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G2EWS

Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro Outfit, 100ED or 120ED

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Hi All,

A lot will know that I am almost there with my selection of kit but I am still trying to get my head around if I should go for:

Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro Outfit

Skywatcher Evostar 100ED DS-Pro Outfit

Skywatcher Evostar 120ED DS-Pro Outfit

As mentioned elsewhere this is for astrophotography and the kit will include the EQ6 and GOTO mounts.

I had chosen the 100 but Steve - Steppenwolf suggested the 80 was better for AP, but I am also told the 120 is probably the best option.

Total list of kit chosen is as follows:

1. Skywatcher Evostar 100ED DS-Pro Outfit £1526.81

Including EQ6 and GOTO

Or should I use the 120ED? £1904.68

2. Skywatcher Startravel 80 OTA £86.81

3. Skywatcher Synguider Autoguider £233.87

4. Starlight Xpress Lodestar Autoguider £393.19

Do I need this and the Synguider?

5. Skywatcher PowerTank 17Ah £90.89

But think I will just use a leisure battery

6. Skywatcher Focal Reducers £155.23

7. Skywatcher DSLR-M48 Ring Adapter £12.77

Your help in understanding which model of scope would be very much appreciated.

Best regards

Chris

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i'm still in the process of deciding myself.

i'm going for a very similar setup to yourself i.e. NEQ6 pro and i was thinking about the 120 myself but from the advice i've been given on here and after speaking to FLO i think i've finally decided on the 80ed pro.

but that being said i'm sure i'll change my mind about another 10 times by tomorrow night.

Mark

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I had chosen the 100 but Steve - Steppenwolf suggested the 80 was better for AP, but I am also told the 120 is probably the best option.

And he's right to a point. The 120 is a nice scope, but it's a bit more demanding than the ED80. I'd go with the ED80 if you're just starting out on the imaging side of things.

Tony..

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Hi Mark and Tony,

Many thanks for your suggestions.

If I go down this route then I feel it better to buy the best in the range rather than give it a try and then have to change later on.

What I cannot seem to work out is why is the 80 better for me than a 120?

If there really is a compelling reason then I am keen to get the right product. Don't want to dislike this hobby as soon as I start!!

Best regards

Chris

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well the only help i can offer is what i got of FLO earlier today.

i was told that the 80 is good for a beginer as it's relativaly easy to get some pleasing results quite quickly, i.e. being less demanding for a beginner.

i'm in exactly the same boat as yourself. i dont really want to buy something and find i out grow it quickly which is why i'm "future proofing" by going straight for the NEQ6 so if i decide i want something bigger in the future all i have to by is a new scope and not a new mount as well. and then there's the fact that the 80ed is recommended alot for the beginer in AP so i'd imagin that aslong as it's well looked after it'll hold its price quite well. and i'm sure in 12 months time there'll be another couple of noob's like ourselfs looking to get into AP so hopefully if i do decide i want something bigger i'll not have too much trouble off loading at a decent price.

hope that help's you some.

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In terms of the quality (whilst I haven't seen or used the 120) if the optics of the 120 match those of the 80, it'll be great. In terms of exposure times, they'll be the same, they are both f/7.5, ignoring the reducer. Where you may well have issues is in the longer focal length of the 120. This means you're tracking has to be that much more accurate with the 120, than the 80. Go with the 80..

In terms of your guide cam questions, you only need one of them. If you plan on having a PC on hand, then I wouldn't worry about the Synguider... just let the PC handle it.

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Thanks Mark and John,

A convincing argument from both of you!

Best regards

Chris

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I own a 120ED and it is a fine scope, but if I was you I would get the 80ED for wider field AP, and later, once you have gained some AP experience, you could get a larger aperture scope with a longer focal length but faster photographically to complement your 80ED, for example the 190MN or a 200 / 250mm F/4 Newt...my 2Ks worth

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Thank you Pete,

It is good to get real first hand experience from all of you guys.

Looks like my mind is really being made up for me.

Best regards

Chris

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If you can guide using a PC then consider a finderguider setup, ie a straight through finder + QHY5 and adaptor - home made or bought rather than the synguider.

BTW the dedicated flattener/reducers from SW for the ED scopes are very nice.

Edited by adamsp123

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Hi Pete,

Many thanks for the additional advise but I am afraid I need more help here! I have no idea what you mean by a 'finderguider' setup, nor QHY5 and adaptor. However I have found the QYH5 and adaptor on the internet and wonder what benefit this would give me over the synguider?

And SW is?

Sorry to be a newbie!

Best regards

Chris

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i can help you on the SW its sky watcher.

but as for finder guider i've not a clue.

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i can help you on the SW its sky watcher.

but as for finder guider i've not a clue.

Hi Mark,

Thank you!

Aaah that was simple. So many acronyms and so much to learn!

One day I will get some of it!

Regards

Chris

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I use the 80ED and the 100ED, both with the dedicated reducer and I can tell you from firsthand experience that, altho there is not a great deal of difference between 80 and 100, when it comes to guiding them there is a world of difference!

The 80 is almost plug and play, whereas the 100 needs a lot of tweeking, and mine is mounted on a pier in an obs so doesnt get moved around a lot.

Go with the 80 to start with you wont regret it! Then in time you can up the scope size.

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In my search for the QHY5 I found this set up:

Tynan Photography/Astronomy/Equipment/ed80-heq5-Setup

Some useful photos to help me understand how it is set up.

Funnily enough I was trying to figure out where the Synguider would go on the telescope and how you would also fit a camera on it. I know daft thought and obvious answer, but these photos really help.

Regards

Chris

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I use the 80ED and the 100ED, both with the dedicated reducer and I can tell you from firsthand experience that, altho there is not a great deal of difference between 80 and 100, when it comes to guiding them there is a world of difference!

The 80 is almost plug and play, whereas the 100 needs a lot of tweeking, and mine is mounted on a pier in an obs so doesnt get moved around a lot.

Go with the 80 to start with you wont regret it! Then in time you can up the scope size.

Hi Martin,

Thank you for also giving me the necessary push along with others to get the 80ED. I really don't need to make my life any more difficult than it is to start this hobby out.

Getting more excited as I learn more every day!

I now know what SW is!!!! See another bit learnt :)

Best regards

Chris

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Interesting this as I went straight for the 120ED - I had no previous scope experience and was so concerned about setting the damn thing up it stayed in it's box for 8 months! I bought it with an HEQ5 Goto Pro, on advice from Steve at FLO. While it is a very steep learning curve, and I ask loads of dumb questions, I am happy with the choice that I made. I am finding the guiding a challenge at the moment, and understand that a shorter FL scope would be easier.

I find that without the reducer I have a 900mm scope, 765mm with reducer, then 420 and 300 with just the camera lens - A nice range all in all. I do not regret getting the 120ED one bit.

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...as another newbie with similar aspirations, I've also decided to go for the 80ED. The larger scopes look lovely (and I'll admit the cost issue did have some bearing on the decision) but for DSO imaging, which is what I want to get started in... the 80ED seems the best option in terms of f-number, size, portability and ease of use.

Just to throw in a curve ball... apart from the Williams Optics scopes, which also look lovely (but don't come with finders and all the other bits and pieces) I also found the 'Avian StarSeeker 100' the other day... a 100mm f6 scope for £699 RRP.

Seems to have got some nice reviews... but never actually seen one in the flesh.

From my newbie point of view... I am coming to the conclusion that a well known scope, from a well known (and trusted) manufacturer, bought from a helpful retailer who you know will give you all the advice and after-sales service you need is probably the most valuable thing when it comes to getting going and getting the advice you need quickly.

Just my 2p.

Ben

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I apologise for the use of shorthand ie SW! - finder guider stuff here http://stargazerslounge.com/diy-astronomer/84726-diy-finder-guider.html

more - http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-help/117670-how-make-finder-guider.html

I also recommend before you buy anything - buy Steves' book (steppenwolf in the forum) "Making every photon count" - FLO sell it....I would say that it is a must read for anyone wanting to start in AP (astro photography before you ask :)) plus it will help you buy the right kit.

Edited by adamsp123

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I also recommend before you buy anything - buy Steves' book (steppenwolf in the forum) "Making every photon count" - FLO sell it....I would say that it is a must read for anyone wanting to start in AP (astro photography before you ask :)) plus it will help you buy the right kit.

What he said!

I got the book the day after I joined the forum and have not regretted it... read it through once and am now going back to it to re-cap on bits and really try to understand them properly.

It's a very very good book if you want to do DSO imaging.

Ben

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Hi Adam/Ben,

Already half way through the book and enjoying it! Like you Ben it was the first thing I bought.

Just got back from a Wiltshire Astronomical Society meeting and met NickH who has shown me a different slant on the kit I have been looking at!

Will have a look now and see what it is, but he has kindly offered to see me and talk on Friday at Astrofest to show me what I need!

Best regards

Chris

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Hi Chris,

I was in the same dilemma as you last September and ended up getting the 80ED. I started out simply with just this scope and my HEQ5 mount and a laptop to control my Canon 450d. I found I could get 2 min exposures with this setup before egg shaped stars started to appear because of tracking errors.

Since then I have purchased the SW (:)) Field Flattener and a SW Light Pollution Filter.

Just after Christmas I progressed into guiding with a QHY5 attached to my 80ED's finderscope using an adapter bought from Modern Astronomy.

So far so good :)

Just a point regarding which scope, 120ED or 80ED: I'd say they complement each other rather than seeing it as an upgrade path from the 80 to 120 over time. The 80ED is good for wide field and 120 for a higher resolution (more zoomed in) image.

For example I used my 80ED to capture M1 on Monday and its very small, this maybe a good target for a 120ED for example. On the flip side I found I could not fit the whole of the North American nebula into the frame with my 80ED, so I need an even wider field of view for this (focal reducer).

Good luck

Steve

Edited by SkyExplorer

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Actually Steve, I'm not sure you'd get good image scale with the 120ED on M1 :)...

Chris, you can get an idea of the sorts of targets that work well and those that are too small etc from http://www.12dstring.me.uk/fov.htm

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Hi, I just recently decided to go down the autoguide route and bought an adapter and a qhy5 camera for my 9x50 celestron finder scope. I have not actually tried it out yet as its always cloudy in scotland but one thing I had to do was remove the finders focus lock ring so I can achieve focus with the qhy5 camera attached. Good Luck.

John

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