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  1. #1
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    Default Advice needed please.



    I hope I haven't put this post in the wrong place... if I have, please move it.

    Right, here goes… Part 1…

    I am looking for a telescope that will allow me to image Nebula, Galaxies, Planets and Lunar as well as being a good observational instrument.

    I am very lucky that I do not suffer from light or atmospheric pollution due to now living in NZ and not the UK anymore.

    Having never done any astro-imaging before, therefore I have a few questions…

    I was thinking of one of the new Meade LX90-ACF’s (8” probably, but could run to a 10”) but wouldn’t there be an image rotation problem with that type of Alt-Az mounting when it comes to long time exposures?

    So, not knowing what type of exposure (or multi exposures) would be needed do I go for an equatorial mounted scope?
    Or is there a better scope to consider?

    Cheers
    Thanks in advance...
    G

    ps Orion is up side down from here... and so is the moon for that matter... a very strange thing to get your head around when you first see it.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hiya (again) G ...

    I'll pop this over into the AP Forum ... we have a couple of real brains that keep a pretty sharp eye on that forum for exactly this sort of thing ... no worries ... makes perfect since you put a Meade question in a Meade forum ...

    ... my apologies ... I moved it to the wrong forum initially ... we are now in the AP forum ... don't know what the heck I was thinking ... we're right now ... whew ... I need a beer ...
    Last edited by FatherGuse; 04-02-2009 at 04:51 AM. Reason: ... argh ...

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  4. #3
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    Default

    Hi southern cross , You can get a wedge for a fork mount scope , but it is suggested that you go for a lx200 as opposed to a lx90 . The 200s are a lot more stable than the 90s .If there is a way to look at one up close and compare them side by side , give the 90 a tap and the mount shakes a little but the 200 is rock solid . There are also different wedges . The standard wedge for a lx is around 200 as opposed to the super wedge at 500. It might be better getting a small APO scope on a nice solid mount .
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  6. #4
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    Default

    Hi Roverich,
    Thanks for the swift reply.

    So the 200's really are that much better.
    Not really much chance to get a close up look at one now I live in NZ, there just aren't the number of retailers here with a total population being just around 4,000,000 for both North Island and South Island. I will probably have to order it from the UK or USA as I haven't found anyone here selling them yet.

    Sorry for sounding a bit thick but what is a wedge and where does it go?

    What small scope would you suggest I look at and what mount would you suggest?
    Are you suggesting this for photography as well as using a Meade for observation?

    I have a Canon EOS400D with a couple of decent Sigma EX zoom lenses, 18-50 and 70-200 APO both f2.8 throughout the zoom range. Downside is that the rear screen is very bright and not swithable off and the B setting has to be done with a finger on the shutter as it has no cable release hole.

    What type of imaging device would I need?

    Sorry for all the questions but I have spent the last 30 years with a trusty old 6.25 inch f8 Newtonian on a manual equitorial mount, so imaging and modern optics are a new field for me.

    Cheers
    SC.

  7. #5
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    Default

    Sorry for sounding a bit thick but what is a wedge and where does it go
    An Equatorial Wedge is a part that sits between the tripod head and the mount head on a fork mounted alt az. By adjusting the wedge to your latitude the mount becomes equatorial and therefore eliminates field rotation

    Here is an example for a Celestron http://www.celestron.com/c3/product....=52&ProdID=382

    I will probably have to order it from the UK or USA as I haven't found anyone here selling them yet.
    You'll save a lot of freight and hassle buying from here in Aus if you can't get what you need locally in NZ

    What small scope would you suggest I look at and what mount would you suggest
    My Opinion. Better off with a good sturdy German Equatorial Mount. Your budget will be the biggest factor, but if you are after one scope/mount for visual and imaging how about a nice shortish 10" Newtonian on an EQ6 mount? http://www.myastroshop.com.au/produc...sp?id=MAS-109C

    or drop back to an 8" http://www.myastroshop.com.au/produc...sp?id=MAS-109B

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  9. #6
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    Default A longish Reply.

    Thanks all for the reply.
    Right, so a wedge is a device to put right something that should have been there in the first place and in an extreme case will introduce more variables and more tolerance build-up in the mount than you really need.

    Errr… Sorry, I forgot about trying Australia for a scope, I'm used to living in the UK where if you can’t get it there you get it from the USA…
    OK, Aus it is then to buy the scope from.

    Budget running up to Ł4,500 around AU$9,200 (US$6,600) for everything I am likely to need so a 10 inch isn't a problem.

    Most of the best amateur photographs I have seen have nearly always been taken using an EQ6 mount.

    I must admit that I do have a particular liking for low f number Newtonian scopes (f4.5 to f8), a nice bright image I find.
    The images that are shown taken with the 10-inch scope look rather impressive, especially the planetary ones.

    What, if any, are the advantages of a standard Newtonian over the rather complex looking Maksutov Cassegrain and the Schmidt Cassegrain types which all appear to have rather high f No’s (f10 to f15) and very short tubes? Apart from the luxury of built-in GPS which must be rather useful I feel.

    So then, what type of imaging device would be needed? I don’t think the EOS400D is really up to the job.

    What type of software would be needed?
    A laptop isn’t a problem I have a couple that could probably be used.

    Good quality eyepieces are another consideration to be factored in.

    Once again, sorry about the length and the number of questions….
    But it does give everyone the chance to have a go at spending someone else’s money for them.

    Many thanks

    G
    (Southern Cross… SC)

    I think I will just use the signature SC in future it’s less confusing that way.

  10. #7
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    Default

    I think I will just use the signature SC in future it’s less confusing that way.
    LOL put a first name there man! Make one up if you want!

    Right, so a wedge is a device to put right something that should have been there in the first place and in an extreme case will introduce more variables and more tolerance build-up in the mount than you really need.
    Yep well I think that's a fair call, others will disagree

    Errr… Sorry, I forgot about trying Australia for a scope, I'm used to living in the UK where if you can’t get it there you get it from the USA…
    OK, Aus it is then to buy the scope from.
    Well considering that say Sydney is closer to NZ than to Perth WA and also that customs between Aus and NZ are quite user friendly I think that would also be a fair call if you can't source what you want locally.

    Most of the best amateur photographs I have seen have nearly always been taken using an EQ6 mount.
    Or larger, but yes mostly GEM (German Equatorial Mount)

    What, if any, are the advantages of a standard Newtonian over the rather complex looking Maksutov Cassegrain and the Schmidt Cassegrain types which all appear to have rather high f No’s (f10 to f15) and very short tubes? Apart from the luxury of built-in GPS which must be rather useful I feel.
    First off, the EQ mounts we are talking about, eg EQ6 and so are available with full Go To facility, and any other fancy computer system etc that you may want.

    The short f/ratios are exactly the issue. Shorter Focal Lengths need shorter exposure times

    So then, what type of imaging device would be needed? I don’t think the EOS400D is really up to the job.

    What type of software would be needed?
    A laptop isn’t a problem I have a couple that could probably be used.
    Now you are out of my league. I am only a sometime AP person and only use a couple of Nikon DSLRs usually with a small 80mm refractor

    Good quality eyepieces are another consideration to be factored in.
    Hmm well you are not a beginner here "G" nor do you have a tight budget so I'll say that the EP's that I really like and use the most are Vixen LVW's (About $350 Aus each these days I think) Personal opinion. Also a little cheaper look at the Baader Hyperion range.

    But it does give everyone the chance to have a go at spending someone else’s money for them
    One of my favourite past times.......

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  12. #8
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    Default

    Hi Southern Cross, SC or G
    A lot of what Vin says is good advice. Fork mounted SCTs are ok but you can't change the tube assembly for a different one so if you decide you want a different scope in the future it will be costly. To do imaging with an alt az fork mount you need a wedge to avoid field rotation and a good wedge is expensive. If you are going to do observing and imaging then you should first of all get the best mount you can afford (german equatorial) and then consider the telescopes, for observing aperture is the most important factor so as Vin says a 10" newtonian would be good ideally with a fast focal ratio ie f5. The reason for the fast f number is for imaging as the faster the f number the shorter the exposure times when imaging. Also when imaging it is almost always essential to use autoguiding in order to track accurately during long exposures (I say almost always as I have never used autoguiding and I use up to 10 minutes subframe exposures but the Paramount ME that I have gives me that luxury). To this end you will want to consider a second scope such as a short focus refractor for instance the William Optics 72mm f6 to use as a guide scope (you can of course image with either scope and use the other one to guide). You will of course then need to consider imaging devices. DSLR's are absolutely fine for imaging although if you really want to go deep on some fainter objects then you will have to consider a ccd camera, these come in all different shapes and sizes with different size chips, monochrome and colour, different pixel sizes, etc and a vast budget range to suit the beginner up to the professional. For the extra magnification you need for planetary work, a barlow lens will sort that out. If you really do want to do imaging of nebula I personally would recommend the above combination but would steer clear of an SCT as the field of view is exceptionally small, the focal ratio is too slow and the alt az mount means more expense as you have to cater for a wedge. I mistakenly started out out with a LX200 10" on alt az mount and was very disappointed. I upgraded to my current system which I am very pleased with as it does everything I want of it. Software wise, there is a plethora of imaging and processing software on the market such as Maxim DL, CCD soft, Astroart, Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, etc. All of them are good and people will have their preferences depending on functionality and budget, my personal choice is Maxim DL for focusing, camera control, image acquisition, stacking and colour combining and the Photoshop CS2 for processing. Some software is available as free ware over the internet, it is a case of doing a google search and seeing what is available. By the way you can use a RC-1 or RC-5 remote control on you Canon EOS 400D, I checked this out on the canon site and it will operate the camera from up to 5 metres away so this should sort out the problem when using the B setting
    Hope this helps
    Best wishes
    Last edited by Paramount; 04-03-2009 at 05:36 AM.
    Currently using a Tele Vue NP127/FLI (Atlas/Centreline/PL16803) prototype imaging system. Paramount ME. OS Falco guide scope and SX lodestar.

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  14. #9
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    Default

    Thanks for the swift reply Vinnie, much appreciated.

    I doubt that I will be able to get what I want in NZ in all honesty; so getting it all from one place in Australia makes a lot of sense.

    I will check out the EP's that you suggest they sound well up to the job.

    I will check everything out and assemble a sort of Wish List of what I think I will need and then ask on the forum for a sanity check on it and adjust what is needed as necessary.

    I will wait for a reply on the imager and software question and if you think of anything else I may need or have forgotten to include then please let me know.

    Cheers for now

    SC.

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    Default

    If you are more inlcined towards astrophotography I'd go with a WO 130mm-152mm ED refractor over a Newt if money is not an issue.

    Or a try an 8" GSO RC

    or a Vixen 200SMCL

 

 
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