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EQ3 v EQ5 for SW ED80 astrophotography?


Key
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Hi,

I've read various articles saying that the EQ5 is the minimum requirement for deep sky astrophotography but also seen some impressive pictures by people using an EQ3; would it be a mistake to go for the EQ3 to reduce the initial cost but soon feel the need to go for the EQ5?

Anyone upgraded from EQ3 to EQ5 that can comment?

Cheers,

Key.

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For the ED 80 I would have said the EQ5 is much preferable, the ED 80 is actually reasonably long, f/7.5 I think, and so the more stable mount better option.

I would think that the problem is that people can get good images on an EQ3, but they would get more good iamges on an EQ5. Also the EQ5 probably makes it easier to get good images. You have to remember that you will see the good ones. So if someone gets say 4 out of 5 good images on an EQ5 but 2 out of 5 on an EQ3 you never get told or know of the failures.

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Other than paypload there is no other difference between the eq3 and eq5, they both use basic motors and have a lot of backlash which needs tweaking out. The pro series are better because they have more accurate stepper motors as well as other things.

I don't think it will be the case of if you get the eq3 would you have wished you had the eq5, I think it would be more like you would wish for a Pro synscan or syntrek mount. Been there and got the T-shirt, started with an basic motor driven eq5 and it was utter rubbish until I got the HEQ5 then the NEQ6 and EQ3 pro.

out of the two I would go for the eq3 because at least it will be easy to carry and the ED80 is a light OTA and its not that long, it doesn't have big moment of inertia even with a camera, the EQ3 would be about right I would think. The EQ5 I had was quite heavy and a pain weight wise for how badly it performed.

Chris

Edited by starfox
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Thanks guys, must admit the Pro version sounds the best option. Having used the Synscan on my Skyliner I'd be loathed to do without it now. Will have to look out for a bargain somewhere!

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For me, at around £100 difference, it's a no brainer eq5 goto every time (between these two).

As Ronin has said, results can be had from anything given enough patience,skill and luck, but for consistant results, buy the absolute best mount you can possibly afford. The cheaper the mount, the more subs you'll end up throwing away. Sorry, but it's just a fact. Many people on forums say "so and so gets good results from such and such a mount" but they fail to mention how many hrs and how many pounds so and so have invested to get the cheaper mount to work...and most of them have upgraded their mounts anyway :).

sorry I can't bring happier news but better to know what you're getting into from the get go.

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Have you got access to the classifed section yet? I can't remember how mwnay posts it is until you get access? You could place a wanted ad maybe? There is also UK astro buy and sell which is great, although with wanted ads you need to keep your eyes peeled for scammers although they usually are very obvious.

Chris

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As a owner of a eq5pro and a sw80ed I will add some thoughts.

The EQ5p is heavy and a bit of a pain to lugg about. A EQ3p would in my opinion do just as well. However I also use a mak on mine.

The mak is light, but at a high focal length it needs the mount not to notice it.

If you are only planning to use a sw80 out in the field then go for eq3p.

Last thought, focal reducers, DSLR, filters, finder guider etc all add weight. And in a slight breeze I would prefer the stability of the heavier mount.

But as others have said, their is not much in it.

Edit

My thought process when I was upgrading http://cassiopeiascat.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/my-gem-upgrade.html

Edited by Christopher Davenport
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With an 80mm f7.5 scope and a self guiding SBIG 2000 I used to throw away half my subs with an EQ5. Thats half the night wasted. I sold the SBIG and am still saving for a new mount. For now I get plenty of satisfsction and none of the frustration by just looking. Keep your expectations in check and you will get some satisfaction.

Mount first last and always someone wise once said.

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I agree. The first thing to make sure is alright is the mount. After that you make sure that your mount is adequate and then you take every precaution to ensure that you have bought a big enough mount. Another thing to look at is the size, capacity and reliability of the mount you intend to use. And just to make sure, buy the fattest and biggest mount you can ever afford as it will stay with you over possibly tens of telescopes.

Clear? ;)

/per

Edited by perfrej
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I agree. The first thing to make sure is alright is the mount. After that you make sure that your mount is adequate and then you take every precaution to ensure that you have bought a big enough mount. Another thing to look at is the size, capacity and reliability of the mount you intend to use. And just to make sure, buy the fattest and biggest mount you can ever afford as it will stay with you over possibly tens of telescopes.

Clear? ;)

/per

 buy the fattest and biggest mount you can ever afford as it will stay with you over possibly tens of telescopes.

Clear? ;)

/per

There is more truth in this than most of us can afford.

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To be fair to my EQ5.

I still have it (I think its at least ten years old) and it still does what it does best it tracks, its reliable, Its easy to move can take a bit of abuse is was cheap what's more its never let me down. It did guide just not well enough for me to be happy with it.

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Big is better.

If you can lift it then you can use it.

I am not a fan of lightweight mounts

I use an neq6pro and I'm a wrinkly old granny of 62. Well I'm 62 anyway.

If it is heavy, it is going to resist vibration and wind.

why use a 223 when a 762 is available?

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Key sorry but I forgot to mention that I did upgrade from an EQ3 and it a significant step up. I would also suggest that if astrophotography is your aim you might get more satisfaction with a vixen GP or DX if you can wait and find one secondhand. I dont know what the worm gear bearings are like on the current EQ5s but on the old EQ5s they were about as tight as a bamboo pole in a drainpipe with elasticbands for bearings.

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Big is better.

If you can lift it then you can use it.

I am not a fan of lightweight mounts

I use an neq6pro and I'm a wrinkly old granny of 62. Well I'm 62 anyway.

If it is heavy, it is going to resist vibration and wind.

why use a 223 when a 762 is available?

6.5x55 is my preference over 223

but on track I went for a CG5-GT over the EQ5p as its built in features are better in my opinion, once the kids are out of school then GM2000HPS here I come :)

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Thanks guys,

I'm still scouring the Adverts and aiming for an HEQ5 or even an EQ6 if the price is right!

(Disappointed with a number of contacts made that I haven't had replies from though.)

Cheers,

Key

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NEQ6 is a really good starting point that you can use for many years. It is also of the kind that yu can take apart yourself and improve upon, something that is not true of bigger, more complex and more expensive mounts. EQ5 is just an interim solution on your way to something of adequate size so you can skip that ;)

/per

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Thanks guys,

I'm still scouring the Adverts and aiming for an HEQ5 or even an EQ6 if the price is right!

As others have said... buy the biggest you can afford.

But remember portability.

My HEQ5 is luggable in pieces down stairs and into garden or boot of car. But it is heavy (about 15kg for mount and tripod) plus the counterweight (5kg each).

You'll generally only need 1 counterweight for a small scope.

Then you have the scope, battery or mains power, leads, dewshield, camera maybe etc etc.

Adds up to a few trips to and fro to set stuff up.

The EQ6 is bigger still. I seem to recall seeing a picture of the two side by side, maybe from Astrobaby site.

Don't get carried (pun intended) away buying the biggest mount you can afford if you end up not being able to move it around.

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I'm going to defend not the EQ5 but the HEQ5. Yes, bigger is better but the HEQ5 tends to ba as accurate, or possibly slightly more accurate, than the NEQ6 and it will carry a small refractor very easily. It is significantly easier to carry about and is cheaper, which matters to all of us to some degree.

It's all very well saying 'mount before everything' but which would you choose between these options? Paramount, ED80, DSLR or Tak FSQ, Avalon and full frame mono CCD? The latter would take better pictures (by many miles) and cost a lot less. 

A budget needs to be distrubuted wisely and that means being slightly over mounted. It doesn't mean being 10x over mounted. Being 10x over mounted at a cost to the rest of your gear is not wise, productive or necessary. It is just nice and 'nice' won't necessariy improve your results.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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Buy the biggest that you can afford... that you can carry.

After many cycles of mount upgrades, I am now using a Mach1, which is a fairly pricey mount.

But guess what... the past few nights I have been amusing myself with a Star Adventurer.  I can carry the entire Star Adventurer, tripod, telescope, and camera in one hand!  the performance is pretty mediocre compared to the Mach1 (but it's about equal to my old CGEM in terms of guiding performance, although obviously not in terms of payload).

The Star Adventurer however is UKP 300.  Last I checked there was a GPDX for around that figure on the UK astroclassifieds.  A GPDX with a Synscan upgrade kit would probably outdo the EQ5Pro or EQ3Pro.  And then there's the EQ3Pro at UKP 285..

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