Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Looking to get a new OTA...not quite sure which one though

  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 JP50515

JP50515

    Messenger

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2017

Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:52 PM

Hey All,

I'm in the market for a new OTA. I currently image on a SW 130PDS and love it for widefield imaging, but am thinking about perhaps getting something with a longer focal length. 

I have an ASI1600 and at first was thinking maybe I'll get an ASI294 or 183 and just image on the PDS but I think I'd likely get better resolution on the 1600 (maybe I'm wrong) even if my FOV is wider...just crop a smaller ROI. 

Lately however I'm thinking maybe a new OTA would be the better option. Something that would work well for visual too would be awesome so if I'm imaging on the newt, I can at least hang out and look at some stuff. 



I have a feeling I'm falling into the SCT range...but man I just don't know.  I love newts so maybe a longer FL 8" or something?  

Lets say I have a budget of $1500...what might be some good options for planetary, visual, and smaller DSO's (galaxies, PN's...etc) be? 

 

 

Thanks!


Edited by JP50515, 22 May 2019 - 09:53 PM.


#2 ImNewHere

ImNewHere

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2096
  • Joined: 29 Mar 2017
  • Loc: Nashville, IN

Posted 22 May 2019 - 09:57 PM

Looks like something like a Celestron Edge 8 may be your best bet at your budget.



#3 JP50515

JP50515

    Messenger

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2017

Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:09 PM

Looks like something like a Celestron Edge 8 may be your best bet at your budget.

Hahaha I knew the C8 was going to be the first suggestion



#4 oshimitsu

oshimitsu

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 495
  • Joined: 11 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Batavia

Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:27 AM

I absolutely love my Orion 8" astrograph. It needs minor some tweaks to make it perfect but I think it's worth the effort.


  • ks__observer likes this

#5 John Tucker

John Tucker

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 600
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2018
  • Loc: 94606

Posted 23 May 2019 - 12:40 AM

The Edge 8 is F10 which may or may not be a challenge depending on how you use your scope. I currently own an old LX200 8 inch SCT and am picking up a 6 inch Newt just because I'm tired of doing 2 nights data collection to get one picture.  And I notice your equipment list includes narrowband filters....

 

Its hard to hit your price target with a Newt though.  Teleskop Service has a 1500mm focal length 12 inch carbon fiber Newt its close to your $1500 cap and you'll need the flattener and might want to swap out the focuser.  Then there are lots of cheaper steel tubes that you might not be happy with the quality of.

 

Also unclear if you're looking to pick up a mount as well at that price so you can run both scopes at the same time.

 

https://www.teleskop...in-Germany.html

 

Do I remember you're in the SF Bay area?  You're welcome to borrow my 8 inch LX200 OTA if you're nearby but better make it soon, I'm moving to Texas in a few weeks. 


Edited by John Tucker, 23 May 2019 - 12:47 AM.


#6 the Elf

the Elf

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1472
  • Joined: 06 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 25 May 2019 - 11:22 AM

I'm quite happy with my RC8 carbon. It could be a bit faster but image quality is good imho and thanks to the carbon re-focus can wait until the temperature drops for more than 5°C. It has serious field curvature but for small targets you crop anyway. Over here it is sold by TS without focuser and several options are available. I'm using it with the V-Power. OAG is recommended. Native focal length is some 1600, with the Astro Physics tele compressor you can reduce by almost any factor between 0.8 and 0.6, perhaps even more to make it faster. I'm operating it a bit below 1100. See my website for example images.

EDIT, ah right, some say the devil himself made the RC's for collimation is almost impossible. LOL. I know a few people who succeeded, so it can't be that bad, but it is not as easy as a newton.


Edited by the Elf, 25 May 2019 - 11:24 AM.

  • Ballyhoo likes this

#7 MalVeauX

MalVeauX

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5219
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2016
  • Loc: Florida

Posted 25 May 2019 - 12:38 PM

Heya,

 

Keep your 130mm for galaxies. Going bigger and to a finer scale requires significant increases in good seeing availability, good guiding/tracking, might tax your EQ6, etc. That 130mm has good enough image scale for galaxies for the most part relative to your EQ6 mount. Maybe just look at the pixels you're matching to it, but really, you already have a good setup for galaxies. To really go bigger you'd have to truly have better conditions and it may not be so simple on the EQ6 to start imaging at very fine imaging scales.

 

For planets, visual, etc, get a 10"~12" instrument. Your EQ6 can handle it fine. 10" newtonian or 10~11" SCT or 12" newtonian. All will handle fine on that EQ6 for lucky imaging and visual. Look into a 290 series camera for planetary perhaps.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX, 25 May 2019 - 12:41 PM.


#8 Stelios

Stelios

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 7051
  • Joined: 04 Oct 2003
  • Loc: West Hills, CA

Posted 25 May 2019 - 12:58 PM

The Edge8 is a great compromise scope. You would use it at F/7 for DSO photography (you also have the option of F/2 Hyperstar but it's outside your budget), at F/10 for visual, and at F/20 or F/30 for planetary photography. It is also (at least judging from *my* sample, but also anecdotally) a very high-quality scope, and holds collimation very well.

 

It's not ideal--for visual and planetary AP the scope you really want is the Edge11, but that (and the heavier mount it requires) is way beyond your budget.


  • JP50515 likes this

#9 RogeZ

RogeZ

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 919
  • Joined: 21 Nov 2004
  • Loc: Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Posted 25 May 2019 - 01:22 PM

Im a big fan of the EdgeHD line and I think the 8” is a great choice for your application.

#10 JP50515

JP50515

    Messenger

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2017

Posted 27 May 2019 - 02:16 PM

The Edge8 is a great compromise scope. You would use it at F/7 for DSO photography (you also have the option of F/2 Hyperstar but it's outside your budget), at F/10 for visual, and at F/20 or F/30 for planetary photography. It is also (at least judging from *my* sample, but also anecdotally) a very high-quality scope, and holds collimation very well.

 

It's not ideal--for visual and planetary AP the scope you really want is the Edge11, but that (and the heavier mount it requires) is way beyond your budget.

You know...that point about the edge's variable F ratio setups is actually pretty relevant here. I've been eyeballing the rasa a bit lately but it's just so specialized that it does me little good outside of super fast widefield imaging. 

The C8 with a hyperstar setup however...hmmm now you've got me thinking a bit here. 

I think the C8 would likely be the best option for the other purposes I'm looking to serve. Quick and easy visual use. I honestly enjoy the views on the 130...I think the views on the C8 would have to be better than the 130 right? I had a 12" dob in the past and while it was great...it was a big giant dob and was too heavy to bring anywhere...so it didn't get much use. 

 

 

I'm definitely keeping my 130...it's a mean little imaging scope regardless of it's price point. I know it well and can get good images off it...it's like a good dog at this point for me. 

But...I would like to build out a secondary rig that's a bit better for visual...and the concept of Hyperstar is really quite interesting. 
 

 

Stelios looks like you might have an Edge8 HD? Give me your thoughts on the scope from your experience if you don't mind. 
 


Edited by JP50515, 27 May 2019 - 02:18 PM.


#11 kisstek

kisstek

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 141
  • Joined: 25 Jul 2018

Posted 27 May 2019 - 06:07 PM

Since you don't seem to have settled on what you're really hoping to accomplish with new equipment (we've all had the bug to just buy something new!), I'd suggest you sit down with something like Stellarium for a couple of weeks and try different combinations of focal length and sensor size. And then remember that for visual use, the resulting views will be much worse than what Stellarium shows you. Light pollution, atmospherics, tracking, weather, ground vibration, ... all will be working against a long focal length, visual experience on a budget.

 

When I was looking at cameras for my C6 SCT, I was originally thinking of the ASI178. Maximize the number of pixels and increase the magnification of my setup was my thinking. But after seeing just how narrow FoV that would actually give me, I backed off to the ASI1600MM-Pro. That still gives me a pixel scale of 1/2"/pixel. And my Celestron AVX mount just can't guide well enough to take advantage of that resolution So I have to use a 3x3 binning to get sharp, round stars. The ASI178 would have been total frustration and a waste of money!

 

I would think anything with a focal length over 1500mm is going to require a really good mount, lots of patience, luck, and money. If I was starting over, I would aim for a scope with a focal length of 800-1000mm and then worked down from there. But that's me.



#12 Stelios

Stelios

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 7051
  • Joined: 04 Oct 2003
  • Loc: West Hills, CA

Posted 27 May 2019 - 09:29 PM

You know...that point about the edge's variable F ratio setups is actually pretty relevant here. I've been eyeballing the rasa a bit lately but it's just so specialized that it does me little good outside of super fast widefield imaging. 

The C8 with a hyperstar setup however...hmmm now you've got me thinking a bit here. 

I think the C8 would likely be the best option for the other purposes I'm looking to serve. Quick and easy visual use. I honestly enjoy the views on the 130...I think the views on the C8 would have to be better than the 130 right? I had a 12" dob in the past and while it was great...it was a big giant dob and was too heavy to bring anywhere...so it didn't get much use. 

 

 

I'm definitely keeping my 130...it's a mean little imaging scope regardless of it's price point. I know it well and can get good images off it...it's like a good dog at this point for me. 

But...I would like to build out a secondary rig that's a bit better for visual...and the concept of Hyperstar is really quite interesting. 
 

 

Stelios looks like you might have an Edge8 HD? Give me your thoughts on the scope from your experience if you don't mind. 
 

I love the scope.

 

It is my 5th SCT. I have owned 2 other C8's and 2 C9.25". All of them were good, but simply did not compare to the Edge.  

I have outfitted it with a Moonlite focuser with auto-focus, and the 0.7x reducer for astrophotography. So far I love the combo, which I use with an ASI1600MM-C, ZWO Filter wheel and ZWO OAG. It's all threaded connections.

 

SCT's are fantastic visual scopes, because they don't require any contortions when observing. I use a Televue Air-chair (a glorified piano stool) and that's all I ever need. Great detail on planets, and wonderful flat fields for globs, clusters etc.

 

I have not used Hyperstar (too pricey for me, and I'm not in a fast-photon race). For quick visual observing Temp-Est fans can be bought from Deep Space Products--I haven't needed them so far as I usually get the scope out ahead of time. 


  • JP50515 likes this

#13 JP50515

JP50515

    Messenger

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2017

Posted 27 May 2019 - 09:36 PM

I love the scope.

It is my 5th SCT. I have owned 2 other C8's and 2 C9.25". All of them were good, but simply did not compare to the Edge.

I have outfitted it with a Moonlite focuser with auto-focus, and the 0.7x reducer for astrophotography. So far I love the combo, which I use with an ASI1600MM-C, ZWO Filter wheel and ZWO OAG. It's all threaded connections.

SCT's are fantastic visual scopes, because they don't require any contortions when observing. I use a Televue Air-chair (a glorified piano stool) and that's all I ever need. Great detail on planets, and wonderful flat fields for globs, clusters etc.

I have not used Hyperstar (too pricey for me, and I'm not in a fast-photon race). For quick visual observing Temp-Est fans can be bought from Deep Space Products--I haven't needed them so far as I usually get the scope out ahead of time.

This sounds like very informed experience and exactly what I'm hoping to achieve. I'm not in a photon race myself. F/5 is already pretty fast and F/4 can be had cheap in a newt elsewhere. The hyperstar would just be cool to have as an option down the road. It's almost like 2-4 different scopes for the price of one! A big light bucket photon blaster with the hyperstar. A couple of solid "mid-field" setups with the reducer options and then some long focal length setups available in native and barlowed configurations....seems like something well worth considering.

You find the 8in is well served for visual use as well?

Your camera/filterwheel setup is identical to mine, barring the ZWO OAG. Did you need any special adapters to get it to hook up to the Edge? It would really seal the deal for me if swapping between imaging scopes was as easy as unthreading the imaging chain at the coma corrector on the newt and threading it onto the SCT.

Edited by JP50515, 27 May 2019 - 10:06 PM.


#14 17.5Dob

17.5Dob

    Aurora

  • ****-
  • Posts: 4933
  • Joined: 21 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Colorado,USA

Posted 27 May 2019 - 09:38 PM

I love the scope.

 

It is my 5th SCT. I have owned 2 other C8's and 2 C9.25". All of them were good, but simply did not compare to the Edge.  
 

 

Just to reiterate, not all "C8's" are the same.....

Get an Edge.....



#15 JP50515

JP50515

    Messenger

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 451
  • Joined: 23 Feb 2017

Posted 27 May 2019 - 10:11 PM

Just to reiterate, not all "C8's" are the same.....

Get an Edge.....


Copy that. Yeah even aesthetically you can see the quality difference between the edge and C series


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics