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Evo 6 or Evo 8

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#1 crn3371

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 11:43 AM

Ok folks, tomorrow’s my birthday, there’s a sale on the Evolution series, I want to start dabbling with EAA, and I want to go shopping! With that said, budget wise I’d certainly prefer the Evo 6 over the Evo 8, but I’m more than willing to spring for the 8 if it’s going to make an appreciable difference. Also, I’m assuming that the Evo mount is suitable for EAA, or do I need something like the AVX. I don’t see myself doing any imaging, other than taking some screen shots. Bortle 7 skies. So, Evo or AVX? C6 or C8? Help me with my birthday present.

#2 Gary Z

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 12:28 PM

The AVX mount is definitely suited for EAA.  If you need more accuracy then I would spring for the AVX but a refractor telescope for Astrophotography.  I have had a blast using my EVO mount.  It handles my C8 like a glove compared to the smaller SE Mount. 

 

Can you notice a difference between a 6 and the 8 inch scope.....yes!!!  Interestingly, the mount for the 6 and the 8 is the same size mount.  In fact, only the tripod is different for the 9.25" scope....The same mount head for all three mounts.

 

Next question is what camera are you looking to get?  If you are doing planetary/lunar imaging, I'd suggest the ASI 224. If doing more, then I'd suggest the ASI 294.  One design issue with the Celestron Alt/Az mounts is base of the mount.  It would be nice if the scope went on the outside of the mount, not inside over the base.  Then you would not have to worry about hitting the base.  But for imaging Jupiter and Saturn with my ASI224 and a 2.5x barlow, I've just loved it. 

 

Happy Birthday and hope you have a blast with your new rig once you get it home!!!

 

Gary



#3 barbarosa

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 12:33 PM

There are many people who use or who have used alt-az mounts for EAA and with cameras less capable than you can buy today. A CMOS camera with a 224 sensor, or better a 294 sensor that can give you good results with exposures of 30s or less plus something like SharpCap's Live Stacking which can stack and align sucessive images and you are good to go.

 

You really don't need an EQ mount. The penalty for using an alt az mount and stacking images is that eventually field rotation shows up as dark boarders on the stacked image because the software is slightly rotating each new image to match the stars. It sounds worse than it is.

 

Note however that there are or can be clearance problems with a fork mount, you may have to use a diagonal. And if you are going to use the scope for both visual and EAA there are differences in observer position, how much you have to extend the tripod legs etc.

 

The standard answer on aperture is more = better, but a camera mediates that rule. I have three scopes I use regularly, an 85mm f/5.6 refractor, a 120mm f/7refractor and an f/10 C-9.25. With a given camera the most obvious difference is image scale/field of view. The 9.25 has then narrowest field of view and objects appear larger. The 85 is the one for Andromeda and the 9.25 is the one for planets and smaller DSOs like the Ring.

 

This site, astronomy tools has calculators that let you compare different scopes, barlows, reducers and cameras. It shows you how an object will appear in the frame or eyepiece. You can pick an object and directly compare the 6 and the 8. 

 

 

 

I observe from my back yard in the SF Bay Area red zone.


Edited by barbarosa, 02 May 2019 - 12:43 PM.


#4 crn3371

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 12:53 PM

I have a 4se that I could use for the planetary stuff. What I’m after is an EAA setup that basically will act as an enhanced eyepiece, using live stacking to give me views of dso’s that I couldn’t otherwise achieve visually. Another option I was considering was the ES AR127 achro on an AVX Mount, upgrading to an apo when funds allow.

#5 descott12

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 01:16 PM

Happy birthday. Definitely recommend the Evo 8. I think it is the perfect combination of aperture, mobility and ease of use (with built-in wifi and battery). For EAA, you really don't need a equatorial mount as our exposures are short and any field rotation is handled quite nicely in your stacking software. I know some people do use a GEM for EAA but why deal with polar alignment and those heavy weights if you don't need it?

 

If you may want to get into traditional AP then a GEM will be needed.

 

As far as 6 or 8 inch: I know alot of people have had great results with both but the 2 extra inches amounts to alot more light gathering ability.

As mentioned above, when considering your camera, realize that you have limited space between the visual back and the fork mount (when using the Alt-Az mount). This is one advantage of the GEM as there is no limitation there. So with a fork mount you may want to consider getting a less-expensive UNcooled camera as they are shorter and allow you to swing the scope to higher altitude without crashing into the mount.  I, and many others, use a HyperStar, and the camera is front mounted so this is not a problem. You may want to consider this as an option. You will definitely want to get either a normal focal reducer  (FR) or a Hyperstar to go from F10 to something faster. If you use a typical FR, then that will also take up some of the space between the visual back and the fork mount.

 

Lots of choices and lots of great cameras. EAA is really a great way to see stuff. Good luck



#6 Lorenz0x7BC

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 02:09 PM

the C8 has 78% more aperture area, equals 78% more light gathering ability and therefore marked improvement in resolution

 

6 inch = 152.4 mm diameter -> 18,241.5 mm² area (π*r²)

8 inch = 203.2 mm diameter -> 32,419.3 mm² area

 

the Evo 6 weighs 36 lbs

the Evo 8 weighs 40.6 lbs (13% more weight if that's a concern)

 

Happy Birthday wink.gif



#7 crn3371

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 02:25 PM

Regarding clearance on the Evo mount, can you attach the camera to the diagonal? If so, what are the downsides? If I have to go through a bunch of gyrations in order to be able to reach zenith on the Evo would I just be better off to get the AVX? I have a nice 5amp battery pack and the SkyPortal WiFi module, so I could use those on the AVX. So, which is the lesser of the 2 evils, convenience of Evo and clearance issues, or slightly less convenient AVX and the ability to use whatever camera I want?

#8 crn3371

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 03:52 PM

Well, after talking with the folks over at Astronomics, it looks like my best option is a C8 on the AVX mount. I already have a battery pack and SkyPortal WiFi module, so I give up a bit of convenience in not going with the Evo mount, but gain more camera options going with the AVX. If I’m nuts for doing so don’t hesitate to call me out.

#9 descott12

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 03:57 PM

Well, after talking with the folks over at Astronomics, it looks like my best option is a C8 on the AVX mount. I already have a battery pack and SkyPortal WiFi module, so I give up a bit of convenience in not going with the Evo mount, but gain more camera options going with the AVX. If I’m nuts for doing so don’t hesitate to call me out.

That sounds like the right choice given that you already have a battery and wifi. Good luck



#10 barbarosa

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 04:15 PM

Of course you can use a diagonal. My old SE mount  and Samsung SCB 2000 camera forced some compromises.

 

You might want to visit the ZWO site and get the dimensions on some of the cameras you might be considering. The uncooled 224 is 62mm in diameter and 35.5mm tall. The uncooled 294 is a similar size. The cooled 294 Pro diameter is 78mm and the height is 74mm. Both cameras come with a 1.25" nose piece that fits both the oem visual back and diagonal.

 

From the rear port the oem visual back adds 35mm, the stock prism diagonal adds 48, an f/6.3 reducer adds 27mm. Any of the fork mounts will have sufficent clearance for this train.

 

However if you want to use the reducer without a diagonal you need to add spacing between the reducer and the sensor of the camera. It is the distance from the reducer to the sensor that sets the amount of reduction. For the Celestron f/6.3 reducer the distance is about 105mm. You would need to add something like the Celestron T adapter, and the appropriate t extender (s) to make up the full 105mm.

 

If you use the stock prism diagonal the optical path lenght is shorter than the measured length because lilght slows in glass. "the optical path length of a standard 1.25" PRISM diagonal is the prism 55/1.52 = 36mm + the neck 20 = 56mm." See this post for an explanation and the math.

 

So 35mm (VB) + 56mm (diagonal) + 12.5  (sensor recess) = 103mm.

 

Are you nuts for wanting to go EQ? No, many of us have. But if your not going to image in the old long slow way, you may be trading simplicity for useless complication. You may be worried about the wrong things. 

 

It isn't nuts to get opionions but it is a but nuts not to do some research on your own. Old school imagers may denouce fork mounts but so what. I've owned both, and my permanant setup is an EQ mount, but the best mount I ever owned for ease and for EAA was a CPC1100. It was the loan of a very good refractor that seduced me and started me thinking about an EQ mount.

 

But whatever way you go the choices are pretty good.


Edited by barbarosa, 02 May 2019 - 04:27 PM.

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#11 OleCuss

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 09:15 PM

No offense to the Astronomics guys, but I'd just not get that 8" SCT on an AVX.  It's a little tough to put the reason in words but it sort of comes down to that I don't think that it really fits any mode of use very well unless it is visual - and I'd prefer the Evolution for that anyway.

 

If I were getting a C8 to put on an AVX for any sort of AP I'd insist on the EdgeHD version.  This brings your price to $2149.

 

For that price you get an instrument with a focal length of 2032mm.  This is a very challenging focal length and gives you a pretty narrow FOV which will be unsuitable to a lot of targets we tend to like.  The flip side is that you won't be under-sampling with almost any camera you might choose.

 

Yes, you can get a 0.7x reducer and get a focal length of only about 1422mm - which is only a bit over twice the maximum focal length I recommend for reasonably non-frustrating and enjoyable imaging.  It doesn't help that the combination of the OTA's marginal weight for that mount and the long focal length do not bode well for great tracking.

 

Yup, you can do some good imaging but it will be much more of a struggle.  Pretty good for visual use but I'd not enjoy the ergonomics as well as with the Evolution.

 

Net effect is that I think I'd find the 8" EdgeHD on an AVX to just not be a very good choice for much of anything. 

 

I'd actually far rather have that EdgeHD Evolution.  It'd be much easier to transport and while it still isn't going to be very good for non-frustrating and enjoyable imaging, at least it will be a very good visual instrument.

 

But again, I'd rather have the AVX and put the Astronomics 6" astrograph on the thing.  It should be a pleasure to use that for imaging although I'd not use it for visual.



#12 crn3371

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 12:04 AM

I’ve tried to find a simple diagram to no avail. Can someone explain to me the items needed to connect something like a ZWO camera to a sct? For visual use I understand that the focal reducer is just inserted between the scope and the visual back, then insert diagonal as usual. I assumed that installing the camera would just be removing the diagonal and inserting the nosepiece of the camera into the visual back. I take it that this is incorrect. As far as a scope setup is concerned, I find myself getting more enlightened, but at the same time getting more confused. Some say a SCT (with FR) is fine for EAA, others say that the SCT is still too long, and too slow, that you really need HyperStar. On the other hand, I’ve also been told that a Newt is the way to go, but that puts me into an eq mount, and into regularly having to collimate. Plus, the Newt on an eq isn’t optimal for visual. I now fully understand why everyone says that there is no ONE scope. Perhaps the closest I could get would be getting the Newt and skipping the AVX and instead get the ioptron AZ Mount Pro. At least I still get an Evo-like mount, but one that will at least handle longer scopes.

Edited by crn3371, 03 May 2019 - 12:21 AM.


#13 Lorenz0x7BC

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 03:36 AM

Regarding your first question (what items do you need to connect the camera to a sct), barbarosa explained it in his post above (#10) in detail.

 

It is essential to understand how focal reducers work. The best explanation ever can be found in this post from Adun in the Imaging forums:

https://www.cloudyni...c/#entry8858271

 

After reading this you will understand that you need a certain distance (depending on the focal length of your focal reducer) between your focal reducer and the point in the optical train where you place your camera sensor. Therefore the star diagonal or the T-spacers in between.

 

Regarding your second question (if a Newton would be better than a SCT): I really couldn't say, everything has its ups and downs. Personally I like my Evo8 as it is so versatile: with a barlow you can increase the Focal Ratio even more, ideal for planetary or lunar imaging or observation, with focal reducers or the Hyperstar you can decrease the Focal Ratio all the way down for EAA or imaging. Perhaps it is not the top of the line in any single use case but more like a true all-rounder. You will get a lot of different opinions on this topic I assume. cool.gif



#14 descott12

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 06:28 AM

With an Evo 8 (and I am assuming most SCT's) you can simply insert the camera with 1.25 nosepiece directly into the visual back (remove the diagonal). This is at f10 and that is great for planets and the moon. There should be more than enough focus travel to get to focus.

 

For EAA, you really need something faster. Attempting EAA at f10 is like getting a root canal!

Either a HyperStar or a FR will be needed.  I have not used a FR so I can't comment on that. With the Hyperstar, you remove the secondary on the front, attach the HS, then the camera directly to it. Sounds complicated but it is quite simple and it works really well.

 

People are using all sorts of setups and scopes and cameras for EAA. There is really no right or wrong way to do. But I think an Evo 8 is a great way to go. Regarding the FR, MANY people use them so I am sure it is not that complicated to get it to work and it is an inexpensive way to get to a fast focal ratio.



#15 crn3371

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 09:11 AM

I think the thing that’s making me hesitate on the Evo 8 is whether or not you really have to use the Hyperstar, or multiple stacked FR’s, in order to get decent results. If I can get good results with just a single 6.3 FR, then I think the Evo 8 is probably my most versatile choice. Regarding the Hyperstar, it’s not how to use it that scares me, it’s the price of admission. On focal length, would the Evo 6 be a better choice due to its shorter focal length? Thanks to everyone for their help, and for having patience with a newb.

Edited by crn3371, 03 May 2019 - 09:42 AM.


#16 OleCuss

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 10:15 AM

I think that the 8" Evolution is an EdgeHD OTA?  If so, I think the standard focal reducer is 0.7x, not 0.63x.  Optec may sell a more aggressive focal reducer for it, but I'm not sure of that.

 

One other thing to remember (may or may not be an issue for you depending on your equipment and tastes)?  When you use a focal reducer your image circle almost always gets smaller (not sure that there aren't any that don't).  So if you have a sensor of a fairly generous size then if you are using a focal reducer you may have a lot of vignetting unless your sensor is small or you are defining a smaller ROI.



#17 crn3371

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 10:27 AM

I’m looking at the standard Evo 8, so just a basic sct with .63 reducer. I’m curious now as to whether the 6” has an advantage for EAA since it has a shorter focal length. If my math is correct, the 6” sct with 6.3 reducer gives a focal length of 945mm, which I understand gets me closer to an ideal focal length than the 8” would. Am I seeing this wrong?

Edited by crn3371, 03 May 2019 - 10:28 AM.


#18 OleCuss

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 11:04 AM

The shorter focal length is definitely more friendly to typical imaging.

 

 

I'd note, however, that for imaging some of us would greatly prefer the EdgeHD optics.  You get less aberration and you can actually get good focus across pretty much the entire image circle.

 

The old-style SCTs just don't come to a good focus across the entire FOV.  It's not a deal-breaker to use the standard SCT but it has been fascinating over the years to see various folk doing AP with those old SCTs choosing to come to focus about 1/2 the distance between the center and the periphery.  Choosing a focus 1/2 the distance meant that nothing was badly out of focus on their images.

 

The EdgeHD from Celestron and the ACF from Meade appear to do much better.  Reports are usually indicate the EdgeHD is better but a few indicate the ACF does better for them.



#19 Don Rudny

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 12:17 PM

Hi CRN,

 

Is your head spinning yet?  Let me try to clarify a few things that might help.  First, the Evo 8 comes in both standard and Edge optics.  The Edge is about $500 more.  Based on your original post of dabbling in EAA, I don’t think the Edge is necessary.  Most EAA use wouldn’t appreciate the more corrected optics unless one is using larger sensor cameras and is more into traditional AP.  I think you would enjoy one of the 224 based cameras where the sensor is small and really doesn’t benefit from the Edge optics.  You would need more focal reduction, but the small sensor can take quite a bit even down to .33x.  Using a f/6.3 reducer will require an extension that will cause problems with base interference.  With a sensor so small, you could use a .5x reducer that is only 1.25” in diameter.  I use a Mallincam MFR5-II that I picked up fo $100 on AM.  It gives reduction up to .33x for small sensors and has variable capability down to .8x.  The 1.25” reducer and extension will slide into the visual back, giving you more clearance with the base.  

 

As far as 6” or 8”, both will work well.  Both standard SCT versions are Hyperstar compatible.   I have the 6” and am very pleased with it.  Attached is a live view capture of M27 taken with a 6” at f/5 using the Mallincam reducer and Ultrastar C camera.  So my suggestion is:

 

1.  Get the Evo 6

2.  Get a 224 based camera.  ASI224 is probably best.

3.  Get a .5 focal reducer.  MFR5-II preferred.

4.  Have fun

 

Happy Birthday!

 

Don

 

3EB2BC43-97BC-4B01-AD9C-1A47671E54EE.jpeg


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#20 Gary Z

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 12:18 PM

Well, after talking with the folks over at Astronomics, it looks like my best option is a C8 on the AVX mount. I already have a battery pack and SkyPortal WiFi module, so I give up a bit of convenience in not going with the Evo mount, but gain more camera options going with the AVX. If I’m nuts for doing so don’t hesitate to call me out.

Ok, if you are going the AVX route and I totally agree with the concerns about camera distance on the EVO, but strongly consider getting an 80mm refractor to augment your gear. You may want to consider a bigger mount if you go with the C8.  Maybe take more time to consider your options.  This would also serve to get something better suited for you.

 

Go to the astrobin.com web site and do a search of C8 and look at the images more appealing to you to see what mounts folks are using, You'll also pick up on what cameras folks are using to take these images.  Granted, while a lot of effort will go into processing some of the images, still, the better the platform you are using to keep your scope steady, the easier any type of imaging will be whether EAA or astrophotography.

 

Don't get discouraged, this hobby requires a lot of thought and effort to figure out what will work best.  The end result of such thought and planning will pay off considerably.

 

Hope you are having a great day for your birthday!!!

 

Gary



#21 Gary Z

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 12:19 PM

Hi CRN,

 

Is your head spinning yet?  Let me try to clarify a few things that might help.  First, the Evo 8 comes in both standard and Edge optics.  The Edge is about $500 more.  Based on your original post of dabbling in EAA, I don’t think the Edge is necessary.  Most EAA use wouldn’t appreciate the more corrected optics unless one is using larger sensor cameras and is more into traditional AP.  I think you would enjoy one of the 224 based cameras where the sensor is small and really doesn’t benefit from the Edge optics.  You would need more focal reduction, but the small sensor can take quite a bit even down to .33x.  Using a f/6.3 reducer will require an extension that will cause problems with base interference.  With a sensor so small, you could use a .5x reducer that is only 1.25” in diameter.  I use a Mallincam MFR5-II that I picked up fo $100 on AM.  It gives reduction up to .33x for small sensors and has variable capability down to .8x.  The 1.25” reducer and extension will slide into the visual back, giving you more clearance with the base.  

 

As far as 6” or 8”, both will work well.  Both standard SCT versions are Hyperstar compatible.   I have the 6” and am very pleased with it.  Attached is a live view capture of M27 taken with a 6” at f/5 using the Mallincam reducer and Ultrastar C camera.  So my suggestion is:

 

1.  Get the Evo 6

2.  Get a 224 based camera.  ASI224 is probably best.

3.  Get a .5 focal reducer.  MFR5-II preferred.

4.  Have fun

 

Happy Birthday!

 

Don

 

attachicon.gif 3EB2BC43-97BC-4B01-AD9C-1A47671E54EE.jpeg

Very nice imaging!!!!

 

Gary



#22 chilldaddy

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 03:06 PM

Happy Birthday!

I agree that Edge HD optics are not necessary for dabbling in EAA and believe that the C8's additional 2"of light gathering power is easily worth $350 more than the 6".  I use the C8 on the Evo mount and love the fact that I pick up the entire scope attached to the mount and carry it to the back porch in just seconds.  Within minutes I am outside and aligned which is a big plus to me if you're not going the AP route on an EQ mount. 

 

The F/10 focal length of the 8" is easily dropped to F/5 and 1000mm with a $25 Antares .5X focal reducer that attaches to the nosepiece of the camera and inserts into the visual back.  (You can also stack an F/6.3 and .5 focal reducer though there is serious vignetting with my camera.)  This does not present a clearance problem at all with an ASI385 camera which is similar to the ASI224.  

 

I highly recommend the ASI385 at $370 because it has the same small pixel size and sensitivity of the ASI224 but has a wider sensor displaying a wider FOV more like a 16:9 aspect ratio.  It's nice for framing objects like galaxies for example and can identify more stars for aligning.  A Hyperstar is an amazing tool but it is not necessary to get started and can always be added plus you can also use a diagonal if your camera train gets too long as mentioned above.

 

In summary, I would recommend an EVO 8 with an ASI224 or 385 camera.  Grab a .5X focal reducer and get your feet wet.  When you need a wider FOV and have $1000 to spend you can try an F/2 Hyperstar, a cooled ASI294 camera with a bigger sensor, or for less $ add a small refractor to your setup and use your existing camera.

 

The learning curve has been a little steep with Sharpcap as all of this was brand new to me but I found the manual to be extremely well written and the great people here on CN a huge help.  Also, check out The NightSkiesNetwork.com and watch people using the software live.  There are lots of ways to do this so be patient, research and have fun!

 

I hope this helps,

 

Greg

 

(M5  58 x 4s, ASI385MC on EVO 8 Alt/Az F/5)

 

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#23 crn3371

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 03:27 PM

Don, thanks for the information, and thanks for the beautiful pic. With the current sale the 6” is the same price as the mount by itself, it’s like buying a mount and getting a free C6. I figure I could always get a c8 latter, plus the Evo mount can also handle a small apo. I’ve looked at the ioptron AZ Mount Pro as an alternative to the Evo mount, but at $1,300 it’s just more than I care to spend. I’d be out a good $2k, or more, by the time I add an ota. I want to thank everyone for their contributions to my posts. This is a very well-mannered forum compared to some of the others I’ve frequented in the past.

#24 donstim

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 08:03 PM

I'm pretty new at this, so take this with a big grain of salt. I bought an Evo 8 last year from Orange County Telescopes that came bundled with the Revolution Imager 2. After using that combo for a while, I decided to upgrade the camera to an ASI 294pro.

With the cloudy weather we've had here in Seattle, I have only had it out twice. I already had a Celestron 0.63x focal reducer. I found that with the reducer, visual back, and extenders that came with the camera, I was within 5 mm of the 105 mm back focus needed. I bought the following set of extenders from Amazon that included a 5mm one - Astromania Astronomical... https://www.amazon.c...op_mob_ap_share.

I agree that this combo limits the attitude you can reach. I think I put in something like 62 degrees as a limit in SkySafari.

The first night out with it, I came away with zippo - mainly due to poor alignment issues. The 2nd night out I wanted a shot of M81. Being near enough to the zenith that I was worried about whether I could use the camera with the focal reducer setup, I decided to forego the focal reducer.

Everyone seems to think it's not even worth trying to image with an f/10 SCT, so I was not expecting much. But then, I am not trying to get fantastic images, just some EAA with some further processing to share with friends and family.

Using Livestacking on SharpCap, I was not overwhelmed with the EAA image. But after 10 minutes of simple stretching and black level manipulation with GIMP, I was more than happy with the results. Exposures of about 12 minutes using 5, 10, and 20 second subs gave pretty much the same results. I am hoping I can get to a point where I cican do a better job with SharpCap, so I have better true EAA images. 

I hadn't really considered using the diagonal with the focal reducer to eliminate the mount/obstruction issue, but I will have to give that a try.

At least based on my extremely limited experience, I wouldn't quickly rule out the Evo 8 without Hyperstar unless you are interested in true AP.

 

Sorry, I can't post the photos 

I am out of town right now. I can post them when I get back on Monday. 

 


Edited by donstim, 03 May 2019 - 08:15 PM.


#25 descott12

descott12

    Apollo

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 08:17 PM

Using Livestacking on SharpCap, I was not overwhelmed with the EAA image. But after 10 minutes of simple stretching and black level manipulation with GIMP, I was more than happy with the results. Exposures of about 12 minutes using 5, 10, and 20 second subs gave pretty much the same results.
 

That is great. But using Gimp for post-processing takes you out of the realm of EAA. That is perfectly fine if that is what you like but getting faster then f10 really does make the experience much more live, close to real-time and much more enjoyable, in my opinion.


Edited by descott12, 03 May 2019 - 09:21 PM.



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