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Best Scope For DSO Imaging?


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Dilemma, dilemma, dilemma! :o

I am currently building towards imaging with my new found "interest", and have so far bought what I felt would be a good start to do so (i.e., NEQ6, guide scope, smartguider 2 , Canon EOS 1000d).

Now my stumbling block and concern lies with my current telescope - Skywatcher 200p (F5). Have read various articles from the internet this morning and having ploughed through various examples of beautiful astro images it seems that most of the "imagers" are using refractors? Is this correct?

Now, if this is the case, firstly DAMN!! Is the 200p not up for the job and should I consider a refractor? If so what kind of refractor would be a really good starting point? I have been looking at the Meade 5000 80mm ED APO or should I consider a Skywatcher APO?

Feeling a little lost and curious! Any advice would really be appreciated.

Steve

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Woah, hold it there! Looks to me like you have an excellent potential set up already. All you need now is a cheap ST80 as a guide scope, and you're away.

Yes, people use refractors, but you'll find a lot of people on this forum imaging with a setup like yours (including me) and getting excellent results. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't image with an 8" reflector.

Edited by lukebl
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Thanks Luke that's really reassuring. I have actually just bought the ST80 so hopefully I am now all setup and ready to go. Just waiting for the Smartguider to arrive. Good to hear that people get great results with the Newts!

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An 8" F/5 is fine, but you will need a coma corrector. Olly Penrice does state that an EQ6 can track sufficiently well for focal lengths up to 1000mm so you should be OK (and he should know). Many imagers prefer apo refractors because of the collimation issues of Newtonians. Besides, many scopes such as SCTs have a rather slow focal ratio, which makes them less suitable. An advantage of say the 80mm F/6 I have is that it shows a larger part of the sky, and is easier to guide, due to its more modest focal length. My main concern was getting a dual purpose scope: wide field grab and go, and (future) imaging scope. If you are bent of getting a refractor, the APM 80mm F/6 is a great scope (also sells under the Teleskop Service brand).

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Thanks Michael for your input and help. I do have a Baader MPCC so I'm hoping I have all bases covered (for now) but I might be looking to a refractor at some point in the future. The APM 80mm APO does look very nice and could be one of the candidates.

Steve

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The Refractor is great for it's wide field and short focal lenght. Some large extended DSO's simply wont fit on your camera with your scope. You would need mosaics.

However there are plenty of targets which will be ideal at your focal length and the MPCC should work very well with the 1000D

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You can certainly image with your scope. It is fast, which is very important. Refractors are a little easier in a variety of small ways but get going with what you have and see how you get on. As Michael says I said (!!) a metre is not a problem for an EQ6 but the reflector will easily catch the wind and at a metre that does matter. Polar alignment and balance of the mount are very, very important. My EQ sixes like to run a little heavy on the east, not much. You then just have to play with guider settings till you find what the mount likes.

I think a lot of Newt imagers orientate the tube so that the camera is on the 'wrong' side, ie so as to have the focuser on the mount side rather than the outside as for visual. Better dynamic balance.

Olly

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Some large extended DSO's simply wont fit on your camera with your scope.

Conversely, of course, your longer focal length will be better at imaging smaller DSOs (and planets) which are just too small for shorter-FL refractors. And there's a heck of a lot of small DSOs out there.

Of course, you do have to put up with diffraction spikes!

Edited by lukebl
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William Optics FLT 98.

Takahashi's of similar size.

Astro-Physics and TMB's again of similar size.

Ever wondered why Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Sigma and all the camera manufactures use refracting lens on the front of their cameras?

They give better images.

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William Optics FLT 98.

Takahashi's of similar size.

Astro-Physics and TMB's again of similar size.

Ever wondered why Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Sigma and all the camera manufactures use refracting lens on the front of their cameras?

They give better images.

Hmmm...

I, too, am a refractor nut but I might play devil's advocate and say, Ever wondered why the Hubble is a reflector?

The OP can do great stuff with an 8 inch Newt, learn the ropes, and then decide how much the reduced convenience of a Newt matters to him.

Those of us who love refractors have to be realistic and look at Mike's Newt images, and Harel's, and those produced by a number of members with MN190s.

It is, above all, ease and reliability that makes me a refractor user (and the lack of diffraction spikes since I do a lot of multi-scope composite images.)

That 8 inch Newt will be a good start and with more experience refined choices can follow. Then, like me, the OP can agonize between a Tak FSQ and a Tak Epsilon!!

Olly

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On a serious note (still chuckling); as you can see from my kit I understand the advantages of refractors but what are the best imaging scopes with big apertures and long focal lengths?

I have “The 100 best Astrophotography Targets” by Ruben Kier and a third of the images in the book are taken through a 12’’ Meade LX200R at f/7. There isn’t a refractor that can compete in that space (pun not intended), is there?

If I am going to buy a ‘big boy’ for imaging what do you experienced people recommend?

Thanks,

Steve.

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William Optics FLT 98.

Takahashi's of similar size.

Astro-Physics and TMB's again of similar size.

Ever wondered why Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Sigma and all the camera manufactures use refracting lens on the front of their cameras?

They give better images.

No: because they can be stopped down, which is the last thing a DSO photographer wants to do.

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