Advice on a new scope

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lucas_900

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I've been doing astronomy for a while now, but my real interest has always been astrophotography, so now I want to get more into that. Currently I have a 6" dob, which allows me to take nice images of the moon and saturn, but that's about it. My real interest lies in DSO's.<br /><br />What I want to know is what is generally the best scope for this kind of photography? I know I will need some kind of EQ mount.<br /><br />Also, if you have any suggestions I would welcome them - preferably I'd like the scope to be portable - the other main drawback to my dob. I found this which looks ok - nice and portable etc, and it's by the same people who made my dob.<br /><br />I dont have a large budget, and I know with a scope of that size the images arent going to be stunning or of a particulaly high quality, but it's something to get me started.<br /><br />Thanks.
 
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tfwthom

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Well lets see.......<br /><br />It's only 90mm...for a MAK not large.<br /><br />It's an f14.........it will need long exposures, should be f10 or less. f7 is better maybe a focal reducer.<br /><br />The mount is not driven.....you will not be able to track, so at f14 you can't take the long exposures. Just turning the knobs will jiggle the scope enough to screw up the picture.<br /><br />Mount doesn't appear stable enough.....the aluminum legs are a dead giveaway.<br /><br />Stay with the dob and save more money. This will not work well for astrophotography. <br /><br />edit..<br />Scanning Sky-Watcher mounts.....looks like the HEQ5 or EQ6 would be a better mount. But you still have the f14 scope which I think is a bad idea. With f14 to take the Orion Neb with ISO 400 you would need about a 3 hour exposure. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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lucas_900

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Thanks, I'll check out those mounts and continue to save.
 
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detriech69

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Altho I've never done astrophotography, I do know that clock drive is a must, even with digital cameras designed for this purpose. I also have a 6" Newtonian and it does have clock drive, but with the farmer's security lights on at night, light pollution has been a factor to my just looking at planets and brighter galaxies and the Moon "live", so to speak. But if you really want to do astrophotography, a decent digital camera is a good investment. It should be designed for this purpose. Also, do not go backwards in aperture (size of objective mirror or lens). If you're used to 6" of light gathering power, a smaller scope will be a big let down, even if it's more portable. I'm in the market for a new scope myself and am looking at going up to a 10" goto category. Now I realize that a strong stable mount will be mandatory as I get pretty strong wind gusts at times on my property.<br />There are methods to make dobs clock driven, but they still have the drawback of field rotation. The stars stay in the field of view, but the field itself will appear to rotate. Not good for longer than 10 second exposures with any camera. Perhaps saving up your money to get a good quality scope down the road would be a safe path for you. This would also allow you to do more shopping around for the best quality for the money scope you really want and perhaps a decent digtal camera. Expect to spend at least $300 American dollars for a starter camera unless you want a kid's beginner version. Their are so many choices for any amateur astronomer looking to upgrade their telescope. And improvements and refinements are continuous to existing models, too. So the longer you save your money, the better the scope will probably be, when you decide on one. Good luck and dark skies!
 
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lucas_900

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I think your right - my current scope, as far as im concerned, is brilliant. Last night I had an incredible observing session (the sky was uncannily clear, especially seeing as I live in a city) and I found some kind of double star cluster near Cassiopeia/ Andromeda, and I think, if I were to see that again in a smaller scope I would definietely be disappointed.<br />Thanks for your comments.
 
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tfwthom

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From Steve Coe of SAC in Phoenix:<br /><br />The Double Cluster in Perseus is one of the most famous objects that did not make Charles Messier's list. It can be seen naked eye as a bright spot in the Winter Milky Way. A pair of 7X35 or 7X50 binocs will show the two clusters framed in a glow from unresolved stars. Large binoculars will resolve about 40 members, some even in the compressed central section. An 8" RFT provides the best view, however. The light gathering ability of the telescope will show off a hundred or so dimmer stars among the two clusters. There are several orange or yellow stars, including one almost between the two groups. Many lovely curved chains of stars wind their way out into the Milky Way from the edges of the clusters.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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