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Newbie question - Celestron AVX DSLR only mount

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#1 mbarbour

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 09:27 PM

This is my first post on this forum.

Astronomy was a hobby of mine a long time ago when laptops and SLR's were very expensive. I have an old Nexstar 114SLT telescope that I used for a while until life got complicated and it ended up in a box in the basement. I always wanted to get into astrophotography but could not afford a laptop or slr back in those days.

Since then I have a laptop and a Canon 5D mark II with several L series lens'. I have been thinking of jumping back into astromony with both feet. I feel my old Nexstar SLT will not cut it for my needs/wants.

So i have been looking at getting the Celestron AVX 8" EdgeHD combination. The thing is, the price is still a bit out of my range. So what I have been considering is going with the mount alone fist and using it to guide my DSLR for some wide field stuff.

I am wondering if it would be possible to mount my old Nexstar 114SLT OTA to the AVX mount and then piggy back my DSLR for now and then later upgrade the OTA. If not, could I mount the DSLR on there alone?

I have searched the internet for an answer but couldn't really come up with a clear answer or the equipment I would need to do what I want.

Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

#2 Raginar

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 09:46 PM

Yup. If money is an issue, why are you getting an AVX? You can get used CG-5s for 400 bucks and even brand new for 500 dollars. An AVX isn't light years beyond a CG-5 and the carrying capacity is about the same.

You could even just get a plate for your camera, screw it to the plate, and use your lenses unguided until you have the funds to get a guider and move up from there.

Tons of cheap options, and welcome to CN :)

#3 mbarbour

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:17 AM

Thanks for the reply.

I have been experimenting with some wide feild photography on my regular tripod, but like to get into some longer exposures and eventually some deep sky stuff. I have a 6 year old daughter so I would like to get a decent OTA eventually also for some visual observing.

The money isn't a big issue. The diffrence between $1799 for the AVX with 8" EdgeHD and the $799 for the AVX alone is a big differance. I have no trouble getting the mount now. Also, I would have a hard time finding the CG-5 used in my area and I don't feel comfortable spending that much on something used over the internet.

So the "yup" is for everything? I can mount my old 114SLT on the AVX mount. What would I need for this? I know the AVX uses the dovetail mounting system. How would I attach a dovetail bar on my 114SLT OTA?

#4 mbarbour

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:32 AM

I guess it would be just as easy to purchase the 6" Newtonian AVX set as it is only $100 more than the mount alone. It will probably cost me just as much for the dove tail bar and accessories in order to mount my 114mm.

#5 cn register 5

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 02:19 AM

Your SLT OTA should already have a suitable dovetail, it's how it is attached to the SLT mount. It isn't ideal but should work.

Getting the 6" newtonian may be a no-brainer because I think it uses tube rings, these usually have a camera tripod thread attachemnt so you DSLR should piggy back on top easily.

The dovetail is fixed to the side of the SLT OTA and is not adjustable.

Chris

#6 mbarbour

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 04:28 PM

Sorry, my mistake. It is actually the 114GT not SLT. It attaches to the mount by a ring that seem permantly attached to the mount.

But I agree the 6" newtonian for the extra $100 seems like the best option. I can then upgrade in the future if I like.

#7 Raginar

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 07:03 PM

Again, I would buy a 'new' CG-5 online then. There are deals for them at around 500 bucks at most the major astro retailers. I'd skip the OTA; If your daughter is into astronomy, look around in the classifieds for a 8" dob.. a GEM mounted newt is not child friendly.

I'm just going off your comments on looking for the cheapest intro to DSLR astrophotography. You'll find that 6" newt is not user friendly for AP and an AVX vs. a CG-5 are almost the same mount.

But, I would buy a used one in a heart beat. They have been solid performers for many years now. Take a look over on Astrobin (search for CG-5) and you'll see how successful people can be with it.

Or, buy the new shiny mount and OTA :).

#8 gmartin02

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 07:31 PM

Note: If you want to do wide field AP with the 5D mark II piggybacked on the Newtonian, depending on the lens used you may get part of your image cut off by the front of the Newtonian OTA getting in the way. To get around that, you could use something like this:

http://www.optcorp.c...xen-sphinx-g...

This should fit the AVX counterweight shaft, which I am pretty sure is 20mm (same as CGEM and CG-5).

Greg

#9 mbarbour

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 08:31 PM

Thanks for the tip.

#10 Seanem44

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:56 AM

I have a Astrotrac I am looking to sell soon. If widefield is all you plan on doing, and are new to the addiction, it is a great way to start until you master it. Then you can just sell and upgrade to the next step. I used it with a Nikon D700 and was able to get 300 second shots of the Andromeda galaxy with no blur and decent polar alignment. Widefield shots with a 16mm turn out beautiful. It's light weight and hassle free.

#11 Seanem44

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:57 AM

Oh... and welcome to CN :)

#12 Holltim4103

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:52 AM

Here is an image of my Canon 450D on the AVX mount. I can also piggyback it on my Orion 8 inch Newtonian but I enjoy the light setup of just the DSLR on the mount. I have had great success with the DSLR only on the mount and did some great wide field images of the Milky Way and constellations. I Polar Align the mount with a Polar Scope and then I do a 2 star alignment and 4 star calibration using my live view and I am good for 4 minute exposures with pinpoint stars.

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