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Walking on the Moon

AZ3 Alt-Azimuth Mount - free with Startravel 102 refractor?


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I’m planning to use an AZ3 Alt-Azimuth Mount to replace a Manfrotto tripod and 405 three-way geared head for supporting an AstroTrac TT320X mount. (The 405 will then be used to support a Canon DSLR and longer lenses, up to 300mm, on the TT320X.)

I had though that, at a later date, I might buy an 80 or 100 mm refractor, given that even an apochromat would be very much cheaper than a Canon 500 mm prime lens. But currently, the Startravel 102 telescope with two eyepieces, diagonal, red-dot finder and an AZ3 mount is being advertised at £186, compared with £156 for the tube assembly. It looks too good to miss. But would this scope be suitable for astrophotography with a DSLR, or would I be better advised to buy the AZ3 and leave the refractor until I can afford an APO?

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Thanks for your comments. It's always a difficult decision: buy what you can afford now, or wait (and wait) until you can afford what you would really like!

It is relatively rare for even marque camera lenses to be labeled APO, so I suppose that the comparison should really be with good quality camera lenses rather than APO telescopes.

Given that there will be enough deep field objects within reach of my existing lenses, I'll take on board your implicit suggestion that I wait - and make a decision when I really need a longer focal length optic.

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Thanks for the additional comments on the Startravel 102. I'm not fixated on an APO, but it would be frustrating if I found the results with the achromat were disappointing. I'll see what I can afford when the time comes and base the decision on that.

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