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About Ionizar

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  1. Its okay to give you a basic collimation, but because the secondry is curved it can lead to out of true images if you left it as that. Personally i would just do a visual star collimation using a defocussed star, get your self a set of Bobs Knobs as it will make it 100% easier and your sorted. HTH Thanks, star collimation it is. And yes I have to stop putting off getting those Bobs Knobs.
  2. Can laser collimators work with SCTs? Pardon the noob question, I don't know much about these new laser collimators coming out.
  3. I second the Cartes du Ciel recommendation. I use it and I love it. It even shows you DSOs clearly labeled and their relative size.
  4. Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and informative replies. I'm learning lots here, great site! Unfortunately I won't be able to mount the scope permanently so I take it adding a wedge and EQ alignment will increase my scope set up times dramatically each time I go out observing? Well I suppose 2-5 min. exposures would be worth that, as long as it's not too difficult. I was just reading the Celestron manual on EQ alignment and it mentions having to find meridian. I haven't a clue how to do that accurately. I mean I realize its an imaginary line between north and south but how do I point the scope to an imaginary line and get it right on? What if I'm off by some amount? They don't go into much detail. I guess maybe it's not critical to a proper alignment then. Well thanks again for the replies. It looks like I probably will go for the celestron wedge at some point and give it a go. 2 minute subs being 4 times the exposure of the current 30 sec. subs I can do in alt az should give me some better images.
  5. What a weird title for my introductory post on here. So first off hi I'm new to these forums and it looks like a nice place to get info by like minded folks into the same hobby as me. I have an 8" SCT, specifically the Celestron Nexstar 8 GPS, and was wondering if it is worth it to get a wedge for astrophotography through it. So far I've only managed a 30s exposure of M31 and clearly, it needs more like 30 minutes or more before it's going to show any detail I suppose. So I'm getting the cable release for my 350D which I plan on using in prime focus through the SCT. Question is should I get the wedge which can cost from 400-700 depending on brand and build or if I'm going to spend that much just get a GEM instead? How long of an exposure can I expect to be able to take with Celestron's wedge? Also would it be preferable to take many short exposure pics or few long exposure ones to show the most detail? For example would 300 30s exposures show more or less detail than say 30 5 minute exposures which both amount to 150 minutes of exposure if I did my math right. Thanks for helpin out a newbie!
  6. I have a 350D but I have only just begun the journey into DSLR imaging and haven't done much with it yet. Only a single 30 second exposure of M31 the Andromeda Galaxy so far. Soon I will obtain the cable release for it so I can take longer exposures without touching the cam. I used it in prime focus on an 8" SCT so far. It's not bad but I really need to try longer exposures to get anything worth seeing. The new 40D Canon DSLR would be the optimal choice though considering it has liveview so you can more easily check the focus. The 350D is not bad, but you have to slew over to a bright star to get it focused because forget trying to focus it while looking at M31 for example. The viewfinder in the 350D is very dark. If you can save up for the 40D, you should consider that instead IMHO.
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