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Astrophotography and Sketching >> Beginning and Intermediate Imaging

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darber99
member


Reged: 03/26/13

Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Beginner Astrograph Equipment new
      #5849996 - 05/09/13 12:59 PM

Anyone have any suggestions for a beginner Astrograph, motor, mount and camera? I was looking at the Orion 8" Astrograph (f/3.9). Seems like a decent scope for the price but I really have no idea what other kind of equipment I'd need. I think id be interested in taking images of the moon and planets to start with and then eventually graduate to deep space objects. Thanks for your time.

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rflinn68Moderator
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 03/09/12

Loc: Arkansas
Re: Beginner Astrograph Equipment new [Re: darber99]
      #5850172 - 05/09/13 02:37 PM

For planetary imaging a SCT would probably be your best choice. The Orion f/3.9 makes a nice DSO astrograph. I have the AT8IN and its very similar. If you get that scope you'll need a good coma corrector. I've been using the old style Celestron/Baader MPCC for a while with so-so results but I just got the Baader Mark III MPCC and I'm very happy with it. The mount is the most important thing for good astrophotography IMO. I'd be looking for something at least as good as the Orion Atlas or Celestron CGEM mounts. I have the CGEM DX and I'm pretty happy with it. It is very big and heavy so be prepared for that. A nice little beginner set up for wide field imaging would be a CG5/VX mount with something like the AT65EDQ. I have the CG5 and AT65EDQ and so far havent seen the need to use the CGEM DX when imaging with it. Its much lighter and easier to set up but the bigger mounts are required for anything bigger than a small refractor and will give you room to grow. The general "rule of thumb" is to keep your weight to half the mounts rated capacity for imaging.

Oh, I forgot camera: I've been really pleased with my Canon T3 (1100D). I had a blast for a while before having it modded by Gary Honis. Here are my images I have done with the camera. BackYardEOS is a must have!

http://www.astrobin.com/users/rflinn68/

Edited by rflinn68 (05/09/13 02:43 PM)


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Mike7Mak
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/07/11

Loc: New York
Re: Beginner Astrograph Equipment new [Re: darber99]
      #5850258 - 05/09/13 03:14 PM

Quote:

I think id be interested in taking images of the moon and planets to start with and then eventually graduate to deep space objects.



There really is no 'graduating' from one to the other. Planetary and DSO imaging are essentially two different disciplines. To do either well requires radically different scopes, cameras, and techniques. To go from one to the other is more like starting over than graduating.

edit...lol, kinda ironic coming from a guy who shoots dsos with a planetary scope I guess.

Edited by Mike7Mak (05/09/13 03:22 PM)


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Gray
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/31/11

Loc: Hixson, TN
Re: Beginner Astrograph Equipment new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5852631 - 05/10/13 07:47 PM

Quote:

edit...lol, kinda ironic coming from a guy who shoots dsos with a planetary scope I guess.




Yes, but you do such a good job with it


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Gray
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/31/11

Loc: Hixson, TN
Re: Beginner Astrograph Equipment new [Re: Gray]
      #5852657 - 05/10/13 08:01 PM

On the cheap () , I'd get a EQ5 mount and a C6 SCT with a 6.3 reducer and a 3x barlow. Plus a 50mm guide scope with a planetary camera and a cheap DSLR.

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NightRyder
sage


Reged: 12/24/09

Loc: Miami FL aka Light Pollution, ...
Re: Beginner Astrograph Equipment [Re: Gray]
      #5852998 - 05/10/13 11:16 PM

As you know, there are 8 planets. You are on one of them, so that leaves 7 and our moon to image and not all of those are easy to image... regardless, 8 objects in total. DSO's could keep you busy for years... Go for DSO's! No disrespect to the planetary guys

I say invest in the mount first. CGEM is a good entry point. I started with a CG5 and since upgraded to a CGEM and am very pleased. As far as a scope, a small aperature, short focal length is much more forgiving to learn with. I learned with my 80mm Apo Refractor and have recently stepped up to the 8" Astrograph. Although I have no experience with CCD, I know enough to know that they are very expensive. A good DSLR will enable you to learn a great deal, it is easy to use and relatively inexpensive. I started with a 350D (Rebel XT) and I recently found a "like new" slightly used (only 223 shutter actuations) Canon T3i on Craigslist for $400.

So... I say: CGEM Mount, 65-80mm Refractor, Kwiq Guider style guide scope and a decent DSLR. But this is just my


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astrodog73
super member


Reged: 02/22/13

Loc: Australia
Re: Beginner Astrograph Equipment new [Re: NightRyder]
      #5853377 - 05/11/13 08:44 AM

Agree with NightRyder, I started imaging with an ED80, using an 8" f/4 newt now, you could start with a newt I suppose, but the refractor would be an easier beginners option.

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StarDust1
super member


Reged: 08/21/12

Re: Beginner Astrograph Equipment new [Re: astrodog73]
      #5855321 - 05/12/13 11:49 AM

Yes, my vote also goes for a small refractor for imaging. It's hassle free. I'm not saying that it can't be done with a reflector. A small refractor is less demanding on the mount than a reflector and you don't have to worry about collimation.

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rgsalinger
super member
*****

Reged: 02/19/07

Loc: Carlsbad Ca
Re: Beginner Astrograph Equipment new [Re: StarDust1]
      #5858431 - 05/13/13 07:45 PM

My vote too is for a refractor/dslr combination but the real issue is what mount to get. I like the iOptron line (I have the iEQ45) as they are modestly priced for what you get and very portable. The built in gps and polar scope make alignment very easy. I went immediately to a C11 on a CGE mount and just struggled with it until I switched and now I'm really getting results and not spending my nights fiddling with equipment.
Rgrds-Ross


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