Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

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Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

Postby DonLumio74 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:30 pm

Hi all

Looking to get into Astrophotography, specifically planetary but would like to venture to galaxies and nebulas eventually.

What is the recommended type of telescope to go for? I'm currently looking at the Sky Max 150 or 180 but have looked at various forums and spoken to Wex Photography and not getting clear answers.

Any help, really appreciated.

Cheers
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Re: Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

Postby Aratus » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:13 pm

Planets are bright and almost any telescope and mount that is substantial enough to hold a camera, and can track on an object for 20 seconds or so in the eyepiece will do. (to stack a good number of images) Galaxies and Nebula are very much dimmer objects and are better with larger telescopes and better tracking.

I have never used one, but these SkyMax telescopes seem to have good mounts which with practice will give good tracking. The apertures are more than sufficient for planetary images. While the brighter galaxies and nebulas shouldn't pose too many problems, the dimmer deep sky objects will require a lot more care. If you can afford the larger one, I would go for that one.

It's never easy to decide these things.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

Postby DonLumio74 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:28 am

Thanks Aratus - been doing a lot of research over the last year or so and there doesn't seem to be one definitive answer as there are lot of differing factors to consider. I just wanted to be sure that the SkyMax was up to the job as I have always liked the it over other options.
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Re: Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

Postby Gfamily2 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:12 pm

The skymax scopes would be of very limited use for Astrophotography of anything other than planets really.
They have a high f/ratios, f/12 and f/15 respectively, which will push up the exposure times for fainter objects - in addition, they will have a relatively narrow field of view, which will limit your targets to smaller objects - globular clusters and mid distant galaxies. Open clusters and extended nebulae will need a wider field of view.
The general advice with Astrophotgraphy is to spend as much as you can on your mount, and get as fast a scope as you can with the rest of your money.
Do you have a local astro society ? It's worth trying to meet up with others trying to do the same thing locally, so you can see what they're working with - which might give you options you've not thought of.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
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Re: Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

Postby dave.b » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:41 am

What budget do you have to spend? Do you want a goto mount?

Regards
Dave B.
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Re: Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

Postby DonLumio74 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:32 pm

Hi all - I don't have a specific budget in mind as such, don't want to spend more than £2000 to be honest but would rather pay for something that I know is worth the expense and will do what I need.

Yes was looking at a goto mount also.

Yeah my local astro society is Hampshire Astro Group based in next village over from me in Clanfield. Last time I looked membership was closed, will have another look now.

So ideally I'm looking for a lower F ratio scope then? Something like Sky Watcher Explorer 200P (f5) Reflector or Sky Watcher Evo Star 150 (F8) Refactor??
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Re: Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

Postby dave.b » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:03 pm

In that case, I would suggest a Celestron Advance VX Edge HD 8", which is an F10 flat field 'scope on a fairly decent goto equatorial mount. The price has fallen over the last year from £1800+ to a bit under £1600, so shop around. That would leave money in your budget for a battery pack and some eye pieces.

The 2m focal length (F10) is a good compromise for both planetary, moon, and deep sky work and therefore a good first 'scope. A faster 'scope (lower F-ratio) will produce a wider field of view and a lower magnification for a given focal length eye piece, conversely a slower 'scope (higher F-ratio) will produce a narrower field of view and a higher magnification for a given eye piece focal length. The focal length of the eye piece can of course be varied to achieve magnifications and field of views. For a camera at prime focus the size of the projected image is a direct function of the F-ratio for a given aperture and camera sensor size. Focal reducers and optical magnifiers (i.e. Barlows, Powermates, etc.) can be used to change the effective F-ratio.

Hope that helps
Dave B.
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Re: Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

Postby DonLumio74 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:14 pm

Thanks Dave - I'll have a look at the Celestron. Not sure why I've always gravitated (!!) towards Sky Watcher scopes over others.

Also saw the Meade LX90 8" ACF but it's right at the top end of my budget.

So from what your saying there is no perfect scope for astrophotography, you would effectively need several scopes to perfect the art?! One with a higher F for planetary, and one with low F for Deep space.

Which eyepieces would you recommend as a good starter kit?
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Re: Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

Postby dave.b » Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:41 am

DonLumio74 wrote:
So from what your saying there is no perfect scope for astrophotography, you would effectively need several scopes to perfect the art?! One with a higher F for planetary, and one with low F for Deep space.

Which eyepieces would you recommend as a good starter kit?


Yep, but you've got to start somewhere! Personally, I suggest you stay clear of fork mounted telescopes because you have very few upgrade options.

As for eye pieces, my general beginners suggestion is a zoom eyepiece because they are a lot of fun to use, especially with the moon. Avoid the plossl eye piece kits. I have quite a few Baader Hyperions, which I would recommend as a mid range EP. They are currently on sale at a promotional price of something like £88 each (vs £120 or so). And don't try and over cook the magnification as you'll be wasting your money! The limiting factor is the EP exit pupil for which 1mm (may be 0.8mm) is about the lower limit. Exit pupil = f-ratio / EP focal length. E.g. F10 'scope will produce a 1mm exit pupil with a 10mm EP, which will yield a magnification of 200x with a 2m focal length.

Dave B.
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Re: Best telescope for Planetary AstroPhotography

Postby DonLumio74 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:19 am

Thanks again Dave - last one then, will need to get an guider for the EX Edge 8". Celestron has a nice off-axis guider attachment. Can you recommend a nice AutoGuider?
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