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Beginner equipment advice please


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hey every1,

new here to SGL and to astronomy, I had a great interest in astronomy since a young age, had my own small scope when was a kid just a tasco something or ether lol and now ive decided I would like to come back to it, I know id like to view DSO's galaxies nebulars etc and as ive done photography i the past I am very interested in photographing such dso's etc as they are just beautifull, i understand that it isnt straight forward and I wont be getting images like the hubble telescope lol but i do now slightly whats involved hehe ;) basicly I now roughly Id like a newtonian reflector but anyway down to you guys what would be the best type of telescope stand etc or what packages are out there which would be best set for viewing and casual photographing of dso's? also any advice for a as cheap as possible ccd? or webcam/ccd thingys ive seen on websites? im looking to spend aroun £300 MAXIMUM on a scope and will eventually get a camera or depending on price may get both at same time so if any of you would be willing to spend a minute to spare some advice on my long winded question above id be very gratefull. :)

many thanks

Ash

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Hi Ash and welcome to SGL

The first requirement for astrophotography is a GOOD mounting and that, unfortunately, means expensive, actually very expensive (Sorry to give the bad news!)

BUT all is not lost, you can build up your kit over a period of time as you gain experience. Read, read and read more - books and forums like this one. There is so much information available that it is initially overpowering! but you will soon start to find your way around. Also, if you can, join an Astro society - there you can talk to people and use their equipment to get a feel for what you will need.

Maybe a 150mm Newtonian on a guided mount would be a good starter scope FLO (see logo above) sell the Skywatcher 150P at £219, additionally you could motorise the mount for an extra £90 and eventually upgrade to full goto (which is not strictly necessary IMHO) for an additional few hundred pounds (There - I said it wasn't cheap!!).

I'm sure there will be dozens more responses, all with their own ideas(!!) so read and contemplate the information before spending your hard earned cash.

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Hi Ash,

Welcome to SGL.

The road of astrophotography can be a real pain and very expensive. I suggest looking in the Imaging - DSO section to see what people are managing to capture and see what level you'd be happy with for photographing. You can then see what sort of equipment they have used, and search for how much it costs. As to cameras, the only cheap CCD ones are very small and do not cover enough sky area to be practical. The bigger chipped ones are very expensive, and many people use a standard DSLR instead.

If you want to do DSO photography, you'll really need a decent mount with tracking abilities and the minimum recommended is an HEQ5 syntrek (see: Skywatcher - Skywatcher HEQ5 SynTrek) but at £622 is WAY over budget. And that's without a telescope!!

I'd suggest sticking with visual to start with and given you want a reflector, I'd suggest a dobsonian. If you're interested in DSO, the biggest aperture you can afford is your best bet. I'd also include a decent red dot finder (I use a telrad at £40) and a star atlas (around £10). Just learn your way around the stars and enjoy the views.

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Hello and welcome. Another vote for the Skywatcher 200p dob, the tube would fit in the back and you might get the base in the front seat. In the future you could mount this tube on a motorized tripod and that would enable you to do astro photography.

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Hi there

I own a 250px dob which I later mounted. I now realise however its a bit of a dilema.. if like me you like reflectors, a 10" scope is fantastic for observing. However for photography, it would have been easier to have an 8" or possibly even a 6". I guess what im saying is, having a larger scope doesn't really make your images any better (it actually makes your imaging sessions a little more challenging). If you're like me, observing is just as important so I love my setup. :-)

Matt

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Puzzled by this thread.

Person asks for advice on buying a scope for astrophotography.

Says:

but i do now slightly whats involved hehe :D

So I guess they Know that you need an HEQ5/EQ6, motors and a good scope and that most at the serious end use apo refractors. I assume thay have a PC and can download the free software to stack images.

Lets see mount £800, scope £1500, DSLR £300-400, odds and sods say £200. So far £2800, say £3000 as a round figure.

Budget MAXIMUM £300.:):confused:;):confused::D

OK so perhaps their knowledge isn't what they thought it was.

What comes next: They are told buy a Dob, they look as if they are going to get the Dob. Minor problem here is that you are not going to photograph anything with a Dob. Moon may be a possibility but that is the one and only possibility.

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Puzzled by this thread.

Person asks for advice on buying a scope for astrophotography.

Says:

So I guess they Know that you need an HEQ5/EQ6, motors and a good scope and that most at the serious end use apo refractors. I assume thay have a PC and can download the free software to stack images.

Lets see mount £800, scope £1500, DSLR £300-400, odds and sods say £200. So far £2800, say £3000 as a round figure.

Budget MAXIMUM £300.:):confused:;):confused::D

OK so perhaps their knowledge isn't what they thought it was.

What comes next: They are told buy a Dob, they look as if they are going to get the Dob. Minor problem here is that you are not going to photograph anything with a Dob. Moon may be a possibility but that is the one and only possibility.

IMHO, we explained that the OP wasn't going to get very far and then noticed that they also said:
what packages are out there which would be best set for viewing and casual photographing of dso's?
and suggested they leave the photography side until later. An 8" dob could later be mounted on a EQ mount and do some DSO work with that.

They also later said:

over time eventualy ill be getting into the photography stage
which, to me, reinforces the casualness of the photography at the present.

I also don't recall telling them to buy a dob. I merely suggested that for the money they had to spend, sticking to visual for the moment and therefore for biggest bang for buck a dob is probably the way to go....

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