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Astrophotography Or EAA

Astrophotography Beginner EAA
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#1 LucasObtuse

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Posted 09 August 2022 - 09:00 PM

I bought a NexStar 8se with the stock mount without doing enough research and I wanted to get into astrophotography; Which was my first mistake. And now I'm stuck with the question of furthering into eaa with what I have now or sell it all and start over and go into astrophotography. I have a budget of around $3000-$4000 what is the best astrophotography setup you could do with that range? And vice versa with a budget of more around $1500-$2500 with what I previously already have whats the best eaa setup? Any suggestions help!


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#2 bbasiaga

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Posted 09 August 2022 - 09:12 PM

Those Nextar scopes have vixen dovetails right?  You could buy a GEM mount for it and sell the fork mount sans scope.  Is your scope Fastar/hyperstar ready?  That will turn it in to an f/2 imaging scope for use with one of the small CCD/CMOS astrocams.  With such a fast focal ratio you'll get wide filed images with short subs and can avoid guiding initially.  I used to image with a C11 and DSLR this way (DSLR blocks too much of the aperture on a C8, but a smaller astrocam would work).  I think you could the mount, hyperstar and reasonable asto cam for your budget.  Do you already have a laptop?  

 

The nice thing about this is, the rig can also be used for visual observing by removing the hyperstar and replacing your normal secondary  mirror.  At some point you could get the f6.3 focal reducer and do guided exposures at longer focal lengths.  I think you could go a long way with that and get through all the learnings and then decide if another scope size or type would be better for the photos you like to take.  

 

Just thinking out loud here.  Hopefully its helpful. 

 

Brian



#3 TOMDEY

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Posted 09 August 2022 - 09:22 PM

Other options to consider for image capture would be Night Vision and sketching. I know that referees have concocted definitions of what is and is not allowed to be called imaging, EAA, Night Vision, other renderings --- but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not the bean counters. Consider all four... and then select one or more!    Tom



#4 Sacred Heart

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Posted 09 August 2022 - 09:36 PM

If your C8 can be F2 your in the game with a decent mount, if not it will be tough to learn AP even at 1400MM, F6.3 with a C8.   

 

To typically learn and be successful at DSO imaging, a 60MM / 300MM to 115MM / 815MM refractor on a stable mount, and a 533 or 2600 camera.    I'm going to STRESS the mount part first and foremost.   Get a reliable, accurate mount.

 

C8 can do a job on planets and small galaxies.     

 

My opinion,    Joe 



#5 Bob Campbell

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Posted 09 August 2022 - 11:20 PM

I bought a NexStar 8se with the stock mount without doing enough research and I wanted to get into astrophotography; Which was my first mistake. And now I'm stuck with the question of furthering into eaa with what I have now or sell it all and start over and go into astrophotography. I have a budget of around $3000-$4000 what is the best astrophotography setup you could do with that range? And vice versa with a budget of more around $1500-$2500 with what I previously already have whats the best eaa setup? Any suggestions help!

I found EAA to be very satisfying.

 

Some advantages (IMO) of EAA

 

1) Instant gratification. You can get a very decent image live stacked on your laptop's screen (or project the laptop's image to a larger TV screen). With something like sharpcap pro (13 pounds/year) you can do calibrations on the fly (flats/darks/bias) live stack, control focussers and other mount functions, and a slew of other things too numerous to mention.

2) Much less work than AP. Often I do no post-processing with my EAA image. In situ flats and darks make for a very acceptable image. I can go from capture to a pleasing saved picture in about 10 minutes. Stack longer to increase signal to noise, all the time seeing the result on your display.

3) With a good sensitive camera, DSOs can really stand out with only short exposures. (< 10min) More so at shorter FL (0.63 and hyperstar in your case)

4) I know there will be a lot of pushback on this one, but I believe there is a law of diminishing returns in AP in both time spent and cost relative to the final result comparing AP and EAA.

 

Here is strictly EAA thread of images captured by posters here on CN. You be the judge as to the quality and if you would enjoy seeing something like that form on your screen.

 

For example, and be sure to search around there more recent postings. Camera technology for EAA has advanced immensely since the first posts back in 2007.

 

https://www.cloudyni...ery/?p=11864977

 

I've also attached one of mine M27, that I'm pleased with and had only an exposure of 240 seconds (30 frames of 8 sec each) Zero processing after saving in sharpcap. Easy-peasy. c6 at f10, asi294mc-pro cooled cmos camera. If the blobby stars bug you then you probably should stick to AP and ditch your nexstar. Those stars are a biproduct of using fairly high gain to get a rapid colorful image up on screen pronto.

 

 

 

Some disadvantages (IMO) of EAA

 

1) If you are a hard core perfectionist, imperfections may not please you, and it may not be possible to correct them in an EAA image.

2) If you have an alt-az mount like your nextstar, there will be field rotation which becomes worse as targets approach zenith. When I had a alt/az mount, I just cropped it out, no biggie.

3) Probably others that AP folks will fill in for me.

 

One comment about the nexstar mount. There can bethe problem of the camera hitting the battery compartment for objects high in the sky.

 

So the bottom line advice might be to try EAA with the nexstar and a camera that could possibly be used later for AP if you don;t like EAA and/or the nexstar.

 

Hope this helps in some way

 

PS: Check this out:

 

https://www.californ...an-alt-az-mount

 

 

Bob

 

M27.jpg


Edited by Bob Campbell, 10 August 2022 - 01:43 AM.



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