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Where to go next? Seeking for advice!

20 Mar, 2018 22:54
Last year I bought a second hand Celestron CPC800. The idea was having a sort of multipurpose telescope: good for visual and for occasional astrophotography. The reality is that I have started enjoying astrophotography much more than visual and in hindsight I did not make a wise choice. The CPC800 is not exactly the best for serious astrophotography. I have to deal with field rotation, narrow FOV, weird optical aberrations with the f/6.3 focal reducer…
The question now is ..what is the most sensible step to upgrade my gear? Perhaps buy an equatorial wedge for the CPC800 and piggyback a small APO refractor? Or sell the CPC800, buy a decent equatorial mount (I was thinking of skywatcher eq6-R), an entry level APO and be back in business again?
The first option is probably the cheapest but I fear that eventually the CPC800 will show its limits, it's not even the deluxe version and also I have no idea about the tracking capability of the cpc800 for instance. The second one is probably a bit more expensive and will leave me uncovered from the visual point of view (although at some point I could buy a cheap second hand OTA, either Newtonian or SCT) but with a solid equatorial mount I can keep improving the optical part whenever I have the funds!
I guess there is not a definitive answer, but I'd like to hear the opinion of much more experienced astrophotographers than me!
Thanks in advance smile
20 Mar, 2018 23:03
Always a tough thing to give advice on which piece of equipment!  I would say this: Look at the pictures here, see which ones you aspire to taking, look at the equipment used, price that equipment and if you can afford it buy it!

This is a great site for understanding what the various choices will bring you.  Once you've got the type of photos you want to take in mind then it's much easier to get into a discussion of things like portability, weight capacity, reliability, precision, etc…


21 Mar, 2018 12:16
Great advice, I concur.


21 Mar, 2018 13:08
Personally I would not mess around with wedges, the people that I know have used them have eventually given up and got themselves an EQ mount.  The mount you suggest skywatcher eq6-R is a very good mount.  I would be inclined to go along with your idea of selling the CPC, and getting a smaller APO for imaging and a second hand scope for visual, though some of the Newtonians designed for imaging will probably offer visual as well such as the SW200PDS - though that won;t give you the larger FOV you were wanting.


Edited 21 Mar, 2018 13:16
22 Mar, 2018 11:43
Hi all,
thanks for the suggestions so far!
Carole, I did not consider a fast Newtonian but it is a good idea indeed!

22 Mar, 2018 17:22
I bought my scope by looking at the results on AB. Here I could see very well what I can get with what scope. And … one scope is anyways not enough if you want to go through different target types. For sure one day I will add a high focal length scope to my collection, and a very low focal one as well. Big nebula are great, but so are tiny galaxies   smile

And wedges, had one… sucks.
Edited 22 Mar, 2018 17:23
23 Mar, 2018 12:38
So..although no one is giving me a direct advice, two people have already told me that wedges aren't great….two clues make an evidence!
23 Mar, 2018 15:32
To give to you specific advice is to guess at your personal preferences.  But if you are looking for a gear list to learn astrophotography you would likely want to start with a small APO refractor (like the GSOs resold under a few different names), and a decent German equatorial Mount (like Orion Atlas) .   Pair that with a mono camera (Zwo 1600 most likely) and an off axis guider.

With that you can learn all about AP and take some pretty great pictures.   You won’t spend most of you time trying to fight endless problems but you will be spending several thousand dollars on the setup!
24 Mar, 2018 01:38
Kevin, perfect advice, sign under each word. I finally came to exactly setup starting with Newtonian, bigger is not always bettersmile
Edited 24 Mar, 2018 01:39
24 Mar, 2018 02:32
Adel Kildeev
Kevin, perfect advice, sign under each word. I finally came to exactly setup starting with Newtonian, bigger is not always better
Funny my thing is I’ve never owned any of that!  But it’s what I wish I’d started with.
25 Mar, 2018 17:11
That EQ6-R is a wonderful mount choice.  A smooth and quiet mount it is!
27 Mar, 2018 03:51
The EQ6R is a fine mount.  As far as a scope, I'll let this other guy give you the advice.

"I started out with a CPC 800  on a heavy duty wedge and a Canon 450d.  In hindsight,
I'd have started with an 80mm refractor.  I would have saved a lot of money and gotten
up the learning curve a lot quicker."

Here's someone else on a scope for both visual and AP.

"I got back into astronomy about 8 years ago with the intention of buying a scope setup that could  "here it comes, you
haven't heard this from every new guy"  work great for visual AND AP. So yeah, I bought a C11 CGE. Yeah I know :-).
I finally tried AP just 2 years ago, and it didn't take long to buy a 80ED doublet for AP duties."

The needs of the long exposure camera and your short exposure eyes are just too different.  The camera works, not because it's better,
but because it's different.

If you want a specific choice.  The Stellarvue SV80ST.  Search here for images, a lot of very good imagers
own that scope.
Edited 27 Mar, 2018 03:53
16 Apr, 2018 22:24
I did not want to open a new thread, so I keep writing here…the topic is related…
I need a suggestion for the mount!
In the end I have bought a Skywatcher Newtonian 8" Quattro f/4 so now I need to get the mount..I narrowed my options down to skywatcher eq6-r or iOptron ieq45…I might actually be able to afford the iOptron CEM60, depending on how well the auction of my Celestron CPC 800 goes on ebay smilesmile !

Any direct experience on any of the three mounts?
Thank you in advance
16 Apr, 2018 22:38
I am very satisfied with the EQ6-R. It is stable, portable and will carry your newtonian without problems. The price is also affordable and it is very silent when guiding. I can not say anything to the other mounts you mentioned.
Edited 16 Apr, 2018 22:39
17 Apr, 2018 06:04
If you’re serious, start with a good equatorial mount.  Look for a used one if you have to, but skywatcher mounts are used in many of the best images here.  After that the most user friendly astrophotography is with a decent refractor or Newtonian , but any scope will do until you get very advanced.  I’ve been through all this, spent a lot of money that I didn’t need to.  I’m back to a refractor on a high quality mount.  I enjoy my time imaging a lot.  Do what makes you happy, there are hundreds of great imagers here and all of them give great advice.  Good luck to you, clear skies!
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