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Is this a good deal: Orion SkyView Pro 127mm?

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#26 Tony Flanders

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 12:28 PM

I'd love to see/be told about a tracking mount I can put some canon gear on. I have some pretty high end canon gear (70-200 f/2.8L) and even access to some of the canon big boys (400 2.8, 500mm f/4, 800mm 5.6) through canon's CPS.


The SkyView Pro mount is more than adequate for "piggyback photography," where you shoot through the camera's native lenses rather than through the telescope itself. At least that's true up to 200 mm; you might have more problems at 400 mm.

But there's a huge, huge difference between shooting through a 200-mm lens and a 1540-mm lens.

I have a ton of reading to do and don't quite understand how mounts and tracking drives work and what is good/better/best in the market.

Any recommendations for an astrophotography for beginners book?


As a DSLR enthusiast, without a doubt the best book for you is the Backyard Astronomer's Guide. Co-author Alan Dyer is one of the best DSLR astrophotographers around.

By the way, i did manage to peek at venus last night before the clouds took over. Not much more than little circle (half moon really).


Hey, you're supposed to be excited about that! This is much more interesting than Venus usually looks. Normally, it's just a tiny round circle.

It will get better over the next few months as it approaches its thin-crescent phase. But seeing any features on Venus is well-nigh impossible.

Jupiter is where the action is. It normally shows far more detail than all the other planets combined.

#27 BigC

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 01:18 PM

That isn't MY Orion shot I haven't posted any pics in this thread..Check the thread again.Orion is one of my favorite objects though.

#28 Malux

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 01:19 PM

The SkyView Pro mount is more than adequate for "piggyback photography," where you shoot through the camera's native lenses rather than through the telescope itself. At least that's true up to 200 mm; you might have more problems at 400 mm.


That's awesome to know and I can't wait to try that bit out. how do you get a standard lens mounted on the rail?

As a DSLR enthusiast, without a doubt the best book for you is the Backyard Astronomer's Guide. Co-author Alan Dyer is one of the best DSLR astrophotographers around.

Awesome, thank you! I'll pick that up this weekend (hopefully there's a kindle version).


By the way, i did manage to peek at venus last night before the clouds took over. Not much more than little circle (half moon really).


Hey, you're supposed to be excited about that! This is much more interesting than Venus usually looks. Normally, it's just a tiny round circle.


I think I sounded a lot less enthused than i was! It was actually pretty cool to see and I got all the kids to come out to check it out. It was cloudy though and we fought the clouds between sightings. Also (shamed to admit) i'm spoiled by science fiction. Part of my brain is expecting giant planets with pew pew lasers around them whenever I look through the scope! I'll reprogram over time :)

Jupiter is where the action is. It normally shows far more detail than all the other planets combined.


I'll have find jupiter, not sure where it will be relative to me, but i'll check it out on the Sky Guide app. it's a beautiful app, more for the causual observer wanting to know what that star up there is, but it works well (for now). I also wonder how much of Saturn I can see. It hasn't been dark enough to see it and it's been setting early.

#29 Kevdog

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 01:46 PM

keydog,
If nothing else those pics have certainly lowered my expectations regarding the LT8.


That was my point. For AP it's really a non-starter. I could have taken the OTA off and threw it up on an Atlas or something like that.

Optically, the scope is quite good actually. BUT, the one armed bandit is definitely not for AP as the mount shakes a bit while tracking. Visually it's not a problem, but the camera picks it all up. Anti-vibrations pads helped a bit but it was just an exercise in frustration. It was also annoying that it would shake while focusing. The 8 is basically a bit too big for the mount and I've heard the 6 is much better on that mount. An LX90 would have been a better choice. This is a case where I should NOT have listened to the guy at the telescope shop. I think he underestimated my enthusiasm for astronomy, probably because my 5 year old son was there too and he thought it was a typical "family" scope. Since then I've spent another $7500 on scopes, so he read wrong!

I sold it and moved up to the C11. Much more stable and smooth. Also got a wedge for the C11, but haven't really had a chance to play with it. And then got the used 18" Obsession I couldn't pass up, so been doing visual observations with that!

#30 rnc39560

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 02:10 PM

Many thanks for all the advice everyone. I ended up picking up the SVP yesterday. It's fairly portable and should let me do lunar & planetary just fine. I think it's a more than adequate starter scope. I have my own troop of kids, so who knows, a 2nd larger DOB can come later if everyone stays with it.

Venus lacks the wow factor for kids. Looks like a big star. Saturn should give a nice image if seeing is good, and they will LOVE seeing the rings! My wife and kids do! Lol!

By the way, I paid $330 for the scope, mount and 2 lenses.

I managed to align the finder with the scope by locating a radio tower near my house. Sadly, Venus had already set, I'll try again for tonight.

I have so many questions, but I'm going to start with reading the instructions so I can ask intelligent questions.

i'm also picking the camera adapter and t-ring. so i can begin experimenting.

One question: do I need a lunar filter?



#31 Malux

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 02:42 PM

Venus lacks the wow factor for kids. Looks like a big star. Saturn should give a nice image if seeing is good, and they will LOVE seeing the rings! My wife and kids do! Lol!


Seeing saturn would be something (I wonder if I can see it with a small scope like I have.) The sky has been overcast all day, hope it'll clear up by tonight.

#32 Kevdog

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 04:24 PM

The first time I saw Saturn in a telescope it was in the everyday Meade 114mm (4.5") newtonian reflector with *BLEEP* Hyugen eyepieces. It was still a WOW moment. You'll be able to see the rings with no problem. My wife and I thought someone had painted the view of Saturn on the scope. For some reason it just didn't seem real.

Your scope should have an even better view and with better eyepieces too!

Now I have an 18" scope and can see the division's in Saturn's rings. But it still never tops that first view I had!

Right now Saturn is quickly setting, so get out and see it while you still can. It was much better a few months ago as it was higher in the sky and not in the murky setting sun... but still will be good to see!

Jupiter is up early and you should be able to see the 4 moons and probably some cloud bands once it gets higher in the sky!

#33 Malux

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:26 AM

wow Kevdog, that was totally inspiring. I read your post to my wife and she was totally blown away. I can find Venus and Saturn, I haven't been able to see Saturn yet. It's been setting so early and it's been really cloudy.

I'm hoping it's a clear night here in Orlando.

I have't even looked for where jupiter would be in the sky right now. I've been using Sky Guide as a basic tool to find stars & planets. I'm going to install stellerium today.

Is there anything else I should get?

#34 BigC

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:24 AM


Venus lacks the wow factor for kids. Looks like a big star. Saturn should give a nice image if seeing is good, and they will LOVE seeing the rings! My wife and kids do! Lol!


Seeing saturn would be something (I wonder if I can see it with a small scope like I have.) The sky has been overcast all day, hope it'll clear up by tonight.

Saturn is a bright planet;you don't need a huge scope to see it.

My first view of Saturn and its rings was with a Zhumell Aurora 70mm several years ago;image was tiny but sharp.Saturn,Mars,Venus,Jupiter,and even Uranus and Neptune are identifiable and visible in small scopes .Greater detail comes with each increase in objective size and the concurrent ability to use higher magnification.Saturn is a bright object easily visible as another "star"in even my 25mm binoculars .I am certain you can see a tiny image of Saturn complete with ring using a 50mm telescope at 100x.Such telescopes as the Vivitar sold in drug and dollar stores ,the Celestron and Meade, and other 50mm f12 scopes with an achromatic objective can actually give that first ,although quite limited, view of the planets ,and will still be better than what Galileo had!

#35 Achernar

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:22 PM

You welcome! Actually I was referring to the finder scope, which I align on Polaris because it does not move and it's visible from the locations where I observe. A polar alignment scope is definitely good to have if you are going to use digital setting circles or do astronomical photography, but it's not necessary for visual observing. Since you are planning to do just that, having one will only help you.

Taras

#36 Kevdog

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:43 AM

wow Kevdog, that was totally inspiring. I read your post to my wife and she was totally blown away. I can find Venus and Saturn, I haven't been able to see Saturn yet. It's been setting so early and it's been really cloudy.

I'm hoping it's a clear night here in Orlando.

I have't even looked for where jupiter would be in the sky right now. I've been using Sky Guide as a basic tool to find stars & planets. I'm going to install stellerium today.

Is there anything else I should get?


Sagittarius (the teapot) is loaded with DSOs and is still up for quite a while. You can view Saturn (weather permitting) and Venus as well, then head on over to the teapot. If you need some charts you can print out basic ones here.
http://www.atmob.org...aps_jsmall.html

Here is the specific one for Sagittarius:
http://www.atmob.org...ymaps/MAP10.PDF

I bagged M22, M28, M24 and several others with just my 15x70 binoculars, so your scope should have no problem.

Also in the east is M31, the Andromeda galaxy. Use your lowest power for the widest field of view here as it's HUGE. When I first saw it in my C11, I wasn't that impressed. But that's because I was so zoomed in I was only seeing the core of the galaxy, so it looked like a globular cluster!

Here's an easy finder chart and this is how I found it last night in the binocs. I use the 2 stars from Cassiopeia to point the way.
http://www.space.com...eda-galaxy.html

And if you stay up late (3am+) or get up early (but I'm a night person), then you can see Jupiter rising in the east and the Orion Nebula is also up that time (m42). It is probably the most impressive nebula out there (or at least the easiest impressive one to see/find). It's in the sword of orion.
http://www.atmob.org...kymaps/MAP2.PDF

There's so much to see... it's hard to decide where to look.

I just picked up the Pocket Sky Atlas which is a great reference for finding objects. Some star charts have too many stars and it gets confusing. This one seems "just right" for beginners with a telescope.

Also found the TriAtlas in free PDF form.
http://www.uv.es/jrt...s/triatlas.html

It has 3 levels.
  • The "A" charts are similar to the Pocket Star Atlas above, but with a few more stars. (21 pages)
  • The "B" charts are more detailed with many many more stars listed. (103 pages)
  • The "C" charts are very very detailed with so many stars it's hard to know where you are until you really get the hang of it. These are useful for picking things like comets or asteroids out of a star field as you find the one that doesn't belong! (566 pages)

Hopefully that helps. Starting out it can all be overwhelming, but soon you get the hang of it and feel more comfortable. I was worried about starhopping when I bought my dob, but after a few tries and getting better I gained confidence. The other night I went looking for a comet. Turns out it was too faint to see even with my 18" in suburban skies. But I was able to identify the star field on the star charts well enough that I was SURE I was looking in the right spot. Took me 40 mins to be sure of that, but it was a good feeling to be that confident!

#37 Malux

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 03:41 PM

that's awesome kevdog, thank you! I was able to see the rings of saturn yesterday with a 10mm eyepiece. That was absolutely incredible.

What was also incredible is how much closer venus is but how little it looks compared to saturn. Conceptually I know all this (reading books, etc) but it's still a discovery to see it.

i hope it's a clear night again tonight. i'll see what I can see in saggitarius and maybe andromeda. I'm looking from my backyard so there's a good deal of LP

Thanks again for all the help.






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