Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Astrophotography Gear

Beginner Equipment
  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 mac_28

mac_28

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 14 May 2022

Posted 22 May 2022 - 05:56 PM

It's Mac again, you might have seen me post yesterday asking for advice in picking out some astrophotography gear. Everyone on that thread was super helpful, which is awesome. The thread got a little long, though, so I just wanted to post again since I've narrowed down my search a bit.

I want to do both visual and astrophotography, so I was initially thinking about getting a Dobsonian and a star tracker to use with my DSLR. I would use the Dob for visual, and the star tracker for astrophotography using my DSLR and 75-300mm lens. That seemed to be a pretty good idea to people that replied.

I was also thinking I could expand my budget a little bit and spend more on AP gear:
  • Explore Scientific iEXOS-100 PMC-Eight - I found one for about $500
  • Astro-Tech AT60ED - This was around $420 and was recommended to me by someone that replied on my other post.
Would it be worth it to go for something like this right away instead of only a star tracker and my camera? I'm probably overthinking with all this research on gear, and I have to start somewhere. I don't think I can really go wrong with the first idea. I'm sure I will be totally happy with whatever I start with, and I will certainly upgrade as I learn.

Ok, I think I’m set on what kind of AP rig I want to go with. I was overthinking and going back and forth between a star tracker and an EQM. Finding what’s best for me can be a little overwhelming.
I’m going with the EQM Sheridan listed in the replies, and a small refractor to start out with. Thanks to everyone that helped me out!

Edited by mac_28, 22 May 2022 - 08:48 PM.


#2 Oyaji

Oyaji

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 539
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2018
  • Loc: Central Illinois, USA

Posted 22 May 2022 - 06:12 PM

No thread on CN is too long.  The "Takitis!" thread is still going strong after 8 years and more than 7,000 comments!  

 

Just sayin'.


  • Oort Cloud likes this

#3 mac_28

mac_28

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 14 May 2022

Posted 22 May 2022 - 06:26 PM

No thread on CN is too long. The "Takitis!" thread is still going strong after 8 years and more than 7,000 comments!

Just sayin'.


Lol, I guess you’re right

#4 Sheridan

Sheridan

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 729
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Houston Tx.

Posted 22 May 2022 - 06:28 PM

The one on Adorama is a iEXOS-100-1 PMC-Eight which is a wifi only. iEXOS-100-2 PMC-Eight is suppose to have bluetooth which is the 599.00 ver. The Astro Tech at60ed and the at72edII are good little scopes as are the svbony scopes. I woUld add the https://www.bhphotov...djuster_Adapter. If you would lIke to read more join https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN. The iExos2 is a heavier mount for 999.00. It handles 40 lbs visual and 28 lbs astrophotography. If you want pm me and when im out one night I can do a team meeting and show you it working real time. This community is like th.e aviation community, someone is always willing to help. Its awesome!
  • Oyaji likes this

#5 mac_28

mac_28

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 14 May 2022

Posted 22 May 2022 - 06:57 PM

The one on Adorama is a iEXOS-100-1 PMC-Eight which is a wifi only. iEXOS-100-2 PMC-Eight is suppose to have bluetooth which is the 599.00 ver. The Astro Tech at60ed and the at72edII are good little scopes as are the svbony scopes. I woUld add the https://www.bhphotov...djuster_Adapter. If you would lIke to read more join https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN. The iExos2 is a heavier mount for 999.00. It handles 40 lbs visual and 28 lbs astrophotography. If you want pm me and when im out one night I can do a team meeting and show you it working real time. This community is like th.e aviation community, someone is always willing to help. Its awesome!


Ah I see, the names are so similar I didn’t notice. I’ll probably get the 2 then. Looks like a good entry level EQM. I’m seeing that it’s a better mount to learn on than a star tracker, which makes sense because I would learn how to use an EQM before I upgrade to a nicer and heavier one.

Edited by mac_28, 22 May 2022 - 07:57 PM.


#6 mac_28

mac_28

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 14 May 2022

Posted 22 May 2022 - 07:37 PM

If you can get the iEXOS-100 PMC-Eight (which lists for $1000) for $500, new, it's a better choice than the tracker (except for portability). Used is risky.


I guess that is a better choice and will allow for more upgrades. Maybe I’ll go for that instead.
I’m so indecisive!

#7 bobzeq25

bobzeq25

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 28,820
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2014

Posted 22 May 2022 - 07:40 PM

The latest model is the iEXOS-100-2 PMC Eight.  Introductory price $600.

 

https://explorescien...-tracker-system

 

That would be my top recommendation.  Note that I'm ONLY interested in what makes a better learning tool for a new DSO imager.  That's a better learning tool than a tracker.


Edited by bobzeq25, 22 May 2022 - 07:41 PM.


#8 mac_28

mac_28

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 14 May 2022

Posted 22 May 2022 - 07:54 PM

The latest model is the iEXOS-100-2 PMC Eight. Introductory price $600.




https://explorescien...-tracker-system

That would be my top recommendation. Note that I'm ONLY interested in what makes a better learning tool for a new DSO imager. That's a better learning tool than a tracker.


Hello again! I think I’ll spend a bit more and go for that instead. I could probably put a small refractor on it like the AstroTechs Sheridan recommended.

#9 mac_28

mac_28

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 14 May 2022

Posted 22 May 2022 - 08:11 PM

The one on Adorama is a iEXOS-100-1 PMC-Eight which is a wifi only. iEXOS-100-2 PMC-Eight is suppose to have bluetooth which is the 599.00 ver. The Astro Tech at60ed and the at72edII are good little scopes as are the svbony scopes. I woUld add the https://www.bhphotov...djuster_Adapter. If you would lIke to read more join https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN. The iExos2 is a heavier mount for 999.00. It handles 40 lbs visual and 28 lbs astrophotography. If you want pm me and when im out one night I can do a team meeting and show you it working real time. This community is like th.e aviation community, someone is always willing to help. Its awesome!


Thanks so much for the help. I replied to this comment earlier saying I would get the star tracker, but this EQ mount is obviously a much better option, so I’m going with this. Sorry if I’m being so indecisive, lol - I’m set on getting this mount instead!

#10 Sheridan

Sheridan

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 729
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Houston Tx.

Posted 22 May 2022 - 09:18 PM

The iExos-100 and iexos 2 are better than a star tracker because 1. They are goto. 2. Will interfac e with NINA, APT, Kstars/Ekos, sharpcap pro. 3. Will do pulse guiding with phd2. 4. Have built in Wi-Fi. The iexos is equivalent to the celestron AVX (which recently jumped from 999.00 to 12xx.00 Both are good mount for the price point then the ioptron cem series. If I had to do it over again and knew then what I know now, I would have skipped the skyguider pro and gone directly with the IEXOS 100. After I bought all the add ons for the skyguide pro the skyguider pro I was into it for or the same amount of money as I'm into the IEXOS 100. It was all part of a learning curve that I had to return after being out of this for 15 years. Lord has the technology changed. The skywatcher EQ6R pro and the Orion Atlas mounts are also good. After that you start getting into the really expensive mounds.

#11 mac_28

mac_28

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 14 May 2022

Posted 22 May 2022 - 10:03 PM

The iExos-100 and iexos 2 are better than a star tracker because 1. They are goto. 2. Will interfac e with NINA, APT, Kstars/Ekos, sharpcap pro. 3. Will do pulse guiding with phd2. 4. Have built in Wi-Fi. The iexos is equivalent to the celestron AVX (which recently jumped from 999.00 to 12xx.00 Both are good mount for the price point then the ioptron cem series. If I had to do it over again and knew then what I know now, I would have skipped the skyguider pro and gone directly with the IEXOS 100. After I bought all the add ons for the skyguide pro the skyguider pro I was into it for or the same amount of money as I'm into the IEXOS 100. It was all part of a learning curve that I had to return after being out of this for 15 years. Lord has the technology changed. The skywatcher EQ6R pro and the Orion Atlas mounts are also good. After that you start getting into the really expensive mounds.

Ok, good to know that the iExos are a better starting point than the SkyGuider. I think those little star trackers are recommended so much because they're so easy to use. I actually found the upgraded iExos (100-2) on Amazon for $500 and it's sold by Explore Scientific. I think I'll go for that one. It will be great for me to learn with before I upgrade to a heavier one.


Edited by mac_28, 22 May 2022 - 10:05 PM.


#12 bobzeq25

bobzeq25

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 28,820
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2014

Posted 23 May 2022 - 12:23 AM

Hello again! I think I’ll spend a bit more and go for that instead. I could probably put a small refractor on it like the AstroTechs Sheridan recommended.

Another recommendation.  Nothing more than the 60mm F6.  A camera lens would be fine, maybe (your personal choice) start with that.

 

A bigger scope will make learning harder.  You're not trying to take great images.  Those will have to wait.  You're trying to learn the art of DSO AP.  The 60 is a great tool for that.  And can make some nice images (after you've learned how to do it).  Here are 7 pages of them.  Educational thing (my specialty).  Scroll down to the equipment.  See what mounts people are using.

 

https://www.astrobin...-23&sort=-likes

 

I saw at least one $2500 mount.  You don't need that, and it was not silly, either.

 

If you get the 60, consider also getting this.  It turns the scope into F4.8, and makes the stars near the edges of the frame look better.  Reduces the need for an autoguider.

 

https://www.astronom...ical-tubes.html

 

Here's a picture of the Moon with the 60, a 2.5X Barlow lens (only useful on the Moon or planets), and a ZWO 224MC camera.  

 

https://www.astrobin...=AT60ED&camera=

 

The data gathered was a 1 minute 35 second video, with 250 frames.  Processing was sophisticated.

 

A single snapshot of the Moon with just your DSLR can work, the Moon will be smaller and less detailed.

 

Welcome to astrophotography.  <smile>   Have a great deal of patience, and a willingness to learn.  This is almost certainly more complicated than you think.


Edited by bobzeq25, 23 May 2022 - 12:34 AM.


#13 mac_28

mac_28

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 14 May 2022

Posted 23 May 2022 - 05:58 PM

Ok, maybe I will learn with the camera lens, or maybe I will get the 60. Not sure yet. I will for sure start out with the iExos mount, though.

 

I'm super excited to get started in astrophotography. I don't have any crazy expectations for my photos early on, and I'm also expecting it to be very complicated. I'm patient, though, and I love learning things.

 

Thanks for helping me get started! :)


  • bobzeq25 likes this

#14 17.5Dob

17.5Dob

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8,483
  • Joined: 21 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Colorado,USA

Posted 23 May 2022 - 06:18 PM

Ok, maybe I will learn with the camera lens, or maybe I will get the 60. Not sure yet. I will for sure start out with the iExos mount, though.

 

I'm super excited to get started in astrophotography. I don't have any crazy expectations for my photos early on, and I'm also expecting it to be very complicated. I'm patient, though, and I love learning things.

 

Thanks for helping me get started! smile.gif

While the iEXOS 100 has all the bells and whistles of an EQ mount, it still only has the native tracking accuracy of a smaller "camera tracker". You will have to autoguide to fully use the 60mm or any longer fl scope.



#15 mac_28

mac_28

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 14 May 2022

Posted 23 May 2022 - 06:50 PM

While the iEXOS 100 has all the bells and whistles of an EQ mount, it still only has the native tracking accuracy of a smaller "camera tracker". You will have to autoguide to fully use the 60mm or any longer fl scope.

Ok. Sheridan recommended an autoguider scope and camera. It's the Svbony sv165 30mm with an astromania 1.2mp color cam. I don't know much about autoguiding, but it doesn't seem too complicated.



#16 Sheridan

Sheridan

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 729
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2005
  • Loc: Houston Tx.

Posted 24 May 2022 - 05:43 AM

I was getting 30 and 45 second exposures without using a auto guider with an 80mm scope the auto guiding makes it much easier when your shooting longer exposures. Some will say use a mono cam for guiding. I went color because i use the cam as a electronic eye piece. Dont be afraid to search the classifieds here on CN. I have found some good deals from users who upgraded, and it showed up in pristine condition


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Beginner, Equipment



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics