I'll start with a bit of a disclaimer: this is my first forum post in a few decades (!) and while I've read the rules and searched and read similar posts already, please forgive me if I've overlooked anything elsewhere on the site that would have answered my questions. Alright...
I'm brand new to astrophotography, having done some EAA with my daughter using my Canon T3i + 50mm f/1.8 and stacked short exposures, with a bit of success despite living in a bortle 8-9 zone. I am about to put a modest amount of money into a beginner astrophotography setup, and I'd REALLY appreciate some advice.
Here's what I had already:
- Canon T3i DSLR
- 50mm f/1.8 lens
Here's what I have purchased so far:
- Skywatcher 804 (short tube 80mm achromatic refractor)
- Svbony clip-in CLS filter
I realize that the telescope is not ideal for astrophotography, but I've seen some amazing (to me) images done it, and the price point allowed me to save enough cash to perhaps get a decent mount now, and upgrade to an APO in the future. My question to you all is what mount should I go for? I have a limited budget ($500 or thereabouts - Canadian dollars!) and I live in a bortle class 8-9 zone, and am on foot and unable to travel anywhere darker. There is a sports field nearby which is as far away from street-lamps as I can get, and that's it.
I have two options, as I see it:
- The local astronomy store is reconditioning an EQ5 mount for half my budget, and it is motorized (single motor) but not GoTo.
- Alternately, my rig (camera and OTA) is only 5lb and could fit on a Sky Watcher Star Adventurer or iOptron SkyGuider Pro and max out my budget entirely.
What do you folks think would be best? From my reading, I understand that the EQ5 is not the "perfect" astrophotography mount, but potentially much more stable than the more portable options, and available at half the price of those options. But then I worry that it will be too heavy and that I wouldn't end up using it as often as I'd like. I would very much appreciate any input from folks here! Thank you in advance for your wisdom, and please forgive my newbie-post!