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  1. #1
    Medic8me's Avatar
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    Default Sky-Watcher BKP 200DS vs Celestron EdgeHD 800 for a noob

    Hello All,

    I'm on the verge of purchasing my first telescope for my wife and I and looking for a little bit of advice / information.

    We intend to use it for visual exploration and AP. I have an advanced level of understanding of physics and professional photography but lack experience with telescope differences (Focal Length in particular).

    Setup 1:

    Sky-Watcher Astrophotography BKP 200 DS + EQ5 SynScan GPS ($1300)

    Focal Length 1000mm Diameter 200mm = F/5

    Setup 2:

    Celestron Advanced VX Edge HD 8 ($2200)

    Focal Length 2035mm Diameter 200mm = F/10

    Camera: Canon 5DMkII + MacBook Pro

    Question #1: I have used various simulators to try and appreciate the differences in focal length but they do not appear to jive with what I am told. With 1000mm + Barlow 2x / EP will I be satisfied with the views of objects like the rings of Saturn and various nebulae?

    Question #2: The EQ5 Mount Payload (9.1kg) - BKP 200 DS (8.75kg) appears to push the limits of the mount even though it comes as a kit, is there enough capability?

    I am leaning towards the Sky-Watcher for cost / quality ..... Thoughts ?

  2. #2
    dc_robert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sky-Watcher BKP 200DS vs Celestron EdgeHD 800 for a noob

    I can't give you a good answer for question #1, but here are a few thoughts on #2:

    I would not pair the BKP 200 DS with the EQ5 for astrophotography. For visual observing, it would be fine, but for astrophotography the mount would likely not be able to track accurately enough given its payload. Remember, it's not just the OTA, but the camera, extender, guiding, flattener/reducer, etc., you need to factor in. Most astrophotographers recommend a mount with a capacity about twice the payload. This means you should be looking at a mount more like the EQ6.

    Finally, keep in mind that reflectors pose their own unique challenges for astrophotography, over and above the inherent ones, which is why few recommend starting out with them. If you do get the BKP or the Edge, I would not try imaging right off the bat. Your time would be best spent getting very acquainted with your equipment and nailing down critical tasks like collimation and polar alignment. Once you've mastered those, then start imaging easy objects like the moon, planets, and some bright DSOs (a bunch of which will start appearing at a reasonable hour come summer).

    Good luck, and let us know how things are progressing!
    Sky-Watcher Pro 120ED; Meade Series 5000 80mm ED

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  3. #3
    schlansk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sky-Watcher BKP 200DS vs Celestron EdgeHD 800 for a noob

    I purchased the EdgeHD 8 with AVX and used the same 5dMKII camera. I achieved quick success for a number of dark sky astrophotos. My photos are stacked and without autoguiding. Autoguiding would increase both the photo quality and the technical sophistication of the photo-taking process.

    While my photos are not professional quality, they do allow you to see objects like M51 (which appears as a smudge to the naked eye) as an exciting spiral galaxy with much detail. There is satisfaction in these small successes. But, warning, this astrophoto stuff is tedious and initial enthusiasm may wane as you progress.

    The EdgeHD is a very versatile scope for viewing both planets and DSOs. I like it a lot.



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