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Is it best to get 2 setups for visual and photography?

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#1 mac_28

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 05:15 PM

I have a Celestron Powerseeker 127 EQ. I'm looking into getting an upgrade.

 

I want to get great visual views, but I am also very interested in astrophotography. At first, I was researching gear that would be good at both, but I kind of came to the conclusion that there isn't a telescope that is great at both. Is it best to get a Dobsonian for visual, and start out with a star tracker for my DSLR for photography?

 

Oops, didn't realize this forum was not for astrophotography. I can't delete it.


Edited by mac_28, 21 May 2022 - 05:24 PM.


#2 Hesiod

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 06:05 PM

It depends on several factors: the degree of compromise you are willing to accept between the two uses, "logistics" (how plan to store and move the telescope/s), budget, your personal aims for AP and stargazing, how plan to use the telescope/s (e.g. I set up a visual telescope together with my imaging rig because like to stargaze while the latter does its job*).

Getting a visual setup also capable of deep sky AP means "burdening" it with a slew of unnecessary features which likely will increase the price, bulk and complexity of the rig, and in most cases to renounce to a lot of aperture to keep the telescope within reasonable portability parameters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*once have set the telescope and launched the sequence there is nothing to do beside giving a look from a time to time to verify the battery status, at least if the battery is not supposed to last for the whole session as it could be the case with some DSLRs



#3 bobzeq25

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 09:27 PM

I have a Celestron Powerseeker 127 EQ. I'm looking into getting an upgrade.

 

I want to get great visual views, but I am also very interested in astrophotography. At first, I was researching gear that would be good at both, but I kind of came to the conclusion that there isn't a telescope that is great at both. Is it best to get a Dobsonian for visual, and start out with a star tracker for my DSLR for photography?

 

Oops, didn't realize this forum was not for astrophotography. I can't delete it.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.  <smile>  More detail in your other thread.

 

Visual and DSO AP are completely different activities.

 

You can ask a moderator to delete this, if you wish.



#4 mac_28

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 09:37 PM

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.  <smile>  More detail in your other thread.

 

Visual and DSO AP are completely different activities.

 

You can ask a moderator to delete this, if you wish.

Ok, I think I've decided on what gear I want to go with now. I'm going to be totally happy with a Dobsonian and a star tracker! I also want to take photos of planets and galaxies, but I have to start somewhere. I can probably do that with the camera attached to the Dobsonian, right? (at least for planets?)


Edited by mac_28, 21 May 2022 - 09:38 PM.


#5 bobzeq25

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 09:55 PM

Ok, I think I've decided on what gear I want to go with now. I'm going to be totally happy with a Dobsonian and a star tracker! I also want to take photos of planets and galaxies, but I have to start somewhere. I can probably do that with the camera attached to the Dobsonian, right? (at least for planets?)

It's a bit tricky.  Be sure the Dobsonian will come to focus with a DSLR, some are visual only, and won't.   A decent planetary camera can be had for $400.  It will focus, AND be much easier/better to use than a DSLR for planetary/lunar.

 

https://astronomy-im...roduct/asi485mc

 

Check with the folks on the major and minor planet imaging forum about a Dob that will focus with a DSLR.  It may be more expensive than a visual Dob, so the planetary camera may be your best option.

 

Start with the Moon.

 

The bad news is that astrophotography is almost certainly way more complicated than you imagine.  The good news is that you will never ever run out of new things to learn.


Edited by bobzeq25, 21 May 2022 - 10:01 PM.


#6 mac_28

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Posted 21 May 2022 - 10:39 PM

It's a bit tricky.  Be sure the Dobsonian will come to focus with a DSLR, some are visual only, and won't.   A decent planetary camera can be had for $400.  It will focus, AND be much easier/better to use than a DSLR for planetary/lunar.

 

https://astronomy-im...roduct/asi485mc

 

Check with the folks on the major and minor planet imaging forum about a Dob that will focus with a DSLR.  It may be more expensive than a visual Dob, so the planetary camera may be your best option.

 

Start with the Moon.

 

The bad news is that astrophotography is almost certainly way more complicated than you imagine.  The good news is that you will never ever run out of new things to learn.

The Dob I'm looking at is the Apertura AD8. It should work with a DSLR and a T-ring and T-adapter. It also comes with an extension tube. Will that help focus it with the camera attached?

 

And yes, astrophotography looks very complicated! I'm still very interested in it, though, and I have to start somewhere.


Edited by mac_28, 21 May 2022 - 10:41 PM.


#7 Hesiod

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 03:00 AM

Ok, I think I've decided on what gear I want to go with now. I'm going to be totally happy with a Dobsonian and a star tracker! I also want to take photos of planets and galaxies, but I have to start somewhere. I can probably do that with the camera attached to the Dobsonian, right? (at least for planets?)

Yes and no. The camera should come to focus because you will likely want to use a Barlow lens (with an aps-c DSLR probably a 3x one) but probably will have to "hack" the reflex camera because for planetary imaging the most effective way is to register a video of thousands of frames and process it through softwares like Avistack or Registax.

Indeed the mantra "small and short" applies only to deep sky imaging: to dip the toe into planetary AP you want a rather decent aperture (8" would be perfect under this regard).

While are registering the video, which could last up to several minutes depending on target and other factors, you have to keep the planet in the camera's sensor: you do not need an uberly smooth tracking as for long-exposure deep sky imaging because the single frames will be taken at very short exposures (tens to hundreds milliseconds) so it could be done also with fully manual mounts, at least at the most basic level.

If find out planetary AP being your cup of tea could greatly improve the process by purchasing (or crating, if are capable) a device called "equatorial platform" which is placed under the Dob and allows the telescope to track the target for a fair amount of time.



#8 mac_28

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 05:53 PM

Yes and no. The camera should come to focus because you will likely want to use a Barlow lens (with an aps-c DSLR probably a 3x one) but probably will have to "hack" the reflex camera because for planetary imaging the most effective way is to register a video of thousands of frames and process it through softwares like Avistack or Registax.

Indeed the mantra "small and short" applies only to deep sky imaging: to dip the toe into planetary AP you want a rather decent aperture (8" would be perfect under this regard).

While are registering the video, which could last up to several minutes depending on target and other factors, you have to keep the planet in the camera's sensor: you do not need an uberly smooth tracking as for long-exposure deep sky imaging because the single frames will be taken at very short exposures (tens to hundreds milliseconds) so it could be done also with fully manual mounts, at least at the most basic level.

If find out planetary AP being your cup of tea could greatly improve the process by purchasing (or crating, if are capable) a device called "equatorial platform" which is placed under the Dob and allows the telescope to track the target for a fair amount of time.

I have seen some videos on how I can center and stack images using video from my camera using PIPP and some other programs. That could be something I could do - I'm pretty tech savvy and would probably figure it out quickly.


Edited by mac_28, 22 May 2022 - 05:53 PM.


#9 maroubra_boy

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 06:13 PM

mac_28,

 

I am assuming that you are not wanting to attach the camera to the dob but couple it to its own mount.  That's how I'm reading your post.

 

In that case, YES!  Many people keep separate rigs for this purpose.  They'll go out with both, and while the AP one is doing its thing they'll fill their time with a visual rig.

 

Alex.



#10 mac_28

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 06:31 PM

mac_28,

I am assuming that you are not wanting to attach the camera to the dob but couple it to its own mount. That's how I'm reading your post.

In that case, YES! Many people keep separate rigs for this purpose. They'll go out with both, and while the AP one is doing its thing they'll fill their time with a visual rig.

Alex.


Yes, that’s what I’m thinking! I posted a couple other times asking if that’s the way to go, but I think I’m overthinking it. I’m just gonna go for it.
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#11 maroubra_boy

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 06:38 PM

You will find a dob is a much easier to use than your current scope, along with better image.  This alone will greatly improve your visual experience.

 

Don't forget, you can do some photo with a dob and smartphone, especially with a smartphone adapter.  Of course not the same thing as with a DSLR, but it serves its own purpose.

 

Alex.

 

PS, one of my Club members does this very thing of bringing two rigs.  His AP rig is very complex and his visual rig is an 8" dob.  The dob looks decidedly pedestrian in comparison to his AP rig, but soooo much easier to use :lol:


Edited by maroubra_boy, 22 May 2022 - 06:41 PM.

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#12 mac_28

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Posted 22 May 2022 - 07:11 PM

You will find a dob is a much easier to use than your current scope, along with better image. This alone will greatly improve your visual experience.

Don't forget, you can do some photo with a dob and smartphone, especially with a smartphone adapter. Of course not the same thing as with a DSLR, but it serves its own purpose.

Alex.

PS, one of my Club members does this very thing of bringing two rigs. His AP rig is very complex and his visual rig is an 8" dob. The dob looks decidedly pedestrian in comparison to his AP rig, but soooo much easier to use :lol:


Yes, my current EQ mount that came with the scope is not fun to use. I’ll be totally happy using a Dob and a star tracker separately. The Dob will last forever, and I’ll upgrade to a more complex AP rig later.
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#13 briansalomon1

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 10:08 AM

I have a Celestron Powerseeker 127 EQ. I'm looking into getting an upgrade.

 

I want to get great visual views, but I am also very interested in astrophotography. At first, I was researching gear that would be good at both, but I kind of came to the conclusion that there isn't a telescope that is great at both. Is it best to get a Dobsonian for visual, and start out with a star tracker for my DSLR for photography?

 

Oops, didn't realize this forum was not for astrophotography. I can't delete it.

I've been a refractor guy for about 25 years. I haven't done very much AP but have taken images of the Sun and Moon with NP101is, and have used this telescope for about 4 years for H-alpha (front etalon) , terrestrial and night time visual use.

 

TV102, at f8.6 was definitely better on planets above 200X than NP101, but other than that, NP101 is a far better refractor than any other I've looked through.

 

I have fallen in love with Obsession UC15. The first time I got it collimated correctly I had a far better view of Jupiter than I've ever seen in any other telescope, and The Orion Nebula looks like actual cloud formations but if I had to choose between the two, I'd take NP101is.

 

Four thousand dollars sounds like a lot of money for a telescope, but in my opinion, NP101is was a bargain.


Edited by briansalomon1, 23 May 2022 - 10:17 AM.


#14 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 10:23 AM

After over 50 years in the hobby, and dabbling in several aspects of it, I found it best not to attempt photography any longer.   I can find online any number of photographs better than I could ever do.  I prefer the visual experience.



#15 psandelle

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 11:01 AM

Two rigs is definitely best because after you totally work out the kinks in imaging, get everything fully automated, cherry it out so that there's nary a hiccup, you hit ONE button and voila, you image all night (heck, my automation even parks and turns everything off when it starts to get light)...and now you have NUTHIN' to do!!! Of course, you can also do what I do, and NOT get a second visual rig (I'm lazy) and just wander over to all the people I know at my dark site and just look through their myriad of scopes to my heart's content. grin.gif

 

Paul


Edited by psandelle, 23 May 2022 - 11:05 AM.

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#16 luxo II

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 10:10 PM

I'm verging towards John Fitzgerald's view. For a long time I've felt imaging is a pointless waste of time and money, by-and-large, and IMHO most need to really ask themselves "why am I doing this ?".

 

The vast majority are banging away at the same 200-300 targets as most others, and there is nothing novel in it.


Edited by luxo II, 23 May 2022 - 10:27 PM.

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#17 bobzeq25

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 12:09 AM

After over 50 years in the hobby, and dabbling in several aspects of it, I found it best not to attempt photography any longer.   I can find online any number of photographs better than I could ever do.  I prefer the visual experience.

 

 

I'm verging towards John Fitzgerald's view. For a long time I've felt imaging is a pointless waste of time and money, by-and-large, and IMHO most need to really ask themselves "why am I doing this ?".

 

The vast majority are banging away at the same 200-300 targets as most others, and there is nothing novel in it.

Thanks for your concern, but most people here who do imaging have utterly no need to ask ourselves why we do imaging.  We know why.  Here's my story.

 

I was an amateur astronomer doing visual for many years.  That fizzled out, largely because my old eyes didn't see through a telescope the same way they had as a younger man.  Then I discovered imaging.  It took me far beyond anything I ever could do visually, even as a younger person.  My first image of the Horsehead (one of those common targets) was a serious thrill.  I could see the Horsehead with a 2.8 inch scope from my suburban backyard? 

 

https://www.astrobin.com/384117/G/

 

Utterly amazing.  And the thrills keep coming.  As do the challenges.

 

Astrophotography is what brought me back to astronomy, after a gap of many years where my only astronomy I did was showing the grandkids the Moon and Saturn's rings through the 66mm refractor that was the only scope I had kept.  On a camera tripod.  Now I do more astronomy than ever.  If you tell me I should stop doing astrophotography, you're telling me I should stop doing astronomy.

 

Personally I find the complexity of amateur AP fascinating.  I have an extensive bookshelf, spend a lot of time learning new things.  One never runs out of new things to learn.  I like helping beginners here start.  I'm in very light polluted skies, I like amazing friends and relatives with the images I can take from here.  And many more things.

 

Mods.  Maybe you need to move this thread to Beginning Deep Sky Imaging, since it refers to both visual and imaging.  There's nothing saying "no visual" in that forum, as there is with "no astrophotography" here.  It is difficult to slot the original post neatly into one CN forum.


Edited by bobzeq25, 24 May 2022 - 01:13 AM.

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#18 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 08:26 AM

The only complaint I have, is that: The AP people tend to interfere with visual observers dark adaptation with indiscriminate use of too bright lights and screens.   They need to isolate themselves at group events so this doesn't happen,  or not show up.  I haven't seen visual observers interfering with AP.


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#19 OldManSky

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 09:07 AM

The vast majority are banging away at the same 200-300 targets as most others, and there is nothing novel in it.

And the vast majority of visual observers are banging away at the same 200-300 targets as most others, and there is nothing novel in it.

 

So what?

 

Oh, and John F. -- you're right, there are inconsiderate imagers at some star parties that use too-bright stuff.  There are also inconsiderate observers at some star parties that do annoying things, like walk up and shine a red flashlight down into an OTA actively imaging (yes, that happened to me a number of times).  Which is why, despite me trying to be a considerate imager at star parties, I mostly stopped going.  That way I won't bother anyone, and no one can bother me.  If I go to a local one now, I bring a small refractor on a portable alt-az mount, and share views with the public -- no imaging.


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#20 psandelle

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 09:47 AM

The only complaint I have, is that: The AP people tend to interfere with visual observers dark adaptation with indiscriminate use of too bright lights and screens.   They need to isolate themselves at group events so this doesn't happen,  or not show up.  I haven't seen visual observers interfering with AP.

I have always been cognizant of this, so from the beginning of getting back into astro a decade ago (after a childhood of it), I always angle my screen away from other scopes AND always have a Lapdome, where I can zip up the front if need be (or my display isn't sleeping): https://www.lapdome.com/

 

Paul


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