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Beginner looking to view DSOs with the option of Astrophotography

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#1 quasarseeker

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:01 PM

Hi,

 

I'm a beginner with no prior experience of telescopes. I'm interested in buying a telescope to view DSOs (galaxies, nebulae etc.) and planets to start with.
It would be nice to know about telescopes which can also be used to photograph some of the deep sky objects with a DSLR if I wish to pursue that as a hobby at a later stage. My budget is around EUR 500-600.

Thanks!  :) 



#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:38 PM

Two crucial things to know.

 

Visual astronomy and imaging are _completely_ different.  The camera is not some advanced version of your eyes, it's completely different.

 

That means:

 

One setup will not be good for both.

 

The mount is the most important part of a DSO imaging setup.  NOT the scope or the camera.

 

DSO imaging is both complicated and expensive.  The bigger the telescope the more expensive it is.  At your budget the only reasonable setup is camera tracker/camera/lens (a small telescope).  And even that will be a stretch, unless you use an existing camera and lens.  But it's an excellent way to start in DSO imaging.

 

Before considering imaging, or, especially, buying anything, you should read this book.

 

https://www.astropix...bgda/index.html

 

The best visual setup in your budget is a Dobsonian telescope.  If you buy the right one, you could image the Moon and planets.  Buy the wrong one, you'll be unable to focus with a DSLR.  In any event, a Dobsonian is of no use to a beginner for DSO imaging.


Edited by bobzeq25, 25 September 2020 - 08:42 PM.


#3 Keith Rivich

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 09:05 PM

Great advice bobzeq...the only scope that kinda works for both is a nice refractor...but it will blow your budget.


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#4 quasarseeker

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 07:30 AM

Thank you for your recommendations. I know it's difficult to find a balance between viewing and photography.

However, a local store suggested this model based on my requirements: Skywatcher Telescope N 150/750 PDS Explorer BD EQ3-2 

 It would be nice to get your opinions on this.

Thanks again


Edited by quasarseeker, 26 September 2020 - 07:32 AM.


#5 Hikescdnrckys

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 07:54 AM

Thank you for your recommendations. I know it's difficult to find a balance between viewing and photography.

However, a local store suggested this model based on my requirements: Skywatcher Telescope N 150/750 PDS Explorer BD EQ3-2 

 It would be nice to get your opinions on this.

Thanks again

This scope is a 6" on an equatorial mount with no tracking or goto at the base price that is within your budget.

 

The fact that it is only 6" in diameter means it's not going to show DSOs very well, you will see them but they will not be very bright or large (planets and the moon will be fine).

 

An equatorial mount is great for astrophotography, but beginners find them difficult to use, as how to move the scope around the RA and Dec axis to get something in the eyepiece is not intuitive as it is with a dobsonian or alt-az mount. Also for that low price, the tripod may not be the most stable.

 

Finally no goto means you will need to learn the night sky and how to star hop with a good finder to find those DSOs, and with no tracking you have to move the scope to keep the object in the eyepiece.

 

Keith and bobezq25 have it right, no one scope will be a good fit for both. As a beginner I would recommend a good 8" Dobsonian (if budget allows splurge in a goto but not required) and learn how to use it. It will serve you well for many years, then later as budget increases, look at a small aperture refractor and a good equatorial mount for some wide field astrophotography (note the quality of the mount is the most important factor).


Edited by Hikescdnrckys, 26 September 2020 - 07:55 AM.

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#6 bobzeq25

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 11:36 AM

Thank you for your recommendations. I know it's difficult to find a balance between viewing and photography.

However, a local store suggested this model based on my requirements: Skywatcher Telescope N 150/750 PDS Explorer BD EQ3-2 

 It would be nice to get your opinions on this.

Thanks again

At your budget, it's just about impossible.

 

For visual you want something like a Dob.

 

For DSO imaging a camera tracker/camera/lens.

 

To do imaging with the big 130, you'd need an expensive mount.  It magnifies tracking errors, messes up your pictures.

 

You could get the Skywatcher for visual.  Then, for imaging, put a camera/lens on the mount with this.

 

https://www.amazon.c.../dp/B0000XMYFQ/


Edited by bobzeq25, 26 September 2020 - 11:38 AM.


#7 Stelios

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 06:06 PM

You can't do imaging with a telescope on your budget. And there's no "balance" really possible between viewing and photography till you get into the multiple thousands of dollars or Euro.

 

The telescope suggested to you is not an imaging telescope and is not a particularly great visual telescope either. 

 

Astrophotography requires a *mount* above all, and even the cheapest mount suitable for carrying a telescope, without a scope, will break your budget.

 

What you *can* do:

 

1) Get a camera tracker and add a DSLR for imaging. You will get to learn the basics (including how to process, which is not trivial, contrary perhaps to what you expect) and whether it's for you. It's *not* for everybody--the hobby is very demanding in time (and eventually money), very detail-oriented and viciously punishes mistakes. 

 

*OR*

 

2) Buy a nice 8-inch DOB and eyepieces for visual observing. It will be entirely useless for astrophotography, but (from a moderately dark site or better) will reward you with nice views of planets and deep sky objects (but they will look nothing like the photographs you see). 

 

You have given little info about where you live and where you plan to observe. If in a light-polluted site, you may be better off getting into photography with option (1) as visual will be disappointing (other than planets, open clusters and double stars). If you have readily available access to darker skies (Bortle 4 or better) then you will enjoy visual observing of DSO if you lower your expectations. 



#8 WadeH237

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 06:09 PM

As has been stated here, astrophotography is not something that is an optional add on to a visual telescope.  It has completely different (and more expensive) requirements.

 

For your budget, you can get a very capable instrument for viewing DSOs visually, but if you are not new to astronomy, it's probably not what you would normally think of as a telescope.  Specifically, I would recommend and 8" Dobsonian telescope.  It won't have goto or tracking, but would still be a visual instrument that would show you a lifetime's worth of objects.  Here is an example:

 

A starting setup for DSO imaging would cost around $2500 to $3000 - and it would make a poor instrument for visual DSO viewing.  I can't post a single link here because to meet that price point, it would be a bunch of different purchases that you  would need to combine to get a complete system.

 

To use a car analogy, think of the visual scope as a reliable economy car.  Adding the option to do astrophotography would be like adding an option to tow a 10,000 lb trailer cross country.

 

My suggestion is that if you have an interest in visual, to get the 8" scope.  If you decide to pursue astrophotography (or if it's a primary requirement), think of that as a completely different purchase.



#9 MellonLake

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 06:53 PM

For visual observation of DSOs, the more aperture the better. The light collecting power goes up with the square of the radius. So bigger telescopes are a lot better for DSOs. However, the single largest factor is dark skies, the darker the better. You need dark skies to see more than the brightest DSOs.

Visual and astrophotography don't really mix well. For DSO visual you want as big an aperture as you can carry/afford. For astrophotography, you need a great mount and the aperture is not as important as you take take long photographs (this is over simplifying).

For visual there is no better aperture to price ratio than that of a Dobsonian telescope. I have seen hundreds of galaxies and many many nebulae in my 10" Dob. The planets show great detail in this telescope as well. It is also easier to set up and move thant 120mm telescope. Dobs are also easy to use and have a short learning curve.

I would start with a visual telescope and if you want to get into AP buy a dedicated AP system.

Edited by MellonLake, 26 September 2020 - 06:54 PM.



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