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I'm stuck between two set ups for astrophotography

Astrophotography Beginner
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#1 Milk Jugs

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 06:42 PM

At the moment I have a celestron 4se and have it for about a year and I have been thinking of getting a new scope more suitable for DSO astrophotography and I'm not sure If I should get a Esprit 80mm triplet refractor and a HEQ5 mount or a Skywatcher Quattro 200/800 F/4 and an EQ6 mount. 

I already have a canon 70d but if I get the later choice I'll have spare money for a dedicated camera as well.



#2 idclimber

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 06:52 PM

The 80mm Esprit is by far a better scope for a beginner. Pair it with the EQ6 if you have any desire for a larger scope down the road.  If you really must have a 200mm scope now, you will need an even better mount than you currently think. More like a CEM70 or one of the premium mounts. 


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#3 jerahian

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 06:55 PM

At the moment I have a celestron 4se and have it for about a year and I have been thinking of getting a new scope more suitable for DSO astrophotography and I'm not sure If I should get a Esprit 80mm triplet refractor and a HEQ5 mount or a Skywatcher Quattro 200/800 F/4 and an EQ6 mount. 

I already have a canon 70d but if I get the later choice I'll have spare money for a dedicated camera as well.

Definitely the Esprit 80mm, but with the EQ6-R Pro mount.  That's a lovely rig you'll enjoy for quite a while.


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#4 Northrim

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 07:59 PM

I don't know anything about the Skywatcher Quattro but I've  heard very good things about the Esprit.  Unless you need to have a lighter mount I'd go with the EQ6.  You'll  have more room to grow.



#5 alphatripleplus

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 07:10 AM

Yeah, start with the 80mm or similar small APO.



#6 bokemon

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 07:27 AM

I vote for the newtonian scope, because bigger aperture = more better.  But u have to get a coma corrector and collimation tools, so add that to the cost.



#7 idclimber

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 11:30 AM

I suspect the above poster suffers from what is called "Aperture Fever". It is probably important to point out the original poster that these two scopes have very different focal lengths will be suitable for very different targets. This is a product of their vastly different fields of view. I suggest plugging both into a simulator and framing various targets they may be interested in imagining. Astronomy.tools has this ability and is online for you to plug in equipment to use. I also like and somewhat prefer telescopius.com. 

 

Field of view is a product of focal length and sensor size. Using an APS sized sensor on a 800mm scope and targets like the North American Nebula or Andromeda are simply too large to fit. With the 400mm Esprit they are perfectly framed. Upgrade from the DSLR to an 4/3" or 1" astro sensor and the problem worsens. This means the larger aperture will need multi panel mosaics on these popular targets. Something most beginners do not need to deal with on year one of this hobby. 

 

How fast the light is collected is not directly tied to aperture. It is more directly tied to the focal ratio. The f/4 Newt will collect light at a faster rate than the f/5 refractor, but not because of the 8" aperture. It is because of the focal ratio. My 12" SCT at f/7 has a lot more aperture than either scope but will collect light slower and will need longer exposures. If my 12" SCT needs a 120 second exposure, the refractor will drop that to about 60 seconds. If you refer to a f stop scale it is one full f-stop between f/7 and f/5. Each stop doubles or halves the amount of light per pixel. Using the same charts it is 2/3 of a stop down to f/4. So your exposure will drop again but not quite in half...math is 40 seconds. 

 

As I stated earlier in this thread the Newt with its larger size will demand a lot more from the mount than the refractor. It is certainly possible that the EQ6 mount that you receive will be above average and provide tracking sufficient to image well with it. It is also possible it won't and that you will struggle and get frustrated and either give this venture up or be faced with replacing it with a more expensive mount. Now I will fully admit that I have no first hand experience with this combination, as most here don't.

 

I fully admit to being afflicted with the aperture fever when starting imaging. In hindsight I will tell you this, the large apertures will cost more money and not in a linear way but much more logarithmic. The increase in image quality will be marginal if at all and lastly you will learn faster and spend more time imaging with the Esprit if you somehow won the lottery and had both scopes at your disposal.  I myself send much more time imaging with my 4" refractor. 


Edited by idclimber, 11 June 2021 - 11:59 AM.


#8 RJF-Astro

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 12:16 PM

Yes, you should get the EQ6-R. Not because the HEQ-5 won't support the Esprit 80. It will do fine. But the EQ6-R can support heavier scopes later on. 

 

I have tried various scopes on my HEQ-5 during the past years. I have learned that I prefer a focal length at around 800-1000mm. For me, the best scope that fits this focal length us the 6" RC @ 960mm. My mount determines the maximum speed I can get, which is f/6. With a better mount I could reach f/5 (8RC) or even f/4 (newt), so that is the trade-off for me.

 

Looking back the EQ6-R would have been a better mount for me, but so far I have decided to stick to the HEQ-5. I might get one in the future, but it is one of the less atractive investments at this point because I do not gain much untill I have also invested in a bigger scope. I think this 'trap' is one of the reasons why people here advise to get the biggest mount you can afford at the beginning.



#9 mayhem13

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 12:57 PM

I say neither and meet the aperture in the middle with the AstroTech AT115edt for less $$$ than the 80mm espirit.



#10 bobzeq25

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Posted 12 June 2021 - 01:23 AM

A key distinction often gets brushed over here.  The best scope for an experienced imager is often not the best scope for learning DSO AP.  The best scope for learning is simple to operate, so you can concentrate on learning the complicated skills.  You wouldn't want to try to learn driving on a Formula One car.  <smile>

 

The Esprit is a far better scope for learning on.  And also capable of fine images.

 

The EQ6-R deserves consideration.  It too makes learning easier, and can later handle a bigger scope.



#11 Ken_nneth

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Posted 12 June 2021 - 01:50 AM

Whichever scope you choose you should go with the EQ6 mount. I would agree that the best of these for beginners is the Esprit, and you will see that it works great for imaging. It can give you many years of pleasure.



#12 bokemon

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Posted 12 June 2021 - 03:03 AM

You know what's even easier to learn on than a triplet refractor?  A camera lens you already have for the 70D!

Go BIG (on the aperture) or go home (to what you already have).  Hurr hurr.




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