Hyperstar vs a EQ mount for my 8se
Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:35 AM
I've had my 8se for a good 9mths now and I'm absolutely delighted with my scope. I've wanted to get into some AP for a while now and recently purchased a Canon 1100D which I'm yet to experiment with for basic lunar and planetary pics, due to bad winter weather.
Eventually I would like to one day try some DSI with a decent EQ mount, (using my 8se) but have come to the possible decision that hyperstar could be a better option? The price of a decent EQ mount here in Australia such as the EQ 5 is about $1200. Now please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking hyperstar (with of course a decent ccd) would be a cheaper option, and possible a more practical one considering the weight of a EQ mount and for setting up purposes. I've seen what hyperstar can and and I'm very impressed, not only with what you can achieve but more so the ease of use and set up. Any advise would be great full. Cheers
Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:11 AM
First, is your C8 scope Hyperstar compatible ?
If not then you need a conversion kit which adds something like $250.
Second, with that altazimuth mount you get field rotation and hence exposures are limited to maybe 30-60s after rotation effecs start to show.
Third, your 'one-arm-bandid' mount it not the best AP mount, especially if you add Hyperstar, camera etc.
But, consider these as warnings only.
It can be can be done (to a certain degree), but it's not the easiest way to start AP.
I recommend using the equipment you have, start with moon/planet imaging. Then take image of larger targets with DSLR optics (piggyback scope).
Then you might invest in some smallish APO scope 60-80mm size.
Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:38 AM
My C8 is hyperstar comparable and is ready to go and I'm fully aware of my limitations with my 8se as far as AP goes, but dramas with hyperstar using 8se? The only real issue I would of though would of been the cost?
Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:41 AM
Posted 03 July 2013 - 06:16 AM
Since the two options produce very different results, it depends on what you want to do.
The Hyperstar will turn your scope into a 400mm focal length, fast, wide field scope. If you want to take pictures of the larger nebulae, and within the limits of field rotation (30 seconds or so), then the Hyperstar is a good option. Its use is pretty simple and straightforward.
The GEM will allow you to take long focal length images with the C8, and will offer the versatility of using a variety of OTAs for different target sizes. Of course, there's more complexity with the need for auto-guiding, and more time for setup, polar alignment, etc.
Posted 03 July 2013 - 02:00 PM
Super wide angle hyperstar stuff is very cool. A DSLR is not what I'd use with a C8 for hyperstar. I also would not hang that much weight off the front of a mount that is at the very limit of capacity with just the OTA and an eyepiece/diagonal.
Not to be a downer, but if you want to do AP, throw the OTA on a GEM for taking pictures and use the SE for visual (GEMs are not the most comfortable things to view with).
Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:53 PM
I'm simply made the comment of I have a new DSLR but yet to use as a intro into some basic AP. If I like and wish to continue with something more challenging was would consider a decent mount using my 8se's OTA.
Having recently seen what a hyperstar can do, I just thought it might be a bit more of a practical tool to use for some DSI rather than saving for a big heavy GEM mount.
Thanks for the advise anyways Sorny
Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:59 PM
I can only comment according to my own experience based on the many mistakes I made when I first attempted to image a little.
As others have already advised, if you try to image using your 8SE from its existing Alt./Az. mount, irrespective of a Hyperstar system, your exposure time will be severely restricted by the onset of field rotation, a physical phenomenon for which the only solution is to mount the 'scope's OTA on either a GEM or a wedge: (i.e. polar alignment).
However, once so mounted and polar aligned, you should be able to enjoy something like two minutes' exposure time for DSO imaging using your Canon 1100D DSLR; possibly a little more, before inaccuracies in the alignment and the mount drive (PE) begin to cause some star trailing.
To obtain longer exposure times, you will need to acquire a second, guide 'scope and camera setup or alternatively, use an off axis guider which will still require a guide camera. (Personally, I found attempting to work with an off axis guider an impossible task but that's as they say, another story) !
Assuming therefore your intent to get into the, shall we say, more demanding side of imaging, the combination of your 8SE's OTA, a good GoTo GEM, a guidance system, your DSLR and some good capture software, will give you some great images particularly if you also employ where applicable a focal reducer. No cheap route but a very effective one.
Now I have to say that in contrast, I have absolutely no experience with the use of Hyperstar, but should you decide to take this route to your future imaging, there may be certain drawbacks which possibly outweigh the benefits.
True at ca. f/2, exposure time is much reduced through the use of the Hyperstar, but as others have advised, you will be restricted in exposure time through field rotation if the existing Alt./Az. mount is used. To obviate this situation, you will therefore still have to invest in a good GEM or wedge system.
Additionally, to get the best from your Hyperstar imaging, a guide system, as mentioned, will equally be a significant asset while your DSLR will be unsuitable for Hyperstar imaging as a result of its shape, size and possibly its weight: a cylindrical CCD camera, which has no obscuring effect on the incoming light: making the ideal combination. Sadly however, at high cost.
Again, although ideal for very wide field use, once in place, the Hyperstar will be restricted to such. Thus if you wish to change to subject matter which demands a higher focal ratio, (i.e. more restricted field of view as many DSOs do), the Hyperstar unit would first have to be removed, the secondary mirror reinstalled, followed possibly by a need to re-collimate before proceeding.
Just some thoughts with your existing equipment in mind. I hope they may help in your decisions.
Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:58 PM
Was looking at the hyperstar from a more practical point for weight and space saving but I completely understand what you and others are saying. I happen to by chance stumble across a YouTube clip of a gentleman using his hyperstar in a light polluted area and was amazed at the ease and how practical it seem to be, however I think it was being used on CPC 800?
I will try my luck at some basic AP with my new 1100D and maybe i will enjoy and perhaps look into buying a decent mount for more of a challenge. I maybe however invest in a neximage or a ASI 120 as next step. Whilst on that topic, how would a ASI perform for tracking?
Posted 04 July 2013 - 12:35 AM
But I have ASI and have been very pleased with it.
Used it for imaging moon, sun (white light&HA), planets and widefield (it includes nice wide angle lens), time lapse, lightning. Very versatile device.
Even basic DS imaging but there it's somewhat limited lacking cooling.
Posted 04 July 2013 - 04:26 AM
Many thanks for your kind words. Very much appreciated.
Obviously budgetary considerations are almost always paramount, but in light of the mistakes I made, I think the least expensive route to good imaging is to concentrate on one aspect of it at a time which in my opinion, splits into two factions; solar system and DSO imaging.
Thus I think it well to firstly consider what equipment you currently have in your possession, what faction attracts you more and where you want to be with your imaging in the relatively near future, (again perhaps with budgetary considerations in mind).
At the moment therefore, you have an excellent DSLR which is better suited to DSO imaging, although its full potential will be restricted by your 8SE's Alt./az. mount which will produce field rotation in your images if much over 30 seconds of exposure time is used.
As a result, and if your prime interest nevertheless still lies with DSO imaging, your first priority should perhaps be to target a revered, sturdy, worm driven GoTo GEM with more than adequate load capacity; your second thereafter, turning towards a guiding system, (i.e. guide scope and camera the latter needing to be of sufficient sensitivity as to be able to resolve stars to ca. 7th magnitude).
On the other hand, if your interest lies, (for now at least), with imaging the solar system, it is possible that your DSLR could well be used for this purpose, given that it has a video function, before deciding to go up market to something like a Neximage 5 or ASI. Certainly all other equipment, (scope and mount) is already at hand together probably with a Barlow and focal reducer to be employed when and if.
I write this because I embarked on imaging completely haphazardly, buying this and that piece of equipment each of which I thought would prove to be the solution to this or that problem I encountered. As a consequence, I spent, (read wasted), money on such items as a flip mirror, off axis guider, illuminated reticle EP etc. all of which I found of little or no use, (to my needs).
I hope therefore the above, although not equipment specific, may perhaps give you a few thoughts on what I consider to be options and priority directions.
Posted 04 July 2013 - 05:19 AM
Tel's advice is great. From reading posts on here and learning from others, I think the first piece of equipment one should look at for DSO AP is the foundation which is the mount and tripod. Choose a mount that you can grow with some and of course is with in your budgetary constraints. I am currently saving up for the VX mount. It is light weight enough but yet beefy enough to mount my 8SE OTA on. I am limited by size and weight due to back issues. Then I am going to decide on a camera. Since you already have a dSLR, you already have a camera that can do some nice DSO AP. I think one needs to take baby steps when it comes to AP. Then you will learn as you go. Which in turn will make it a more enjoyable hobby instead of one which you will get frustrated by.
Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:25 AM
Thanks again all for the advise