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To save time getting right to the point-Ive owned a celestron skyprodigy 90 and that scope alone made me feel more powerful than ever.Im planning on spending close to 2,000 on a new setup with a far larger aperture and although I love the cassegrain goto scopes from celestron and Meade,I’ve been wondering if my budget should go toward a custom dobsonian.
My dream begins with landing a setup within that budget and choosing the right attachments to be able to study the moon up close and personal.If you can imagine it I’d like to be able to at least recognize a footprint if there is one.Im assuming this is possible while so many scopes can see so much further away like other planets and such.
I’m more than grateful for any input that you’ve learned the hard way or any financial corners I can cut while still being true to the game.
Thanks in advance.
I thought I would share with you my first hand experience of the Skywatcher ED100 Pro Esprit Telescope, I have only had it a few months, but so far I am extremely happy with the results, it is so sharp and the contrast is very high.
I live in a small town, Stowmarket, Suffolk, UK, where the light pollution is not to bad, but still I have to be cautious with the direction I choose to point the telescope. All my astrophotography is done from the back garden on my patio.
I have had a few different telescopes over the years, but I always found myself moving more and more into astrophotography, so after some research I selected the Skywatcher ED100 Pro Esprit, as many of the other users had commented on the sharpness and contrast. As I wanted to focus on more wide field astrophotography the F5.5 speed giving 550mm seemed the right choice, I also use an ED50 Skywatcher Guide Scope with an Altair Astro ASI130mm camera for the guiding and of course PHD2 software, all mounted on my Skywatcher HEQ6 mount.
Here is a shot of the Andromeda Galaxy, 20 x 30s stills at ISO 800 on my Sony A7Rii, no filters just RAW images processed with Photoshop, Stacked Mean option. I used the Trevor Jones video on his BackyardAstro You Tube page for processing DSO's and it seems to work very well. What you will see from the image is just how sharp it is, something that really surprised me when I processed the images.
This has inspired me to spend more time outside in the garden to photograph more objects, plus I have recently purchased an Astronomic CLS Filter for my Sony A7Rii, so I am looking forward to using this to see if it improve the contrast. I will keep you informed.
Also I am looking forwarded to trying my Olympus EM1 MK2 camera, yes I know it does not have the capabilities of the Sony A7Rii for light gathering, but it does have a really clever mode where it can stack the images in camera to reduce noise, so I will also let you know how this went as well.
Distance from Earth - approx 2.5 million light years
After spending ages getting a decent polar alignment, the clouds were on their way in so I only had a small window of opportunity remaining. This was my first real run with the new setup (minus the ST80 and ZWO ASI120 as i was having issues there) and I almost gave up. SO glad I didn't!! Focus was off a bit though I think and I've definitely over-processed
f / 5.6 @ ISO 800
21 x 30 second subs
Stacked in Sequator. Very quick minor crop and global edits in LightRoom. No darks/flats/offsets