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Hi,

I am completely new to this but am wanting to do some stargazing and astrophotography. i have a great interest particularly in the deep sky and am wondering what kind of telescope i should get in order to mainly view the deep sky but also one that if i wanted to i could view planets etc.

there are low levels of light pollution in my area and i have a pretty good budget (around 1k) wanting a quality telescope that i will still own in years to come as i am wanting to go on to study this.

i am currently looking at reflectors but was wondering if anyone thought that i was looking at the wrong type of telescope based on my preferences. if anyone has any recommendations i would love to hear them as i am not yet sure about well trusted brands etc.

also for the astrophotographers out there what do you believe is an essentials kit for a beginner.

Thanks 

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You'll find that for deep sky astrophotography your main piece of equipment is the mount as that will have the biggest contribution to your image quality. Do plenty of research if you wish to spend your hard earned wisely

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I think a reflector, particularly a Dobsonian, would be ideal for your visual requirements.

However based on your title on the thread a Dob is not suitable for deep sky imaging.

You will use up a good portion of your budget buying a good mount to support a telescope for imaging.

You should definitely read up on mounts and telescope types then it will be easier to advise you accordingly!

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Deep sky, planets, viewing, astrophotography - very different requirements and one setup won't do it all. As advised above, best to do more research and decide which requirement is most important to you. You may then find that £1k doesn't go very far, especially for astrophotograhy.

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If you're just starting out, I'd recommend a scope with a max focal length of 500mm, something like a 80mm f6.25ish refractor on a decent mount NEQ5/6, AVX, CGEM.

This kit will be wide field and tracking will be easier to start with with a shorter FL and you'll get great results faster.

 

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Hi. You may just be able to get inside your budget. A 130pds, coma corrector and an EQ3 mount. Have a look here for folk doing just that or similar. If those are the sort of snaps you want to take then that may be the right combination. HTH

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Essential reading before you spend money on deep sky astro kit.

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

As said, the requirements for astrophotography and visual astronomy are quite different so if you aim to do both, you could up doing neither very well. Aperture is more important for visual, whereas the focal ratio is more relevant for imaging.

You could get a very nice visual setup for your budget, but given the requirements for a solid mount, scope, camera, guidescope and camera etc for imaging it could be a challenge. It is not impossible by any means but more difficult.

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I was going to suggest almost what Alacant has said, but I think you could get the much better HEQ5 £776 and Skywatcher 130PDS £169 = £945

You'll need to add to that a guidescope - if you use the SW 130PDS finderscope you can save there and put in something like the QHY5ii £199 and an adapter probably £25 ish.

You can also save £100 on the HEQ5 by getting the Syntrek version (No GOTO handset) and controlling the mount on the laptop.  

This should get you started with a reasonable kit.  

N.B. The SW130PDS will be fine for visual as well and will do some visual and planetary imaging with a barlow, not great, but probably the best compromise.   Most people have different scopes for planetary and Deep Sky as the needs are different. 

Carole

Edited by carastro
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3 minutes ago, carastro said:

if you use the SW 130PDS finderscope you can save there and put in something like the QHY5ii £199 and an adpater probably £25 ish.

Hi Cara, hi everyone. I'd forgotten about the guide camera. May I suggest also an asi120 clone which is getting good reviews for the guide camera? Saves over €100 on the competition... Cheers.

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Not heard of that guide camera, but looks good, just would need to check there is an adapter for the finderscope that will fit it.

Carole 

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You will want a good mount, 

within your budget a second hand HEQ5 pro is the very best bet. 

I would then match that with a 130PDS scope and badder coma corrector. 

Add a cheap dslr (unless you already have one) and you are away. 

This is exactly how I did it and I have no regrets at all about my selections. 

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Do read Steve's book, Making Every Photon Count. It will show you what's involved in astrophotography. Although Alacant uses the term 'snaps' humorously there is no 'snapping' involved. It is a long drawn out process centred on getting the mount to work properly.

Olly

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13 hours ago, carastro said:

You can also save £100 on the HEQ5 by getting the Syntrek version (No GOTO handset) and controlling the mount on the laptop. 

The handset is not the only difference Carole the pro also has uprated stepper motors and they make a difference.

Edited by Adam J

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The handset is not the only difference Carole the pro also has uprated stepper motors and they make a difference.

I didn't know that, as I did exactly that myself.  As I also own an NEQ6 I borrow the handset from that when i take the HEQ5 to astro camps, so I bought the the syntrek version of the HEQ5.

No-one told me there was any other difference at the time, this was probably about 3 years or more ago now. 

Edited by carastro

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22 hours ago, carastro said:

I didn't know that, as I did exactly that myself.  As I also own an NEQ6 I borrow the handset from that when i take the HEQ5 to astro camps, so I bought the the syntrek version of the HEQ5.

No-one told me there was any other difference at the time, this was probably about 3 years or more ago now. 

Ok this is confusing the HEQ5 and the HEQ5 syntrek and the HEQ5 Pro are three different versions of the mount all starting with HEQ5....

As per this link I am thinking of the black HEQ5:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/blog/skywatcher-heq5-v-heq5-syntrek-v-heq5-pro.html

So I am guessing that your one is the white one still.

Its the black one that you dont want for imaging.

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23 hours ago, Adam J said:

The handset is not the only difference Carole the pro also has uprated stepper motors and they make a difference.

If the mount is white it is a HEQ5 Pro or HEQ5 Syntrek. The only difference between the two is the handset. The Syntrek version can be upgraded to the Pro version by purchasing a Synscan handset. Both versions can be controlled via a pc / laptop by using an eqdir cable and eqascom.

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Yes and the black one I believe is not suitable for imaging as it has no guide port.  

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Re astrophotography the biggest essential is reading and understanding before buying anything so your money goes further first time.

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On 10/12/2017 at 22:00, EllaHorbury said:

I am completely new to this but am wanting to do some stargazing and astrophotography

I'd start out really basic with the imaging side of things if you're completely new to all this. Don't worry about guiding and laptops to begin with, keep the focal length very short something like a DLSR with an old vintage 200mm prime lens off ebay, and just mount this on a skywatcher Star adventurer mount or motor driven EQ3 mount. If you keep the focal length short you can get 4 minute exposures without the need for guiding. 

Start out with the easier objects to find such as Andromeda (M31), Pleiades (M45), Orion Nebula (M42) etc. Build up you kit and targets from there if you get the imaging bug

I'd have something separate for pure visual like a 200p Dobsonian. This will show you both planets and deep sky well.

I'd budget:

DLSR and 200mm prime lens off ebay, plus m42-EOS adaptor to attach the two together = say £200-£300

basic motor driven mount £300

200p Dobsonian plus collimator and a couple of decent eyepieces, red torch, star chart etc £400

That's your grand well spent if you ask me and you get the camera too :) 

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Nice advice from everybody.

I wish to get that book, "Make every Photon counts", i do use FLO and they have it, but unfortunately they don't ship this book out of UK, at least not to my country.

I asked about the scope 130PDS on another forum or site and funny they aren't interested much on newt or reflectors much for AP, and here this scope is becoming like a popular newt or reflector scope, so i really don't know who i should follow or trust.

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Hi from land down under

As discussed, mount is most important piece for tracking imaging

Have a Skywatcher ED80 on a EQ5 mount

Once done your polar or two star alignment, simple to use

Great idea also to rock along to an astronomy club in your area, and club members only too happy to show you what they have, and offer practical advise

Cheers

John

 

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On 13/10/2017 at 13:10, Adam J said:

You will want a good mount, 

within your budget a second hand HEQ5 pro is the very best bet. 

I would then match that with a 130PDS scope and badder coma corrector. 

Add a cheap dslr (unless you already have one) and you are away. 

This is exactly how I did it and I have no regrets at all about my selections. 

I'll second this ! Exactly the route I took, good 2nd hand gear saves you £££ and I love this HEQ5 pro and 130 PDS set up. I read loads and asked a lot of questions on here before I splashed the cash tho.....

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I am doing fine in astronomy although I didn't have much images yet, but I can see myself walking in the right direction, I have that book finally, thanks FLO again yo allow it to be shipped, FLO is definitely a miracle for me, and sooner or later I will get busy doing astrophotography more and more.

Don't know what the OP ended up with, but as I said, with so many help and advices here one should have good idea what to get.

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