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Thread: VISUAL vs IMAGING ...regrets???

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    Default VISUAL vs IMAGING ...regrets???



    MY QUESTION: Have you "upgraded" to a new scope for the purpose of photography and regret not upgrading to a bigger aperture for visual astronomy?
    OR
    Have you upgraded to a bigger scope with better views but incapable of astrophotography?

    Leave a comment with what scope you jumped from and to. Also when deciding on the purchase what were the deciding factors in the end when weighing the pros and cons.

    MY DILEMMA: I have an 8" dob, would love tracking capability but desire larger aperture. The 12" goto dob would give me both but the "better" views might not be worth the extra aperture in my residential town/back yard so maybe imaging DSO would be more fulfilling??? Awe man, can't decide.

    M31 - Mind blowing knowing what I was looking at....under satisfied wondering if the light spreading from its faint core was just light pollution.

    M57 - Too small to really make out the "o" but too faint to magnify.

    WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM ANYBODY AND EVERYBODY!!!
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    Default

    M31 is best seen with binoculars, I find - the larger field lets you see the background as well. Since there's a gradual transition from the core, with narrower views it can be tricky to know if you're seeing M31 or just the LP background .

    I've had nice views of M57 in 4" scopes, so I'm a bit surprised you're having problems with an 8".

    As far as upgrading goes, once you go past 8" or so, the scopes can get big, heavy, and bulky enough that you need to start figuring usability into your decision - the views are nicer, but the hassle of getting the scope set up increases.

    More aperture certainly helps, even in urban settings, as long as it doesn't get to the point where the effort of setting up puts you off using it...

    Visual astronomy and astrophotography are quite different fields - and with quite different equipment requirements.

    Tracking definitely makes for more relaxed viewing, especially at higher magnifications; not essential for visual use, but very nice to have, especially for planetary use.

    And if you do go for imaging, you may still want a visual scope so you have something to look at while the AP scope is exposing .

    In my case I ended up going from a smaller scope to an 11" SCT - I'd originally planned on an 8" but a delay in availability meant I could afford an 11" by the time I ordered. Views are nice, but it's close to the upper limit of what I can lug around...

    And then I got into smaller refractors for grab and go and imaging scopes.

    If I was looking for a combination of scopes for visual and AP, I'd suggest a decent sized light bucket for visual use, and a good small refractor for widefield imaging. If the bigger scope is also usable for imaging, then a longer focal length is handy for planets and small DSOs - but while an EQ mount is the way to go for imaging, alt/az SCTs are much more convenient for visual use.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: VISUAL vs IMAGING ...regrets???

    Hi Human,

    I'm in NY as well (Garrison / Putnam County) and while I have issues with LP from West Point, I have NO issues with my 6" SCT for observing & viewing many DSO's! I actually went from an 8" SCT, to a 6" SCT.....a couple reasons. I use the 6SE a lot more than my older 8" Meade LX10, because it's quick set up, easier to carry, and it's a goto, which makes my evening much more enjoyable, having less time these days to view (working 2 jobs), the goto system makes for a REALLY quick set up.

    I have excellent views of almost anything I want to see. The views are almost identical to my 8", (clarity, brightness, etc)....Personally, I think the optics are a bit better on my 6SE......and, the 6se will allow for AP, as well. Yes, at first, I thought I'd regret the 2" aperture difference, but, I really don't. I do not regret getting a smaller scope. Sure, I'd love to have 14" SCT, but, I 'd have to sell my Porsche to afford it, yet, I probably wouldn't spend as much time as I spend with my smaller scope. And as I get older, I know I wouldn't want to carry a 12", or 14" scope outside, set it up, take it down, carry it all back in the house....The 6SE takes just a few SHORT minutes to get it set up, and I'm ready for a fun night of observing, and it weighs almost nothing!

    Chris
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    Default Re: VISUAL vs IMAGING ...regrets???

    I live in a red zone and so I get more fulfillment from imaging since it allows me to see more than I can see through the LP soup in my 10" dob (obviously this is true with imaging in general but the LP really limits visual observing). However, I do love looking through the dob when at a dark site while the imaging scope is working.
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    Default Re: VISUAL vs IMAGING ...regrets???

    I have upgraded a few times, I did CCD/DSLR imaging a while, but found it to be very tedious, time consuming, and after all the crying, found it unrewarding. I moved to video observation, broadcasting, etc., and have found it to be very rewarding, and mostly A LOT MORE FUN!

    You might look in my gallery, I have several images there. I use a Mallincam XtremeX2, and broadcast my images live on Night Skies Network . You might check it out. As I am typing this, we have 2 shows happening live, both solar, 1 using an ASI cmos cam, and the other using a DSLR.

    Andy
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    Default Re: VISUAL vs IMAGING ...regrets???

    Thanks guys! Decisions decisions. I feel like I need to get a 16" scope just to view what a 4" would give you in dark skies. I'm on a side street with some nasty orange street lights visible from my back yard. There is one specific light that I can't hide by fenangling it behind a tree like I do the others. I guess my biggest issue is the lack of contrast due to LP. I have thought about destroying the light but afraid they would replace it with a brighter one. DSO is what I'm after, do you think in these conditions a 12" would compensate for the annoying street lights? Or am I screwed and better off with AP. My sky looks like this: Sky Safari with the magnitude set to about 4 image.jpg
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    Default Re: VISUAL vs IMAGING ...regrets???

    Light Polluted skies are very conducive to video astronomy. My skies are a bit better than yours, and I get a pretty good result.

    Andy
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    Default Re: VISUAL vs IMAGING ...regrets???

    Budman those are some great pics! You did this with video??? So are these images possible with altaz tracking or would this require an eq mount. I didn't understand the " 90 of 90, 1 of 2 frames" etc. great job on those galaxies!
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