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HEQ5 Pro or EQ5 Pro + Guide scope/cam?


JR1987
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On realising my basic skywatcher scope and mount is nowhere near able to image anything other than lunar and planets, Im happy to seek a proper scope and mount. As commonly expected, budget and justification for spending seem to increase exponentially as I learn what is really required for reasonably good results for imaging!

However I do not fly around town in a golden helicopter so the mark is around about £1000. 

I was looking at the Skywatcher 200PDS HEQ5 Pro with SynScan. I found this for £1096. I read pretty good things about the HEQ5, but I had a thought cross my mind earlier.. as the same OTA is sold on an EQ5 Pro and is around about £600 i think.. 

Would it be a better idea to buy the OTA on an EQ5 and spend the extra £400 on a guide scope system or to run the HEQ5 without guiding for now and perhaps at the end of the year add a guiding system to the HEQ5?

My first thought is the EQ5 might not be man enough to carry a big 8" OTA aswell as a guide scope.. but I'm unsure of the specifications on what it can and cannot handle.

Cheers guys!

p.s Im about 50% of the way through reading Making Every Photon Count (recommended by EVERYONE)  :p

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I had been looking along the same lines as you recently.  Went for a used NEQ6 as a start point, because that should be man enough.  You can also find the 200pds second hand for cheap enough too, and could probably set yourself up with NEQ6, 200pds and guide system of some description for your budget.

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thats what I thought, but they still sell it in that combination!

They usually match the largest scope that the scope can carry and sell it as a bundle. For imaging you want a healthy margin of safety, 130PDS on an EQ5 SynScan is fine.

A.G

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I'm only a 'happy amateur' AP chap but you really don't need a big 200PDS for imaging. Here the mount would be king and a smaller refractor is apparently a better option.

= more money on the mount and smaller telescope.

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thats what I thought, but they still sell it in that combination!

For visual that will be fine, but for imaging you need as strong a mount as you can. Go for the HEQ5 over the EQ5 every time for imaging.

If you are planning on running your mount from a laptop and you will not use the funky SynScan hand controller to set up the mount and perform Gotos, you could save some money by going for the HEQ5-SynTrek (£630 + £27 for the USB cable), rather than the HEQ5-Pro for £746.

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I was leaning more towards the heq5 anyway as its a better mount and becomes more of a longer term investment.

I know a 8" isn't really 'required' as such for deep sky imaging.. But it would be nice to have a scope that you can use for visual use aswell.. The 8" scope in question is still an f5, so that still means it's a fairly fast scope, right?

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I went with a 150P-DS and HEQ5 and so far the visual is fine. I got great views of Jupiter recently using a 3.2mm BST Starguider eyepiece. Could easily see the weather bands and GRS, for example. Am new to all this and so haven't imaged yet but my thinking was I could image with this setup as well as getting at least 'good' visual performance.

All the stuff I read essentially said the mount is the key component for imaging, so the HEQ5 was the logical choice over the 'borderline' EQ5.

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+1 for the HEQ5 Pro.

As for the scope, it depends on what you want to image. I use my 200P for small DSOs such as galaxies and the 72mm frac for nebulae, which can be very large. But many emit in Ha so a modded DSLR is a must, or a dedicated astrocam. The 200P can only be used in very still conditions as it's very sensitive to any breeze, but it's very do-able. I've taken some OK shots with mine. The 200PDS is designed for AP.

Alexxx

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