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Mount for wide field imaging


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Hi all, sorry I've been away for a while! 

Any recommendations for an eq mount for wide field imaging? Preferably at the cheaper end, at the moment I'm considering:

EQ3-2

EQ5

HEQ5

Star adventurer

Any pros/cons for any of these, also which would you get if you were in my position? 

 

Thanks! 

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Hi Dom, do you have a budget in mind? Also how wide are you thinking, wide field can mean anything from a 26mm lens on a camera to an ED80 :) 

If you're thinking of camera and lenses upto 200mm, I reckon the EQ3/star adneturer would do fine, because there won't be much demand on tracking. If you're thinking about something like an ED80 with a focal length of 600mm, then the HEQ5 would be better suited :) 

p.s I'm coming back to doing some imaging, but this time I'll be keeping it cheap and simple with camera lenses upto 200mm. I was trying to image at about 1300mm focal length unguided a couple of years ago and it didn't go well lol. 

 

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The three main things that will determine what you need are the maximum focal length,  your maximum desired exposure time, and the crop factor of your camera.

At the risk of being shot for heresy, even an EQ-1 + motor drive* will manage 30 sec exposures at 50mm on an APS-C DSLR. You don't even have to be precise on polar alignment, which is good because its an inaccurate pile of junk :) Getting something a bit nicer won't hurt if you can afford it and it will have more potential uses in future.

If you want to stick your 200p on it, can't imagine anything less than the HEQ5 working. Many people using that mount pair it with a Skywatcher 130p-ds or an ed80, so some might say the HEQ6 would be more suited.

* There were two versions of the motor for this mount, a cheapo one and the better one. I've only tried this with the more expensive one which is more accurate.

 

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The SW Star Adventurer is excellent for DSLR images it can easily do 90 sec's using a 300mm lens and experimenting it can do over 1000 sec's using 24mm lens, only takes a few minutes to setup and get imaging.

Dave

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Another vote for the Star Adventurer. So glad i got one. I have only done unto 60 seconds with an old 200mm Pentacon lens but there is still much room to push the exposure time much longer by the sound of things. I am going to have a go at sticking my ST80 and DSLR on it too at some point. 

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IOptron Skyguider comes with a tripod and has a guide port should you ever need it, but I have no experience of it. Possibly overpriced? Then there's the cheaper Skytracker, but you need a tripod and ball head.

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Below a Rosetta nebula done from urban skies in Poland.Star Adventurer + Canon 40d + 50mm 1.8 (f4.0) 45 X 180 sec. I love this little mount. Hands down for it considering portability. Consider limmitation to DSLR mostly if You pick it up. Its is not for scope rather as the 5kgs max weight is far to much even though its given in spec.

56b8af609d8ac_rozetaflat_9small.thumb.jp

Edited by Kirien
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Sky Adventurer works a treat, I've had a 300mm lens with GH3 or Fuji x-pro 1 on. Easy to align and 60sec+ subs are possible. Works extremely well with wider lenses.

Edited by hitmanh
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I'm not sure that 'crop factor' has any effect, does it?  You just need arcseconds per pixel to know what kind of tracking accuracy you'll need.

Some of the possibilities being mentioned seem quite optimistic to me. A 200mm lens with a typical modern DSLR is working at about 5 arcseconds per pixel or less. At 300mm that's nearer to 3.4"P/P.  Now that's not a cynch for unguided on anything. Our Takahashi FSQ106 with full format CCD is working at 3.5"P/P so the difference isn't all that great and we run ours on an autoguided Mesu 200. Telescopic resolution is going to need telescopic tracking accuracy. (I use 'resolution' in the correct sense of arcseconds per pixel, not simply pixel count.)

Olly

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