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Stroller

EP's, Barlow, Filters (Moon, Planetry, DSO) Recommendations

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Hi All,

About to buy my first real scope and mount.  I'm wondering if I can put upon you good folks to ask for your recommendations for the items in the title that will match up with and compliment the equipment I'm about to buy.

Top of my list at this moment is the SW EQ6 Pro with either the Explorer 250PDS or 200PDS (depending on the all the other items that need to get to at least make it usable fairly usable to start with and how that affect the overall budget).
If I have to (for cost at this time), I will drop to a SW HEQ5 Pro with the 200PDS.

Fortunately, my girlfriend/partner loves the night sky but I know she will want to see 'results' in the EP straight away and will want to mainly look at our Solar system and the Moon (not that I don't) but she hates the cold and has limited patience for waiting to see anything deeper than those for now.

Myself, apart from the above of course, would like to go deeper but also include astrophotography once I have got myself up to a decent level of familiarity with the kit.  I have a humble Pentax K20D DSLR and my very old Pentax Spotmatic F (Wet film) camera (It's been with me for a long time and still gets used once in a while).

I would very much appreciate your collective wisdom regarding the title items and fitting my DSLR (primarily) to either of the two OTA's above.  What is the minimum I need to get, make/models that will get me going and that will complement each other and the system without having to take out a second mortgage just yet ;-)  and get me off to a fairly good start.

I'm sure you have all had these questions before and I apologise if your first thought is "not again" :-) ... It's just that I have been lurking in the background of the site for a few weeks now reading up as much as I can and trying to pull a list together but my brain seems to have turned to fog now and after reading something earlier to day of EP's and Barlow's and that the optics in them (for want of a better word) should be in 'harmony with each other and the system, I've completely lost where I thought I was going and then also the subjects and threads that I had been using to 'guide' me elsewhere on SGL.

Many thanks in anticipation.

Kind regards,

Chris. 

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I don't image so are unable to advise you on this branch of the hobby.

However I would strongly advise before you part with any hard earned cash you see how large, heavy and awkward your suggested kit is. Mounting a 250PDS on a EQ6 Pro is not a trivial exercise.

BTW Welcome to the forum and good luck.

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I am not an imager either, but as regards extra optics, including filters, I would recommend you hold off on those and use the eyepieces that come with the scope to acclimatise yourself to your new scope and to figure out your viewing preferences.  I also agree with Alan above, you need a good appreciation of how heavy the suggested rig is.  The 200PDS is OKish, but the 250PDS on an EQ mount in my view is a monster. 

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I was wondering why you made those scope and mount choices.  The EQ-6 (with GoTo) is a good mount for astrophotography, by all accounts, but it will be big and heavy.

I have a 203mm Newtonian f5, but the first thing I did with it BEFORE trying to fit it on the mount was to bolt an extra grab handle onto it.  Optically it isn't bad, but for practical reasons I soon changed this manual setup for a more compact and manageable SCT GoTo on an alt-az mount. I don't do astrophotography. 

 

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Thanks gents, your words and advice are headed.

With the kit I mentioned above. It seems that it only comes supplied with one 28mm LET (2"/50.8mm) EP, nothing else.   So even for viewing only, I'm trying to get my head around what would work best just for that with this kit.
The imaging will come a bit later hopefully once I've familiar with the kit and get a few other bits sorted in the garden.  I'm fairly lucky in that I am in quite a dark place where I live.  Nearest cities are Hereford and Gloucester and they are both fairly shielded from me by the land in between. Both are around 11 miles away straight line.  I'm also on fairly high ground and the nearest town to me is Ross and that down in a dip and again pretty much shielded shielded from me.

 I suppose my reasoning behind those choices, apart from what I have been reading on here from members who are happy with similar kit, is that generally I think I will be able to do most of my viewing (and later on Imaging) from the garden.  Please don't get me wrong, I do appreciate that the mount is very heavy, but my thought process was that I shouldn't be having to move it that far. Although I am sure at some time in the future I may want to go somewhere else for some reason here and there.  However, I take your warning about the weight and awkwardness of mounting a 250PDS.  It's certainly given me food for thought and I won't part with the cash just yet :-)

The SGL 'star party' in October is not very far away from me, so maybe I can just go as a visitor and see if any of the members that are attending can let me have a good look at their rigs.  Get a close up appreciation rather than just looking at a picture on a website.

Once again, my thanks gents for taking time out to comment and advise. That really is appreciated.

Rgds, Chris.

 

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Do like me, step by step:

1. Mount: SW AZ-EQ6 or equivalent Orion Atlas Pro [AZ-EQ6 too].

2. Scope: SW ED80 Pro or SW 130PDS [i don't have both, but from what i read both are good value and good performance], or if you have good money then get 2 scopes.

3. Filters: Ha, LRGB, later you can add OIII and SII, for visual many filters can do the job, UHC, CLS, Sky&Glow...etc.

4. Eyepieces, i also look for those, but i started with what the scope came with, then i can decide for another EPs, so just be patient and test the ones coming with the scope first, most likely you want something in 3 different ranges, narrow or high magnification such as 4mm up to 10mm, normal or average such as 20mm up to 25mm, then wide such as 32mm or 40mm. You can add a Barlow such as 2x/2.5x/3x for greater magnification with specific EPs, also need time to choose wisely.

5. Power for your mount, this is up to you.

6. Computer and software, the list is long and you know most apps anyway.

7. Accessories: such as collimator for newt or reflector, polar alignment tool if you need, corrector, flattener,...etc.

 

I have AZ-EQ6 and ST80 and just bought Ha filter and the computer is fine except one laptop, no much eyepieces because i don't have another scope yet, so i am doing things slowly, i will start with DSO imaging, later in 2-3 months i hope i can afford something for visual such as 11" SCT or 8" Newt or a Mak.

 

Good luck!

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@TareqPhoto Hi Tareq, many thanks for that.  That was generally going to be my approach, however as I only get the one default EP with that kit (if I go for it) I was just wondering whose make would be best, depending on cost of course :-)

Thank you for the list of items though, that is a great help as to what items to think of as time goes.

Rgds,

Chris.

 

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Stroller, how young and strapping are you?  An SW EQ6 Pro is a good 60+ pounds and an Explorer 250PDS is another 30 pounds giving a total of 90 to 100 pounds assembled.  If you have limited sight lines at your viewing location, you'll need to move your rig about during the night.  There are scope buggies to help with this, but this isn't exactly the route I would steer any beginner down.  My old back struggles with anything approaching 50 pounds, and that has to hugged close my body.

I would suggest starting out with a much lighter rig dedicated more to visual while you learn the night sky.  It will allow you to grab the scope whenever the sky clears and start observing right away.  Nothing is more frustrating than spending 30 minutes hauling all the parts out, assembling them, polar aligning, collimating, and then the clouds roll in.

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Hi Lous,

Not that young :-) but I'm under 60.  Pretty fit, 6ft tall and about 225 pounds.... I can certainly lift and move heavy things :-) .... I do however take your point and have already decided to not go over the 200PDS for the OTA.

 The majority of my sight lines only have obstacles in the way (trees and my house ) up to about 15 degree's above the horizon but I do have a fairly wide area that is not obscured at all out to the horizon which is about 20 miles away.  To move it in to it's main 'planned' setup location in the garden is about 30 ft away from where it will be stored for now.   However, my girlfriend is already on about making a little observatory 'shed'... and that's before I have even bought anything! :-)

I do however, take your point and will reassess the mount.  Many thanks for that.

Kind regards,

Chris.

 

  

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