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Telescope Selection Help

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#1 drwho41963

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 03:02 PM

I live in Arizona so I have many clear nights to take photos. I have taken a number of photos of the moon that show a lot of detail. I would like to use my current camera to take photos and video using a telescope. Can someone help me find a telescope so I can take photos of planets and galaxies. I need to stay around 300.00 or less. I would like it to be portable and user friendly as I plan on traveling to different parts of Arizona.
The amount I want to spend is not the max I am willing to go above 500.00 as long as it meets my needs. I tend to purchase electronics and keep them forever so I would like a telescope I can keep forever and is portable.

#2 drwho41963

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 03:03 PM

I forgot to mention I have a canon SX20 IS

#3 hargy

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 03:24 PM

to be honest you are gonna have a hard time getting a scope with a mount that will take decent pics with that price range unless you go used and or get real lucky. I am sure someone else will pipe in and give you more ideas.

#4 drwho41963

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 03:30 PM

Any ideas even out of the price range given. And and help to get what I need to use this camera would be great also.

#5 drwho41963

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 03:33 PM

I don't mind going used.

#6 drwho41963

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 03:41 PM

I like that Orion StarShoot. Looks like I can use it on and telescope I choose. But that telescope is way to much maybe half that price I could swing. Thanks for the good starting point. Do you recommend any other telescopes that I should be looking at and maybe able to find used.

#7 drwho41963

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 06:46 PM

Does anyone else have any other suggestions?

#8 SeattleScott

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 06:48 PM

How about starting with visual observing? You could get a decent scope for visual use for that price, especially if you go used.

#9 drwho41963

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 07:22 PM

I have one for visual but would like to upgrade. I posted this question here to get ideas and then I would check Craigslist and other sites and maybe get lucky on a good scope.

#10 drwho41963

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 07:38 PM

Does anyone know if the ETX-90 Maksutov-Cassegrain #3514-04-15 would be good for taking photos and video and what else would I need to use my Canon SX20 IS. http://store.meade.c...cassegrain.html

#11 jgraham

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:43 PM

The drives on the ETX-90 are fine for visual, but not for imaging. It should do fine with bright objects like the moon and planets, but not deepsky objects.

#12 waso29

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:00 PM

To fit your budget, try a <$200 used CG4 equatorial mount with motors and <$100 used 100mm f/9 refractor.
Add a used "steadypix" point-n-shoot camera mount.
Allows you to take image though eyepiece projection.

#13 Pharquart

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 10:24 AM

Imaging planets and the moon (bright objects) requires less expensive equipment than imaging galaxies and nebulae (dim objects), and it's all related to exposure time. The solar system objects are often imaged using video cameras and fractional-second exposure times, then using software to stack hundreds of exposures to bring out the detail. As long as you keep the object in the field of view, almost any mount will work. Dim objects also use stacked images, but exposures are 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes long (or more) to collect more light. That means your mount has to track EXACTLY for that long. You absolutely can try imaging with a <$300 mount, and there area several people out there with outstanding images from such a setup, but it's more likely to be an exercise in frustration for you. Astrophotography, even of the bright solar system objects, has a very steep learning curve and a huge amount of pressure to buy ever-more expensive equipment.

Browse through the "beginning and intermediate imaging" forum for some more specific starter help.

Brian

#14 drwho41963

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:19 AM

So what would you recommend. I just want a Telescope that portable and I can take good photos and video with. This is just going to be a hobby. Whatever I end up buying I will probably stay with forever. I do not plan on spending money on new toys. This is going to be it. My parents had purchase a telescope for me in the 70's and I just could not see anything for very long. You would see the moon for a split second then nothing. I had purchased a telescope for my son and we were able to see the moon and planets but he has it and I was looking for something that fits my needs. Which are It needs too be user friendly, be able to see both planets and Galaxies.

#15 AngryHandyman

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:13 AM

It's difficult (impossible?) to reconcile your desire for a portable telescope and mount, suitable for photos and video, for both planets and galaxies, all for $300. Maybe it can be done, but a great concern I have is that what would end up being recommended will be disappointing in result and quality, both as a piece of equipment and in your imaging.

$300 to $400 will get you a nice visual scope, capable of planetary and deep space views. A 6" or 8" dob or maybe and 80mm f11 refractor on an EQ mount such as a vixen a80mf. Boost your budget a bit or get lucky on a used item such as a celestron 102mm xlt. These wouldn't be considered the best options for imaging, but given your price point you could certainly do web cam imaging, and even short exposure deep space of perhaps 20 to 30 seconds with dslr cameras. People do great work with various scopes in many price points, but it will be challenging without getting a smoking deal on a used scope. I think you can have a great time with these or similar scopes as long as expectations and patience are top of mind. Hop over to the beginning imagers forum for lots of info and help. Good luck!

#16 dham340

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:20 AM

how about an orion starblast? you could use it to view and either get an adaptor to mount your camer to the scope or use the included brackets to mount just the camera to the mount for long exposure photos.

Not ideal, but within your price range....

#17 obin robinson

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:27 AM

You want this telescope:

http://www.cloudynig...ct=100292&so...

Used for $175 is an awesome deal!

This mount will work:

http://www.cloudynig...ct=99859&sor...

That's the best gear for something near to your $300 goal.

obin :)

#18 GOLGO13

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:55 AM

Closest thing I can think of is a Celestron 5SE or 5i or nexstar 5 (5i and nexstar 5 are the previous versions) on the used market. And that still will probably exceed $300.

Maybe a used ETX 90 could work...but the 5SE would be much better in my opinion.

Quite frankly that's a tough price point for what you are looking for. The taking picture part is what complicates it. It's not a simple endevour in my opinion. I am a visual only guy as I find that type of work frustrating and not worth my time (lots of other people have taken great photos of just about every object).

#19 obin robinson

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:14 PM

Quite frankly that's a tough price point for what you are looking for. The taking picture part is what complicates it. It's not a simple endevour in my opinion. I am a visual only guy as I find that type of work frustrating and not worth my time (lots of other people have taken great photos of just about every object).


It's only as tough as you want to make it out to be. The price point is tough but the actual process is not. I find it to be far more rewarding than visual. After all things like clouds on mars, Jupiter, or the sun change on a daily basis. The positioning of moons changes as well. It's also a lot easier to share your experience with others and get them into the hobby.

The $300 price point is completely doable because he already has a camera... and probably has a computer (considering that he's posting on this forum.)

obin ;)

#20 GOLGO13

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:23 PM

Obin,

I wasn't even considering the camera/computer...just the telescope. $300 is a pretty tough price point for a semi-decent quality tracking scope. I think the used market would be the way to go in this case. Even on the used market $300 doesn't get you a full setup very often. Maybe the ETX line would work.

EDIT: Looked at his post again and he said he could stretch it to $500ish. In that case wouldn't the 5SE used or new be the way to go. It has a build in wedge and it's pretty lightweight/portable. Equatorial mounts of decent quality are pretty heavy/awkward. So I think the 5SE would be just about perfect.

#21 drwho41963

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:32 PM

What about Catadioptric Telescopes they are pricy but they look like they do both planets and galaxies. Any feed back on this?

#22 GOLGO13

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:58 PM

What about Catadioptric Telescopes they are pricy but they look like they do both planets and galaxies. Any feed back on this?


Yep...the 5SE is a Catadioptric scope. They are not too expensive, but are not super cheap either. I believe the 5SE new is $699. They come used around $450ish. Just make sure it has the built in wedge (a little rod on the tripod) that allows you to do better photography (better tracking). Otherwise you could only do some basic imaging. Probably planets and moon but not other items. I will admit that I do not do astro-photography so other than the basics I cannot help much.

#23 drwho41963

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:10 PM

Thanks for the help I think I will look into the 5SE. I just created a post in the imaging forum so I will run this by them and see everything I will need to connect my camera and go from there. I was going to buy a new laptop but I think I'm going to do this instead.

#24 javven

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:23 PM

A group would be a good thing for you if you can find one. Sometimes you can even piggy-back another astronomer's setup either before or after they're done for the night. At star parties and dark sites they'll often have their setup up all night and there's so much you can learn.

It's easier to go "OK - that setup works to do X... now I take that mount and add in my lens/ccd and... get Y" than it is to try to start with unknowns on your mount, unknowns on your optics and no guidance there in the field when you need it.

#25 Tony Flanders

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:31 PM

Quite frankly that's a tough price point for what you are looking for. The taking picture part is what complicates it. It's not a simple endevour in my opinion. I am a visual only guy as I find that type of work frustrating and not worth my time (lots of other people have taken great photos of just about every object).


It's only as tough as you want to make it out to be ...

The $300 price point is completely doable because he already has a camera... and probably has a computer (considering that he's posting on this forum.)


Well, kinda. That camera should work OK for lunar and planetary imaging, but I don't think it will work well for galaxies. Too slow, and the built-in lens won't allow sufficiently low magnifications when shooting through a telescope.






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