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Getting up and running with C9.25 XLT

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#1 cwilly8

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:27 AM

I just bought a well cared for Celestron 9.25 XLT SCT with 2" diagonal.  It came without a finder scope, and I own no 2" eyepieces.  I am looking for recommendations for both.  I'm a "value-oriented" person, meaning that I am not looking for top-of-the-line stuff.  This scope will be used with a Celestron CG-5 Advanced GT mount for visual and astrophotography (non-guided).

The only scope I have ever owned is its little brother -- the Celestron Omni 127 XLT (5" SCT) with a CG-4 mount and some Celestron eyepieces. 

Concerning finder scopes, those with a right angle design look appealing.  Concerning eyepieces, something that will be good for planetary and lunar views will be my first priority.

Thanks for your help!

 



#2 Augustus

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:32 AM

I'd just slap a Telrad on for a finder, personally. A 9x50 will also do.

 

For eyepieces, what's your budget? For low mag I'd get a 34mm or 40mm ES68 (or a 35mm or 41mm Panoptic if you can stretch your budget), as well as something in the 27mm-30mm range. For higher powers you already have 1.25" eyepieces you can use.


Edited by Augustus, 19 October 2019 - 08:32 AM.


#3 Bataleon

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:55 AM

Based on my own experience with 2" eyepiece fever, I'm going to say you probably only need 2-3 at most and mainly at longer focal length. The whole point of 2" equipment is wider angle views so there's really no need to go replacing all your 1.25s with 2s.

William Optics, GSO and High Point Scientific make good mid grade 2s, though I'm almost certain High Points are just rebranded units made by GSO. For something higher end, Explore Scientific and Tele Vues can be had used at reasonable prices. I have a 55mm TV plossl that's been great for squeezing in that little extra swath of sky my 40mm can't fit.

In a nutshell, for lower magnifications in a 9.25" SCT, look in the 40-65mm range for eyepieces.

Edited by Bataleon, 19 October 2019 - 08:59 AM.

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#4 cwilly8

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:07 AM

I'd just slap a Telrad on for a finder, personally. A 9x50 will also do.

 

For eyepieces, what's your budget? For low mag I'd get a 34mm or 40mm ES68 (or a 35mm or 41mm Panoptic if you can stretch your budget), as well as something in the 27mm-30mm range. For higher powers you already have 1.25" eyepieces you can use.

I still consider myself a newbie/beginner.  I'm retired, and astronomy is becoming one of my hobbies.  So I would say my budget is under $200.  Is that ridiculously low?  Can I get something decent at that price?



#5 cwilly8

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:10 AM

Based on my own experience with 2" eyepiece fever, I'm going to say you probably only need 2-3 at most and mainly at longer focal length. The whole point of 2" equipment is wider angle views so there's really no need to go replacing all your 1.25s with 2s.

William Optics, GSO and High Point Scientific make good mid grade 2s, though I'm almost certain High Points are just rebranded units made by GSO. For something higher end, Explore Scientific and Tele Vues can be had used at reasonable prices. I have a 55mm TV plossl that's been great for squeezing in that little extra swath of sky my 40mm can't fit.

In a nutshell, for lower magnifications in a 9.25" SCT, look in the 40-65mm range for eyepieces.

Until reading your reply, I didn't realize that I can get an adapter to use 1.25 EPs in the 2" diagonal.  Thanks for the suggestion of 40-65mm.



#6 Bataleon

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:13 AM

I still consider myself a newbie/beginner. I'm retired, and astronomy is becoming one of my hobbies. So I would say my budget is under $200. Is that ridiculously low? Can I get something decent at that price?

Absolutely.

Celestron makes a 9x50 right angle correct image finder with an illuminated cross hair reticle if you want to get fancy. https://www.bhphotov...ft=BI:514&smp=y

For something more basic, here's the aforementioned telrad reflex finder.
https://www.highpoin...ith-base-telrad

In my case, I have both a reflex and a 9x50 RACI on my SCT. Since you have a goto mount, you don't really need a magnified finder unless you plan to manually slew to objects and need that magnification to find more difficult targets. Reflex finders are fine for 3 star alignment and from there you can just tell the mount where to go with the hand controller.

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#7 starcam

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:14 AM

The c9.25 and the cg5 are not recommended for astro photography. The c9.25  weight is on the upper side for the cg5. You may get lucky though.

I just use a red dot finder.


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#8 Bataleon

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:15 AM

Until reading your reply, I didn't realize that I can get an adapter to use 1.25 EPs in the 2" diagonal. Thanks for the suggestion of 40-65mm.

Yeah, you don't need 2" for high magnification since it kind of defeats the purpose lol. Also, unless you're looking to spend a fortune, you won't get good views around the edges of a high mag 2". Wide angle + cheap glass = fuzz fuzz fuzz

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#9 cwilly8

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:16 AM

I'd just slap a Telrad on for a finder, personally. A 9x50 will also do.

 

Thanks for the suggestion.  Please realize that you are dealing with someone who is relatively new to astronomy, and not particularly a skilled mechanic.  So what exactly does "slap on a Telrad" mean?  My scope has two drilled holes, about an inch apart, that I think held the original finder in place.  Are those industry-standard, or would I have to be drilling new holes to install a different finder? 



#10 Bataleon

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:21 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. Please realize that you are dealing with someone who is relatively new to astronomy, and not particularly a skilled mechanic. So what exactly does "slap on a Telrad" mean? My scope has two drilled holes, about an inch apart, that I think held the original finder in place. Are those industry-standard, or would I have to be drilling new holes to install a different finder?

Most SCTs can typically accommodate finder scopes in 3 different positions, roughly 10, 12 and 2 o' clock. The screws on the top of the plastic housing on the rear of the barrel are for just this. A reflex finder is one that projects a laser red dot, ring, or other pattern onto a little lens that superimposes the image onto the sky when looked through. It's essentially the same concept as red dot gun sites. Telrad is simply the brand of one of many reflex finders. Some scopes come with a cheap red dot, but these are annoying to use because the red dot blocks out the target. Telrad, Rigel, Celestron and some others make reflex finders that have rings that allow you to see through the laser image for easier finding of the star you're looking to align to.

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#11 Bataleon

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:23 AM

Here's my SCT with a 9x50 RACI and a Celestron Starpointer Pro. This particular reflex projects double red rings instead of a dot. 0198e2acbfc574f624c2091b9df333a4.jpg

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#12 cwilly8

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:37 AM

The c9.25 and the cg5 are not recommended for astro photography. The c9.25  weight is on the upper side for the cg5. You may get lucky though.

I just use a red dot finder.

Thanks.  I need to research "Telrad" and "red dot."  The only finder I have experience with is the one that came with the Omni 127 XLT.  Regarding the CG-5, it was given to me, so that is what I will be using for the present. 



#13 Bill Barlow

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:01 AM

If you live in a relatively light polluted area, a telrad or red dot finder won’t be of much use.  Better to add on a 9x50 right angle correct image finder scope.  
 

Bill



#14 Auburn80

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:03 AM

Thanks. I need to research "Telrad" and "red dot." The only finder I have experience with is the one that came with the Omni 127 XLT. Regarding the CG-5, it was given to me, so that is what I will be using for the present.


Does your Omni have a finder? The red dot finder (RDF) is an adaptation of the type used with small caliber rifles. They're small, light and inexpensive like the Telrad. The Telrad is really just an RDF but in a larger astro-friendly form. Your 9 1/4 should have a shoe for attachment of finders (with the exception of a Telrad).

You've learned of a 2"-1 1/4" adapter. Was one not included with your 2" diagonal? If not, they are quite inexpensive.

I'm on mobile and can't see your equipment list but for your scope, a 10mm - 12mm eyepiece will be your most used high power. That would yield 200-230x. A good option in that range is a Paradigm 12mm. On REALLY good nights with excellent collimation and thermally stabilized scope, you might could go with a 7-8mm.

As others have stated, the CG-5 will probably give you fits with AP through a 9.25. What kind of camera? A dslr? If so, is suggest starting with wide field AP using a dslr lens.

Best of Luck!

#15 cwilly8

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:06 AM

If you live in a relatively light polluted area, a telrad or red dot finder won’t be of much use.  Better to add on a 9x50 right angle correct image finder scope.  
 

Bill

Thanks, Bill.  We live in rural Tennessee, with fairly dark skies.  So it sounds like either option might work.



#16 Augustus

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:10 AM

If you live in a relatively light polluted area, a telrad or red dot finder won’t be of much use.  Better to add on a 9x50 right angle correct image finder scope.  
 

Bill

He has GoTo. No need for a good finder.


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#17 cwilly8

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:24 AM

Does your Omni have a finder? The red dot finder (RDF) is an adaptation of the type used with small caliber rifles. They're small, light and inexpensive like the Telrad. The Telrad is really just an RDF but in a larger astro-friendly form. Your 9 1/4 should have a shoe for attachment of finders (with the exception of a Telrad).

You've learned of a 2"-1 1/4" adapter. Was one not included with your 2" diagonal? If not, they are quite inexpensive.

I'm on mobile and can't see your equipment list but for your scope, a 10mm - 12mm eyepiece will be your most used high power. That would yield 200-230x. A good option in that range is a Paradigm 12mm. On REALLY good nights with excellent collimation and thermally stabilized scope, you might could go with a 7-8mm.

As others have stated, the CG-5 will probably give you fits with AP through a 9.25. What kind of camera? A dslr? If so, is suggest starting with wide field AP using a dslr lens.

Best of Luck!

Thanks for the additional info.  The scope came with the 2" diagonal, but no adapter.  I'll get one soon!

 

History:  My family gave me the 5" SCT, CG-4 mount with motor drives, and eyepiece set as a 60th birthday present.  Until now I have used what I have, including cameras, for observation and photography.  Along the way I bought a few accessories.  Then the CG-5 mount was given to me (for the cost of shipping).  My first real out-of-pocket expense was the 9.25 scope.  So in keeping with my frugal nature (some would call me "cheap"), I am going to do what I can with what I have and with what I can reasonably purchase.

 

As far as cameras, I have been using Sony A7 and A77 cameras with the 5" scope (on a CG-4 mount). I have also mounted a camera/wide angle lens piggy-back on the 5" and camera/zoom lens via a dovetail adapter.  I just bought -- but have never used -- a ZWO ASI224MC camera. 

 

Craig



#18 cwilly8

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:27 AM

He has GoTo. No need for a good finder.

If I understand correctly, an inexpensive finder will get me close enough so I can find the alignment and calibration stars in the scope.  Is that what you are saying?  (Please bear with my ignorance, as I have used the CG-5 GT mount infrequently.)


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#19 Augustus

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:31 AM

If I understand correctly, an inexpensive finder will get me close enough so I can find the alignment and calibration stars in the scope.  Is that what you are saying?  (Please bear with my ignorance, as I have used the CG-5 GT mount infrequently.)

Yep


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#20 gfstallin

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:45 AM

A good finder is very nice to have for context, but a top-of-the-line finder with goto is definitely a luxury. If we're talking limited budget, probably the one area you can skimp on. As others have mentioned, a Telrad could do in your dark skies. Alternatively, if you still have the 127, the finder from that could go on the C9.25, provided it has a $14 Vixen/Synta finder dovetail. These are easy to find online if you don't have a dovetail shoe already installed on the telescope. 

https://www.astronom...nting-shoe.html

 

If a right angle is necessary, this price cannot be beat: 

https://www.astronom...nder-scope.html

-This will still require a dovetail shoe. 

 

This allows you to use 1.25" eyepieces in a 2" diagonal: 

https://www.astronom...ry-adapter.html

 

You are in luck with your requirement for lunar and planetary views! You can find decent eyepieces well within your budget. I have a couple X-Cel eyepieces from Celestron that fit the bill in terms of price and quality. They aren't premium eyepieces, to be sure, but they are certainly good enough to get you started. I really like mine. I also use both the 2x and 3x X-Cel line barlows. Here is a discussion about them on Cloudy Nights: 

https://www.cloudyni...-lx-eyepieces/ 

 

Astronomics also sells the Paradigm eyepiece range here: 

https://www.astronom...ult/?q=Paradigm

 

I've not used Paradigm eyepieces, so I cannot speak to them. I've not read a lot about them (good, bad, or ugly), which I find to be a good thing. There is an older review of them here:

https://www.cloudyni...eyepieces-r1845

 

There are other eyepieces in the $60-$80 (each) range that can also provide quality, mid-to-high-power views for planets and the moon. Others likely will chime in with their favorites or what works for them. You have some choices here. 

 

As a Cloudynights member, you get a 10% discount on purchases. That can start to add up. 

 

Planetary imaging is certainly a possibility with your mount and telescope. Deep sky imaging (galaxies, nebula, etc.) that require long exposures and very good tracking will likely be difficult given the focal length of your telescope (2,350 mm). Even with a focal (length) reducer, I think you might find deep sky imaging to be an exercise in frustration. If you want to image the moon and planets, your mount and telescope are an excellent combination. I use the updated version of the CG-5, the AVX, and the combination is excellent for planetary imaging. While a much more expensive, higher-capacity mount would be nice even for planetary, it certainly isn't a necessity and will not noticeably affect your planetary or lunar imaging results. 

 

George


Edited by gfstallin, 19 October 2019 - 10:49 AM.

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#21 mclewis1

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:45 PM

... 

As a Cloudynights member, you get a 10% discount on purchases. That can start to add up. 

...

 

George

It might be better to say "As a CN member you get up to a 10% discount ... " or something like that.

 

Astronomic's discount isn't something that's always the same. It depends on the product and any other manufacturer discounts or programs that may also be in place.


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#22 cwilly8

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 02:35 PM

All the replies are much appreciated.  I learned a lot!  And there is so much more to learn...  But that is the nature of hobbies, is it not?


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#23 gfstallin

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 04:52 PM

It might be better to say "As a CN member you get up to a 10% discount ... " or something like that.

 

Astronomic's discount isn't something that's always the same. It depends on the product and any other manufacturer discounts or programs that may also be in place.

waytogo.gif I love when crowd-sourced information gets refined. That's good info for everyone. 

 

George


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