I own a Celestron 4SE and a GSO 10 inch dob. Have done mainly visual stuff, but lately I have started to be interested in astrophotography and made some nice pics with my ASI224MC camera. First the moon, but also galaxies / nebulae etc. Now it is time for the next steps, which are a ASI533 camera and a new mount. But which mount? I would be happy with a mount which can handle my 4SE. It has a large focal length, but I imagine almost any mount should be better than the Celestron 4SE mount, but is that right? I have been looking at the Skywatcher HEQ5, but then I read many posts that the EQ6-R is a lot better and might just be able of handling my GSO dob. But not really, and I would need a CEM-70 for that. Would that be the perfect mount for both these scopes? Or should I better settle on HEQ5 or EQ6-R and see where things go from there? Any good advice from experienced astrophotographers would be very much appreciated, thanks!!!
Willem Schaap (newbie)
Two pieces of advise. The first is _far_ more important.
Either scope would be a _very_ difficult way to start out in DSO AP, as many have found out to their sorrow. Too big (long and or heavy, and or slow).
The ideal starter scope is:
600mm or less. 480 is better.
10 pounds or less, 5 is better.
F6 or faster.
Something like this would be ideal. $489.
How much is your time and satisfaction worth? This is _not_ visual.
The HEQ5 would work fine with it. If you want to get something that would work with the 4SE after you get some experience (think months, not weeks), something better.
This is not something I invented. It's the view of experts who write "how to get started in astrophotography" books. And those who've walked the path you want to walk. I have _many_ of these quotes. A talented beginner, looking back on his first year.
"First and foremost is listen to the folks who have been there. The philosophy of 80MM APO and good $1500-2000 mount is great advice for beginners. Sure you can possibly <learn to> image as a beginner with something that is larger or that you may have but holy cow its hard enough with something small."
"If you took away all my equipment and experience and I had to start from scratch, I'd spend much more on my first mount and much less on my first OTA, bigger mount and smaller scope. I'd get a mount that I could grow into, and a scope that I didn't have to worry about, and spend my time learning how to acquire and process astrophotography."
That's the key point. You want a scope that gets out of your way while you learn. Neither the 4SE nor the Dob qualify. The second biggest beginner mistake (after an inadequate mount) is too big a scope.
Good mount. Small refractor. Breakfast of Champions. <smile>
If that's too much money, a good learning setup is camera tracker/camera/lens. _Really_ short, light, and fast.
People here will tell you how to image. But what you need to know is how to learn imaging. Two somewhat different things.
This will be the best $40 you ever spend in DSO AP.