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Just starting - a newbie from NW Hants


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At long last I've decided to take the plunge although still suffering 'paralysis by analysis' over what to buy. Once i have a little experience I'd like to astroimaging. Any views from the enlightened about CEQ25GT mount and Altair Astro 102ED as an initial setup?


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Hi Phil,

Warm,,, err chilly welcome to SGL :smiley: ..

I'll leave it to the imagers to sort out your potential rig, but before parting with hard earned cash, pop along to one of your local astro clubs meet. You can see what others have and what may suit you best.

A book that will save you mis buying in the long run is 'making every photon count', well worth buying before hitting the buy button. Whilst you are at it download a planetarium prog, plenty out there but try stelklarium its great and free. To be found here :-- http://www.stellarium.org/ and to help guide you rond the sky a copy of 'sky&telescope pocket star atlas'.

Good luck with your choice.

Edited by damnut
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Hi Phil and welcome to SGL from another imager! There are two main disciplines of astro imaging really - DSO's (nebula, galaxies, planetary nebula's) and Solar system (planetary, lunar and solar) - These both have very different requirements. I speak only as a DSO imager - A good place to start is getting hold of a copy of 'Making Every Photon Count' available from the book section of the FLO website. This is something of a bible..... read it once.... twice and thrice...... before even spending a penny. Then think about what you need and why and you'll be on your way to making good choices.

Imaging is all about the mount ..... mount .... mount. You need to have a sturdy base that is capable of long exposures and decent tracking. You are far better off being over mounted than under mounted. Do not scrimp on a mount. The general consensus is that an HEQ5 is a good starting point for an imaging mount - This is a wise guide. There are people that do it with less, of course, but they will be making compromises.

Have a look in the imaging section and look at peoples images that you want to be able to take and they will often list their kit. Be realistic about what you want to achieve and how you will do so. If you want to get good quality images, it's going to cost money, I'm sorry but there is no way around that.

I hope that helps initially.

Look forward to seeing you around :)

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Thanks for the rapid response. I've joined the local society and think I need to get off the fence :-) I'll probably decide after tomorrow's beginner's night at Winchester planetarium.

The book is now on order


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Welcome. Scope gets good reviews. The mount is less well known in UK and I've heard a few negative things about it. There's a bit user base of skywatchers HEQ5 pro and you have the advantage of eqmod free software if you want it with just a £30 cable from FLO. As said get along to a local group. Try things out and canvass opinions. Good luck.

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Hi Phil and welcome to the forum. Some great advice by Sara above who is an experienced imager and talks from experience. Imaging isn't difficult per se but there is an initial steep learning curve which can be made a lot easier by purchasing the appropriate kit to your needs namely DSO or planetary imaging. The book is also an essential piece of your imaging kit and is certainly worth the money even if it just helps you avoid buying the wrong kit.

Clear skies and hope you enjoy your stay here.

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