Tom Karpf (tkarpf) Vice President, Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford www.asgh.org
- Selsi 60mm f/13 Lunt 35mm Solar Scope Stellarvue SVR70ED
- Astronomy Technologies AT6RC Home-built Dobsonian with home-made mirror -
- 8" f/6.8 Unistar Deluxe on a surveyor's tripod
- Steve"It takes all the running you can do just to stay in one place." - The Red Queen
Quote:Matt,Welcome back to the hobby, and to Cloudy Nights.I'm willing to bet that shortly you will be advised to skip astrophotography; you have a beautiful little star living with you who is MUCH easier to photograph. Astrophotography can easily chew up hours of time just getting the equipment set up, let alone post-processing of images. Plus, setups are very complex: main scope, guide scope, auto-guider, camera, not to mention the mount itself (which should make up the major part of your budget).With a focal ratio of f/7.7, the ED103S will work well with just about ANY brand of eyepiece; faster scopes require better quality eyepieces. Your lowest power eyepiece should be no bigger than 53.9mm (which will give you an exit pupil of 7mm), and your highest power eyepiece should be no smaller than 3.85mm (which will give you an exit pupil of 0.5mm).If you expect your daughter to be looking through the scope, I would suggest you get lenses with lots of eye relief (at least 15mm or so).I like the Explore Scientific 82* eyepieces; a 14mm (currently $99 on sale) would be a perfect match as a medium power eyepiece for your scope. The 4.7mm 82* Explore Scientific would be a nice high power eyepiece.
Quote:Hi Matt, welcome to Cloudy Nights!You're going to find you'll get lots of great advice on EP's, mounts, and astrophotography - we all love to help others (spend their money ).Rather than offer my (questionable) advice on these topics, I'll just make two suggestions: Stellarium - a great piece of planetarium software, and it's free.A good, adjustable observing chair.
Some nice telescopes, and a couple of mounts. Vixen 90mm f9 Fluorite, 10" f/6 Discovery w/ Ostahowski Primary, Destiny curved spider, Protostar secondary, Celestron 9.25, Celestron 6" SE. --Vixen GP w/ Synscan Go-To, KB Systems Gibraltar legs. --Atlas EQ-G.
Quote:Matt,With regards to astrophotography, what, exactly do you want to photograph and how?Video photography of planets?Wide-angle shots (all of Orion) using a DSLR lens?Long exposure shots of deep sky (galaxies, etc.)?Are you willing to spend at least an hour setting up your equipment and getting your polar alignment perfect? Are you willing to spend as much time on the computer post-processing the pictures you take as you spent taking the pictures?Once you have those questions answered, I'd try posting your questions on the astrophotography forum. I'd also suggest checking out http://www.astropix.com/ . There's a ton of information in the Astrophotography Techniques section, and his books on CD are great resources.
Quote:Matt, the Cloudynights sponsor, Astronomics, has new CG-5 mounts on closeout for $550 with free shipping. There are several of these mounts in operation at our observing facility here in Shreveport. It's a great value for $550. Heck, my Vixen GP has way over $550 worth of dual drives and digital setting circles alone. A lightweight folding table near your setup is a great accessory. For Shreveport, planetary viewing breaks down on images over 200X. In my 90mm f/9 fluorite that's about a 4mm eyepiece equivalent. I like my Televue plossels in the shorter focal lengths, 13, 10.5, and 8, but I am tempted to try the $40 TMB planetary eyepieces available from Astronomics. I just picked up the 28mm 68' Explore Scientific 2" eyepiece. I am very pleased with that purchase.
Quote:Matt,With regards to a mount for visual and astrophotography, keep this in mind:1) The HEAVIER the mount, the more stable it will be for all purposes, and2) The shorter the focal length of the scope, the more forgiving your images will be of gears that are wobbly or not quite round, and3) Mounts for visual use can be MUCH lighter than mounts for astrophotography, and4) Components that make astrophotography easy add cost, weight, and time to set up. You can easily spend $2000+ on a mount that will work well for astrophotography. Then you will probably add a guide scope (another $300+), oh and don't forget to get a 2" light pollution filter (another $200), and the focuser of the scope may not hold the camera well when the scope is pointed high (another $400-500 for Moonlite focuser), and don't forget a field flattener (so stars in the corners are points instead of circles, another $200+). I'm sure I've forgotten several somethings (like a portable battery pack, vibration suppression pads, etc.).Astrophotography is not for the faint of wallet.Here's a photo I 'borrowed' from a 'show your mount' post here. It's a pretty standard astrophotography collection of equipment. Please note all the wires.http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/attachments/3276897-IMG_3539.JPG
Quote:If you don't already know, astronomics gives discounts to Cloudy Nights members.
My eyepieces are made from the waste product of exploding stars. 10XTi 102XLT ST80A(2" Focuser) XW: All; XO: 2.58 Televue: Naglers-T1 Smoothside-full set, 17T4,12T4,Ethos 17,4.7; plossels-40,32,20,17,&7.4mm; Pans-22,24mm; Delos-6,8,12,17.3mm ES100: 5.5,9*,14,20 ES82: full set ES68: 16,20,24,34 NLV: 5,9,10,15 Ortho: HD-7,9; OPS-9,12 Meade RG 7mm Other: Pentax 12.5K(.965), 10mm Parks Zoom: Nag3-6 *=on b/o DAS Dark Site
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