I have Celestron 4SE and have got some very good planetary images with it but would like to upgrade to do some minor DSO imaging
1) I know that alt az mounts are much much worse for astrophotography
2) I know that my 4SE has an awful focal ratio for astrophotography f/13
3) I know that my 4SE has a very narrow aperture of 102mm
I am planning on selling my 4SE locally for between $250 to $300 and buying a used Celestron 130 SLT for $200 since it has a focal ratio of f/5 and a slightly larger aperture of 130mm. In addition to those funds I have $100 amazon money to buy accessories like a guide scope.
My current camera is a Svbony sv305c which has served me very well for pictures of Jupiter and Saturn. I also have access to my Uncles Nikon 5200 to borrow for astrophotography sessions. I hope to use the sv305c as a guide camera for the 130 SLT with PHD2 guiding
Is selling the 4SE to get a 130 SLT a lateral move? Is there any other scope I should get under $300 better for astrophotography.
If you want to just get something, anything, all your choices are good. They'll _do_ DSO astrophotography, sort of.
But, they're no way to _learn_ DSO astrophotography. If you want to learn and eventually get good at DSO astrophotography you want to start with a setup like the one shown below. Unlike yours, the optics and the mount work harmoniously together. Your ideas _seriously_ undermount the scope. Which makes learning to do this well _very_ difficult. You're always being mount limited, so what you do with the scope/data capture techniques/processing hardly matters. It's no way to learn.
You can't guide the 130SLT. It does not have an input port for guiding. Even Celestron does not claim the 130 SLT is a setup for astrophotography. "Perfect for celestial observing"
Bottom line. DSO AP is a lot more complicated and expensive than you think. The best way to lower the cost is to use a camera lens instead of a telescope. I still don't know if you could afford it, the tracker shown is about $400. You can DIY one for less.
Good book about all this. The simplest introduction to DSO astrophotography I know, of suitable for someone with little or no background. It covers using a lens, and DIY trackers.
Edited by bobzeq25, 28 September 2023 - 05:01 PM.