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Hi All, I am considering purchasing a MAK 150 or 180 purely for Planetary and Lunar observing and photography. I will use a ED80 for deep sky. 

I would appreciate some advise on which mount to use and if I can get away with an ALT AZ for planetary image capture? I will be using a CCD

instead of a DSLR. I understand that these are heavy scopes and I may add to that with an external focuser. Should I be looking at the AZ EQ5 GT

or will a cheaper mount do the job? Also should I purchase a new guidescope and guide camera or is this not necessary for this setup?

Your thoughts and advice are greatly appreciated.  

 

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For lunar/planetary imaging there is no need to worry about guiding and an AZ mount will be sufficient. However, you are going to need a decent EQ mount for dso imaging with the ED80 (HEQ5 or better), so if you get that it will do for both scopes.

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I would not use a guide scope for planetary as the exposure times are short. 2000 frames at just over 100 frames per second is an exposure time of 18 seconds. I have seen good results with the moon using small aperture skywatcher maks with Alt Az mounts however for planets the bigger aperture will be of benefit.

For processing I can suggest Sharpcap to capture the AVI's, Autostakkert to analyse the frames and stack, Registax to do the initial processing of the stacked image, then Gimp to add some polish and finally a tweak with Windows photo editor if required.

 

 

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You can certainly use an alt-az GoTo for planetary imaging, and it doesn't even have to be particularly stable. But you will need something like the AZ EQ5 or an EQ-5 GoTo for the ED80 and deep-sky imaging, so you might as well use it for the Mak and the planetary imaging too.

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2 hours ago, Snoopy71 said:

Hi All, I am considering purchasing a MAK 150 or 180 purely for Planetary and Lunar observing and photography.

Guiding you won't need for planetary/lunar as mentioned above, tracking you will need, sometimes those two get mixed up. I have a 150, views both planetary and lunar are awesome, razor sharp, i have also had success imaging with a simple Neximage 5 camera. I am a Mak convert, a mak fascist more like it, you couldn't  pry it from my cold dead hands.

Edited by Sunshine

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1 hour ago, Sunshine said:

Guiding you won't need for planetary/lunar as mentioned above, tracking you will need, sometimes those two get mixed up. I have a 150, views both planetary and lunar are awesome, razor sharp, i have also had success imaging with a simple Neximage 5 camera. I am a Mak convert, a mak fascist more like it, you couldn't  pry it from my cold dead hands.

Thanks all, being realistic about it. It's more likely to be the 150.  @Sunshine if you have any tips on which accessories, modifications or anything else I should pickup to improve 

the experience please share. 

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A friend of mine has a 150 mak on an EQ5 and he's really happy with it. As others mentioned: absolutely no need for guiding, but an EQ allows you longer stacks without rotation and also animate gifs of tens of frames each obtained by a Stack. This I see more difficult with an AZ. 

Honestly, there is no difference on planets between his 150 @ 1900 native FL and my Skywatcher 150/750 brought @2000 FL with a Barlow, so for planets you might wish for that bit more of aperture a 180 can give you. 

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Regarding the above post if you use Autostakkert software for your planetary and lunar stacking it deals with the field rotation automatically.  I use an AZ EQ 6 GT in Alt Az mode for all my viewing and imaging.  Its fine for mosaics too; field rotation isn't an issue. I no longer dabble in DSO imaging because life is too short to do all that processing. 😉

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27 minutes ago, Owmuchonomy said:

I no longer dabble in DSO imaging because life is too short to do all that processing. 😉

Well, the opposite for me: I'd only do DSO if it weren't for the moon and terribile LP in Rome, which leave me time where only planets are doable.

Yes, I use AS!2 for planetary, and it's fine for a single Stack... but when you take 3 hours of data in separate stacks to show planet rotation in a GIF, how does it cope with field rotation between different frames? 

Actually it may do so, but I never knew it as it's not an issue on an EQ! 🤣 

 

 

Edited by FaDG

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1 hour ago, Snoopy71 said:

Thanks all, being realistic about it. It's more likely to be the 150.  @Sunshine if you have any tips on which accessories, modifications or anything else I should pickup to improve 

the experience please share. 

i will PM you later this evening.

  • Thanks 1

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2 hours ago, FaDG said:

Well, the opposite for me: I'd only do DSO if it weren't for the moon and terribile LP in Rome, which leave me time where only planets are doable.

Yes, I use AS!2 for planetary, and it's fine for a single Stack... but when you take 3 hours of data in separate stacks to show planet rotation in a GIF, how does it cope with field rotation between different frames? 

Actually it may do so, but I never knew it as it's not an issue on an EQ! 🤣 

 

 

Aah yes, 3 hours is another story. Stick to EQ.

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2 hours ago, Owmuchonomy said:

Aah yes, 3 hours is another story. Stick to EQ.

Yes, I meant something like this, about 2.5 hours with my newton 150p and ASI120MM+Primalucelab RGB filters:

Each frame was processed with AutoStakkert2! , but then individual images had to be composed to show the motion.

An AZ would hve made it more complicated due to field rotation, I guess, but maybe it can be dealt with too... I just don't know

Fabio

JupiterRotation2.gif

Edited by FaDG
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13 hours ago, FaDG said:

Yes, I meant something like this, about 2.5 hours with my newton 150p and ASI120MM+Primalucelab RGB filters:

Each frame was processed with AutoStakkert2! , but then individual images had to be composed to show the motion.

An AZ would hve made it more complicated due to field rotation, I guess, but maybe it can be dealt with too... I just don't know

Fabio

JupiterRotation2.gif

Very nice. I did the transit of Mercury in AZ mode but had to use PS to derotate  individual frames.

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