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hytham
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/25/12

Loc: Canadian in the US
Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please.
      #5818013 - 04/23/13 05:15 PM

A friend of mine and I are having a nice little discussion regarding what is most important as it relates to spending.

My thoughts:

Immediate:
1a) Buy an ICX694 camera to get my feet wet with CCD monochrome imaging sacrificing the FOV, sensitivity, but gaining resolution - I already have the filter wheel and filters to accommodate the small chip.

OR

1b) Have my T3i camera modified by the folks at CentralDS to take advantage of the FOV offered by the FSQ. This will save quite a bit of cash in both the short and long term.

AND

2) Spend the money on a quality mount (AP900, 1100 or MX).


6-8 months:
1) Buy the ML16803. Purchase a new filter wheel (cfw2-7) and filters (Astrodon 50mm Round [LRGB, HA])


#####################################################################################################

His thoughts:

Immediate
1) Buy the ML16803 with filter wheel and filters, forget about the mount, the DSLR cooling and the CCD. Use my CGEM-DX mount.

6-8 months
2) Buy the mount


#####################################################################################################

It makes the most sense to buy the quality mount first and then focus on acquiring the CCD. I think his thoughts make sense if I end up hypertuning my DX mount, but he disagrees with that as well.

Your thoughts?

Thank you,

-H


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vpcirc
Post Laureate


Reged: 12/09/09

Loc: Merced CA
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: hytham]
      #5818037 - 04/23/13 05:24 PM

I'll quote Mr. Wodaski
"Of all the important components -- mount, telescope,
and camera -- the mount is the primary key to success.
Give me a superb mount, an average camera, and an
average telescope, and I can give you good images.
Granted, I can improve those images by getting a better
camera and/or a better telescope. But without an ade-
quate mount, you canít take good images at all. Perfect
optics and a perfect camera would simply record the
shortcomings of any mount perfectly"


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DaemonGPF
Redonkulous
*****

Reged: 03/22/08

Loc: Aurora Colorado
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: vpcirc]
      #5818064 - 04/23/13 05:34 PM

I couldn't agree more. This is coming from someone who started out going the opposite route and trying to make mediocre mounts comply with demand. Hard, expensive lesson to learn.

I'm in the boat right now myself replacing my primary imaging rig. I can tell you that probably 3/4 of what I intend to spend is going towards the mount without hesitation. I'd rather have a big boy mount, with a low end, small ED refractor any day of the week, thanks.


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DaemonGPF
Redonkulous
*****

Reged: 03/22/08

Loc: Aurora Colorado
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #5818119 - 04/23/13 05:47 PM

Just to qualify my statement above a bit more - that "3/4 of budget" might result in me getting a wooden monopod to glue my digicam on to if I irritate the almighty "CFO" any further with my recent computer hardware upgrades/purchases LOL. So take that with a grain of salt.



Seriously though, mount, mount, mount. No matter what. 9 out of 10 dentists, er, astrophotographers will agree.


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vpcirc
Post Laureate


Reged: 12/09/09

Loc: Merced CA
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #5818172 - 04/23/13 06:01 PM

With the new line of encoder mounts coming out there are some great deals on AP 900, 1200's and MX's to be found on various classified sites. There hasn't been a better time to pick up a quality used mount.

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Madratter
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #5818180 - 04/23/13 06:02 PM

This one doesn't. And I have the poor mount, a Celestron CG-5. But with some care, I have taken subs as long as 10m.

I definitely want to replace the mount, but I am learning plenty and having a good time with my camera. I purchased a STF-8300m and that was a huge difference over what I was getting with my unmodded Canon 50d.

I have a pretty good idea of what a perfect mount would do for me, and although I would throw out less frames, in my case it would not lead to pictures as much better as the difference in those cameras.

My two cents.


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zytrahus
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/16/09

Loc: Long Beach, CA
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #5818188 - 04/23/13 06:04 PM

I agree with most statements but is the DX such a bad mount?

I think I'd do what your friend suggested on this one. It's not like you are running a bad mount. Your imaging scale with this camera and scope (especially if you are using the QE reducer) is going to be fairly large. You should have no problem getting pinpoint stars.

Then later (6 months isn't that long) buy a better mount.

I think it's probably the most cost effective way to approach the problem. If you buy another camera now you'll lose some money reselling it and all the adopters you need for the TAK (probably different than the ones on the 16803).

Not like you are hesitating between one or the other since you know in 6-8 months you'll have both. So yeah I'll get the camera now and get a better mount later - but again I am assuming the DX can handle the 106.. I've seen people do it with a EQ-G so I don't see why not. The way I see it, it's waiting 6 months to get a better mount Vs. spending money now on camera + accessories which you'll sell in 6 months while loosing some money.


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chicot
sage


Reged: 09/30/08

Loc: Liverpool, UK
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: hytham]
      #5818208 - 04/23/13 06:10 PM

Go with the mount. Any of the 3 you've suggested would likely be the last mount you're ever likely to need.

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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: chicot]
      #5818264 - 04/23/13 06:23 PM

Did you try to image with Takahashi FSQ-106EDXIII and CGEM DX?
Can we see the images?


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hytham
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/25/12

Loc: Canadian in the US
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: chicot]
      #5818293 - 04/23/13 06:31 PM

One point I had not mentioned is that I do not plan on performing any LONG focal length imaging as that is a nightmare I do not want to tackle at this time ... I am considering the sale of the EdgeHD. I didn't get into this hobby to do planetary imaging. I am the wide field nebula kind of guy

At the short focal lengths (I do have the reducer for the FSQ - 387mm @F3.65), guiding is much easier and with a hypertuned mount it should not be as stressed under guiding for those focal lengths.

What other classified sites exists outside of Astromart and CN where I can see what is available on the used market? I was going to buy new, but definitely open to used if the right one comes along.


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hytham
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/25/12

Loc: Canadian in the US
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: orion69]
      #5818298 - 04/23/13 06:32 PM

Quote:

Did you try to image with Takahashi FSQ-106EDXIII and CGEM DX?
Can we see the images?




I just got the FSQ out of the box yesterday and wouldn't you know it ... 22cm of snow (9").

Waiting on the rings and ADM plates to arrive which should be here this week. BUT we all know how weather likes to have fun....


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psu_13
sage


Reged: 05/30/10

Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: orion69]
      #5818304 - 04/23/13 06:34 PM

The DX is by no means unusable. But if you know you are going to spend the money anyway, you can't lose by starting out with the mount. It makes everything so much easier.

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EdmontonAB
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/30/08

Loc: Sooke, BC , Canada
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: hytham]
      #5818315 - 04/23/13 06:36 PM

If you get a great mount, you won't have a "nightmare" that you don't want to tackle.

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hytham
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/25/12

Loc: Canadian in the US
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: EdmontonAB]
      #5818330 - 04/23/13 06:41 PM

Quote:

If you get a great mount, you won't have a "nightmare" that you don't want to tackle.




Unfortunately the nightmare I'm referring to is MN seeing. When I do planetary even at F10 Jupiter is moving all over the place and nearly impossible to keep in the FOV. Stable seeing is so very rare.


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orion69
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/09/10

Loc: Croatia
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: EdmontonAB]
      #5818344 - 04/23/13 06:44 PM

I suggest you don't buy anything for a while and try Tak with CGEM DX. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
If not, then you have other options...
But frankly if your DX is working correctly you can shoot very nice images with Tak.
If you plan to buy heavier scope in near future then I would suggest new mount.


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vpcirc
Post Laureate


Reged: 12/09/09

Loc: Merced CA
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: orion69]
      #5818381 - 04/23/13 06:52 PM

Nothing is easy to shoot at F10. Mount precision directly effects resolution. The more stable the mount and tracking performance the better the overall quality of the image. I'm not suggesting for a second you can't image with a DX, but after learning from the school of expensive bad decisions, I would never go back to a lower end mount. Imaging is just so much easier with a quality mount.

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hytham
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/25/12

Loc: Canadian in the US
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: vpcirc]
      #5818423 - 04/23/13 07:02 PM

My girlfriend's advice: "Quit being such a p***y and buy it all."

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wolfman_4_ever
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/11

Loc: El Segundo, Ca, So. Cal
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: hytham]
      #5818472 - 04/23/13 07:21 PM

theres an encoder option available for the cg5... but i would upgrade..

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DaemonGPF
Redonkulous
*****

Reged: 03/22/08

Loc: Aurora Colorado
Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: Madratter]
      #5818612 - 04/23/13 08:44 PM

Quote:

This one doesn't. And I have the poor mount, a Celestron CG-5. But with some care, I have taken subs as long as 10m.

I definitely want to replace the mount, but I am learning plenty and having a good time with my camera. I purchased a STF-8300m and that was a huge difference over what I was getting with my unmodded Canon 50d.

I have a pretty good idea of what a perfect mount would do for me, and although I would throw out less frames, in my case it would not lead to pictures as much better as the difference in those cameras.

My two cents.




You might be surprised..

For what it's worth, I also started AP with a CG-5 and had it for quite a long time, battling with its "personality traits". After overhauling it and making some adjustments I was able to reach 120 sec unguided with a modest loss of subs, and 20 min subs guided with a 400mm fl, and a marginal loss of subs.

The next two mounts I owned - a Nexstar 8GPS and a CGEM, once dialed in, I never had to toss a sub ever. The tracking was so much more precise that the data captured by ANY camera I used was that much better.

But, I don't think the question or point was "can you image with a lesser mount and good camera?" as we all know the answer is yes. I think the question was what would be a more beneficial approach.


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northwolfwu
super member


Reged: 11/19/08

Re: Mount or CCD Purchase ... Thoughts Please. new [Re: DaemonGPF]
      #5818695 - 04/23/13 09:41 PM

IMHO, the most important gear is mount, which must be strong and stable.
The second is camera. For DSO, mono CCD is preferred, you can improve SNR and image efficiency. Even in heavy light pollution area, you can use narrow band to shoot. Even with normal telecope, you can get reasonable result.
The last is scope. I prefer the scope with built-in flattener, which has long back focus. You can add OAG, rotator and other things, and it makes it simple.


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