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About jeffmar

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  • Interests
    Astronomy, photography, and a lot of other stuff.
  • Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
  1. I am definitely after portable. My big scope and mount total over 160 pounds. I will look for that thread. Thanks for the help!
  2. Thanks so much for the information! It is good to have a direction to go.
  3. 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.
  4. Great work! I think you can be proud of that photo!
  5. I have had a CGEM for about 4 years and it has been utterly dependable. I have used it for my 80mm ED apo, my C8, and my C11. I have even done some astrophotography at F/10 with my C11 on that mount. I would rate the tracking at 4 out of 5 and the goto function at 5 out of 5. It has a bit of backlash which does not come into play as long as I keep just a tiny bit of weight bias to the east. I now have a CGX mount which is an improvement in most areas but I find the CGEM is easier to set up and polar align. I am not getting rid of my CGEM any time soon. As far as I can tell the changes on the new CGEM ll are just cosmetic.
  6. I have a C11 mounted on a CGEM with a CGE tripod. The optical tube is 28 pounds, the mount is 41 pounds and the tripod is around 50 pounds. I also have two 17 pound counterweights I use with my C11. My first C11 was over 25 years old and was mounted on the old sand cast forks. It was heavy and could be difficult to put on the tripod. My newer C11/CGEM/CGE mount combination is a lot easier to set up. I take my big scope everywhere. Some people think the C11 is too heavy. I guess it depends on the state of your back and how active you are.
  7. I was wondering the same thing. I was also trying to take my CGEM apart and tried the punch and hammer method with the same result. I have looked online for videos of people taking apart their CGEM's but all I have seen so far is a bunch of unboxing videos, which is always very exciting, and some indoor tests of RA and declination.
  8. I suppose you could say that the CGEM sounds a bit clunky all the time. It certainly is noisy. My CGEM doesn't seem terribly stressed when I have my C11 with a camera and 70mm guide scope on it. If I just go by the sound level I really can't tell much difference unless I have not balanced the mount. It is good to know that gear lash is not necessarily a built in feature of this mount. Changing the tripod really made a big difference in how stable the setup is. Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it! Jeff
  9. jeffmar


    One day my M13 photos will look like it was taken by Hubble. Right?
  10. jeffmar

    Jeff Marston's Pictures

    Some photos I have taken in the last few years
  11. I live in a fairly light polluted neighborhood. I do not get out to dark sites very often so I try to make do where I am. I have a mild light pollution filter that helps but gives all my photos a strong blue tint. The tint is not a big problem because I can clean up the colors in Lightroom. One of the questions I have had for a long time is how long should I make my exposures? Even with the filter I can get blown out photos with 60 second exposures. I am aware that a monochromatic camera is better for light polluted areas but I am not interested in spending the extra time, effort, and money to get all of the different color exposures with filters I would need to do. I want to keep it as simple as possible. Can I get decent images with many 15 to 30 second exposures or do I need to get a really narrow band filter and go a lot longer with my exposures? I would really appreciate some input from some of you experts out there!
  12. I recently put my CGEM mount on a CGE tripod. It is kind of like a CGEM DX with a skinny counterweight bar. It was a significant improvement in stability. When I was testing the right ascension and and declination I noticed the declination had bit of a clunky sound at medium speeds. I could not hear anything at top speed nor at slow speeds. I just couldn't leave it at that so I have been tightening up the gear lash on the RA and declination. I now have no noticeable play in the declination and less than one mm of play on the RA measured at the end of the counterweight bar. I have been testing the RA and declination functions and they are moving freely with no change in the sound. There are still few subtle clunks at speeds 8 and 7. I had never noticed any odd sounds before because I am either slewing my scope at the highest speed or making very small adjustments at very low speed. My first question is how important is it to have to gear lash on my mount? Are the motors more likely to be overloaded if there is no slack in the gears? My last question is whether this little clunking noises indicate anything significantly wrong with my mount?
  13. Get the scope and enjoy it. You will still be able to get some nice pictures.
  14. You don't need a state of the art camera to take really nice photos of little things in the sky. Large expensive dslr cameras have very large sensors compared to most ccd cameras. I am not familiar with Canons but you don't need a high pixel count and you don't need a large sensor. Larger sensors are more likely to record all the distorted stars in the corners and are more prone to vignetting with lenses. Telescopes are just big lenses. The one thing you might want in a camera is one with a high signal to noise ratio. If you are taking long exposure photos at 1600 to 3200 ISO you want a camera that has less noise. Unfortunately those are expensive also. I had a lot of fun with a little Sony Donkey. It took some very nice pictures and it wasn't expensive. I would bet there are inexpensive Canons that would work for you.
  15. I forgot to put a picture into my post. My old and new C11,s
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