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Imaging all round kit advice please.


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I have had my cpc925 for a couple of years now and finding it's a great scope but not the one for imaging.

I am interested in planetary and deep space images and am hoping to choose my next purchase more carefully with some research and advice.

So far I have had SW80ED suggested with the HEQ5 mount.

What about the 120 and 150? A bit dearer but any advantages?

Budget is up to 2k.

Go!

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The fact that you are asking this question indicates that you need a more fundamental grasp of what is going on in imaging, so take spillage's advice and read this: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bo

Okay. Since you have a cpc, which is already ideal for planetary imaging due to its long focal length and omission of the need to track well over long exposures, I think you should focus more on deep

In that case you already have a great choice in the 9.25? You just need an appropriate planetary camera to go with it?    

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1 hour ago, spikkyboy said:

I have had my cpc925 for a couple of years now and finding it's a great scope but not the one for imaging.

I am interested in planetary and deep space images and am hoping to choose my next purchase more carefully with some research and advice.

So far I have had SW80ED suggested with the HEQ5 mount.

What about the 120 and 150? A bit dearer but any advantages?

Budget is up to 2k.

Go!

Depends on which type of AP you priortize. If you are more interested in planetary, then a 120 or 150 (which do work for deep sky to a certain extent I believe) will work or perhaps an SCT as it's more compact. However, if you priortize Deep sky, then a small refractor like the 80ED or even the 72ED (which I have for DS imaging and is a blast to use; on an alt-az tracking mount mind you!) will be preferable. It will also be more tolerant to tracking imperfections too!

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I have set a target to first image all of the solar system planets and make up a nice wall piece with them all on. When that's been achieved I will move on the the galaxies and nebula so hoping to only have to buy one kit. I suppose in answer to your question the deep space will be the long term goal.

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5 minutes ago, spikkyboy said:

I have set a target to first image all of the solar system planets and make up a nice wall piece with them all on. When that's been achieved I will move on the the galaxies and nebula so hoping to only have to buy one kit. I suppose in answer to your question the deep space will be the long term goal.

Okay. Since you have a cpc, which is already ideal for planetary imaging due to its long focal length and omission of the need to track well over long exposures, I think you should focus more on deep sky. That being said, I recommend you get the 72ed from Skywatcher or equivalent because it has fast optics and a wide FOV so it doesn't place as much demand on tracking accuracy as a longer FL scope. For the price of under 300 GBP it is a really good telescope. Perhaps you should save some of your budget on stuff like a dslr/dedicated astronomy camera, mount (eg HEQ5) and guiding etc. 

Edited by Nerf_Caching
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Yes keep you existing scope for planetary.

Quote

 I have had SW80ED suggested with the HEQ5 mount.

What about the 120 and 150? A bit dearer but any advantages?

Only advantage in 120 and 150 is getting smaller targets, but the 120 is about the limit for an HEQ5 and 150 is too big.  You will get a bigger FOV with the SWED80 than the ED120 which will enable the larger targets to fit into the FOV. 

I have both ED80 and ED120 and interchange them according to the target size.

Carole 

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22 minutes ago, ollypenrice said:

The fact that you are asking this question indicates that you need a more fundamental grasp of what is going on in imaging, so take spillage's advice and read this: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/making-every-photon-count-steve-richards.html

You won't regret it.

Olly

As an imaging novice myself I can concur that this book is a must. Explains such a lot in very understandable language. 

Steve

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2 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

As an imaging novice myself I can concur that this book is a must. Explains such a lot in very understandable language. 

Steve

+1 get the book read an re-read it does help

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So I have bought the book and already half way thru. Great book and good step by step guide for those of us with little or no imaging knowledge.

I have decided to keep the CPC for planetary imaging and visual observing.

I am going to get a totally new kit for imaging.

So we are now at this. A HEQ5 mount sounds great for the price and then a scope to match to it either SW80ed pro or the esprit 80.

My question really is that obviously the esprit is the better scope and a triplet but is 1000 pounds vs 500. Will somebody of my ability just be wasting 500 on the better scope? It all comes withing my 2000 budget but I can bring it to under 1500 and have cash for a field flattened and some towards a better imaging camera?

 

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11 hours ago, spikkyboy said:

So I have bought the book and already half way thru. Great book and good step by step guide for those of us with little or no imaging knowledge.

I have decided to keep the CPC for planetary imaging and visual observing.

I am going to get a totally new kit for imaging.

So we are now at this. A HEQ5 mount sounds great for the price and then a scope to match to it either SW80ed pro or the esprit 80.

My question really is that obviously the esprit is the better scope and a triplet but is 1000 pounds vs 500. Will somebody of my ability just be wasting 500 on the better scope? It all comes withing my 2000 budget but I can bring it to under 1500 and have cash for a field flattened and some towards a better imaging camera?

 

How much light pollution are you battling? If it's low then you're a lucky sod and ignore the following but if it's high you will go down the road of narrowband imaging very quickly. 

With high levels of light pollution you're better off spending on your camera and filters (imo) than on the glass as the colour correction is neither here nor there. 

Below is one of my efforts with an 85mm Samyang camera lens, Baader 7nm filters and an Atik 314l under Bortle 6 skies. The whole of which can be picked up for less than an Esprit.

There's also some much, much better efforts here with the 135mm.  

 

North_America_DBE.png

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On 08/11/2019 at 09:02, spikkyboy said:

So I have bought the book and already half way thru. Great book and good step by step guide for those of us with little or no imaging knowledge.

I have decided to keep the CPC for planetary imaging and visual observing.

I am going to get a totally new kit for imaging.

So we are now at this. A HEQ5 mount sounds great for the price and then a scope to match to it either SW80ed pro or the esprit 80.

My question really is that obviously the esprit is the better scope and a triplet but is 1000 pounds vs 500. Will somebody of my ability just be wasting 500 on the better scope? It all comes withing my 2000 budget but I can bring it to under 1500 and have cash for a field flattened and some towards a better imaging camera?

 

Hi there, 

When I decided to start DSO imaging again I bought the ED80 on HEQ5. I started imaging with a DSLR and quickly realised I needed a field flattener. I image under class 5 sky and a good light pollution filter was my next step. Then I moved to a dedicated cooled camera. 

So, in my opinion the ED80 is an awesome scope for beginners and intermediate, well priced, light and easy to guide on HEQ5. A flattener is a must so I would order it with the scope straight away (I had to wait three weeks for mine and it was horrible! 😅). 

Hope this helps! 

Edited by adoldesa
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On 08/11/2019 at 10:02, spikkyboy said:

 

My question really is that obviously the esprit is the better scope and a triplet but is 1000 pounds vs 500. Will somebody of my ability just be wasting 500 on the better scope? It all comes withing my 2000 budget but I can bring it to under 1500 and have cash for a field flattened and some towards a better imaging camera?

 

A lot depends on whether you aim to do broadband or narrowband imaging. NB imaging asks far less of the optics because you are working in nearly monochromatic light, so good colour correction is not needed. This really involves a mono camera. If you are shooting in broadband, whether one shot colour or mono and LRGB, the Esprit will give you perceptibly smaller, tighter stars, particularly in the case of the hot blue ones which will bloat a little in the ED80.

It's hard to quantify such improvements but put it this way; offer me either an Esprit with a DSLR in it or an ED80 with a cooled mono camera and filters and I would take the ED80 any day. No hesitation at all. The cooled mono could be a less expensive CMOS or more expensive CCD.

My rule of thumb regarding priorities goes mount-camera-optics.

Olly

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17 hours ago, wuthton said:

How much light pollution are you battling? If it's low then you're a lucky sod and ignore the following but if it's high you will go down the road of narrowband imaging very quickly. 

With high levels of light pollution you're better off spending on your camera and filters (imo) than on the glass as the colour correction is neither here nor there. 

Below is one of my efforts with an 85mm Samyang camera lens, Baader 7nm filters and an Atik 314l under Bortle 6 skies. The whole of which can be picked up for less than an Esprit.

There's also some much, much better efforts here with the 135mm.  

 

North_America_DBE.png

I'd like to do some wide field imaging with my Atik 428 and filters in a fw. I thought there was an issue with the lens back focus, at least with Canon lenses. How do you have your camera etc connected?

(Sorry to hijack the thread...)

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On 08/11/2019 at 09:02, spikkyboy said:

So I have bought the book and already half way thru. Great book and good step by step guide for those of us with little or no imaging knowledge.

I have decided to keep the CPC for planetary imaging and visual observing.

I am going to get a totally new kit for imaging.

So we are now at this. A HEQ5 mount sounds great for the price and then a scope to match to it either SW80ed pro or the esprit 80.

My question really is that obviously the esprit is the better scope and a triplet but is 1000 pounds vs 500. Will somebody of my ability just be wasting 500 on the better scope? It all comes withing my 2000 budget but I can bring it to under 1500 and have cash for a field flattened and some towards a better imaging camera?

 

My first imaging 'scope was a William Optics Zenithstar 80 doublet and using it for Ha Narrowband imaging onto an Atik 314L+ (CCD) it was just fine - BUT (isn't there always) it had its limitations. Whilst it was a very good doublet there was still noticeable chromatic aberration when imaging particularly in LRGB. On that basis a triplet would certainly be advantageous if it will fit into your budget and you feel you may become enthusiastic over astrophotography.

As for the mount, personally I should recommend you acquire an HEQ5 Pro Synscan as that would serve you well for some time to come and it is easy to guide. Until very recently I was using one to image with an Altair Wave Series 115 with a separate guide scope. Whilst that was fairly close to its viable limit it performed very well.

It is quite easy to start with equipment with which you become quite quickly disillusioned. Buying 2nd hand is your best bet if you are thinking of dipping your toes in to see if it's an activity that may or may not interest you in the long term. It can quickly become a very absorbing interest - and then it can start to become expensive. Therefore if possible you want to try and avoid buying something new that you then may need to replace in the near future.

As you will soon discover - everyone in this 'hobby' has their own and differing opinions and that can either help or confuse the issue hugely. I only offer my opinion from my own personal experience and just hope it helps to clarify a little and not confuse too much! I wish you and your bank balance all the very best in this compelling activity. 🤩

Yours aye - David

 

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On 09/11/2019 at 14:40, Anne S said:

I'd like to do some wide field imaging with my Atik 428 and filters in a fw. I thought there was an issue with the lens back focus, at least with Canon lenses. How do you have your camera etc connected?

(Sorry to hijack the thread...)

Backfocus and aperture rings are tricky. Don't touch Nikon lenses, the aperture springs open when you take it off the dslr body. Canons are a minefield for compatibility. 

There's not enough backfocus for a filter wheel, you must take the lens off and screw the filter into the lens adapter. If anyone can say this is false, I'd be forever grateful. It's not a huge problem for me as I never change filter during a session. 

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Someone posted quite recently about getting an adaptor made up for Canon EF lenses to convert them to T2.  I think that would make it possible.  If you need 44mm backfocus, then knocking off 13.5mm for the camera and, say, another 22mm for a filter wheel and male-to-male T2 to fit the filter wheel to the camera, as long as the adaptor was no more than 8.5mm things should work out.

I'll see if I can find the thread again.

James

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7 hours ago, JamesF said:

Someone posted quite recently about getting an adaptor made up for Canon EF lenses to convert them to T2.  I think that would make it possible.  If you need 44mm backfocus, then knocking off 13.5mm for the camera and, say, another 22mm for a filter wheel and male-to-male T2 to fit the filter wheel to the camera, as long as the adaptor was no more than 8.5mm things should work out.

I'll see if I can find the thread again.

James

I haven't a suitable Canon lens, I wondered if a Samyang had more back focus. Or I could try a Pentax srewfit which wouldn't need an adapter at all.

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2 hours ago, Anne S said:

I haven't a suitable Canon lens, I wondered if a Samyang had more back focus. Or I could try a Pentax srewfit which wouldn't need an adapter at all.

I'm sure Gina uses a number of lenses with the Pentax mounting that she's picked up from ebay.  I'm fairly sure she has a filter wheel in the optical train, too.

I have a 14mm f/2.8 Samyang with a Canon fitting (as well as a 200mm Canon lens) which is why Uranium235's solution had caught my eye and may be of use to Matt.  I have several Canon camera bodies so the fitting makes sense for me.  If I didn't have the DSLRs then I'd probably go for the Pentax mounting.

James

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Yeah, the lens mod at the moment is only suitable for manual Samsung lenses. Canon autofocus lenses have electronics in the way, which might make disassembly and modification difficult (the Samsung can be modded by a monkey it's that easy).

I'd have to get my hands on one and take a closer look to see if its possible. 

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The canon 200mm bayonet seems to be held by 4 screws. But whether all the electronics come out with its removal is unknown.

With that in mind, the engineering would have to be precise. I need to see one in bits tbh.... but I dont think anyone is that brave...lol.

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