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Ioptron 150mm Mak

astrophotography cassegrain dslr equipment imaging Maksutov observing tripod
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#1 Smarque2

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 01:27 PM

Hello,

I'm looking to buy an ioptron 150mm maksutov cassegrain to photograph the Mercury transit in November. I'll be flying to Florida and I need a good mount that could handle this scope but is portable.Any suggestions? My budget is under a grand for a tripod/mount.

Edited by Smarque2, 09 April 2019 - 01:35 PM.


#2 aneeg

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 01:30 PM

Buy the AZM Pro.

 

Arne



#3 Smarque2

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 01:32 PM

Buy the AZM Pro.

Arne

from ioptron?

Edited by Smarque2, 09 April 2019 - 01:32 PM.


#4 JRG2

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 01:52 PM

Just a heads up that the GPS rollover may have affected some mounts. If that is a feature you will rely on then you may want to make sure it won't be an issue.


Edited by JRG2, 09 April 2019 - 01:55 PM.


#5 aneeg

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 01:59 PM

Yes, iOptron AZM Pro is a great, sturdy and portable mount.

 

Arne



#6 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:09 PM

Buy the AZM Pro.

Arne

2nd. I also have the same scope and mount. Works perfect.

#7 Smarque2

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:11 PM

2nd. I also have the same scope and mount. Works perfect.

this will be my first scope in a decade. Have you ever traveled by plane with it?

#8 dakinemaui

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:13 PM

Buy the AZM Pro.

For $1300? At that price, I'd go with the Sirius Pro Az-EQ-G to have an equatorial mode for later.

 

In the OP's price range, though, the Celestron AVX or iOptron CEM25p, both GEM style. If Alt-Az is a must, I think you're going to be undermounted in that price range. Something like a Twilight I, Meade LX65, or Star Seeker IV will keep it pointed at the sun (all under $500), and solar images will be very short exposure so it'll work fine this one time. However, the mount will be unsuitable for most non-solar imagery with this scope later.

 

Actually, I'd say the best deal for Alt-Az is probably the iOptron Urban 150 bundle for $1900 for the OTA and mount combo.


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#9 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:15 PM

this will be my first scope in a decade. Have you ever traveled by plane with it?

The mount comes in a nice case that surely will be airline friendly. The tripod, though, may have to be checked.

#10 dakinemaui

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:22 PM

How is it that you decided on the 150 mm scope? A smaller scope with a barlow can give the same image scale (and resolution since that will be limited by atmospheric seeing in either) and is cheaper, more portable. The usual tradeoff of less bright (28% dimmer for a 127 mm vs. a 150 mm) doesn't seem to be a real factor for solar viewing. 

 

What are your intentions with this setup after the transit event?



#11 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:24 PM

This case is a perfect fit for the scope with the dew shield attached: Fovitec StudioPRO 30 Inch On Location Carry Bag for Photography, Video & Film Lighting Equipment - Carry Case for Light Stands and Equipment https://www.amazon.c...i_0dpRCbTTYQM1Q

#12 Smarque2

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:25 PM

How is it that you decided on the 150 mm scope? A smaller scope with a barlow can give the same image scale (and resolution since that will be limited by atmospheric seeing in either) and is cheaper, more portable. The usual tradeoff of less bright (28% dimmer for a 127 mm vs. a 150 mm) doesn't seem to be a real factor for solar viewing.

What are your intentions with this setup after the transit event?

I've had a 6" dob before and felt anything lower would be disappointing. I will be aiming at planets afterwards.

#13 MrRoberts

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:26 PM

I love both my Ioptron mounts. If you think that you might someday want to explore other AP you may want to consider their Photron 150 kit that includes the CEM25P ($1,500 for OTA & mount). The 6" RC should be no problem with that mount. I've even had my C-8/E on mine.

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#14 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:27 PM

Pica06e402726288704e543e6643ffc2cb5.jpg

#15 dakinemaui

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:52 PM

I love both my Ioptron mounts. If you think that you might someday want to explore other AP you may want to consider their Photron 150 kit that includes the CEM25P ($1,500 for OTA & mount). The 6" RC should be no problem with that mount. I've even had my C-8/E on mine.

The Ritchey-Chretien (RC) design of that OTA isn't very well suited to planetary photography down the road due to the large central obstruction (degrades contrast). For planets, the Maksutov is a sound choice. For visual observation, the 150 is the better choice since you can't increase "exposure time" of your eye.

 

However, if you're going to photograph planets later, you should be aware that you can make the exact same image in a 127 Mak by integrating 40% longer. The pro is that smaller scope is more portable and fits within your budget.

 

OTOH, if you're willing to bump up the budget, a 150 Mak + Sirius Az-EQ would be a good combo ($2k), both for the solar transit (leave the equatorial weights at home!) as well as planetary photography down the road. That equatorial mode means you won't have to deal with the field rotation that's inherent to alt-az mounts.



#16 Smarque2

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:58 PM


How is it that you decided on the 150 mm scope? A smaller scope with a barlow can give the same image scale (and resolution since that will be limited by atmospheric seeing in either) and is cheaper, more portable. The usual tradeoff of less bright (28% dimmer for a 127 mm vs. a 150 mm) doesn't seem to be a real factor for solar viewing.

What are your intentions with this setup after the transit event?

also considering the synta 127mm scopes aren't really 127mm. I'll be using a solar continuum filter along with the Baader front white light filter for better contrast. My DSLR picks up the green color better.

#17 aneeg

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:04 PM

Field rotation is not that serious problem when it comes to lunar or planetary imaging.

 

Arne



#18 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:24 PM

I have taken several nice images with the 150 iOptron mak8b561bb3ee37a3f8cae3c113bcbac6ea.jpg816e2f8e3aa007a653d2b3d956f3f71f.jpg809b0b1651f84a75654fafae7392d4cf.jpg
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#19 dakinemaui

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:25 PM

The fact of the matter is a 150 mm scope and adequate mount for photography later that'll do an Alt-Az mode exceeds the budget ($1k mount or what seems to be $1850 combined). ETA: I assume alt-az for the portability aspect and ease of setup. That said, lots of people move their EQ mounts around, though it is harder.

A 127 mm (which varies, but is probably 120 mm) with Az-EQ mount would satisfy the budget ($1800 combined), and people have made some great planetary imagery with them.
A Synta-made 150 (which is actually 150) with a good equatorial-only mount (e.g., Sirius Pro EQ-G) would satisfy the budget (also $1800 combined).
Can get the iOptron 150 with the iOptron Alt-Az mount for $1900. Alt-Az slightly complicates later photography, tho.

OP's gonna have to weigh in on increasing the budget and whether Alt-Az is mandatory. FWIW, the 150 mm Synta-made scopes (e.g., Orion and Skywatcher brands) are cheaper than the iOptron.

Edited by dakinemaui, 09 April 2019 - 03:33 PM.


#20 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:29 PM

The iOptron is more expensive of course due to better corrected optics, integrated dew shield, and the awesome dual speed focuser.
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#21 Smarque2

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:29 PM

The fact of the matter is a 150 mm scope and adequate mount for photography later that'll do an Alt-Az mode exceeds the budget ($1k mount or what seems to be $1850 combined). ETA: I assume alt-az for the portability aspect and ease of setup. That said, lots of people move their EQ mounts around, though it is harder.

 

A 127 mm (which varies, but is probably 120 mm) with Az-EQ mount would satisfy the budget ($1800 combined), and people have made some great planetary imagery with them.

A Synta-made 150 (which is actually 150) with a good equatorial-only mount (e.g., Sirius Pro EQ-G) would satisfy the budget (also $1800 combined).

Can get the iOptron 150 with the iOptron Alt-Az mount for $1900. Alt-Az complicated later photography, tho.

 

OP's gonna have to weigh in on increasing the budget and whether Alt-Az is mandatory. FWIW, the 150 mm Synta-made scopes (e.g., Orion and Skywatcher brands) are cheaper than the iOptron.

There is also the Meade LX85 which has caught my eye


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#22 aneeg

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:35 PM

And the RUMAK design is better!

 

 

Arne



#23 Smarque2

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Posted 09 April 2019 - 03:35 PM

The iOptron is more expensive of course due to better corrected optics, integrated dew shield, and the awesome dual speed focuser

That is what caught my attention. I always wanted a maksutov . If I don't get that the Meade LX85 6" mak is a runner up. Maybe I should get the LX85 mount with the ioptron.



#24 dakinemaui

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:00 AM

If I don't get that the Meade LX85 6" mak is a runner up.

The LX85 is a Synta as well. If you don't want to pony up for the dual speed focuser, I'd say pick based on warranty and any bundled "extras".

 

I'm not sure you can tell any difference from the Rumak design since reports are "pinpoint" on the edges of the Synta as well. In theory, the central obscuration might be smaller, but I can't find any information to that effect. @gustavo_sanchez, have you tested to determine the aperture/CO sizes?



#25 gustavo_sanchez

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 11:08 AM

No, I don't do that sort of nitpicking. I'm all for usability. I like the dual focuser and I like the results I see at the camera. For planetary imaging, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Rumak.


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