Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Lunt 152ed or premium 130mm APO for visual and astrophotography?

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
22 replies to this topic

#1 jakecru

jakecru

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 879
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2013

Posted 12 December 2014 - 02:43 PM

For a combination use of visual astronomy and astrophotography which would be preferred. I am just brain storming, for I have a lot of saving up to do. The mount will be at least a CGE Pro if not more stable mounted on a permanent pier. I also have an 18'' dob I use for visual use, but it would be nice to have a permanent cooled setup which I can use for imaging or visual use without having the setup and cooldown time for the dob. Besides AP or TAK, how do other triplet designs compare such as a lesser expensive triplet ES 152 ED Carbon Fiber? The other doublet I considered was the TEC 140ed.


Edited by jakecru, 12 December 2014 - 03:21 PM.


#2 Pinbout

Pinbout

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22928
  • Joined: 22 Feb 2010

Posted 12 December 2014 - 03:22 PM

anything but the ES

 

here's BillP's lunt review

 

http://www.cloudynig...f8-ed-apo-r2889

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=E4YVb-QmS4I



#3 jakecru

jakecru

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 879
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2013

Posted 12 December 2014 - 03:37 PM

Thank you, that is a good review and the video makes it look like an awesome scope. So apparently, the only CA present is when in or out focused, and when focused there is none or very little to none present. I love the idea of a 152mm refractor giving almost perfect APO performance for the cost. How do you think it will fair for astrophotography being an ED scope compared to a triplet? Do you think CA will be more apparent taking exposure photographs? The field of view might be slightly smaller than an 130mm class, but the added aperture should be worth it for visual. I can always piggyback an 80mm triplet to serve as a multi-purpose wide field imager and guidescope. Thanks!



#4 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18732
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006

Posted 12 December 2014 - 03:47 PM

Not that I'm an imager, but I would think that if doing planetary imaging that a larger aperture and smaller scope size for steady mounting would be the ticket -- i.e., an SCT.  If the primary imaging will be wider field then a small fast APO would be the ticket.  I think the Lunt 152, being a 1200mm scope is long enough that you will need quite a strong mount to keep vibration free...so mount may easily cost more than the scope is using something this large.

 

If wanting to stay with a refractor, then a 130 or 140 is probably a good balance...and again the 130 probably a little better to keep weight and mount cost down. 



#5 jakecru

jakecru

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 879
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2013

Posted 12 December 2014 - 04:24 PM

Would the CGE pro not be stable for 1200 fl astrophotography? I really love the Paramount MX+ or the AP 1100gto as a permanent mount for an observatory, but I either need to hit the lottery or save up a lot longer before I get into that class of mount. I thought a lot of imagers use large sct's with reducers on the CGE pro such as the EDGE HD 1100 with .7 reducer and that would have a much longer focal length than 1200. Of course thats why I am asking I am no expert, so you may be right. Thank you for the feedback!



#6 Pinbout

Pinbout

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22928
  • Joined: 22 Feb 2010

Posted 12 December 2014 - 04:32 PM

how about this plug and play astrograph...

 

http://www.stellarvu...100-astrograph/

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=lHsSlhVMb8s



#7 Alan S

Alan S

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 784
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2007

Posted 12 December 2014 - 08:03 PM

For a combination use of visual astronomy and astrophotography which would be preferred. I am just brain storming, for I have a lot of saving up to do. The mount will be at least a CGE Pro if not more stable mounted on a permanent pier. I also have an 18'' dob I use for visual use, but it would be nice to have a permanent cooled setup which I can use for imaging or visual use without having the setup and cooldown time for the dob. Besides AP or TAK, how do other triplet designs compare such as a lesser expensive triplet ES 152 ED Carbon Fiber? The other doublet I considered was the TEC 140ed.

 

Size wise,  I enjoy the TEC 140 (which is a triplet, not a doublet).  I have used the ES 152 and it is much larger, requiring more mount of course...and it is not a huge gain visually in resolution from 140 to 152...so you can see I am biased. 



#8 areyoukiddingme

areyoukiddingme

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4379
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2012

Posted 12 December 2014 - 09:45 PM

Alan, very few reviews of the 152. How'd you like it?



#9 jrcrilly

jrcrilly

    Refractor wienie no more

  • *****
  • Administrators
  • Posts: 35468
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2003

Posted 12 December 2014 - 10:35 PM

 Do you think CA will be more apparent taking exposure photographs? 

Yes. Many telescopes that are perfectly satisfactory for visual use suffer in imaging performance. Our eyes may not be very sensitive to violet compared to the longer wavelengths, but a camera sees it just fine. That's why we see halos in so many images captured via too-fast ED doublets. I've imaged through a 6" F/9 doublet using a similar grade of ED glass (same Abbe number). It was just about usable but required lots of extra processing to hide the halos. At F/8 it would have been worse. It was sweet visually, though!



#10 WebFoot

WebFoot

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1535
  • Joined: 02 Jun 2005

Posted 13 December 2014 - 12:33 AM

Maybe it's just me, but I find 1200mm to be an unsatisfactory focal length at which to image.  Even an f/8 130mm refractor is in no-man's land, for me, regardless of optical quality.

 

With 152mm of aperture, it's not going t be very useful for planetary imaging, I suspect, and it's not a wide enough FOV for large nebulae.

 

I loved imaging with my friend's AP130 f/6, because of its superb optics, but I don't know that I'd like a longer focal length instrument, even with superb optics, for imaging.  My little FSQ106 is, to me, quite a nice focal length for imaging, with 530mm of focal length.  likewise, very long focal length with large aperture also works well for imaging I like to do (assuming a quality mount).

 

The best planetary images by an amateur I've ever seen were taken with a C14.  Lots of aperture; lots of focal length.

 

Mark



#11 GHarris

GHarris

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 170
  • Joined: 06 Jun 2009

Posted 13 December 2014 - 05:52 AM

The APM/Lunt 152ED is a very fine visual scope in my experience but probably not really suitable for astrophotography. It works well for visual use, but cameras are much much more pernickety than the human eye in their ability to spot small amounts of false colour. As I understand it the 152ED is actually, to some extent, designed specifically with the human eye in mind - its greatest amount of CA is in the red wavelengths that the dark-adapted eye is worst at perceiving. And as mentioned by others, cameras see the blue end of the spectrum better than the eye too, so there'll be CA there.

 

It shines as a visual scope. I also find (when I have time, energy and the skies are clear - all too rarely of late!) that it works brilliantly as an outreach scope. The views it produces are good enough that I at least can find no fault in it, so Joe Public certainly won't, and a 6 inch refractor really catches people's attention when you're trying to hook passersby and ambush them with a bit of perspective of an evening. Since it's not an irreplaceable (and unaffordable) Astrophysics I'm not quite so scared of taking it out in public as I might otherwise be!

 

But if you're looking for an all-rounder for both visual and imaging, it's best to look elsewhere.


Edited by GHarris, 13 December 2014 - 06:02 AM.


#12 Alan S

Alan S

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 784
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2007

Posted 13 December 2014 - 10:05 AM

Alan, very few reviews of the 152. How'd you like it?

 

I did not own it, only used a friends over a dark sky weekend together.  I enjoyed it tremendously as gharris describes the Lunt 152 in the post above.  Excellent, excellent, excellent visual scope...but it's large...I much prefer the TEC 140 physically, and do think the TEC has a slight edge in the view at the eyepiece...but it is hard to remove owner bias.  This is the scope I used:

 

http://www.cloudynig...hl= mike wiles



#13 areyoukiddingme

areyoukiddingme

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4379
  • Joined: 18 Nov 2012

Posted 13 December 2014 - 03:11 PM

Thanks for the link Allan. I hadn't seen that thread before. I'm not surprised that you prefer your TEC 140. I tried buying one that came up recently, but was too slow. That led me to the ES when the sale came up, but it sounds like it wont ship until January . . . 



#14 GHarris

GHarris

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 170
  • Joined: 06 Jun 2009

Posted 14 December 2014 - 11:27 AM

In my entirely personal and subjective opinion...

 

For a visual user, the ways in which the TEC 140 MAY (depending on preference, and not absolutely always) outperform the APM 152ED are:

 

1) Colour correction (which is of very, very minor significance imo, for the visual user, unless a supreme standard of colour perfection for its own sake is something you value over the question of "what extra details, arising from that last bit of good colour correction, can I actually discern?")

 

2) quality of figuring, lens smoothness. The TEC is top-end, made by a perfectionist manufacturer, guaranteed-to-a-high-standard in all samples, while the 152 is made to a "pretty good, it'll do" level with some variation... though I believe the variability and baseline quality is better than, say, the general level you get with Chinese-made Dobsonians.

 

3) portability (and less importantly, somewhat-wider-field-of-view options) VS pure aperture.

 

Mechanically I feel the APM is good enough for a visual observer. Others may disagree. But it's small margins in improvement, a "feel" of focuser quality (for example) vs a highly debateable improvement in actual visual performance arising from mechanics (e.g. ability to reach perfect focus point). I think for visual, in terms of how certain you can be of finding and holding the focus point - pure, end-result performance - the quality of the APM focuser is plenty good. There's a bit more of a "built like a Swiss watch" feel to a Feathertouch focuser, which doesn't necessarily translate to a better view through the eyepiece, but the APM focuser already feels well made (to me) and I find no fault in it.

 

Anyway, cutting to the chase - I would speculate that if a visual user prefers the views through a TEC 140, it comes down primarily to point 2. TECs are always near-perfect in Strehl ratio and smoothness. In some cases (and especially DSOs) the extra smidgeon of aperture of the 152 could more than make up the difference. I don't believe that the relatively insignificant (purely my personal opinion, I know this may be controversial and fair cop if you disagree) colour correction and mechanical quality differences matter for the visual user.

 

(Anyhow, sorry, this is slightly off-topic for the OP by now!)



#15 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18732
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006

Posted 15 December 2014 - 10:40 AM

Actually, I would not consider a TEC140 or the Lunt 152 optimum scopes for astrophotography.  I really would consider both handicapped in that respect.  If the OP is serious about getting into this then a scope that is an astrograph would be the best choice.  Choosing a long tubed and heavy refractor for this task overcomplicates the mounting needed.  My recommendation would be for the OP to post the question in the Beginning and Intermediate Imaging forum and not here.  IMO looking for one scope for both visual and imaging is setting up a compromise right away.  Not sure it would come in any cheaper than a good dual solution would either.  Astrophotography is many times more difficult and tedious than visual observing...so IMO best to build a effective and efficient solution for that so you get best results with least complications, and build your visual solution separately.


Edited by BillP, 15 December 2014 - 01:49 PM.


#16 BKBrown

BKBrown

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4429
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2009

Posted 15 December 2014 - 04:09 PM

I will say up front that if one wants the best possible resolution for planetary imaging in a manageable, easily mounted package a mid-range SCT (10"-12") would be my recommendation. That said, I am also an aficionado of what I like to call "small bore" planetary imaging, shooting with OTAs 6" and under. Why? Because it is enormously fun and can give surprisingly satisfying results. Sure Damian Peach uses a C14 for his big gun, but throwing down for that scope and a mount to hold it will set you back several bills and it won't make you the Maestro. My recommendation is to first go out and use what you've got, and see what you can do (that goes for DSOs as well). A 5" to 6" refractor, Apo or ED, is a powerful tool and can give you superb results...it all depends on your expectations.

The first image below shows a side-by-side comparison of Jupiter acquired with a C11 Edge HD, a TEC 140, and a SW100ED Pro - all can give splendid results appropriate to their respective apertures. While the C11 is clearly in a different league, the TEC 140 produces terrific results, and the SW100ED gives a pretty doggone good showing as well. Just be realistic about what you can expect to get with your scope.

The next several images were acquired with the TEC 140 riding on an Orion Atlas w/ a Losmandy HD tripod from my suburban backyard. Based on everything I have seen, read, and heard about the Lunt 152ED, I have little doubt that it is capable of similar results. As for DSO imaging, while the TEC 140 is purportedly optimized for visual work, imagers around the world have produced spectacular works using this scope and my early efforts have been very promising (but I am a true nug in the DSO department :)). I have, however, achieved excellent results with the SW100ED and its dedicated field flattener/focal reducer. So if you've got an ED scope, go for it. You may just like what you see :waytogo:

 

Clear Skies,

Brian :snoopy:

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Jupiter C11 Edge_TEC 140_SW100ED_SBS v2 copy.jpg
  • Jupiter TEC140_SBS_14 December 2012_v2.jpg
  • conv_Jupiter TEC1400001 12-12-13 22-16-19_g4_b3_ap26_baseR5 copy.jpg
  • Jupiter TEC140_0020 12-12-14 05-41-05 UT_v3.jpg
  • King and his court_Jupiter T002 13-01-07 20-35-24_v3.jpg


#17 BillP

BillP

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 18732
  • Joined: 26 Nov 2006

Posted 15 December 2014 - 10:37 PM

:waytogo:



#18 RAKing

RAKing

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8565
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2007

Posted 16 December 2014 - 04:51 PM

While I consider the TEC 140 to be one of the best all-around scopes available today, I do NOT think it's the best choice for a beginning imager.

 

There is a learning curve involved with imaging and it can be very steep if you handicap yourself with a big, long focal length telescope at the start. I think a nice 80mm ED refractor is a good starting place and you can then focus (no pun intended) on learning the basics of taking the image - then navigating the labyrinthine world of processing. :cool:

 

My .02,

 

Ron

 

 

 



#19 BKBrown

BKBrown

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4429
  • Joined: 22 Aug 2009

Posted 16 December 2014 - 05:09 PM

For imaging I agree with Ron on the TEC 140, and the same applies for the Lunt 152 as well. There are a ton of easily available and reasonably priced 80mm/600mm FLish Apo refractors on the market today...and they are far and away easier to learn with than the big scopes (cheaper too!). I would also recommend this route for beginners, a good 80mm scope will provide literally years of good imaging opportunities as well as grab-and-go fun. Later, when you pick up a nice 130mm, 140mm, or 152mm Apo the 80mm will be a great piggyback instrument for guiding and wide field uses :waytogo:

 

Clear Skies,

Brian :snoopy:



#20 jrbarnett

jrbarnett

    Eyepiece Hooligan

  • *****
  • Posts: 30072
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2006

Posted 16 December 2014 - 06:42 PM

For a combination use of visual astronomy and astrophotography which would be preferred. I am just brain storming, for I have a lot of saving up to do. The mount will be at least a CGE Pro if not more stable mounted on a permanent pier. I also have an 18'' dob I use for visual use, but it would be nice to have a permanent cooled setup which I can use for imaging or visual use without having the setup and cooldown time for the dob. Besides AP or TAK, how do other triplet designs compare such as a lesser expensive triplet ES 152 ED Carbon Fiber? The other doublet I considered was the TEC 140ed.

"The other doublet I considered was the TEC 140ed."

 

The TEC 140 is a triplet, by the way.  NOT a doublet.

 

- Jim



#21 Jared

Jared

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6071
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2005

Posted 16 December 2014 - 07:43 PM

For a combination use of visual astronomy and astrophotography which would be preferred. I am just brain storming, for I have a lot of saving up to do. The mount will be at least a CGE Pro if not more stable mounted on a permanent pier. I also have an 18'' dob I use for visual use, but it would be nice to have a permanent cooled setup which I can use for imaging or visual use without having the setup and cooldown time for the dob. Besides AP or TAK, how do other triplet designs compare such as a lesser expensive triplet ES 152 ED Carbon Fiber? The other doublet I considered was the TEC 140ed.

 

The problem you face is that there is no perfect, do everything telescope.  Some of the things that make a scope good for astrophotography involve spending money on features that have little if any benefit in visual observing.  Not that an astrograph can't be good for visual use, but it's never going to give you the best visual experience for your money.  They requirements are just too different.

 

For astrophotography, I'd take a 5" triplet any day over a 6" doublet.  For visual use, if I had a permanent pier so I didn't have to worry about portability, I'd take a good 6" doublet like the Lunt instead.  If you want a compromise, you could choose something like the TEC 140--it's a really excellent scope but generally regarded as optimized for visual rather than astrophotography.  That being said, there is a dedicated flattener available and it's no slouch as an astrograph.  

 

Since you already have a larger dob for that "Wow!" visual experience when things are equilibrated, I'd choose a 5" triplet.  From experience, I can recommend the AP (used if you are in a hurry), the Tak (since you won't need to worry about the weight), and the LZOS 130's.  I can't speak to the ES scopes.  I would recommend avoiding carbon fiber in an imaging refractor--you'll need to re-focus more often than with an aluminum tube.  By the way, I'm assuming when you mention astrophotography you are thinking of deep sky or a mix of deep sky and planetary imaging.  If you were thinking primarily planetary, I'd go for more aperture.  Like a C9.25 or a C11.



#22 jakecru

jakecru

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 879
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2013

Posted 17 December 2014 - 08:02 PM

So I have decided to get into imaging/viewing with a more portable beginning setup first, before I decide to go all out on an observatory!  I think I will start along the lines of an Atlas or CGEM mount with a 4-5'' APO refractor and a 70-80mm refractor piggybacked for guiding/wide field. I may end up posting a different forum to get recommendations instead of continuing off topic on this forum. I really like the idea of a 127mm carbon fiber explore scientific ed127 with an astrotech 72ed piggybacked to serve as a widefield imaging/guiding scope. However I have a question. I noticed it was said to avoid carbon fiber for imaging due to having to refocus more often? Is it possible this is a myth? Are there grounds or explanation to make sense of this? I know a 127mm f/7.5 isn't the best begginer scope for imaging, but I can always play with the smaller widefield scope if I need to for practice. The 127 will be able to serve as a nice grab and go visual instrument (i know 5'' isn't exactly grab and go, but compared to my 18 inch reflector it is). I am no beginner by any means when it comes to telescopes, this will just be my first time owning an APO refractor. Here is what I was thinking for a nice visual instrument/astrophotography beginning setup. 

 

-Celestron CGEM or Orion Atlas Mount 

-Explore Scientific ED127 APO (essential or carbon fiber)

-AstroTech 72ED refractor (guidescope/widefield imaging scope piggybacked to ES127)

-AT field flattener 2''

-ASI 120MC color camera to take planetary images with my XX12g and to serve as a guide camera for guidescope

 

Do you see any issues with this setup? Is there a better scope in this price range I should consider (also looked at skywatcher ed120ed CGEM combo, but that is a doublet that uses the nice fpl-53 glass with 7mm less aperture). I am well aware that I could get a nice little 4 inch astrograph in this price range, but keep in mind I will be doing visual as well. Of course if a nice 4'' Takahashi hits the market when I am ready to buy, it may be tempting (I may already have Takitis without owning one). If it means anything I will be using a canon T3i at prime focus. If i decide to save money and go the aluminum essential route, would a CGEM/Atlas handle it for astrophotography, or should I consider the CGEM DX/Atlas pro? I appreciate all the help, and you may see this in another forum considering this is off topic from my premature post on this forum. 



#23 olivdeso

olivdeso

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 523
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2011

Posted 20 December 2014 - 11:22 PM

I would save some $$ and woukd not get the small 72ED. Its a FPL51 fast doublet and not very suitable for imaging (unless you use a minus violet filter), and overkill for guiding. 

 

Instead I would spend the saved $$ to get a better triplet and would rather choose the SW esprit 120 which is a FPL53 triplet, optimized for imaging. But of course, it is much more expensive than the ES127.

 

Using an OAG would give the best guiding results, however you could also start guiging using the finder as a guide scope.

Then upgrade to the OAG, depending on your learning curve. Even starting using the OAG is fine, the only difficulty is focusing the guide cam, but you do it only once.

The QHY5L-II (same sensor as the ASI) is fine for guiding using a finder. It just requires a Ircut filter, which is now included onto the windo glass which protects the sensor.

 

Carbon fiber is not a good idea for imaging refractor : the optics focal length changes together with the temperature : it shriks when the temperature decreases. An aluminium tube alo shrinks when the temperature decreases, so it can compensate more or less the optics focal length changes. This is not the case of carbon tubes.

So if you grab the ES127, take the aluminium version, it is good enough and even better than the carbon version.

 

Also star test it carefully when you receive it. The main concern with these far east refractors is the quality control. Some are excellent (especially the "golden samples" they issue first) while some other....

Then do a short exposure (i.e. no need to guide) of a star field and observe the stars at the center : they should be round. Not always the case...

You will need a field flattener at one point (grab one optimized for this focal length). When you have it, observe the stars at the corners. If the sensor to corrector distance is well tuned, the stars at the corner should be round and sharp.

 

A second hand "old" AP 130EDF (I mean the first version, the F6 ) is still an excellent astrograph and fine grab and go telescope while beeing cheaper than the GT version.


Edited by olivdeso, 20 December 2014 - 11:44 PM.



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics