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Thread: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount

  1. #11
    Wesley Pronovost(The 8 billionth)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount



    Well, I guess I'll need a summer job then!!! LOL
    Thanks for the Advice I think I will have to prioritize the mount and gradually get better scopes. Is the $900 AVX gonna work as a solid long lasting mount or will I need something even bigger?
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  2. #12
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    Default Re: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount

    The AVX is a good mount, but has it's limits concerning the load. It will be fine with a 4" refractor or a 6" SCT or Newt. Some people push it with a 8" SCT successfully, I chose the 6" SCT instead.
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  3. #13
    KathyNS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount

    Forget the 10". You can't afford the mount you would need.

    I have the 8", and I would say that the HEQ5/Sirius or AVX would be the absolute minimum mount. The EQ5 (without the 'H') is too small. An EQ6/Atlas would be preferable. I ran the 8" on the HEQ5 for several years. It works, but you have to be totally paranoid about saving weight. The AVX is in the same category.
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  4. #14
    Wesley Pronovost(The 8 billionth)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount

    I recently watched an AP tutorial and the guy who made it (Forrest Tanaka) was using a 10" Newt on what appeared to be an AVX. I've also heard of a rule that you should but half the weight capacity on your mount for AP. Any thoughts?
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    Default Re: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount

    50% to 60% is the normal rule of thumb.
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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle
    Ya gotta keep this Apo/Achro thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)

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    Wesley Pronovost(The 8 billionth)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount

    Additionally, the weight capacity of the AVX is thirty to forty pounds and the 8" is only 17 pounds wouldn't it easily fit in the weight class?(My camera is only one pound)
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    Default Re: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount

    There are also considerations such as the size of the telescope, a 8" tube has a lot of cross section if the breeze comes up.
    You can do good AP with a AVX but I have noticed that many people that start with one tend to outgrow them rather quickly.
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    Refractors: Antares 105 f/15, Bresser 102XL f/13.2, Celestron 102 f/6.5, 2-150 f/8, Stellarvue NHNG 80 f/6.9, TAL 100RS f/10, TS 102 f/11, Vixen SD115s f/7.7
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    The weakest link in the optical chain is the large nut located directly behind the eyepiece/ camera. - Gabrielle
    Ya gotta keep this Apo/Achro thing in some balance of perspective. Apos are awesome, but long focus Achros aren't that far behind them - Siriusandthepup (CN)

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  8. #18
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    Default Re: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Pronovost(The 8 billionth) View Post
    Additionally, the weight capacity of the AVX is thirty to forty pounds and the 8" is only 17 pounds wouldn't it easily fit in the weight class?(My camera is only one pound)
    Go ahead and try it and see what happens. After you pull out all your hair wondering why all your images are blurred, have trailing and, will not stack in DSS just to mention a few problems, you will be frustrated with AP and all your stuff will end up in the for sale ads. There have been many here before you that failed to follow the advice passed on to them. We have over 129,000 members here at AF.net yet only a few hundred at best are actively posting and perhaps only a 100 in the AP forum, think about that. You have received some great advice in this thread based on people's experience. Failure to heed it will only end up as an exercise in futility and frustration.
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    Default Re: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley Pronovost(The 8 billionth) View Post
    Additionally, the weight capacity of the AVX is thirty to forty pounds and the 8" is only 17 pounds wouldn't it easily fit in the weight class?(My camera is only one pound)
    The rated capacity is just 30lbs. And most of us suspect that that is a generous number. Yes, the 8" OTA "only" weighs 17lbs but then with all the other astro gear (that is absolutely needed) for DSO AP is added in you'll be somewhere near 22lbs or more. With that much weight on the mount now you are at 73% (or more) of the mount's rated capacity. That is why Hondo's warning above should be heeded. The lighter the load the better your image count and quality will be. Image count means the ones that are keepers. When you spend 4 hours imaging an object and the image quality shows that only 50% are keepers (meaning you just wasted 2 hours, and this is not an outrageous percentage), you'll be wondering why you didn't get a smaller OTA or a bigger mount!

    Cheers,
    JT
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    Default Re: Choosing an Astrophotography telescope+mount

    Hi Wesley,

    Let me put on my AP "philosophizer" hat here for a moment.

    I understand your desire to get the biggest aperture you can onto a mount to accomplish DSO AP. This makes inherent sense because you'll see throughout these forums that "aperture is everything". So it only goes to reason that you should go BIG! But don't buy into this thinking for long exposure DSO AP. With a smaller aperture you will give up some resolution, but in the beginning you won't be tackling the difficult objects that need more resolution (and even this notion is arguable). To make up for having a smaller aperture you just take more images to reduce your noise level. This is why large aperture is not quintessentially important!

    Additionally, and the more important reason why you should start small and lightweight when starting out with long exposure DSO AP is that there is so much to learn when you start down this path. It is knowledge that is "mostly" not applicable to any other area of photography or telescopy. I have done more reading and studying for this branch of AP than it took to get my Masters degree. I'm not bragging I have a Masters degree, it was pretty easy compared to long exposure DSO AP! So here's a brief and not totally complete list of all the knowledge you'll need to acquire to get relatively decent at LE DSO AP:

    • Acquiring and learning the use of all the hardware needed
    • Setting up your mount correctly to minimize dec backlash and PE
    • Getting a better than decent polar alignment
    • Acquiring and learning the use of ALL the software you'll need to do:
      • Image capture
      • Image calibration
      • Image stacking
      • Image post-processing

    In essence, through necessity, you'll become a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer and a software engineer. And this is all before you've even started the artistic side of this incredibly involved pursuit!

    So with all this hanging over your head, the last thing you need is the frustration of not having the right gear! There is plenty of frustration to go around even when you have the right gear. Don't make things worse.

    Philosophizer hat off.

    Cheers,
    JT
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  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to jaetea For This Useful Post:

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