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Hi there,

I recently posted a thread getting ideas for what scope and mount I should get for beginner astrophotography.

After researching on my own and getting thoughts from others on scopes and mounts here is what I have come up with.

Mount - Skywatcher EQ5 GOTO

Scope - Sky-Satcher Explorer 130P-DS

Guide Scope - Skywatcher Evoguide ED50

Guide Camera - ZWO ASI120MM Mini

DSLR - Canon 350D

I understand that the camera I am using is fairly old but it is an old DSLR that I have at home and it saves me money on buying a new camera. All in all this setup comes to just over £1000; I just wanted to people's get thoughts on this set up and if it can be improved in any way without stretching the budget by more than £100. Also I wanted to know whether any of the equipment I have chosen isn't great.

Thanks in advance,

Ryan

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Make sure your mount has GOTO, imaging time is too short and precious to be wasting it faffing around trying to find the target manually. The Dob Mob might go on about "The thrill of the chase" as the

Ive got the exact setup but a 450d and D3500... But mounts no goto just the dual motors fitted... Ive not had a chance to take it out yet... Got the 130pds on tuesday 

No need for the Evo guide 50ed. It's like buying a hut with gold doorknobs. Better use a normal 50mm finder and spend that extra money on a heq5.

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48 minutes ago, Anthony1979 said:

Ive got the exact setup but a 450d and D3500... But mounts no goto just the dual motors fitted... Ive not had a chance to take it out yet... Got the 130pds on tuesday 

DSC_0004.JPG

Clear skies, be sure to post some of the images you get when you have chance to take it out.

Ryan

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The Canon 350D is capable of some great imaging results.... if it's mot astro or full spectrum modded, I recommend you mod it as when I modded my 40D, it opened up a universe of capabilities, and my 40D is not that much more recent than the 350D...

All of my deep sky images are imaged through my Canon 40D...

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Looks good to me and I am on a similar train of thought and level. I have the SW Mak 127 on the same mount, considering getting the same guide scope and camera later this year. I have a Canon 600D (unmodded) second hand which has served me quite well so far, I have been told it has a decent sensor for astrophotography. Not used the mount all that much yet as it arrived at the back end of March and it is too light in the evenings now.

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it`s all about the mount, mount first camera then scope, minimum mount i would recommend would be the HEQ5 pro, ideally a NEQ6 pro, i bought a 5 first but you always end up buying something bigger in the end, the scope is ok but you will need a coma correcter for it i think, camera is fine, not so long ago a 350 was the camera of choice, ideally modded.

guide scope is ok but i`d get an altair astro 60 mm non rotating helical focuser or similar,

 https://www.altairastro.com/altair-60mm-guide-scope-kit-straight-thru-non-rotating-helical-focuser-no-eyepiece-76-p.asp

it`s cheaper than the skywatcher and bigger aperture but i understand people like to keep the same brands

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Hi,

the only advice I could give you is to upgrade the mount to an HEQ5, expecially if you want to do astrophotography. Considering all that you will load on it (main scope, main camera, guide scope, guide camera, eventually power box, mini pc, cable management, etc.), I would say do not skimp on the mount. It is the most important thing for an astrophotography setup. The best optics and camera will be useless if the mount shakes at every breath of wind. Also, an HEQ5 will be future proof if you ever wanted to upgrade your setup!

Good luck and clear skies,

Matteo

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Looks okay, but if your budget can stretch to a HEQ5 or equivalent then do so.

I'd agree with this, but if you really can't stretch to it, make sure the EQ5 you buy has a guide port or you won;t be able to guide and do long exposures needed. 

I think NEQ6 is overkill, only necessary if you plan to buy a heavy scope at some point in the future.  

Carole  

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Make sure your mount has GOTO, imaging time is too short and precious to be wasting it faffing around trying to find the target manually. The Dob Mob might go on about "The thrill of the chase" as they hunt their faint fuzzies, but it really has no place in imaging.

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13 hours ago, Ryan Adams said:

Hi there,

I recently posted a thread getting ideas for what scope and mount I should get for beginner astrophotography.

After researching on my own and getting thoughts from others on scopes and mounts here is what I have come up with.

Mount - Skywatcher EQ5 GOTO

Scope - Sky-Satcher Explorer 130P-DS

Guide Scope - Skywatcher Evoguide ED50

Guide Camera - ZWO ASI120MM Mini

DSLR - Canon 350D

I understand that the camera I am using is fairly old but it is an old DSLR that I have at home and it saves me money on buying a new camera. All in all this setup comes to just over £1000; I just wanted to people's get thoughts on this set up and if it can be improved in any way without stretching the budget by more than £100. Also I wanted to know whether any of the equipment I have chosen isn't great.

Thanks in advance,

Ryan

Better to go for a 450d as you get live view function. The evoguide is not required there are cheaper optiions like the Orion 50mm guide scope. 

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Nothing of the sort! You have a good starting point. We all change/upgrade our kit over time. Use what you have and learn your craft. Then later when you feel the time is right, upgrade. Your experience will then reap benefits from the more advanced kit.

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19 minutes ago, Anthony1979 said:

So ive got a rubbish setup

Not a rubbish setup at all! The 130 pds is an amazing scope for the money. Same goes with the mount. If I can do astrophotography with a star adventurer then you can do just as well with an eq-5. What others were saying is that there are cheaper options for guidescopes that will do the job of autoguiding well.

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2 hours ago, Anthony1979 said:

So ive got a rubbish setup

C'mon now, you know it wasn't meant like that! It is just that when on a tight budget, it is better to spend on things that actually make a difference, like the mount, or camera. You will not see any better guiding from the 50ed compared to the standard 50mm finder.

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23 minutes ago, Anthony1979 said:

Nah just got me thinking have i gone wrong somewhere with my setup.... Its took me nearly a year to get this far.... Wasnt being sarcastic lol

Setup sounds great to me :)

The folks here are just saying that the Evoguide (whilst a superb guidescope) is overkill for the 130PDS.
Most use the Sky-Watcher 9x50 finder as a guiding scope, (or other 50mm finders), which are cheaper that the Evoguide, and will still be just as good.

The only thing you'll likely want to look at adding is a coma corrector, as others have mentioned, such as the Baader MPCC or the Sky-Watcher CC, but you can certainly image without one.

Hope you enjoy your rig, (I've just ordered myself a 130PDS and a guiding setup), I'm positive you'll be able to take some great images with it :) 

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Although this image was taken on a CGEM mount, it was taken with a Skywatcher Startravel 80, manually focused and no coma corrector. 50 x 90" lights, calibrated with darks and flats. Polar alignment was waaay off (I was setting up/testing other things)!

346523645_M51--2020-05-31.thumb.png.2e11f12d6033e87ca16a1f10a2b0db09.png

Edited by Stargazer33
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10 hours ago, Adam J said:

Better to go for a 450d as you get live view function.

The only reason I am going for the 350D is because it is a camera I already have and means that it is not another purchase I have to make when I am just starting out with astrophotography.

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3 hours ago, Ryan Adams said:

The only reason I am going for the 350D is because it is a camera I already have and means that it is not another purchase I have to make when I am just starting out with astrophotography.

How do you plan to focus a star through your telescope then? Live view does make focusing less of a pain, unless you want to squint through the viewfinder!

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