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Wattsy

skywatcher startravel 102 good for imaging?

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As above really looking for a short focal length refractor for starting imaging I've got an EQ5 that I'm going to upgrade with motors for tracking will the 102 be too heavy or alright?

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The 102 in terms of weight will be fine, it wont be too heavy at all. However you will suffer from something called chronic aberration with the 102 that will spoil your photography. Have you suggested a cheap ED refractor at all?

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Agreed. A fast achromat (as opposed to apochromat) is not a good bet for imaging.

Olly

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What sort of scope would you recommend? Budget is pretty tight and I'm finding some of the jargon impenetrable lol looking for scope in the £200 range

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You wont find a decent ED refractor NEW for less than £300. The cheapest starting point that i'd say is the Sky-Watcher ED80 Pro but finding them OTA only is pretty rare, and at F7.5 they're also pretty slow too. Basically the higher the Fstop the less data you are collecting per exposure; you're looking for both good optics and a fast Fstop. F5/F6 is a good. The ED80 from Sky-Watcher is the best start for anyone getting into AP.

When we talk about chronic abberration we're talking about a blue halo that appears around bright objects; the moon, stars etc and is something astrophotographers look to loose in order to produce unblighted photos.

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I hate this lack of Edit.

Also you may get some spherical abberation from the objective owing to the diameter and the f number, then throw in the filed will not be flat so the image edges will be poor. You can get field flatteners but they are more costly then the ST 102.

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If the ED80 is outside your budget and you want to get started straight away, have a look at the new 130PDS? It should sit okay on an EQ5, it's f/5 and no chromatic abberation to worry about. Now they have put the new DS focuser on it should reach focus with a DSLR without any bother.

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Chromatic Abberation, not Chronic - unless it is really bad. :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

Good God, how did i get it that wrong? I write the correct word in all of my log books so i must have had a tired streak when i wrote that :confused: .

Rik, that's a good idea actually. The 130pds has a short fl and a good fstop - the only problem that i'd see is it's a reflector, but that's more down to opinion that practicality for me. I'd still save an extra months wages and go for a frac.

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I used to have an ST102 that I bought as a grab and go, but also tried a bit of imaging with it and yes it did suffer from all the stars having a substantial violet halo.

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You might well need a coma corrector for the 130PDS? Not that it wouldn't wait a while if you could live with the coma effects in images.

James

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Maybe start imaging with the ST102. You can buy used for £100ish and sell on later without much loss. Learn your way around imaging.

When you get good enough to have to bother about chromatic aberration, chronic or otherwise, and spherical aberration, and everything else, look at upgrading.

I used to have an ST102. i thought it was a fine scope for the money and took a few phtos through it. Well worth the money.

However, when I put it side by side against a William Optics Megrez 80 it looked awful. There was poor contrast, aberration, etc. But I could have bought a fleet of ST102s for the Megrez cost!

I suspect the aggravation of aligning the EQ5, then accuracy of motor drive may well be bigger issues than scope quality at first.

Imaging is potentially a pastime that consumes lots of time and money. My thought is to get a feel for it with lower cost kit and then decide about upgrading.

Hope this helps, David.

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oh yeah, also you might want to look up images taken by Stan26 with his ST102, although he as really done his homework when it comes to processing out the chromatic aberrations:)

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