanks in advance for any tips for this beginner.

    Bill

    PS: I have probably submitted this in the wrong forum but haven't yet figured out how to go to the proper site for the subject.

  2. #2
    sxinias's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi, You are correct that the 8SE mount is not that suited for astrophotography. However, you can photograph many deep space objects with it. In a few more weeks there will be plenty of objects that are within its capabilities. You can also mount your DSLR on the scope PiggyBack or simply remove the telescope and use the camera only. Dependent upon what lenses you have for your camera, you can get some very nice wide field of view photographs.

    Using your camera at prime focus, with the 8SE mount you are limited by field rotation and by the mount's stability to very short, unguided exposures of approximately 20 seconds duration. Again, this is sufficient to photograph plenty of objects.

    While you can use the 8SE to get started and learn a lot about astrophotography with it, you probably will outgrow the mount's limited capabilities. However, by starting with what you now have, you will get some very nice photographs. You will also learn a lot and know where you want to go with astrophotography and what mount is best for doing that.
    SXINIAS

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    ZEQ25 mount;
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    Mount;
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    203mm SCT (OTA);
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  3. #3
    Maverick199's Avatar
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    Default

    Aside from what is stated above, you will also learn about stacking, processing an image which is the next half of the process with AP. Start with piggyback and take it from there.

    I also think you may require a specific dovetail plate for your 8se to fit on EQ mounts though I am not sure.
    Z8.
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  4. #4
    Phil Leigh's Avatar
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    Default

    Yes the 8SE will mount straight onto the Orion Mount. I use a 6SE on a very similar mount. You do not need any additional hardware. It takes less than 30 seconds to transfer the tube from one mount to the other...!

    As it comes, the mount itself should be capable of tracking without "streaking" (assuming accurate balance and polar alignment) for somewhere between 1 and 3 minutes - this depends on the mechanical state of tune of your specific mount and is only a guide.

    After that you need to use a guide camera and additional software for longer exposures without "streaking".


    Once you have the mount, the next thing you will need is a 0.63 Focal Reducer...

    One word of warning/advice: EQ mounts are more complicated to own, setup and use than the very simple mount you are used to. be prepared for a steep but worthwhile learning curve and don't be discouraged at first... go slowly and watch LOTS of online tutorials - there are some excellent ones for that exact mount.

    Google "Complete Mount and Scope Setup" for fantastic youtube videos made by Dion from AstronomyShed.

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  5. #5
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    Default

    You have lots of choices..
    CG5-GT... uses the same dovetail as the 8SE so you can move it between the two I did that for a while last year. Its about half the price of the Atlas or Cgem
    Took this with my first night.

    You also can put it on a CGEM but either need to update the saddle like I have so it takes both v style like 8SE and d" style.. which is also used. OR add a D dovetail to the 8SE
    The Atlas also looks like it will take the 8SE directly.. with no modification.
    Ken H. sharing the sky with my 9yr old daughter
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  6. #6
    Patrice Lanteigne's Avatar
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    Default

    Here is a picture of the optical tube from a Nexstar 6SE on an EQ-6 aka Atlas.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Patrice Lanteigne's Avatar
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    Default

    And here it is paired with a short tube 80mm refractor on a Duo T mount from Canadian Telescopes used as a "grab 'n go" setup. I brought this setup outside with 5, 10 and 20 mm ep's and had a lot of fun. I'm pretty sure this is what will be packed in the camper for the trips to the beach lot.
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  8. #8
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    The 8SE has a vixen dovetail attached to it and the Atlas accepts the vixen dovetail directly.
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  9. #9
    Billc's Avatar
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    Default

    Wow, thank you all for the great info, pictures and suggestions! It seems there is an unending amout of info to learn but I am excited to start trying.

  10. #10
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    Default

    I have been considering piggybacking and was wondering what the benefits would be if using just the goto mount. Since it's not tracking with field rotation, longer exposure shots are not possible with streaking/blurring, correct? And if so, why not just use a tripod? I have some equipment as noted below but am waiting on the T-adapter to do some try out some prime focus shots and was considering getting a piggyback adapter but am thinking it might not really be needed without a wedge or a new mount. Is this true?
    Celestron NexStar 8SE, Orion Stratus 24mm 17mm 13mm & 8mm, Orion Ultrablock, Orion Variable Moon Filter, Celestron f/6.3 FR, Revolution Imager
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    Northwest OH
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