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New Hypo EdgeHD Complete Rig - What do you think?


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The following is my dream wishlist and thought I would post it to see if anyone has anything to say or recommend something better. I am unsure of the filters and cases, but they're just filters and cases (unless someone can recommend better filters and cases... ok I'll digress).

Item Manufacturer Part # Field Stop Dia Eye Relief

Advanced VX 8" EdgeHD Telescope Celestron 12031

2-inch XLT Diagonal (SCT) Celestron 93527

8.8mm 82¡ WP Eyepiece; 1.25-inch Explore Scientific EPWP8288-00 12.4mm 15.6mm

9mm 100¡ WP Eyepiece; 2.0-inch Explore Scientific EP1009-00 15.7mm 12.5mm

11mm 82° WP Eyepiece; 1.25-inch Explore Scientific EPWP8211-00 15.9mm 15.6mm

14mm 82¡ WP Eyepiece; 1.25-inch Explore Scientific EPWP8214-00 18.9mm 15.6mm

24mm 68¡ WP Eyepiece; 1.25-inch Explore Scientific EPWP6824-01 27.2mm 18.4mm

2x Focal Extender; 2.0-inch O.D. (w/1.25-inch O.D. Adapter) Barrel Explore Scientific FE02-020 118mm x 66mm

5x Focal Extender; 1.25-inch O.D. Barrel Explore Scientific FE05-125 96mm x 45mm

Kendrick Astro Instruments Baader Visual Solar Filter for 8" SCT Kendrick Baader 6013

Meade Series 4000 Color Filter Set 1.25" - #2 Includes #11, #25A, #47, and #82A Filters 07529 Meade 7529 26mm

Celestron Ultra High Contrast (UHC) Light Pollution Reduction 1.25" Filter 94123 Celestron CEL-94123

Celestron NexStar Case for 4/5/6 and 8" OTA Celestron 94003

Vanguard VGP-13 Aluminum Reinforced ABS Plastic Case with Diced Foam Interior & Shoulder Strap Vanguard VGP-13

Orion Padded Telescope Case for Sky View Pro Telescopes Orion 15176

AstroZap Flexible Dew Shield For 7" and 8" Maksutov and Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopes AstroZap AZ107

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Is this your first scope? I suggest you don't go buying everything in one go right from the start since you might change your mind about what you want.

I think the best thing you could possibly do before purchasing is to head out to Custer Observatory (Google it) on the North Fork on any clear Saturday night. Go outside the dome and find a guy called Dave (he's loud, you'll find him) and tell him Rob sent you and that you have questions about buying a first scope for AP and visual observing. Dave's a great guy, he takes amazing photos, and he knows his way around the sky. Information throughput is much higher face to face. If he has his SCT there then you'll see a scope very similar to the one you're thinking of. You'll be able to look through instruments both larger and smaller than what you're proposing and you'll generally come away very much better informed. Seriously: go!

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Hi Ya Fishin - seriously take Umadogs advice!! - the trouble with first purchases is that they are to some extent RUSHED - see if you can go out and do a little observing with a load of different scopes - the more the better - you also need to take into account the sky conditions where you live and where you will do the most of your observing/photo's - the easiest way for AP is to have a permanent mount/observatory. I use my scopes purely for visual work (so can't comment on the phot side of it, but trawling the posts - ITS EXPENSIVE) and have seen over the years a lot of people coming into the hobby, throwing a lot of money at it, only to be a little dis - heartened with their results, I'm not trying to put you off - far from it, but the list you have made is going to be in the region of a few thousand Dollars!! Look at the second hand market - the kit is usually well looked after and only offered for sale due to upgrades (if you can, take someone who knows about the kit)

Welcome to the Hobby and tread carefully. Regards Paul.

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A lot of the money/disheartening thing comes from rushing into astrophotography specifically. Good results are slow to come with AP and those pretty pictures you see in the magazines require many hours of work. e.g. last time I was at Custer Dave was photographing an edge-on galaxy in Draco. It took him an hour or two to set up and then 3 hours of 5 minute sub-exposures of the same object. It's easy to underestimate the effort required when you've never done it before. That's why it's often a good idea to either spend less on a visual only scope and use that for a year before deciding on AP. Or buy a short-tube refractor and do AP with that. You'll get better images more quickly at shorter focal lengths because tracking accuracy doesn't have to be as good. Starting AP with an 8" SCT will be more challenging because you have to track very accurately to get steady images. Of course it can be done, but maybe you don't want to do it from the get-go.

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Nice 1, I think also that the quality of the skies are a major factor, from a visual point of view, I observe from very light polluted skies and there is only so much that can be said about LP, I think you only realise when you actually observe under these conditions, the great low power/widefield short tube/apo images are a long way away from the visual world (Pardon the pun) of low power visuals of very bright back ground skies masking all but the just visible smudges - sorry I meant galaxies - with nowhere near the definitions of dust lanes and all but the brightest stars of many open and globular clusters visible and planetary observations over houses/concrete buildings with the images bubbling and boiling - Saturn from my location just clears houses - even so with a little patience, I could make 5 moons a few night ago, also quite a bright northern polar region, with great contrast in the upper latitude belts/bands - but on the other hand - Jupiter was fantastic earlier on in the apparition - never seen her so high with a wealth of detail high contrast white ovals and a massive (Earth sized) oval preceeding the Great Red Spot - I think from this you can see why I do it!! - over the years this hobby has turned into an amazing insight into the night sky for me - even with the poor skies - if you want to progress - its the love of the hobby that does it for me, I'm just as eager now as I was when I picked up my first copy of an Astronomy mag - NO - not Sky and Telescope - I havn't got my PHD in Astronomy yet!!! Regards Paul.

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What I think is that SCTs are a beginner's mistake and I feel qualified to say that since it's a mistake I managed to make twice! They look great, don't they. They do everything. But they don't. They do some things very well, some things very badly ad they are, in fact, highly specialized and very demanding.

Take a lot of time. Learn why fast F ratio is important and why long focal length is difficult. Until you understand this completely don't consider sending a single penny.

Olly

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Hi Olly, to a certain extent I think that from a photo point of view - they are - but , for me visually, have found them more than adequate, short tube, quick set up, GOTO and fork mounted - really strong and very rigid - I know that not everyone likes the humble SCT, even with a focal reducer (they are advertised for the SCT but really worthless!!!) - far from ideal, but for me when whizzing around different parts of the sky - not having to stop and rotate the tube and being able to sit at the ep with just rotating the diagonal and a nice zenith observing position - but as said that just visual - even the collimation holds really well, I think the only real problem is the dew, but over the years I have understood and overcome dew to a manageable degree, I've used newts, dobs and maks and have edged towards the humble SCT - but as said from a visual point of view - but if I could spend a year ot 2 at your pad Olly - I think things may be a little different!!!!. Paul.

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I can see how SCTs work well up to about 11" but they quickly become heavy at larger apertures and the focal lengths very long. A 12", for instance, shouldn't be a huge telescope but Meade's 12" LX200 weighs in at 125 lbs and has a 3m focal length. A well constructed 14" Dob weighs half that and has half the focal length. You've got to go to Dobs of 18" or 20" before you'll hit weights comparable to the 12" SCT and even there you'll have a focal length of only about 2m. So whilst the 8" and 10" SCTs really can make a portable scope, the larger ones cease to be easily portable despite the fact they look compact in photos. The SCTs lose because you have mount these heavy OTAs (mirror plus corrector in a solid tube) quite high up. WIth a Newtonian you can keep the mirror almost on the ground, which allows for the very compact Dobsonian design.

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Actually, I don't think you went overboard with the eyepieces but I would suggest some different focal lengths.

The 8.8 mm you probably don't need because it's quite similar to the 9 mm. So chuck that. You might want a 7mm at some point because we do get a few nights a year that are good enough for 300x on planets. But buy that later and see how you go. The 9mm will probably be your most used planetary eyepiece. The 11 mm would come out on nights when the seeing is not quite as good. I suspect, though, that you won't use the 11 mm much. So you could buy that later too.

The 14 mm is a nice medium power that you might use quite a lot on galaxies.

I think you might want to get yourself a 2" eyepiece (instead of the 24 mm) for the lower power views. The ES 30 mm 82 degree is nice. It has a little more astigmatism at the edges than the 31 Nagler, but at f/10 you probably won't see it.

Overall the ES eyepieces put on a good show in comparison with Naglers.

I wouldn't bother with the barlows at all for visual. You'll be fine with the above eyepiece combos. You might want the barlows for planetary AP, but that you can decide further down the road.

I'd probably ditch the colour filters too.

Edited by umadog
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BTW sorry if my response was rushed as I'm currently at a freelance gig...

Any astrophotography I do will solely be on an amateur level hence I want a scope good for general observing too. I know I can go way way overboard with a $6k scope, so the 8" edgers sounds like a fair compromise.

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Well, I think all astrophotography we engage in here is on an amateur level! The point being made above is that you will find DSO photography much easier with a shorter focal length instrument. The SCT ought to do fine for planetary and lunar photography, as you want a longer focal length for that and tracking is much less of an issue. I guess you can always invest in a short refractor, they're not expensive, for beginning DSO AP.

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Thanks for all your advice but I am hard set on the edge hd 8". The tube only weighs 12 pounds and with the advanced vx the kit is at 59. I went overboard with the eyepieces so I will rethink them later tonight.

Not much point in asking for feedback then, is there?

Both observing and photography as it comes with an eq goto mount (advanced vx serieis).

That kit is way undermounted for Deep Sky photography. It'll be fine for Lunar or planetary, but running a f10, 2000mm focal length scope is unrealistic and will be an exercise in frustration.

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Yes, deep sky imaging at long focal lengths is very demanding and frustrating. You'd need the dedicated reducer flattener which adds a lot to the cost. F10 and 2 metres is not a sensible way to go about DS imaging unless, after a lot of exoperience, you know that you want to do it and why.

Is the dewsheild a passive one, that is unheated? If so I doubt that it will be adequate. SCTs are real dew magnets.

Olly

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I've never had dew on my old C8, and all I used was a simple home-made dewshield. And I've had it out when the dew was running off the OTA. The C11, on the other hand, is a nightmare. Even with a long dewshield and a heater it still mists up at times :mad:

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