Jump to content

Banner2.jpg.35fd74882a15b2b8a1b4142f7dcc8bed.jpg

Skywatcher 80ED...recommendations needed


Recommended Posts

First post for me after browsing for a while. Hello :)

I've bought myself an SW80ED (just the tube - gold version) to kick off my gazing career. Could someone kindly tell me what else I need and make some bang-for-buck recommendations? I don't want to buy cheap (in the bad sense) and end up having to replacee it all months later. OTOH it doesn't grow on trees around here :)

Many thanks

Marco

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whatever you do you need a mount.

If sticking to visual think of an EQ5.

So now you have a scope on a mount.

Do you want to mount to track whatever you point it at?

Will say it is nice so that means dual motors to drive the mount.

That makes a reasonable but basic visual setup.

If you want it to find objects, goto, then you need to look at the EQ5 Pro or whatever it is called.

Next you need to look through it, useful in this hobby.

Suggest the almost standard BST Star Guiders from Sky the Limit, will perform well in an ED80, for the cost you will not get much better unless you do pay out a lot more.

Now the question: Is there an intention to go imaging?

If so then the EQ5 should just handle the scope and a camera. Wouldn't like to say it will as the ED80 is a fair weight and a camera hanging off it pushes the weight up. An EQ5 is too light to handle an additional guide camera and scope as well, and that is where astrophotography leads eventually.

The choice is really the degree of added items, but you need a mount and eyepieces, and the EQ5 and BST's would fit that well. Then it is motors/goto/imaging.

Edited by ronin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks - I need to add more detail. I would like to begin with viewing, but as you guessed move on to imaging. I've already bought an EQ3-2 Equatorial Mount + Dual Axis Motors + Polarscope + ST4 Guide Port Mod...from ebay. I don't know what the ST4 thing is. Seems like I may have bought the wrong one.

i have no diagonal - which one should I go for, again reasonable price/quality. 2" eyepices or 1.25"? What magnification should I go for. Would I need flattener/barlow etc? There is so much gearbout there

on the camera side I have a Nikon D5000 and a Nikon 1v1 and a way of connecting them directly to the scope (this is what I was originally going to do, using the scope as a prime lense for nature photography - long story)

I started buying before I fully understood so I hope you can set me o the right path :)

thanks

Marco

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No-one can help? I've learnt jargon, and started to buy some gear, but I'd really appreciate hearing from real users with experience.

To simplify my questions -

1) Could someone kindly point me to good quality and value diagonal

2) What magnification for my first couple of EPs and...

3) Tell me if I need to sell the EQ3-2 and buy and EQ5 instead for viewing and imaging?

Many thanks

Marco

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd agree with the BST eyepieces from Skys the Limit. I have the 8mm, 15mm and 25mm - you can add a barlow later to double the magnification. Don't scrimp too much on the diagonal, I use the Williams optics 1.25" - the ED80 deluxe kit comes with a 2" diagonal and eyepiece but I don't tend to use them as much.

If you intend to do serious astro photography then the mount to go for needs to be good, something like a HEQ5 or better (expensive compared with your starting point).

Edited by StevieDvd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you've not already done so marco, buy the book 'Making Every Photon Count' by Steve Richards that is available from the FLO website in the book section. That is something of an imagers bible, and will help you understand what you need and why.

When you say that you want to do imaging, I assume that it is DSO's and not planetary, lunar or the Sun? I ask as that is different kit again!!

Mount wise, for imaging, you get the very best you can afford. The general rule of thumb is that an HEQ5 is the minimum. I say general rule of thumb as there are people who are imaging with less and they will say that you don't need an HEQ5, you can manage perfectly well without. Imaging is a tough nut to crack. Have a look in the imaging section, look at the images there and normally people post what kit they use to get them. When you see the 'wow' images, they are generally taken with kit costing many thousands of pounds. Be realistic about your goals and what you want to achieve, then decide whether you can afford to get there.

Also, with less than an HEQ5 mount for example, it will take alot of tinkering to get right, and even then you will probably discard many subs due to trailing etc. When you only get a couple of nights a week ..... or month!!! .... you want to keep your subs, not throw them away, or spend clear nights trying toget things to work.

Imaging needs a sturdy mount. Your ultimate goal is to take many long exposures, and by long I mean into the minutes (10, 20 or even more) - You need to be able to guide, one of the HEQ5 variants doesn't have the motors for this, but can't remember which one - The cheapest one!!). Regards to your budget, the mount should be taking the largest chunk of this.

First £20 though ..... the book!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi I use the ed80 pro it comes with a 2" diagonal and a 2" 28mm ep I love the views from this.I have just started astrophotography with this set up using a canon 400d its not ideal set up but half decent images can be done by it...its a step in right direction on a low budget ...when funds allow upgrade that's what I do...giving the fact you can image using just a dslr and tripod....Davy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi I use the ed80 pro it comes with a 2" diagonal and a 2" 28mm ep I love the views from this.I have just started astrophotography with this set up using a canon 400d its not ideal set up but half decent images can be done by it...its a step in right direction on a low budget ...when funds allow upgrade that's what I do...giving the fact you can image using just a dslr and tripod....Davy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all responses. My ED80 didn't come with diagonal or lenses shirva, but thanks for the thumbs up. It looks like I'll be picking up s acouple of BSTs then - as far as the diagonal goes the tha advice is Williams Optics and don't skimp. Are there alternatives I should look out for?

Looks like the EQ3-2 needs to go back on ebay to fund an EQ5 or better

Also, in order to track during the long exposures required, I'll need motors, but is software needed too or can they be used without?

Sorry for all the newm questions and thanks for your patience

Marco

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, there's something to be said for a small mount for those quick sessions - just whack it down on the ground pointing to the North star and start observing. You don't necessarily need an HEQ5 for just visual, and you will appreciate the lighter mount if you try going to a dark site.

As for diagonal, assuming your ED80 has a 2" back, I would say go for the WIlliams Optics 2" diagonal; it will come with a 1.25" adaptor and you will be able to use 2" diagonals if you want to (though they usually weigh a lot, so make sure your mount can cope with the balance).

You might consider an Az mount for visual and later invest in the HEQ5 Pro, as tracking is less important and the weight of the mount will be considerably less than an EQ mount such as the EQ3-2 (roughly the same size as the Celestron CG-4 that I have). Make no mistake, the HEQ5 Pro will be a heavy mount, not at heavy as the NEQ6 but getting there. You may not be able to carry it all as one piece.

You may also get aperture fever for visual, as the ED80 will show many objects as tiny smudges or dots, larger aperture allows them to be shown larger and brighter in the eyepiece. Something like the 150P might go well as a grab and go visual reflector, and should work well on a CG-4 or EQ3-2.

Edited by jonathan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.