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Help dipping my toes into AP - Celestron Evo mount any good?

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#1 Sr2019

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 10:25 AM

Greetings! I've been on a journey recently to revamp my equipment and wanting to see what can be done with what I have and what will be the upgrade path. 

 

Firstly wanted to mention what I have:

1. Texas suburban skies (not ideal obviously)

2. C8 + Evolution mount

3. A7RIII + 80mm F1.8 prime + 35mm Samyang

4. $1000 immediate budget with room to put in more if I get into it

 

Through the refractors forum I'm sold on the idea of buying a small doublet or triplet refractor (AT80ED or AT72EDii on the budget end or ~$800 triplet if its going to be a worthy long term investment in terms or visual/AP). Please bear in mind visual is still a priority so 50 or 60mm scopes are not on my radar. 

 

Here are my questions for AP :

 

1. I understand that ideally I need something like AVX or ~$2000 EQ mount for ideal tracking of a 15-20lbs+ payload. However, I wanted to understand exactly how capable is the EVO mount with a F6/F7 ED refractor on it? Can I do any level of deep sky or planetary or is it a lost cause? If yes, would like to know/see examples. Would a 3 or 4 star alignment be good enough for a perhaps 30 to 60 second exposures? 

 

2. Given the above setup for starters (EVO + ED triplet/doublet), what are some starter imaging cameras that could double as an EAA device if I giveup on proper AP? Is the A7RIII worth exploring or will it be too much of a hassle from stacking software and flange distance compatibility etc.?

 

3. Would instead getting something like StartAdventure GTI + photo tripod be a better option than dabbling with Evo mount at all? 

 

4. Finally would appreciate suggestions on a bear minimum AP kit for a 72 or 80mm ED refractor (e.g mount + flattener + cooled/uncooled imager etc. ) or Even just adding a camera to the C8 + focal reducer if that would prove superior.

 

To me portability and relative ease of setup is priority, I'm okay at sacrificing some quality for convenience or quick and dirty. This is mostly for teaching myself this stuff rather than anything serious.  

 

Thanks in advance and looking forward to a good discussion! 


Edited by Sr2019, 29 September 2022 - 10:28 AM.


#2 Volta55

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 09:05 PM

To me, it sounds like you already have an awesome camera. And your lenses sound good for very wide angle shots, but if you want to start seeing details of some DSO, you want 200mm+

 

You def do not need to spend 2 grand on a mount. I entered this hobby with a tiny budget, and I settled for a very cheap EQ mount (Explorer Scientific iExos100 for $400) 

Do I miss the portability of my previous skytracker mount? Yes, but I was quickly limited by the skytracker. Lugging a laptop and powersources is a pain in the butt, but it is what it is. 

The C8 does not have guiding abilities. If you set up shooting a target, it might be out of frame in an hour. 

 

I like your idea about the StartAdventure GTI. They seem like great eq mounts. 

 

I recently bought a Astrotech 70ED telescope with a 1.8x field reducer. Its been great. And the focusing knobs on it are fantastic. 

 

Hope this helps 



#3 Phishin_phool

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 10:27 PM

The issue with the evo mount is that it as alt/az when you really need an equatorial mount (CEM or GEM). Alt/Z will give you field rotation and will not track well at all- for eea it will be better. This does not mean that it can't be done but a c8 is a difficult scope to start on without handicapping yourself further. A wedge will help but not as much as a proper equatorial mount.  The mount is the most important part of AP. you can have a mediocre camera and scope but with a good mount you can turn out great shots. Since you already have it you can certainly try . I started my astro shooting with a 73mm refractor and an A7iii (there are adapters / t rings for sony e-mount cameras.  I would recommend one of the trackers like the star adventurer you mentioned and starting there. if it is something that turns out you really enjoy you can progress from there. I am sure Bobzeq will pop in witrh some very good advice - I suggest taking it. His recommendations and advice will go a long way towards starting you off on the right foot.



#4 wykbbb

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Posted 03 October 2022 - 09:50 AM

To me portability and relative ease of setup is priority, I'm okay at sacrificing some quality for convenience or quick and dirty. This is mostly for teaching myself this stuff rather than anything serious.

 

Are you interested in EAA or AP? Quick and dirty sounds like EAA, not AP. The quickest version of EAA takes short exposures for a few minutes and live stacks the image. People can image many objects per session.   If the images has post processing beyond adjusting the histogram, the CN guidelines consider it AP.

 

Because EAA has short exposures and short total imaging time, it has more lenient equipment requirements. A prevalent EAA attitude is to start EAA with the equipment you have, and just add an imaging train.  Basic EAA setup with SCT: SCT + 0.63 reducer + spacers + camera and tracking mount. Basic EAA setup with refractors: refractor + extension tube + camera and tracking mount. Popular live stacking software include ASILive or Sharpcap  

 

Complex EAA setups can have all the equipment that a AP setup has. This allows for longer exposures, more automation, etc.  Some people just stick with EAA. Some people switch between EAA and AP. 


Edited by wykbbb, 03 October 2022 - 12:37 PM.



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