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Help wanted: Sky-Watcher Startravel-102T Ota for Astrophotography


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Hi All :icon_biggrin:

Beginning of this year I upgraded my whole rig to an Advanced VX Mount with the Edge HD 8" OTA (which is great) along with eyepieces (I got pretty much the whole CELESTRON X-CEL LX, they are fab and I really recommend them!)

Anywho...Now, of course, winter skies are coming into play so I really want to image DSO's. For this work I use an iOptron Sky Tracker (again, great piece of kit) with my canon rebel t5i (750d).

I want a cheap scope to improve my DSO images (I am a novice) so I am looking at the Sky-Watcher Startravel-102T. I have picked this scope primarily for the price tag but it will serve as my first DSO scope and I just want to learn the processes and make all the mistakes beginners make without laying out a fair sum on a decent bit of kit.

I am interested in getting some good Andromeda, Orion, Horse-head and Pleiades images.

My question is - Does anyone have any experience with this scope, ideally using a canon and is there anything else I should be thinking about?

I would be keen to hear from you guys!

Cheers

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Owning both a ST102 and an 130PDS, I can't say that the refractor is much more portable than the newton. And whilst I'm sure that the 80ED is a good scope, the amount of light gathered in the same int

To conclude.... I may have mislead (unintentionally to start) with regards to budget - I wanted a cheaper scope more so as not to annoy the wife as opposed to financial constraints...As mentioned

Imaging and cheap dont come better than a SW 130 PDS or if you want realy wide then a Samyang 135 mm f/2 lens. Alan

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I have some experience with it. It was my training scope year ago. Dont buy it..I mean just go straight to 130pds. Price is about the same and 130PDS with coma corrector is VERY good imaging scope. Achromatic refractors does not do well with the stars. Stars are bloated and there is blue halo on every big star. Its quite light weight and good as a travel scope, but there is really a reason why they use doublets, triplets or newtonians in AP.

M13.thumb.jpg.ca204a25604ea320231e4bf61f99468a.jpg

M101.thumb.jpg.7c887659b2a6db30e634a135d4e98be7.jpg

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It's not an imaging scope. It's a cheap and cheerful visual scope whose massive chromatic aberration can be put to the back of your mind in visual use. Your camera will simply record it all as huge haloes. In narrowband imaging the ST scopes do rather better because they capture monochromatic light reasonably well. Even so the focuser is a primitive affair and has no hope of holding a DSLR sized chip properly square - and on top of that the field is about as flat as a golf ball. Don't buy one for imaging.

Olly

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Cheers all - I will well and truly disregard this as an option.

I have been scouring the net for an alternative, but so far no luck - I have always had in mind the Sky Watcher Evostar 80 ED, looks like I will have to be patient and wait for that! 

I'd be keen on any advice re a cheaper imaging start scope!

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1 minute ago, AstroKane said:

Cheers all - I will well and truly disregard this as an option.

I have been scouring the net for an alternative, but so far no luck - I have always had in mind the Sky Watcher Evostar 80 ED, looks like I will have to be patient and wait for that! 

I'd be keen on any advice re a cheaper imaging start scope!

Like I told you. Skywatcher 130PDS. There is insanely huge thread about it in imaging section. All you need is scope, coma corrector and maybe some collimation tool and you are GTG.

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I actually started teaching myself imaging using an ST80, with a Baader semi-apo filter, which did get rid of most of the CA. Since then I've graduated to a 130P-DS and the difference is huge. If you're looking to practice, what are you going to image with? If it's a DSLR you could do worse than a 200mm telephoto, which should get some nice images, and very easy to use.

Billy.

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I have looked at the SW 130PDS - And agree it looks epic for imaging at the price tag. However, I started out with the Astromaster 130, which is one of the reasons why I am not immediately keen on the 130pds.

I got the Advance VX mount with the idea of potentially taking it to dark sites to image and want something a bit more portable than a Newtonian.

As mentioned I want the Evostar 80ED but after updating to the new mount and scope I do not think the wife will be too happy with another £500 odd on another scope, I saw the Star Travel as a potential filler until I got the Evo....from the good feedback, I think I will have to wait a bit longer and go for the 80ED

5 minutes ago, billyharris72 said:

I actually started teaching myself imaging using an ST80, with a Baader semi-apo filter, which did get rid of most of the CA. Since then I've graduated to a 130P-DS and the difference is huge. If you're looking to practice, what are you going to image with? If it's a DSLR you could do worse than a 200mm telephoto, which should get some nice images, and very easy to use.

Billy.

Hi Billy - I do have an iOptron Sky Tracker which I use my canon and 300mm. I've managed some decent shots but would like to upgrade to a scope.

Cheers All

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5 hours ago, AstroKane said:

I have looked at the SW 130PDS - And agree it looks epic for imaging at the price tag. However, I started out with the Astromaster 130, which is one of the reasons why I am not immediately keen on the 130pds.

I got the Advance VX mount with the idea of potentially taking it to dark sites to image and want something a bit more portable than a Newtonian.

As mentioned I want the Evostar 80ED but after updating to the new mount and scope I do not think the wife will be too happy with another £500 odd on another scope, I saw the Star Travel as a potential filler until I got the Evo....from the good feedback, I think I will have to wait a bit longer and go for the 80ED

Hi Billy - I do have an iOptron Sky Tracker which I use my canon and 300mm. I've managed some decent shots but would like to upgrade to a scope.

Cheers All

The 130PDS and the Astromaster 130 have very little in common apart form both being a Newtonian. If that is your price range a 130PDS will be vastly better from imaging than a ST102, dont waste your cash.

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5 hours ago, Adam J said:

The 130PDS and the Astromaster 130 have very little in common apart form both being a Newtonian. If that is your price range a 130PDS will be vastly better from imaging than a ST102, dont waste your cash.

Agreed - I'm giving the ST102 a swerve.

I am after something with a bit more portability therefore, ruling out Newtonians.

Cheers!

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Whilst saving or waiting for a second hand opportunity I would take a look at the many stunning images taken with a camera and camera lens. You have the mount already maybe it is other areas like guiding you could look at to move your imaging forward. What are you hoping to improve by using a telescope?

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Owning both a ST102 and an 130PDS, I can't say that the refractor is much more portable than the newton. And whilst I'm sure that the 80ED is a good scope, the amount of light gathered in the same interval is quite a lot more in the 130PDS, more than 250%. Spikes and a small amount of diffraction due to central obstruction are another story. If you don't have too often clear skies, a bigger aperture might be a better option.

On another note, I tried almost 2 years ago to shoot some targets with the ST102. A much better option for me was an old M42 mount, 3 element Tair3s lens designed for 35mm film. Stopped down to F/5.6 it is far better colour corrected and it also has a flat field. For comparison, M42 below.

Hope this helps more than confuses,

Alex

M42-F300-2016-10-01-p2.jpg

M42-F500-2015-12-26_p2.jpg

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On 9/12/2017 at 11:33, PeterCPC said:

Get the ED80 but also get the SW 0.85 Reducer/Flattener for imaging. There are some ED80s on UK Astro Buy Sell.

Peter

Or alternatively the Altair Astro 0.8x reducer/flattener. It doesn't correct quite as well, but it's substantially cheaper and gets you slightly faster/wider than the SW option.

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To conclude....

I may have mislead (unintentionally to start) with regards to budget - I wanted a cheaper scope more so as not to annoy the wife as opposed to financial constraints...As mentioned I had spent a hefty amount already at the beginning of this year...

Thanks to everyone great responses, and after some careful persuasion (A small shopping trip for the Mrs) I decided/was allowed to just take the plunge and get the SW ED80 it sure looks like a fine piece of equipment.

I am sooo happy with my setup/gear now, I feel I am covered for whatever I am in the mood to do...I hope over the coming years I get to share great stories and images with you all :headbang:

Here's a quick snap of some of my gear bar the Advanced VX and the iOptron Sky Tracker:

36447492573_34a198a2f6_o.thumb.jpg.fbf2e16245cf89d801b504bd5d0ea94d.jpg

 

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On 12/09/2017 at 10:57, moise212 said:

Owning both a ST102 and an 130PDS, I can't say that the refractor is much more portable than the newton. And whilst I'm sure that the 80ED is a good scope, the amount of light gathered in the same interval is quite a lot more in the 130PDS, more than 250%. Spikes and a small amount of diffraction due to central obstruction are another story. If you don't have too often clear skies, a bigger aperture might be a better option.

On another note, I tried almost 2 years ago to shoot some targets with the ST102. A much better option for me was an old M42 mount, 3 element Tair3s lens designed for 35mm film. Stopped down to F/5.6 it is far better colour corrected and it also has a flat field. For comparison, M42 below.

Hope this helps more than confuses,

Alex

M42-F300-2016-10-01-p2.jpg

M42-F500-2015-12-26_p2.jpg

Both very nice images though - I would be happy with either :icon_biggrin:

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On 12/09/2017 at 11:57, moise212 said:

Owning both a ST102 and an 130PDS, I can't say that the refractor is much more portable than the newton. And whilst I'm sure that the 80ED is a good scope, the amount of light gathered in the same interval is quite a lot more in the 130PDS, more than 250%. Spikes and a small amount of diffraction due to central obstruction are another story. If you don't have too often clear skies, a bigger aperture might be a better option.

On another note, I tried almost 2 years ago to shoot some targets with the ST102. A much better option for me was an old M42 mount, 3 element Tair3s lens designed for 35mm film. Stopped down to F/5.6 it is far better colour corrected and it also has a flat field. For comparison, M42 below.

Hope this helps more than confuses,

Alex

M42-F300-2016-10-01-p2.jpg

M42-F500-2015-12-26_p2.jpg

An excellent post and demonstration. Stars and background are incomparably better from the lens.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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On 16/09/2017 at 16:40, AstroKane said:

To conclude....

I may have mislead (unintentionally to start) with regards to budget - I wanted a cheaper scope more so as not to annoy the wife as opposed to financial constraints...As mentioned I had spent a hefty amount already at the beginning of this year...

Thanks to everyone great responses, and after some careful persuasion (A small shopping trip for the Mrs) I decided/was allowed to just take the plunge and get the SW ED80 it sure looks like a fine piece of equipment.

I am sooo happy with my setup/gear now, I feel I am covered for whatever I am in the mood to do...I hope over the coming years I get to share great stories and images with you all :headbang:

Here's a quick snap of some of my gear bar the Advanced VX and the iOptron Sky Tracker:

36447492573_34a198a2f6_o.thumb.jpg.fbf2e16245cf89d801b504bd5d0ea94d.jpg

 

Looks like a good set of kit. By the looks of i

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Just now, edjrgibbs said:

Looks like a good set of kit. By the looks of i

Sorry, wife kicked me mid sentence. By the looks of it you've got two 50mm finders there. Your next upgrade should definitely be a guide camera. The ZWO ASI 120 is a decent one or a second hand QHY5 (have a look at astrobuyandsell.co.uk or the classifieds section here). You can get a finder guider adaptor and create a great little guide scope that'll be very capable. 

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Thanks mate - and that is exactly my plan, I was thinking of the ZWO...But all of the kit above bar the bino's and camera I have picked up this year so I now have lots to play with and learn! Guiding will be next years mission :icon_biggrin:

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Congrats, we are in the same boat here, and lucky you have that Celestron EdgeHD one, i wish to have one but only 11" and above, which is completely out of my reach.

I just ordered QHY5 for guiding, and i bought QHY163M to be my main imaging camera, and you know what, i use Star Travel 80mm, that cheapo scope a little sister of what you were looking for, sounds it will be fine as long i use a mono camera an using NB filters, but that is way way too much to absorb for you maybe, even for me as a newbie, but i know one day i will get there if i started much cheaper, so i didn't start very cheap in everything after all.

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