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Deciding Between Alt/Az & GEM

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#26 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 09:23 PM

Searching for a 1st telescope and after tons of reading I’ve almost abandoned the alt/az mount in favor of a GEM. My question is, if I want to “run” out in the backyard and relatively quickly look at a blood moon or a bright comet or something, do I have to go through polar alignment and a 1, 2, or 3 star alignment before I can look at the something?

 

FYI: I’m considering the Celestron CGEM II 800 EdgeHD w/40 lbs load capacity and 14 lbs OTA. I foresee wanting to get into astrophotography at some point... probably 5 minutes after the ‘scope arrives! roflmao.gif

 

Thanks!

 

If you want to get into Astro-Photography, do yourself a favor and start with a shorter, faster scope. An 8 inch F/10 is not a scope suited for a first time Astro-Photographer.

 

An 8 inch SCT on a Gem is not a scope I would choose for quick looks. it's a heavy rig that is not quick and easy to setup in the backyard. And after it's setup, it will need to wait for quite some time to cool so it provides good views at higher magnifications.

 

Jon


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#27 JeepGuy

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 09:45 PM

Thanks for all the great, thoughtful, and thorough replies! I think I need to do more thinking... I had been looking at a Celestron Nexstar Evolution 8 HD before I started looking at the CGEM II. Same OTA but on an alt/az mount... Lots to think about, but luckily it’s all FUN to think about!


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#28 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:22 AM

FYI: I’m considering the Celestron CGEM II 800 EdgeHD w/40 lbs load capacity and 14 lbs OTA. I foresee wanting to get into astrophotography at some point... probably 5 minutes after the ‘scope arrives! roflmao.gif

 

Thanks!

 

I'm currently acquiring the items I need to get started in imaging. Reading the Beginners and Intermediate Imaging forum every day ... 

 

One of the interesting bits of advice the experienced imagers give: the mount is the most important piece of equipment they have, and they recommend prioritizing it over everything else.

 

Kind of opposite of that the visual observers tend to do (prioritizing the OTA and/or eyepieces).


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#29 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:26 AM

I'm currently acquiring the items I need to get started in imaging. Reading the Beginners and Intermediate Imaging forum every day ... 

 

One of the interesting bits of advice the experienced imagers give: the mount is the most important piece of equipment they have, and they recommend prioritizing it over everything else.

 

Kind of opposite of that the visual observers tend to do (prioritizing the OTA and/or eyepieces).

Yeah, us visual guys just prop the scope up against a chair.lol.gif    Seriously, visual requires a good mount also, if high power is used.


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#30 Astrojensen

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:05 AM

Kind of opposite of that the visual observers tend to do (prioritizing the OTA and/or eyepieces).

A lot of visual observers would do well in giving the mount far higher priority than they currently do. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#31 Sarkikos

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:10 AM

I've gotten rid of the worst of my mounts.  Probably my least favorite now is the Voyager ATZ.  My favorite is the DM6 on T-Pod 110.

 

IME & IMO, if the alt-az mount is good enough, you don't need slo-mo controls.  For me, the slo-mo's on long rods get in my way.  I also don't like turning, turning, turning the slo-mo's.  Seems like a good way to get carpal tunnel syndrome.  Having slo-mo's on a mount was never a priority for me.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 25 April 2019 - 11:14 AM.

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#32 Sarkikos

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:15 AM

I'm currently acquiring the items I need to get started in imaging. Reading the Beginners and Intermediate Imaging forum every day ... 

 

One of the interesting bits of advice the experienced imagers give: the mount is the most important piece of equipment they have, and they recommend prioritizing it over everything else.

 

Kind of opposite of that the visual observers tend to do (prioritizing the OTA and/or eyepieces).

Well, I wouldn't say the mount is the most important piece of equipment.  A crappy OTA on an excellent mount is still a crappy OTA.  You'll be able to move the OTA around smoothly, but you'll be sorry when you look in the eyepiece.  shrug.gif

 

:grin:

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 25 April 2019 - 11:17 AM.


#33 tony_spina

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 12:20 PM

A lot of visual observers would do well in giving the mount far higher priority than they currently do. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

the reason visual observers typically don't is because they don't look through a mount. Their mind is focused on maximizing the view. So scope and eyepiece are first in mind.  What is left over goes to the mount. Especially true for beginners 



#34 25585

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 06:50 PM

A GEM with enough movement to its NS tilt, can be made into an alt azi easily. 



#35 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 10:40 PM

I am a visual observer. I give the ota and mount equal priority. You cant see much with a bad ota or shaky mount.
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#36 dr.who

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 12:31 AM

Searching for a 1st telescope and after tons of reading I’ve almost abandoned the alt/az mount in favor of a GEM. My question is, if I want to “run” out in the backyard and relatively quickly look at a blood moon or a bright comet or something, do I have to go through polar alignment and a 1, 2, or 3 star alignment before I can look at the something?
 
FYI: I’m considering the Celestron CGEM II 800 EdgeHD w/40 lbs load capacity and 14 lbs OTA. I foresee wanting to get into astrophotography at some point... probably 5 minutes after the ‘scope arrives! roflmao.gif
 
Thanks!


Buy the scope as a OTA (meaning the tube only not the tube and mount) and get a Skywatcher AZ-EQ5 or AZ-EQ6. That way you can have your cake and eat it too. Since they are EQ(GEM) and alt/az mounts with GOTO and tracking that you can slip the clutches, use it as a manual mount to star hop, then reengage the clutches and have GOTO/tracking again without the mount losing alignment.


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