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moonomaly

Thoughts on the skywatche 127 Mak for astrophotography

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Hi,

 

i'm looking to by the 127 Mak next year for Moon photos, i awtched a short review of the scope and the guy briefly mentioned that AZ mounts may not be the best for astrophotography.

He didn't go into it at all, what are the reasons for that? I've not even held a proper mount so only have a vague idea how they rotate.

Happy new year :)

 

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If you are serious about Luna, and even planetary imaging then a driven EQ mount is going to be the best option, just a CG4 with some motors on it will do pretty good 

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23 minutes ago, moonomaly said:

Hi,

 

i'm looking to by the 127 Mak next year for Moon photos, i awtched a short review of the scope and the guy briefly mentioned that AZ mounts may not be the best for astrophotography.

He didn't go into it at all, what are the reasons for that? I've not even held a proper mount so only have a vague idea how they rotate.

Happy new year :)

 

I would think that a driven AltAz would be fine for lunar imaging which only requires bursts of short exposures to be stacked.

AltAz mounts do show field rotation so are not suitable for long exposure astro photography (deep sky stuff) but I think most stacking software will compensate for any field rotation seen over a minute of  so of video.

Comes down to budget really, an EQ mount is the preference but lunar imaging is certainly possible on an AltAz 

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As mentioned above, its good only for planetary images and you don't need additional mount. For DSO neither scope or mount is good.

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Altaz mounts motorised move in tiny left right up down movements which visually keep the objects in the field of view but does not account for field rotation because the earth is rotating. These sort of mounts are being use for Astrophotography but do have limitations because of the rotation issue. The no EQ challenge thread is showing what members are managing on this sort of mount with in the restrictions presented but use either camera and lens or fast short refractor, not SCT or MAKs.

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I have the set up you are thinking of, and first, I found the mount was ok for visual,but there was a lot of wobble when trying to take even short exposures, so much that I upgraded to an "EQ5 goto," which is now looking to be uprated to the EQ6, wife and finances allowing, I also found that with the Skywatcher 127 mak I was struggling to get the whole moon in the frame, I use an Olympus dslr, and a Nikon D 7200 dslr, not too sure if its me or just not the correct set up, I would be inclined, if doing it all again, to wait til I can afford the higher level equipment and buy it once, hope this doesn't put you off, and hope you can save a few bob from my experiences, good luck, Lum

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I use my AZ EQ6 in Alt Az mode in the summer for solar because I can take Ha and white light simultaneously. As Michael says it works ok over the period I take video. I ran into an issue when I imaged the transit of Mercury due to field rotation. I did mange to compensate though using tools in Photoshop but it was a major faff. EQ will usually make life simpler.

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As an aside, can anyone recommend a smooth-moving tripod for this little Celestron travel scope 70?

The one that came with it is pretty bad, but i don't want to spend too much money since i'll be getting the 127 soon, but in the meantime it's annoying that it's so rickety and juddery when trying to pan around.

 

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21 minutes ago, moonomaly said:

EQ for the win then :) I can't believe the price of some of the mounts, more than the scopes!

But when you see a good one you'll realise why. Superb pieces of engineering...

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26 minutes ago, moonomaly said:

As an aside, can anyone recommend a smooth-moving tripod for this little Celestron travel scope 70?

The one that came with it is pretty bad, but i don't want to spend too much money since i'll be getting the 127 soon, but in the meantime it's annoying that it's so rickety and juddery when trying to pan around.

 

I would say save every penny for the new scope and live with the tripod you have. 

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If you have the spare cash then have a look around a few of the charity shops, every chance you will find something that is reasonably stable. The problem will be getting a photo head on it that can be set to the right resistance. I have no idea on which make may supply the better heads to these so you will need to look and sort of make adjustments in the shop to get an idea.

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If the travel scope has a dovetail bar fitted this is an option:

link here

I have this ball head it is very good I find and price is ecellent for my needs. link here

I don't know what the travel scope uses to attach to the tripod it comes with.

 

 

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16 hours ago, moonomaly said:

EQ for the win then :) I can't believe the price of some of the mounts, more than the scopes!

Deep sky imagers want their mounts to track with an error not exceeding, say, a third of an arcsecond. There are nearly 1.3 million arcseconds in a full circle. It's a big ask!

On one of my setups the mount and scope cost the same as each other. On the other the mount cost twice the price of the scope. C'est la vie!

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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On 01/01/2017 at 13:45, Glimpse111 said:

As mentioned above, its good only for planetary images and you don't need additional mount. For DSO neither scope or mount is good.

The Skymax 127 can be used for CCD  DSO Imaging with the correct set up

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On 01/01/2017 at 14:27, happy-kat said:

Altaz mounts motorised move in tiny left right up down movements which visually keep the objects in the field of view but does not account for field rotation because the earth is rotating. These sort of mounts are being use for Astrophotography but do have limitations because of the rotation issue. The no EQ challenge thread is showing what members are managing on this sort of mount with in the restrictions presented but use either camera and lens or fast short refractor, not SCT or MAKs.

 

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Posted (edited)

The perception that you must use an EQ Mount to capture decent DSO images is not exactly correct.

I have used my Celestron Evolution 9.25 with and without a 6.3 fr on Alt /AZ mount and along with the Atik Infinity Camera and its software captured many DSO objects over the past 3 yrs, field rotation is managed particularly well by the software, and 2 min plus exp stacked can produce good images, personally I never felt  the need to go above 45sec subs for my images with careful management of the Histogram its very simple.

Eric

Edited by 2STAR

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