Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

Recommended Posts

Hi, I was hoping for some advice if anyone could please help, I have been thinking of getting into astronomy for a long time however my head is spinning with all the options out there for my first telescope, what I would like is to be able to view both the planets and deep space objects (nebulae) and also to get involved with astrophotography (already have a dslr for that) I was thinking perhaps getting a motorised goto mount telescope but I'm really unsure, any help/advice would be greatly appreciated, Thank you in advance :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Shoney said:

Hi, I was hoping for some advice if anyone could please help, I have been thinking of getting into astronomy for a long time however my head is spinning with all the options out there for my first telescope, what I would like is to be able to view both the planets and deep space objects (nebulae) and also to get involved with astrophotography (already have a dslr for that) I was thinking perhaps getting a motorised goto mount telescope but I'm really unsure, any help/advice would be greatly appreciated, Thank you in advance :)

Welcome to the forums.

Wow you want something that pretty much does it all, which to be honest is quite hard.  If you intend to do astro photography (AP) then you will definitely need a motorised mount (preferably equatorial), and it is worth spending the bulk of your budget here as it is such a crucial item for this particular part of astronomy.  

I would say let us know what kind of budget you are looking at as this can affect the advice given as the prices vary considerably depending on the type of equipment.

Edited by RayD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to do photography then buy the book "making every photon count" (the astrophotographers bible) and read it before you spend your money.

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

You need to understand what you are trying to do before you buy the wrong stuff.

Expect to spend the vast majority of your budget on the mount (a rock solid, stable EQ mount). If you want to do any kind of exposure over a few seconds then you will need a mount with motorised tracking (and therefore goto). Keep the scope small as a beginner. You don't need large aperture for photography but you may need long exposures. (You do need large aperture for visual if you want dso and nebulas).

Planets are badly positioned from the uk for the next few years so getting a great picture of them may be best moved down your list in the short term.

Or get a skywatcher star adventurer and just mount your camera alone to dip your feet into the water.

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

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-tripod-for-star-adventurer-mini.html

if you want to do visual observing AS WELL, then I would buy a separate 8" skywatcher dobsonian. 8" aperture starts to open up the sky (unless you are city based?). One scope cannot do it all. And then you can do visual at the same time while the scope is imaging!

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html

But don't rush in, read the book first. Get the dob or the camera mount if you must rush in. Take your time before spending thousands...

Alan

Edited by alanjgreen
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The astrophotography side is the problem. To do both it first cost money - I would say the least expensive, but reasonable, AP option is around £1200. This would consist of a Goto EQ5 (£600), a small 70mm ED refractor (£400), flattener for the scope (£150) and some pennies for the assorted attachments. The mount needs to be equAtorial.

Now that will get you going but at some time it will be a better scope, that means a better mount, guiding is extra cost and extra weight so a bigger mount, mono is very good but that is a dedicated camera, a filter wheel and nice £100+ filters (minimum 3 or 4 of). If the idea is simply to dabble at the initial AP stage then EQ5+70+bits will be fine. Many do as all they want is to get some images but not win AP of the year.

You can get the EQ5 add a visual scope say a 102 Bresser and go looking then later buy a small imaging scope for imaging. Or buy a bigger mount now HEQ5 in preparation for the future.

Pure visual will depend on you, a simple 150P or 200P dobsonian will do visual but before you get ideas forget any AP with one. It is simply the wrong scope on the wrong mount for any AP.

The minute people ass AP into it as a factor that one aspet causes complications.

Add a location, there are clubs around, just no idea of where you are, nearby town is adaquate. Suggest a town as a county means you could at a county border so have access to clubs in the next one.

Also do not get a nice big sounding visual package and expect it to do AP, very little cross over in reality. An 8SE on its mount is again not really suited to AP (wrong scope and wrong mount) but it is a good visual one.

I would say EQ5+102 Bresser (achro) or 150P reflector, and later buy a small 70ED for a bit of AP. So in effect 1 mount and 2 scopes eventually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the advice above is spot on, but personally I would not go for the small and cheaper EQ5 mount as you'll only need to replace it as you progress, I'd go for the HEQ5.  Onto that I would put a small reflector such as the SW130PDS or the slightly larger 150PDS.   

OR  Get yourself a small refractor like the WOZS61 for imaging and a Cassegrain/Maksutov scope for visual and swap them around depending on what you do each night.

Or do as Ronin suggests, get a dobsonian for separate visual.

It is difficult to find the ideal scope for both visual and imaging unless you get into the larger and more expensive Newtonians (get the PDS versions which are adapted for imaging focus), and then you'll need a more expensive mount.

Then there is the choice of astro camera on top of all that.

Carole 

Edited by carastro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, RayD said:

Welcome to the forums.

Wow you want something that pretty much does it all, which to be honest is quite hard.  If you intend to do astro photography (AP) then you will definitely need a motorised mount (preferably equatorial), and it is worth spending the bulk of your budget here as it is such a crucial item for this particular part of astronomy.  

I would say let us know what kind of budget you are looking at as this can affect the advice given as the prices vary considerably depending on the type of equipment.

Hi, Thank you for the welcome and your help so far, I don't have the largest budget i'm afraid it would be around £500 approx, I understand however im probably asking for a bit to much but again any advice would be great and ill certainly look into equatorial mounts..thanks :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the advice above is great. You cannot do WELL both astrophotography and planets from the same scope. 

I have the eq6 pro with Skywatcher 150pds the 130pds is also a great scope for astrophotography and is even better on a Heq5 (I wouldn't go below this) you need a equatorial goto mount and the Heq5 will do a great job. 

Heres mine 

IMG_1329.thumb.JPG.d83d5fe5827d59ed67160128db3a98de.JPG

Im only interested in astrophotography and not so much in planets but here is a example of both done on this scope. 

IMG_4342.JPG.995677c5c5e61d55bc91069ae34cfaaf.JPGLagoon_using_Average_SK_Flat_Bias_2_WA.thumb.jpg.000674541d462930ffcc856ffdbe61b4.jpg

You can see it's definitely better for nebulas and deep sky astrophotography. 

BUT as the most important part is MOUNT get the best one you can then you are freer to put different scopes on it. Everyone I'm sure will stress this to you. It's all about the mount. 

Let us know what you are thinking of buying because that's how I bought my setup with lots of advice and I'm very happy with my choice. 

Gerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For both visual and photography there is hard to find a scope.

I will suggest you to get HEQ5 GoTo mount 1000£ and get a 150/750 Newtonian from Skywatcher, or even better 200/1000, this one have a longer fl so better for planets, for photography you can image only small objects to fit in the FOV, or if you have the time, patience,etc..than you can make awesome looking mosaics of nebulaes, the 200/1000 is more recommended for planetary imaging, but to be honest i will use it for galaxy imaging becouse of the 1000mm fl.

Later you will find that you need to add guiding to do 5min exposures, thia can be easily done for some couple of 150£ if you have an 9x50 finder scope which i think you get on the 200/1000 you can buy an adapter for it 20£ to mount the guide camera which can be the cheapest, the QHY5L-ii which is a mono, planetary and guide cam

Hope this help, good luck whatever you choose! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Shoney said:

Hi, I was hoping for some advice if anyone could please help, I have been thinking of getting into astronomy for a long time however my head is spinning with all the options out there for my first telescope, what I would like is to be able to view both the planets and deep space objects (nebulae) and also to get involved with astrophotography (already have a dslr for that) I was thinking perhaps getting a motorised goto mount telescope but I'm really unsure, any help/advice would be greatly appreciated, Thank you in advance :)

Hi Shoney, don’t rush in, there is plenty of time to spend all your hard earned cash. The best starting position is knowledge. Read as much as possible, buy some binoculars 10 by 50 or 7 by 50. Get to know and understand what’s up there and when, learn how to navigate around. If you are just getting started and really want a telescope the dobsonians mentioned above would serve you well for being able to look at a whole heap of stuff. As you get more confident you will be better placed to know what you want to buy next. Photographing planets or DSO’s can require different kit. Is there a local group you could meet up with before you commit and have a look at some of the set ups that’s out there and what each one is best at?

hope this helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

£500 will not take you far with deep space astrophotography.  One thing to consider is your location and the amount of light pollution. If the skies are not dark (typical urban location) you can more or less forget about viewing galaxies and nebulae other than a few of the brightest. The same, I imagine, goes for photographing them.  If you plan to travel to a dark-sky location, you have to haul your mount, telescope, and power supply to that location and set them up.

On the other hand, objects of high surface brightness, i.e. the Moon and planets (and double stars and some planetary nebulae) are not much affected.

You can dabble in planetary photography quite cheaply: I took a nice picture of part of the Moon with a £75 USB camera, 102x500 mm achromatic refractor, and driven Eq-5 mount, but whether you'd be satisfied with this sort of thing is up to you.  Not great, but all my own work. :happy11:

videopic.jpg.2f9fc9af714f872693da979bb66095bf.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

£500 will not take you far with deep space astrophotography.  One thing to consider is your location and the amount of light pollution. If the skies are not dark (typical urban location) you can more or less forget about viewing galaxies and nebulae other than a few of the brightest. The same, I imagine, goes for photographing them.  If you plan to travel to a dark-sky location, you have to haul your mount, telescope, and power supply to that location and set them up.

On the other hand, objects of high surface brightness, i.e. the Moon and planets (and double stars and some planetary nebulae) are not much affected.

You can dabble in planetary photography quite cheaply: I took a nice picture of part of the Moon with a £75 USB camera, 102x500 mm achromatic refractor, and driven Eq-5 mount, but whether you'd be satisfied with this sort of thing is up to you.  Not great, but all my own work. :happy11:

videopic.jpg.2f9fc9af714f872693da979bb66095bf.jpg

500£ wont take him far?

Maybe im wrong but for 250£ you can get 150/750 newtonian which is in my opinion awesome for astro imaging :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, serbiadarksky said:

500£ wont take him far?

Maybe im wrong but for 250£ you can get 150/750 newtonian which is in my opinion awesome for astro imaging :)

On an HEQ5 or better mount?  Where did you see that offer?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Louis D said:

On an HEQ5 or better mount?  Where did you see that offer?

Noo, the OTA only, but yes the most important is the MOUNT.

For the 150/750 i will recommend the HEQ5 but the EQ5 Pro GoTo can handle it too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Kriss Craik said:

Hi Shoney, don’t rush in, there is plenty of time to spend all your hard earned cash. The best starting position is knowledge. Read as much as possible, buy some binoculars 10 by 50 or 7 by 50. Get to know and understand what’s up there and when, learn how to navigate around. If you are just getting started and really want a telescope the dobsonians mentioned above would serve you well for being able to look at a whole heap of stuff. As you get more confident you will be better placed to know what you want to buy next. Photographing planets or DSO’s can require different kit. Is there a local group you could meet up with before you commit and have a look at some of the set ups that’s out there and what each one is best at?

hope this helps

Hi Kriss, thank you for the help, good advice I'll certainly take my time before I make my purchase and getting some binoculars will be my first move, after doing a bit of research I have found a group that is quite local to me and plan on attending one of their open evenings which I'm sure will give me greater insight, I appreciate the help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shoney said:

Hi Kriss, thank you for the help, good advice I'll certainly take my time before I make my purchase and getting some binoculars will be my first move, after doing a bit of research I have found a group that is quite local to me and plan on attending one of their open evenings which I'm sure will give me greater insight, I appreciate the help!

After looking though multiple types of telescopes at a local, public outreach star party 20+ years ago, I decided I liked Dobs the best for starting out.  Less effort to setup, sharper views, more bang for the buck, and not that hard to manually guide.  Now, I might amend that decision by getting one of the new, goto Dobs available.  They can still be used as a manual Dob, but you have tracking and object goto available when needed.  Goto Dobs were prohibitively expensive back in the 90s.  It's one of the few areas to have come down significantly in cost over the past 20 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.