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Equipment Opinions Needed

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9 replies to this topic

#1 stargazerdood

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 10:56 PM

My wife and I are going to dabble in astrophotography. We have done this before on a limited scale with an Orion 8 in newt on a Skyview Pro piggyback and with a webcam for lunar and planetary imaging. For now I am interested in wide field imaging using a motor driven mount, guide scope, and a dslr. Were going to start with a used camera. We are getting a canon t3i. I plan on interfacing into a laptop with byeos. I'm going to purchase a LX70 and dual axis drive system. Not sure on the guide scope but am thinking along the lines of an Orion mini 50mm with an illuminated reticle. If anyone has a similar setup I would love to see pics of how the camera and guide scope are attached to the mount. I think I may make something out of wood. Suggestions on the mounting and a guide scope, or just the plan in general are appreciated. Thanks in advance.



#2 fewayne

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 12:49 PM

Why an illuminated reticle? If you're using computer support anyway, why not put a camera on the 50mm, and autoguide? (Heck, you might be able to repurpose your old imaging webcam.)

 

Does your 8" newt have a finderscope shoe? The Orion Mini comes with a mount that slots into one (at least mine did). You could always pull the guiding camera and slap in an eyepiece if you wanted to use the 50 as a visual finder.



#3 stargazerdood

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:24 PM

I had some health issues so I had to sell the orion. This setup will only have the drive motors and hand controller with no st4 port. I dont mind manual guiding to start with. Eventually I will have a full computerized scope.



#4 Patrick

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 11:40 PM

I had some health issues so I had to sell the orion. This setup will only have the drive motors and hand controller with no st4 port. I dont mind manual guiding to start with. Eventually I will have a full computerized scope.

What are you using for a telescope?

 

Patrick



#5 stargazerdood

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:58 AM

Patrick, thanks for the reply. For now I am not using a telescope. I'm just going to do some wide angle photography. This fall I plan on purchasing a small mak-cas or refractor for ap. I would like to get a mount big enough to accomodate such in the future. I am on a budget so for now I am staying small. Once I get back in the groove and up to speed I will start purchasing some better higher end gear.



#6 fewayne

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:28 PM

You could probably cobble up something to mount the Mini 50 to the camera's hot shoe. Or you could look for a cheap used achromatic refractor (not something you'd photograph through!), mount that on the LX-70, and then mount your camera piggyback on that using 1/4-20 threaded holes in the mounting rings. The refractor would be your guidescope.

 

Alternatively, you could get something like an iOptron SkyTracker camera mount, which would let you start photographing right away, for around the same outlay as the LX-70 (but without needing a guidescope or clock drive add-on). And for wide-angle work up to maybe 200mm, those are plenty good enough. I'm an iOptron fanboi but there are other excellent makes.

 

The advantage to using the LX-70 is that you can eventually hang a telescope on it, but if you're going to be shooting with a DSLR, I suspect that mount's weight limit will frustrate you (rule of thumb is to halve the mfr's weight claim for astrophotography).



#7 stargazerdood

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:03 PM

Fewayne, thanks for the reply. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the LX70 and dual axis drive and plan on doing what you have suggested. I'm going to get a smallish refractor and use it as a guidescope. I figure this setup will get me using the software and learning processing. Ive been looking at the camera mounts and I about went that route but figured with the lx70 I can also just set it up and observe with a small sct or mak. I plan on slowly expanding my kit and am going to learn more about the photography. Does your iOptron SkyTracker get a regular workout? M ymain thing for now is portability. I'm staying small for now and the LX70 can serve multiple purposes. The skytrackers look pretty cool and the entry investment isn't that large. How well do they work as far as the tracking? Accurate? Gear sure has changed lol.



#8 stargazerdood

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:05 PM

Fewayne I think I got the answer. The little skytracker seems to be an amazing piece of kit.



#9 bobzeq25

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 10:07 PM

Fewayne I think I got the answer. The little skytracker seems to be an amazing piece of kit.

Yes, it is.  I have a big setup, still use my Skytracker V2 sometimes.  It's a really great way to get into this hobby.  There's a lot to learn.

 

I do suggest you get the new Pro model, a significant improvement.

 

This book will really help, even if you don't use every part of it immediately.

 

https://www.amazon.c...d/dp/0999470906



#10 stargazerdood

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 10:56 PM


This book will really help, even if you don't use every part of it immediately.

 

https://www.amazon.c...d/dp/0999470906

Thanks! I always like to expand my library. SO much to learn over.




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