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DainiusU

DSO astrophoto basic kit on a steel legged EQ3-2

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Hi,

I am planning to tap my feet into Messier objects, and can't spend on a proper kit like NEQ6 and astrograph tubes with guiders and thousand grand CCD... So will have to build something basic and see if it sticks, then see how can I grow from there. I do have EQ3-2 RA drive head, that is mounted on Omegon 2" steel legged tripod, so is pretty stable. Idea is to add some entry level APO and see what can I achieve with proper Polar alignment (head has polarscope and light). And see what can I get out of it with ASI120 or Canon DSL. I have my eyes on second hand 80mm and 120mm APOs, just thinking if the mount will be able to handle (e.g. balance, move) the load of the latter (SW 120ED)?

Do you think it is worth of a shot at all? I have seen some pretty impressive shots in EQ3 challenge... :) 

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I think the 120ED would be quite unstable on an EQ3-2.  The length of it is not going to work in your favour at all.  I'm not actually that sure about the 80ED to be honest, but the steel tripod should help.

There was a thread some years back about budget astrophotography that might give you some ideas.  I think the poster was using an EQ3-2.  I just can't quite remember enough information to be able to find it in a search at the moment.

James

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Have a look at posts from "stan26" around 2011 or 2012.  He was on a serious budget I think, but you may be able to get ideas to use yourself.

Rather than the 80ED I think in your position I'd probably go for a DSLR on a ball head and one or two reasonable lenses.  There are some old M42 lenses in longer focal lengths that come up on ebay relatively regularly that can be made to fit a modern Canon DSLR (others are more knowledgeable as to which are good than me), but for very wide field the kit lens is ok if it's stopped down a bit and the 50mm f/1.8 works ok, too.

James

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I have an EQ3-2 but would consider it to be a camera tracker much like the Star Adventurer and performs best with camera lenses or 70 mm scopes with a max usable FL of around 400 mm. The one advantage that the EQ3-2 has over the trackers is that it will hold larger scopes like a 6 inch newt for visual or planetary imaging but not DSO.

Alan

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With a stable tripod, the EQ3.2 is not a bad mount. Visual only and, I stress again, with a good tripod, it can really arrive up to 5Kg (I used on that a TAL100RS). I also remind that a very light tube like a C5 is very steady.

I suggest you to try the SW 72ED with a reducer/flattner for AP, as you want something light but also with a short focal lenght and a fast f-stop. The 80mm is longer, heavier and slower: probably too much for the mount. Guided or unguided pictures? I don't expect the EQ3.2 to have a very precise tracking.

 

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Thanks everyone for the input and guidance. I have went through Stan26 posts and will try some tricks to make it more accurate. Then will play around with my good ole Heritage 130P to test how far it can be pushed. And maybe Mak127. If anything good goes out of it, will post results here.

Cheers!

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