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Choosing my first setup for AP

Beginner Equipment Astrophotography
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#1 Fartagnan

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Posted 16 May 2024 - 11:42 PM

Hello everyone !

As i do not know anyone around me who would be able to give solid advice on this topic, i've decided to take the leap of faith and start a thread on this forum to see what the experts say ... I apologize if this is not the right section. Feel free to move the thread accordingly.

 

I'm sure you've already helped a ton of beginners with this same question, but here i'd like to ask about a specific piece of gear to see what people think about it as a "decent AP setup", and if they think it's bad, suggest an alternative in the same price range.

 

The setup i'm thinking about is the Celestron Advanced VX 6" Newtonian : https://www.celestro...onian-telescope

 

 

What drove me towards this choice

 

Budget : I am looking for something that is a good bang for my buck at around the 1500$ price tag (camera excluded). I'm willing to look into setups that would cost as much as 2000$, however it will depend on their price in Japanese Yen since i live in Tokyo.

 

Lack of choice : The problem with living in Japan is that the array of choices for telescopes here is very limited. There's a bunch of other gear that interested me (some stuff from William Optics, for example), but most of them are not available here. I've seen someone recommend Astro Tech as a first "proper" setup for AP in another thread, which is also unavailable in Japan. I've considered shipping one of those to my family in Belgium and then asking them to send it over here, but knowing how primitive most workers at the Belgian post and customs are, it's pretty much out of the question for me to let them have a 2000$ package in their hands.

 

Positive reviews : The reviews on the official Celestron website are quite positive for this set, and people seem to be quite satisfied with the mount specifically, which to my understanding is the most important part when it comes to AP. So being able to get a good mount for that price seems to be a good deal. I'm always skeptical with reviews since they can be written by anyone though (hence my asking on this forum).

 

Also good for observation : I know this is not recommended as scopes should be for either AP or observation, but being able to observe planets with a decent magnification is something that i would like to be able to do, without having to purchase a second scope.

 

Good focal ratio : Another thing people said was good to have is a decent focal ratio, so that you're not as dependent on the exposure time and therefore stability of the mount. This telescope has an f/5 ratio which seems pretty decent for this price range, compared to other models i've seen.

 

 

My concerns

 

The weight : Even taking this to a close spot seems to be quite the challenge as it's about 25kgs. But i understand this is the tradeoff for wanting a scope with a big aperture and decent focal length.

 

Lack of reviews for this specific setup : I've seen some pictures taken with the C6n (which i believe is basically the same scope as the one in this setup), but all of them were using a different mount. Since the mount is so important in AP, that might not be reflecting what you would get with the included VX mount.

 

 

My questions

 

Based on what i want to use the scope for, this model seems to be the perfect middle-ground. If what's on the official reviews is accurate, then i would be completely satisfied in terms of AP, and given the aperture and focal length observation would also be quite exciting.

 

1) Do you have any negative opinion in terms of general quality of Celestron products ?

2) Do you think this setup is decent for AP until someday i decide to invest a lot more money into this hobby ?

3) If you think this is not a good setup, what would be your recommendation for an alternative in the same price range ?

4) Any other thing i should keep in mind ?

 

 

Two short additional comments :

- I know that Japan has Takahashi scopes which are said to be top notch, however after checking their website, they all seem to be quite expensive, and usually don't include an EQ mount. Maybe there's a good deal somewhere that i missed ...

- I know that with Newtonians, you need to collimate the scope regularly. I do not mind this type of technicality at all, and in fact find it more rewarding than pressing a button on my GoTo for the scope to automatically find the object i'm looking for. TLDR ; I don't know how to do it, but more than happy to learn. If there are other things that i should be aware of, please let me know !

 

 

Sorry for the lengthy post and thanks in advance !


Edited by Fartagnan, 16 May 2024 - 11:46 PM.

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#2 idclimber

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 12:22 AM

I do not recommend that setup. The mount is marginal and so is the scope, at least for imaging.  Instead something like this:

 

Mount: Sky Watcher Star Adventure GTi

Scope: Astro-Tech AT60 plus Flattener

 

Alternatively a better mount. but that exceeds your budget. 

Sky Watcher HEQ5

 

Do not make the common mistake of underestimating the importance of a mount. The little doublet on a good mount will outperform many scopes much larger on an inadequate mount. 

 

You will also need a guide scope and guide camera. Otherwise these mounts will not track at the image scale of even the smallest scope. 


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#3 John Berger

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 12:42 AM

WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT GET THE AVX MOUNT!

 

you cannot imagine how much I regret buying that mount!

 

I was too dumb to know what mount to choose for my first one, so I got the AVX.

 

it does poorly in guiding!

 

Better options are the EQ6-R Pro, HEQ5 Pro, and I think the best option is the AM5

 

SPEND THE BULK OF YOUR MONEY ON THE BEST MOUNT!

 

save later for a better OTA if necessary

 

I cannot recommend the C6-N OTA either

 

I have a C8-N and I could imagine that they're very similar

 

I couldn't reach focus when I used a coma corrector on my C8-N

 

I ended up removing the stock focuser and drilling holes for another better focuser

 

And, the stocker focuser is too rough, and the "teeth" on the focuser knobs press a little uncomfortably into the fingers

 

What I would do if I could go back in time is get a harmonic drive mount (like an AM5), and a Petzval refractor (which is the most begginer-friendly telescope out there)


Edited by John Berger, 17 May 2024 - 12:47 AM.

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#4 Fartagnan

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 12:45 AM

I do not recommend that setup. The mount is marginal and so is the scope, at least for imaging.  Instead something like this:

 

Mount: Sky Watcher Star Adventure GTi

Scope: Astro-Tech AT60 plus Flattener

Alternatively a better mount. but that exceeds your budget.

Sky Watcher HEQ5

 

Do not make the common mistake of underestimating the importance of a mount. The little doublet on a good mount will outperform many scopes much larger on an inadequate mount.

 

You will also need a guide scope and guide camera. Otherwise these mounts will not track at the image scale of even the smallest scope.

 

 

Thanks for the answer !

 

It's not that i underestimate the importance of a good mount (since in every other thread i checked, that's what everyone talks about), but rather that as a beginner, i'm not sure what a good mount is. For instance, the pictures attached to the reviews of the setup above are said to be taken with this exact scope and mount, and they look really good to me (and the person posting them seemed to be really happy with the mount), so i just assumed it was a "good" mount (at least for that price range).

 

https://images-na.ss...71odmPS5vSL.jpg

https://images-na.ss...71EFmL1doAL.jpg

 

Would you then say that these pictures were actually taken with a different setup ? Or just that they do not look that great from your experienced eyes ?

Since i'm a beginner pretty much anything above a certain point looks good to me, and i'm not so much able to tell the difference.

 

Also appreciate the suggestion for another mount. It's about 10k JPY which leaves me another 10k for the scope.

However Astro-Tech products are unavailable in Japan, so i can't purchase that scope.

 

I looked into the Sky Watcher HEQ5 before as it seemed to be the "sturdy" choice for many people, but yeah, on its own it would be costing me more than my original budget for the whole setup ... so that's not something i'm willing to buy as of this moment.

 

I have a DSLR but read that guide cameras are much better for AP, and so far it seems you can find some decent ones at a reasonable price, so it's definitely something i'm considering as well.


Edited by Fartagnan, 17 May 2024 - 01:09 AM.


#5 Fartagnan

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 01:18 AM

WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT GET THE AVX MOUNT!

 

you cannot imagine how much I regret buying that mount!

 

I was too dumb to know what mount to choose for my first one, so I got the AVX.

 

it does poorly in guiding!

 

Better options are the EQ6-R Pro, HEQ5 Pro, and I think the best option is the AM5

 

SPEND THE BULK OF YOUR MONEY ON THE BEST MOUNT!

 

save later for a better OTA if necessary

 

I cannot recommend the C6-N OTA either

 

I have a C8-N and I could imagine that they're very similar

 

I couldn't reach focus when I used a coma corrector on my C8-N

 

I ended up removing the stock focuser and drilling holes for another better focuser

 

And, the stocker focuser is too rough, and the "teeth" on the focuser knobs press a little uncomfortably into the fingers

 

What I would do if I could go back in time is get a harmonic drive mount (like an AM5), and a Petzval refractor (which is the most begginer-friendly telescope out there)

 

I guess you couldn't be more clear about your opinion on this mount ! It seems like it's a good thing i didn't blindly trust the reviews on the official website, since there's already two people advising me not to go with that setup.

 

I also appreciate your suggestion of investing in a more expensive mount and then buy the scope later, however my budget restriction does not come from an immediate factors. I have savings and can spend much more on a setup, but as a beginner 2000$ is the absolute maximum i'm willing to invest for now. If in ten years i'm still doing astrophotography, then sure, i can spend 10k on a really serious setup, but as of now this is a limitation i'm imposing on myself.

 

So far it seems like the Sky Watcher Star Adventure GTi mount suggested by idclimber would be a good start, as it's available in Japan and around half of my budget. If you have any other suggestions within my price range then of course please keep them coming !



#6 powerslide

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 01:32 AM

The thing that needs to be understood is the longer the FL the more important the mount becomes.

With a 400mm FL you may be able to get by on an AVX, but if you upgrade your scope later you'll need to turf it.

A 6 inch Newtonian I think is 750, also when looking at weight you will need to add more things like guidescopes and guide cameras and a on scope computer.

My first scope was a 2000mm FL. with reducer it's still 1350. before I purchased it I wish I had asked the question here... don't get me wrong I love my SCT. and I'm glad I stuck with it. But if I was starting again yeah completely different.

the better the mount and the shorter the FL, the easier your journey will be.

Sent from my SM-S908E using Tapatalk
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#7 ngatel

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 01:33 AM

 

So far it seems like the Sky Watcher Star Adventure GTi mount suggested by idclimber would be a good start, as it's available in Japan and around half of my budget. If you have any other suggestions within my price range then of course please keep them coming !

This website has a lot of videos on small budget systems. Videos often show how things are set up and then images of the results.

 

https://www.youtube....Backyard/videos

 

Here’s another good site with examples of budget systems. (Both sites also include videos of larger systems too).

https://www.youtube....laPhotos/videos



#8 Monel76

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 01:46 AM

If I lived in Japan, I would rate Vixen, something like this

https://global.vixen...roduct/39978_9/

#9 bobzeq25

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 02:48 AM



Thanks for the answer !

 

It's not that i underestimate the importance of a good mount (since in every other thread i checked, that's what everyone talks about), but rather that as a beginner, i'm not sure what a good mount is. For instance, the pictures attached to the reviews of the setup above are said to be taken with this exact scope and mount, and they look really good to me (and the person posting them seemed to be really happy with the mount), so i just assumed it was a "good" mount (at least for that price range).

 

https://images-na.ss...71odmPS5vSL.jpg

https://images-na.ss...71EFmL1doAL.jpg

 

Would you then say that these pictures were actually taken with a different setup ? Or just that they do not look that great from your experienced eyes ?

Since i'm a beginner pretty much anything above a certain point looks good to me, and i'm not so much able to tell the difference.

 

Also appreciate the suggestion for another mount. It's about 10k JPY which leaves me another 10k for the scope.

However Astro-Tech products are unavailable in Japan, so i can't purchase that scope.

 

I looked into the Sky Watcher HEQ5 before as it seemed to be the "sturdy" choice for many people, but yeah, on its own it would be costing me more than my original budget for the whole setup ... so that's not something i'm willing to buy as of this moment.

 

I have a DSLR but read that guide cameras are much better for AP, and so far it seems you can find some decent ones at a reasonable price, so it's definitely something i'm considering as well.

You're very much worrying about the wrong things.

 

The mount is the most important part of the setup.   NOT THE SCOPE OR THE CAMERA.

 

Yeah, it's unintutitive.  Just true.

 

The second most common beginner mistake is skimping on the mount.  The AVX qualifies.

 

If you're spending more on the scope than the mount you're making a mistake.

 

$2000 is a VERY low budget for getting into DSO imaging.  Unfortunate fact, but a fact.

 

The economical workaround is to shorten the focal length a lot.

 

The picture below was taken at 335mm, with a $1000 70mm scope.

 

It sat on a $2500 CEM60 mount.  You don't have to go that far, but it wasn't silly.

 

Mount first.  Worry less about the other stuff.  Stretch for the mount.  Skimp on the scope.  Use your DSLR.

 

Did I mention this is unintuitive?  <smile>  A big part of it is this.  The best setup for LEARNING the difficult art of DSO AP is a good mount and a small telescope.  Time spent struggling with an inadequate mount is time not available for learning.  It's also not enjoyable time.  Do yourself a favor.  Spend what it takes to get a decent mount.

 

This is my idea of the lowest priced decent mount.  $1300 US.

 

https://www.ioptron....ct-p/c261b1.htm

 

You'll need an autoguiding system, which will be about $300.  If you want to stay under $2000 (a difficult goal), you'll have to use your DSLR, you can't afford an astro camera.  And a camera lens or a very small scope.

 

Here's (good) advice from someone who was in your shoes.

 

"The recurring theme and BEST PIECE OF ADVICE BY FAR I received over and over again was a) the mount is king and everything else comes second b) start with a widefield refractor and build your skills and go from there. There is so much involved and building good practices and habits and foundational building from the start will save you a lot of wasted time and heartache."

 

Click on the picture to get the real image, the size limited CN jpg blurs it.

 

get.jpg?insecure


Edited by bobzeq25, 17 May 2024 - 03:18 AM.


#10 vidrazor

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 04:19 AM

As other have suggested, get the best mount you can afford, in your budget the CEM26 wins. Get the base model with the optical polar scope and 1.5 inch tripod.

 

If you have a DSLR/mirrorless, use that for starters. Hopefully you have a relatively recent model that can be computer controlled. Canons and Nikons are best, with Sonys a distant third, but depending on your computer platform, other makes can also be used.

 

There is no "one size fits all scope" Forget about a long scope for now. Get something to shoot the larger DSOs with. A decent and fairly affordable scope is the SVBONY 80mm with it's matching reducer/flattener. You will need a flattener to shoot with most refractor scopes, except more expensive ones out of your budget.

 

That leaves you with just enough left over to get a guide camera and guide scope, and still have a little change left from your $2000. Spend $100 over your $2000 budget and you can also get yourself a visual setup as well.

 

With these three components and your laptop, you'll have a complete basic DSO imaging rig. You then only need to learn how to use imaging software like NINA, Astro Photography Tool, and if you're on a Mac or Linux machine, KStars/Ekos to control your mount, camera, and guider.

 

Later on you can look through local classifieds and pick yourself up a used C6, which will track well on the CEM26, and you can shoot planets, closeup lunar, and get in closer to those smaller DSOs.

 

Don't be in a hurry to do everything at once. Get the hang of using this gear and later you can go longer. You'll be glad you did.


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#11 idclimber

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 10:31 AM



Thanks for the answer !

 

It's not that i underestimate the importance of a good mount (since in every other thread i checked, that's what everyone talks about), but rather that as a beginner, i'm not sure what a good mount is. For instance, the pictures attached to the reviews of the setup above are said to be taken with this exact scope and mount, and they look really good to me (and the person posting them seemed to be really happy with the mount), so i just assumed it was a "good" mount (at least for that price range).

 

https://images-na.ss...71odmPS5vSL.jpg

https://images-na.ss...71EFmL1doAL.jpg

 

Would you then say that these pictures were actually taken with a different setup ? Or just that they do not look that great from your experienced eyes ?

Since i'm a beginner pretty much anything above a certain point looks good to me, and i'm not so much able to tell the difference.

 

Also appreciate the suggestion for another mount. It's about 10k JPY which leaves me another 10k for the scope.

However Astro-Tech products are unavailable in Japan, so i can't purchase that scope.

 

I looked into the Sky Watcher HEQ5 before as it seemed to be the "sturdy" choice for many people, but yeah, on its own it would be costing me more than my original budget for the whole setup ... so that's not something i'm willing to buy as of this moment.

 

I have a DSLR but read that guide cameras are much better for AP, and so far it seems you can find some decent ones at a reasonable price, so it's definitely something i'm considering as well.

My opinion on the AVX is based on imagers here like John that have had issues or were disappointed with the performance. The metric is simple, can the mount track under one arc second for a 300" exposure. The mounts like the HEQ5, CEM 26, AM5 can do so, and if fact can track below that scale. 

 

The AVX is a fine mount for visual or planetary. It can carry a lot of weight and is economical. The primary issue, it was built on a very low price and not for the specific needs of astrophotographers. 

 

This doesn't  mean you cant take pictures with it. You most certainly and obviously can. Many imagers have figured out a way to take images with all kinds of equipment including non tracking Dob's. I started this hobby with an old Alt-Az mount and a large 12" SCT. I paired that with one of the first economical astro cameras and did what I could with it. I was thrilled, at least at the time. The mount simply was not priced or built to image using our current scopes and cameras. 

 

Orion and to some extent Andromeda are both relatively easy targets. Both examples you linked are pretty typical of first or second efforts here an CN. There is a thread pinned at the top for first images, scan through them to see what others have done. Many with very modest scopes. If you want to see Andromeda taken with better gear and a bit more experience here are links to two examples of M31 from my library. The first was in 2020 when I was still learning deep sky imaging with a good mount. The second in 2022 with more experience.

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

get.jpg?insecure

 

 

The trend around here is clear, those with adequate mounts struggle a lot less to get decent sub exposures and final images. Those with inadequate mounts struggle more and often get frustrated. Worse when it comes to the mount, they invest a significant amount of money on a mount like the AVX and then either have to keep it as they cant afford better or they pay twice as they have to purchase a better mount sooner than they wished. 

 

There is literally nobody starting threads complaining they went too far on a mount. I thought I was nuts going from my old Alt-Az mount to a premium mount like my MX+. Especially when I put a relatively small scope on it. I don't think I am nuts anymore. 

 

Obviously it's your choice on what to buy. Will you be truly happy with photos that only look great on an iPhone from a distance or are the the type of person who wants to see that image on a 34" monitor in full resolution? Are you the type of person who will seek more as soon as you start to notice the elongated stars and loss of fine detail?

 

The other issue is of course price and budget. I sat on the sidelines of deep sky for quite some time before my budget allowed me to go ahead with the MX+. Most of this was because I was stuck on the large scope mentality. In hindsight I wish I started 5 years earlier with a more modest sized mount and a small refractor. If the AVX is the only mount that you can afford at this point and it allows you to get involved and start learning then by all means go with that plan. Simply read the numerous threads on that mount and figure out how to manage what you have. The number one advice from me on that path is to keep the focal length short.

 

Skip the idea of a Newt, they are far to large and a money pit themselves unless it is a better model designed for imaging. Replacing focusers, moving primary mirrors and expensive coma correctors are all part of the budget Newt life. A simple doublet with a flattener is a better choice. 

 

Watch Cuiv the Lazy Geek. He lives and images with budget equipment from Tokyo. 


Edited by idclimber, 17 May 2024 - 10:35 AM.

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#12 Fartagnan

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 11:12 AM

Thank you guys for all the great answers !

I'm getting a lot of information here but the trend seems to be the same for everyone ; the AVX is not optimal and there are much better mounts around the same price range.

 

To add onto this comment from idclimber (thanks a lot for your detailed insight, and great pictures of Andromeda as well !) :

 

 

Skip the idea of a Newt, they are far to large and a money pit themselves unless it is a better model designed for imaging. Replacing focusers, moving primary mirrors and expensive coma correctors are all part of the budget Newt life. A simple doublet with a flattener is a better choice.

 

The only reason the newtonian scope was part of the deal is because it was a full setup with the AVX mount, so just figured it would be convenient to get that instead of looking for a scope and mount separately. But if i'm not going with that AVX setup then nothing is stopping me from getting a refractor scope instead.

 

Any opinions on the Sky Watcher EQM-35 ? I see it's got some pretty good reviews and people seem to say it has minimal wobble. It would also fit in my budget and seems similar to the Star Adventure GTi except it can carry more weight.


Edited by Fartagnan, 17 May 2024 - 11:24 AM.


#13 idclimber

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 11:37 AM

Thank you guys for all the great answers !

I'm getting a lot of information here but the trend seems to be the same for everyone ; the AVX is not optimal and there are much better mounts around the same price range.

 

To add onto this comment from idclimber (thanks a lot for your detailed insight, and great pictures of Andromeda as well !) :

 

 

The only reason the newtonian scope was part of the deal is because it was a full setup with the AVX mount, so just figured it would be convenient to get that instead of looking for a scope and mount separately. But if i'm not going with that AVX setup then nothing is stopping me from getting a refractor scope instead.

 

Any opinions on the Sky Watcher EQM-35 ? I see it's got some pretty good reviews and people seem to say it has minimum wobble. It would also fit in my budget and seems similar to the Star Adventure GTi except it can carry more weight.

The GTi is essentially a tracker with a second drive added. Pair it with a DSLR and a moderate telephoto and it is a good choice. Put a 70mm refractor on it and it starts to show it weaknesses and limitations. 

 

The EQM-35 is a bit better, but not on par with the HEQ5 or the EQ6, AM3 or AM5. If paired with a small refractor it is a good choice (60 to 70mm aperture). 

 

If you want a mount that can handle the Newt or a medium sized refractor like an Esprit 100 then you will need something more solid and about double/tripple the price of any mount in your budget. 

 

Here is an option that is economical in Japan. Used DSLRs like Nikon and used prime lenses. A used D5300 to D5600 that is subsequently astro modified paired with an old AIS manual focus prime. Something like the Nikkor 135, 180, 200, or 300. I have seen 300 f/4.5 AIS lenses built in the 1980s' go for under 100 on Ebay.

 

https://www.ebay.com...kp:BFBMyPuc9vBj

 

https://www.ebay.com...kp:BFBMzLKp9vBj

 

The above DSLR can move forward with a small refractor when your budget allows. You can do the same with a Canon, you are just limited to fewer manual focus lenses. These old manual AIS lenses are quite easy to find and very inexpensive in both the US and Japan. 

 

I have one of the older 300 f/4.5 lenses. I have taken some images with it and it performs well. Certainly not as sharp as my refractors, but for that price they are pretty hard to beat. 


Edited by idclimber, 17 May 2024 - 11:37 AM.

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#14 vidrazor

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 12:27 PM

Any opinions on the Sky Watcher EQM-35 ?

The CEM26 is better. Less total load capacity, but more accurate tracking.
 


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#15 Fartagnan

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 12:54 PM

Ok so ... gathering all the information from everybody's comments here, and doing some additional research on my side, here's the setup i'm now leaning towards (with a budget of around 200k JPY) :

 

Mount

- SkyWatcher EQM-35 (60k without GoTo)

 

 

The CEM26 is better. Less total load capacity, but more accurate tracking.
 

 

Note : Unfortunately had to scrap the iOptron CEM26 from the options, despite several people recommending it ... it seems to be currently out of stock in most retail shops in Japan.

 

Scope

- SvBony SV503 80ED (70k)

or

- Vixen ED80Sf (100k)

 

or (higher budget)

- Vixen SD81SII (120k)

or

- Takahashi FC-76DCU (130k)

 

Note : I'm leaning towards the Vixen ED80Sf, for the lighter weight. Not sure if it's worth upgrading to the SD8SII or the Takahashi FC-76DCU since most likely a beginner like myself won't be able to appreciate the extra boost in quality anyway.

 

This puts me at around 180k JPY, which is perfect for the mount + scope, which gives me some wiggle room to add other things that could make a difference :

- Guiding scope

- Guiding camera

- Light pollution filter (i live in a suburban area at around Bortle 7, so seems like this could be useful for when i'm not away to shoot at a good location)

- Astro camera

- Something else i'm missing ?

 

Note : I happen to own a Panasonic Lumix GF10 mirrorless which, from what i've read so far seems to be fine for AP ... so the astro camera would likely be at the bottom of my list in terms of priorities, unless told otherwise.

 

How does that look to you guys now ?

 

Also, sorry for the noob question but ... i don't need GoTo to be able to track stars on a motorized EQ mount, do i ? I assume there must be some kind of software i can install on my laptop and do it from there ... I can pay an extra 300 bucks for the GoTo system but it really doesn't seem worth it since it also takes away the enjoyment of learning where celestial bodies are located by myself.


Edited by Fartagnan, 17 May 2024 - 12:55 PM.


#16 idclimber

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 01:16 PM

Skip the light pollution filter. They were designed for Mercury and Sodium lights that have been largely replaced by LEDs. There are still advocates, but rarely do any of them actually compare with and without and measure the SNR. 



#17 Monel76

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 01:27 PM

Out of curiosity how much is a Vixen AP mount with dual motor in Japan? In my opinion is far better than EQ35. You might also check Zen Market for something used.
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#18 Fartagnan

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 01:38 PM

Out of curiosity how much is a Vixen AP mount with dual motor in Japan? In my opinion is far better than EQ35. You might also check Zen Market for something used.

From a quick Google search it seems to be around 75k JPY, so slightly more expensive than the EQM-35 (60k), but also easier to find (EQM-35 is out of stock in many shops).

 

Edit : It does seem like the simple "AP" model (unlike AP-SM and AP-WM) is not motorized though, which means i'll need to put in the extra cost for that. I might be wrong but this is what it looks like on the pictures.


Edited by Fartagnan, 17 May 2024 - 01:56 PM.


#19 Monel76

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 01:54 PM

Yes you need the AP-WM
https://www.cloudyni...making-it-goto/

#20 Fartagnan

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 01:58 PM

AP-WM would be about 140k then.

More expensive than what i would like to settle for but ... can be considered !


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#21 Helyis

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 02:19 PM

I agree with all the things that have been said regarding mounts.

If you evebtually go for a low end skywatcher mount, I would throw another one to the list : an EQ5, retrofitted with a Terran Industry OnStep motorkit. It will be better than an EQ35, an bé quite cheap. I use my EQ5 with a very similar motorisation (diy, but running OnStep, stepper and belts), and now that it is tuned, it work very well (0.7 to 1.1" rms, and really importantly, fast dithering settle)

However, i'm stunned by the price of the scope you are listing ! The japanese made one are really cheap with thé current rate on JPY. I would definitely not go for a chinese scope AT this price point...

Edited by Helyis, 17 May 2024 - 02:20 PM.

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#22 Monel76

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Posted 17 May 2024 - 03:05 PM

I agree with all the things that have been said regarding mounts.

If you evebtually go for a low end skywatcher mount, I would throw another one to the list : an EQ5, retrofitted with a Terran Industry OnStep motorkit. It will be better than an EQ35, an bé quite cheap. I use my EQ5 with a very similar motorisation (diy, but running OnStep, stepper and belts), and now that it is tuned, it work very well (0.7 to 1.1" rms, and really importantly, fast dithering settle)

However, i'm stunned by the price of the scope you are listing ! The japanese made one are really cheap with thé current rate on JPY. I would definitely not go for a chinese scope AT this price point...


Agree with a old mount retrofitted ( I have a CG4 with Terrans o step ) . Look here https://zenmarket.jp...ode=e1135926217 :o

There are some excellent GP-DX for just over $100

#23 Fartagnan

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Posted 18 May 2024 - 12:33 PM

Ok, i'll also have a look at retrofitted ones if i can find any then.

Also buying secondhand might be a good alternative (depending on how well the mount is preserved obviously).

 

If i'm buying new it seems the EQM-35 and the AP-WM are the best compromises for my budget. I'll take some time to search on secondhand sites before settling for something.


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#24 Fartagnan

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Posted 18 May 2024 - 01:37 PM

There's a guy selling an OnStepX GoTo kit for 25k JPY (~160 USD) here : https://page.auction...ion/q1136535995

So with the SkyWatcher EQ5 that would be around 80k total, but i would need to mount the system myself. If it's not too complicated and can get me a better setup than a brand new EQ-35 for cheaper then it seems well worth it.

 

I have no clue if the specs for the OnStep system are good or not though ...

 

GoTo speed : 264x~528x

400 step (0.9°/s) TMC2208/2225 motor drive

16T:48T pulleys

6mm belt

 

If there's no major concerns with this i might just go for it. Not sure how long it will be available for sale.



#25 idclimber

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Posted 18 May 2024 - 01:42 PM

See if the seller will send you a couple raw subframes, If you can put them on the cloud and post a link we can take a look as see how well this mount is tracking. 




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