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Hi all,

Im living in a fairly light polluted area, and have a Skywatcher 200p on an eq5 pro mount. I've been using my phone to take pictures of varies objects with varying degrees of success ( mainly due to mounting my phone to the telescope) but ive decided id like to take imaging a little more seriously and am looking to get a DSLR with the interest of deep sky astrophotography. having said that i dont have £5k for blow on a camera and am looking to spend around the £100 mark, but dont know cameras and dont know what the best camera in my price range would be. I realize i wont be able to do too long a exposure because of my mount being unguided and it being a eq5 pro not a Heq5. any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Daniel  

Edited by dan_19991

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Does your eq5 have tracking? If not then your exposures will have to be extremely short due to the long focal length of your scope.

A canon 450d is a good starting camera and can be picked up 2nd hand quite cheap. 

Look on sites like camerajungle and mpb, they usually have cheap 2nd hand cameras.

Theres one on mpb now for £89 which is in your budget range.

https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equipment/used-photo-and-video/used-digital-slr-cameras/used-canon-digital-slr-cameras/canon-eos-450d/sku-690322/?gclid=CjwKCAjwmefOBRBJEiwAf7DstMrKvERKiCMwcqpoCH2eQRR1RWgjy5drVZ-MN0N9cN7Aafn3uQQw7BoC55gQAvD_BwE

Edited by geordie85
Added link to dslr

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My advice would be to take a look on the Wex photographic site at used Canon 1000D, you should be able to pick up a good used DSLR body for under £100

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1 minute ago, geordie85 said:

Does your eq5 have tracking? If not then your exposures will have to be extremely short due to the long focal length of your scope.

A canon 450d is a good starting camera and can be picked up 2nd hand quite cheap. 

Look on sites like camerajungle and mpb, they usually have cheap 2nd hand cameras.

Yes its full GOTO mount but from what ive researched, ill be on, or over the limit as far as weight goes for imaging.

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You could get a Canon 1000D body on ebay for under £100.

It works fine for me and you can use all the usual free software to control it remotely.

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1 minute ago, Kropster said:

You could get a Canon 1000D body on ebay for under £100.

It works fine for me and you can use all the usual free software to control it remotely.

Is the 1000D able to be controlled remotely including starting and ending exposures, because i figured that was a fairly mid to high end feature. 

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25 minutes ago, dan_19991 said:

Is the 1000D able to be controlled remotely including starting and ending exposures, because i figured that was a fairly mid to high end feature. 

Yes, the 1000D can be hooked up to EOS utility's software 

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Thanks for the advice, having looked would the 1100d be a better option or is it not worth the extra money?

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29 minutes ago, dan_19991 said:

Thanks for the advice, having looked would the 1100d be a better option or is it not worth the extra money?

It might be, since (I think) it has a newer DIGIC processor (v4), and a deeper well depth. The only possible downside is that it may be harder to modify (the 1000d is pretty easy to take apart).

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9 minutes ago, Uranium235 said:

It might be, since (I think) it has a newer DIGIC processor (v4), and a deeper well depth. The only possible downside is that it may be harder to modify (the 1000d is pretty easy to take apart).

yeah i guess the noise would be slightly less but its another £50 or so, plus i would like to be able to modify it sooner or later. 

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Anybody know what kind of exposuress i can expect to get from a eq5 mount with a 8 inch 200p telescope on it, without auto guiding that is. thanks

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1 minute ago, dan_19991 said:

yeah i guess the noise would be slightly less but its another £50 or so, plus i would like to be able to modify it sooner or later. 

Perhaps its worth going for the 1000d then, that way if you brick it you havent lost too much. My 1000d has been pretty solid, I've had it for 8 years and its never given me any problems.

If you want to mod it, be sure to check out the Gary Honis tutorial - that will show you what screws (and in which order) to remove them. I also need to note that if you remove the first UV/IR filter - your autofocus will no longer work properly (in case you still want to use it for daytime photography). However, there are online services for modding - but those would probably cost more than the camera itself.

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5 minutes ago, dan_19991 said:

Anybody know what kind of exposuress i can expect to get from a eq5 mount with a 8 inch 200p telescope on it, without auto guiding that is. thanks

Without autoguiding @ 1000mm? Not very long, depending on your polar alignment I wouldnt expect much more than 10s. Though some may get more out of theirs if they drift align.

If youve got a 200p, you probably got a 9x50 finder with it... well... thats your guidescope!

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10 minutes ago, dan_19991 said:

Anybody know what kind of exposuress i can expect to get from a eq5 mount with a 8 inch 200p telescope on it, without auto guiding that is. thanks

Depends on several factors including how well the mount is polar aligned. Does the mount have a built in polar telescope?

When I used my 200p on an old version EQ5 I could get 30 to 60 second exposures without too significant star trailing. Longer exposures were a bit hit and miss.  

 

Edited by Ouroboros

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2 minutes ago, Uranium235 said:

Without autoguiding @ 1000mm? Not very long, depending on your polar alignment I wouldnt expect much more than 10s. Though some may get more out of theirs if they drift align.

If youve got a 200p, you probably got a 9x50 finder with it... well... thats your guidescope!

im surprised about the 10 seconds, i knew itd be short however. regarding the autoguiding, it does come with a 9x50 but i figured autoguiding cameras had to be ccds and theyre pretty expensive right? also im pretty sure im already over the weigh limit, would that extra weight help or hinder? thanks

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I say 10s if you want pinpoint stars, as mentioned above you could go for longer but that depends on how tolerant you are of eggy stars ;) (I have a zero tolerance policy)

  • Haha 1

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3 minutes ago, Ouroboros said:

Depends on several factors including how well the mount is polar aligned. Does the mount have a built in polar telescope?

When I used my old version EQ5 I could get 30 to 60 second exposures without too significant star trailing. Longer exposures were a bit hit and miss.  

 

yes it has its own polar scope, would it come down to spending the extra time getting a really good polar alignment to get the extra exposure time, even though im on the heavy side or will the weight not affect it that much if im only doing 60 second exposures? 

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Just now, Uranium235 said:

I say 10s if you want pinpoint stars, as mentioned above you could go for longer but that depends on how tolerant you are of eggy stars ;) (I have a zero tolerance policy)

ahh, in that case im not to picky about the stars being perfect because im well aware my set up is not the best but i fear i might adopt the same policy in the future lol

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Well, you wont know until you try ey! :) Just give it a go, you might be surprised.

You might want to try some easy things first... globular/open clusters or bright planetary nebulas - those can be gobbled up pretty quickly.

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4 minutes ago, Uranium235 said:

Well, you wont know until you try ey! :) Just give it a go, you might be surprised.

You might want to try some easy things first... globular/open clusters or bright planetary nebulas - those can be gobbled up pretty quickly.

very true and i like the idea of using the guide scope as  an autoguider, do you know if that would require an expensive ccd? 

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11 minutes ago, dan_19991 said:

very true and i like the idea of using the guide scope as  an autoguider, do you know if that would require an expensive ccd? 

Not really, some people use a modified webcam - but to ensure you always get a guide star a QHY5 or one of the ZWO cameras is all you need.... anything with an ST4 port will do. Plus you need the adaptor to connect it to the finder... one of these:

https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/accessories/adapters/sky-watcher-clones-to-t-thread-adapter-for-straight-through-finders/

Edit... Hmmm out of stock though, so you might need to hunt around a bit.

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One caveat though... Autoguiding takes time to master, dont expect it to work perfectly off the bat. There is always some degree of fiddling involved.

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The 1000D is a fantastic camera for astro at the price, in fact I did a comparison with the 450D once and the 1000D came out better despite being more noisy because the bigger pixels draw in so much more signal. Lost of web pages will say get the 450D on the basis of its lower noise but they fail to consider the larger pixels. Also it runs cooler when imaging over a longer period. If it only has a 14bit ADC instead of the 12 bit and better amp glow reduction then it would have been a awesome camera indeed.

 

As Uranium says its very easy to modify.

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10 hours ago, dan_19991 said:

yes it has its own polar scope, would it come down to spending the extra time getting a really good polar alignment to get the extra exposure time, even though im on the heavy side or will the weight not affect it that much if im only doing 60 second exposures? 

Better results will always be had by spending time polar aligning carefully. I wouldn't say weight is a severe problem in your case, though as with everyone, careful balancing is important. Imagers are often advised to make the eastern side of the RA axis ever so slightly heavy so the motors are always driving forwards against a weight. 

As for the DSLR I use a 450D, which does the job. I'm not going to enter into which of the several older DSLRs are better because I simply don't know. I just know the 450D was and is highly thought of. Something I might consider now is whether I could get a DSLR with a flip out screen. A flip out screen is most helpful when setting up the camera and for using 'live view' for focusing. It's not impossible without one, but sometimes the scope and camera get themselves into orientations that make seeing a fixed screen really difficult. 

I think you've got the right attitude. You're aware that you're going to find using this scope and mount a challenge. But there's no reason why you shouldn't produce some satisfying results.  Most importantly you'll learn a huge amount without a huge additional outlay. Plus you can continue  using the DSLR if at some time in the future you upgrade the mount.  

I suggest it would be useful to buy a DSLR with at least the standard canon kit lens. This will enable you to learn how the camera functions during the day. You'll also have a useful conventional camera. Plus you could attach it to your mount and take some quite long exposure wide field pictures. 

Edited by Ouroboros

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