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Newb here. I have settled on my first telescope being the 4SE or 6SE and I have a Sony Alpha 300 DSLR I would like to be able to connect to play around with AP. I am barely starting to grasp the terminology involved with telescopes in general but it seems connecting a camera to a telescope is a whole different ball game.

It seems as though the 4SE has a separate eyepiece and camera attachment? Looks like you can just flip a knob to swap between the viewer and camera? Whereas the 6SE it appears that you have to remove the whole eyepiece to connect the camera. After reading some reviews everyone says they immediately wanted a more powerful telescope so I am thinking the 6SE may be the way to go but I really don't like the idea of having to swap back and forth by removing the eyepiece, is there an after-market accessory that would allow it to work more like the 4SE (flip a switch from viewer to camera and back)?

And I guess my other question is are the optics really that much better on the 6SE that it would be worth the hassle when connecting the camera? I see that the light gathering capability and magnification are better but how perceivable is that difference? My goal is to do some moon viewing but it would be great to see some cool deep space objects too. +

One final thought, how much does the auto star tracking feature help or hurt the image quality? I mean on a 20 second+ exposure the object is going to move some amount, is the Nexstar tracking system really able to keep the object that precisely still in the optics? Or should I just expect to get blurry spots of light when photographing deep space objects?


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You could get a flip mirror diagonal to fit into the 6SE scope so you could have the camera on the lower straight through part of the flip mirror, and use the upper one for your EP. You would need another adapter to allow you to fit it into the scope too.



Edited by Knighty2112

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Welcome Jason

The 6SE shares the same mount as the 8SE, the 4SE has a lower mount version.

Tracking will be in tiny left right up down movements which keeps the object in the field of view but does not take account of the Earth's rotation.

Planets are often imaged taking videos and then software takes the best frames and combines to make a final image. Here is doesn't matter so much that the tracking is not equatorial.

Deep Space Objects you need longer exposures to capture the objects, this is when the limitations of an alt az tracking mount show as push the exposure length too far and you get star sneering as the Earth rotates. The longer the telescope's focal length the sooner this rotation becomes evident in images. Imaging can be done but with working within the limitations of the mount. A camera and lens is more forgiving as shorter focal length and exposure length can range from seconds to say 30-45 seconds.

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I started with a Nextstar 4SE. I had a camera with adapter connected to the straight through and a lens on the upper position. I made an extension to ensure that the lens was in focus when the camera was in focus. It got me started.

I got some results for Saturn and Jupiter but it wasn't any good for deep sky objects. I haven't tried any guiding with it. The tracking is fine for viewing but wont be much good for long exposures.

Here is my advise. First read the excellent book Making Every Photon Count. Then read it again.

You need to decide what you want to photograph. Planets require different techniques to deep sky objects.

Be prepared to spend time and money.

Good luck

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This thread is about imaging with a Non Equatorial mount. link here a very long thread. It isn't necessarily impossible but does have limitations. The wedge might be looked at but how successful that is I can't comment.

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I wouldn't buy these instruments for deep sky imaging. Even on an equatorial wedge they are a poor idea for many reasons. I second the advice to read Making Every Photon Count, available from FLO, the site sponsors.

The mount is the most important part of a deep sky imaging setup. 


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Thanks everyone for the advice! I will definitely check out that book. Did not know the flip mirror diagonals existed that's great! I'm not surprised to hear these aren't great for deep space viewing, knowing that all those amazing deep space shots were probably taken by Hubble outside the atmosphere I figured I shouldn't expect much unless I'm willing to pay $2000+. From my experience with rifle scopes, price goes up exponentially with quality and capability.

My motivation for getting a telescope was my parents got me one when I was very young. I remember it being an amazing experience and I think it was only a 50 power.

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If going down the AP route I'd grab a 80mm frac, neq5 mount setup..sct are better on planets..and Az mounts aren't really suited to AP.. if funds are the issue as they are in most cases then a 60-70mm frac on a star adventurer is still a better option in my mind..or purchase the S.A. first..use it with your camera and purchase the scope at a later date when you are sure that' the direction you want to go..

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Hi @Jason126 and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

Should you go down the C6/SCT route, you may need to consider purchasing the Celestron focal reducer/field flattener. They turn an F10 'scope into an F6.3 one. The photo below shows mine attached to my 're-modded' ETX105. 


BTW... the ETX105 is F14.

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All of the Se range are Alt-Az, so not really suited to imaging apart from planets and the Moon.

I'd personally go for the 6Se out of both, or do more research and get an 8" scope.

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Welcome from land down under

Personally I would go for a Skywatcher EQ mount with an ED80

Nice all round unit, and especially when comes to AP, and can also get a glass filter for solar viewing, as per attached pic

There is also a new Wi-Fi unit for the EQ mounts, which operates from an APP on your mobile or tablet

Recently acquired, and takes the guess work out of programming the mount

Another advantage of the APP, can just point your mobile device, where you want to observe or image, and the mount goes there



Skywatcher ED80.jpg

SynScan Wi-Fi adapter.jpg..jpg

Screenshot SynScan APP.jpg

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