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I need another scope


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Right, i have my dob, it's awesome, and has shown me things i wouldn't have thought possible. I want to keep it... but.

I've been playing with webcam imaging, and there are some inherent technical difficulties using a dob, one significant one being a distinct lack of tracking.

So for planetary imaging (with possibly a hint of DSO) what kind of scope should i be looking at? I'm a bit overwhelmed by the imaging section, they keep taking about subs and darks :) so any begginer advice is warmly welcomed.

Thanks in advance

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Firstly, I would consider buying a non-Dob mount. The "minimum" for serious imaging seems to be either the HEQ5 or the EQ6. Both will track unguided for anywhere from 30s to 2mins.

Your 150P can be mounted on to the HEQ5/EQ6 mount (with the addition of rings and dovetails), so I think this would be the first step before buying a new scope.

From there you can venture into the 80mm APO's, guidescopes, auto-guiders and whatnot.

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I went into imaging 2 years ago, unguided then guided, and i went with a equatorial mount, it needs some form of drive, especially with DSO, EQ5 or EQ6 would be recommended, and i havn't looked back. As far as the scope itself the same as what you have got would be fine

Edited by Si W
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The key to imaging is always the mount. The bigger, the heavier, and the more accurately tracking ( and of course, the more expensive), the better.

EQ, rather than Alt-Az, unless you are only proposing to take very short time exposures - which would drastically limit your results. So, the accepted wisdom is a minimum of an HEQ5 or an EQ6.

Of course, much depends on exactly what you want to image. Your existing scope will do fine on a big enough mount, and should cope with both planetary and DSOs - although you will probably find that it is better at the latter.

If it is largely webcam work on planets that you want to do, a Mak is excellent, but if you want to do largely DSLR work on DSOs, an apochromatic or ED refractor would be a better buy.

Unfortunately, though, there doesn't seem to be ONE ideal scope for all types of imaging :p

I highly recommend reading "Making Every Photon Count" by Steve Richards (Steppenwolf on this forum) - and then re-read it several times. It could save you a fortune, and an immense amount of frustration :)

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If I'm not mistaken the 150P skyliner is a 1200mm F8? That makes it more suitable for planets.

Yes, basically buy a mount for your current scope, that's what I'm doing but obviously you'll still have the option of dob mounting for a quick shufty.

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Thanks for the pointers chaps.

I've got a while to go yet before any final decisions get made (very much depends on how much the bonus pays out).

I'm looking down the mak route, i think my dream would be a Celestron CPC 800 GPS (XLT), but being pragmatic probably a Skywatcher Skymax 150 PRO on a suitable mount.

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You can get some very nice CPC-800's for under a grand s/h if you keep your eyes peeled - often with loads of bit's thrown in. It'll be fine for imaging planets, but a heck of a lot of setting up for dso photography and guiding. I'd say go for EQ mounts as mentioned above :)

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I have a 90mm refract (,f11,1000mm f/l). Its great for observing planets and pretty good with DSO's also. The only problem is the mount. Its an EQ2 (i think). Its not the sturdiest in the world so would struggle with imaging.

The scope is great. Shame about the mount/tripod. Its fine for observing.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Only ten more posts until i can view the ads, it's taken a while, but i'm trying not to just post for posting sake :).

As i said the CPC would be lovely and if one did come up at a good price i'd ****** it up, but i reckon the skymax 150 on an eq mount is probably the way to go.

One thin i've never looked into much re mounts (being a dob guy atm), where it says GOTO is that quite literal, as in it will go to your target, do i then have to manually track? or are the auto track eq mounts as well?

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The goto mounts (both alt/az and eq) will goto an object and track it automatically for you - but for imaging dso's it has to be eq really so you can do long exposures whilst tracking in a single plane. Alt/az track in two planes. :)

Edited by brantuk
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for planets a eq mount is not required as its done by stacking video images normally on a webcam and for DSO a short focal ratio scope is required for a Maksutov is only suited for planetary making the eq mount pretty much not needed,

a bad match i would say, can i recommend a 150PDS or 200PDS at f5 with good light gathering and made for DSLR astrophotography on a EQ mount would be a great all rounder,

There are better scopes for individual usages but only f5 reflectors are able (imo) to satisfy, Imaging, Visual in one scope at a low price point

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So it's a case of deciding what i very specifically want to image then :) My main interest is planets so an alt az or eq would be fine then; although an eq would be better should i chose to also go dso. Hmmm that's given me more to think about.

Once again thanks for the input chaps :p

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I would ditch the hope of doing DS and planetary imaging with the same scope. DS needs a fast f ratio and a short focal length. This is based on experience rather than theory or manufacturers' claims! However, planetary needs a very long focal length and can tolerate a very slow f ratio.

You can say that in theory either an SCT or a large fast Newt can do both. In reality it is harder than that. Look at what people are using on the relevant imaging boards and you have confirmation of that.

Steve's book? Yes, without doubt!

Olly

ollypenrice's Photos

Edited by ollypenrice
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Just food for thought, My be what you could do as you go along is get a fast F ratio scope for DS, say F4, then get a slow F ratio scope not to big and use that for planetary imaging, the reason why I say not to big, is you can mount the smaller scope on the larger scope and it could perform a dual function, planetary Imaging and a guide scope if you ever get a second CCD, or use a DSLR in the F4 scope and Guide with the small scope with a CCD, everything is on the same mount and you can do either planetary Imaging, DSO, or both without setting up two scopes. I currently run this setup with an SN10 F4 and an ETX 90 F13 on an LXD75 mount.

Edited by Si W
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I have a bit of a daft question i think. Can you keep the dob mounting on the side of the 'scope when you mount it to the EQ mount? So you could really quickly switch between the 2 or would you strip the Dob mounting off to put it on the EQ. I dont have a dob but the question jumped into my head :)

Paul''

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The only problem you would have is once you have disturbed the EQ mount, you will probably need to check the Polar allignment, it can be done, but not a quick job to put the scope back on the EQ.

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Just food for thought, My be what you could do as you go along is get a fast F ratio scope for DS, say F4, then get a slow F ratio scope not to big and use that for planetary imaging, the reason why I say not to big, is you can mount the smaller scope on the larger scope and it could perform a dual function, planetary Imaging and a guide scope if you ever get a second CCD, or use a DSLR in the F4 scope and Guide with the small scope with a CCD, everything is on the same mount and you can do either planetary Imaging, DSO, or both without setting up two scopes. I currently run this setup with an SN10 F4 and an ETX 90 F13 on an LXD75 mount.

Ok now you've just totally blown my mind :) . I've got until june/july to make up my mind, so i will be investigating lots of options.

My current thinking is probably still a mak as the OTA is smaller and more transportable (with my dob there is a certain amount of faffing required to get it in the car), the question then lingers over what mount alt/az v EQ in some form of goto configuration.

If i decide on DSO imaging in the future then i have to start consider a DSLR of some type as well, which is why for now i'm thinking of sticking with planetary primarily.

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Ok now you've just totally blown my mind :) . I've got until june/july to make up my mind, so i will be investigating lots of options.

My current thinking is probably still a mak as the OTA is smaller and more transportable (with my dob there is a certain amount of faffing required to get it in the car), the question then lingers over what mount alt/az v EQ in some form of goto configuration.

If i decide on DSO imaging in the future then i have to start consider a DSLR of some type as well, which is why for now i'm thinking of sticking with planetary primarily.

Apologies, it was not the intention to blow your mind, just thought I would provide a working example of how to get the most from your kit, as I said at the beginning, just food for thought.

Edited by Si W
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