Telescope for astrophoto

06 Oct, 2016 14:48
I am looking for a system that I will be happy with for a long time, that is portable enough to load into a hatchback car, and does deep-space and planets reasonably well… in other words all round system.
I am considering the Orion Astrograph 10-inch Newtonian, or a Skywatcher Quattro 10-inch, (carbon fiber) Telescope. Or maybe a Celestron c11 Losmandy SCT? Is there much difference in quality between these scopes? I have a Canon 600D.

Does anyone have recommendations for coma reducers?  Is there a significant difference between the various laser collimators?

I watched a bunch of videos on youtube about the collimation, mount setup and polar alignment, etc.
Looks like it takes at least an hour on site to set up these scopes.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks, smile
Edited 07 Oct, 2016 17:54
07 Oct, 2016 15:57
I have an 8" telescope and it barely fits in my car with all the necessary equipment.  I recommend trying to find the dimensions and weight for the telescope including whatever will be used to package it during transport.  And compare that to your hatchback.  My 8" telescope isn't that large but the box I use to safely transport it is rather big.  I thought about getting a much larger telescope but setting up a heavy telescope can be a problem if you operate alone.

I personally would get an APO refractor or RC.  I think you'll be happier with the results.
Edited 09 Oct, 2016 11:42
07 Oct, 2016 18:39
I'm going to be blunt, hopefully not offensive.

There is no such thing as a telescope that will work well for AP of both planets and DSOs, particularly for someone who has little experience.  The needs of short exposure planetary and long exposure DSOS are just completely different.

Short exposure planetary resembles visual, since your eyes are short exposure.  For that, you need aperture and focal length, to gather photons rapidly and magnify tiny planets.  Tracking is not terribly important.  The SCT is a fine idea.

DSOs, even bright ones, are utterly different.  Aperture is much less important, you gather photons with long exposures, incredibly precisely tracked.  Scroll down the page below for this book (which I recommend) to the picture of the author.  That setup may look silly to you, it's actually exactly what you want.  An excellent mount (the most important part of a DSO setup) with a small refractor (focal length not to exceed 600mm).

Many have found starting out with an SCT extremely difficult (1800 mm focal length is not three times as hard as 600mm, it's way harder than that), and either quit or get the small refractor and good mount.  This is the setup recommended by most every expert who writes a "how to get started in AP of DSOs" book.

The two most common beginner mistakes for AP of DSOs are too little mount, and too much scope.  Either will lead to mediocre images, considerable frustration, and perhaps much spending trying add ons to fix what is a more fundamental problem.  Rule of thimb, if your OTA is worth more than your mount, you've probably made a mistake.

Here's a quote (not mine) that reflects a very common experience.

"I wanted to get a setup that would do both visual and AP of DSOs.  (Like you haven't heard that from every new guy.)  So I got a C11.  Yeah, I know.  It didn't take me long to get an 80mm refractor for AP of DSOs."
Edited 07 Oct, 2016 18:43
07 Oct, 2016 23:54
I would get a 70mm triplet from Stellarvue - great quality, robust focuser and it has a dedicated reducer/flattener that will be positioned at the exact distance - no wasting time getting the spacing right. Also, short focal length will be more forgiving in terms of accurate guiding and no collimation is needed. As for the mount - get the best one you can afford. HEQ5 or similar as absolute minimum, Mach 1 or MYT would be ideal.
Edited 07 Oct, 2016 23:57
11 Oct, 2016 12:12
Thanks for the help everybody.
Edited 12 Oct, 2016 17:48
13 Oct, 2016 21:15
These were all taken with a Celestron 8" Edge HD. Can do moon to DSO. Just can't do large DSOs (e.g., Andromeda and Rosette Nebula would require complex Mosaics). 8" SCT is basically a planet and galaxy killer…
Edited 13 Oct, 2016 22:53
13 Oct, 2016 23:51
I opt out Orion Astrograph 10. Celestron 8 Edge HD is very good.
14 Oct, 2016 08:29
I'm another fan of SCTs. A Celestron EdgeHD 8" is a great wide field telescope with a HyperStar, and a great telescope for narrow field deep sky photo, planetary photo, and visual observation too. I believe that it is one of the few general purpose telescopes you can buy. However, if I were to do it all over again, I would buy a mount first. If you look at all the great photos on this site you will find that even the wide angle lens DSLR photos are made on a pretty hefty mount with a guide scope. You are best off with nothing less than one of the Suzhou Synta Optical Technology made trio: Celestron CGEM, Orion Atlas EQ, or Skywatcher EQ-6. The Losmandy G11 is a good choice too, and better that the three a fore mentioned Synta mounts. If you can afford twice the price, and a mount that is over 100 pounds, then the Losmandy G11 is worth it.

Another thing is, if I were just starting again my first scope would not be an SCT; it would be a 60-81 mm APO triplet refractor (>=90mm is too big) with a matching field flattener or reducer. Take the advice of many of the previous messages, and do not buy an SCT to start. You will keep a small APO all your life as your grab and go scope. You will never out grow it. It will also be a lot less frustrating to learn astro imaging on a short f/5 to f/6 scope.
Edited 14 Oct, 2016 08:45
15 Oct, 2016 20:56
Agree regarding a mount with subpixel OAG fluctuation. G11 can do this for a reasonable price. Almost AO quality.

Camera is even more important. Ok to start with a DSLR, but it's gotta be super low noise for decent DSOs.
06 Jan, 2017 19:22
I love my 1980's Celestron Ultima 8. With an f 6.3 reducer corrector this scope is excellent for astrophotography except for the largest targets eg. Andromeda Galaxy. I have mounted the optical tube onto a new Celestron CGEM DX mount and am totally amazed by the astrophotos I am getting. Yes, a smaller refractor is easier to learn with and better for large objects but if you are patient and careful you will never regret owning a SCT. I believe it is the most versatile scope out there. I would not recommend anything larger than an 8 inch for transport or setup reasons.
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