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Next Purchase for Beginner AP and intermediate Visual

Astrophotography Beginner DSLR Equipment Mount
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#1 mno1313

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 02:32 PM

Hello all,

 

First post here on CN, thank you in advance!

 

 

Looking for advice on my next major equipment purchase. Im thinking a quality apo refractor, but wanted to see if my money would be better spent elsewhere. 

 

 

I prefer mostly planetary imaging (50%), visual use (30%), and some DSO imaging (20%). Havent had the weather (rainy season in Miami FL right now) to go out and spend a night on DSO, but its in my future.

 

I have an old school 8in meade newtonian (200mm, f/6, f=1200mm) from the 70s. After restoring it, everything is in good shape, but the primary coating is decent at best. Its on the original 1970s mount, a giant beast of an equitorial mount with a basic clockwork drive. Tracks ok, (good enough for my beginner AP uses and visual) but I can throw 40-50lbs of gear on it without it breaking a sweat. 

 

I also have a Celestron 102az achromatic. (102mm, f/6.5, f=660mm) Great grab and go for visual, also use it for some lunar imaging. The factory mount is garbage for anything besides wide field visual. Noticing a lot of CA as I get better eyepieces. 

 

I am also in the process of restoring a meade electronic mount, the original tracking mount with hand controller off an older 114eq newtonian, but mounted to a much beefier tripod. Havent used it yet to see how it tracks, but everything works, and I have high hopes. This will be what i use for AP (with my 102 az or a small 114 newtonian) until I can afford the 1500-2000 it looks like a real deal AP mount will cost

 

Currently I shoot with an older Nikon D3200 DSLR. Usually wih eyepiece projection for planetary (13mm Baader Hyperion with T2 thread adapter, Tring etc). Sometimes throw a Celestron LX 2x barlow in there if Im feeling frisky.

I also shoot prime focus for lunar, etc.

 

 

 

So, (thanks for reading so far), im wondering what should my next 400-600 dollars go to? I know I cant afford a mount for good quality AP work. Also cant afford a true AP setup with a new mount and a small APO refractor both. So Im thinking a quality Apo that would be a good place to start? Then a good mount for it when I can afford it. 

 

Any thoughts on my plan? Would my next purchase be better spent on a ccd (color), or a newer dslr? should I be saving up for a quality mount before I invest in anything else? 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Mitch


Edited by mno1313, 26 July 2021 - 02:33 PM.


#2 sevenofnine

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 03:36 PM

You will get better informed opinions in the beginning AP sub forum. Just in general, AP is more about investing in a very high quality EQ mount. That's where I would start. Best of luck to you! waytogo.gif   



#3 brentknight

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 04:03 PM

I think a lot depends on how well the restored mount works.  If it tracks well and allows relatively easy corrections with the hand controller, it should work well for planetary imaging.  If that is the case, I think I'd consider a good planetary CMOS like the ASI224MC (currently on sale for $200) and save the rest for...  A better mount and an ED refractor or a small (6" to 8") SCT down the road.  The ASI224MC will still be useful for anything else you might pick up.

 

Also good luck!



#4 alphatripleplus

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 12:27 PM

 should I be saving up for a quality mount before I invest in anything else? 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Probably save for the mount. It depends on how good your current mount is in terms of tracking and guiding, which you might want to quantify before making a decision on whether to upgrade it.



#5 mno1313

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 09:07 AM

Thanks for the replies!

 

I know in my head the mount is most important, but its still eye-opening when 3/3 replies all recommend that as the next step. 

 

I also appreciate the advice on the planetary CMOS, I did not really know about/consider the differences in the sensors "required" for planetary vs DSO imaging. I have some more to learn there before I pick up any dedicated camera.

 

My next step is going to be finishing my current mount (Just got most of the pieces I need last night, need to fabricate some custom blocks to mount the new legs on).

Then I can decide if that one will work well enough, or my next purchase should be a new mount. 

 

Thanks again,

Mitch


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#6 teashea

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Posted 29 July 2021 - 07:11 PM

Hello all,

 

First post here on CN, thank you in advance!

 

 

Looking for advice on my next major equipment purchase. Im thinking a quality apo refractor, but wanted to see if my money would be better spent elsewhere. 

 

 

I prefer mostly planetary imaging (50%), visual use (30%), and some DSO imaging (20%). Havent had the weather (rainy season in Miami FL right now) to go out and spend a night on DSO, but its in my future.

 

I have an old school 8in meade newtonian (200mm, f/6, f=1200mm) from the 70s. After restoring it, everything is in good shape, but the primary coating is decent at best. Its on the original 1970s mount, a giant beast of an equitorial mount with a basic clockwork drive. Tracks ok, (good enough for my beginner AP uses and visual) but I can throw 40-50lbs of gear on it without it breaking a sweat. 

 

I also have a Celestron 102az achromatic. (102mm, f/6.5, f=660mm) Great grab and go for visual, also use it for some lunar imaging. The factory mount is garbage for anything besides wide field visual. Noticing a lot of CA as I get better eyepieces. 

 

I am also in the process of restoring a meade electronic mount, the original tracking mount with hand controller off an older 114eq newtonian, but mounted to a much beefier tripod. Havent used it yet to see how it tracks, but everything works, and I have high hopes. This will be what i use for AP (with my 102 az or a small 114 newtonian) until I can afford the 1500-2000 it looks like a real deal AP mount will cost

 

Currently I shoot with an older Nikon D3200 DSLR. Usually wih eyepiece projection for planetary (13mm Baader Hyperion with T2 thread adapter, Tring etc). Sometimes throw a Celestron LX 2x barlow in there if Im feeling frisky.

I also shoot prime focus for lunar, etc.

 

 

 

So, (thanks for reading so far), im wondering what should my next 400-600 dollars go to? I know I cant afford a mount for good quality AP work. Also cant afford a true AP setup with a new mount and a small APO refractor both. So Im thinking a quality Apo that would be a good place to start? Then a good mount for it when I can afford it. 

 

Any thoughts on my plan? Would my next purchase be better spent on a ccd (color), or a newer dslr? should I be saving up for a quality mount before I invest in anything else? 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Mitch

What size APO refractor are thinking you can purchase for $400?

 

Remember that the mount is the most important thing for AP




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