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Advice on imaging please.


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Last Christmas I got a Celestron Neximage 130 SLT telescope. I have bought some new eyepieces and filters but would like to try imaging. I have looked at ZWO and Celestron etc. but could do with some help to make my decision. My budget is about £250.00. Thanks Danny 

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I would go for a 2nd hand DSLR. In this price range, the ASI cameras are not cooled and have small chips. This will limit your choice of targets and make it more difficult to get the target on sensor.

The larger sensor in a DSLR means that you can image a lot more targets, and framing is less critical.

You can also use the DSLR with a normal lens to do wide field imaging.


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I think the slt is an alt-az setup which will be limiting and challenging if you want to do dso imaging (though perhaps not completely impossible). However, the Moon would be ok, and probably planets too - with a suitable barlow. I would recommend reading up on astrophotography principles before rushing out to buy a camera.


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Hi Danny -  I would start with planetary imaging with that scope - you'll have hours of enjoyment capturing the planets and with the right filter, the Sun too.

I would buy the ZWO ASI120MC with the cctv lens so that you can do some all-sky work with it as well - fantastic camera (I have 2 :icon_biggrin: )

You will, if you really get into this hobby, upgrade your scope in the future to something more suitable for deep sky imaging - personally I don't think hooking a dslr to this setup is going to give up the goods easily :-)

And as I said, you can get fantastic results right here in our solar system and learn a lot in the process - ready for aperture fever to set in and that inevitable move to a new scope - that's what happened to me :-)

Good luck!



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You want something lightweight with that set up otherwise you may have balance issues. As stated above I would go with a ASI120 or maybe a QHY5L-ii-c to use for planetary imaging. You will probably want to upgrade at some point to an EQ mount for DSO imaging. Been there - done that.


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The 130 SLT is an Alt-Az (my starter scope).

Assuming you have a DSLR already?

I bought a 2x barlow (Celestron 2x Universal 1.25" Barlow) with a t2 adapter for your particular model of DSLR  (mine was a Nikon D90 at the time I think) was around £40 in total.

You can get around 10s exposures with that setup before image rotation becomes an issue.

It is a lightweight mount, and with the DSLR added you can wait 20-30s for vibrations to die down when focusing. You do not want even a slight breeze though when imaging stars - or maybe you could get M42.

I didn't bother adding a guide scope as weight was too much of an issue.

An other option may be to get a vixen style dove tail and attach the DSLR (with a lens - I had a 300m already) to that instead of the reflector?


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Hi all

Sorry for taking so long to reply. busy at work.

Thanks for all of your advice I have looked at the ZWO 120 camera, but never thought of a DSLR.

With regard to what I would like to photo, it would be great to get good pictures of the Andromeda galaxy and the Orion Nebula but I know this is not possible with my telescope, but the moon Jupiter and Saturn would be great. It would be nice to put a picture on here.

I will do more research on this site, I will also get a book on the subject.

Thanks for your help Danny

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