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Jon Sales

Skywatcher Explorer 150PDS

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Hi guys,

Not posted in a long while. 

I'm looking at buying the above scope for AP and I'm wondering which mount to go for. It's offer from most suppliers with either the EQ3 PRO or the EQ5 PRO. 

As it's marketed more towards imaging I'm assuming that the EQ3 can cope with the scope OK?

I'll be using my Canon EOS760D with it. 

Any help would be appreciated. 

My budget is around £800 max for scope and mount setup. 

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I use my 130pds on an neq6. Most people recommend a heq5 minimum for AP. The better the mount the easier I have found AP and the better results I get

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I've been looking to buy the same scope for the same reasons, the eq3 mounts won't really cope very well at all once you factor in the extra weight of the camera setup, to keep my budget down I've gone for a standard eq5 + the enhanced motor package and I'm building a autoguider, goto & alignment system based off the Raspberry Pi III.

Plenty will say spend extra but I'm fairly confident in the rig I'm going to build over the next few weeks.

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As has been mentioned many many times on this forum if you're thinking of getting into astro photography  using a telescope the first thing you need is a decent mount which minimum spec' would be  a  second hand SW HEQ5 Pro on your budget.

Dave

 

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+1 for the EQ5 Pro or more if you're serious about using it for DSO's.  You'd be surprised how little movement it takes to spoil a whole 15 minute image.

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A second hand heq5 will do well with that scope. Eq 3 had a low payload. In time to will keep adding accessories to it. Heq5 will do good. 

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I started out with just that astrophotography package: 150pds on eq3 pro, with aluminium tripod. Max load of the eq3 is 5 kg, which is exactly the weight of the scope. Add coma corrector and camera and you're already too high. No room for any guiding setup.

The eq3 also has no ball bearings in the ra axis, so all weight goes directly to the axis itself. And to the poor (= I feel sorry for them) altitude adjustment bolts that have to support the scope and mount.

All that said, I love this mount, now that I have an AZ EQ6 for my scope, and can use it (eq3) as a grab 'n go wide field setup. I recently managed 7 minutes unguided @ fl 135 mm, after having beefed up the tripod. But for the 150pds, I still wonder what SW was thinking, when they put this together.

Just my € 0.02. Hope they help.

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I always suggest to people who say they want to start with AP to buy the best mount they can afford. Don't even buy a scope, just put all the money on a good mount. Then start with the DSLR you already own, or buy a used cheap (like a Canon 1000D for around £100). Use it with the lenses you get with it and start build up your experience. From there you can buy more equipment as you become more advanced. If you've bought a NEQ6 from start you won't have to bother about upgrade it for long time.

If you do the other way around, buy a cheaper mount and a scope and everthing else you think you need, you'll probably soon feel the mount will limit your effort to get good pictures. And it will dig a big hole in your pocket to upgrade that.

- Visual observing is 90% scope and 10% mount
- Astrophoto is 90% mount and 10% scope
Not precisly, but you get the picture...

Edited by Squiddy

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I have the eq5 pro and the 150pds scope with a canon dslr and although your not going to get massively long exposures with the right balance and good alignment you can get very good results. Probably better results if you were to use a small 50mm guide scope. 

It just depends on if you are willing to put in the extra effort for sake of a saving money. I am going to miss this mount when it goes as after using the neq6 you quickly realize what a light grab and go mount it is.

I would say get what you can afford and then learn the ropes to get the maximum out of your equipment.  If you outgrow your kit then sell it on and move up to the next level.

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Thanks for the replies guys. 

I already have a landscape AP setup and I'm getting bored of doing that now so want a setup for wide field dso's,  not interested in photographing planets. 

May even get an EQ5 and an 80mm refractor. 

Was going to sell the Mak but might just sell the mount and use the Mak on a new mount alongside using an 80mm on it. 

Too much to choose from. ?

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I went for the eq3 Pro mount for this scope.  I'm very new to astrophotography.  The eq3 gives me a mix of sharp stars and little ovals over a series of exposures.  

There's a bit of play in the motor controls (but way better than my eq2 RA motor)  the "lunar tracking" is very nice.

 

i managed 75s subs on M81/M82 (near to the celestial pole) but only 25s on the Orion Nebula.

I probably don't spend enough time on polar alignment. (I barely understand drift alignment...)

 

I seriously considered the eq5/heq5.   I went for the lighter eq3 because I just could barely lift the eq5 (without scope) and it would be too much effort to shift it in and out of the house.

 

ask me again in 12 months....

 

 

 

 

 

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Lol Mikey. 

I have no problems lifting the mount or transporting to a dark sky site which I would do more. 

I was looking at ditching the whole idea and getting a Star Adventurer and 70ED instead and me even more portable but from what I've read the weight of the scope and camera would be pushing the limit of the SA. 

Other idea was an 80ED and EQ5 but we'll see what funds allow when I've finished saving. 

Works thin on the ground at the moment so it won't be until summer now unless I win the lotto or something. 

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