Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_2.thumb.jpg.72789c04780d7659f5b63ea05534a956.jpg

Recommended Posts

Hello :hello:

I need your expert advise and opinions please. 

I currently have a Sky-watcher 114 telescope which has served me well for the few years I've had it, but I've always had trouble with balancing, aligning and generally finding the more difficult things in the night sky. So I feel now is the time to upgrade to a goto telescope as I am keen to take up astrophotography and image and share what I'm seeing. 

My theory is that if I have a computerised / goto telescope and mount, I would spend less time setting up and more time enjoying the night sky.

I have between £400 - £650 to spend I've done some research and I have come up with a few options but also welcome any suggestions you all come up with which I haven't thought of already. 

  • Celestron Nexstar 5 SE Computerised Telescope

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-NexStar-SE-Computerised-Telescope/dp/B000GUHOYE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1479455548&sr=8-5&keywords=celestron+nexstar

  • Sky-Watcher Skymax-127 SynScan Goto Telescope

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sky-Watcher-Skymax-127-SynScan-AZ-Telescope/product-reviews/B00A784RBS

  • Celestron Nexstar 127 SLT MaK Telescope 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celestron-NexStar-127-Mak-Telescope/dp/B0038LX8XE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479455805&sr=8-1&keywords=celestron+nexstar+127

  • Meade ETX 90 Observer 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01E53GQ78/ref=pd_sbs_421_40?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4PMZKN1FJBKW0Y2KBV8S

 

Ive chosen various Maksutov-Cassegrain Style scopes as I'm a bit of a short-Bottom and found that when I tried out this type of telescope, it was easier to use rather than what I currently have.

 

I await your wisdom :smile:

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

In so far as a Maksutov, I would combine these instead...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywatcher-skymax-127-ota.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/sky-watcher-star-discovery-az-goto-mount.html

The Star Discovery go-to mount is superior to those of the SE, the SLT and the SynScan Goto, in that the telescope may be operated manually in the event of battery failure, or computer/motor failure in future.  If same occurred with the other three mentioned, the mounts would be as bricks, and with no way to move or direct the telescope.

"...I am keen to take up astrophotography and image and share what I'm seeing." 

Such is accomplished by holding a phone's camera or a small point-and-shoot camera up to the eyepiece and snapping a shot, and as I have done on occasion...

021816b.jpg

101915.jpg

M13.jpg

Such is called "afocal astrophotography", and the simplest method of imaging. 

Another form of imaging that can be performed with a Maksutov on said go-to is with a video astronomy camera, which can take stills in addition to video.

If you intend to attach a camera, like a DSLR, to the telescope in place of the eyepiece, and take short and long exposures, then a Maksutov is one of the poorest choices among telescopes with which to accomplish that.  A 130mm f/5 Newtonian or 80mm f/6 apochromatic refractor would be preferred instead; mounted on a larger, metal equatorial mount, and for deep-sky astrophotography.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Alan64 said:

In so far as a Maksutov, I would combine these instead...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/skywatcher-skymax-127-ota.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/sky-watcher-star-discovery-az-goto-mount.html

The Star Discovery go-to mount is superior to those of the SE, the SLT and the SynScan Goto, in that the telescope may be operated manually in the event of battery failure, or computer/motor failure in future.  If same occurred with the other three mentioned, the mounts would be as bricks, and with no way to move or direct the telescope.

"...I am keen to take up astrophotography and image and share what I'm seeing." 

Such is accomplished by holding a phone's camera or a small point-and-shoot camera up to the eyepiece and snapping a shot, and as I have done on occasion...

021816b.jpg

101915.jpg

M13.jpg

Such is called "afocal astrophotography", and the simplest method of imaging. 

Another form of imaging that can be performed with a Maksutov on said go-to is with a video astronomy camera, which can take stills in addition to video.

If you intend to attach a camera, like a DSLR, to the telescope in place of the eyepiece, and take short and long exposures, then a Maksutov is one of the poorest choices among telescopes with which to accomplish that.  A 130mm f/5 Newtonian or 80mm f/6 apochromatic refractor would be preferred instead; mounted on a larger, metal equatorial mount, and for deep-sky astrophotography.

 

 

Hi Alan, These are incredible images ! 

Thank you for your advise and suggestion and I take it all on board. Can you suggest a Newtonian that would better suit my needs?

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I can vouch for the stardiscovery mount. It works great, and the ability to move the scope around manually is a bonus especially when viewing objects far apart, although the mount does move pretty quickly even if you let it drive to its position too. I use it successfully with my all my three scopes, even my long 102mm Starwave f11 'frac. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you had the mak for observing and planet or Moon imaging you could dip your toes into astrophotography using a dslr and camera lens on the star discovery mount. Yes it is an altaz mount but depending where in the sky it is pointing and mount tracking accuracy exposure length can be from 20 to 40 seconds before field rotation becomes evident. Take lots of images and stack then. Only you know how far you want to dip your feet into imaging. Have a look at the No EQ challenge thread to see images member's are getting by pushing the capability of these types of mount. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Hojo86 said:

Hi Alan, These are incredible images ! 

Thank you for your advise and suggestion and I take it all on board. Can you suggest a Newtonian that would better suit my needs?

 

 

Hello. If you are looking for a newt reflector then I understand the 150p and 200p can be used quite successfully and the pds model mounted on a good stable eq mount. These would probably be better also for all round including DSO . I do understand some people prefer the 150 version due to its smaller size and as not so big does not attract the wiind  factor, that can effect stability and  the performance .

Another very popular model worth considering I understand is the skywatcher refractor the ed80 to which i understand a lot of people use for AP with good success 

I hope the above helps and gives you some ideas ☺

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A popular telescope for people starting out in astro-photography is https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130p-ds-ota.html

The minimum mount for this is probably the https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-eq3-pro-synscan-goto.html  The mount is, however, all important in the long term. So you might want to think whether you can stretch to a better mount right from the start, perhaps the https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-eq5-pro-synscan-goto.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

If as you say

So I feel now is the time to upgrade to a goto telescope as I am keen to take up astrophotography and image and share what I'm seeing.

then really there is no off the shelf purchase. They are all aimed at the visual aspect of astronomy, and AP has a different set of requirements on the equipment.

What is going to happen to the 114mm scope? Are you keeping that for visual or will the new scope and mount be used for visual.

For both at least in some manner I suggest you consider an EQ5 Pro or whatever with goto, then for AP get a short refractor (70-72mm range) or the 130PDS. Either earlier or later get a scope for some visual.

If you want to throw caution (well money) to the wind a bit there is WO Megrez 90 in the classifieds, that will do for AP and is a good visual scope as well, I already have one but am still tempted by it - aperture may seem a bit limited but ignore that. Problem is if you did that then it is scope and mount now and you are looking at £1000. Everyone says AP is expensive and it is. I would say that first step into AP is a minimum of £1000-£1200. Mount and scope are the start. Flatener, Reducer, T-ring, Intervalometer, battery (power the mount) all add up, small cost and ignored but 2 or 3 16Gb memory cards. Those accessories alone will add up to around £200. To even stick a DSLR on you need the T-ring and the intervalometer and that is £60 to £70.

You can get a mount now and use the 114 on it to become familiar with it all then purchase an AP scope later. Items appear in the classifieds and ABSUK.

For AP in general terms a Mak or SCT is not usually the right scope, what it can image tends to be limited, mainly from the design/operation of the scope itself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, ronin said:

What is going to happen to the 114mm scope? Are you keeping that for visual or will the new scope and mount be used for visual.

Mount and scope are the start. Flatener, Reducer, T-ring, Intervalometer, battery (power the mount) all add up, small cost and ignored but 2 or 3 16Gb memory cards. Those accessories alone will add up to around £200. To even stick a DSLR on you need the T-ring and the intervalometer and that is £60 to £70.

 

Hi Ronin

I haven't considered doing anything with the 114 to be honest, it works well and its in very good shape - I haven't ever considered just upgrading the mount to be honest because I didn't think it was possible but having seen the suggestions the others have posted, it may be a worth-while avenue to explore

As for equipment, I already have the various colour filters, a sun filter, a x2 and a x3 barlow lens, various mm eye pieces, my trusty Nikon D3300 with a suitable t-ring, the remote shutter clicker etc

it would be a shame to not use the equipment I've amassed over the years on a telescope they don't fit to.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Hojo86 said:

Hi Alan, These are incredible images ! 

Thank you for your advise and suggestion and I take it all on board. Can you suggest a Newtonian that would better suit my needs?

 

Thank you!  However, they were taken by the simple afocal method as described, and I'm limited to a few star clusters, the Moon, and the Orion nebula, for the most part.  I'm overwhelmingly a visual observer, with eyepieces, but on occasion I like to show how a telescope may perform during a live view, with the eyes rather than with a camera.  Still, my shots fall short of the sharpness and clarity of a live view.

In the end, my afocal pot-shots simply cannot compare to those of a right proper imaging session. 

When imaging with your DSLR attached to the telescope in place of the eyepiece, you may then embark upon that which the eyes cannot readily see or see at all through the telescope when using eyepieces.  Also, the colours of the objects become much more evident when imaged. 

Some telescopes are for imaging large areas of the night sky(short focal-length and a wide field), whilst others are for imaging single objects at high magnifications(longer focal-length and a narrow field).

The 130P-DS is a very popular telescope for imaging...

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/210593-imaging-with-the-130pds/?page=1

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130p-ds-ota.html

That would be a good all-around telescope, for somewhat wide-field deep-sky; and with a barlow integrated into the system, closer shots of single deep-sky objects, the Moon, and the larger planets perhaps.  Note that there are far more objects to observe and image in the deep sky, than there are within our solar system.

A Newtonian must be collimated, aligned, for best image quality, and on a regular basis.

When observing with the eyes, it doesn't matter so much if the telescope jiggles and shakes a little, from an occasional bump or when focussing; but when taking a photograph, particularly one of long-exposure, those little movements will ruin the photograph, softening and blurring it; and then there are the breezes and the winds blowing against the telescope to take into account.  Therefore, a telescope with a camera attached thereto must be held rigidly in place; steady as a rock, and impervious to said dynamics surrounding it.  For a 130mm f/5, you would need a mount like this, at least...

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-eq5-pro-synscan-goto.html

...or this, ideally... https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-heq5-pro-synscan.html

It is possible to conduct shorter-timed exposures, and with the smaller go-to mounts previously mentioned; or even non-goto mounts with just a single motor, but harder to do.  It all depends on what you'd like to image in the sky, and on the level of quality of the images you'd like to produce.

Edited by Alan64
Link to post
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
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By AlvinP
      Hello,
      I've been on these forums a couple of times for the last 2 weeks and ive found amazing advice, on telescopes, mounts and eyepiece. Besides reading countless of information on the internet about various equipments; pros and cons; and i got some queries about how to upgrade my setup.
      My original purchase was a 15x70 Celestron Binoculars last year, and boy ive seen amazing things with it, specially globular clusters, Jupiter and Saturn and the Orion's Nebula; for me these were amazing; i still use them given how easy it is to look at the sky with them and how bright and full everything looks.  A couple of months ago i got a 70x400mm Gskyer Telescope with an AZ mount (The cheap 99$ one that Amazon is displaying on all its adds for the last two months)  it came with a 25mm and a 10mm eyepieces as well as a x3 barlows (which i didnt even count as part of my scope as it is too bad quality and i havent managed a single decent view with it).

      Currently My Celestron Binoculars (x15) seem better for visualizing the sky than the 25mm eyepiece (x16) (things seem a very bit dimmer). And since the Barlow is a "no go", the 10mm (x40) eyepiece is what i really use, it has decent zoom and detailed views , it is my go to eyepiece most of the nights.
      However from reading all around, ive read that most of the stuff that come with the Telescope (aside from the scope itself) are actually really bad quality, specially no name brands without even webpage, so if i were to maximise my telescope i should update some of those items.
      -Recently i ordered a new Start diagonal to replace to default one (ive heard on Refractors its usually the weakest link next to eyepieces) as well as an economic x2 Barlow lens
      Keep in mind i recognize my 70mm cheap telescope will not suddendly become the Hubble Telescope, and that it doesnt matter how hard i push it, in the end such a low scope will be bound to hit its limit pretty fast, thats why i avoid 70$+ eyepieces and barlows for now.
      I expect to keep using this telescope for a good couple of months; at least until around August, when Jupiter and Saturn are more in the night sky, rather than morning.

      Now, im very satisfied with my current telescope; while the phone mount is garbage and the phone weight and the sound of my heartbeats pretty much shake the telescope out of position, as well as how cheap the mount is; it still gets the job done for seeing interesting stuff in the sky and i have managed to do some AP for some of the globular clusters, bunch of 1-2s images (with the wrong lens), not the best, not even good pictures; but decent overall for my equipment. I am currently interested in stargazing in general and some minor AP (as i dont have a camera, currently an Iphone 7s with the mount) Buuut im interested in borrowing a camera for the low sky photos without a telescope.
      I do most 97% of my Skywatching on my backyard, i live in a small country, there is some light pollution, but i can see the pleiades and the orion's nebula core on the naked eye most nights (so i guess its not that contaminated lol)
      Now; currently i like finding stuff by myself and show it to the other people around me who cant be bothered to find the moon in the sky, so setting up, finding and seeing stuff is part of what i like. 
      With all the above in mind..... Id like to plan ahead for my next purchases.
      First, im thinking a x3 barlow lens (to replace the original crappy one) and a 15mm lens (to have a bit better view than the 10mm, but less spread than the 25mm) in two or three months (with this id be able to check if my new eyepiece outperforms my default ones, but given the quality of the scope, i dont expect this to be noticeable).
      And Afterwards id love to get a new Scope, but im not quite sure what i want... and i would like some advice and help in choosing my next Scope upgrade.
      -I entered with and im liking the refractors; however i dont wanna spend 300-400$ on another refractor that is 20-30% better for triple the price
      -Ive heard really long focal lenght might bring some distortions; and also make the scope much bulkier, annnd most importantly i know that magnification is not everything; so a 1000mm long tube would prob bring too much magnifications for me to use properly on my backyard skies. So i think id settle for a maximum of 600-700mm.
      -Originally i was againts Newtonians in general, those inverted views scared me, i have a hard time of my own with my finderscope. Then i found out that Reflectors are the name of efficiency as they have more value per aperture than refractors; and as someone once mentioned "There is not really up and down in space, you will get used to it" annnd its true... save for references on the ground, like buildings, trees and mountains to help you locate where you are in the sky; once you are on it, you dont need right ups and downs.
      -I did see some 90mm Orion's Refractors as well as 90-102 Celestron Astromaster Refractors (these are 350-400$)
      -Im thinking a 130mm reflector is what im looking for; i think the 130mm aperture is a nice upgrade for my 70mm, and will keep me occupied for quite a long time; ive read about Orion SpaceProbe 130EQ and Celestron Astromaster 130EQ (ive also read, Power Seekers and Astromaster's are made out of pretty much garbage lol) Ive read that the main issue is the constant collimation required for them; but ive also read its something that can be learned and once you get used to it; its a pretty easy thing to do to keep getting amazing views.
      -Ive also seen people recommending  6-8'' Dobsonians; i know the deal with them; if anything i could aim for a 6'' one i found a litter under 300$ ive read they are amazing values for their aperture
      So, TL;DR: I have a 70x400mm Telescope, im new to stargazing, im really amazed and excited by what im seeing with my current scope, but would like an stable upgrade before the end of the year that will last me a year or two. I am interesteted both in regular and deep sky stargazing and astrophotography;  im not currently interested in an motorized mount; could deal with a regular Equatorial mount. But overall i am looking for  more aperture (100-150mm) to have clearer views; than focal lenght for zoom.

      Im also open to the fact that at one point i might have to get a scope for stargazing and another for AP; but would like an upgrade that could help me all around for both while i get initiated.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------
      Sorrry for the Huuuuuuuuge post, i was very excited while writing it; please let me know what you think and if there's anything else you'd want me to add to help understand my situation, thanks in advance!
       
       
    • By chrobakx
      Selling the Sky-watcher r.a. motor drive for eq2/cg3 mount.
      I was using it on my Celestron Astromaster 130eq. I was able to do some astrophotography with it, 15-20  seconds exposure time.
      Price £27 plus postage
      Payment method: PayPal, family and friends method or commercial and  buyer will pay fee 3% extra
       




    • By MarsG76
      This is NGC3603 and NGC3576 (AKA The "Statue of Liberty" nebula), a massive H-Alpha region containing a very compact open cluster, located in the constellation "Carina" about 20,000LY away.
      I took this photo during two nights, 14th and 15th March 2021. Imaged using a active cooled and full spectrum modded Canon 40D DSLR attached to a 80mm f6.25 refractor on a CGEM equatorial mount.
      Total exposure time was 3 Hours and 31 minutes in natural color through UV/IR Cut filtered subs from a semi rural sky.
      RGB: 19x60s, 19x120s, 18x180s and 20x300s subs @ ISO1600.
    • By MarsG76
      This is NGC3603 and NGC3576 (AKA The "Statue of Liberty" nebula), a massive H-Alpha region containing a very compact open cluster, located in the constellation "Carina" about 20,000LY away.
      I took this photo on multiple nights, between 19th February and 15th March 2021.
      Imaged using my cooled and full spectrum modded Canon 40D DSLR attached to a Bosma 80mm f6.25 refractor on a CGEM equatorial mount.
      Total exposure time was 22 Hours and 1 minute using 7nm HII, OIII and SII Narrowband filters and stars are from natural color (UV/IR Cut filter) subs... imaged from a semi rural sky.
      HII: 6x600s, 6x900s and 4x1200s subs,
      OIII: 10x900s, 8x1200s and 1x1800s subs
      SII: 18x1800s subs
      RGB: 19x60s, 19x120s, 18x180s and 20x300s subs @ ISO1600.
       
    • By chrobakx
      This is Celestron cg3 mount suitable for any telescope tube with vixen dovetail.
      Load capacity is approximately up to 4 kg
      Condition is used, but in very good shape. 
      It's comcompletely with 3d printed levelling plate, under tray for accessories, slow motion and locking knobs.
      Mount was completely stripped down, removed factory sticky grease and applied proper grease where applicable.
      Price: £90
      I can post it by Hermes or DPD if you are happy to pay for postage.
      I'll accept PayPal as family/friends or commercial if you'll pay the 3% fee.






×
×
  • 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.