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Need some help with accessories

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#1 Berserker


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:07 PM

I have been attempting to do my due diligence in regards to all the accessories that I will need to start getting into astrophotography, but I think I need some help.

So far, this is what I have:

Meade LX200R 8” Telescope
Canon T3i
Meade SC thread to 2” Accessory Adapter
Aputure Timer Camera Remote Control Shutter Cable 1C, for Canon

So my questions are these:

1) Do I need an equatorial mount for my telescope right away, or will the factory fork mount I have right now be acceptable as I get my feet wet?

2) In regards to focal reducers, I know that my telescope already flattens the field, so that limits my choices, would this one be the best for the price?

Antares F/6.3 SCT Focal Reducer


3) I also know I need a t-ring adapter, but I started reading about larger adapters that take advantage of 2” accessories, would this True-2 adapter be a better choice?


I am reviewing the different software packages available (currently have a Macbook Pro), but am looking at getting a cheap dedicated Windows 7 laptop that I use specifically for astrophotography.

So what I missing or what would you guys recommend to help me get started?



#2 Jb32828



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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:14 PM

Why buy a shutter release cable for the canon camera when you can fully control it through a laptop with BackyardEOS? That would be my recommendation off the top along with a Windows Laptop.

#3 mmalik


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

1. Yes, you would need an EQ mount if you get serious about AP; you could try short snaps with alt-az for practice ONLY at this time’. Read more below.

2. For the start, you really don't need a reducer; read more below.

3. 2" adapter is better to avoid vignetting; I think you'll need this... kind of adapter for your LX (confirm before buying though). Plus you'll need a T-ring....

In short, with above and what you already have will get your feet wet with AP; eventually you may find out that you need an APO if you become hooked (that will be the time to revisit all your equipment; hence my suggestion to skip reducer since you may end up swapping out your SCT altogether). At some point you’ll need to get your DSLR modified. Last but not least, a solid EQ mount is ‘required’ for AP; but again use what you have for learning before making that plunge (can be pricey).

Note: Some image processing instructions here...; some unprocessed FITs for practice here.... FYI: Camera used for FITs was this... one.

#4 nofxrx


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:23 PM

Agreed, BYEOS is a necessity, imho.

You dont NEED a GEM...but you will need a wedge for your fork mount if you want to image longer than ~30-60 seconds!

You do NOT need the True 2"/Wide T-Adapters UNLESS you have a large, Full Frame, camera. and the T3i is not full frame. so, you dont need it..
a good ol' regular T-Ring and T-adapter will be just fine!(and save you quite a few $$!)

I would look at getting the CCDT67 from Astro-Physics: http://www.astro-physics.com/ (go to Products/Photographic and CCD Imaging Accessories/CCDT67

I have read and heard that it works VERY well with the new ACF/R and EDGE scopes..

Good luck! and welcome to this insanely expensive hobby/obsession! :)

#5 mmalik


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

BYEOS is a necessity, imho.

If one wants to go "wheels-up" (no wires to the camera, which I like) then BYOES becomes quite optional.

#6 Tonk



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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:19 AM

I'd forget about shooting through that scope while learning the basics. Use the camera piggy back with a camera lens and shoot widefield and then go narrower as your skills build up.

The focal length of your scope is far to high to get satifactory results from off because the narrow FOV you get and the high demand sthis puts on the mount etc. You would need a very high quality tracking GEM mount and an autoguider setup to get good results quickly.

I got a LX200 10 years ago, used it for one imaging session - says a lot!. Tried my little APO TV85 out at 480mm FL with a reducer and do ALL my astrophotography at this focal length now (2 degree FOV on APS-C diagonal). I have a Losmandy GM-8 for tracking and as yet don't need an autoguider and have shot at 6 minutes unguided - that high end of excellent so I'm very happy with the kit. The LX200 - use it for looking at planets!

#7 fco_star



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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

Welcome to this great but expensive $$$$ hobby :)

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