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Hi there! I'm looking to get my first telescope and was hoping I could get some help, it's a lot to take in!

I've been having a go at wide angle astrophotography, and the moon at 400mm, on my DSLR, and would love to take some shots of the planets, and other DSO's.

What kit would be good as a starting point, with astrophotography in mind? I've been searching the forums, and there seems to be a lot of love for the 150P, 150PL, and 200P. And then various mounts. My budget is around £400 for now, with the idea of expanding my kit later.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!



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Ok after doing more research, my initial budget is not going to cut it. I was going to get a camera upgrade, but maybe I should put that towards a good mount instead.

If I go for something like the 200P with a variation of the EQ5 mount, from I understand to get tracking my options are to get an EQ5 and mod it like Quartermaster did (amazing pics by the way!!), or get a mount like the HEQ5. But what's the difference between the HEQ5, HEQ5 SynScan, and HEQ5 SynTrek? I'm confused....

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One thing to note - make sure whatever mount you get can support the weight of the OTA, EP's, camera, filters, etc that you are hanging off it or you will struggle (so will the mount). Also be conservative as the 'specified' max loads can vary both by manufactuer optimism and individual build quality.


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Hi Chris, and welcome to the forum!

The one piece of knowledge I've gained from this site is just how important the mount is to AP. If you're hoping to photograph deep sky objects, the sturdier the better. From what I gather, DSLR's don't lend themselves too well to planetary photography - maybe investigate the webcam route?.....

I've resigned myself to the fact that the scope is going to have to wait a while. I'm going for an HEQ5 at least and mounting the DSLR on that for some long exposures for the time being.

I did consider getting a scope for observation only but AP is going to be my thing.

It's also a very steep learning curve - patience pays.

(And I sympathise with you re: budgets. It's not a cheap hobby!)

All the best

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Thanks for the help! Much appreciated!

Yeah Tommo, I didn't realise how important the mount is (and how pricey they can get!). I'm in the same boat, I want to focus on AP. I've been thinking about trying AP for a while, and then stumbled across Quartermaster's blog, and was blown away! Sold!

Interesting re webcam rather than DSLR for planets, I will have a look into it, thanks!

Tell me about it, first wildlife photography and now AP, I need to stop picking expensive hobbies ;)

Many thanks


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Bought a 200p on an eq5 very impressed. Only just starting to dip my toe in the water as far as ap is concerned.gettiing some ok results. I was planning to upgrade my mount at a later date anyway. Check out the xbox web cam mod, for about a fiver each you can't go wrong. Also check out your local astronomy society lots of advice and different scopes to try.

Good luck. And enjoy.

Sent from my LT30p using Tapatalk 2

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Ohhh thanks, that looks very interesting! And those shots are great! So much stuff to look at and consider.. I'll have a look at the DSLR and webcam routes. Exciting! :laugh:

I am just debating what mount to get, and then I'm going to order! I am thinking either the HEQ5, or do I just go for the NEQ6 in case I start hitting the weight limits of the HEQ5 in the future...

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I'd personally go, in this order

Buy the book 'Making every photon count'

Buy a HEQ5 and put the DSLR on that while you save some more for:

Buy an ED80 of some variant.

this set up will give you beautiful widefield photos of deep sky objects.

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