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Planned Setup (DSLR / SCOPE / MOUNT) - sound ok?

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I currently have a 200p on a manual Dobsonian mount. I have also read the 'making every photon count' book.

I have a modded xbox webcam and a decent digital camera. Please check out my pictures at www.mauton.co.uk

Based on the pictures I have taken so far, I am being bitten by the astrophotography bug - and I am very limited at the minute my not having a motorized mount. Below is my plan which while I wont buy everything over-night I want to run it by you guys to get your advice / opinions on it. I am probably more interested in DSO / clusters than planetary, how I would like to think that my setup is at least capable of taking planetary images.

Step 1 - DSLR Canon 1100d

While I know that I will not be able to take anything more than several seconds of exposure, I am still interested in taking pictures of the moon and possible short exposure shots of Jupiter / Saturn.

I also believe that if I buy a fast lens f/1.4 I may be able to stack multiple short exposure pictures of Orion (using a simple camera stand).

Will also be interesting to directly attach the camera to my current scope via a t-scope.

Step 2 - ED80 Pro OTA

From reading these forums the ED80 scope possibly gives the best bang for the buck.

Q1. Will a 1100d attached to the ED80 (tracking/guided) - produce good results?

Q2. - I would like to ultimately but a HEQ5 Pro mount, however is there a lighter / cheaper tracking mount I could buy to mount the ED80 ?

Q3 - Would it be worth attaching a guide camera to the 1100d / ED80 ?

Step 3 - HEQ5 Pro

I am looking at the HEQ5 Pro with Syntrek and then to use the EQMOD. This should save me around £140 compared to the Synscan.

My aim here is to mount my 200p on this mount and attach the 1100d camera to it for imaging.

Q1. What advantage would i gain from imaging from the 200p as opposed to the ED80? - Would one give me better images of DSO and the other planetary?

Q2. If i mounted the ED80 on the 200p, what does this give me the ability to do??? or am i better off just using 1 scope at a time?

I know there are lots of questions - but before splashing out a lot of ££ I need to know that I am at least on the right tracks.


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It's nice to be ambitious regarding Astrophotography, and that is fine.

You can see lots of superb results in the imaging sections, and it is very appealing to the wannabe imager. Again, it's perfectly natural.

You have a good camera in the 1100d, so why not have a go at some shots using the lenses you have, with the camera riding piggy back

on your scope. You will learn a lot about exposure times, gradually increasing the number of seconds with different focal lengths, and recording

the information on when trailing starts. That way, you take, and produce some widefield stackable images that can build up some very good results.

Exposures taken of targets at higher sky latitudes will offer you longer exposure times without trailing spoiling the image.

It is a good way to start, and an inexpensive intro. to the discipline. Your ambitions can be realised gradually, and your knowledge increasing accordingly.

Best Wishes.


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Ron - appreciate your comments. Short / medium term I plan to do exactly that 1100d + lenses (piggy back) & possibly how it works being connected to the 200p with the t-ring.

I think its more a case of are my thoughts correct, so that if I do start saving up and buying - I am not saving/buying for the wrong setup.


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Great choice for starting out, I would consider adding the ED80 Reducer/flattener to the list also.

Many people on these forums use the ED80 for astrophotography, its a fantastic scope for the price.

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Sounds like a good setup! I think that if you're not intending on selling the 200p then you could get some ejoyment from using them both for different targets. I'm a right noob to this already, but I'm already finding out that my 2 (functioning) scopes have very different capabilities. For example I was surprised to discover that my tiny 66mm frac produced a much nicer image of the moon than my 150mm Newt, and vice-versa with the Horsehead Nebula. I think an array of different scopes would be preferable :)

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By the sounds of it I am on the right track.

However few questions.

Are people mounting their ed80 on the top of their sw 200? Or are they mounting the ed80 and then placing a guide camera on the top of the ed80?

Just can't figure out if I would end up having the mount -> 200 -> ed80 ? Or just them sitting on the mount on at a time.

Is there a small mount that will handle the ed80 than the heq5 pro?

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.. Just read another thread heq5 seems the be the minimum:)

One setup had a ed80 with 80mm refractor as a guide scope.... That seems to be the popular ed setup.

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I don't think a HEQ5 with a 200p and ED80 would be up for long exposures, you would probably be overloading the mount, you could use the finder scope on the 200p as a guide scope or use cheap scope like the ST80 as a guide scope.

When imaging with my 200PDS I use the finder scope as a guide scope and with my ED80 I use a ST80.

Modern astronomy sell adaptors so you can fit a webcam or guide cam to a finderscope.


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Thanks. So it looks like u are imaging with the 200 and also with the ed80.

Which scope suits which images... I.e. what does the 200 allow u to take that the ed80 doesn't and vice versa?

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I haven't had chance to use the ED80 properly yet, These clouds are never ending. :(

I think the ED80 gives approx twice the fov as the 200PDS, so good for large nebula are star fields, I use my PDS for Galaxy's and smaller nebula.

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Hi, I have a celestron C6 and I bought a 50mm finder scope to use as a guide scope, but I have just bought the skywatcher ED80 and it comes with a 50mm finder scope. I intend to use the finder scope as a guide scope the same way as I did with my 6inch reflector. This system works pretty well. You can buy a pretty cheap camera from modern astronomy that will attach to your 50mm finder scope you can then use PHD guiding to get long exposure times (in the order of minutes or longer). You do however need a mount that has a guide port on it. Luckily my CG-5 mount does. Good luck.


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The ED80 matched with an APS-C SLR (1100d) is great for larger targets, M42, M44, M45 M31 etc... but too wide for farther galaxies. But, it's much easier to get started with, being smaller, lighter and not acting like a large sail on the mount. I think the 200 is probably at the upper limits of the HEQ5, and if you're wanting to mount both together, you really want to be looking at the 6.

A useful site for checking what fits and doesn't fit in the FOV is http://www.12dstring.me.uk/fov.htm, plug in the scope and camera combinaton, select a target, and you'll get an idea of the size on the sensor.

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