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Help Choosing My Next Potential Purchase for Astrophotography

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#26 DangerZone2486

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 04:49 PM

Zak welcome! I am going to parrot the rest, upgrade the mount first! Unfortunately, and recently they have jumped about 20% in price

Thank you!

 

I'm most likely going to get a mount for my next purchase, it's just a matter of choosing the brand now XD.

 

Yes I know it's crazy how much the prices have gone up not just for mounts, but almost everything astrophotography gear related :(

 

:)


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#27 DangerZone2486

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 04:53 PM

Lots of recommendations to get a good mount first.  I second (and third, and fourth...) that advice.And get something big enough to accommodate larger optics.  Meanwhile, you could have a ton of fun with something like this:

 

attachicon.gifIMG_0280.JPG

 

iOptron CEM26 with a DSLR and lens -- you might go even bigger on the mount, if you can afford it.

 

It will take a while to learn how to use a really nice mount.  I've only had this mount for a month and a half; I still have much to learn.

 

Best of luck!

Yes I really appreciate everyone's input, it has really helped me make my mind up.

 

Nice mount! I'm thinking a Sky-Watcher/Saxon HEQ5 Pro, as I have low muscle tone and can't live heavy things for long, so I reckon the HEQ5 Pro will be a nice middle ground for me for the next 5+ years while I slowly get my permanent imaging rig up and running after I get the mount.

 

I don't think I will be able to afford a higher grade mount at this time, but I know that this mount will be my most vital purchase for my astrophotography journey.

 

I've heard the learning curve is a bit higher than normal for mounts, but once you know how to use it, it becomes an essential piece of gear in your inventory.

 

:)


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#28 DangerZone2486

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 04:55 PM

I'd look into a 6" f/4 Newtonian when you're ready to upgrade...it will offer more FL without going so far as to make imaging too much more difficult (it will still be more difficult than the Raptor), and an HEQ5 can easily handle it. And f/4 is nice and fast.

I'd love to get a Newtonian, simply because of those diffraction spikes you get when imaging with one, they look so cool.

 

I've also heard that Newtonians are actually pretty good for astrophotography even though refractors are used more.

 

I'm currently not thinking about another telescope for a while after this mount, as I need to learn how to use it and master the gear I have.

 

:)



#29 DangerZone2486

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 05:07 PM

I see that everyone has chimed in with great recomendation and from your post you seem well versed and knowledgable!!  

 

I personally made the mistake of buying a really good camera before a really good mount, it honestly almost ended my interest in astrophotography lol. The HEQ5 is a beast for its price, I've seen people use it at longer FL than I thought possible. It is never a bad idea to go even further to an EQ6 if you can afford one. Clear skies!!

Yes I know the amount of support from this community has been amazing and I appreciate it very much!

 

I've definitely made that mistake before with normal photography gear XD.

 

The HEQ5 Pro is most likely going to be my preferred mount as I am very budget orientated, but if I need to upgrade my mount in the far future and have the budget to do it, I definitely will.

 

:)



#30 Oort Cloud

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 09:00 PM

Yes I know the amount of support from this community has been amazing and I appreciate it very much!

I've definitely made that mistake before with normal photography gear XD.

The HEQ5 Pro is most likely going to be my preferred mount as I am very budget orientated, but if I need to upgrade my mount in the far future and have the budget to do it, I definitely will.

:)


The HEQ5 is a solid choice, and will serve you well. There is a belt mod available for it as well.
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#31 ChuckS

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 01:02 AM

As a fellow rookie, one of the big things I have learned is there is ALL THIS INCREDIBLE GEAR OUT THERE! I mean, camera and filter wheels and beautiful refractors or big catadioptics with all this supporting gear - auto focusers and dew heaters and... Not to mention all the processing software. 

 

It's all so tempting.

 

What makes the most sense to me is take one step at a time and develop the skills that accompany each now piece of gear. My route so far has been: DSLR on a ball mount, to a redcat/51 & skyguider pro where I learned polar alignment and focusing, to a modded DSLR where I began to learn more detailed processing, to a guide camera/scope and learning how to guide and now a (hopefully one and only) mount and am now learning how to plate solve, goto, etc. (and more advanced processing). All of these learnings took time and patience. 

 

So, my experience is: make each purchase with some idea of what new learning is the right next leap. For example, for me to buy a mono camera right now would be a stretch in my learning capacity. I barely understand how to process a single shot color image.  Not that a mono camera wouldn't be sweet, but right now it would just be a waste of resources. 

 

Good luck and welcome to a really great way to witness all this bewildering stuff out there.


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#32 Jay6879

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 09:08 AM

Thank you!

 

I'm thinking about either the HEQ5 Pro or the EQM-35 Pro, but I'm probably going to go with a HEQ5 Pro simply to future-proof myself.

 

Yes, I had a think about it overnight and I'm going to be getting a mount over the camera.

 

I was asleep by the time you posted this (I live in Australia) so I apologise for not responding at the time you posted, but alphatripleplus has moved this post into the appropriate thread.

 

smile.gif

 

 

As someone who previously owned the eqm-35 pro, and now owns an heq5-pro I think you need to figure out what it is you're planning to do. The eqm-35 pro was a fantastic mount for me, it worked beautifully. But if you're looking to "future proof" while still remaining somewhat portable the heq5-pro is the way to go!


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#33 DangerZone2486

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Posted 29 May 2022 - 05:50 PM

The HEQ5 is a solid choice, and will serve you well. There is a belt mod available for it as well.

I've been thinking about this more and I'm leaning towards the HEQ5 Pro not only for budget but also the weight of the mount.

 

I've looked at the weights of the mounts between the HEQ5 Pro and the EQ6-R Pro and for my low muscle tone, I am even more leaning towards the HEQ5 Pro so I can take it with me to dark sky sites.

 

I'm scared to do the belt mod if I get the HEQ5 Pro because I don't want to mess anything up and ruin my mount. I am hoping that the HEQ5 Pro will handle auto-guiding well enough for me not to do the belt mod at this time.

 

Apologies for the delay in responding been super busy with the last few weeks of my studies.

 

:)



#34 DangerZone2486

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Posted 29 May 2022 - 05:57 PM

As a fellow rookie, one of the big things I have learned is there is ALL THIS INCREDIBLE GEAR OUT THERE! I mean, camera and filter wheels and beautiful refractors or big catadioptics with all this supporting gear - auto focusers and dew heaters and... Not to mention all the processing software. 

 

It's all so tempting.

 

What makes the most sense to me is take one step at a time and develop the skills that accompany each now piece of gear. My route so far has been: DSLR on a ball mount, to a redcat/51 & skyguider pro where I learned polar alignment and focusing, to a modded DSLR where I began to learn more detailed processing, to a guide camera/scope and learning how to guide and now a (hopefully one and only) mount and am now learning how to plate solve, goto, etc. (and more advanced processing). All of these learnings took time and patience. 

 

So, my experience is: make each purchase with some idea of what new learning is the right next leap. For example, for me to buy a mono camera right now would be a stretch in my learning capacity. I barely understand how to process a single shot color image.  Not that a mono camera wouldn't be sweet, but right now it would just be a waste of resources. 

 

Good luck and welcome to a really great way to witness all this bewildering stuff out there.

Thank you for your advice, really appreciate it!

 

I definitely agree with what you have said. I want to take my image quality to the next level, and I feel at this time an upgraded mount from my existing Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer would be a huge leap in my learning curve. After this, I won't be getting anything else until I master the art of using a Go-To mount, and I am definitely not going to be going mono anytime soon simply because it takes a lot longer to image but I have also heard that the processing for mono data is easier than processing colour data.

 

It might take me some time to master my Go-To mount but I am positive that I can learn how to use it, then upgrade the appropriate equipment from there.

 

I'm looking at either the Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro or the Saxon HEQ5 Pro. The only two differences I have found between the two mounts is the branding and warranty. The Sky-Watcher comes with a 5-year warranty while the Saxon comes with only 3-years warranty. I am probably going to wait for stock of the Sky-Watcher so I can take advantage of the 6-year warranty in case something is wrong with it.

 

:)



#35 DangerZone2486

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Posted 29 May 2022 - 05:58 PM

As someone who previously owned the eqm-35 pro, and now owns an heq5-pro I think you need to figure out what it is you're planning to do. The eqm-35 pro was a fantastic mount for me, it worked beautifully. But if you're looking to "future proof" while still remaining somewhat portable the heq5-pro is the way to go!

I have heard good things about the EQM-35 Pro to be honest, it might be another option for me portability wise.

 

I am leaning more towards the HEQ5 Pro only so I can future-proof myself for my eventual upgrades I will make.

 

:)



#36 DangerZone2486

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Posted 29 May 2022 - 06:48 PM

The more I am researching about the EQM-35 Pro, the more I am starting to lean towards it.

 

It is only because of it's light weight and portability, as I am worried about my low muscle tone not being able to lift the HEQ5 Pro as it doesn't have a handle.

 

I am mainly into wide-field astrophotography although I am hoping to get a scope that can fit either the HEQ5 Pro or the EQM-35 Pro.

 

I am now indecisive (again) about which one to get XD.

 

I want to make the right decision and have a mount that will last me a long time.

 

:)



#37 Jay6879

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Posted 29 May 2022 - 07:19 PM

The more I am researching about the EQM-35 Pro, the more I am starting to lean towards it.

 

It is only because of it's light weight and portability, as I am worried about my low muscle tone not being able to lift the HEQ5 Pro as it doesn't have a handle.

 

I am mainly into wide-field astrophotography although I am hoping to get a scope that can fit either the HEQ5 Pro or the EQM-35 Pro.

 

I am now indecisive (again) about which one to get XD.

 

I want to make the right decision and have a mount that will last me a long time.

 

smile.gif

 

For comparison the eqm-35 pro fully assembled (including a counterweight and tripod) weighs 22.7lbs, while just the heq-5 pro head unit weighs 22lbs. It's a fairly drastic increase in weight, something to consider.

 

I used a Zenithstar 61ii on the eqm-35 pro and with guiding could easily manage four minute exposures. I can't remember how much further I pushed it but it was able to go further.


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#38 DeepSky Di

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Posted 29 May 2022 - 08:21 PM

The more I am researching about the EQM-35 Pro, the more I am starting to lean towards it.

 

It is only because of it's light weight and portability, as I am worried about my low muscle tone not being able to lift the HEQ5 Pro as it doesn't have a handle.

 

I am mainly into wide-field astrophotography although I am hoping to get a scope that can fit either the HEQ5 Pro or the EQM-35 Pro.

 

I am now indecisive (again) about which one to get XD.

 

I want to make the right decision and have a mount that will last me a long time.

 

 

Here's my journey as an HEQ5 user. I might add that I could easily lift it without the counterweights and OTA, but I prefer to keep everything as assembled as possible to reduce setup time.

 

- HEQ5 with WO GT81 mounted permanently, kept indoors, wrangled out of a sliding door onto the deck each night. Worked ok with one counterweight. A little scary with both counterweights. People say don't image from a deck due to vibrations from footsteps. However I was running the rig from indoors using ASIAIR Pro, so felt ok ignoring this advice.

 

- HEQ5 gained some dolly castors, allowing me to easily move it around indoors and outdoors on the deck. However I still had to wrangle it over the sliding door threshold, which was quite hard with both counterweights. I considered getting a ramp of some sort for it, or making one.

 

- Instead, the HEQ5 found a new home in the garage and a new imaging spot in the drive. However, the tiny 1" step out of the garage was still an issue requiring each dolly castor'd foot to be moved individually.

 

- HEQ5 got some JMI wheely bars and ratchet straps to hold it onto the wheely bars. No more issues dragging it out of the garage.

 

- As well as the GT81 I also use the HEQ5 with a Celestron C6.


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#39 DangerZone2486

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 05:53 PM

For comparison the eqm-35 pro fully assembled (including a counterweight and tripod) weighs 22.7lbs, while just the heq-5 pro head unit weighs 22lbs. It's a fairly drastic increase in weight, something to consider.

 

I used a Zenithstar 61ii on the eqm-35 pro and with guiding could easily manage four minute exposures. I can't remember how much further I pushed it but it was able to go further.

Yes that's what I'm worried about with the HEQ5 Pro.

 

It's a fantastic mount don't get me wrong but I don't want to strain my back lifting it out to my back deck every time I use it.

 

You do make a good point that the EQM-35 Pro is the same weight as the HEQ5 Pro when it is fully setup. That to me sounds a lot lighter than the HEQ5 Pro just on it's own.

 

Plus, I've heard that the EQM-35 Pro has awesome tracking accuracy in comparison to some other equatorial mounts. The only negative I have heard about the EQM-35 Pro is the pointing accuracy, but I've read online on some other Cloudy Nights forums that people have managed to get around this by resetting the hand controller.

 

Other than that it's a fantastic mount for the price I have heard, plus it has belts (can't remember what type they are sorry) compared to gears in the HEQ5 Pro.

 

I would love to get a scope in the future that will cater for either mount without pushing it too far.

 

:)



#40 DangerZone2486

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 06:02 PM

Here's my journey as an HEQ5 user. I might add that I could easily lift it without the counterweights and OTA, but I prefer to keep everything as assembled as possible to reduce setup time.

 

- HEQ5 with WO GT81 mounted permanently, kept indoors, wrangled out of a sliding door onto the deck each night. Worked ok with one counterweight. A little scary with both counterweights. People say don't image from a deck due to vibrations from footsteps. However I was running the rig from indoors using ASIAIR Pro, so felt ok ignoring this advice.

 

- HEQ5 gained some dolly castors, allowing me to easily move it around indoors and outdoors on the deck. However I still had to wrangle it over the sliding door threshold, which was quite hard with both counterweights. I considered getting a ramp of some sort for it, or making one.

 

- Instead, the HEQ5 found a new home in the garage and a new imaging spot in the drive. However, the tiny 1" step out of the garage was still an issue requiring each dolly castor'd foot to be moved individually.

 

- HEQ5 got some JMI wheely bars and ratchet straps to hold it onto the wheely bars. No more issues dragging it out of the garage.

 

- As well as the GT81 I also use the HEQ5 with a Celestron C6.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with the HEQ5 Pro, I really appreciate it!

 

I am worried about if I get the HEQ5 Pro I might strain my back because my back deck is near the back fence and my home is quite a bit away from the deck. For this reason, I don't think I will be able to leave it fully setup as I will have to take everything down piece by piece and bring it back inside.

 

I also want to travel with the mount I am going to purchase, especially to a Bortle 1 site in the future so I can take full advantage of the portability.

 

I'm mainly into wide-field astrophotography as I have been using my cameras and lenses a lot longer than using my Radian Raptor 61, and the reason I have not used my Raptor 61 very often is I am very worried that I will drop it when setting it up on my Star Adventurer, but I won't mind going slightly deeper into some targets with a larger telescope that can cater for both mounts whichever I choose.

 

I am probably going to use a transportation method when I'm using it at home for easier setup, plus I want to use my Celestron NexStar 6SE OTA for planets and some deep space on smaller framed targets when I get the mount (even though the Alt-Az mount is great for planets as it is).

 

I'm thinking about after the mount I get a scope that will be great when paired with the mount such as a Newtonian or slightly longer focal length refractor.

 

:)


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