Here are my best and worst. I decided to choose each within a category of the gear I've used. I know that's entirely not fair since some gear within a category is perfectly good for its purpose like EQ-G for a great mount on a budget, etc.
- Scope: My Orion Eon80mm ED, which I used as an imaging scope many years ago. Had stars blue-bloated like crazy every time. I like it for visual, but wasn't working for me w/ imaging.
- Camera: ASI120M(M/C). I still have the MM for an all sky camera project. These cameras are notorious for dropped/chopped frames. If there are issues with it, I sometimes have to disconnect/reconnect. Very frustrating, but cheap and when it works, it's fun.
- Mount: Astro-tech Voyager - flimsy and couldn't take a moderately sized 4" scope without showing me how to do the Twist. Coming in second was the DSV-3, which was a fine mount, but it was very annoying having to rebalance every time you change eyepieces. Rebalancing would often result in losing your place on the sky.
Double-edged sword (selective categories):
- Scope: AT65EDQ - nice optics, horrible focuser. Sold it within a few months. It was a great price point though for the optics.
- Mount: Orion EQ-G (old version) - Alt bolt was annoyingly stiff - a real pain to polar align. The power plug had no captive mechanism. You breathe on the cord, and the power plug would come out. Still, for the money, it was a pretty good mount.
- Alt-Az Mount: DM-6. Rock solid and easy to adjust. Add the Nexus DSC, and it's a perfect match for visual.
- EQ Mount: AP1100 - love this mount. Rock solid. Awesome performance. I just recently got it, and am still probably in the honeymoon phase, but I'm sure I will still be there in about 20 years
- Scope: For imaging, my TMB130SS. For visual, my TMB 105/650 - a recent pickup. Near perfect star test.
- Solar: Lunt 80mm DS pressure tuned. The contrast from this thing is incredible. A real jump up from the 60mm single stack I owned.
- Camera: For data quality: QSI690 - very clean. For fun: QHY16200A - the larger sensor is awesome compared to what I've been used to: ICX814 and KAF8300.
But, honestly, overall the best equipment I bought in my 10 years as an imager is the scopebuggy. I roll my scope out of the garage and polar-align with the RAPAS (also awesome) and within 5 min, and I'm back in the house setting up my session. More time with the family, more time imaging. Win-win!
Edited by AstroGabe, 25 January 2019 - 01:33 AM.