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About jeffmar

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  • Interests
    Astronomy, photography, motorcycling, and hiking
  • Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  1. Thanks! I do not have a permanent dome. If I do get a dome it will be at my sister’s house which is far away from the city. My neighborhood is just too bright. I store my astronomy gear in my garage but I have everything in Pelican type cases. I also have a pull cart to haul the heavy items to the back yard. It isn’t really hard to balance the scope on the mount. Declination is more difficult just because I have to move the scope with my shoulder. I have worked around that somewhat by putting a sliding counterweight on the dovetail rail.
  2. It is difficult to show how things really looked through the C14 but here goes: The moon and M51 I saw in a later session. The Ring Nebula looks a lot like it did that first night. M13 is a complete cheat. I stacked about 8 photos and did some post processing but it was taken through my C14
  3. My New C14 on my CGX mount before the CGX-L mount arrived. The tripod is from a CGE PRO mount. I have owned C11’s for nearly 18 years. My first one was purchased for 200 dollars from a guy I worked with because he thought the optics were bad. It turned out it only needed to be collimated. It was one of the first Celestron SCT’s to be painted black instead of orange. Six years ago I wonder how a new C11 would be compared to my old one. I bought a the edge C11 model and was immediately impressed how much better the reflective surfaces were in the scope and how sharp view could be in good seeing. I still love that telescope. I have wanted a C14 for years but never really admitted it to myself as a possibility. I knew I would have to get a larger mount and the cost was just too much for a long time. I am now semiretired. My house is paid off and I have no other debts. For the first time I have some extra money in the bank. I start shopping for a used C14 but there just aren’t that many out there, especially the edge hd model. I finally decide to spend the money and get the new scope and a mount, the CGX-L, heavy enough to carry it. When the scope was delivered and I took it out of the box it looked like a good sized garbage can painted white. It was really large compared to my C11. The first night I had it out at a star party it took me a good half hour to get the collimation right. After that I used the goto on the mount to find as many objects as I could think of. Jupiter was low in the sky and didn’t look that great but Saturn was spectacular. I had never seen that planet look so good. The rings had more detail than I have ever seen through an eyepiece and the bands on the planet were clear with distinct borders. For Saturn that is saying a lot. M13 was large with more stars than I had seen since I looked though a monster dob at that cluster. Visitors to the star party were coming back over and over just to see the image. The Lame Duck Cluster was better than I had ever seen it. More stars. Brighter stars. More depth. I also went to M22, M5, and M92. They were all very good. I switched to some nebulae. M57 looked really large and really blue. One woman who saw it asked to keep looking at it and did so for nearly 5 minutes. She said it was the best view of the Ring Nebula she had ever seen. I also slewed to M20 and m27. I could make out the shapes of the Trifid and Dumbell nebulae very easily without averted vision. The last thing I went to was the Double Cluster. I could get some of it in the field of view but it was better with a focal reducer. Even though I couldn’t see it all without moving the scope it was still pretty impressive. Is that anything bad about this scope? It is kind of heavy but the width of it is what makes it harder to put on the mount than my C11. The focal length is very Long and the field of view is quite narrow. Without a really good finder scope, looking for objects to see could be daunting. The cost of the scope along with the mount definitely depleted my fun money for the year. I am not doing without food and I have enough money to put gas in my car, so I can’t complain. I have my dream scope now so what could be better?
  4. jeffmar

    Jeff Marston's Pictures

    Some photos I have taken in the last few years
  5. jeffmar


  6. It is not exactly an all around scope but I pretend that it is. I really do like the optics. Things look pretty amazing when seeing permits. I have a little 80mm apo refractor but I don't get it out nearly as much as my C11
  7. Marvin is covering a scrape on my scope, but he never complains. Thanks. I have had this C11 for nearly 4 years and I wouldn't trade it for any other scope.
  8. These are photos of My C11 Edge on a CGX mount on a CGE tripod
  9. Last week I was far enough away from the city to be able to see the Milky Way. I so rarely get to a place with dark skies I had a hard time focusing on any one DSO. I was all over the place using the goto on my mount to look at things and take some photos. The one thing that stood out was a few photos I took of M13. I usually get final focus by taking high ISO, short exposure shots of my target. Then I take a bunch of lower ISO, longer exposure frames and stack them. The strange thing about this photo session was the high ISO, short exposure photos looked better than my stacked photos. I was using my C11 and a Sony mirrorless, full frame camera. This is a 40000 ISO, 5 second exposure.
  10. I am definitely after portable. My big scope and mount total over 160 pounds. I will look for that thread. Thanks for the help!
  11. Thanks so much for the information! It is good to have a direction to go.
  12. When I got into astrophotography I started at the wrong end. My first serious telescope was an old black C11 on a sand cast fork mount. With great anticipation I mounted my DSLR camera on my scope and started taking photos. I found I was getting a very small percentage of decent images without star streaks and light pollution. I have improved my hobby with some smaller scopes and better mounts over the years. Last summer, when I was far away from the city, I propped my camera on a rock and took some decent Milky Way photos and it was so simple to do. I have seen some very good deep space object photos taken with more typical photo equipment and small camera mounts. I could really use some good suggestions on good astro mounts for cameras.
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