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Wow - be careful what you wish for...

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#1 pdfermat

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:58 PM

For the past 5+ years I've been exclusively a visual astronomer (and loved every photon of it). However, I've been contemplating almost this entire season about getting into imaging. I'd come to a point where I felt it was "now or never".

Almost exactly 2 weeks ago, I put all my visual stuff (xt12i and my Nagler/Panoptic lineup) up for sale. I priced it fair, but also priced it to sell. Well, it's been a fast and furious 2 weeks of buying and selling, but here's what's sitting in the middle of my living room, currently driving my wife crazy:

Posted Image

I know that a c8 is far from the recommended "newbie" imaging scope, but it was a calculated risk, keeping in mind what targets I want to image (galaxies). The Atlas was much less of a risk - that seems to get rave reviews and recommendations from many.

I still have a ways to go before I take data for my first image, a focal reducer, autoguiding package, and of course, camera need to be added to the mix, but I'll be slowing down for the next several (if not more) months as I continue to research things.

In the meantime, I plan on becoming an expert with this scope and mount - collimating, polar aligning, working eqmod into the mix...I'm in no hurry - as I love visual.

Anyway - thanks so much to all here who post their sage advice, please know it is appreciated!!

#2 Raginar

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:01 PM

Congrats Pat! You'll love it. Get a focal reducer. :)

#3 Wmacky

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:16 PM

No, that's a fine purchase. You can always back up and add a nice 80mm refractor. You really need one anyway for wide field shots, and it can be the guide scope for the c8 on the tiny fuzzies.Heck, I've purchuced 4 imaging scopes for different image scales, and haven't even taken my first pic yet! The more the merrier!

Again, thats a great start to what will be a long journey of Purchases.

#4 Ranger Tim

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:27 PM

Learn how to operate that puppy before you throw a camera on it! Get EQMod right away! You can learn how to drift align too (you do have a reticle eyepiece, right?). Nice setup!

#5 pdfermat

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:34 PM

No reticle ep, but a friend has one I think I can "appropriate".

#6 bigj

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 11:27 PM

nice enjoy

#7 tclehman1969

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:32 AM

You'll have a blast! I'm kind of new to some of this, too with an mid 80's C8. I can use a camera piggyback with any number of camera lenses, then for tighter fields I have a Celestron Onyx ED F 80mm. While I learn to crawl and stagger with that setup, I use the C8 as the guide scope with an Orion guide camera connected. This will keep me occupied for quite some time before I start imaging with/though the C8 with reducer.

#8 Starman27

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:41 AM

Clear skies! Enjoy the scope.

#9 Chuck Hards

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:57 AM

I learned that imaging takes a lot more time than visual observing, both over-all and per object, so be prepared for that. You probably won't be going through a list of two dozen or more objects per night. Other than that, have fun! A lot of good shots have been taken using the Atlas mount and it will handle a larger scope if you decide to increase the aperture a bit.

#10 Rick Woods

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:28 AM

Wow - selling off everything to get into imaging!
Well, nobody can say you're indecisive. I hope it turns out to be the right choice.

#11 Kevdog

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 10:30 AM

Throw a hyperstar setup on there and you can be up and imaging fairly easily for the wide field views!

I'm really thinking of getting a hyperstar this fall as I do not have the time to put my C11 up on a wedge, do the equatorial alignment precisely and then image for hours. But you can be "sloppier" with the hyperstar since you are doing 15-20 second subs.

#12 pdfermat

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:20 AM

Wow - selling off everything to get into imaging!
Well, nobody can say you're indecisive. I hope it turns out to be the right choice.


I must say that I did have some reservations, but I'm also excited about the journey ahead.

When I try to glimpse my future though, I see me setting up for imaging AND having a 10" or 12" dob there to peek through while I'm acquiring data. (Wherever my wife is right now, she just felt a great disturbance in the Force.)

#13 *skyguy*

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:19 PM

I started out imaging ... way back in 2000 ... with a Meade 12" LX200/SBIG ST-7 combo and a f/6.3 focal reducer ... and never experienced any problems getting great astro-photos. I still use the same scope today for astrophotography with some upgrades over time! Of course, it's been in my observatory since 2000 and its polar alignment is "spot-on" ... which is very important for long focal length astrophotography. If you use a focal reducer and get your unguided exposures up to "around" 1 minute or better ... you should end up with some great astro-photos of those small galaxies.

Good Luck ... and enjoy your foray into astrophotography!

#14 jgraham

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:33 PM

Congratulations! That's a fantastic visual rig as well. Enjoy it!

#15 csrlice12

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 03:01 PM

You could at least have tried out the camera by providing a pic..... :shrug: :lol:

#16 proteus5

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:27 PM

Congrats, and you'll love the Atlas with EQMOD. Enjoy!!!






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