First post - first scope - is this a good choice?
Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:24 PM
Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:21 PM
I spent a lot of money trying to do ap and it was an utter failure because I didn't understand the expanse involved.
Main point is it's more complicated than one thinks because of how quickly the sky is moving. To take the amazing pictures you see requires longer exposures. Longer exposures require precise tracking. (Otherwise you get star tails or stars that just aren't round) Precise tracking requires a good mount to be equatorially aligned, with counter weights configured properly, maybe even another scope and software running on a laptop to help you guide. And, to top it off, you want to transport most of this equipment to a very dark site. In the suburbs you start go get orange glow on your exposures after a short period of time.
Then to top it off, you need to spend a good deal of time stacking your photos, working with flats and darks and working in Photoshop to get the photo perfect.
It can all be done, people do it all the time, but just based on the simplicity of your post I'm guessing you didn't realize it's that complicated. When I first tried doing AP I thought what I see is pretty amazing. I'd like to put a camera where my eye is and take a picture of that and show it to someone. a few thousand dollars later I had a few shots that would wow a few people, but nothing worth the money or time I put into it.
The basic answer to your question is probably a no the Nexstar 8 would not be good without at least a wedge allowing you to follow the sky on one axis. The single arm of the nexstars can be problematic for very much weight. I'd probably argue $1500 is pretty low for an AP budget all together.
Sorry if I come off as a negative Nancy. You'll have to make up your own mind when buying a scope. I think a nexstar 8 is a nice scope for visual. For AP I'd be concerned.
Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:59 PM
Using low or no cost processing programs and advice from our members.If you need to take super detailed photos that will give you a real !wow! factor to your work then you'll have to increase your skill in processing and increase your investment in equipment. There is no top end to the cost.
Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:12 PM
Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:35 PM
Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:11 PM
Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:42 PM
Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:06 PM
Thank you for your kind words. I and many only use web cams DSLRs,orCCDs for AP. Are you considering film? You said SLR.
I hope you decide to give AP a try. Remember what ever you spend for equipment if you don't like the hobby you can always sell your equipment and recover half of your investment.
Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:14 PM
There is much truth in your words. If I had more to invest in my hobby I would. But I don't, so I won't.
Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:59 PM
Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:22 PM
Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:48 AM
Aside from AP use - this is a good deal (850.00) on a good scope? No? Yes?
YES, it's a screaming deal, especially if it's one of the later versions with the upgradeable hand controller and motor controller software. I have an early NexStar 8 GPS, not upgradeable, but it tracks wonderfully well and is VERY robust in it's construction. You will need the heavy duty Celestron wedge for AP if you do any long exposures, but it is a superb visual instrument on the alt-az fork mount. For reference, I paid about $1200 for mine about 6 years ago. I bought it from a fellow who was doing AP with it, and he has told me on several occasions that he wishes he had never sold it to me as it was reliable and he took many good images with it. Sound like you have a good plan for your equipment, starting with a DSLR and guide scope for autoguiding. My friend used a modified webcam for planetary imaging, as well. Good luck. BDC
Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:27 AM
Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:15 PM
The equipment you both have chosen will give you even more data than mine.
I wish you both the best of times in your hobby.
Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:34 PM
Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:36 PM
Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:39 PM
Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:25 PM
Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:50 PM
Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:21 PM
That shed is even cooler with the roof rolled off and a scope pointed skyward.I think you've got a great deal for your money. Now you'll have to connect the camera to the scope Here are a couple of ways: First you'll need a T ring It replaces the original lens on your camera and this is camera specific just order one for your brand camera and the next item would be the T adapter this screws into the
t ring and the other side will replace the Visual back on your SCT ,the visual back is the piece you would normally insert the eyepiece or diagonal in' it does just screw off and the T will replace it. Here's a shot of the T ring on the camera and the T adapter
or you can just purchase the T ring and one of these 1.25 adapters that will screw into the T ring and then just slide into the regular eyepiece holder there available with or without built in barlow lens.
A third option you would have to have if you wanted shots through the different eyepieces for higher magnifications using your regular camera lens is a universal afocal camera adapter they are better used with small point in shoot digital cameras as they my not allow enough room for a full sized camera and lens setup and the eyepiece side can't adjust to some larger eyepieces.
Maybe these are already in the accessories you got with your new scope. Maybe you could share a shot of your scope ,we all like to look at that kind of thing, we lead such sheltered lives. Sounds like you got a nice set up. Don't rush out and spend money on a wedge you will be hard put get the mount to work well enough for more than 30 second exposures and that is too short a time for field rotation to show up. If you are going to have a computer available at your AP site Back Yard EOS is a great program for setting up an observing session and will control your camera, check out their site they have a 30 day free trial and it cost is low if you decide to buy it. I wouldn't go with out it I have it installed in all three of my computers.
Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:23 PM
I'm sure the shed does look better with the top rolled off. I have a shed on my wish list. Maybe sometime in the next few years. I'm going to take this slow. I went out last night for the first time with the new scope. Funny thing - I woke up at 1AM for some reason (pretty sure is was the new scope calling my name) and looked outside - clear skies! So.... without waking the family, I set the scope up in the driveway - not ideal I know but this was spur of the moment - Now, I've never used this scope (this is my first scope) so I'm trying to figure this out in the freezing cold I did the GPS align once - failed alignment?? Tried again...failed?? So I go inside and do a quick search in the net and find that the Nexstar GPS is off by about 20 d's on the GPS align mode. So . . .I go back out, try again. This time I slew around to the alignment stars that it thinks it's pointing to (using my nifty new star chart to help me find them ) and BOOM - well an hour later - I'm ready to go. I tell the scope to go to Jupiter - it does, but there is a problem. While Jupiter is in the finder scope it not in the 8"?? Long story short - at 4AM I put the scope away and while doing so, I noticed that the finder scope was not aligned! Doooh! Today - I aligned the scope and the finder scop so I should be all set for tonight. Clear skies are in the forcast and I think it's a new moon so maybe tonight I will have some luck. Not to mention Geminid meteor shower is in full swing tonight
This camera looks perfect! I would be interested in that for sure!
Not sure how to post a pic of my new scope on this forum - I'll figure that out and get a pic up asap!
Thanks again for all of your help.