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Skywatcher ed80 alternative


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Hi everyone I am new here, I live in Perth Western Australia (bottle class 5) and have just brought my new set up. There hasn’t been anyone in the area I can talk to about astrophotography so tried to do it all myself online and I fear I may have incorrectly purchased some things. (I tried to get things one at a time for budget purposes)

I have this set up

heq5, evostar ed80, .85reducer & corrector, evoguide 50ed, zwo 120mm mini for guiding and just my canon 200d mkii for the imaging. 

The telescope, I think I may have brought something that’s not great for imaging and that’s all I’ve wanted to do. 
can you please provide a better telescope alternative that would be suitable for all my other gear without having to buy like a new mount etc. I’m thinking just a slightly better scope not too heavy, opinions would be much appreciated 💖💖💖 xx

Edited by Soulitude
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Hi and welcome to the SGL.

The Evostar ED80 with the 0.85 reducer/flattener should be a good scope for imaging of large nebula & galaxies and give good results. 

What are you wanting to image and what issues are you having with the ED80?

Also, is the ZWO ASI120MM Mini your imaging or guide camera? If it's your guide camera, what are you using as the imaging camera?

The good thing is, you have a good mount in the HEQ5 and it will take some bigger scopes but you can tell us more about your current kit and what you want to do then it maybe someone can make suggestions which mean you won't have to spend more money. ;)

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Well the scope isn’t as good (capture as much) as say the espirit 100 or 120 which I was kind of looking at, but they are a bit above my price range and weight for the heq5

so I was hoping for something in between the quality of the evostar ed80 and day the espirit triplet 100 or 120 telescope 🔭 

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24 minutes ago, Soulitude said:

Well the scope isn’t as good (capture as much) as say the espirit 100 or 120 which I was kind of looking at, but they are a bit above my price range and weight for the heq5

so I was hoping for something in between the quality of the evostar ed80 and day the espirit triplet 100 or 120 telescope 🔭 

What exactly do you mean by "capture as much" - are you referring to F number?

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The ED80 is an excellent imaging scope and you only have to search on here to see that :D

Maybe a triplet would provide better colour correction, but you will be hard pushed to improve on the ED80 unless spending more.  I've just bought a SharpStar 94 to replace my ED80, I've not really had a lot of chance to use it and compare, but it does seem a step up.  It has a similar focal length, slightly faster, better correction of colour, but can illuminate a FF sensor.  However the difference isnt striking.

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17 minutes ago, PeterCPC said:

What exactly do you mean by "capture as much" - are you referring to F number?

Why do you keep Answering my questions with a question 😂 

im the one trying to get info here hhaha 🙃

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If it helps there are quite a few imagers who use smaller apeture telescopes like the newer ED72 which gives a wider field of view needed to capure some of the DSO targets.  One of the reasons why ED80 users also have a reducer in their imaging train.  Other DSO targets are small and need better cameras and preferably more light so the exposure times are reduced.

Hence the question about capturing much - you could be referring to the field of view (distant DSO targets not filling your image) or you need to capture more light hence the larger scope part.

Your equipment is a good choice and in no way just a beginner setup - the weak link will probably be the imaging camera being a dslr but still a good starter to learn with and get some good images.

If you want to do the planets and moon you may want to look at an additonal scope and a planetay camera.

 

 

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You’re a legend thank you, I’ll definitely give this set up a a red hot go, Astro camera might be on the cards in the future, if I succeed. I’ve read so many negative things about the Ed80 not being that great so it’s probably just throwing me off.

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6 minutes ago, Soulitude said:

You’re a legend thank you, I’ll definitely give this set up a a red hot go, Astro camera might be on the cards in the future, if I succeed. I’ve read so many negative things about the Ed80 not being that great so it’s probably just throwing me off.

I have 2 of them still being used and like a good mainstream car they are upgradeable and have a lot of extras targetted at them so commonly have adapters etc for the ed80 as standard. If you go down the imaging line and opt for a focus motor (newer ones have a smaller case with embedded usb controller like the ZWO EAF or Deepskydad AF3) your current focuser may not even need to be upgraded.

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Great results are obtainable with an ED80.  It has a long pedigree at an affordable price particularly with those starting out in deep sky astrophotography and is perfectly suited to your HEQ5. Have you got some examples of the images you have captured so far that you could share?

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I also have a pair of ED80s with the flattener/reducer and I share the opinion that they're very capable pieces of kit.  It may be helpful to provide some examples of what you've been achieving so far and explain why you're not happy with it so that people can try to point you in the right direction.

James

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20 hours ago, Soulitude said:

The telescope, I think I may have brought something that’s not great for imaging and that’s all I’ve wanted to do. 

Have a look at this thread, it will give you some idea of what your telescope is capable of 🙂

 

Edited by JemC
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The Skywatcher is a very capable first imaging scope, many start with one, then they never move off of it. Good scope for the mount, well in weight considerations.

Often a good idea is to get the polar alignment done manually first, simply learn what you have to do. That would allow you to start getting a collection of images to stack (DSS I expect). You can get Darks and Flats fairly easily. Darks are in effect very simple to obtain. If you get say 50 exposures for stacking then get 25 Darks and 25 Flats. You add them in to directories on your PC. Say this as PC's seems to be hiding the internal directories now. If you are not familiar with the Windows Explorer structure maybe ask someone.

You will have to spend some time Polar Aligning, we have a very convenient Polaris, you don't.

Maybe search Google for "astronomy clubs australia" should throw up something. Say this as a club is likely the best place to get information, pointers and help.

If you are using a DSLR, cannot remember, then set everything to Manual and set all inputs yourself. Also if a DSLR you are likely to need a simple Intervalometer to get a series of images. They will cycle round a specified number of cycles getting an exposure and doing a wait time between.A DSLR needs the wait time between each exposure to write the data and allow the sensor to cool a little. It is no longer click, click, click. Also disable any noise reduction feature.

Have fun.

Edited by PEMS
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Well you've got the perfect affordable DSO imaging kit. I don't know where you've read that ED80 isn't a good imaging scope. Care to share the links?

You may want to get your 200D astro modded if this is going to be your dedicated camera. While it's inferior to a proper astro camera with set point cooling, it is still capable of producing wonderful results.

Unlike dedicated astro cameras with set point cooling which can produce dark libraries for different temperatures and keep re-using them, you will need to plan in the time required to take darks at the end of each imaging session with your dslr. 

For polar alignment I'd strongly recommend sharpcap pro or polemaster.

Learning the capturing and post processing software is just as important as how to operate all these equipment. For Canon DSLRs, BYEOS is a wonderful piece of capturing software. But if you plan to switch to a dedicated astro camera, you may want to look into SGP or APT. All of them have built-in (or rather communicate directly) plate solver. Then it's PHD2 for guiding and dithering. Finally DSS and Photoshop for post processing, or PixInsight if you have the money and are serious with this hobby.

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As a previous owner of an ED80, I regret letting mine go. I learnt a huge amount using it, and it would still find a place in my scope collection, despite costing less than a reducer for some of my other scopes...

Your Evo ED80 is certainly not something you need to upgrade first from the list of equipment you currently have. I would look at a mono cooled CMOS camera as the first step up upgrade. I still use my HEQ5 as well, over 5 years later...

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