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WO Redcat 51 as primary optic?

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#1 pbmazda32

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 09:28 AM

Hello all, Haven't posted in a forum in a long time. Several years ago I was on this site getting recommendations and advice while i was just getting into astronomy. ended up with an 8 inch Orion Dob and loved it. I recently sold my house and moved full time into my RV and the Dob wasn't too practical anymore so I decided to scale down and get into the imaging side more. I found a local Astronomy Club in Alabama and gifted then my Dob so they could use it for outreach. The gentleman I talked to said he had several members and worked with 3 different high schools, so I think my Dob will get lots of use. Moving on...

 

I'm currently using a Meade ETX 80 for visual use. The OTA on the ETX is garbage, something is wrong with it. It just never comes into focus quite right. I bought it used so no recourse on that. It has still helped me learn where thingsare at in the sky so not a total loss. I recently purchased an SVBony SV 48 i'm going to jury rig onto that mount. I also plan on using that scope to get started with astrophotography.

 

I purchased an Ioptron CEM25 mount and an Orion magnificent mini pro auto-guider. Both are back-ordered and I have no idea when i will see them. My plan is to put the SVBony 90mm refractor on that mount and start learning and practicing. I am looking ahead at what scope I should really get and the WO Redcat caught my eye. My imaging camera is a Sony A5000 and my primary interest is DSO's. Am I looking in the right direction? I'm interested in your thoughts and reccomendations.



#2 GraySkies

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 09:55 AM

I've been using the RedCat 51 as my primary imaging camera for almost a year now (with a Celestron EdgeHD8 for smaller targets but I need a better guide scope for OAG as Orion Starshoot doesn't like f10 to really get it guiding properly - my next upgrade). I just released a video on my thoughts about the telescope.
 

RedCat51 Thumbnail CNFWEB.jpg

Trifid Widefield SNP 1 to 1 CNFWEB.jpg

1:1 Pixel Crop of Trifid and Lagoon Nebulae taken in September at StarFest 2019

This shows how much detail you can still get out of the RedCat despite it being such a wide field,

its extremely sharp which is good for small pixel cameras (which I don't own, this was shot with a Nikon Z6)


Edited by GraySkies, 14 February 2020 - 09:56 AM.


#3 OhmEye

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 09:56 AM

My first reaction is that the redcat is a good widefield APO. My second reaction is that the SV48 probably is a poor choice for AP, I'm not familiar with it but it looks like a low quality achromat and not suited for AP especially with a color camera. I'm also not very familiar with using Sony cameras but I've seen mentioned that the A5000 is not suitable for AP because it's noise reduction "eats" stars and cannot be turned off. I'm far from an expert in stuff I haven't used, but I suggest you research what people have to say about the equipment you plan to use, especially the SV48 and A5000 as they relate to astrophotography. I'm sure others will chime in here with advice.



#4 james7ca

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:05 AM

Some have been happy with the RedCat, others have not been happy. It may just be the luck of the draw (sample to sample variation) or maybe different levels of expectation. So, YMMV and in any case should you really expect flawless performance from a $730 device when it's possible to find examples of disappointment with even higher-priced products?


Edited by james7ca, 14 February 2020 - 10:20 AM.


#5 pbmazda32

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:05 AM

Both the SV48 and the Sony A5000 are what I currently have. The plan is using them to get started learning the basics. They are both getting replaced. OTA first, then the camera. Thats why I'm starting the OTA research.


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#6 OhmEye

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 10:18 AM

I see. ok, my first thought then for choosing an OTA is to decide what type of camera you think you will choose. If you want to stick with some type of dual-purpose camera like mirrorless or DSLR for both terrestrial and AP use then the redcat or spacecat seem a good options to me since they are designed to be ideal for "camera lens" type use. If you think you will want a dedicated astro camera, I'd probably consider a triplet refractor telescope with a focal length ideal for the size DSOs I'm most interested in. I think a good starting reach is between 250-400mm, that is my sweet spot for many good size nebulas and can even mostly fit super large targets like the Rosette and Andromeda with an appropriately matched pixel-size camera.



#7 GraySkies

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:03 AM

Both the SV48 and the Sony A5000 are what I currently have. The plan is using them to get started learning the basics. They are both getting replaced. OTA first, then the camera. Thats why I'm starting the OTA research.

The SV48 should make a nice guide scope once you've upgraded you main imaging OTA...

 

93538 CNFWEB.jpg

RedCat 51 setup as the Primary Imaging Scope while the ZenithStar 80ED II with FieldFlatter pull guide scope duty.



#8 pbmazda32

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 01:10 PM

GraySkies, I never thought of using it as a guidescope. Great idea. Ohmeye, how do I go about matching a camera to a telescope, can you explain more?

#9 pbmazda32

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 01:11 PM

I forgot to say, I would prefer an astronomy specific camera.

#10 OhmEye

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 01:52 PM

GraySkies, I never thought of using it as a guidescope. Great idea. Ohmeye, how do I go about matching a camera to a telescope, can you explain more?

There is a lot of information in discussions on CN, but this is as good a place to start as any for just matching a camera's pixel size to a scope of a given focal length: https://astronomy.to...ccd_suitability



#11 GraySkies

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:10 PM

GraySkies, I never thought of using it as a guidescope. Great idea.

With the Orion Starshoot and 80mm finding a guide star is pretty easy, and you can guide at 2seconds with ease (I find you can go all the way up to 0.5sec but only in really good seeing or you start following the guide star as it bounces around in seeing conditions).




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