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Thread: Choosing my first Telescope - any help is appreciated

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    Default Choosing my first Telescope - any help is appreciated



    I would like to buy a telescope primarily for watching Moon & Planets at this stage . I am also a serious photographer interested in Astro-photography . I own Nikon 800E and some good prime lenses in my kitty . My budget is around 500 $ . I guess here @ Bangalore I have limited access to try & buy and options are limited also .

    However if you can suggest few it would be of great help

    thanks in advance ..

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    Default Re: Choosing my first Telescope - any help is appreciated

    Welcome to the forum!

    I would strongly urge you to work on this with a local astronomy club. This way you will be able to learn more about what is available and works in your area. You may also find someone who will sell their used equipment at a much lower price than you would pay if you had to purchase new equipment.

    With your budget you are going to have a hard time putting together a new system which will likely do what you want to do. Here in the USA you generally are talking $2,000 or more to do what most want to do - and the folk who are publishing their images in the astronomy magazines are frequently paying tens of thousands of US dollars.

    You can do some very good stuff for less money, but it depends on what you wish to do - and how you choose to do it.

    So I'm going to hope your prime lenses have relatively fast optics and suggest you consider just buying an iOptron SkyTracker (you may be able get that with your budget) and use your camera and lenses to do some wide FOV astrophotography with your nice full-frame camera. You can likely do some amazing stuff that way.

    Oh, and you may want to see Forrest Tanaka's YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0JSTF8SGi4

    Just consider your lenses to be your telescopes and you can do great things. Trying to get a dedicated astrophotography system which will fully exploit a camera with a full-frame sensor is likely to cost you far more than your budget.
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    Default Re: Choosing my first Telescope - any help is appreciated

    Astrophotography, there is no cheap entry into astrophotography, only less expensive. The advice given by olecuss is excellent. Look up your local Astronomy Club. They will be most helpful. The iOpton SkyTracker is an excellent option if you have some knowledge of the night sky. Another option is the iOptron SmartEQ PRO goto telescope mount. This will take most of your budget. However it gives you room to grow over time. Start out doing as OleCuss suggested.. using your camera lenses. Later you can add a telescope like the Orion ST80A for $200. You can also add a self guider and then have a lightweight and portable kit that will let you take guided exposures of 30 minutes or more.
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    Default Re: Choosing my first Telescope - any help is appreciated

    Welcome to the forum!

    I second what OleCuss said, when he mentioned taking a look at "Forrest Tanaka's YouTube video". He (Forrest) does some really cool imaging, and his videos provide a wealth of information....and he explains things very well. The video that OleCuss linked to, is an excellent video, and Forrest just used his camera. No telescope! And he still got a great image of the Andromeda Galaxy!

    This whole AP field gets real expensive, real fast! The replies you got from OleCuss, and SXINIAS, are 100% right on point. Do your research, check into a local Astronomy Club, talk to people, and get an idea of what's out there, see what your local club guys use, and what you can afford. Cool thing is, since you already have a good camera, you can actually start doing AP right now, with just a decent tripod, and some good lenses

    Funny, just doing a 3-5 second exposure with my Canon T1i, and a the cheapest lens I could afford (and I mean cheap! DIRT CHEAP!), I'm talkin' $100 cheap 50mm lens! I managed to capture the Orion Belt region, and the Orion Nebula, with a "tiny hint" of color in the Nebula region. Being a complete DSLR noob, it clearly wasn't a great shot.... it was a bit out of focus, but, it wasn't bad for my first nebula shot. I was actually surprised with what I did! I'm sure (with your level of experience) your shots would come out 1000xs better than my feeble attempt! LOL

    But, I'll keep chipping away at it. hehe

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    Default Re: Choosing my first Telescope - any help is appreciated

    A source for inexpensive lenses is used lenses from yesteryear. Older lenses with a Pentax M42 screw fitting work manually with Canons . All you need is a M42 to EOS adapter which looks like a very thin T ring. Nikons on the other hand have a design that makes obtaining focus at infinity difficult.

    http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Mount.../dp/B001G4QXN2
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    Default

    Different camera brands have different mount to film distances, and Nikon has one of the longest (while Canon is shorter). So if you're trying to adapt between brands, it's often possible to make a Nikon lens to XXX adapter, that's basically a short extension - but going the other way involves extra lenses since you're too far out for infinity focus - which usually ends up impacting quality.

    On the other hand, Nikon have kept basically the same lens mount - so with a few exceptions, you should be able to use a lot of old MF Nikon glass...

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    Default Re: Choosing my first Telescope - any help is appreciated

    I have watched Tanaka's video + some others on AP ... thanks for the link . I guess first I have lot to learn to use DSLR for AP . I have several fast MF lenses from wide to zoom :-( - so I am good there possibly . But it seems there is lot of post processing involved in stacking & getting the right image out from the captured frames - which seems to be daunting task .

    However I would like to first enjoy viewing rather than delving into capturing . I guess I will end of buying a Refractor type .. will that be good decision to view which can be used for capturing later .

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    Default Re: Choosing my first Telescope - any help is appreciated

    Refractors are generally considered to be easier to image with, especially on larger DSOs, and an APO refractor will give the best images and be the best visually as well. I observe most frequently with my ES102 Apo triplet and it is a great imaging scope as well.

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    Default Re: Choosing my first Telescope - any help is appreciated

    I would also try to find some dark sites near Bangalore. The light pollution in Bangalore is high, so try to find a dark site near Bangalore. You should still be able to see some bright DSO's and planets from the city.

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    Default Re: Choosing my first Telescope - any help is appreciated

    Quote Originally Posted by lumiereumbra View Post
    I have watched Tanaka's video + some others on AP ... thanks for the link . I guess first I have lot to learn to use DSLR for AP . I have several fast MF lenses from wide to zoom :-( - so I am good there possibly . But it seems there is lot of post processing involved in stacking & getting the right image out from the captured frames - which seems to be daunting task.
    After a time it will not seem quite so daunting. You need to understand that the photo-processing Forrest Tanaka did is pretty typical of what is done if you are using a dedicated astronomical telescope and camera. They do related workflows (although more elaborate, I understand) with the Hubble Space Telescope and such. This is necessary with almost all equipment in order to get the kinds of results most people want.

    However I would like to first enjoy viewing rather than delving into capturing . I guess I will end of buying a Refractor type .. will that be good decision to view which can be used for capturing later .
    Well, a refractor is a wonderful thing, but being a refractor does not necessarily mean that it will be much good for astrophotography. It may be good - or it may not.

    But the idea of enjoying the night sky is a good one. You may find this extraordinarily frustrating if you try to learn to do visual astronomy with a typical telescope and mount in bad light pollution. I believe Bangalore has bad light pollution so you may really want to get a computerized telescope (that costs a lot more) or drive to a dark site in order to observe.

    I strongly recommend you work with your local astronomy club (I'm sure Bangalore has one) before you start investing money and discover that it doesn't work well where you are.

    If you choose not to work with your local astronomy club and you are going to observe from a dark site, then probably starting with a scope like this: STAR TRACKER, 6 inch Telescope, Dobsonian Telescope or like this: GSO, 8 inch Telescope, Dobsonian Telescope should be considered.

    That 8-inch is a little over your budget by my calculation but Tejraj does have a cheaper 8-incher which I believe will fit into your budget.

    Those are not refractors, but I've not been able to find a refractor I think is very worth buying in your budget range. That doesn't mean that refractor is not available, it just means I couldn't find it.

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