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Lebster31

Is this a good Telescope for Astrophotography?

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Hello! I'm looking to buy a new telescope, one that I can do astrophotography with. Currently, I'm looking at the Skywatcher ED80 telescope. If anyone has this scope or would know how well it would perform, your input would be very helpful! I'm looking to do all kinds of astrophotography DSO, and or Planetary imagery. Looking to pair this scope up with an EQ5 mount as the NEQ6 is pretty pricey. 

 

Thanks! 

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What is your knowledge of astrophotography. The scope is very good for it but the mount not so much. 

It is just about adequate but skimping on the mount is false economy. Yes the NEQ6 is more pricey but it is considerably better for AP. As a bare minimum you should be looking at the HEQ5. Good mounts are expensive but a long term investment. I ended up pushing the budget all the way to an AZ EQ6GT and then waited to save for the camera etc as that way I know I’ll not outgrow the mount for years.

Other things to consider are whether you’re going to use a guidescope (allows for much longer exposures or ‘subs’ as we call them), what camera (D-SLR, mono Astro cam with filters, OSC Astro cam) what software to do the captures, whether you’ll use a laptop or a desktop set up some distance away. 

If you haven’t already then get hold of a copy of Making Every Photon Count. Will tell you everything you need to know and consider before taking the plunge and will save you money in the long run. 

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My knowledge of astrophotography is very limited. I've only ever attempted photographing the moon and Jupiter and Saturn. Thanks for the recommendation!

 

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4 minutes ago, Lebster31 said:

My knowledge of astrophotography is very limited. I've only ever attempted photographing the moon and Jupiter and Saturn. Thanks for the recommendation!

 

I am a year in to the journey and other than the moon am yet to take a photo! Ok various things have got in the way but it’s not a quick process and there are many frustrations on the way. 

It’s coming together now though and hopefully on the next clear night I’ll be able to take my first images. 

If you’ve not used an EQ mount before then they alone are enough to drive you to the edge of insanity at first!  

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Haha! I'm perfectly fine with just taking pictures of the moon. I am definitely what you would call a novice when it comes to astrophotography. Just trying to get my feet wet. EQ mounts aren't necessary for planetary images correct? If I wanted to start with the moon and planets do you have any good suggestions for that?

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Second hand for the mount is always an option. A well looked after mount will last for many years. 

for example. 

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1 hour ago, Lebster31 said:

Haha! I'm perfectly fine with just taking pictures of the moon. I am definitely what you would call a novice when it comes to astrophotography. Just trying to get my feet wet. EQ mounts aren't necessary for planetary images correct? If I wanted to start with the moon and planets do you have any good suggestions for that?

Requirements for deep-space astrophotography and planetary astrophotography are entirely different.  If you have a visual scope with a long focal length, or a Newtonian + Barlow, and a mount with tracking, just acquire an astro video camera with a 1.25" nose and you are ready to dabble with lunar and planetary imaging.

If you do not own a scope yet, you will have to decide which way to go, or contemplate buying multiple setups.

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Yeah currently the only telescope I have is a Meade ETX 90 which I've had for about 15 months. I am looking to buy a new one, It does get confusing trying to figure out which telescope is the way to go. Thinking about doing planetary and lunar imaging over DSO

 

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Your Meade ETX90 will be ideal for planets and the Moon, but not for DS imaging.  

The ED80 you mention is a good scope for Deep sky astrophotography especially for a learner.  It has a good wide field, good optics and does not over tax your abilities whilst a learner.  I still use mine and have been imaging for some 8 - 9 years now.

As stated above, do not skimp on the mount, if you don't have a suitable tracking and guiding mount, then you will end up with problems.  The EQ6 models are over kill if you don't intend to put a heavy scope on the mount.  I followed the "future proof" advice and bought one, it's a great mount but found it rather heavy to take to astro camps.  I later decided to buy a lighter HEQ5 for astro camp use and found it was perfectly adequate for the scopes I use, ED120, ED80. SW130PDS and WOZS71, so I ended up selling the EQ6 in the end as it was hardly getting used in my home obsy with severe LP.

So if you can manage to get a Skywatcher HEQ5 (or the American equivalent), it will serve you much better than the lighter EQ5.

Carole 

 

Edited by carastro

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