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Re: A quick Hello from Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:09 pm
by Gedan
Hi Steve

Re: A quick Hello from Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:37 pm
by carastro
OK Steve. Well where to start?

This is the crunch comment:
And of course at some stage would want to take photographs.


Observing and imaging can require quite different telescopes and mounts and the prices will vary considerably.
Observing planets needs a fairly high power telescope to see in much detail and the best ones quite expensive and heavy and they are probably not suitable for imaging.

You won't see planets and deep sky objects with the naked eye how they appear in magazines and on the internet, this is because the eye doesn't really see in colour, maybe a little in varying star colour, and nebulae and galaxies are very faint and are captured in long exposure.

In order to capture long exposure you need a very sturdy tracking mount capable of guiding and capable of taking the weight placed upon it. This is to prevent the stars from trailing during long exposure.
Planets can be captured in video and the individual frames stacked together for a sharper image.

imaging mounts such as an HEQ5 (around £750) or a heavy mount at around £950 - £1000. This is without the scope and camera.

You don't necessarily need a powerful telescope for Deep sky imaging because you will get a small FOV, but you do need a reasonably fast scope around F5 - F7 (focal ratio). If you buy a refractor you should get an APO (apochromatic scope).

The Skywatcher 150P you mentioned would be a suitable scope for imaging, but get the PDS version of it as this has been adapted for imaging to help get camera focus. Non adapted Newtonian scopes can be problematic in getting focus.
I have the smaller version of the 150P (I have the 130PDS and it's great for DS imaging).

So now you're feeling pretty confused.
Don't buy yourself an Alt/Az mount or a small Equatorial such as an EQ5 (or less) as you really need an HEQ5 as a minimum for DS imaging.

I would suggest if you're short of funds and are keen to get into Astronomy, that you could buy yourself a Dobsonian telescope such as the 150P or 200P to get you started with visual and then when you have saved up some funds for the AP side you know what you need to aim for. These come in around £285, no mechanics, it's a push by hand scope. Many people swear by them and you get a lot of scope for the money.
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobson ... onian.html

Failing that jump in the deep end and buy an HEQ5 and the Skywatcher 150PDS (or the 130PDS) and you can use it for visual and progress into imaging with it, this will set you back about £776 for the mount and £160 for the £130PDS. Total £745 if you buy new. There will be some extra accessories you'll need for imaging, but for visual this will be all you'll need to start with coupled with a decent eyepiece, which may or may not come with the scope.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywat ... nscan.html
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflec ... s-ota.html

Don't be fooled by the retailers selling the Skywatcher 150PDS (or the 130PDS) on an small EQ5 mount as a job lot, this is fine for observing but not so good for imaging.

HTH

Carole

Re: A quick Hello from Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:50 pm
by sthorn
Thanks Carole for that in depth explanation.
I think some of it I suspected, maybe not the photographing bit though

carastro wrote:Observing and imaging can require quite different telescopes and mounts and the prices will vary considerably.

I did kind of think that would not be easy, due to small amounts of light getting through and exposure times on a moving object.
And to be fair it was something I wanted to get into at a later stage and not till I was still as green as I am now. But your comments are so valuable as it makes me think a lot more now where to start. I always kind of want to future proof my purchases that are of a major cost but maybe after your advice I may rethink and think of getting a reasonable telescope and forget the photography for a while, giving me time as you say to save for something more suited to photography.

carastro wrote:Observing planets needs a fairly high power telescope to see in much detail and therefore quite expensive and heavy.
You won't see planets and deep sky objects with the naked eye how they appear in magazines and on the internet, this is because the eye doesn't really see in colour, maybe a little in varying star colour, and nebulae and galaxies are very faint and are captured in long exposure.

Thanks, stuff all the advertising doesn't tell you.

carastro wrote:In order to capture long exposure you need a very sturdy tracking mount capable of guiding and capable of taking the weight placed upon it. Planets can be captured in video and the individual frames stacked together for a sharper image.
Such as an HEQ5 (around £750) or a heavy mount at around £950 - £1000. This is without the scope and camera.

Interesting that I should be spending more on the mount than the scope but makes perfect sense now you say it.

The rest with the links to possible buys I will now take time to look into.

Thanks very much and yes it doe help, a lot. :thumbsup:

Steve

Re: A quick Hello from Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:47 pm
by spacehawk
sthorn wrote:Hello, My name is Steve, 56 and live in Skipton.
I don't even have a telescope yet but always been interested in Astronomy and several times have almost bought a telescope but due to family and work commitments really never had the time, or more to the point the money. Now I am a bit older, kids almost flown the nest and heading quickly towards possible retirement I am once again hoping to dip my toe into Astronomy.
Rather than just go on Amazon and buy any old telescope or risk a 2nd hand off Ebay thought I would join a good forum and get some advise as to what to buy.
So please bear with me and what might seem some stupid questions as my actual knowledge is very limited.

Steve



Impossible to say what to buy when you don't say how much, also what you want to use it for, like getting a car, off road or sports

Welcome

Re: A quick Hello from Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:40 pm
by Gfamily
Hi Steve
If you'd like to try out telescopes, you're fairly well placed for Astronomy societies, as listed here;
http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/Clubs/D ... ountyId=54

Here's another site where you can find upcoming astronomy events in Yorkshire (a big area i know, but there are likely to be some near you).
http://gostargazing.co.uk/stargazing-event-calendar/ (for the location dropdown, you may need to scroll down to "Yorkshire") There's a Map view as well, if that's easier to use.

Especially look out for events organised by the Forestry Commission, National Trust and Wildlife Trusts, as they will usually be intended for 'interested beginners' like you.

However, even if you don't find one of these, I've not known an Astronomy club that hasn't been delighted to welcome new people, and if they're having observing sessions, people will be more than happy if you ask to look through their scopes, so you can get a feel for what's available and what's affordable. You can also ask about ease of setting up for the different types. In addition, you'll find where there are local dark skies sites, and when you can visit them with others around you.

You don't need to say this out loud, but it's also valid to think of this as "what shall I get for my first telescope?" ;)

in terms of astrophotography, if you have a dSLR already, an increasingly popular approach is to use a small equatorial mount that sits on a tripod. These cost around £300-£400 and will allow you to take wide field images (a 50mm lens will capture an area a bit larger than Orion) with exposures of up to several minutes. I have a SkyWatcher Star Adventurer - and am very pleased with its results.

Re: A quick Hello from Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:52 pm
by sthorn
spacehawk wrote:Impossible to say what to buy when you don't say how much, also what you want to use it for, like getting a car, off road or sports

Welcome


Look at the 9th & 10th post (last two on page 1).

Didn't want to just copy the whole post again.

In brief I am still looking at various websites and trying to get my head round what is available.

Had a really informative post from carastro that has helped a lot.

Regarding cost I do not want to spend the earth but do not want to scrimp too much and be disappointing in the quality or find it difficult to use.

So in an ideal world say £400 to £600 to start with, but that could be stretched to say £1000.

I originally had a desire to be able to take photos at a later stage but did not realize how much more this involved as regarding the difference in the quality of the equipment required, or accessories required. So maybe I forget this for now (not yet saying this is my decision hence asking for advice from people with much more experienced)
But even now I wonder do I get something at a reasonable price, say the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian for around £300 which sounds a great starter scope but which may leave me wanting more later, which is fine but do I use the £300 I would spend on this towards something more future proof and spend maybe £1000 on a mount and scope that will do well when I do want to try photography.

I have looked at these:
http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/bresser-messier-nt-2031000-hexafoc-exos-2-goto-telescope.html

https://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-explorer-200pds-optical-tube-assembly.html
+
http://www.rothervalleyoptics.co.uk/skywatcher-heq5-pro-goto-mount-tripod.html

So any pointers will be gratefully received.

Steve

Re: A quick Hello from Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:57 pm
by sthorn
Gfamily wrote:Hi Steve
If you'd like to try out telescopes, you're fairly well placed for Astronomy societies, as listed here;
http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/Clubs/D ... ountyId=54


Absolutely fabulous, that's probably a far better idea and use than just wandering around the internet.

The Raygil one is where I have been fishing a few times, but not for a year or two now. Didn't even know there was one there.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Steve

Re: A quick Hello from Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:33 pm
by spacehawk
Ok if you want any detail in the planets I suggest you google, Saturn through a small telescope and see the images you will see with a cheap scope

This is what a beginners scope will show, and remember you are seeing it through a scope images taken with a camera you will not see, which is why people spend £1-200 on just a good 3.5-5mm eyepiece

Personally I would get a dob, 6", £200 and you will NOT be dissapointed



DO AVOID an EQ mount, they look good, and when it is unboxed in your lounge with a decent scope looks fine, so then you take it out at night, in the dark, and cold freezing fingers kneeling on the ground trying to polar align it before you can use it, and that is if you have a decent one that takes an illuminated polar scope, get an AltAz and refractor

https://www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/ast ... evostar-90

And if people say AltAz mounts are no good here is my setup, and yes it can be used to image the Moon

P1050532.jpg

Re: A quick Hello from Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:38 am
by sthorn
Hello again,

Wow, if I thought I knew little regarding astronomy from what I have read up on it seems there's a huge amount I am unaware of when it comes to Astrophotography.
Also seems like I am many joining the hobby with limited knowledge and am keen to buy the best I can afford and then hope to take loads of pics or videos of all sorts of things in the night sky.

Well it is pretty clear to me that without a lot of work and time that ain't going to happen just like that.
There is just so much I don't understand and I am not going to get anywhere by just shoving any old camera onto the end of my telescope and clicking away.

Makes my first couple of posts seem very naive now.

But nevertheless, those ambitions are still there, and I guess how far I get is mostly up to me, and maybe in the end up to how deep my pockets are.

One question I do have on Astrophotography is about what software do people use?
I already guessed that to take good pictures would mean some pretty long exposure times but it seems that rather than the few minutes I suspected people may take many frames, each of which can be pretty long exposures anyway, and then use some clever software to transpose all of them together to creates some absolutely stunning images. I was also amazed to see that some of the DSO images are even over a period of several nights.
This is what I mean about not knowing what goes into these images - probably so much I don't realise that I need to know.

It is pretty clear to me already that maybe the easiest route, that stops me wasting a lot of money up front is to walk before I run.
So I kind of think now at this early stage of hopefully a tremendous and fascinating hobby I should:-

1) Get a two or three good books (already started with "2018 Guide to the Night Sky" and "Turn left at Orion").
2) Buy a reasonable pair of binoculars so I can study the sky in front of me and get to know the positions of the planets, major constellations etc at various times of the year.
3) Get me a 8" Dobsonian, looking for a second hand one if possible.
4) Get out on a clear night with warm clothing and use the two above items.
5) Save.

Does this sound a reasonable approach ?

And once again many thanks for all the advice - keep it coming please. :notworthy: :notworthy: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Unfortunately it does take a while for my posts to become approved and appear on the forum due to my newbie status. Hopefully this will change soon.

Steve

Re: A quick Hello from Yorkshire

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:29 am
by rwillits
Carole will always give you good advice. This is what I wrote before I discovered the second page. Add this to Carole's comments and I hope it helps.


For observing first and then using that equipment to go into taking astro pictures is a process of picking the proper kit. Unfortunately there is no silver bullet to get it exactly right. Large aperture is good for viewing because the eyepieces give you a flexible field of view. Also a mount can handle a larger telescope for viewing then for photography. If you go to photography, the large telescope on a smaller mount will become very frustrating. The mount will be your most expensive purchase. This is the advice I would give myself if I where starting again.
I would get an EQ5 series or an EQ6 series mount that is a "goto" that can be computerized. I would get a 6" f4 (150mm) or an 8" f4 (200mm) Newtonian telescope. Both are affordable and good for both observing and photography. I would get no more than 4 good eyepieces. Buy them used on a reliable astronomy site. Do lots of looking (observing) and when you want to see more, find a used astronomy modified DSLR (Canon) camera. Buy a coma corrector and an adapter to connect it to your, now familiar, telescope. Get the cables and software for the camera.
You will immediately find out that you need a guide telescope. (my first guide scope was a webcam on a cheapo 70mm scope, anchored to my telescope). now you can buy a decent guide scope with guide camera. (the software is free, PHD2). At this point you can take very good astronomy photos. The secret to not having to sell what you bought 6 months ago is to start with a good mount. I hope this helps.