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Astronomer242

Which Telescope is good for deep sky astrophotography?

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Hi i'm new to astronomy and bought my first telescope a 76x700. 

Its good at taking pictures of the moon, i'm thinking about buying a new telescope.

Is a Celestron 130EQ good for astrophotography? It has a focal length of 650mm so an F/5.

Would this be good for taking pictures of the Orion nebula and Andromeda Galaxy. 

Thanks!

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The mount you are using is more important that the scope. What do you currently have? Also what camera are you using?

Also, as per the standard recommendation in this situation get hold of the book ‘Making Every Photon Count’. You’ll save money and disappointment reading that first. 

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Hi , 

for my current telescope its a Altazimuth mount, i figured my telescope was quite bad for deep space astrophotography.

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Hi

What's your budget? Generally, a good quality goto equatorial mount is best for DS AP. However, you don't need a telescope to start - a dslr+lens on a good mount is all you really need to begin with.

Louise

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Not sure which Celestron 130 you refer to. 

IF it is The Astro master (i think it was called so...), basically 130/650 with 1.25" focuser on a CG3, then forget astro photo. 

Don't know CCD, but DSLR camera can't reach prime focus due to insufficient backfocus, and the CG3 is nothing more than a revamped EQ2 with slightly offset saddle causing balance issues.

Furthermore it has spherical primary mirror, another showstopper. 

 But maybe you're referring to something else, in this case please post a link. 

There is another thread here around on a similar setup, comparison between SW 130pds (also f5), and 150: 

General view is that an HEQ5 is the best mount for those scopes, but somebody got good results with an EQ3 too.

You can give it a look. Personally i strongly advise against anything lower end than that. 

As Louise asked: what's your budget? Importante info to help you in choosing. 

Fabio

Edited by FaDG
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18 minutes ago, Thalestris24 said:

Hi

What's your budget? Generally, a good quality goto equatorial mount is best for DS AP. However, you don't need a telescope to start - a dslr+lens on a good mount is all you really need to begin with.

Louise

Hi read about photography using a lens but s it good for deep space photography? i haven't thought of a budget as i am just starting to look at things!

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6 minutes ago, FaDG said:

Not sure which Celestron 130 you refer to. 

IF it is The Astro master (i think it was called so...), basically 130/650 with 1.25" focuser on a CG3, then forget astro photo. 

Don't know CCD, but DSLR camera can't reach prime focus due to insufficient backfocus, and the CG3 is nothing more than a revamped EQ2 with slightly offset saddle causing balance issues.

Furthermore it has spherical primary mirror, another showstopper. 

 But maybe you're referring to something else, in this case please post a link. 

There is another thread here around on a similar setup, comparison between SW 130pds (also f5), and 150.

General view is that an HEQ5 is the best mount for those scopes, but somebody got good results with an EQ3 too. 

You can give it a look. Personally i strongly advise against anything lower end than that. 

Fabio

yeah i was thinking of the astromaster 130EQ. is a 1.25" focuser not suitable for deep space imaging? 

or the SQ 130pds is also another option, what about the SW 150P?

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get hold of the book every photon counts, I possible join a local astronomy club as they will give you good advice and possibly have some equipment you can borrow to try out.

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5 minutes ago, Astronomer242 said:

Hi read about photography using a lens but s it good for deep space photography? i haven't thought of a budget as i am just starting to look at things!

Sure, you can just use a lens. Some of my best images were taken with a vintage Pentax SMC Takumar 200mm F4 that I got off Ebay. Many dso targets are quite big so you don't necessarily need an actual telescope to capture images of them. Have a look at the imaging/widefield section.

Louise

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28 minutes ago, Astronomer242 said:

yeah i was thinking of the astromaster 130EQ. is a 1.25" focuser not suitable for deep space imaging? 

or the SQ 130pds is also another option, what about the SW 150P?

Newtons tend to have short backfocus unless specifically designer for astro photo. That celestron is not, skywatcher ones are. 

At the very least, a 1.25" focuser will induce a lot more vignetting on an APS-C sensor, than a 2" one, besides being less sturdy. 

I have a SW150pds (same as 150p but ds stand for Dual speed, with a 1:10 reduction for fine focusing): some QC issues, but once sorted out a great Scope, as i have stated in several threads. But, from my Experience, don't look at anything less than an HEQ5, hence no cheap solution, it's undermounted on an EQ3. On that, a 130pds is a better choice. 

Edited by FaDG

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4 hours ago, FaDG said:

Newtons tend to have short backfocus unless specifically designer for astro photo. That celestron is not, skywatcher ones are. 

At the very least, a 1.25" focuser will induce a lot more vignetting on an APS-C sensor, than a 2" one, besides being less sturdy. 

I have a SW150pds (same as 150p but ds stand for Dual speed, with a 1:10 reduction for fine focusing): some QC issues, but once sorted out a great Scope, as i have stated in several threads. But, from my Experience, don't look at anything less than an HEQ5, hence no cheap solution, it's undermounted on an EQ3. On that, a 130pds is a better choice. 

wait so a SW130 is better than a 150? Is the skywatcher telescope you have a 1.25" or 2"? 

what mount do you have? could you also attach some images you have taken with it? thanks 

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4 hours ago, Thalestris24 said:

Sure, you can just use a lens. Some of my best images were taken with a vintage Pentax SMC Takumar 200mm F4 that I got off Ebay. Many dso targets are quite big so you don't necessarily need an actual telescope to capture images of them. Have a look at the imaging/widefield section.

Louise

Hi, so is there an advantage of taking deep space images on a camera lens and vice versa? 

 

Edited by Astronomer242

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1 minute ago, Astronomer242 said:

Hi, so is there an advantage of taking deep space images on a camera lens and vice versa? 

 

Yes! I'd say it's a lot simpler, and keeping the focal length short makes life easier from the point of view of PA accuracy needed and tracking/guiding. It also gives you the chance to learn the basics of processing your images without the complications and stress of having to manage a telescope. The weather in the UK isn't generally kind to astrophotographers (some placers better than others. If you live in the City of Glasgow - better chose a different hobby...) so anything you can do to make life easier is helpful.  You can optionally attach a cooled camera to a lens and, with the right camera and mount, you can do long exposures or shorter ones plus live stacking with SharpCap pro (just an example).

Louise

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1 minute ago, Thalestris24 said:

Yes! I'd say it's a lot simpler, and keeping the focal length short makes life easier from the point of view of PA accuracy needed and tracking/guiding. It also gives you the chance to learn the basics of processing your images without the complications and stress of having to manage a telescope. The weather in the UK isn't generally kind to astrophotographers (some placers better than others. If you live in the City of Glasgow - better chose a different hobby...) so anything you can do to make life easier is helpful.  You can optionally attach a cooled camera to a lens and, with the right camera and mount, you can do long exposures or shorter ones plus live stacking with SharpCap pro (just an example).

Louise

Hi thankyou Louise, 

i have done some astrophotography with a lens before, i would i consider buying a 75-300mm lens if that’s any good? 

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Just now, Astronomer242 said:

Hi thankyou Louise, 

i have done some astrophotography with a lens before, i would i consider buying a 75-300mm lens if that’s any good? 

You could have a go with that though prime lenses are considered better. Ok with a lens at 200mm but maybe at 300mm you'd probably be approaching the need for autoguiding, but you'd be able to get away with short exposures. Having a darkish (clear!) sky without too much light pollution is a distinct advantage. It's all a learning curve.

Louise

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If you go for the 130P-DS (you will probably end up wanting a coma corrector as well) it has capabilities that will keep you going for along time before you need to get something more advanced. Look at the sort of images in this thread:

 

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1 hour ago, Astronomer242 said:

wait so a SW130 is better than a 150? Is the skywatcher telescope you have a 1.25" or 2"? 

what mount do you have? could you also attach some images you have taken with it? thanks 

Sorry, I understand that my answer wasn't clear. 

Better is maybe not the right word: you'll soon find out that, in astrophotography, the mount is by far the most important bit of your setup: whichever Scope you choose, undermounting it is the good recipe for frustration! 

So, I have an HEQ5 and can advise it until a 150 mm newt. I know that it wouldn't deliver when used with a 200.

My message was: if you can afford an HEQ5, the 150 is a great choice. But if you're Limited to an EQ3 due to budget reason, don't buy anything larger than a 130, or you would be disappointed. 

Fabio

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I am thinking now to buy a SW 150PDS. With a HEQ-5 mount... by the way what does the prefix N,H mean in the mounts for example a NEQ-5 or a HEQ-5?

would i need anything else like a separate guide scope, or is the one included fine?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Astronomer242 said:

I am thinking now to buy a SW 150PDS. With a HEQ-5 mount... by the way what does the prefix N,H mean in the mounts for example a NEQ-5 or a HEQ-5?

would i need anything else like a separate guide scope, or is the one included fine?

 

 

Hi

I think an neq5 is a 'new' eq5. Not really suitable for a 150pds. The heq5 synscan pro is a minimum mount to use. The 150pds is a bit of a 'sail'... and quite bulky/heavy. I bought one with an heq5 about 4-5 years ago. The scope sits in the corner gathering dust nowadays... There's nothing wrong with it - but life's too short! I've just found it easier and less hassle to image with refractors or just a lens :). You will need a guide camera but you'll be able to convert the 50mm finder, that comes with it, into a guide scope.  However, the finder shoe mounting isn't so good. Some guide scope rings fitted directly to a top dovetail is maybe a better way to attach it.

Louise

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Curiously enough I have gone exactly the opposte route than Louise, but you need to take into account the conditions too: I started getting serious with an EQ5 and A SW ED80 refractor with its flattener. Then i upgraded from the EQ5 to an HEQ5, and you can't imagine the difference in that "H"!! ?

Louise is right, for serious AP never look any lower than an HEQ5. 

Since I live in the centre of Rome, I felt the need for more aperture and a stronger light pollution filter: I never regretted the purchase of a 150pds, but IT IS more hassle, although people tend to fear collimation more than needed, from my Point of view. 

I have undergone surgery twice due to a slipped disk, and the HEQ5 + 150p is a setup i still can handle. 

BUT, and it's a strong but, I also agree that imaging with a DSLR + lens or short frac is a joy, this is why also have a 72ED and a Sigma 105 f2.8 macro to be used on a Star Adventurer for lightweight and widefield imaging on the move. It's just that from inside a light polluted town you need more light to work with: and even then, results are far from what you get with a smaller lens from dark skies. 

Life is a tradeoff.. 

Fabio

Edited by FaDG
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25 minutes ago, FaDG said:

Curiously enough I have gone exactly the opposte route than Louise, but you need to take into account the conditions too: I started getting serious with an EQ5 and A SW ED80 refractor with its flattener. Then i upgraded from the EQ5 to an HEQ5, and you can't imagine the difference in that "H"!! ?

Louise is right, for serious AP never look any lower than an HEQ5. 

Since I live in the centre of Rome, I felt the need for more aperture and a stronger light pollution filter: I never regretted the purchase of a 150pds, but IT IS more hassle, although people tend to fear collimation more than needed, from my Point of view. 

I have undergone surgery twice due to a slipped disk, and the HEQ5 + 150p is a setup i still can handle. 

BUT, and it's a strong but, I also agree that imaging with a DSLR + lens or short frac is a joy, this is why also have a 72ED and a Sigma 105 f2.8 macro to be used on a Star Adventurer for lightweight and widefield imaging on the move. It's just that from inside a light polluted town you need more light to work with: and even then, results are far from what you get with a smaller lens from dark skies. 

Life is a tradeoff.. 

Fabio

Hi Fabio

Sorry to hear about your slipped disc :( I should mention that I'm quite small, not very strong, and on the verge of being described as 'elderly', but so far, still in good health :) . As mentioned, I pretty much started with a 150pds (after using a Canon 1100d + lens on the heq5 for a short while), then moved to a 130pds for a while before settling with an 80mm APO (which is currently on the heq5 (belt modded). I also have a 115mm APO on an AVX and the Pentax smc Takumar 200mm F4 lens on an EQ3 Pro. My family is complete now! No more! For me, the only way is glass (TOWIG ha ha). It's so much easier and maintenance free :) Wish I had dark skies but I get my pleasure/reward from battling against the things that constantly try to thwart me.

Louise

 

Edited by Thalestris24

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Sorry to hear that as well Fabio,? 

You know the HEQ5, it has a sky-scanner attached to it, would i have to connect it to a computer or anything or does it work by itself. 

Could i ask Louise, is your camera astro-modified? I live in Warwick which gets clear skies often, however i could start going to darker skies!  

Could you explain the different types of filters i would need for the telescope, like the light pollution and the types of filters which bring out certain colors in a nebula?

What does a field flattener do and would i need one and what about comma correction?

 

Jacob.

 

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Thanks for the sympathy, much appreciated, but don't worry: my problems have been in 2014-15, and now I'm fine, although a 200 on an EQ6 is definitely out of question for me! 

The HEQ5 has a Synscan controller that really allows you to do almost everything, and it's easy to use +allows you to operate on a 12volt batter in the field: simply fantastic.

+ you have a direct ST4 autoguider input so you can really do everything with it alone. 

Then, you can skip the controller and connect the HEQ5 to PC directly, through ASCOM, and this allows a whole set of new features like automatic plate solving through SGP (basically The computer takes an image, compares it with a map and corrects the pointing accordingly) or autopark. 

Filters, oh that's a whole topic in itself, basically (simplification mode ON) there are three types of filters:

Wideband RGB to select colors, mainly for mono CCD

Narrowband, that only let through single wavelengths of neebulae (Halfa, OIII, SII) for maximum contrast

Pollution reduction: try to filter Out light pollution leaving said wavengtgs through. 

Try to Read specific thread on this, knowing that the best filter is a Gasoline Filter, that is: take your car and bring your gear under clear skies! 

Mind you:  a Simple modded DSLR (I use a Canon 600d with Baader mod) with a lens Will show you much more from under dark skies than a 16" Scope with CCD in a city (and I live in Rome, come ask me about Light Pollution!!). 

Ah, anybody told you that this isn't exactly a cheap hobby? 

Fabio

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7 hours ago, Astronomer242 said:

Sorry to hear that as well Fabio,? 

You know the HEQ5, it has a sky-scanner attached to it, would i have to connect it to a computer or anything or does it work by itself. 

Could i ask Louise, is your camera astro-modified? I live in Warwick which gets clear skies often, however i could start going to darker skies!  

Could you explain the different types of filters i would need for the telescope, like the light pollution and the types of filters which bring out certain colors in a nebula?

What does a field flattener do and would i need one and what about comma correction?

 

Jacob.

 

Hi Jacob

I have lots of cameras - too many, now ha ha! But,, yes,  I do have a full spectrum Canon 1100d amongst others. However, I mostly image with dedicated astro cameras and set point cooled ones are best. I wouldn't worry about filters at this stage - one step at a time. A lp filter can be useful if the wavelengths  causing you problems correspond to those blocked/reduced by the filter. A field flattener corrects the field distortion  you get with most refractors. Coma correctors do a similar job for reflectors. You would ideally need a coma corrector for AP with, say, a 150pds or other newt. The coma tends to affect the outside edge of the image so is worse with large sensors such as a dslr (often referred to as 'aps-c' size). You can crop out the distorted part of the image but that's wasteful! You could use a heq5 pro without a computer/laptop but then you'd need a standalone autoguider of which I have no personal experience. Not sure what you  mean by a 'sky scanner'? Do you mean Synscan handset? That allows you to control the mount without a laptop. I see you can get a heq5 with a belt mod done for you - worth the extra, I'd say :) By the way, did I mention that astrophotography can be a money pit??

Louise

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Thanks Louise and Fabio, 

i will read more threads about filters and everything, thank you both for the advice given!

 

Jacob

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