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Scope Upgrade Advice


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Hi

Im currently using a Celestron PS 127EQ, i want to start doing some imaging which is not really possible with this scope and an dslr cam so want to upgrade to a Goto scope ive found a scope that im looking to buy

Skywatcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GOTO

AZ GOTO - Skywatcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GOTO

link to old scope which im selling if anyone is interested 3 months old: PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope (item #21049) / PowerSeeker Series Telescopes / Telescopes / Products / Celestron.com

just wanted to find out how good this scope is and what i can expect from it and if it will be good for all round viewing of DSO, lunar and planets and astrophoto with DSLR/Webcam

any help would be great

Thanks

Brian

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Astrophotography presents a complete shift in priorities for equipment - top priority is the mount.

The accuracy of the mount depends on the equipment (wieght and focal length) sat on the mount and the target (moon/planets/DSO).

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I don't have any experience of your scope of choice but I'm sure it will be ok for visual use and possible webcam shots of planets but for serious astrophotography on DSO's with a dslr I wouldn't bother trying with this rig.

As Nickk says, its a whole new ball game.

good luck

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FIrst you really need to read up on deep sky photography to avoid disappointment. Eg Making Every Pixel Count by Steve Richards.

You need a high quality autoguided German Equatorial mount, a scope with a fast focal ratio (so certainly not anormal Maksutov) and probably a short focal length for starters. There is a lot to it, unfortunately, so I would say read before you spend.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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As Olly says.

You'll find the book Making Every Photon Count (by Steve Richards - SGL's very own steppenwolf) helpful in getting started. Easy to read, it's full of advice aimed at the imaging novice, including choosing the right equipment, tips 'n' tricks and lots of other vital stuff.

The Mak you linked to will do well at lunar/planetary imaging with a webcam.

But for DSO work you'll need an HEQ5 mount as a minimum, better still an EQ6, with a short fL, fast 'scope (the ED 80s seem quite popular & successful) and a DSLR or CCD camera. Oh, and a serious budget.

Have a trawl through the imaging sections too, They're full of info and some very experienced, talented folk who, I'm sure, will be more than happy to share advice and guidance with you.

HTH :)

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The best advice I can give you is to get yourself out to the local club and chat with the members there who do photography. They will likely be just thrilled to talk your ear off and show off their kit to you.

Ask them what they like (and don't like) about their gear, and you will get a priceless education before you spend a cent. If you are very nice and polite, they might even invite you out to observe and photograph with them some night so you can have a go and see what it involves first hand.

Photography is an entirely new set of skills that you must overlay with excellent skills in basic astronomy, telescope operation, and basic repair. This is a tinker's hobby, mate. Everyone who does it tweaks and modifies his gear on a regular basis.

The general rule of thumb is: Add complexity only when you have achieved mastery of what you already have!

Have fun at the club and let us know how your experience goes. :)

Dan

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An Alt/Az mount will only enable you to do short duration exposures. If the exposure is above short then field rotation of the object occurs.

You really need a short focal length as otherwise the whole scope has to be very accurately alligned and must track accurately. Since Alt/Az is an approximation to polar the chance of that is reduced.

So how about the statement: Wrong mount, wrong scope for astrophotography.

May be a bit blunt but pretty close to the real situation.

Should be OK for a webcam, they are light, a DSLR attached will be too heavy for it. When designed they did not build in additional engineering for adding about 1.5lbs of DSLR hanging off the end. The webcam is probably best suited to planets. Taks an avi, stack and see what somes out. However not many planets (3).

Will suggest as others have that you research astrophotography and get an idea of what is involved and what typical equipment actually is.

The scope will be fair for DSO's, it has an aperture of 5 inches and if you go no more then say 100x-130x most DSO's should be visible.

However your previous scope was 127 so you should see exactly the same things in exactly the same way. So no improvement in visual from what you have said, assuming the optics are of similar qaulity.

Edited by ronin
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Hi

Thanks for all the input guys

just one other thing, the main reason for me looking at this scope is the Goto

ive had lots of troubles when trying to setup/align the scope i have

not sure what dial is which and how to start it i have read the instructions numerus times and never understood it

i align with polaris and then im not able to track anything because the dial on the scope for up and down (sorry not the best way to discribe it) moves around quite freely if i knew what setting it should be on after aligning polaris i would be able to track/find more objects, the instructions are so unclear for a newbie like me. i have no issues getting saturn, The moon and Jupiter but when it comes to DSO i cant find any i line it up where i think it is but even if i get something in the scope im not sure if its what im trying to get. i know most of the constilations but once your looking threw the scope im seeing stars i cant see with naked eye.

i know i need to do some research and all that but as for the scope would help alot if i could get it setup properly enabling me to start navagating the sky meaning i larn my way around

Thanks

Brian

Edited by briandh
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The "dials" (or setting circles) aren't usually accurate enough for precise positioning on these type of scopes - they give a general guide only. What you need to know is how to find stuff by knowing how big it is and what type of eyepiece and magnification is appropriate.

I'd recommend either of two books "Turn Left at Orion" or "Astronomical Wonders" of the Universe". Both give instructions on how to find things along with an illustration of how it will look and how to view it. TLAO has your first 100 objects in a small scope - the other has many more all listed by constellation.

You can get a great price on Amazon - sometimes they turn up in the for sale section here. Alternatively join a local observing group or astro soc and people will give you some tips "at the scope". Hope that helps :)

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Hi

Thanks for all the input guys

just one other thing, the main reason for me looking at this scope is the Goto

ive had lots of troubles when trying to setup/align the scope i have

not sure what dial is which and how to start it i have read the instructions numerus times and never understood it

i align with polaris and then im not able to track anything because the dial on the scope for up and down (sorry not the best way to discribe it) moves around quite freely if i knew what setting it should be on after aligning polaris i would be able to track/find more objects, the instructions are so unclear for a newbie like me. i have no issues getting saturn, The moon and Jupiter but when it comes to DSO i cant find any i line it up where i think it is but even if i get something in the scope im not sure if its what im trying to get. i know most of the constilations but once your looking threw the scope im seeing stars i cant see with naked eye.

i know i need to do some research and all that but as for the scope would help alot if i could get it setup properly enabling me to start navagating the sky meaning i larn my way around

Thanks

Brian

Stay away from astrophotography unless you have a budget of +3000$.

Why buy a new scope when you can buy only GoTo mount and put your present telescope onto it?

With that Mak you are considering you also wont be able to see much of DSO's because it has big f number.As someone said, for DSO's you need fast telescope (with f number smaller than 6).Best would be APO, but cheapest OTA cost as Mak 127 with GoTo.

Maybe you live in a light polluted area and LP filter may help you.

Edited by Dob
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I don't agree with the need for a fast f ratio on a visual scope because the effective focal length is what matters, ie focal length of scope divided by focal length of the eyepiece. Long FL scope divided by long FL eyepiece = short FL scope divided by short FL eyepiece. Until you get to very long focal length scopes, not the case here, you can get back to a reasonably short effective focal length with a wide eyepiece.

In prime focus imaging, no, you need a fast scope.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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