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Thread: Do you have recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Default Do you have recommendations?



    I have just gotten a Celestron Powerseeker 127eq, along with a RA motor for the mount. I would like to try some astrophotography, but realize this scope has its limits. A DSLR would be too heavy; a phone or point-and-shoot digital probably won't get me much. I could try to adapt a webcam with a CMOS sensor I suppose, but I'm wondering if getting a simple digital imager for astrophotography and connecting everything with a program like Registax would be helpful in getting photos like Saturn and its rings, Jupiter, maybe even a couple of cloud nebulae. Nothing fantastic, of course, but recognizable at least. What do you think??? Thanks in advance for whatever input you can offer me!!

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    Default Re: Do you have recommendations?

    As you have already figured out, your set up is not very AP friendly, but you do have some options. For planetary AP, your best bet is probably to get a CMOS imager like a ZWO imager. But the scale is going to be small and likely disappointing, although it likely will do lunar imaging pretty well. Probably not going to do much with DSOs at all.

    But you can do a lot more if you get a DSLR, attach it with a dovetail bar directly to your mount and leave the scope off. You will need to learn how to do a good drift alignment of the mount, but a LOT of good wide field DSO AP can be done this way, and relatively cheaply.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Do you have recommendations?

    Excellent suggestions by Ozman above. Welcome to the Forums!
    Michael
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    Default Re: Do you have recommendations?

    Welcome Scottie !
    Another ditto for Ozman's post ! :-)
    Telescope: Mak; 127, Meade 8 LXD75, Fracs; ES127mmFcd100,ES80Essential, SW 100ED Evostar, Skychief 60mmF15. Mount: cg4, az/eq5, slt, lxd75, farpoint Para. EP: Doctor 12.5 UWA, Pentax 7-14XW, KK Ortho 4-25, Meade Plossl x3, TV 22Panoptic, Leitz 10X,12.5X, Leica 10X25 HC, Bits of other glass. Binoculars: 8x43 Pentax, 10X30 Swarovski, 25X100 Oberwerk.Cam;Nikon d90, Nikon d810.
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    Default Re: Do you have recommendations?

    Don't forget the Moon in addition to the planets! I have enjoyed extracting some of the subtle color differences on the lunar surface. Here is a sample from a no longer available one shot color solar system imaging camera that I got from Orion.

    http://www.astronomyforum.net/member...pernicusb.html

    This can be a relatively inexpensive (and less massive) way to get your feet wet and see if you like it.
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    Default Re: Do you have recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by not_Fritz_Argelander View Post
    Don't forget the Moon in addition to the planets! I have enjoyed extracting some of the subtle color differences on the lunar surface. Here is a sample from a no longer available one shot color solar system imaging camera that I got from Orion.

    http://www.astronomyforum.net/member...pernicusb.html

    This can be a relatively inexpensive (and less massive) way to get your feet wet and see if you like it.
    I agree heartily with nFA.
    The moon can be a fun entryway into AP, and it is quite possible to capture very satisfying images with a cell phone.
    Cheers!
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Do you have recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie102 View Post
    I have just gotten a Celestron Powerseeker 127eq, along with a RA motor for the mount. I would like to try some astrophotography, but realize this scope has its limits. A DSLR would be too heavy; a phone or point-and-shoot digital probably won't get me much. I could try to adapt a webcam with a CMOS sensor I suppose, but I'm wondering if getting a simple digital imager for astrophotography and connecting everything with a program like Registax would be helpful in getting photos like Saturn and its rings, Jupiter, maybe even a couple of cloud nebulae. Nothing fantastic, of course, but recognizable at least. What do you think??? Thanks in advance for whatever input you can offer me!!
    If you want get the best performance from your kit, you'll need to check the collimation of the telescope. The more accurate the alignment of the mirrors in relation to the focusser, the sharper the images will be. This is what your telescope looks like on the inside...

    http://www.whichtelescope.com/images...Newtonian2.gif

    The telescope is not a traditional Newtonian. It is a loose simulation of a Jones-Bird catadioptric. It is also an economical alternative to a Schmidt-Cassegrain, like the Celestron C5 or C6. Still, if gone through with a "fine-toothed comb", it can be a performer. As they come from the factory overseas, they're manufactured to be just "good enough" for casual observing with eyepieces. Some, if not many, arrive not even good enough for that, which is why it needs to be tested, and improved if photography is being considered.

    You can insert the camera, like a ZWO, into a 3x-barlow to increase the size of the images. You can also try a 5x-barlow, and for five times the fun, although I have read that a 3x is at the upper limit.

    The EQ-1 mount that comes with your kit is only stable enough to use eyepieces. The eye doesn't mind so much if the images shake and wiggle. Attaching a camera in place of an eyepiece is a whole other thing. The mount must hold the telescope, and the camera's "eye", steady as a rock, and the EQ-1 is simply not up to the task. You would need at least an EQ3-class mount for that, like the Celestron CG-4. It would be just the thing for your telescope, and purposes...

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Do you have recommendations?

    Hi Scottie, and welcome here to the Forum!

    smp
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    Default Re: Do you have recommendations?

    On a budget... consider a ZWO ASI120MC-S (get the version with the “-S” suffix... that’s a USB 3 version. The older non “-S” version is USB 2. The price difference is small (I think it’s about $10 difference). The camera is roughly $150 (giver or take). Loads of software supports it.

    When imaging “planets”, you want a fast frame rate. So the general idea is to grab about 30 seconds worth of video (the ASI120MC-S can grab frames at 60 frames per second) and then stack them using software like AutoStakkert2 or Registax.

    This is an affordable and popular entry-level price camera... there are (of course) more expensive cameras. As a bonus... this camera comes with a wide-field lens (you can use it without a scope to capture very wide-field images... meteor showers for instance). It also has an ST4 auto-guider port... which means if the Astrophotography bug bites you and you end up buying a nicer scope, a nicer camera, etc. you can re-purpose this as a “guide” camera because it knows how to interface on with the auto-guider port on motorized mounts that support auto-guiding.
    Tim Campbell


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