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Building equipment over time

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#1 kargan

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 04:49 PM

I have some freed up cash I can justify spending on my astrophotography hobby this year and am looking for some advice on which direction I should go. I can easily justify $1500-$2000. If I were to spend more I would need to see an extreme increase in capability to pull it off this year and not feel guilty. My splurge option could go as high as $4000.

Here is what I have at home: Meade LX90 GPS fork mounted alt-az, and a Meade DSI II Pro CCD camera. I also have a Canon T2i that I use for regular photography that I have never tried with astrophotography. I have been snapping images with this setup for a few years and have had some success on DSOs using many exposures stacked around 10-15s each. I live in Phoenix, so weather is a bonus.

Anything I buy I want it as future-proof as possible, meaning I won't regret underpaying for something I could dropped a few extra bucks on with larger capability and expansion ability.

Here is my thought: I definitely need a real mount. I am leaning toward the CGEM for ease of alignment and overall carrying capacity vs price. I might go for the DX for future-proofing where I could see either a larger OTA or a piggybacked 80mm at some point. I know a DX with my current 8" lx90 will require a dovetail and either an 11lb or 17lb losmandy counterweight as the included 22lb with the DX will not balance with the smaller 8" scope.

I am thinking that puts me in a place where my 8" could pull a minute or more frames and I could go deeper than ever. I am definitely a DSO junky. The DX would then allow me to expand to mount a 80mm, guider, etc at some point without further investment.

My 'splurge' option might be getting the $4000 C11 DX edgeHD which gives me a ton more aperture, gives me the cgem DX, etc, and maybe I can resell my lx90.

My main love is galaxies, nebulae and other DSOs. Very open to thoughts on my options here. I have looked at APOs but I have never used one and am not sure I can afford one with enough aperture to capture DSOs along with a proper mount.

Thanks for reading!

Rick

#2 Herr Ointment

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 06:41 PM

IMO the only thing future-proof is the grave. Just a thought. Buy and enjoy!

#3 RogerRZ

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 07:37 PM

Don't overlook an Orion Atlas either. Coupled with Eqmod, they make a powerful pair...

#4 orlyandico

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:14 AM

used CGE. Probably the best mount you can buy for $2000.

#5 jgraham

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:37 PM

Here ya go...

This is a Meade 8" SCT on an Atlas EQ-G mount with EQMOD (fantabulous!), and Orion off-axis guider, DSI Pro III guide camera (your Pro II with a low profile faceplate from ScopeStuff will work fine), and a stock Canon T2i. This has proven to be an absolutely wonderful imaging system. If you don't want to de-fork your LX90 (I wouldn't) there's an 8" SCT w/ dovetail in Shop'n Swap right now for $350.

Just a thought...

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