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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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csrlice12
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5381181 - 08/22/12 02:25 PM

On the other hand, you can easily spend over $2500 on this hobby and have a setup NOT capable of AP (outside of holding your cell phone up to the eyepiece). It's all relative to what you want the equipment for. I do agree, that, in the long run, we'll all end up with more than one scope. My second one (Celestron 102XLT)is waiting at the scope store for Christmas.

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bigdeal
sage


Reged: 02/26/12

Loc: Waxhaw, NC
Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Raginar]
      #5381338 - 08/22/12 04:01 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I think many people get blind by the people who post in the 'beginners' imaging forum with not-so beginner equipment or experience.




I agree. I wish there was a beginner, intermediate and advanced imaging areas, for DSI and solar system stuff. I usually feel pretty proud of stuff I take but after seeing what others post (while saying they had bad seeing conditions) is intimidating and often makes me think I'm completely wasting my time. When dealing with a true beginner they usually think my planetary stuff is pretty good.

Not sure when someone should graduate from beginner to intermediate to advanced.

At the same time I think the beginners want the advice and experience from the intermediate and advanced guys. Though the advanced guys are typical in another realm in terms of equipment and commitment.

Jim




Jim, I feel the same way. Most the pictures I post get ignored; the 'beginners' are discussing things I'm not quite ready for. Maybe we need a new forum for 'real' imaging beginners? :P




I'd comment on your images, but as a beginner myself I never feel qualified to offer anything of value...


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dw310
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Reged: 08/10/10

Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5381611 - 08/22/12 07:19 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


1. If I buy the good stuff now, I won't have to sell to upgrade later. I will already have well-suited equipment. It's cheaper in the long run.




Fallacy ...




Agreed. This is indeed the fundamental mistake that many beginners make, and it's a big one.

All-purpose scopes do exist, and they do have their uses, notably as travel scopes. But one thing that they strikingly fail to do is save money. Quite the contrary!

Beginners who try to start with all-purpose scopes are likely to cheat themselves on both ends. They will end up with scopes that are too small to yield really impressive visual images and are also too unstable to take really high-quality astrophotos.

Moreover, in the grand scheme of astrophotography, optical tubes are the cheapest part. So trying to economize there is penny wise and pound foolish.

Remember, a telescope is a camera lens -- neither more nor less. So building a system around a single telescope is like trying to build a DSLR system around a single lens and multiple bodies.

Almost all serious astronomers own two or more telescopes, for extremely good reasons. Not only is it cheaper, you also get better results than you possibly could with a single scope, no matter how expensive.




Well, if you are suggesting I have started out with too small an aperture, I looked at larger refractors (achros), but there was a portability issue. The CGEM is heavy enough, but adding a heavier scope would likely mean I would use it much less. I just know myself on that one; weight and portability matters.

I'm also fairly new to the hobby: 2 years. So I had (and have) a small Newtonian as my first scope. After two years I got a refractor. Why? Just cuz. I wanted one. Nothing more and nothing less. Check me out in another few years, and I'll probably have a 3rd scope. I can't afford to buy an entire stable of scopes right now, nor would I know what to do with them. I still have so much to learn. You gotta start somewhere in this hobby, and this is how I started.

I'm not sure where you are going when you suggest I am "building a system around a single telescope." Who said this was my last scope? I am not building anything around the WO FLT. I don't even have the DSLR adaptor for it yet, nor do I have any immediate plans to buy one. (Though I am now looking for a nice wide field eyepiece, so recommendations accepted.)

The WO FLT may not be the best AP scope out there. It also may not be the best visual scope out there. I'm sure it has its particularities. Actually, it seems that all scopes do. But, in my opinion and limited experience, it is a nice, first refractor for me. I'm enjoying it a lot. I did my first 2 star alignment at a recent star party, and then slewed it right to Saturn. It was awesome!

Yep, I'm a newbie. I am easily thrilled. I have yet to take a star chart to a star party. Why? Because I really don't care what I am looking at. It just cool to look "out there." (Though when I found Saturn is was an amazing moment.)

And again, I so appreciate your comments and opinions, because they are molding mine.


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WaterMasterAdministrator
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Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: dw310]
      #5381979 - 08/22/12 11:23 PM

Quote:

Yep, I'm a newbie. I am easily thrilled. I have yet to take a star chart to a star party. Why? Because I really don't care what I am looking at. It just cool to look "out there." (Though when I found Saturn is was an amazing moment.)




And that, after all, is what it's all about.


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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/17/12

Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: dw310]
      #5381984 - 08/22/12 11:29 PM

Quote:

(Though when I found Saturn is was an amazing moment.)




Saturn started it all for me. Now she's behind trees as soon as it's dark and I have to stay up until 2:30 ish for Jupiter to make it over another tree. Guess I'll sleep when it's cloudy.


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Rachel W
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Reged: 07/10/12

Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Tori]
      #5382083 - 08/23/12 01:42 AM

Really liked your comment - life is too short to spend time judging others preferences.

Rachel


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Rachel W
member


Reged: 07/10/12

Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5382095 - 08/23/12 02:03 AM

Quote:

I'm baffled by such "controversy."




Indeed . . . makes no sense to me, but I'm OK if others get some sort of meaning out of the questions and various opinions. It's what generally passes for conversation in this day and age, and again it's fine as long as it isn't intended to modify someone's behavior. I'm certainly equally as hookable on some subjects and I'm not being critical here -

I am just saying, "Comment if you will as long as it is intended for the purposes of enjoyable conversational exploration. When it comes to doing what people want to do, I'm OK with it so long as I'm not expected to foot the bill or stand in as the responsible party incumbered with the responsibilities to be a friendly and helpful neighbor in consequence." Though I'd never shy aware from being helpful should common sense dictate . . . I guess the rub is, "What's common sense?" AND away we go . . . LOL

Take care,

Rachel


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Tim2723
The Moon Guy
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Reged: 02/19/04

Loc: Northern New Jersey
Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Rachel W]
      #5382133 - 08/23/12 03:10 AM

Sometimes we let our expertise get in the way of having fun. From time to time it seems like I enjoyed all this a lot more before there was an Internet to tell me I'm wrong.

Oh, and an unwritten rule: The first time you see Saturn with your own eyes it's perfectly OK to stand all alone in the dark and cry.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: dw310]
      #5382266 - 08/23/12 08:04 AM

Quote:


The WO FLT may not be the best AP scope out there. It also may not be the best visual scope out there. I'm sure it has its particularities. Actually, it seems that all scopes do. But, in my opinion and limited experience, it is a nice, first refractor for me. I'm enjoying it a lot. I did my first 2 star alignment at a recent star party, and then slewed it right to Saturn. It was awesome!




If you are enjoying your scope, that is what counts.

My concern is that when people include Astrophotography in the requirements, it really does change the equation dramatically. One of my favorite scopes in my TeleVue NP-101, it's an expensive scope, close to $4000 new, but it is well suited for astrophotography and for visual observation, does as well as a 4 inch telescope can do...

But there is no doubt in my mind, that if I want the best planetary views, if I want to see the faintest galaxies, see nebulae in their full detail, split the tightest double stars, resolve globular clusters, do all those things that we do, that my Asian 10 inch Dob does a significantly better job than the 4 inch apo refractor. A 8 inch Newtonian, an 8 inch SCT would also be better than my 4 inch apo at such things.

So, this is kind of an awkward situation, buying a scope that is well suited for astrophotography means that the scope will be compromised in terms of it's visual capabilities... So, in general, my gut feeling is that it is best to start out with a scope that is optimized for visual observation, get one's feet wet, learn about telescopes, find ones way around the sky. Then when one is more familiar with the hobby, that's a time to make a decision based on experience.

Jon


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Tony Flanders
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Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5382425 - 08/23/12 10:11 AM

Quote:

Quote:


The WO FLT may not be the best AP scope out there. It also may not be the best visual scope ... but I'm enjoying it a lot. I did my first 2 star alignment at a recent star party, and then slewed it right to Saturn. It was awesome!




If you are enjoying your scope, that is what counts.




Amen!

Quote:

In general, my gut feeling is that it is best to start out with a scope that is optimized for visual observation, get one's feet wet, learn about telescopes, find ones way around the sky. Then when one is more familiar with the hobby, that's a time to make a decision based on experience.




Exactly. But every rule has many exceptions.


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samhyperion
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Reged: 05/18/12

Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5382542 - 08/23/12 11:04 AM

We can go on discussing the "pros" and "cons" for the rest of the year! However, the simple fact is I look forward to getting my scope out at the end of the week, twiddle around, look "out there" and if I can, get a few photos ( even though, I am just starting out, and get lot of frustrating photos! ). As with every hobby, it is important to have perseverence and oodles of optimism. I do numismatics also (coin collecting), and I am always optimistic that I will get a "new" coin for my collection, anywhere I travel! I imagine how that coin must have landed in my collection.
So, at the end of the day, instead of flopping in front of tv to watch a documentary on planets, it gives me more pleasure to imagine what it is "out there".
So, the key is "imagination" and lots of patience, as with any other hobby!!

clear skies!


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Dwight J
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Reged: 05/14/09

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Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: samhyperion]
      #5383519 - 08/23/12 08:57 PM Attachment (107 downloads)

Why not start simpler and gradually move up in complexity. When I started with film I began with camera and tripod with the normal lens, then piggyback with the normal lens, then with telephoto with guiding (manual guiding back then) before I laid out further investment in prime focus AP. By the time I was ready I understood much of what was required to do prime focus and I had a nice bunch of wide angle photos to boot. Just to show what can be done with today's DSLR's I have included a shot I took last week at the Saskatchewan Star Party using a Canon T3 (unmodded), a cable release, and a photo tripod. No tracking or guiding but a 30 sec exposure at ISO 6400 @ F5.6 and the lens that came with the camera set to it's widest setting about 18mm. I did crop it a bit to fit the size requirements and applied a slight curve in photoshop. Meteors and aurora can be had with this set up as well. Including interesting foregrounds with sky scenes can keep you busy for a long time and they are still "astrophotos"

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shrevestan
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Reged: 04/19/12

Loc: Shreveport, LA
Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Dwight J]
      #5383527 - 08/23/12 09:03 PM

Guess it depends on the personality type of the individual. I jumped in as a complete noob with the intent of doing astrophotography with a side of visual viewing. There is a huge learning curve but I'm finding it more rewarding than frustrating even though I've had some spectacular failures. I'd rather start with everything I need and grow into it rather than constantly grow out of equipment.

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Odell
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Reged: 04/29/12

Loc: Florida
Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: shrevestan]
      #5383815 - 08/24/12 12:34 AM

I probably shouldn't pipe up here as I am 4 months into this hobby. I bought my Meade LX200 with the very idea of visual/AP. I thought that it was necessary to be involved in AP if one was to be fully engaged in Astronomy.

Of course the Florida clouds rolled in about the same time the UPS truck did so I've spent a lot of time reading various forums, manuals, and scouring how to's just to see what AP involved. I have to admit after reading as much material as I have, I will not be taking any pictures for quite a while.

But, I will never forget first light with my new equipment an hour before dusk. Sitting alone in a large open field expectantly watching the sky darken and the first alignment star to appear, a very bright meteor appeared ever so briefly cutting brightly across the dusky background. I sat back in my chair and couldn't remember feeling that kind of peace in a long time. It was at that moment I became fully engaged.


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panhard
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Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Odell]
      #5383949 - 08/24/12 04:03 AM

Odell Welcome to Cloudy Nights.

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Maverick199
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Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: panhard]
      #5384294 - 08/24/12 10:37 AM

Welcome to CN Odell.

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shrevestan
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Reged: 04/19/12

Loc: Shreveport, LA
Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5384834 - 08/24/12 04:06 PM

Welcome Odell! Hope Isaac leaves you alone and the skies clear soon.

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Odell
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Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: shrevestan]
      #5389962 - 08/27/12 03:30 PM

Thanks for the welcome (didn't mean to kill the thread).

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MikeBOKC
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Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Odell]
      #5390121 - 08/27/12 05:12 PM

Actually I think you sustained it!

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panhard
It's All Good
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Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: Why Oh Why AP for beginners? new [Re: Odell]
      #5390194 - 08/27/12 06:07 PM

Quote:

I probably shouldn't pipe up here as I am 4 months into this hobby. I bought my Meade LX200 with the very idea of visual/AP. I thought that it was necessary to be involved in AP if one was to be fully engaged in Astronomy.

Of course the Florida clouds rolled in about the same time the UPS truck did so I've spent a lot of time reading various forums, manuals, and scouring how to's just to see what AP involved. I have to admit after reading as much material as I have, I will not be taking any pictures for quite a while.

But, I will never forget first light with my new equipment an hour before dusk. Sitting alone in a large open field expectantly watching the sky darken and the first alignment star to appear, a very bright meteor appeared ever so briefly cutting brightly across the dusky background. I sat back in my chair and couldn't remember feeling that kind of peace in a long time. It was at that moment I became fully engaged.




Excellent post Odell!


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