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Working on a setup with a budget

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#1 Huaaron

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:46 PM

Hi y'all,

I've narrowed down my options for a setup. Well I'm more or less copying a set up.
For the mount it's a Skywatcher HEQ5 synscan goto.
For the scope I'm between a Orion 80mm ED APO and a explore scientific 80 mm that's pretty much the same maybe better optics but more expensive.
For a DSLR I got lucky and found a old canon 1000d

But my questions pertain to the mount and the focal reducers.
Even though the mount might be considered low end as far as GEMs go is there maybe one that's a step down pricewise but more bang for my buck? And also what focal reducers would y'all think would be the best starting out.
I'm trying to use this set up to get my foot in the door for DSO imaging.

#2 Djones2009

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:51 PM

you might want to give what your total budget is, that way folks know what to play with.



#3 Huaaron

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:00 PM

you might want to give what your total budget is, that way folks know what to play with.


My budget is around 1400$ but The setup I mentioned is around 1600-1800$ new. I'd like it if there was a mount that could perform about the same same but might be 100-200$ less

#4 Djones2009

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:18 PM

you will hear most people here say to spend the most money on the mount and sacrifice on the scope. I started with the Orion Sirius and an Orion ST80 but I wanted out of the ST80 within a year.  I think The Sirius is the equivalent to the HEQ5. I would say the next mount down would be the Orion Skyview or Celestron AVX.



#5 GaryCurran

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:36 PM

I wrote this in answer to your previous post over in the beginners forum, but Ken locked the thread before I posted it.

 

Aaron,
A good mount is essential to good imaging, and I’m going to tell you right away, stay away from the Celestron AVX mount.  Not all are bad, but not all are good ones, either.

However, I just saw something that very much has piqued my curiousity, and that’s Explore Scientific’s new EXOS2GT with the PMC system.

Now, you can get the regular GoTo EXOS-2 GT mount for about $600.

https://www.optcorp....br-exos2gt.html

It has a 28 pound payload capacity, and should easily handle any small refractor, which is what I would recommend to you for starting out.  The problem with this mount is that right now (the EXOS-2GT WITHOUT the PMC), until the next software release for the hand controller comes out (sometime late summer, I’m told) that it won’t play with programs like Stellarium and other things.  So, it’s something I would be leery of until that update comes out.

However, ES also has another version of this mount. 
This is the same mount, only the motors and drive computer have been changed out to the PMC-8 on-board computer system.  Everything is run from a Windows laptop, Windows phone, or Windows tablet.  There will be software available for iOS and Android eventually, but it’s not available yet.

https://explorescien...exos2gtpmct3-00

Here is a review of the mount.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=tmNPajsd9H4

A lot of companies also will sell used, open box, or display models.  OPT, in fact, has a couple of nice used items for you, although they will break your $1,200 price point.

A used Celestron CGEM mount will be a very nice and capable imaging mount.

https://www.optcorp....used-26144.html

You can also purchase a used Explore Scientific 80mm f/6 refractor, which is a triplet design.

https://www.optcorp....06-01-used.html

As I said, that puts you over budget, but it’s going to be hard to make that $1,200 price line unless you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Remember, as well, you’re going to need to buy an Autoguider and guide scope, battery to power everything, usually a Star Diagonal, and some eyepieces (although you may have some that will work for you.  That’s going to be another $500 or so.  I think you said you already had one camera, you may be able to use that for autoguiding, but I’m not sure.

There’s nothing wrong with picking up a used Canon EOS camera and using that to start out with.  With BackyardEOS, and the proper camera, you have a lot more control over things than I do with my Sony cameras.  For a couple of hundred dollars, until you get stash some cash for a dedicated CMOS imaging camera (preferable monochrome, which means filter wheel and filters), the DSLR will get you well and truly started.  You won’t be the first to start out that way, and you won’t be the last, either.

See, I would tell you to get this, but 1.) it’s out of your price range, and 2.) it has the AVX mount.

https://www.optcorp....pe-package.html

The addition of a LRGB filter set, and a better mount, would make this a really nice imaging setup, at about the price I would expect.  If that Explore Scientific EXOS-2GT with the PMC-8 is really as good as the reviewer says it is, for $100 more over the price for the above package, it would be a nice package.



#6 shawnhar

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:19 PM

Hi y'all,

I've narrowed down my options for a setup. Well I'm more or less copying a set up.
For the mount it's a Skywatcher HEQ5 synscan goto.
For the scope I'm between a Orion 80mm ED APO and a explore scientific 80 mm that's pretty much the same maybe better optics but more expensive.
For a DSLR I got lucky and found a old canon 1000d

But my questions pertain to the mount and the focal reducers.
Even though the mount might be considered low end as far as GEMs go is there maybe one that's a step down pricewise but more bang for my buck? And also what focal reducers would y'all think would be the best starting out.
I'm trying to use this set up to get my foot in the door for DSO imaging.

EQ5 is a solid proven mount, so is the Orion 80 ED, I would pick that starting out over the ES even though the ES is a triplet, just to save some dough.

 I started with the 1000d and modded it myself, you can get the filter replacement for 100 bucks and get some really nice results with it, even using HA and OIII filters, only issue really is the summer it gets kinda noisy.

 

You can get that mount used for 750 right now, shipping will be around 45 bucks.

https://www.cloudyni...e-power-supply/

 

Focal reducer is not necessarily what you want, what you have to have is a field flattener. I got a TSflat2 used for 150 and I am really happy with it on my 102.

 

You can recoup much of this by selling your gear, you will be upgrading/swapping out gear if you stick with it. You could likely sell that used EQ5 a year from now for 700 no problem.



#7 avarakin

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:24 PM

I suggest to step up the mount and instead of HEQ5 buy an Orion Atlas mount. They go for around $1000 used. You can just post a "wanted" ad in classified area on this site and it is likely that somebody will make an offer.

This mount is much more capable than HEQ5 and costs just a little more.  The only drawback is that it is pretty heavy.

 

Alex



#8 dkeller_nc

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:47 PM

One thing to consider with the Orion ST80 is that it's a doublet and is not as well corrected for chromatic aberration (CA) as many of the APO 80mm triplets.  The combination of a scope with significant CA and a DSLR means that you will see blue halos around bright stars.  That might or might not bother you, but that's one reason that a lot of folks that shoot one-shot-color (OSC) with either a DSLR or a dedicated OSC astro camera get highly corrected triplet APOs.

 

One way to figure out whether you care or not is to study images taken with the Orion ST80 and a DSLR on Astrobin - choose the "Explore" menu with the "Advanced Search" option, and type "Orion ST80" into the search box.  The search routine isn't perfect, so you may also collect other images with "orion" in the tag, but looking through these will be well worth your while.



#9 DivisionByZero

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:52 PM

I second going used.  I got a used EQ5 earlier this year for less than $500.  Once you know the type/class of mount you want to get, you can quickly find a suitable deal on the classified.  Folks generally take very good care of this AP gear.

 

The same can easily apply to the rest of the gear.

 

The mount is the most important part, though.  A used DSLR off of ebay can get you started in the hobby if you don't already have a camera.  The small-aperture refractor is by far the most recommended starting equipment for beginners.  The reason is that the enormous complexity of the hobby is overwhelming at times and any choices you can make at the beginning to make it easier is well worth it to avoid people getting burnt out.

 

main thing: don't skimp on the mount - don't drop below the EQ5/Sirius weight class, I would say.  Scour the used market for deals and you can get plenty done in that budget.



#10 GaryCurran

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:53 PM

You seriously should look in our Classifieds.  I just found a Meade LXD-75 with a Meade 497 hand controller for $450!

 

https://www.cloudyni...and-controller/

 

That will be more than enough to handle a small refractor.  In fact, it should support up to 28 pounds, giving you the capability to not only use a small refractor, but also a small to medium sized catadioptric (Mak Cass or SCT) or a 6-8" reflector.

 

This would be a great DSO scope for larger DSOs, M31, Heart and Soul nebulae, etc.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ro-tech-at66ed/

 

Here's a Cloudy Nights review of the AT66ED for you to read.

 

https://www.cloudyni...refractor-r1418

 

This is another great deal on a new in box 80mm Skywatcher ProED.

 

https://www.cloudyni...-apo-refractor/

 

In fact, the LXD-75 and the Skywatcher is just a hair over $1,000, which will leave you room for your autoguider.  The LXD-75 mount does not have an Autoguider port, but with a USB to Serial cable (make sure you get one with a FTDI chipset), you can connect to the Autostar 497 hand controller, and with ASCOM drivers installed for the LXD-75, you can control the mount from PHD2 that way.

 

Here's a link to a thread here on CN about that.

 

https://www.cloudyni...t-and-aux-port/

 

You might also consider a Celestron C6 Newtonian reflector, especially if you buy the AstroTech AT66.  They would compliment each other nicely.

 

https://www.cloudyni...n-c6-newtonian/

 

If you decide to buy the AstroTech AT66, you also might want to consider adding a 6" Ritchey Chretien scope to go with it.

 

https://www.cloudyni...xtension-rings/

 

There are a lot of possibilities if you don't mind buying used, and you can stay under $1,000 or so, leaving you more money for the autoguider, camera, or whatever you need.

 

You'll also need a diagonal for viewing, with the Astro-Tech being a 1.25" focuser, and the RC6 being a 2", with a 1.25" adapter.  This one will work well for both.

 

http://agenaastro.co...ssion-ring.html

 

My suggestion, as an inexpensive way to start out, would be the used LXD-75 mount, the AstroTech AT66ED and the AstroTech 6" R.C.  For $1,000 or so, with shipping, maybe a bit more, you'll have a good, GoTo mount that can be computer controlled, a wide field imaging telescope, and a little more powerful imaging scope.

The stuff is used, it's not the absolute best in it's price point, but for what's here, if you use this combination, you WILL get the job done, and your money will be well spent.


Edited by GaryCurran, 19 May 2017 - 11:18 PM.


#11 Stelios

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 11:51 PM

You should get the HEQ5. You made a great choice, don't get talked out of it. The mount is the MOST IMPORTANT THING.

 

As for buying a *mount* used--only do so if you are 100% sure you can trust the seller. You don't want someone else's problems. (I would not hesitate to buy a *refractor* used, however). 

 

The ED-80 will perform just as well for your skill level as a triplet. You don't need a focal reducer to begin with, 600mm is OK for F/L. All Andromeda fits nicely in your FOV. What you *do* need is a field flattener so that stars don't get distorted at the edges. 

 

The other thing you will need to budget for is guiding. There again buying used is quite OK. I would advocate a Polemaster, but there are other (albeit not as easy ways) of getting good PA, such as Sharpcap, PhD2, and the old water torture, drift align.


Edited by Stelios, 19 May 2017 - 11:53 PM.


#12 DivisionByZero

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:57 AM

For polar alignment, I use my EQ5's polar scope to get the initial alignment. I'm usually within 10' of the NCP this way.  EKOS has a really nice polar alignment tool that calculates the distance and tells you how to move the mount to get it aligned.  The only requirement is having the plate solver going (either online or offline).  I have had to drift since I got it working and my dec guiding shows no monotonic behavior that you would expect with misalignment.



#13 GaryCurran

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 02:14 AM

While I have this package, I don't normally recommend it  There are better cameras out there, and the price is usually above what a QHY5-II camera and a half way decent guide scope costs.

 

BUT, this is used, and I believe fairly new.

 

https://www.cloudyni...n-mini-package/

 

With ASCOM drivers, available from Orion's site, and the ASCOM drivers available for the Meade Autostar 497 series of telescopes (i.e., the LXD-75 suggested above), you'll have the autoguiding package you need.  The Orion SSAG camera now works with SharpCap, so you'll be able to do precise polar alignments.  You'll get a warning in the current release, but it does work.

With the Canon 1000D you got, and $50 for BackyardEOS, you'll really be set.  Spend a $350 more down the road to have Gary Honis mod the camera.  http://dslrmodificat...lmod450d17.html  You'll have a full spectrum DSLR.

 

Obviously, the camera mod puts you over your budget, but everything else comes in real close to the $1,200 you were saying.



#14 Becomart

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 02:48 AM

Be careful with your choice of mount and advice. Do you have a local astronomy group or shop owner you could go talk to? The second hand market is definitely worth mining but go and look at things - suggestions of pairing a newt with an Lxd-75 is frankly, ridiculous. Seeing the scopes and mounts in the flesh or their approximate equivalents will help you see and get a feel for sensible combinations. 


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#15 GaryCurran

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 03:13 AM

Be careful with your choice of mount and advice. Do you have a local astronomy group or shop owner you could go talk to? The second hand market is definitely worth mining but go and look at things - suggestions of pairing a newt with an Lxd-75 is frankly, ridiculous. Seeing the scopes and mounts in the flesh or their approximate equivalents will help you see and get a feel for sensible combinations. 

The LXD-75 is in the same class as an AVX, so why would pairing it with a 6" Newt, or even an 8" Newt, be ridiculous?

 

Explore Scientific's EXOS-2GT is a LXD-75, and it seems to handle their Comet Hunter Mak-Newt pretty well.

 

https://www.youtube....mNPajsd9H4&t=6s

 

Now, granted, this has the upgraded PMC-8 controller and stepper motors versus servo motors, but the mount is still the same.

 

Just because the LXD-75 is an older mount doesn't mean it isn't a worthy contender in the low priced used market.

 

http://www.thestarde...eade_LXD75.html

 

You can also read a realistic review of what it's like to have to fix the mount, here.

 

https://www.cloudyni...d75-mount-r2292

 

But, since they were sold with both 6" and 8" Schmidt Newts and just plain Newts on them, please don't say it's 'ridiculous'.  Meade didn't think it was.



#16 Becomart

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 03:54 AM

 

Be careful with your choice of mount and advice. Do you have a local astronomy group or shop owner you could go talk to? The second hand market is definitely worth mining but go and look at things - suggestions of pairing a newt with an Lxd-75 is frankly, ridiculous. Seeing the scopes and mounts in the flesh or their approximate equivalents will help you see and get a feel for sensible combinations. 

The LXD-75 is in the same class as an AVX, so why would pairing it with a 6" Newt, or even an 8" Newt, be ridiculous?

 

Explore Scientific's EXOS-2GT is a LXD-75, and it seems to handle their Comet Hunter Mak-Newt pretty well.

 

https://www.youtube....mNPajsd9H4&t=6s

 

Now, granted, this has the upgraded PMC-8 controller and stepper motors versus servo motors, but the mount is still the same.

 

Just because the LXD-75 is an older mount doesn't mean it isn't a worthy contender in the low priced used market.

 

http://www.thestarde...eade_LXD75.html

 

You can also read a realistic review of what it's like to have to fix the mount, here.

 

https://www.cloudyni...d75-mount-r2292

 

But, since they were sold with both 6" and 8" Schmidt Newts and just plain Newts on them, please don't say it's 'ridiculous'.  Meade didn't think it was.

 

 

Gary, my comments are not aimed personally towards you, just the suggestion. We all have a responsibility to give folks new to buying thoughtful suggestions. Celestron also sell the avx with an 8inch edge package - doesn't mean to say many people have successfully used this to image. Have you had experience of using a Lxd-75/cg5 combo with a 6/8 inch newt? The nearest I've got is an eq3 with a 6inch newt - it was my first setup and I really wish someone like some of the posters above would've told me it wasn't going to work out. I could've gone one of two ways - jacked in the hobby or stick it out. I'm glad I stuck it out. From this experience, I tend to use cloudy nights for one of two reasons; learning from others or making contributions based on the experience of what I've used. I'd totally agree with you, used older mounts can be great. To the poster and to highlight my point, have a look here https://www.astrobin...vx-8-newtonian/ see any images that make you go 'wow'?


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#17 shawnhar

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 06:03 AM

 

 

 

But, since they were sold with both 6" and 8" Schmidt Newts and just plain Newts on them, please don't say it's 'ridiculous'.  Meade didn't think it was.

 

 

 Gary, I completely agree with Becomart, that it is frankly, ridiculous and not good advice.The LXD75 is an antiquated piece of garbage compared to an HEQ5, it would bring nothing but frustration for a newb imo. (Unless their idea of fun is endlessly tinkering with something to try and make it work)

 

Ed from Deep Space Products:

"Due to the lack of parts or support from Meade Instruments, the rapid decline of these mounts in use, and the significant loss of value of these mounts in the used market place, the HyperTune® service is no longer available for LXD55/75 series mounts.  DIY kits will remain available for these mount for those still willing to try to improve these mounts for something other the visual use with small scopes."


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#18 bobzeq25

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:00 AM

The mount is the most important thing.  Do not step back from the HEQ5, the other suggestions here (such as the LDX75) are both idiosyncratic and significantly inferior.  Especially, if you're trying to get your foot in the door this is the most important decision for you.

 

The other things you have listed will work fine for learning AP of DSOs.  Experienced people here may recommend something else, often they're recommending what they personally would want to use.  Your choices are just fine for your needs right now.

 

You can also get away without using a focal reducer at first.  When you do get one it helps if it's either:  sold by the manufacturer for your specific scope.  One that's recommended by someone who has imaged significantly with that particular combination.  There are many mismatched reducer/flatteners gathering dust on imagers shelves.  DAMHIK.  <smile>

 

Add this, the best $40 you'll spend on getting your foot through the door.

 

https://www.amazon.c...n/dp/148180491X



#19 ChrisWhite

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:04 AM


 

 

Be careful with your choice of mount and advice. Do you have a local astronomy group or shop owner you could go talk to? The second hand market is definitely worth mining but go and look at things - suggestions of pairing a newt with an Lxd-75 is frankly, ridiculous. Seeing the scopes and mounts in the flesh or their approximate equivalents will help you see and get a feel for sensible combinations.

The LXD-75 is in the same class as an AVX, so why would pairing it with a 6" Newt, or even an 8" Newt, be ridiculous?
 
Explore Scientific's EXOS-2GT is a LXD-75, and it seems to handle their Comet Hunter Mak-Newt pretty well.
 
https://www.youtube....mNPajsd9H4&t=6s
 
Now, granted, this has the upgraded PMC-8 controller and stepper motors versus servo motors, but the mount is still the same.
 
Just because the LXD-75 is an older mount doesn't mean it isn't a worthy contender in the low priced used market.
 
http://www.thestarde...eade_LXD75.html
 
You can also read a realistic review of what it's like to have to fix the mount, here.
 
https://www.cloudyni...d75-mount-r2292
 
But, since they were sold with both 6" and 8" Schmidt Newts and just plain Newts on them, please don't say it's 'ridiculous'.  Meade didn't think it was.

 

 
No way I'd put an 8" Newt on that mount or an AVX.  Gary, you should not recommend this kind of thing to people.  One of the biggest source of frustration for a newbie is to expect way more out of a mount (or any piece of gear) than realistic.  I've been there. I image with an 8" on an Orion Atlas and it is about the MAX I would recommend on that mount, AND I use high gain and short exposures.  An 8" Newt on an AVX or similar class mount would be a recipe for serious frustration!
 
I realize the OP is looking for a small refractor at this time, but something to keep in mind with any mount is that the advertised weight capacity is NOT the weight capacity for imaging.  If you are doing visual, you could probably push to the upper end of the weight limit, but for imaging a good rule of thumb is to not exceed 1/3 of the weight capacity of a mount for imaging.   Better mounts, you can push this a little bit, but for the class of mounts in question, I would not exceed 1/3 of the capacity.
 
To the OP- Getting a decent second hand mount is a great way to go.  As Shawn mentioned earlier in the thread, you can often recoup most of your investment with used gear when it is time for you to upgrade later.


Edited by ChrisWhite, 20 May 2017 - 07:06 AM.


#20 terry59

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:19 AM

Read this thread slowly.....then find a mentor or club before making any purchases



#21 GaryCurran

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:36 AM

Okay Peeps, your point about an 8" Newt is made, but look at the scopes that I recommended to him.

 

Aaron, you have a specific price point you want to deal with.  For astrophotography, that price point is awfully low, even for used gear.  Now, Shawn did link to a used HEQ5 Pro for $750, https://www.cloudyni...e-power-supply/ and that isn't a bad deal.   shrug.gif

If you want to stay within your $1,200 budget, you can still get the AstroTech AT66ED I suggested, and Fireman Dan's Orion SSAG Guider package.  You'd probably max out on shipping, though.

 

You could also buy this, although you'll need to get new counterweights.  I'm sure no one will say bad things about it.

https://www.cloudyni...ius-eq-g-mount/

 

But, it's still $750, plus shipping, although it's in Houston, and if I remember, you're in Texas.

 

Look, my intent here was to get you something to get you started, not to build a lifetime of observing and imaging on.  I'm going to stick by my guns here and say that this mount, with the AT66ED, and that 6"  R.C. is a good way to start.  Then, six months down the road, when you've had the time to stash a little cash, look for something better.  But, listen to these guys.  They and I both have your best interests at heart, and we just are doing it different ways.  Do the research, talk to the sellers, read the reviews, and decide for yourself.  Maybe I'm way off base.  Join and look at Astromart (my membership is expired) and see who has what there.



#22 dkeller_nc

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 08:53 AM

Hi y'all,

I've narrowed down my options for a setup. Well I'm more or less copying a set up.
For the mount it's a Skywatcher HEQ5 synscan goto.
For the scope I'm between a Orion 80mm ED APO and a explore scientific 80 mm that's pretty much the same maybe better optics but more expensive.
For a DSLR I got lucky and found a old canon 1000d

I'm trying to use this set up to get my foot in the door for DSO imaging.

All argumentation aside, there's some good news in the posts that folks have contributed above.  Specifically, while your budget is somewhat cramped for what you want, it's not so unrealistic that everyone pretty much told you "forget it".  We often do get folks that have really unrealistic expectations of what they can spend to start with;  astrophotography can be a pretty pricey hobby compared to visual-only astronomy, and I suspect some of those folks with unrealistic ideas for a budget are basing their expectations off of what a good setup for terrestrial photography costs and/or what a decent beginner's setup costs for visual astronomy.

 

One idea that is often mentioned but hasn't been brought up in this thread is to go with a true beginner's low-cost setup.  That would consist of a DSLR and a 50mm lens, a sturdy photographic tripod and a sky-tracking head for the tripod.  Many folks getting into this for the first time very incorrectly think that it's not a "real astrophoto" unless it's taken through a telescope.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, a telescope is a lens if used for photographic purposes, just without the autofocus automation and the ability to alter the f-stop.  You can get a sky-tracking tripod head for about $300 new, or less for a used one.

 

If you don't currently have any sort of visual astronomy package, then another good way to divide up your limited funds would be to purchase a good mount like the NEQ5 (or even better, the AZ-EQ5, which has a belt drive), a dovetail camera mount bar (about $30), a bahtinov mask for focusing (about $10), a intervalometer for remotely triggering your camera (about $50) and a good used 50mm or 100mm lens (price varies greatly, but as lowas $50).  With a setup like that, you will not need a focal reducer/field flattener or a guidescope/guide camera.

 

Then, when you've gotten some astrophotos under your belt, and have bought the book that Bobzeq25 suggests (and read it), you can decide how "all in" you want to be in this hobby.  By way of reference, a fully functional amateur set-up with a dedicated monochrome AP camera, filter wheel, 80mm triplet scope, motorized focuser, mount, power supply, laptop, dew controller, etc..., etc... runs in the $5k - $7k range if purchased new.  


  • Becomart likes this

#23 bobzeq25

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 09:14 AM

Okay Peeps, your point about an 8" Newt is made, but look at the scopes that I recommended to him.

 

Aaron, you have a specific price point you want to deal with.  For astrophotography, that price point is awfully low, even for used gear.  Now, Shawn did link to a used HEQ5 Pro for $750, https://www.cloudyni...e-power-supply/ and that isn't a bad deal.   shrug.gif

If you want to stay within your $1,200 budget, you can still get the AstroTech AT66ED I suggested, and Fireman Dan's Orion SSAG Guider package.  You'd probably max out on shipping, though.

 

You could also buy this, although you'll need to get new counterweights.  I'm sure no one will say bad things about it.

https://www.cloudyni...ius-eq-g-mount/

 

But, it's still $750, plus shipping, although it's in Houston, and if I remember, you're in Texas.

 

Look, my intent here was to get you something to get you started, not to build a lifetime of observing and imaging on.  I'm going to stick by my guns here and say that this mount, with the AT66ED, and that 6"  R.C. is a good way to start.  Then, six months down the road, when you've had the time to stash a little cash, look for something better.  But, listen to these guys.  They and I both have your best interests at heart, and we just are doing it different ways.  Do the research, talk to the sellers, read the reviews, and decide for yourself.  Maybe I'm way off base.  Join and look at Astromart (my membership is expired) and see who has what there.

The one place I recommend altering your advice is the 6 inch Ritchey Chretien.  It's no scope for a beginner.  BTDTGTTS.


Edited by bobzeq25, 20 May 2017 - 11:42 AM.


#24 Djones2009

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:45 AM

I would highly recommend the Backyard Eos. This made the biggest impact on my set up to date.



#25 Huaaron

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 01:34 PM

Wow guys thanks for all the responses. Now time for me to narrow some things down.
First I'll explain guiding I have a Asi120mc which has done me great for planetary and instead of selling I figured it could be used for guiding I would just need to get a finder scope to attach it to. The finder scope and guiding isn't at the top of my list at the moment because in the time it would take me to learn to properly use the new mount and scope would allow me some time to build some income for a finder scope and other items. Remember I will be a complete newb And this will be a slow process so I can methodically learn these new features of setup balancing and polar alignment.
Second comes the mount. Everyone seems to have a preference and from what I can tell most of you take amazing pictures no matter what y'all use. Remember I'm still in the awe phase that these pictures are possible so small things in the mounts that might only slightly effect some images have no appeal at this point. I don't expect everything to be perfect at this stage my main goal of the mount is it can perform long exposures has a polar scope built in and is easy enough to learn while not being too much for my beginner status. Referring to the reply about astrobin. I searched just about every telescope and mount listed here and maybe it's just me but the differences were minimal and the only clear cut differences were when a 2000$ camera was used. Even the Avx which I've never heard anything great about still blew me away see some of the pictures here. http://www.astrobin....nse=5&license=6

Lastly nothing here is permanent by the time I realize I might want to upgrade it could Be months or years so if it's not exactly for beginners like the Orion atlas I could easily upgrade in the future but for now I'll stick with something that'll be realistic to learn with.
Also thank you thank you thank you for some of the software mentions astrobackyard looked exactly like the answer to some of those questions!
Thank you everyone!


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