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