Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_31.thumb.jpg.b7a41d6a0fa4e315f57ea3e240acf140.jpg

Recommended Posts

Hi all

First post and beginners questions.

Both my wife and I are interested in the night sky and looking to increase our interest/knowledge.

We have a celestron firstscope 114 which is somewhat disappointing and hence hasn't had much.

We are interested in both planet and DSO. I would also like to try AP at some point, I have a 70d which I would use for imaging. 

With the above in mind I am very tempted with a Skywatcher Explorer 200pds. I realise the mount will likely need to be the HEQ5 which is a hefty outlay. 

Now a few questions...

Is the above scope a good choice for us, should I consider others?

Is there a cheap mount I can use while we gain experience before starting to look at imaging?

Are there any other bits I should consider getting?

 

Thanks :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 36
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I have to disagree here. I've always used an eq mount of various types and find having the object always centred in the eyepiece a real help. A 200 P-DS is pretty good for imaging but is pushing

Something like my 8" Dob on it's Goto Mount is also worth considering - it depends on what you ultimately want from your astro-photography.  If you just want some zoomed in pictures of the moon and ma

You'd have to check with those more experienced than me.  I think some can, but I doubt mine could due to its truss tubes which I think would interfere with where these mounting rings on the other mou

An 8" Newtonian and a HEQ5 is a good all rounder combination. I wouldn't go larger than an 8" on and HEQ5. A good rule of thumb is invest

more in the mount because if you have very good optics on a sub par mount it can get very frustrating.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having the 114 I thought 200 maybe the logical move?

TBH, reading around forums and reviews a 200 seemed to suit our wants. 

I hear what you're saying about the mount. I do intend to get a decent one but wondered if there was a cheap ish option to get going before imaging. I'm starting to think not.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a HEQ5 Pro and as you can see from my website www.digitalastroimager.com I use it for nearly all my astro viewing and imaging. Your other option could be to go for a good 10" Dobsonian and at a later date go for an HEQ6, depends how fit you are!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, some great images on your site! I'll take a better look when in front of a bigger screen.

I think a 10" may be too big at the present. I'd be tempted with DOB if I wasn't to keen on the AP.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm aware there are plenty of members here that use a Newtonian on an equatorial mount for visual but IMHO there is far too much faffing about with this combination and an equatorial is only for imaging.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm starting to see that as a possible issue.

More confused now TBH. I would like to try AP at some point and from what i have read this really needs an EQ mount. Is that right?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm new to astronomy as well, and I'm not sure if I'm qualified to give you an answer. But an equatorial mount is required for Astro photography, but it's not ideal for visual unless you plan to do long observations on the same object. There is a lot of work that goes into setting up an EQ that could be used for viewing. That is why dobs are the ultimate visual machine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When using an eq mount for visual its not that essential to polar align and you can just point it northwards. If using goto it will set set up as normal and goto objects once this has been set up.

The PA will stop star trails on your images but when observing this will not be seen.

 

Edited by spillage
Link to post
Share on other sites

A 200pds? This is a relatively low cost OTA, but I'd question what it is ideally suited for these days.

For deep space astrophotography? Probably not.

For planetary astrophotography? Ask those who know.

For visual observing? While the 200mm Newt + EQ5 or HEQ5 is a combination much sold, I'd suggest that it is not very user-friendly in use and one might prefer other options. Personally I find the more expensive C8 SE + Starsense far more user-friendly and pleasant to use.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, spillage said:

When using an eq mount for visual its not that essential to polar align and you can just point it northwards. If using goto it will set set up as normal and goto objects once this has been set up.

 

 

So youre saying a quick setup can be used if only using the goto for viewing?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The goto will align the mount to the stars and slew correctly to the right coordinates regardless of PA.  Having the correct PA ensure the mount tracks correctly over a period of time

PA and goto are independent to each other.

Better PA equals longer exposure time and not star drift.

If you have an eq mount without goto then you would just use the slow motion adjusters.

Hope this makes sense. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, thanks you, That help quite a lot.

So an EQ can be used relatively easy for viewing once the north alignment is done.

I did consider the nextstar but discounted due to poor reviews on AP use.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Astro Imp said:

I'm aware there are plenty of members here that use a Newtonian on an equatorial mount for visual but IMHO there is far too much faffing about with this combination and an equatorial is only for imaging.

I have to disagree here. I've always used an eq mount of various types and find having the object always centred in the eyepiece a real help.

A 200 P-DS is pretty good for imaging but is pushing the capabilities of a HEQ5 a bit. It's not just the weight but the size, it's a bit of a sail.

If you've any thoughts at all about AP then get this book first and read it at least twice.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/making-every-photon-count-steve-richards.html

Steve is a moderator here AKA steppenwolf

AP can be so counter-intuitive that it's easy to think your making the right choices but end up having to go back to square one and start again.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are using the heq5 which is goto and you only wanted to view then I would point the North leg roughly towards polaris set your latitude to near enough. Run the goto alignment and that would be fine. 

Its been a while since I have used my handset as I use eqmod so I will plot about 10 stars when I goto aligin but the software works out

If you wanted to do some ap then you need to get the best polar alignment you possibly can get. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

A 200pds? This is a relatively low cost OTA, but I'd question what it is ideally suited for these days.

For deep space astrophotography? Probably not.

For planetary astrophotography? Ask those who know.

For visual observing? While the 200mm Newt + EQ5 or HEQ5 is a combination much sold, I'd suggest that it is not very user-friendly in use and one might prefer other options. Personally I find the more expensive C8 SE + Starsense far more user-friendly and pleasant to use.

I would have to say that all the Nexstar 'scopes are not ideal for DSO AP. Possibly OK for planetary as they're alt-az therefore giving field rotation and limiting your exposures to a few seconds. In addition the 8SE is a slow SCT, just compounding the situation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be worth posting your budget as this would help.

I must agree with DaveS. The 200pds is going to be a bit of a beast for starting out and a bit on the large size for a heq5. Have you considered second hand as you can then pick up the heq5 mount for around £400 and a 130pds for about £150.

Not sure if the camera you have will be okay for planetary work as you will need to be able to record in av.

 

Your mount needs to be rock solid when doing imaging and not anyway near as solid for visual

Edited by spillage
Link to post
Share on other sites

Around £1000 new but will take some saving first.

Not adverse to second hand.

Must admit, my only logic on the 200pds is that it seemed a decent step up from the 114. I'm happy to be proven wrong.

The cam will do AV but I'm more interested in DSO imaging. I realise I will probably drive myself mad trying to do it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have ST80 only and someone recommended me this scope 200pds as a step up from ST80, and i told the forum about visual so he came in pm to recommend it for me as it will be good for visual and also good for imaging, so  think this will be my next scope before an APO refr one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Penance said:

Regarding the HEQ5, is this really not up to AP use with a 200. I see the payload is 11kg which would seem plenty.

Is the issue the sail ability of a 200?

Yes.

With AP it's not just the weight but how much moment the 'scope puts on the mount, one reason big long 'fracs are hard work for a mount. Although the 200P-DS is within the load capacity of the HEQ5, the likely wind loading could be problematic.

For amateur level AP aperture isn't the be-all and end-all, plenty of superb photos mate with 80-90mm aperture, the 85mm "Baby-Q" being a prime example.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used the HEQ5 wih 200PDS and it's fine for visual as long as there is no wind, and can take a camera for limited unguided imaging. A focus motor is necessary to avoid bad wobbling on focusing. With guidescope etc. the total weight is too much for the mount.

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.

×
×
  • 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.