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Shifting from using DSLR + camera lens to using entry CCD + refractor

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#1 rbmcmurt

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 12:33 PM

Hi everyone,

 

I've been imaging for about a year now. My setup has been very basic. I use my Canon 5D mkiv and an older 500mm f/4 lens mounted on a Celestron AVX. I use an ASI 120mm guide camera mounted on a 30mm f/4 scope (attached to an L-bracket on my camera). PHD2 for guiding, BackyardEOS for focus & image capturing. A couple of USB-powered dew heaters. 

 

I mostly use my camera and lens for wildlife photography, and while it's been a workable solution for basic astrophotography, it's also been a giant pain to break everything down and reset everything depending on whether I'm taking wildlife shots or star shots at a given time. The process involves changing out a lot of hardware. I'm ready for a more permanent and dedicated setup. 

 

I really like the focal length that I've been working with, and I'd like to get something in that range. I would also like to get a cooled camera. I have a budget of about $2200 to get everything I need. I'm going to continue using the AVX mount and the guide camera/scope I already own. 

 

I've been reading the forums and looking off-and-on for the past couple of months. I'm currently leaning toward a WO Zenithstar 81 APO matched with a ASI533MC Pro. I also got on the waitlist for an ASIAir Plus a couple weeks ago. 

 

Any thoughts? Any accessories beyond those that I HAVE to get? Any that you'd recommend?

 

Thanks for any advice you may have and clear skies.



#2 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 01:12 PM

Sounds like a good plan to me. 

 

You could save a bit of money and go with a generic Raspberry Pi 4B (4 gig model) and the Astroberry distro.  Might be easier to acquire than the Air.  It's a little more work to get running - it's more of a computer than an appliance - but it's also got a lot more flexibility for down the road.  All the needed software is pre-installed, so a lot easier than using a "real" PC.


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#3 OldManSky

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 01:45 PM

I think your choice of WO ZS81 and ASI533 are very good choices.  That will let you go a long way without needing to upgrade.

 

One point of note:  the ASI533 is not a "CCD" camera.  It's a CMOS camera.  Nitpicky?  Not really. :)

 

Good luck with your choices!



#4 rbmcmurt

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 03:19 PM

I think your choice of WO ZS81 and ASI533 are very good choices.  That will let you go a long way without needing to upgrade.

 

One point of note:  the ASI533 is not a "CCD" camera.  It's a CMOS camera.  Nitpicky?  Not really. smile.gif

 

Good luck with your choices!

Thanks! And dang it - I think I had a brain failure there. hahaha. 



#5 rbmcmurt

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Posted 21 October 2021 - 03:20 PM

Sounds like a good plan to me. 

 

You could save a bit of money and go with a generic Raspberry Pi 4B (4 gig model) and the Astroberry distro.  Might be easier to acquire than the Air.  It's a little more work to get running - it's more of a computer than an appliance - but it's also got a lot more flexibility for down the road.  All the needed software is pre-installed, so a lot easier than using a "real" PC.

Thank you! I hadn't even thought of that. I'll have to do a little research now tonight. Appreciate you taking the time to give me the advice!


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