Jump to content


Photo

Beginner Astrograph Equipment

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 darber99

darber99

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: 26 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Philadelphia, PA

Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:59 AM

Anyone have any suggestions for a beginner Astrograph, motor, mount and camera? I was looking at the Orion 8" Astrograph (f/3.9). Seems like a decent scope for the price but I really have no idea what other kind of equipment I'd need. I think id be interested in taking images of the moon and planets to start with and then eventually graduate to deep space objects. Thanks for your time.

#2 rflinn68

rflinn68

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 2987
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Arkansas

Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:37 PM

For planetary imaging a SCT would probably be your best choice. The Orion f/3.9 makes a nice DSO astrograph. I have the AT8IN and its very similar. If you get that scope you'll need a good coma corrector. I've been using the old style Celestron/Baader MPCC for a while with so-so results but I just got the Baader Mark III MPCC and I'm very happy with it. The mount is the most important thing for good astrophotography IMO. I'd be looking for something at least as good as the Orion Atlas or Celestron CGEM mounts. I have the CGEM DX and I'm pretty happy with it. It is very big and heavy so be prepared for that. A nice little beginner set up for wide field imaging would be a CG5/VX mount with something like the AT65EDQ. I have the CG5 and AT65EDQ and so far havent seen the need to use the CGEM DX when imaging with it. Its much lighter and easier to set up but the bigger mounts are required for anything bigger than a small refractor and will give you room to grow. The general "rule of thumb" is to keep your weight to half the mounts rated capacity for imaging.

Oh, I forgot camera: I've been really pleased with my Canon T3 (1100D). I had a blast for a while before having it modded by Gary Honis. Here are my images I have done with the camera. BackYardEOS is a must have!

http://www.astrobin....users/rflinn68/

#3 Mike7Mak

Mike7Mak

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
  • Joined: 07 Dec 2011
  • Loc: New York

Posted 09 May 2013 - 02:14 PM

I think id be interested in taking images of the moon and planets to start with and then eventually graduate to deep space objects.

There really is no 'graduating' from one to the other. Planetary and DSO imaging are essentially two different disciplines. To do either well requires radically different scopes, cameras, and techniques. To go from one to the other is more like starting over than graduating.

edit...lol, kinda ironic coming from a guy who shoots dsos with a planetary scope I guess. :)

#4 Gray

Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 757
  • Joined: 31 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Hixson, TN

Posted 10 May 2013 - 06:47 PM

edit...lol, kinda ironic coming from a guy who shoots dsos with a planetary scope I guess. :)


:grin:Yes, but you do such a good job with it :grin:

#5 Gray

Gray

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 757
  • Joined: 31 Jan 2011
  • Loc: Hixson, TN

Posted 10 May 2013 - 07:01 PM

On the cheap (:shrug:) , I'd get a EQ5 mount and a C6 SCT with a 6.3 reducer and a 3x barlow. Plus a 50mm guide scope with a planetary camera and a cheap DSLR.

#6 NightRyder

NightRyder

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 234
  • Joined: 24 Dec 2009
  • Loc: Miami FL aka Light Pollution, USA

Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:16 PM

As you know, there are 8 planets. You are on one of them, so that leaves 7 and our moon to image and not all of those are easy to image... regardless, 8 objects in total. DSO's could keep you busy for years... Go for DSO's! No disrespect to the planetary guys :salute:

I say invest in the mount first. CGEM is a good entry point. I started with a CG5 and since upgraded to a CGEM and am very pleased. As far as a scope, a small aperature, short focal length is much more forgiving to learn with. I learned with my 80mm Apo Refractor and have recently stepped up to the 8" Astrograph. Although I have no experience with CCD, I know enough to know that they are very expensive. A good DSLR will enable you to learn a great deal, it is easy to use and relatively inexpensive. I started with a 350D (Rebel XT) and I recently found a "like new" slightly used (only 223 shutter actuations) Canon T3i on Craigslist for $400.

So... I say: CGEM Mount, 65-80mm Refractor, Kwiq Guider style guide scope and a decent DSLR. But this is just my :penny: :penny:

#7 astrodog73

astrodog73

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 120
  • Joined: 22 Feb 2013
  • Loc: Australia

Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:44 AM

Agree with NightRyder, I started imaging with an ED80, using an 8" f/4 newt now, you could start with a newt I suppose, but the refractor would be an easier beginners option.

#8 StarDust1

StarDust1

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 192
  • Joined: 21 Aug 2012

Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:49 AM

Yes, my vote also goes for a small refractor for imaging. It's hassle free. I'm not saying that it can't be done with a reflector. A small refractor is less demanding on the mount than a reflector and you don't have to worry about collimation.

#9 rgsalinger

rgsalinger

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 333
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2007
  • Loc: Carlsbad Ca

Posted 13 May 2013 - 06:45 PM

My vote too is for a refractor/dslr combination but the real issue is what mount to get. I like the iOptron line (I have the iEQ45) as they are modestly priced for what you get and very portable. The built in gps and polar scope make alignment very easy. I went immediately to a C11 on a CGE mount and just struggled with it until I switched and now I'm really getting results and not spending my nights fiddling with equipment.
Rgrds-Ross






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics