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alanjgreen    865

1. Buy "making every photon count" (book) and read it twice before you spend/waste your money on the wrong kit.

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

 

2. If you need to read around some kit in the meantime then the mount should be the first thing you buy and it should be the best you can afford. Long exposure photography relies on a good mount. You need an EQ mount.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-eq5-pro-synscan-goto.html

 

3. A small telescope will be less affected by the wind and easier to manage

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/pro-series/skywatcher-evostar-80ed-ds-pro-ota.html

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130p-ds-ota.html

 

4. or if you have a camera already then these are worth looking into

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-star-adventurer-astronomy-bundle.html

 

But buy the book whatever!

Alan

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happy-kat    3,075

This thread is all imaging without an eq mount. Link though quite a few of the members have gone on to get an eq mount after starting by using what they already had.

An az mount does present limitations 1- field rotation meaning short exposures and cropping the final image 2- low weight carrying 3- somewhat wobbly mount/leg potential. But does have advantages of 1- not overly heavy 2- often has goto (the star discovery mount and az-gti has added advantage of freedom find) 3- quick set up for visual observing.

If you can try getting to a local astro club meet to see what different types of gear is and size and what appeals to you.

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Thanks everyone this is a lot to take in and will be reading properly tomorrow all the links etc! As currently sat on chesil beach in the rain chasing cod lol!!

but once again thanks for everyones input 👍🏻

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Sunnieboy    1

Jon Boy

Just been through a similar exercise now that I too live in 'darkest Dorset'. I plumbed for a second hand SW200 with HEQ5 (See below).  It is larger than I expected but I have a dark southeast facing patio and a clear light free view from the back garden  so no need to transport.  My plan is to learn the ropes visually and get used to the system and move onto AP later maybe even with a different (APO) scope. Can send a photo later when I get it set up again (cloudy days I am afraid). See

This set up is in the Sold category.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by Sunnieboy
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giving myself a headache this evening with all this reading and decision making! what started out to be a bit of fun/new hobby has turned into an extremely frustrating dilemma!! think im gonna go witth the 130pds to start off and STILL undecided about the mount! i could get a package deal on FLO but not sure. Would i really need the goto tracking to take shots over long exposure? or can i take loads of stacked shots instead with a static mount? how long would the exposure length hold while zoomed in on say nebula? Would the Sky-Watcher Star Discovery AZ Goto Mount be acceptable? the more im looking when adding the p-ds scope and a goto mount i feel like just buying the top package!!!!! argghhhhh why o why is this so difficult 

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happy-kat    3,075

There is a member using the star discovery mount with the 130p-ds as that fitted then now thought I gave a link earlier. Goto saves time finding stuff particularly the fiddly stuff.

With a static mount the 130p-ds you will be lucky to use 1 second length exposure. Planets and the Moon you tend to take short videos and process an image out of that so not effected by a static mount.

The star discovery 150p does not reach focus with a dslr.

NigelG used the star discovery mount with a variety of devices before moving on to a eq3-2.

I don't have the 'right' gear but gear that is right for me so that I use it.

 

 

 

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Uranium235    5,970

Even if you have a small telescope like the 130pds, you should not skimp on the mount if you are going to be doing AP. A HEQ5 should be just perfect for it. Here is a vid I did of it a few years ago (130pds on an NEQ6), my processing has moved on since so I'd probably get better results out of it now (less "blue" issues when processing via the cannistra bicolour method):

 

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happy-kat    3,075

That member with the star discovery mount hacked the focuser on the 150p to make it reach focus with the dslr. Alaz imaging can be frustrating when you drop loads of subs because of shake and star trails. Camera and lens being shorter focal length can be more forgiving.

 

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Uranium235    5,970
10 hours ago, dorset jon boy said:

What about the older lxd75 meade goto mount for the 130-150pds scope? 

Nah, give that one a miss. Still the HEQ5, or at a push - the Celestron AVX (though you would end up upgrading from that anyway).

There is no reason why you should have to purchase a new one, a used HEQ5 can be gotten for a reasonable price but you have to be quick as they dont stick around for long.

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2 minutes ago, Uranium235 said:

Nah, give that one a miss. Still the HEQ5, or at a push - the Celestron AVX (though you would end up upgrading from that anyway).

There is no reason why you should have to purchase a new one, a used HEQ5 can be gotten for a reasonable price but you have to be quick as they dont stick around for long.

what about the eq3-2 pro goto? what is the main difference between eq3 and 5? is it the stability of the mount, weight etc? thanks

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Uranium235    5,970
7 minutes ago, dorset jon boy said:

what about the eq3-2 pro goto? what is the main difference between eq3 and 5? is it the stability of the mount, weight etc? thanks

The EQ5 is much sturdier than the EQ3-2, has a higher payload capacity and would guide better... its "ok", but again (if you start taking AP seriously) you would end up swapping it out in a couple of years when you start demanding something more reliable.

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27 minutes ago, Uranium235 said:

The EQ5 is much sturdier than the EQ3-2, has a higher payload capacity and would guide better... its "ok", but again (if you start taking AP seriously) you would end up swapping it out in a couple of years when you start demanding something more reliable.

Ok thanks i know its annouying having a newbie ask all these questions! Is there a difference between heq and eq? Am i missing something? I think im defo going to start out with the sw 150pds then see how i get on with everything, i been looking at add ons and cameras etc ha the list is endless help!!!!

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Uranium235    5,970

The "H" stands for Heavy (I think!) - its a completely different beast to the EQ5, and on top of that its fully compatiable with planetarium software. If youre getting the 150pds, then you definitely need the HEQ5 if you dont want to be tearing your hair out when trying to autoguide ;) its a choice between no stress (having a beer and watching the night sky while the data comes in), or lots of stress and/or shouting and swearing (I know which one I would choose!).

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8 hours ago, Uranium235 said:

The "H" stands for Heavy (I think!) - its a completely different beast to the EQ5, and on top of that its fully compatiable with planetarium software. If youre getting the 150pds, then you definitely need the HEQ5 if you dont want to be tearing your hair out when trying to autoguide ;) its a choice between no stress (having a beer and watching the night sky while the data comes in), or lots of stress and/or shouting and swearing (I know which one I would choose!).

Haha i know which i would choose too! Its just annoying when websites and a auction site sell certain combo’s such as the 150pds and eq3-2 goto pro when people on here say they wont be any good as a combo! Ive seen a heq5 pro oine so will hopefully win it then im good to go 👍🏻

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happy-kat    3,075

From reading posts the heq5 is also a lot heavier than the eq5. There is a thread dedicated to imaging using the eq3-2 as no all members have the other mounts mentioned. People are just trying to help you spend your money once.

Edited by happy-kat

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38 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

From reading posts the heq5 is also a lot heavier than the eq5. There is a thread dedicated to imaging using the eq3-2 as no all members have the other mounts mentioned. People are just trying to help you spend your money once.

Hi happy kat can you direct me to that thread please 😬

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happy-kat    3,075

Not all participants are using the same telescope, some are using 130P-ds some the 150P-ds some the ED80 some are guiding.

Do you like defraction spikes, is it refractor or reflector for you.

link

The suggestions to read the book suggested is to help you make the right choices and not have to spend more money in a short time changing kit because of the first choice made.

Edited by happy-kat
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adyj1    7

John, 

A newbie here, but with a year under my belt ☺.

I do my astrophotography with an EQ5 / 150pds combo, and even with this kit I can't hope to come close to the best of the fantastic images I've seen referred to on this thread - whichever sized OTA has been used - without spending many hundreds more pounds on the necessary additional guiding and imaging equipment. I can actually take reasonable photos of clusters and nebulae, but have had to spend time to build up to this expertise. 

if you can afford the £500++ for the Heq5 pro, then you will have a good mount. However, IMHO you will also need to take the time to learn the craft slowly. Build up your kit as you find the limit of the kit you already have.

Another incredibly useful aid is the hands-on help of others - see if there is an astronomy club in your area. I have learned much from viewing sessions alongside an experienced Astronomer. 

Hope this helps,

Ady

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Spengler    9

hi,

 

As a fellow newbie(wish), i want to add my two cents and also another option.

I whole heartedly agree with the start small and learn advice. i started on a very basic Celestron 130SLT newtonian scope, its light, has goto, shakes whenever you fart near it, but its easy to lift in and out the garage/car and was used every single time it was clear. 

 

I've now upgraded to a Celestron AVX mount, as i feel more confident in aligning (you will swear lots!!) and ever started to attempt imaging (swear lots).

 

I'm now contemplating upgrading the scope from the 130SLT to the 200PDS or 250PDS. and so having the same thoughts as you, but about 2 years further into the hobby.

 

My advice : start small, and enjoy the sky before spending a fortune.

My other option : Do you want to buy a 130SLT dirt cheap. With a basics included, ready to work.  (will be sticking in classifieds in a few weeks otherwise)

 

Cheerio

Speng.

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thanks everyone for all the advice and links, i think for the space i have and my limited knowledge im going to start out with the 15pds eq3-2 goto pro combo and learn what i can and see how i get on from there. ive order the book to keep me company and once im all set up in a couple of weeks i will post an update, and hopefully get some decent shots. will learn the ropes first before attempting to do photography though!!!

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Waldemar    275

Maybe that will take a bit more than a few weeks... Your book will proof to be a valuable companion during your travels through astro photography.

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