Stelios is absolutely correct, but it goes farther than that. The long, big, heavy scope will make everything harder, right down to finding your target. It's not the best tool for learning AP with.
The rabbit hole is not Stelios' excellent advice. It's the scope. Really. Here's how it goes. Not my quotes, but I have collected a number of similar ones.
"I started out with a CPC 800 on a heavy duty wedge and a Canon 450d. In hindsight, I'd have started with an 80mm refractor. I would have saved a lot of money and gotten up the learning curve a lot quicker."
I have the Celestron OAG and the 174, it's a good combination.
OAG. $220. 174. $500. Reducer. $120. $840.
Or this, which you'll learn better and faster with. $469.
There have been a number of people here who spent money trying to learn on an SCT, and found success by switching scopes.
"If you're new to astrophotography I highly recommend getting a small refractor. It's much lighter on the mount, incredibly easier to guide, easier to shoot with, no coma, better images. I used an 8" SCT for my first 7 months of astronomy/astrophotography and it was headaches. I just got an 80mm stellarvue triplet refractor and my first image is bangin' compared to my previous ones. Blows my SCT's out of the water, which I honestly don't think I'll be using for a long time."
Hyperstar is a possibility, but, honestly, it can be fiddly. The reason the small refractor works for learning this complicated art is that it's simple to use. It gets out of the way, and lets you get on with learning AP.
It's very much a case of choosing the right tool for the job. Which is learning AP. It takes time, there's little from my first year on my astrobin.
Whatever you decide, this book will be extremely useful.
Edited by bobzeq25, 19 February 2019 - 06:53 PM.