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Astrophotography with EQ-1B?

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#26 Leia

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 02:17 PM

Or would the iOptron 80mm f/5 Achro Refractor Telescope be better than ST80 because of their claim of "fully multicoated" optics?



#27 Simon B

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 02:56 PM

Will the ST80 have a long enough focuser? I don't want to replace the focuser on my budget if I can help it.

Will the ST80 images have to have the edges cropped because of vignette, or can I just custom background edit, like I did 

 

 

 The star color is bad because of noise removal, and the ratio of pixel colors.

 

The ST80 will need an extension tube to reach focus - and yeah probably will need to crop, more because the stars will be bad in the corners without a reducer/flattener. There are post processing tools to deal with vignette

 

The iOptron 80 f5 has a worse focuser, so I'd go with the ST80 between the two - not that the ST80's focuser is really up to the job either

 

If you're dead set on imaging with an achromat, why not just use the Celestron 102 F6.5 you have? It has a better 2 inch focuser - use the money for the ST80 towards a better mount like the EQ-M 35, which can be configured like a star tracker, and can even be autoguided with a laptop


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#28 bobzeq25

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Posted 22 October 2021 - 11:20 PM

Or would the iOptron 80mm f/5 Achro Refractor Telescope be better than ST80 because of their claim of "fully multicoated" optics?

Not much.  It's just about the same lens.



#29 Leia

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 10:26 AM

The ST80 will need an extension tube to reach focus - and yeah probably will need to crop, more because the stars will be bad in the corners without a reducer/flattener. There are post processing tools to deal with vignette

 

The iOptron 80 f5 has a worse focuser, so I'd go with the ST80 between the two - not that the ST80's focuser is really up to the job either

 

If you're dead set on imaging with an achromat, why not just use the Celestron 102 F6.5 you have? It has a better 2 inch focuser - use the money for the ST80 towards a better mount like the EQ-M 35, which can be configured like a star tracker, and can even be autoguided with a laptop

I heard that I'd need guiding for the 102 f6.5 scope. The EQ-M-35 is outside even my "bite the bullet" budget at $785. Guiding is also unaffordable (I only checked telescope.com), if we want a scope as well. What about an Orion AstroView EQ Mount & EQ-3M Motor Drive Kit + ST80? Will the single axis drive be okay? The ST80 is because I can't get guiding for $129 (ST80 price). If I could, I'd use the Celestron 102 and get guiding, but the cheapest guiding is $349 at Orion. I ran some numbers and tried upping budget to 650. 

Astroview+drive kit :$400 

Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider Package:$349



#30 bobzeq25

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 11:27 AM

I heard that I'd need guiding for the 102 f6.5 scope. The EQ-M-35 is outside even my "bite the bullet" budget at $785. Guiding is also unaffordable (I only checked telescope.com), if we want a scope as well. What about an Orion AstroView EQ Mount & EQ-3M Motor Drive Kit + ST80? Will the single axis drive be okay? The ST80 is because I can't get guiding for $129 (ST80 price). If I could, I'd use the Celestron 102 and get guiding, but the cheapest guiding is $349 at Orion. I ran some numbers and tried upping budget to 650. 

Astroview+drive kit :$400 

Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider Package:$349

One more time.  I assume you have a camera lens.  Using it instead of a telescope will make going unguided much more feasible.  It is apochromatic.

 

Using a camera lens is better and cheaper.  People have a hard time believing that a scope is not better.  In your price range, it isn't.

 

The Orion guiding options for guiding are expensive for what you get.  A ZWO 120mm mini is $149, and better than the Orion camera you list.  The ZWO mini guidescope is $99.

 

https://astronomy-im...120mm-mini-mono

 

https://astronomy-im...minguider-scope


Edited by bobzeq25, 23 October 2021 - 11:33 AM.


#31 Dren

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 12:27 PM

So the reason why people keep recommending that you use your 135 is because AP is much easier with shorter focal lengths than longer focal lengths.  The advantage of longer focal lengths is that you can capture closer up views of your targets.  Problem with longer focal lengths is that it requires more expensive mount. 

 

Not only does the 135 have shorter focal length, it's also way faster than you 102 f6.5, meaning your exposures can be shorter than 102 f6.5.  Now, if you really want to image at 400mm+ focal lengths, then my recommendation would be to wait, save money, and purchase an adequate mount.  Many underestimate the need for a good mount when starting out.  I certainly did.  A good mount--that is a mount that is capable of tracking (and guiding if necessary) at focal length being used--makes everything else about this hobby much easier. On the other hand, when your mount is inadequate, it can really ruin your experience.  Sky Adventurer is perfectly fine for 135.  I wouldn't recommend SA for 400m+ scopes.   

 

When I started, I got the Star Adventurer pro and used Travelscope 70, which has 400mm focal length.  Pretty soon, I put the TS70 away, got a 135, and used the 135 on the SA.


Edited by Dren, 23 October 2021 - 12:28 PM.

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#32 Leia

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 12:31 PM

One more time.  I assume you have a camera lens.  Using it instead of a telescope will make going unguided much more feasible.  It is apochromatic.

 

Using a camera lens is better and cheaper.  People have a hard time believing that a scope is not better.  In your price range, it isn't.

 

The Orion guiding options for guiding are expensive for what you get.  A ZWO 120mm mini is $149, and better than the Orion camera you list.  The ZWO mini guidescope is $99.

 

https://astronomy-im...120mm-mini-mono

 

https://astronomy-im...minguider-scope

I have a 135 f2.8 lens



#33 Dren

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 12:41 PM

Here's an image I captured using 135+450D on SA.  Processing is not great but I think it'll give you an idea of types of images you can get with entry-level equipment.  And I posted an image before of orion captured using TS70+450D on SA.

 

135.JPG


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#34 Leia

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 12:43 PM

I chose the 135mm for framing of some targets. I plan on using it on stuff near Polaris until I get my tracker. Any ideas on exposure length?

I didn't really know that camera lenses are apochromatic. No wonder they are so expensive!

 

Would it be worth getting the ZWO gear as well, as the guide scope focal length is 130 mm, so I could in theory run two cameras?

Note: My laptop is a Chromebook, so I'd have to run Wine if I want to run Windows programs for image capture.



#35 Leia

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 12:44 PM

Here's an image I captured using 135+450D on SA.  Processing is not great but I think it'll give you an idea of types of images you can get with entry-level equipment.  And I posted an image before of orion captured using TS70+450D on SA.

 

attachicon.gif135.JPG

Nice job! Much better then my untracked attempt with my 135. I chose it for images like that.


Edited by Leia, 23 October 2021 - 12:44 PM.


#36 Leia

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 12:47 PM

If I did get the ZWO stuff, I'd order through astronomics.com for the CN member discount



#37 Dren

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 12:59 PM

I chose the 135mm for framing of some targets. I plan on using it on stuff near Polaris until I get my tracker. Any ideas on exposure length?

I didn't really know that camera lenses are apochromatic. No wonder they are so expensive!

 

Would it be worth getting the ZWO gear as well, as the guide scope focal length is 130 mm, so I could in theory run two cameras?

Note: My laptop is a Chromebook, so I'd have to run Wine if I want to run Windows programs for image capture.

So your exposure lengths will depend on the brightness of your target, the brightness of your sky, and your exposure settings.  There's no set rules on exposure length, but generally speaking when starting out, you want to expose long enough to get your histogram peak to be located somewhere around 1/4 to 1/3 away from the left side.  If it's to the left of that, you're probably not exposing long enough.  If to the right of that, you're exposing too long.  When you don't expose long enough, then you're not getting as much details in your subs.  If you expose too long, then the details get blown out.  

 

When I started, I used astrobin to find my equipment and the targets I was shooting.  Then I tried to find someone who was in the same night sky brightness as me (bortle 6 for me).  That gave me a good starting point for exposure lengths, then I adjusted to get the histogram peak to be located between 1/4 to 1/3.  But as you'll learn, the total integration time is way more important than the length of your individual exposures.  

 

As for getting ZWO guider, I'm not sure if that's necessary at this time.  Especially if you're using 135.  The picture of 135 I shared was captured without a guider.  A guider will certainly help you get better pictures in the long run, but it might complicate things more than necessary right now.  

 

As for Chromebook, sorry but my experience is strictly with windows.  

 

Nice job! Much better then my untracked attempt with my 135. I chose it for images like that.

Thanks!  If you like the framing that 135 gets you, then definitely start with that.  Telescopius is a great site where you can enter your focal length and image sensor size to see how your targets will be framed.  



#38 Leia

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 01:07 PM

The ZWO guider would be a main scope. Sorry about lack of clarification. I was using astronomy.tools for framing.



#39 Dren

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 01:30 PM

So attach ZWO mini guider scope to (1) Canon T3 or (2) 120mm-mini? 

 

It looks like the guider scope is threaded so you may be able to finder an adaptor to attach the guider scope to T3.  But I'm not sure if you'll be able to place the camera sensor at the appropriate distance to reach focus.  

 

The 120mm-mini sensor is tiny, like really really small.  And it'll give you black and white pictures.  It's not ideal for AP.  

 

I guess basically what I'm wondering is why you would use the guider scope as the main scope, rather than 135.  Maybe you're thinking of not getting the T3 and just getting 120mm-mini instead?


Edited by Dren, 23 October 2021 - 01:33 PM.


#40 Leia

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 03:02 PM

I have the T3 and 135 mm lens. I was planning on running two scopes. The T3 and 135 lens as one scope, and the 120mm-mini with guide scope as the other. Neither of them would be guided, and they'd both be on a motorized barn door tracker. I know the 120mm-mini sensor is small, but I might have an easier time processing b/w data because I don't have to deal with the 2x as many green pixels as red or blue, and I could use the experience with the b/w data as well as OSC data. 


Edited by Leia, 23 October 2021 - 03:04 PM.


#41 Simon B

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 03:48 PM

I heard that I'd need guiding for the 102 f6.5 scope. The EQ-M-35 is outside even my "bite the bullet" budget at $785. Guiding is also unaffordable (I only checked telescope.com), if we want a scope as well. What about an Orion AstroView EQ Mount & EQ-3M Motor Drive Kit + ST80? Will the single axis drive be okay? The ST80 is because I can't get guiding for $129 (ST80 price). If I could, I'd use the Celestron 102 and get guiding, but the cheapest guiding is $349 at Orion. I ran some numbers and tried upping budget to 650. 

Astroview+drive kit :$400 

Orion Magnificent Mini AutoGuider Package:$349

 

Yeah I know guiding adds cost, but I meant that you could perhaps get a mount that could be guided, once you had the funds for it. A mount that you could grow with, as your skills increased. It could carry a small APO telescope in the future. The Star Adventurer is really only for small to medium sized camera lenses - I thought perhaps your budget could stretch to the EQ-M-35 with the money you'd save from not buying the ST80.

 

It's true that the Celestron 102 F6.5 would most likely have to be guided, but with good polar alignment with the EQ-M-35, you could maybe get unguided 30 sec subs.

 

Not sure about how well the Astroview with motor drive would do for astrophotography

 

 

Basically agree with what Dan (Dren) said - if you go with the SA, stick with the 135 lens - if you do insist on buying and trying the ST80 on the SA, then best of luck - it won't work well, if at all, but honestly it'll be a good learning experience. When I started out, it's the mistakes I made that taught me the most - I went against the advice of many, and learnt first hand what works and what doesn't work for myself

 

Since you want to image at longer focal lengths, I'd say wait and get a better mount, at least an EQ-M-35, but I get that 'spend more money' is annoying advice. So maybe just get the SA and see for yourself its capabilities and limitations


Edited by Simon B, 23 October 2021 - 03:50 PM.


#42 Simon B

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 04:12 PM

By the way, an autoguider kit won't help very much on a mount that only has a right-ascension (RA) drive, you'd want RA and DEC to be guided, so a dual axis motorized mount. The Orion Astroview you're looking at for $399 only has RA drive

 

The Explore Scientific i-EXOS 100 mount might be worth a look - I haven't used it so I can't comment on its performance, but it has dual drives in RA and DEC.

 

There used to be another well known lightweight motorized EQ mount; the iOptron SmartEQ Pro, but I believe it's discontinued

 

 

 

Guiding can be had for $149 (ZWO ASI 120MM / QHY5L-II-M) + mini guide scope ($99), or even a 100mm CCTV lens which can be had for ~$50:

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JCTSQNR/



#43 Dren

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 09:02 PM

I have the T3 and 135 mm lens. I was planning on running two scopes. The T3 and 135 lens as one scope, and the 120mm-mini with guide scope as the other. Neither of them would be guided, and they'd both be on a motorized barn door tracker. I know the 120mm-mini sensor is small, but I might have an easier time processing b/w data because I don't have to deal with the 2x as many green pixels as red or blue, and I could use the experience with the b/w data as well as OSC data. 

Ah, okay.  I think the problem you might come across is that once you have the 135 targeted, you probably don't want to mess with the guidescope because that might knock the targeting off for 135.  And the guidescope might not be pointing at anything interesting when you have the 135 targeted.  I mean I guess it can't hurt.

 

I'm not sure processing in BW is any easier than processing with OSC.  And if you wanted to try processing with BW data, you could always turn your OSC data into BW.  But again, why not give it a try and see how it turns out. 

 

If I were to do this, I would first point the 135 in the general vicinity of the target you wanted, then make sure the guidescope is in focus and ready to capture.  Then I would fine tune the targeting and focus for 135.

 

The other issue is with capturing data.  I guess you could use two separate programs to capture from T3 and 120mm-mini at the same time.  Not really sure how that would work.  



#44 Leia

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Posted 23 October 2021 - 09:30 PM

Ah, okay.  I think the problem you might come across is that once you have the 135 targeted, you probably don't want to mess with the guidescope because that might knock the targeting off for 135.  And the guidescope might not be pointing at anything interesting when you have the 135 targeted.  I mean I guess it can't hurt.

 

I'm not sure processing in BW is any easier than processing with OSC.  And if you wanted to try processing with BW data, you could always turn your OSC data into BW.  But again, why not give it a try and see how it turns out. 

 

If I were to do this, I would first point the 135 in the general vicinity of the target you wanted, then make sure the guidescope is in focus and ready to capture.  Then I would fine tune the targeting and focus for 135.

 

The other issue is with capturing data.  I guess you could use two separate programs to capture from T3 and 120mm-mini at the same time.  Not really sure how that would work.  

The 135 would write to the SD card with an intervalometer running exposures. The 120mm-mini would connect to a laptop and be controlled from there. Both scope would be on one barn door tracker or other mount and would not have any guiding programs running.


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