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Help me decide on a telescope ($2k :) (Beginner)

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#26 bluesteel

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 06:10 PM

Do you have a camera and tripod already? If so I would recommend taking pictures of bright objects like moons and constellations with just a tripod camera combination to get your feet wet. Taking pictures is only 1/8th of the battle it seems with astrophotography. Processing and stacking the images to bring out the unseen pieces that the camera actually picks up is a very time consuming process with a steep learning curve at first. Registax is a program that is great for stacking pictures of the moon and planets. Deepskystacker is a program that is used to enhance stars, nebulae, etcetera. Both are free.

#27 JoeStarPR

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:18 AM

Do you have a camera and tripod already? If so I would recommend taking pictures of bright objects like moons and constellations with just a tripod camera combination to get your feet wet. Taking pictures is only 1/8th of the battle it seems with astrophotography. Processing and stacking the images to bring out the unseen pieces that the camera actually picks up is a very time consuming process with a steep learning curve at first. Registax is a program that is great for stacking pictures of the moon and planets. Deepskystacker is a program that is used to enhance stars, nebulae, etcetera. Both are free.

I am doing just that this saturday at the next star party. Bringin my camera, wide lens and tele and sturdy tripod!

#28 JoeStarPR

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 07:18 AM

"I had an astrophysicist pick out my first scope and he chose a NexStar."

That's a little like saying you had an engineer who designs screens for LCD displays pick out your oil paints for you. :grin: Observational astronomy as a professional tool has been dead for almost a century. Amateur astronomy is an aesthetic pursuit. Modern astrophysics is all about theory, probes, data, experiments and articles. Unless the astro-physist in question is also a visual observer hobbyist, I would tend to put *less* weight in his opinion than the opinions of experienced, active visual observers.

That said, I don't think the Nexstar 8 SE is a bad choice. But it wouldn't be my first recommendation for a noob.

Regards,

Jim


What would be your recommendation if I may ask?

#29 J. Barnes

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:33 AM

That Edge 8 w/ AVX looks like a sweet rig. Even though it would blow your whole "jump in with both feet" budget, and leave no room for accessories, it would be a solid foundation for years worth of discovery. At the very least you could do some prime focus Solar system imaging and buy an inexpensive mount for your DSLR and do some long exposure wide-field stuff. Andromeda is easy pickings with a cheapy telephoto lens mounted on top of my old-school fork mounted C8. I think an 8" SCT is a "Jack of all Trades" scope and I use mine more than anything else besides my binoculars. Now I wouldn't recommend a C8 to a beginner who might be riding the fence, but your aggressive plan doesn't strike me as "not sure I'm ready."

#30 tedbnh

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:55 AM

A used C8 with XLT coatings ($500) and a used iOptron MiniTower ($500) will put you where Galileo only wished he could be, with a grand to spend on accessories. If you don't like either one, you can sell them for close to what you paid.

XLT coatings are important for looking at bright objects like planets, and Saturn is coming up nicely now for summer. 8" will give you the aperture to see hundreds of DSOs. And the mount will give you the ability to track at high power, which is important for sharing those views with the family.

Just my $.02...

#31 JoeStarPR

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 12:08 PM

Thanks guys for all the suggestions !!. I do plan on doing a photo shoot at the site this Saturday. I have a tele zoom and a Wide angle, the mount is also a sturdy Manfroto ($350) mount, I bet i t can hold a Telescope too hehe.!

#32 JoeStarPR

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 09:51 PM

Ok, so now that I have decided on going for the NexStar 8SE I have a few questions:
What accessories do you recommend?
What adapters would I need to attach my camera (Nikon 5100) To the scope? does it attach to the front or the back?
I plan on buying the Piggyback mount as I want to take some wide shots with my 17-55 Lens and also have a 70-300 Lens I think it would be useful.
I think if I buy the 8SE I'll have enough money to spare for the accessories
can you offer any suggestions? :)

Again, thank you for all your help!
JoeStar

#33 SeattleScott

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:42 PM

Good call, the scope just went on sale!

#34 BoldAxis1967

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 11:12 PM

Congraulations! I think you made a fine choice.

I do not do astrophotography and I do not have an f10 scope so I cannot suggest anything. But if you or your wife wear glasses this would affect your choice of eyepieces (EP). In general eye relief and field of view are important considerations.

If possible try to get one EP that can frame clusters like the Double Cluster and the Pleiades. Of course they are really out of view now, but they will return in a few months! Don't worry, there are other star clusters that will benefit from an EP that provides a wide field of view.

Enjoy.

#35 Momerath

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 06:26 AM

Ok, so now that I have decided on going for the NexStar 8SE I have a few questions:
What accessories do you recommend?
What adapters would I need to attach my camera (Nikon 5100) To the scope? does it attach to the front or the back?
I plan on buying the Piggyback mount as I want to take some wide shots with my 17-55 Lens and also have a 70-300 Lens I think it would be useful.
I think if I buy the 8SE I'll have enough money to spare for the accessories
can you offer any suggestions? :)

Again, thank you for all your help!
JoeStar


I will just say this. The Nextstar 8Se is a good beginner scope for visual. the 1 arm bandit scopes are not that great for photography. the arm cannot really take the load of a camera hanging off the back. Not to mention the mount will not compensate for field rotation which means you are going to be limited to very very short exposures. I would still recomment getting the avx mount combo instead.

as far as your other question you will neeed a T-Ring, to attach to your camera. this converts the camera body twist connecter to a threaded female. you will then need a t adaptor which screws into the t-ring. the whole assemble then inserts into the visual back of the telescope. This si considered "Prime focus". to achieve a wider field you will most likely want to add a focal reducer.

For planets you will need a Barlow. you can buy these with threads to attach to the t-ring. this is then inserted into the visual back or diaganal.

#36 JoeStarPR

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 06:43 AM

I was also considering the SCT 8" Advanced VX Series (non-Edge HD) for $1,599 but that leaves little room for accessories. I was thinking on the 8SE then later on buy the VX mount, that way I have a cheap Alt Az for another OTA when the time comes :)

#37 Momerath

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:47 AM

I will give this advice, and i give it to many people about many products. You should get what you WANT!. if you want 1 thing and then settle for another you are rarely ever happy.

Also you really dont need that many accessories. 2 or 3 decent EP's and a few adaptors for your camera is all you really need. and lateer you can grow your EP collection. There are a LOT of accessories you can live without, but make certain things easier. those are the things that add up fast. 30 dollars here and 65 there adds to a big check.

#38 MikeBOKC

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:08 AM

One important but often overlooked accessory for a fork mounted scope is a comfortable adjustable observing chair. I use a drummer's throne, but there are also several special astro chairs out there. Sitting comfortably while you tease out detail in Saturn's rings or a galaxy is much much easier than standing and leaning into the eyepiece.

#39 J. Barnes

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:31 AM

I was also considering the SCT 8" Advanced VX Series (non-Edge HD) for $1,599 but that leaves little room for accessories. I was thinking on the 8SE then later on buy the VX mount, that way I have a cheap Alt Az for another OTA when the time comes :)

I saw that one as well, and after shipping you would probably have enough for a x.63 focal reducer, barlow, t-adapter and just make it under your budget. I would have to say that I have my doubts about using the 8SE for anything other than visual. My old SCTs came with wedges, so basic AP was a little easier for me. I know that several of my fellow club members have alt/az fork mounted Meade LX200's and they are limited to mostly planetary AP. It wasn't until one of them got a wedge, that the DSO AP opened up to him.
I think that EQ mounting is the only way to get a decent exposure over 45 seconds. I was lucky one night and got a clean four minute exposure with my C11, but 2-3 minutes is more often the max. Even then, fork mounting is stressed with a DSLR hanging off the scope. I can't imagine losing one arm.
I know it sounds like I'm recklessly spending all your money, but if you want to do any AP then expect to hear cash registers ringing every time you Google astro-images and tell yourself "I want to take that picture!"






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