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#1 abrock5


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Posted 12 March 2009 - 06:51 PM

Hello all. I am new to CN and new to astronomy as well. A little background first. My wife got me a Celestron NexStar 6SE for Christmas. I loved it and after some thorough internet research, decided that I really wanted to get into astrophotography. However, the 6SE is less than ideal for this. I've taken some 30 second unguided shots of Orion w/a Canon 40d, and a few split second shots of the moon, but I want to get more into it. Therefore I am looking to get a new mount and refractor as an "intro" setup. Looking to maybe get a SkyWatcher 80ED, use the 6SE OTA for guiding, and image w/the 40d. Now the question. What is a good mount in the $1500 range? Was looking at the CGEM since I am familiar w/Celestron, but I know there are many other choices. My needs are for it to hold all the above equipment (although I could buy a smaller refractor to guide if the 6SE is too heavy for $1500 mount) plus an autoguider. Mainly though, I want good quality so I can take clean long exposure shots. Easy polar alignment and some sort of PE correction would be nice as well. Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I look forward to your opinions.

#2 therocksal


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Posted 12 March 2009 - 06:57 PM

CGEM....I'm getting it for my C8 and future EON 72 combo.

#3 Fortune07


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Posted 12 March 2009 - 07:42 PM

Check out the Atlas EQ-G, it is a great mount, it will hold all of the equipment you listed Plus. the non-go-to version is listed for about $1200, for another $100 or so you can add go-to and control features with EQMOD. The Atlas comes with a polar alignment scope and is beefy enough to grow with you. It has an ST4 port for autoguiding and mine worked well right out of the box no mods required. Just my 2cents worth but I'm really happy with mine.

#4 Lane



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Posted 12 March 2009 - 08:50 PM

For the dual scopes and the accessories you mentioned I would also recommend either the CGEM or the Atlas. CGEM is slightly less expensive and if you want a new scope you can get a great discounted package deal by getting it with the C8, C9.25, or C11. The is definitely the best way to get your hands on a C11 at a discount for sure, then you have a great big scope for visual in additon to your AP platform for your existing scopes.

#5 Al Canarelli

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:15 AM

Therefore I am looking to get a new mount and refractor as an "intro" setup. Looking to maybe get a SkyWatcher 80ED, use the 6SE OTA for guiding, and image w/the 40d. Now the question. What is a good mount in the $1500 range?
Here's the answer to all your questions! First get this book on CD: "A GUIDE TO ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY WITH DIGITAL SLR CAMERAS", here www.astropix.com This will be the best $30 you ever spent and the book will shortly become your bible. It will also tell you what equipment to buy, were to buy it and how much to pay for it. Also will cover how to use it and which software to use (much of the software is free. To answer your question about the telescope and mount...

A Celestron or Orion 80mm ED on a Celestron Advanced GT will cost you about $1,000 new, or far less used.

#6 Dave H.

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 06:30 PM

Some good feedback above already, but here are my $.02... :lol:

The ED80 scopes are great for astro imaging, that is good advice. I have owned the Orion ED80 and both Celestron C80ED and C80EDF Onyx versions either would work, but I'm more partial towards Skywatcher versions, and there is a great package deal on the SW Pro ED 80 with case, diagonal, rings, finder, etc right now I would investigate.

Guiding with the C6 may work, but that OTA does not have holes for top rail guide scope mounts, and you might have to investigate a side by side set up or a set of rings for the C6.

Having owned the CG5, and Atlas EQG, and I opted to go with a CGEM as my EQ mount like many others, and am very happy with the mount so far. Only the Celestron EQ mounts have the All Star Polar Alignment routine, and IMHO attaining an adequate polar alignment for astro imaging can't get any easier than with that routine. I'm sure some would say the CG5 would be adequate for the needs you have described and it might well be, but if it were me I would spring for the extra $$$ to get the CGEM as you have so much more flexibility for growth. Like Lance stated above you might want to get a C11 one day, and that OTA will be comfortable on a CGEM, but is just too much for a CG5 for any thoughts of imaging...

Of course you can keep your C6 from the Nexstar set up and use in on your new EQ mount and, I love my little C6 and use it on my CGEM often as it is a great grab and go OTA.

Hope this helps! :grin:

#7 abrock5


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Posted 13 March 2009 - 09:32 PM

Thanks for all the advice; it is very much appreciated. I think the plan for now will be to get the CGEM. In terms of quality it appears to be equal to the Atlas EQG, but the All Star Polar Alignment puts it over the top for me. Easy, accurate alignment can't be wrong, right? Also, what I'll probably end up doing is buying a smaller guidescope to use w/the 80ED and used the 6SE for observing...all of this pending spousal approval of course. Anyway, thanks again for everyone's advice.

#8 gladestar


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Posted 13 March 2009 - 11:46 PM

Two posts and nobody has said hello yet. Hello and welcome to the Cloudy Nights network.

#9 waassaabee


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Posted 14 March 2009 - 11:18 AM

Hello abrock5 and and a big welcome to CN!! Some of the finest and most informative folks you'll find on this rock!

I recently was going through the same search you are in now, and ordered me a CGEM. You'll hear a lot of 'new and unproven' statements regarding the CGEM, but you'll also hear it is the 'new and improved' EQ-6. I think it is the best bang for the buck!!

As far as guidescopes, I am using the miniBorg 50 with a Q-Guider (SSAG) for my Megrez and couldn't be happier! Weighing in @ under 2 pounds with rings is a blessing.
:penny: :penny:

#10 Dave H.

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 11:41 AM

Sorry for my rudeness and over site Abrock :bow:

Welcome to Cloudy Nights!

Enjoy! :jump:

#11 darylf96



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Posted 14 March 2009 - 03:45 PM

You may wish to bypass using your scope for guiding, and save considerable weight on you mount, saving money at the same time. Orion has just introduced their new off-axis guider (also the self-centering accessory adapter), which will work well with your DSLR imaging. You may want to check it out. Oh, yes, AND WELCOME TO CN!


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