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About jeffmar

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  • Interests
    Astronomy, photography, motorcycling, and hiking
  • Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  1. You made a really good images of M42. Beautiful work!
  2. You meant, for imaging it is justified? For visual I couldn’t tell a difference with any eyepieces I own. A have noticed a lot of great images done with the non edge version of the C11 also. With cameras with smaller sensors there wouldn’t be distorted stars in the image anyway. The qualifier, I think, is the edge model is useful for imaging with full frame cameras, and perhaps for cameras with what some people call crop sensors, which is the next size down.
  3. I am happy that I helped. My C8 on my CGX-L was very stable and tracked very well. I took some pains to get a good polar alignment, and of course that is a huge factor. At one point during my imaging session I went back into the house for dinner and to get warm for an hour. When I came back out the object, I had been imaging, was still near the center of the lcd display, on my camera. It will be fun to see what this setup can do when I get my auto guiding working.
  4. I had a chance to compare my C11 Edge to a contemporary C11 XLT at a star party. The two scopes were right next to each other and even some of the eyepieces being used in both scopes were identical. Viewing the some objects with the same eyepieces I could not tell the difference between the two scopes. They were both very good. We looked at M13, M5, M11, M57, M20 and M27. All the eyepieces had the same apparent 70 degree field of view. I think sct’s from Celestron have been consistently good in recent years. Seeing is probably the only thing that limits these scopes. I can’t compare the XLT model to the Edge model for astrophotography, but I do own a 30 year old C11 I have used for imaging. My newer Edge model has much better coatings and mirrors, so images are much brighter. The stars in images taken with the newer scope are round with no distortion, toward the edges.
  5. The image above was taken using about 25 subframes using a Sony A7III camera, a Celestron C8 EDGHD with a .7 reducer, and a Celestron CGX-L mount. Early last fall I bought a C14 and put it on my Celestron CGX mount. That telescope with a diagonal, eyepiece, and a finder scope takes it just about to the limit the CGX can carry. I had to buy an extra 17 pound weight to make it work, but for visual astronomy it did fine. When I tried some short exposure, unguided imaging, there were a few issues. There was a slight wind and there were horses in a small pasture 50 feet away. Any breeze would elongate the stars. Every time one of the horses stomped its hooves, the photo looked like every star had an identical double right next to it. I don’t think any mount will keep a telescope stable with large animals making the ground vibrate but it might help with the wind. I decided to drain the rest of my savings on a sturdier mount. The basic structure of the CGX and CGX-l mounts are identical with a few differences. The CGX-L has a much more substantial tripod. The worm wheels for declination and right ascension have about a 50% larger diameter. The counterweight shaft is 31mm rather than 20mm for the CGX. After using my new CGX-L for a few nights at star parties I can say it is noticeably more stable with my C14 than when I was using the smaller mount. The best part of my CGX-L mount is how good it is with unguided tracking. I did some imaging with my C14 with a .7 focal reducer at exposure lengths between 10 seconds and 45 seconds. Most of the the photos had round stars and were usable. When I put my C8 on the mount and did some imaging it was better. Nearly all the subframes were usable, and I was imaging, unguided, for up to a minute. From now on I will likely use my C8 for the bulk of my imaging with the CGX-L mount, and use my C14 mostly for star parties and staring at faint fuzzies, gas giants, mars and the moon. I recently upgraded my guiding system and haven’t worked out the bugs yet, but I can’t wait to try out the C8/CGX-L combination with guiding. It should come as no surprise that ta C14 that has a focal length of nearly 2800 mm, with a .7 reducer, is going to be less forgiving than nearly any other scope. Overall I am very pleased with my new mount. The CGX-L has no backlash and doesn’t seem to mind if the balance isn’t perfect. I can’t tell you how well it works with auto guiding because I haven’t tried it yet, but I am hopeful that it works well. The only downside of the mount is the CGX-L tripod is three times as heavy as the CGX tripod and the mount itself is no lightweight. lugging the three 22 pound counterweights around is a bit of a workout. It is fortunate the mount head has carry handles that make it much easier to handle than other, lighter, mounts I have owned.
  6. jeffmar

    Jeff Marston's Pictures

    Some photos I have taken in the last few years
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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?
  10. jeffmar


  11. 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
  12. 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.
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