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Orion 80mm ShortTube advice

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#26 Widespread

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:16 AM

A Bogen tripod with a fluid head would indeed work well.

As Jon says, the mount affects portability the most, which is why I suggested the AZ-4 as the lightest mount I know of that has slo-mo controls.

But OP only mentions EQ mounts, so maybe he's not interested in altaz. Which is absolutely fine, except it belies the statement that portability is top priority (as it would be for me, were I to take a scope on a bus).

#27 Kevdog

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:35 AM

Why not either an ETX80 or ETX90?

http://store.meade.c...efractor-wit...

http://store.meade.c...portable-obs...

They come up used around here all the time for a lot less money and they're called "backpack" scopes for a reason. The 2 above come with a purpose built backpack to carry it in.

#28 RussL

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 10:37 AM

Just for clarification, what I call my "ST80" is in fact a Celestron Wide View 80, but it is EXACTLY the same scope with different paint and stickers, and made by Synta just like Orion's ST80.

#29 Paco_Grande

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 11:06 AM

ST80 on a Porta II :waytogo: - Starguy has another demo unit on sale.

http://www.mrstarguy...p?idproduct=434

#30 BSJ

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 11:48 AM

Will a camera tripod be appropriate to view Saturn? Will I have to keep adjusting, causing a lot of vibrations?


The ST80 is a poor planetary scope. It just isn't capable of decent enough magnification.

At its best, Saturn will be a small bright dot with a ring. Jupiter is a slightly bigger bright dot with a couple dark bands, if you are lucky.

It's an OK wide field refractor, that gives false color on bright objects. No more, no less.

#31 SteveG

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:13 PM


The model I am looking at is equipped with an EQ 1 tripod.

I have a few questions to you:

1. I read the tripod is wobbly. Do you know if it wobbles? If it does, what EQ tripod prevents the wobbling? You can make changes or modifications to "tighten up" a small, weak tripod. I did it with my first 60mm EQ-1 scope. The best mod is to replace the legs with something heavier, or perhaps a fixed non-adjustable leg. The EQ-1's that I have used would be fine for visual viewing with a Short Tube 80.

2. If I have to add weight to the tripod, how much would I need? I have to account for that before I head to the bus. I would try to tighten the tripod first by using screws, grommets, wedges, etc to tweak out all the loose connections & pivot points. It just takes a little tweaking.

3. Does a cheap digital camera ($100) will give me pretty much the same quality image than a $600? Forget imaging with this setup. Just enjoy it visually.

4. What adapter do I need to use a camera on it? I guess it depends on the camera that I use as well.

4. What filter should I buy right away? Moon filter? When you can afford it, this is the only filter I would recommend:http://www.adorama.com/AA2458370.html?gclid=CO-P-Nyx9bYCFeU5QgodI2MAsg

5. Is it realistic to consider long exposure astrophotography? I'm thinking of galaxies, nebulae. No


I have a little experience with a Short Tube 90, and can say that it was a very nice, lightweight achromat that provided excellent wide-field views. It fell a little short on planets, but we didn't have a Fringe Killer type filter.

#32 SteveG

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 12:23 PM

This scope from another post might be worth looking at:
http://www.ebay.com/...scope-Packag...

It has the same EQ-1 mount, but includes a small drive motor. You would need to beef-up the legs on this, and the supplied eyepieces are of poor quality, but the scope is probably better optically.

#33 Tony Flanders

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 01:34 PM

The ST80 is a poor planetary scope. It just isn't capable of decent enough magnification.

At its best, Saturn will be a small bright dot with a ring. Jupiter is a slightly bigger bright dot with a couple dark bands, if you are lucky.


Hey, the ST80 is far from optimal as a planetary scope, but it's nowhere near as bad as you're implying. At 100X, Saturn will be a lovely disk with crisp rings, and you have a good shot at seeing the Cassini Division if you work at it.

Jupiter's two main bands are blindingly obvious, and you should be able to see considerable additional detail.

If your ST80 isn't doing this, something is wrong. Either it has defective optics or (more likely) you're using a defective star diagonal.

#34 BSJ

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 02:29 PM

No there's nothing wrong with my 2" diagonal, or the 2" Crayford focuser I put on it too. Couldn't stand getting greaseon me everytime I used it!

Disc or dot with a ring. Same difference. Cassini division? Not in the North East at 100x.

Detail on Jupiter? If two bands are what you call detail, I guess I stand underwhelmed.

#35 Geo.

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 04:23 PM

You can spend $30K on a mount and another $12K on a camera and make lousy photos. Or you can get a used ST80, an $80 used CG-3 and a DSLR and do something like this:

Attached Files



#36 csrlice12

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 04:37 PM

:waytogo:

Now that's what I want to do. Use my ST-80 and motorized CG4 to get pics like this for screensavers. What camera were you using?

#37 jezz

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 04:53 PM

George - EXCELLENT :bow:

#38 Gert K A

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 05:20 PM

@ George

Wow! stunning :like:

#39 newtoskies

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 06:02 PM

wow, love it. I want to do that too...lol. just need the ST,mount and DSLR.

#40 stevenf

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 07:31 PM

This scope from another post might be worth looking at:
http://www.ebay.com/...scope-Packag...


That does look like a pretty nice deal, thanks for the heads up.

I use an ST80 with an EQ1 often and have no problems with it. The mount handles it fine. As for photography, I've never tried this yet, but I've seen some pretty decent results from just mounting an SLR to a motorized EQ1 for some wide field milky way shots. Seems like a cheap and easy way to get your feet wet in astrophotography to me (but again, I have no real idea what I'm talking about here! :) )

#41 Astrohat

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 01:04 AM

Post deleted by Astrohat

#42 Astrohat

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 02:56 AM

Actually, there are a few interesting post I had not seen before. So I hold off my decision.

#43 James Cunningham

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 05:50 AM

What camera did you use to get such great photos?

#44 Astrohat

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:36 AM

A Bogen tripod with a fluid head would indeed work well.

As Jon says, the mount affects portability the most, which is why I suggested the AZ-4 as the lightest mount I know of that has slo-mo controls.

But OP only mentions EQ mounts, so maybe he's not interested in altaz. Which is absolutely fine, except it belies the statement that portability is top priority (as it would be for me, were I to take a scope on a bus).


Widespread, I decided to put your claim to test. I put 16 pounds of object (the scope and the EQ1 in a gym bag, and walked around with it in the street. Much heavier than I thought! In fact, not realistic. Add to this the weight of my laptop, webcam, camera and other astronomy accessories. I have to rethink the project. I think I have to determine how many pounds I can reasonably carry around. It will be key in choosing the tripod.

#45 Astrohat

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:40 AM

I am going to a specialized astronomy store here in Toronto tomorrow to look at different tripods, and ask advice. I will tell the employee the portability limitations I'm facing.

#46 Kfrank

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:12 PM

If 16 lbs is too heavy for you to haul around, you'll need to rethink your entire premise. There's really no way you'll be able to transport a scope, mount,tripod AND laptop, camera and other stuff and get anywhere close to that limit.

For instance, an Orion ST80 weighs in at about 4 lbs. Add a decent eyepiece and a star diagonal and you'll be up to about 5 lbs. A Universal Astronomics DwarfStar mount will add another 2 lbs and you're left with choosing a tripod. If you want to go ultralight with a full sized tripod, it can be done, but you'll sacrifice stability. A tabletop tripod is possible but then you'll need a stable surface to put it on at your destination.

In Short, if you want to keep the weight below say, 15 lbs, you'll be looking at a lightweight tripod that may end up being flimsy, and a smallish scope and mount with very little, if anything, in the way of accessories. Forget taking pictures.

#47 Geo.

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:13 PM

What camera did you use to get such great photos?

Canon 550d, on a "*BLEEP*" Meade DS2000 Alt/Az, 12 to 15 subs at ISO 1600, exposed fot 15 or 20 seconds, stacked in Deep Sky Stacker.

#48 Astrohat

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:26 PM

Ken, this project is pretty much killed. what I'll do this week is look for a place where proper for astronomy and that a table. This way, I can do away with the tripod altogether.

#49 Tony Flanders

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:30 PM

I put 16 pounds of object (the scope and the EQ1 in a gym bag, and walked around with it in the street. Much heavier than I thought! In fact, not realistic.


Possibly not -- nor would you be happy trying to balance all this on your nose.

You're using the wrong container! Carrying 16 pounds in a good daypack with a hipbelt is a piece of cake. In fact, I routinely hike 20 miles a day over exceedingly steep, rough trails with twice that much weight.

#50 Astrohat

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 03:44 PM

I put 16 pounds of object (the scope and the EQ1 in a gym bag, and walked around with it in the street. Much heavier than I thought! In fact, not realistic.


Possibly not -- nor would you be happy trying to balance all this on your nose.

You're using the wrong container! Carrying 16 pounds in a good daypack with a hipbelt is a piece of cake. In fact, I routinely hike 20 miles a day over exceedingly steep, rough trails with twice that much weight.


Good point!

I am going to a friend on Monday, if the sky is clear. I will try her Meade 70mm refractor which sits on an alt-az tripod. That will give me a chance to get a good feeling of that kind of tripod.






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