Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_31.thumb.jpg.b7a41d6a0fa4e315f57ea3e240acf140.jpg

I've learned how, now I need "what"!


Recommended Posts

Hey all, I'm no rookie to telescoping, I have 3 telescopes in total, but none are astrophotography rigs. I'm ready to make that jump. 

 

I have about a $3,000 budget. What's the best whole set-up I can get with that, in your opinion?

 

I know there's a huge difference between deep sky and planetary photography. If I had to choose, I'd love to do deep sky objects like galaxies and nebula.

 

Thank you for all of your help!

James

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 37
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Hi, James. Make this your first purchase ... it will save you money and heartache in the long run.

You would use one of https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adapters/skywatcher-dslr-m48-ring-adapter.html to attach it to the focal reducer/flatterer.  The purpose of a guide camera in a nutshell is to mak

All great advice by everybody, It might also be worth knowing how bad your light pollution is. Some kind of CLS filter, or maybe even a narrow band would be good for dealing with light pollution.

Posted Images

If I were to recommend a setup I would go for a Skywatcher HEQ5, with a Skywatcher 80ED DS and a Field flattener, or a Skywatcher 130P-DS and a Coma Corrector. Both are a tried and tested setup that give great results. 

You will need a camera, a DSLR (Such as a used Canon 600D) is usually a good start into astrophotography.

You also need to be able to auto guide, but I am no expert in that regard. But I have seen people use an ASI120mm and an 80mm refractor piggybacked onto the main scope.

 

EDIT: I also notice you live in the US, even so I would recommend you buy from FLO (UK based seller). The prices are just so much cheaper, even when you add the shipping.

Edited by Galen Gilmore
Link to post
Share on other sites

James

Agree with Galen about Skywatcher HEQ5 mount with ED80

Last Saturday night, was out with my astronomy club, and we conducted a public viewing night, on the Goldcoast foreshore, and had between 600 and 700 people come through during the night

End of the night, we played around using different filters viewing Mars

You can also get a glass solar filter for the ED80 as well

Attached pic shows my ED80 on EQ5 mount, with solar filter

I also use a jump start pack, as power source for my EQ5 mount

Can also now get a Wi-Fi adaptor, which uses mobile device to control EQ mounts, and have recently purchased one

John

Skywatcher ED80.jpg

SynScan Wi-Fi adapter.jpg..jpg

Screenshot SynScan APP.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, GoodOleJim said:

Hey all, I'm no rookie to telescoping, I have 3 telescopes in total, but none are astrophotography rigs. I'm ready to make that jump. 

I have about a $3,000 budget. What's the best whole set-up I can get with that, in your opinion?

I know there's a huge difference between deep sky and planetary photography. If I had to choose, I'd love to do deep sky objects like galaxies and nebula.

Thank you for all of your help!

James

If you would let us know the telescopes you've got,

maybe, you would be able to start Planetary AP just with a small investment in around $200, - ZWO ASI cheap guiding cam which you can use for Planetary  AP initialy,

once played/learned enought, you can move it to it's primary location, - as a guiding cam and buy a proper one for AP.

For planetary, you do not need guiding, ofcourse, GOTO or Motorised mount would help a lot.

As for DSO, all starts from the Mount, - someone already suggested HEQ5, - this one is quite good mobile mount, so you can travel and etc.

if your rig will stand constantantly in the back garden, - jump to NEQ6, as it can carry much heavier rig.

Next step, to choose between, as proposed "a Skywatcher 80ED DS and a Field flattener (more expensive, but less headache) or a Skywatcher 130P-DS and a Coma Corrector. (cheaper, but has it's small problems, - like colimation, focisng tube intrusion, - however issues are easily sortable) ".

Next, - AP camera.... Difficult question, - if you have any digital camera, try using it first.

If you are in light poluted area and want to go for speciallised AP camera, - Mono AP camera + filters + filterwheel, can easily cost more than Mount + Scope all together...

So do your best to use whatever you have at the moment :)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, cletrac1922 said:

James

Agree with Galen about Skywatcher HEQ5 mount with ED80

Last Saturday night, was out with my astronomy club, and we conducted a public viewing night, on the Goldcoast foreshore, and had between 600 and 700 people come through during the night

End of the night, we played around using different filters viewing Mars

You can also get a glass solar filter for the ED80 as well

Attached pic shows my ED80 on EQ5 mount, with solar filter

I also use a jump start pack, as power source for my EQ5 mount

Can also now get a Wi-Fi adaptor, which uses mobile device to control EQ mounts, and have recently purchased one

John

 

SynScan Wi-Fi adapter.jpg..jpg

 

Sorry, A bit of topic, - I have the same one, used on my DOB, but I was not able to set this adaptor to work with guiding...
EQMOD and PHD simply did not work with it :( have you managed to sort it out?

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, GoodOleJim said:

Galen, that's very kind of you to link all of these items to me. If I may ask, how do I attach the 600d to the telescope itself, and what is the purpose of the guide camera?

You would use one of https://www.firstlightoptics.com/adapters/skywatcher-dslr-m48-ring-adapter.html to attach it to the focal reducer/flatterer.  The purpose of a guide camera in a nutshell is to make small corrections to the tracking of your mount.  It does this by locking onto a star and monitoring how far it drifts in the frame of your picture, then sending corrections to the mount to bring it back.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, RolandKol said:

Sorry, A bit of topic, - I have the same one, used on my DOB, but I was not able to set this adaptor to work with guiding...
EQMOD and PHD simply did not work with it :( have you managed to sort it out?

Rolan

Just use as is on my ED80 with SynScan APP

Have not tried using PHD

Was reading an interesting article other night, as one of my fellow club members is having issues with his Celestron

https://github.com/OpenPHDGuiding/phd2/wiki/EQASCOM-Settings

John

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, cletrac1922 said:

James

Agree with Galen about Skywatcher HEQ5 mount with ED80

Last Saturday night, was out with my astronomy club, and we conducted a public viewing night, on the Goldcoast foreshore, and had between 600 and 700 people come through during the night

End of the night, we played around using different filters viewing Mars

You can also get a glass solar filter for the ED80 as well

Attached pic shows my ED80 on EQ5 mount, with solar filter

I also use a jump start pack, as power source for my EQ5 mount

Can also now get a Wi-Fi adaptor, which uses mobile device to control EQ mounts, and have recently purchased one

John

Skywatcher ED80.jpg

 

 

This sounds like what I'm looking for. Do you have any photo samples of pictures you've taken with this model?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, GoodOleJim said:

This sounds like what I'm looking for. Do you have any photo samples of pictures you've taken with this model?

James

Just using for visual currently

Time prohibiting venturing into AP

Sure some of the other guys will

There is some on our club website

Just click on Event Horizon, monthly newsletter

John

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would strongly advise against the DSLR option despite this being a minority view. The revolution in amateur deep sky imaging - which has seen amateurs beat the best professional results from the days of wet film - has been camera driven and the cameras which did that driving were CCDs. However, you now have a far less expensive option in the form of dedicated cooled CMOS cameras. I would start with one of these because they will roundly beat a DSLR. The net tells me that summertime temperatures are very high in ND so this, too, argues for a cooled camera.

I will also buck the trend by suggesting that you go straight into monochrome imaging. The perception that OSC is faster is simply incorrect. It isn't. And I'm not persuaded by the idea that it is much easier, either, though this is debatable. Under the advice of Ian King, many years ago, I went straight into monochrome CCD. I feel that this was great advice, I'm glad I followed it and so, naturally, I would like to pass it on.

Whatever you choose, the journey is a fascinating one.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would recommend an HEQ5 and Skywatcher 130PDS as starting kit with the Skywatcher finder converted into a finderguider with one of the dedicated mono guide cameras.  Or if you are a refractor person, and don't like collimation, or defraction spikes, a small refractor such as the SW ED80 would be a good starting scope.  I would recommend the WO refractors as the optics are great but some models come with some design mounting problems for imaging such as the soppy short foot, and no place to mount a guide camera, but if you are handy with these sort of things, they would work well too.

If you have enough money in the pot, I would also recommend a mono CCD camera, but this comes with additional expense of a filterwheel and filters and a bigger learning curve, but that being said I find them much easier to use than a DSLR from the point of view of being able to actually see what you are imaging, with a DSLR you can only see the brightest magnitude stars on live view, whereas a mono camera will even let you see your nebula if you get the settings right.  

Many people cut their teeth on a DSLR (as I did), and this comes with instant colour, no cooling but is less sensitive than a mono CCD and will show less detail, plus the Mono CCD enables narrowband imaging, which shows up much data not visible in broadband and is good in LP locations.

HTH

Carole 

Edited by carastro
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with much that is said here and with your 3000 pound budget you can even get a nice cooled camera. I would go for the camera I just invested in - a cooled APS-C size colour CMOS camera calles ASI 071 MC-Pro. It will give you considerably better images than a DSLR (especially in warm nights) and the only small inconvenience is that you need to connect it to a laptop but the program supplied with the camera (ASICAP) is easy to use. It is very light sensitive so with the short focal length of an SW ED80 with reducer/flattener you can take short exposures (1-2 minutes) that probably need no guiding. If you add guiding to the system I suggest a simple finder guider (=using the guide scope) with an ASI120MM camera that you also connect to you laptop and the free program PHD2.

Here is how it all adds up (today's FLO prices):

SW 80ED = 359.-

0.85 reducer/flattener = 169.-

HEQ5 Pro with belt drive = 895.-

ASI 071 MC-Pro = 1479.-

ASI 120MM = 126.-

Total: 3028 pounds (if you take the HEQ5 without belt drive you land at 2908 pounds)

For my first three years of imaging I have used Canon 60D(a) cameras (also APS-C size chips) but this autumn I started with the cooled ASI OSC and it makes quite a difference in how deep and dusty you can go in your images. Here is an example that I posted yesterday showing the same object with a DSLR and now with the cooled ASI. And I also found that you can get nice narrowband images with it even if it is a color camera.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

PS. Before I get stamped on by the mono-people, I want to give some reasons why I suggest a cooled CMOS colour camera rather than a cooled mono camera:  (1) That you do not need to buy a filter wheel and filters. (2) That you can get a larger field of view for a reasonable price. As far as I know there are no APS-C sized mono CMOS cameras (and mono CCDs of that size would cost more than your budget and are more noisy). A very popular mono CMOS camera that is about the same price (with filters and wheel) as the ASI 071 MC is the ASI 1600 MM. However, it has a considerably smaller chip. The ASI 071 chip covers a nearly 60% larger area. I just like to know that I catch as much as possible of the image produced by the telescope.

 

PS2. I did not notice that you budget was in dollars but much of this equipment is cheaper in the US (partly due to your lower VAT) so I expect you could still get it within your budget.

Edited by gorann
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, gorann said:

PS. Before I get stamped on by the mono-people, I want to give some reasons why I suggest a cooled CMOS colour camera rather than a cooled mono camera:  (1) That you do not need to buy a filter wheel and filters. (2) That you can get a larger field of view for a reasonable price. As far as I know there are no APS-C sized mono CMOS cameras (and mono CCDs of that size would cost more than your budget and are more noisy). A very popular mono CMOS camera that is about the same price (with filters and wheel) as the ASI 071 MC is the ASI 1600 MM. However, it has a considerably smaller chip. The ASI 071 chip covers a nearly 60% larger area. I just like to know that I catch as much as possible of the image produced by the telescope.

Nobody stamps on anyone on SGL, though they may disagree!

I do think it's a shame that the larger CMOS chips are not (yet?) available in mono.You make a very valid point about chip size.

Olly

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

Nobody stamps on anyone on SGL, though they may disagree!

I do think it's a shame that the larger CMOS chips are not (yet?) available in mono.You make a very valid point about chip size.

Olly

Yes, bad choise of expression. I now we are a friendly bunch on SGL, and we are all waiting for that large-chipped mono CMOS camera that may or may never come.....

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I didn't expect the many responses I've gotten. I'll have to ponder my options. I already have a very nice dslr camera, so that seemed natural to me, but a ccd has been suggested to me many times. 

 

I believe that an 80 is the perfect telescope for me. I'll also be purchasing a motorized mount, which is obviously a must and something I've needed for a long time for watch parties for my students (I'm a fifth year primary school teacher). I believe I can decide later on the correct imaging. This should at least get me started.

 

Thank you for all of your help.

James

Edited by GoodOleJim
Link to post
Share on other sites

So I believe I've decided to go this route. FLO will definitely be my place of purchase:

Going to go with the 80ED for the telescope.

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

Going with the HEQ5 Motorized mount.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-mounts/skywatcher-heq5-pro-synscan.html

.85 field reducer, although I'm not quite sure how this works yet.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/pro-series/skywatcher-85x-reducer-flattener-for-ed80.html

 

What I'm still torn on is auto-guiding. I completely understand how to do it, but am not sure on the best way. For portability sake, an off-axis guider seems like a pretty good bet. Is this unwise?

 

Also, I've contemplated this for my camera. I've heard some pretty great things about this camera's ability to take both deep sky and planetary images.

https://www.telescope.com/Orion-StarShoot-AutoGuider-Pro-Mono-Astrophotography-Camera/p/106545.uts

 

As this is a very expensive bundle, I'm searching for any further advice as to changes I should/may make.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.